Culture Worthy of Your Calendar: Everything Old is New Again

by Josh Garrick / Jun 12, 2010 / 0 comments

THIRD Thursday!
Third Thursday (June 17) means that it’s time for Downtown Orlando Art Galleries – and other spaces that show art – to hold “openings” for ART that is always fun, ‘edgy,’ and inevitably surprising.  One of the anchors of Third Thursday is the City Arts Factory at the corner of Orange and Pine, and one of the anchors of the City Arts Factory is a mixed group of aggressively individualized “urban artists” called the B-Side Artists.  The B-Siders stepped into Orlando’s arts spotlight in 2008 with an “in-your-face” individuality that reached a level of acceptance by 2009. Pioneers of ‘new ART,’the B-Side Artists "STILL STANDING" event will be held at the City Arts Factory on June 17th, presented by the Downtown Art District.  It’s one of many Openings on that evening from 6 pm to 9 pm.  Watch for the white sandwich boards on the sidewalk – that board tells you there is new ART inside the building.

Theatre to “Change the World”
We can depend on the Empty Spaces Theatre Company to bring us theatre that educates, challenges, and always makes us think. The next production by the always-creative team at Empty Spaces is “An example of how ART can remake the world!” according to the New Yorker magazine.  Empty Spaces is bringing us the Central Florida Premiere of Heather Raffo’s 9 PARTS OF DESIRE.  According to the author the play is, “A portrait of the extraordinary (and ordinary) lives of a cross-section of Iraqi women: a sexy painter, a radical Communist, doctors, exiles, wives and lovers. This work delves into the many conflicting aspects of what it means to be a woman in the age-old war zone that is Iraq.” The passionate work reaches across religious and political borders to re-create experiences of love, life, and tragedy, while depicting the horrors faced by Iraqi women over the last century.  Directed by the uber-talented John DiDonna, the play will be performed from June 17 to June 27th at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park.  For tickets call 407.328.9005  (Credit Card Orders go through

The Return of the Classic Rock Laser Light Show
There was a time – a few decades ago – when science observatories were turned into “trippy” light shows and a curious woodsy aroma would permeate those halls of science.  Now the Orlando Science Center is bringing back that ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ as they once again merge sight and sound for an unforgettable laser light show experience. Featuring a line-up of Rock’s legendary hits, backed by 28,000 watts of stereo sound and laser effects, the shows can be experienced at the Science Center’s Dr. Phillips CineDome every Saturday night until August 21. The lineup includes an 80’s mix of hits by Guns N Roses, U2 and Michael Jackson and a classic rock compilation with songs by Bob Seger, Queen, and The Doors. The schedule is rounded out by a Beatles laser show and the return of perennial favorite Pink Floyd with the iconic Dark Side of the Moon.  Tickets get you into one of the four shows (80’s Flashback at 7 pm., Classic Rock at 8 pm., The Beatles at 9 pm, or Pink Floyd at 10 pm.) There is also a family-friendly laser show at 6 pm. Laser show admission includes access to all the Science Center exhibits. Call 407.514.2000 or visit

Dad as the Carpenter
With Dad’s Day approaching, the Maitland Art and History Association is planning a special Father's Day Carpentry event on Saturday, June 19 at 9 am.  Spend a morning stepping back in history as the day begins for Dad and the kids with a tour of the Historic Waterhouse Residence Museum at Lake Lily Park in Maitland.  There you will learn about William Waterhouse and his life as a carpenter in the 1880s.  The kids get to feel a part of Central Florida’s history as they then build a birdhouse in the Carpentry Shop Museum with help from Dad (and staff) that they can take home with them. Reservations are $15 for a father/child pair. Suggested ages 7 to12. Call 407-539-2181 ext.2 for reservations or visit

Dad as Tarzan
There is a saying in Florida that “if you live near water, you live near an alligator.”  Well, I live on a (natural) lake, and I’m happy to say that I’ve never seen one in my backyard. But for those Moms and Dads (and kids12 years or older) who want to be prepared for their first sighting, the Herpetology Department at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is hosting an Alligator Awareness Program on June 22 from 7 to 9 pm. The educational presentation on alligator safety is, according to the Zoo, an essential part of living in Florida. With Father’s Day coming up, what better way for Dad to be prepared should an alligator come calling?  For registration, call 407.323.4450, ext. 123.

Free Piano Concert
The Festival of Orchestras has found a unique way to announce its 2010-2011 Season. As the Festival’s entire concert season will take place at the new Northland Performing Arts Center (in Longwood), the Festival will hold a FREE piano concert and tour of the facilities on Thursday, June 24th at 6 pm.  Beginning with refreshments, there will be time for patrons to explore the concert hall and find their potential seats of choice. Northland’s Marc McMurrin and Festival of Orchestras Executive Director Susan Carey will be on-hand to answer questions. At 6:30 the free performance by pianist Sergei Kossenko will take place, immediately followed by a performance by an ensemble from the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra. After the performance, Festival of Orchestras staff will be in attendance to answer questions. Northland’s 3,100 seat performing arts center is just two years old and is well equipped to host performances by the great orchestras this organization brings to our community.  “It’s an amazing facility that will be a perfect venue for our visiting orchestras,” says Susan Carey.  Call 407.539.0245 or visit

ABBA – Bjorn Again!
The continuing love for the music of ABBA is celebrated with true musicality, out and out fun, and some tongue-in-cheek satire in the group Bjorn Again – a group that does NOT want to be called a “cover band” for ABBA.  OK, so I won’t call them a cover band, but they look, act, and sing like that unforgettable group, and on Thursday, June 24th at 8 pm, Bjorn Again - ABBA's Greatest Hits will return to the wonderful Plaza Theatre in Downtown Orlando.  Founded in 1988 in Australia, Bjorn Again rapidly achieved cult status eventually giving 4,000 performances in 50 countries in over two decades of performance. And most importantly, Bjorn Again is still performing. Bjorn Again is popular all over the world.  A signature performance of their 20th Anniversary Tour was given for Vladmir Putin in Russia before taking the group to Switzerland and the UK.  Founder Rod Stephen says, “I’m in my 33rd year in the music industry and still get a buzz when I see the audience having such a great time.” If there was a time when you were a fan of ABBA, you’ll have a great time at Bjorn Again. The Plaza Theatre is at 425 North Bumby Avenue in Orlando. For tickets, call 407.228.1220.



Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators