Florida Culture for the Week of June 18 by Josh Garrick
Florida Culture for the Week of June 18 by Josh Garrick
Now through July 8 – Pitmen Painters at Mad Cow
The Pitmen Painters, a new play by the Tony Award-winning author of Billy Elliot, is based on a triumphant true story about a group of miners in Northern England who take an art appreciation class and soon paint a body of work that makes them the unlikeliest of art world sensations. Both thought-provoking and hilarious, this salute to the power of artistic expression is a moving and timely look at art, class and politics. In Lee Hall’s new play, the so-called Ashington Group becomes the toast of London, attracting patrons, gallery shows, and a collector who may end the whole thing based on … MONEY. The Mad Cow Theatre is at 105 South Magnolia Avenue in downtown Orlando. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com
June 21 to July 21 – SUDS: The Rocking 60’s Musical Soap Opera
SUDS: The Rocking 60’s Musical Soap Opera is set in a laundromat in the 1960’s where we find Cindy, the young ingénue whose job becomes decidedly more interesting (and musical) when she is visited by her wacky guardian angels Marge and Dee Dee. Comedy intervenes as Mr. Postman, a washer repairman, and Mr. Mystery Date show up along with classic songs like Please Mr. Postman, You Can't Hurry Love, Respect, Our Day Will Come, Secret Agent Man, I Will Follow Him, and I Know a Place woven into the story. Directed and choreographed by Roy Alan, this musical comedy features Heather Alexander and Laura Hodos as the angels, Joanna Yeakel as Cindy and Christopher Alan Norton playing six different characters. This amazing cast promises a performance filled with singing/dancing fun. The Winter Park Playhouse is located at 711 Orange Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407-645-0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org
June 22 (Opening Reception) to Sept. 19 – A&H Explores the Maitland Art Center
The brilliant – and timely – new exhibit at A&H Museums – Maitland is called A Day in the Life of the Research Studio, and it takes viewers back in time to explore the Center during the life of founder André Smith (1880 – 1959). Now called A&H’s Maitland Art Center, the Studio was founded by Smith in 1937 with buildings created in Mayan Revival architecture, one of the only remaining examples of fantasy architecture still standing in the Southeastern U.S. Smith first invited artists to live and create within its walls in 1938, and from 1938 to 1959, 70 Artists participated in this ‘artistic’ experiment, including Milton Avery, Doris Lee, and Ralston Crawford. Using artworks and color photography, the exhibit makes that classic period come alive with treasures around every corner. From the painted door that ‘invites’ you into this wonderful exhibit to the ‘rain-god’ fountain in the final room, visitors are offered a first-hand view of the unlimited creativity that marks the real history of the MAITLAND ART CENTER. Highly recommended. The Opening Reception will be held June 22 from 6 to 8 pm. Call 407.539.2181 or visit ArtandHistory.org
Andre Smith (above and below)
June 22, 23, and 24 – If you can remember Lucy and Ethel’s grape stomping debacle, and you want to see just how that questionable ‘entertainment’ might feel on YOUR TOES, Lakeridge Winery, our pioneer winery in the development of wines made from Muscadine grapes, will host their 22nd Annual Harvest Festival on June 22, 23, and 24. This outdoor event features live music, (real) grape stomping, an arts & craft show, and award-winning Lakeridge Wines. Grape stompers may test their fortitude (for prizes) in the sweet AND SLIPPERY grape barrels to race against one another while other guests attend free winery tours and wine tastings and food vendors offer solid food. Visit lakeridgewinery.com or call 352-394-8627
June 23 to September 9 – 100 years after the Russian revolution, our fascination with the Tsars of Russia remains enduring. Now, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona will open a summer exhibit of The Tsars’ Cabinet: Two Hundred Years of Russian Decorative Arts under the Romanovs illustrating the imperial opulence of Russia from the time of Peter the Great in the early 18th Century to that of Nicholas II. Porcelain, glass, enamel, silver, gold and other rich materials make this exhibition dazzle with items featured at state banquets at the Kremlin and other Imperial Palaces. Many of the more than 230 objects in the exhibit were designed for exclusive use by the Tsars, and even the pieces for ‘everyday use’ demonstrate the richness of Russia during the long reign of the Romanovs. MOAS is at 352 S. Nova Road in Daytona Beach. Call 386.255.0285 or visit MOAS.org.
June 25 – Summer Concert Series
The Orlando Philharmonic’s charming and popular Sounds of Summer concert series continues with a program featuring the woodwinds on Monday June 25 at 7 pm at the Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park. Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season, the Orlando Philharmonic presents these relaxed chamber music concerts throughout the summer with an emphasis on ‘easy listening’ with introductions to each piece by the players. It’s a win-win concert with orchestra players performing the music they choose and letting us ‘into the music’ with their personal stories as to WHY they made these choices. Highly recommended. Visit orlandophil.org or call 407.770.0071.
June 27 – Balloon Twister Extraordinaire at Orlando Libraries
On June 27, comedy balloon entertainer Karen Climer will perform her show at two local libraries including the West Oaks Branch Library at 1821 East Silver Star Road in Ocoee (407.835.7323) at 11 am, and the Winter Park Library at 460 New England Avenue in Winter Park (407.623.3300) at 7 pm. The shows are FREE and open to the public. Karen’s Crazy Balloon Show is a 45-minute stage show including storytelling, magic, comedy, and the biggest balloon sculptures ever. For the ‘Grand Finale,’ Climer climbs into the largest, most amazing balloon you’ve ever seen. Ya gotta see it to believe it … and it’s free.
Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators