Florida Culture for Christmas Week 2014 By Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Dec 22, 2014 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for Christmas Week 2014 By Josh Garrick


There are only a few days left to enjoy these splendid Holiday performances and events, and they are all “highly recommended,” so please make one of your New Year’s resolutions -- “I will attend more of the wonderful Performances and Art Openings created in our magical community in the year to come.”


Now through Dec 28 – A NEW A Christmas Carol at Orlando Shakes

This NEW production of A Christmas Carol is written by Orlando Shakes’ Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and is blessed by the spirit of Charles Dickens himself. It’s a different take on miserly Mr. Scrooge, and Helsinger wrings every possible moment of Christmas joy AND every moment of Holiday pathos from material we’ve known since childhood. The cast is brilliant, the staging is crazy-inventive, and Helsinger’s use of Christmas carols (refer to title, please) enhances each perfect moment. “God Bless the Orlando Shakespeare Company – God Bless Them – Every One.” Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org


A NEW A Christmas Carol at Orlando Shakes


Now through Dec 28 – Dickens by Candlelight (with Tea and Cookies)

Of the many ways to experience A Christmas Carol this season, the production called Dickens by Candlelight brings us ‘into the action’ by seating us at tables where we are served tea and cookies as the three actors (who play all the parts) ‘act’ among us. The enormously talented John Didonna plays Scrooge (and other characters) through December 28 at the Shakespeare Theater – side-by-side with the production being offered by Orlando Shakes. That’s two different productions in the same theater complex, so be sure which tickets you wish to order. Call 407.222.7669 or visit Dickensbycandlelight.com


Dickens by Candlelight


Now thru Dec 28 – A Christmas Story at Orlando Rep

A Christmas Story the Musical is the classic account of Ralphie’s hilarious quest to ensure that the most perfect gift ends up under his Christmas tree – a Red Ryder Carbine-Action BB Gun! All the cherished moments are here – the Old Man’s leg lamp, the tongue-on-a-frozen-flagpole, and the bunny suit are all here – on-stage for us to enjoy in this Tony-nominated Best Musical. Presented through December 28 at Orlando Rep, call 407.896.7365 or visit orlandorep.com for tickets.


 A Christmas Story at Orlando Rep


Now through Jan 4 – James Joyce's The Dead at Mad Cow

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a ghost story, so why not ‘celebrate’ the Holiday Season with James Joyce’s The Dead at Mad Cow Theatre through January 4.  Joyce's story is about a set of sisters gathered at a Christmas party in turn-of-the-century Ireland. The Tony-Award nominated score, dances and festivities are pure Irish, but the themes, of love, loss, joy, and fear are universal. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com


 James Joyce's The Dead at Mad Cow


Now through Jan 4 – ICE! featuring The Nutcracker at Gaylord Palms

Of the many ways to experience the magic of The Nutcracker this season, ICE! at Gaylord Palms brings us Clara and her Nutcracker Prince in two MILLION pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and four ‘inter-active’ slides. Favorite scenes from the ballet, the beloved music, and ice-carving Artists from China are at Gaylord Palms through January 4. New this season, adults 21 and over may 'chill out' at On The Blocks — the exclusive ICE Bar.  Call 407.586.2000 or visit ChristmasatGaylordPalms.com


ICE! featuring The Nutcracker at Gaylord Palms


ICE! featuring The Nutcracker at Gaylord Palms



Dec 26 to Jan 4 – The Book of Mormon Presents Orlando as HEAVEN!

Having won the BEST MUSICAL Tony Award – and every other award you ever heard of – one might think this musical has brought us the ‘Rapture’ (if it weren’t for the blasphemy). The Book of Mormon features a book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and it’s worth seeing just to see ORLANDO sung about as a teenager’s idea of ‘heaven.’ At the Dr. Phillips PAC, call 800.448.6322


The Book of Mormon Presents Orlando as HEAVEN!


Dec 31 – The Orlando Museum of Art's New Year’s Eve Party

Join us as the Orlando Museum of Art reaches the finale of their 90th Anniversary Year in their first-ever New Year’s Eve Gala Party.  Beginning at 10 pm on December 31, the Museum intends for THIS PARTY to be ‘the place to be’ with a Red Carpet Entry, Party Favors, Open Galleries, Hors d’oeuvres and Cocktails, Live Music by Soul Funktion, a Champagne Toast, Fireworks – AND – they say that’s only the beginning.  Tix are single $90; Couples $150.  Call 407.331.1993 or contact Jake White at [email protected]


The Orlando Museum of Art's New Year’s Eve Party


And Looking Ahead to 2015!

Jan 8 to 11 -- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Brings XTREME to Orlando

The Greatest Show On Earth continues to amaze as CIRCUS XTREME turns audiences into adventure-seekers from January 8 to 11 at the Amway Center. An all-female troupe of Mongolian riders, freestyle BMX riders and tumblers, and Circus elephants are the ‘headliners’ at the Circus this season. The party begins an hour before the show at the Pre-Show (free with ticket purchase) as your family gets to meet the performers, get up close to the animals, and even try on circus costumes. Tickets at ringling.com or ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000 or 407-440-7900.


Current – A Very Special Gift

With more than 75 restaurants participating and the addition of a special preview week, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month 2014 raised a record $111,604 for the Foundation for Foster Children. The donation is a whopping 50% over the year prior. Orlando’s Magical Dining Month takes place each September, and don’t worry dear Readers, I’ll definitely remind you (a couple times) about when it comes around again. Visit OrlandoMagicalDining.com


Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators