Florida Culture through the Holidays by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Dec 18, 2012 / 0 comments

Florida Culture through the Holidays by Josh Garrick

Now to December 22 -- Breakthrough Theatre’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever

In the largest cast ever assembled by the Breakthrough Theater of Winter Park, this Holiday play finds a well-meaning couple struggling to put on a Christmas pageant for their church while coping with the ‘most inventively awful kids’ in history. There is mayhem and fun – as the kids and adults collide head-on with the Christmas story. Breakthrough Theatre is located at 421 West Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407.920.4034




December 20 to 23 – The Nutcracker at the Bob Carr

The ballet that is everyone’s favorite holiday entertainment brings its visions of Sugarplum fairies, dancing flowers and so much more to the Bob Carr PAC as the Orlando Ballet celebrates the holiday season with The Nutcracker.  Presented in four performances from December 20 to 23, this Nutcracker remains true to its classical traditions with an infusion of Artistic Director Robert Hill’s mix of choreography.  And this season, the Nutcracker will be danced to LIVE music from the Orlando Philharmonic. Tchaikovsky would be proud! Call 407.426.1739




December 21 -- A Very Merry Power Chords Christmas Concert

An amazing group of young singer/dancers – trained and rehearsed at the Orlando Repertory Theatre, will present their unique version of a Christmas Concert – at the Orlando Rep – on Friday, December 21 at 7 pm. Attending one of their concerts is not only an hour of sheer joy, but it’s also one of Central Florida’s finest examples of hope for the talent of tomorrow. The whole family will love The Power Chords LIVE. Visit orlandorep.com/event/a-very-merry-power-chords-concert or call 407.896.7365 x 1.


December 22 and 23 – The Nutcracker at the Convention Center

Named “one of five outstanding productions in the entire nation” by CNN Headlines News, the ‘pyrotechnic’ Nutcracker will be presented by the Central Florida Ballet on December 22 at 7:30 pm and December 23 at 2 pm at the Linda Chapin Theater in the Convention Center. This presentation emphasizes the fairytale story of a Nutcracker doll coming to life as an enchanted prince who saves a pretty young maiden from distress. With amazing special effects, this production keeps young male audience members just as interested as the little girls  Call 407.849.9948 or visit centralfloridaballet.com




December 22 and 23 – A One-Man Version of … A Christmas Carol

Celebrating Charles Dickens 200th Birthday, Southern Winds Theatre will present a One Man A Christmas Carol written and performed by David McElroy. Performing 37 different characters, McElroy creates everyone from Scrooge to Tiny Tim and the three Ghosts. This solo interpretation, created for adults and children, will be performed at 7:30 pm on December 22 and 23 at The Venue at 511 Virginia Ave in Orlando. Call 407. 341.3495 or visit southernwindstheatre.com




December 22 to March 31 – Glass Sculptures at Orlando Museum of Art

Through its new exhibit – Contemporary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass, the Orlando Museum of Art will join a celebration of this art form that will include more than 160 events at museums and galleries nationwide. The OMA exhibit will feature 65 works by renowned artists including Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Christopher Ries, Therman Statom, Lino Tagliapietra and others while works by young Artists will explore how each uses the intrinsic characteristics of glass for expressive purposes. Most of the works, selected from private collections, have never been in a museum exhibit before. The Museum is in Loch Haven Park at 2416 North Mills Ave in Orlando. Parking is free. Call 407 896 4231 or visit omart.org


OPENED in time for Christmas – New Zebra House Coalition

At this Holiday Season it is heart-breaking to learn that 42% of all homeless youth are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) and 26% of those young people ‘came out’ to their parents – only to be told to leave home.  The GOOD NEWS, however, is that the new Zebra Coalition House, at 911 North Mills Avenue, opened on December 5 to offer counseling; medical services; a food, hygiene and clothing bank; laundry and shower facilities; education and career support; a resource library; and a computer center for these at-risk youths. The Zebra Coalition® was established in response to the growing number of LGBTQ youth in Central Florida experiencing homelessness, bullying, physical and sexual abuse, and a wide range of life challenges. The Coalition also operates a 24-hour hotline – 1.877.90 ZEBRA – for emergency and short-term housing. 


December 27 and 28 – Benefit Concerts for Homeless Charities

Two evenings of impressive harmonizing will provide help to Central Florida’s homeless population as The Lettermen, the famous vocal trio, return to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park. The concerts, presented by Homeless Heart, will be held at 7 pm on December 27 (Christmas Concert) and 28 (Broadway Concert). Tickets are $30 and $50 at homelessheart.org or at the St. Margaret Mary Church office at 526 N Park Avenue in Winter Park. Charities which benefit from the concert include Bring Change, Covenant House, Family Promise, Idignity, Nathaniel’s Hope and others which are not large enough to produce an event such as this alone. In this season of giving, call 407.998.5662 or visit HomelessHeart.org




December 29 at 7:30 pm – The Always-Amazing TOXIC AUDIO

Toxic Audio is a national treasure, which came to life right here in Central Florida. A five-person singing group that “mimics a human juke box,” their a capella show is an hour-and-30-minute montage of favorite songs from Michael Jackson to The Beatles that are amusingly synchronized into skits. Most amazing, however, is that BOTH lyrics and instruments are created through their five human voices. And music isn't all the five-some can mimic. Other sounds, such as a motorcycle revving and other noises, are ‘featured.’ Their one-show-only (December 29) is at the Wayne Densch PAC in Sanford. Call 407.321.1811.





Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators