Florida Culture for the Week of October 15, 2017 By Josh Garrick


Florida Culture for the Week of October 15, 2017 By Josh Garrick 

FINAL WEEK to Oct 22 – BIG RIVER: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adapted from the classic American novel by Mark Twain, BIG RIVER tells the story of ‘Huck’ Finn, run-away slave Jim, and the (musical) journey they take along the Mississippi River. Their adventures are told through ‘foot-stompin’ music and lyrics by Roger Miller as they navigate their way at a time when freedom and bi-racial friendships could not be taken for granted. This celebration of pure Americana is at the Mad Cow Theatre; for tickets, visit madcowtheatre.secure.force.com 
BIG RIVER: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

BIG RIVER: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

FINAL WEEK to Oct 22 – Disney’s “Newsies” at the Orlando Rep 
The Orlando REP has opened its new season as the first theatre in the southeastern United States to present the Drama Desk and Tony Award-winning “Newsies the Musical.” In an amazing series of perfectly cast performances, there is more dancing on the stage than in three ‘normal’ musicals. Inspired by the real-life ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899,’ this Disney musical tells of publisher Joseph Pulitzer raising the price of newspapers – at the newsboys’ expense. Against all odds, a young leader rises up to help “the little guys” stand up and ‘seize the day.’ For YOUR thrilling dose of inspiration, call 407.896.7365 or visit orlandorep.com 

Disney’s Newsies at the Orlando Rep

NOW to Oct 28 – JEFFREY at the Footlight Theatre at Parliament House 
In this wondrously funny/serious play at the P-House, JEFFREY, a gay actor/waiter, has sworn off sex after too much paranoia about what is "safe.” In New York City, however, sex (especially for an ‘actor/waiter’) can NOT be avoided. Finally reconciled to his celibacy, Jeffrey meets the man of his dreams (of course). This crazy and moving romantic comedy is consistently funny – with a chaser of serious, and it is ‘perfect’ date-nite material. Call 888.202.1708 or visit phouse.ticketleap.com/Jeffrey 

JEFFREY at the Footlight Theatre at Parliament House

NOW to Oct 29 – The Odd Couple (in Male & Female Versions) 
Prolific American playwright Neil Simon brought the messy Oscar Madison and fastidious Felix Ungar to the stage in 1965, winning the Tony for Best Author of a Play. The Odd Couple went on to become a successful film and TV series before Simon brilliantly revised the play for a female cast (1985). The clever folks at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden have decided to present these opposite personalities in repertory with both male and female casts. (There’s even a discount if you see both!) Call 407.877.4736 or visit gardentheatre.org 

The Odd Couple (in Male & Female Versions)

NOW to Nov 4 – Phantasmagoria VIII: The Chains of Fire 
PHANTASMAGORIA is Orlando’s own version of a Grand Guignol theatrical troupe, the original seen in Paris in 1897. Following in Guignol’s “creepy, graphic, brutal and bloody” foot-prints, Central Florida’s PHANTASMAGORIA is the physical manifestation of Sanford’s theatrical genius John DiDonna. Our troupe comes off as a well-rehearsed rabble of ‘Steampunk Survivors’ more dangerous than a band of traveling gypsies. They are joined on-stage by dancers, soldiers, puppeteers, and fire-breathers as they embark on new journeys through the dark tales of Poe, Wilde, M.R. James and others. Trick or treat yourself to the all new PHANTASMAGORIA VIII at the Shakespeare Center. Call 407.476.5121 or visit phantasmagoriaorlando.com 

Phantasmagoria VIII: The Chains of Fire

NOW to Nov 19 - The (Comical) Hound of the Baskervilles 
The Bard and his ‘minions’ have chosen to give us Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in a cheeky – make that very tongue-in-cheek – version of Sir Arthur’s world-famous detective in one of the writer’s most famous ‘novellas.’ Even Sir Arthur would find the humor in this version of Sherlock Holmes’ investigation of the Baskerville family where – one by one – the male heirs are dropping dead. Directed by Orlando Shakes’ comically inventive Artistic Director Jim Helsinger, (who is truly brilliant at this Monty Pythonesque theatricality), the play is made even more fun as three actors play a dozen roles. Call TODAY for your tickets at 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org 

The (Comical) Hound of the Baskervilles

Oct 17 to 22 – ON YOUR FEET! – The Gloria Estafan Musical 
This inspiring true story is about two people who believed in their talent – and each other – to become an international sensation. From humble beginnings in Cuba, Gloria and Emilio Estefan came to America and became a crossover sensation at the top of the pop music world. But then – from stardom to life-threatening tragedy, ON YOUR FEET! takes us inside the story of this ground-breaking couple who faced adversity, and found a way to end up on their feet. This musical renews your faith in the American dream. For tickets, call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 

ON YOUR FEET! – The Gloria Estafan Musical

Oct 17 – The Morse Museum Opens Two New Exhibits 
As the Morse Museum continues its 75th Year Celebration, the Museum focuses on the “creative eye” and the creative process of Louis Comfort Tiffany. In two exhibits opening on October 17, “Tiffany Studios Designs” and “Tiffany Impressions on Film, Canvas, and Paper,” the Museum explores the way in which Tiffany’s vision was translated into some of the most innovative decorative objects of their time. Best-known for decorative glass, Tiffany was also a painter and photographer. The exhibits include art-works, sketches, drawings, and photographs that reveal the way in which Tiffany found inspiration everywhere. Visit morsemuseum.org 

The Morse Museum Opens Two New Exhibits

Oct 18 at 8 pm – Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmic Perspective” 
Born and raised in NYC, educated in public schools, graduate of Bronx High School of Science, Neil deGrasse Tyson earned his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia. The recipient of 19 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, Tyson served as Editor and Host for "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey.” He is Director of the Hayden Planetarium and a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson will share his thoughts on our universe at the BOB CARR Theater in Orlando. Call 844.513.2014

Oct 19 at 6 pm -- “Dia de los Muertos & Monster Factory” Exhibit and Block Party 
More “monstrous” than ever, the Downtown Arts District and CityArts Factory announce the 8th annual fun-charged event (inspired by the Mexican holiday). NOW expanded to two locations, guests may view original artwork at CityArts Factory (FREE) from 6 pm to 9 pm while the Street Party is rocking Church Street from 6 pm to 11 pm. Offering LIVE music and theatre from Phantasmagoria and Salvador Live, food vendors, face painting, kids crafts, costume contest, photo opps, raffles and more. Admission is $5 for the Block Party. Proceeds support Downtown Arts District. Visit orlandoslice.com 
“Dia de los Muertos & Monster Factory” Exhibit and Block Party

Oct 20 to Nov 5 – ‘SYLVIA’ Presented by CFCArts Theatre 
In A.R. Gurney’s hilariously over-the-top comedy, long-time husband and wife Greg and Kate move to Manhattan after 22 years of raising children in the suburbs. Greg is on his way to retirement and he brings home a dog, ‘Sylvia’ (played by a human actor). Canine comedy ensues as Sylvia drives a wedge between Greg and Kate’s marriage. Call 407.937.1800 or visit cfcarts.com/sylvia
‘SYLVIA’ Presented by CFCArts Theatre

Oct 21 at 7:30 pm – “Soul2Soul” – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill in Concert 
During a surprise performance at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill announced “Soul2Soul” The World Tour 2017. The 65-city tour celebrates the 10th anniversary of the record-breaking Soul2Soul II Tour, the highest-grossing country music tour of all time, and the first time Hill has toured since 2007. LOCASH will open the show. Call 407.440.7900 or visit amwaycenter.com 
“Soul2Soul” – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill in Concert

Oct 21 at 7:30 pm – The Orlando Big Band – ‘Swingin’n with the Big Band’
The Orlando Big Band, a vintage 40's orchestra, transports us to an era when America produced some of the greatest music of all time! Hear the music of Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, and Cab Calloway, for one night only, as this 20-piece orchestra perfectly recreates the 40's Big Band sound. In one performance, experience the jazzy, brassy, sentimental and patriotic music of the Era as the Big Band’s own version of the "Andrews Sisters" takes you back to those ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ days at the Bob Carr Theater at 401 W Livingston St. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 
The Orlando Big Band – ‘Swingin’n with the Big Band’

Oct 21 & 22 – The “Verdi Requiem” by the Bach Festival Chorale 
The “Verdi Requiem” magically combines the drama of opera and the sonorities of the symphony with virtuosic vocal solos. In 1873, Verdi went into such deep mourning for a friend that he could not attend the funeral. Instead, the composer created the Requiem, which had its first performance one year after his friend’s death. From the antiphonal trumpets, to the crashing bass drum; from the angelic call of three flutes to the breath-taking Dies Irae, Verdi created one of the world’s most thrilling musical compositions. To experience this work in the Knowles Chapel at Rollins College is … glorious. Call 407.646.2182 or visit BachFestivalFlorida.org

Oct 23 at 7 pm – “Eric Plays Haydn”
In this Orlando Philharmonic presentation, the Orchestra’s Music Director and world-renowned cellist Eric Jacobsen will take the stage as soloist, performing the virtuosic second concerto of Haydn. This special performance is enhanced as flutist Colleen Blagov offers one of the first-ever performances of the much-in-demand composer Judd Greenstein’s ‘Flute Concerto.’ The concert concludes with Edward Elgar’s hauntingly beautiful “Enigma Variations” at the Plaza Live in east Orlando. Call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org
“Eric Plays Haydn”

Oct 23 to Nov 19 – Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical
Inspired by civil rights pioneer Ruby Bridges, “Polkadots” follows Lily Polkadot as she moves to the “Squares Only” town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot to attend the all-Square school, Lily faces the seemingly impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest seems hopeless until a Square boy’s curiosity blooms into friendship. A perfect introduction to the idea of diversity for young people, this new musical will be performed at the Orlando Repertory Theater. Call 407.896.7365 or visit OrlandoRep.com. 
 Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical

Oct 26 at 7 pm – SANTANA’s ‘Transmogrify Tour’ at Amway Center 
“Transmogrify” means to transform in a magical or surprising way, and that certainly describes Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and guitar virtuoso, Carlos Santana, who turns 70 in July. During his 50-year career, he has transmogrified from being the only performer at Woodstock without an album, to a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artist whose 1999 hit, “Smooth,” became one of the hits of the decade. Merging artistic credibility, staying power and pop success, his ground-breaking Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion eclipses musical genres and generational, cultural and geographical boundaries. Call 407.440.7900. or visit amwaycenter.com
SANTANA’s ‘Transmogrify Tour’ at Amway Center

October 27 to 29 – SWAN LAKE by Orlando Ballet 
Set to Tchaikovsky's brilliant musical score, performed LIVE by the Orlando Philharmonic, Swan Lake is the world’s most celebrated and beloved classical ballets. Based on the consistently impressive dancing from the Orlando Ballet last season, this tale of a princess turned into a swan promises to be among the “must-see” performances of the entire performing arts season and comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org or visit orlandoballet.org 
SWAN LAKE by Orlando Ballet

Oct 27 at 8 pm – Legendary Band CHICAGO at the Bob Carr 
CHICAGO, the legendary “rock-and-roll-band-with-horns,” comes in at an incredible number 9, the highest-charting American band in Billboard Magazine’s “Hot 200 ALL-TIME Top Artists.” The first American band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. From the unique sound of the horns to their dozens of classic hits, CHICAGO ‘celebrates’ at every concert. 2017 marks the band’s 50th Anniversary Tour, and you can ‘celebrate’ with them at the Bob Carr Theater on October 27. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 
Legendary Band CHICAGO at the Bob Carr

Oct 27 – David Bowie DESIGN Exhibit at Modernism Museum in Mount Dora
Singer/actor/artist David Bowie was a complex performer, and complex in his personal tastes. A collector of cutting-edge works of art and design, The Modernism Museum in Mount Dora will present an exhibit of pieces from Bowie's personal collection by the Italian design movement Memphis in an exhibit titled “Space Oddities: Bowie Sottsass Memphis.” The “Memphis” designers created everything from colorful, edgy furnishings for the home and workplace, to decorative ceramics, glass, and even terrazzo. Call 352.385.0034 or visit modernismmuseum.org 

Oct 27 & 28 – Disney Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic 
Appropriately taking place at the home of extraordinary culinary talent, the 7th Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic showcases the Disney passion for fine cuisine. The two-night event features more than 50 food/beverage stations, 10 food/beverage seminars and opportunities to meet world-renowned chefs – all amidst a backdrop of live entertainment. NEW this year, an area representing San Francisco’s Chinatown with décor and dishes inspired by the famous neighborhood. Visit swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com
Disney Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic
Disney Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic


Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators