Florida Culture for the Week of August 10, 2015 by Josh Garrick


Florida Culture for the Week of August 10, 2015 by Josh Garrick

NOW to Aug 22 – Winter Park Playhouse Presents Tap Dance Musical Dames At Sea 

It’s the BEST Tap-Dancing-Theater in Florida, so it’s no surprise that the Winter Park Playhouse is presenting Dames At Sea as their first production of the 2015-2016 Season. This quintessential American musical about a small-town-girl who comes to the BIG City to make it on Broadway offers tap dancing, songs, and boatloads of laughs. The fantastic Michael Edwards directs, Roy Alan choreographs, and Chris Leavy is music director for this stellar production. Call 407-645-0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org
Dames at Sea

NOW to Sept 6 – Mad Cow Presents the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Clybourne Park

Derived from Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 classic A Raisin in the Sun, Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park is a hard-biting investigation of race relations in America over the last fifty years. Beginning in 1959, Norris presents a white, middle-class neighborhood in shock over the arrival of black residents. Fifty years later, the neighborhood is predominantly black and facing gentrification. Prejudices collide in this Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play. Presented through September 6, call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com

Mad Cow Presents the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Clybourne Park

NOW to Aug 16 – Back to School Tax-Free Holiday Shopping 

Back-to-School has become the 2nd largest shopping season of the year with the average family spending approximately $630 on electronics, clothing and other school needs. Shopping centers are extending their hours to accommodate Florida’s Tax-free Holiday, which lasts through August 16. On August 15, the Seminole Towne Center (STC) will host its Free ‘Back 2 School Expo’ from 10 am to 3 pm with face painting, balloon artists and prize giveaways. Kids can meet animals from the Central Florida Zoo, and at 2 pm STC will host its annual back-to-school fashion show. With more than 120 stores, call 407.323.1843 or visit seminoletownecenter.com

 Back to School Tax-Free Holiday Shopping

Aug 11 -- Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun at Hard Rock Live

Just saying his name makes you smile. After 32 years of making (and parodying) music, Weird Al Jankovic released Mandatory Fun – his 14th studio album – and his first Number One album in the United States. From the album, Word Crimes became Yankovic's 4th Top 40 Song, making him one of few artists to achieve such a feat in each of four decades. Then the album won Best Comedy Album at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, and now Weird Al is bringing his Mandatory Fun Tour to Hard Rock Live on August 11. You will have fun … it’s MANDATORY.  Call 407.351.LIVE (5483) or visit Ticketmaster.com

Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun at Hard Rock Live


Aug 13 to 23 – Heathers the Musical at the Dr. Phillips Center

Based on the classic 1989 film, the Florida Premiere of Heathers the Musical will be presented at the Dr. Phillips Center from August 13 to 23. Westerberg High is ‘ruled by’ the hottest – and NASTIEST – girls in all of Ohio – Heather, Heather, and Heather. But misfit Veronica Sawyer rejects their evil for a new boyfriend, the mysterious J.D., who puts the Heathers in their place. Social media sensation Thomas Sanders plays JD, and the role of Veronica will be played by Nicole Visco. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 

Heathers the Musical at the Dr. Phillips Center

Heathers the Musical at the Dr. Phillips Center

Aug 14 to 31 – Breakthrough Theatre Presents Musical Nunsense 

I’m not Catholic, but that fact has never kept me from fully enjoying the crazy antics of The Order of the Little Sisters of Hoboken who are forced to hold a fund-raising variety show to raise money to bury several sisters (who were accidentally poisoned by their cook). It may sound more Agatha Christie than (author) Dan Goggin, but once these Sisters get going, it’s non-stop hilarity – both Catholic and otherwise. Enjoy the comedic calamity through August 31 at the Breakthrough Theatre in Winter Park.  Call 407.920.4034 or visit breakthroughtheatre.com

Breakthrough Theatre Presents Musical Nunsense

Breakthrough Theatre Presents Musical Nunsense

Aug 15 -- Volunteer Fest at Barnett Park 

If you can listen, build, mentor, teach, or guide, becoming a VOLUNTEER could make a world of difference, and even change someone’s life in our community. Volunteer Fest is a Free event that invites attendees to explore volunteer opportunities available here in Central Florida. Community organization partners will host booths and chat with prospective volunteers from 10 am to 2 pm on August 15 in the gym at Barnett Park. The Fest will also feature food vendors and free family entertainment. Call 407-298-4180 or visit volunteersforcommunityimpact.org

Aug 15 & 16 – Lakeridge Winery’s Annual Harvest Grape Stomp 

The Florida grape harvest season is here, and it's time for the fun (and slippery thrills) of real grape stomping competitions. Along with the courage to “stomp,” this all-family event offers continuous live music throughout the weekend; Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of foods available for purchase; along with complimentary Winery tours and tastings.  Your $2 donation at the gate benefits The Boys & Girls Club.  The Stomp takes place from 10 am to 5 pm on August 15 and 16 at the Lakeridge Winery at 19239 U.S. 27 North in Clermont. Call 800.768.WINE or visit lakeridgewinery.com. 

Grape stomp at Lakeride Winery

Aug 16 – Boy George & Culture Club at Hard Rock Live 

There isn’t a rock fan in the world that doesn’t know the names of Boy George and Culture Club. The Grammy Award winners sold over 100 million singles and over 50 million albums; achieved 7 Top 10 hits in the UK; and 9 Top 10 singles in the USA. They had multi-platinum album sales across the world and were the first group since The Beatles to have 3 Top Ten hits in America from a debut album. Now for the first time in more than 14 years, the original band members Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss and Boy George will perform together again at Hard Rock Live on August 16. Call 407.351.LIVE (5483) or visit Ticketmaster.com

Boy George & Culture Club at Hard Rock Live

Aug 16 – Celebrate National Rum Day with Tommy Bahama

From cocktails to cake, Tommy Bahama offers recipes for National Rum Day – August 16 – in unexpected combinations. Tommy Bahama’s ‘Rummelier’ has developed the Chillax mixing mango and vanilla rum with Coco Lopez, mango puree and fresh orange juice for a taste reminiscent of a Creamsicle. Rum goes from the bar to the BBQ with Jerk Pork Tenderloin, and for that sweet tooth, the Pina Colada Cake features toasted coconut layered on white chocolate and crushed pineapple brushed with rum. Tommy Bahama is located at 9101 International Drive just steps from the Orange County Convention Center. Call 321.281.5888 or visit tommybahama.com

Celebrate National Rum Day with Tommy Bahama

Aug 17 -- Rimma & Friends presented by the Orlando Philharmonic

The Orlando Philharmonic proudly honors its brilliant Concertmaster Rimma Bergeron-Langlois on August 17 at 7 pm … and Rimma has lots of ‘Friends.’ Rimma will be joined by Alexander Stevens, violin; Mauricio Céspedes Rivero and Peter Dutilly, violas; Grace Gavin and Nick Curry, cellos; Colleen Blagov, flute; Nikolay Blagov, clarinet; Mark Fischer, horn; Gabriel Bergeron-Langlois, bassoon; and Keiko Andrews, piano in a veritable chamber orchestra to present Mozart’s Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Piano Quintet in B-flat Major, and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence. Highly recommended. Call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org

Rimma & Friends presented by the Orlando Philharmonic

Aug 20 -- The Baldwin Park Sip – Cocktails & Socializing

The Sip is a nationwide tour with events promoting local business growth with philanthropic roots.  Presented by Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, The Sip in Baldwin Park is an evening of fun – and introductions – with over 20 businesses offering 2 oz samples of wine, 3 to 4 oz samples of craft beer, 2 to 4 oz samples of mixed cocktails and food samples. The purchase of any ticket ($15 via Living Social till Aug 17) comes with a $5 food voucher to be used at ANY participating restaurant. (Day of Aug 20 = $25 full price). Businesses from The Osprey Tavern to Yogurtland get new patrons while guests enjoy an evening sampling beverages and meeting new people. Visit thesipevent.com/events/baldwin-park

The Baldwin Park Sip – Cocktails & Socializing

Aug 21 to 30 – The Central Florida Premiere of CARRIE the Musical

Based on the Stephen King novel, CARRIE the Musical is a new take on the story of the teen who is so relentlessly bullied at school and tormented at home by her fanatical mother that she is forced to unleash terrifying powers. The creation of Academy Award-winning composer Michael Gore and Academy Award-winning lyricist Dean Pitchford, the show closed on Broadway after five performances, making it the most expensive flop in Broadway history. It was, however, resurrected for a successful Off-Broadway run in 2012. Now Clandestine Arts Artistic Director Derek Critzer has joined with Sylvia Viles to direct the musical’s Central Florida premiere at the ME Theatre at 1300 La Quinta Drive in Orlando. For tickets, visit clandestineorlando.com

The Central Florida Premiere of CARRIE the Musical

July 23 – An Intimate Evening with Keiko Matsui  

Celebrating a triumphant 25 years of recording in the US with the release of her 24th CD, Keiko Matsui’s music transcends all boundaries.  She is a Japanese producer, Jazz Pianist and composer who has released over 20 albums in her 3-decade career. Her melting pot of musical influences, constant touring, and ability to connect with her audiences have garnered a devout international following. This is a very special opportunity to see and hear her in the intimate setting of the King Center Studio Theatre at 3865 N. Wickham Rd in Melbourne. Call 321.783.9004 or visit the kingcenter.com or brevardmusicgroup.com

An Intimate Evening with Keiko Matsui

Aug 24 to Sept 30 – Orlando's Magical Dining Celebrates 10th Delicious Anniversary

Magical Dining is truly … magical. Beginning August 24 and running through September 30, we all get to select from over 70 participating restaurants to enjoy three-course dinners for $33.  And there’s more – Visit Orlando has lined up more newly-opened fine dining restaurants than ever before. There is no better time for ‘Foodies’ to enjoy Orlando, named one of 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2015 by Wine Enthusiast, as well as one of The New York Times' 52 Places to Go in the World. Bottom line – we get to choose among GREAT restaurants and enjoy a 3-course meal for $33 from August 24 to September 30. A full list of participating restaurants is available at visitorlando.com/magicaldining

Current – Whistler’s Mother in the U.S.A.

Most stories having to do with ART acquisitions in the 1800’s had to do with wealthy Americans doing the “Grand Tour” and picking up European artworks to ‘decorate’ their homes, many of which went on to become American museums.  One need look no further than the Ringling Museum in Sarasota to see a great example. But France is getting a ‘little of its own back’ as the French Musee d’Orsay is currently loaning “Whistler’s Mother” to the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts.  Yes, the work that is arguably the most famous American painting of ‘motherhood’ is owned by France, and it is on loan to the United States as part of an exhibit featuring the work of American Artist James McNeill Whistler. Currently being shown at the Clark Institute’s Lunder Center in Stone Hill, Massachusetts, the exhibit will be on view through September 27. Visit clarkart.edu

 Whistler’s Mother in the U.S.A.




Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators