Florida Culture for the Week of August 28 by Josh Garrick

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Florida Culture for the Week of August 28 by Josh Garrick

August 29 to October 2 -- Visit Orlando’s ‘Magical Dining Month’ 
Even if you have “champagne tastes, and a beer-bottle pocket,” we can all afford to indulge our palates in a glorious, month-long celebration of Orlando’s sophisticated dining universe. The annual Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month previews August 29 and includes more than 90 !! restaurants offering three-course meals for $33. The month-long event benefits The Russell Home for Atypical Children, with $1 from every meal donated to the organization. Throughout September, ‘foodies’ may choose from OVER 90 restaurants in locations across Central Florida. From Winter Park to International Drive, a complete list of participating restaurants is available at OrlandoMagicalDining.com
Visit Orlando’s ‘Magical Dining Month’

NOW to Sept 30 - It’s ‘Two’ Delicious at BRAVO! Cucina Italiana
As if the 90 restaurants of ‘Magical Dining Month’ are not enough choices, a personal favorite – BRAVO! Cucina Italiana is offering a TWO-COURSE, chef-inspired menu in which their 2-Course Dinner starts at $12.99 through September. That includes a salad and your choice from 5 terrific entrees including Shrimp Scampi Pasta; Linguine Carbonara in a ‘to-die-for’ Alfredo white wine sauce, and their Chicken with sun-dried tomato and goat cheese (plus two more) entrees. For reservations, visit BravoItalian.com or call 407.351.5880.
It’s ‘Two’ Delicious at BRAVO! Cucina Italiana

August 31 at 1 pm – Baritone Gabriel Preisser at University Club
The ultra-busy, proud new Father, lyric-baritone and opera-star Gabriel Preisser, (he’s also Opera Orlando’s Executive Director) will catch his breath long enough to sing opera arias at the University Club of Winter Park, accompanied by pianist and opera baritone Chevalier Lovett. A 2016 League of American Orchestras Emerging Artist, Preisser has been praised by Opera News and The New York Times for a resume that includes more than 40 operatic and musical theater roles, including Danilo in Merry Widow, Figaro in Barber of Seville, and Escamillo in Carmen. His performance as Lt. Gordon with Minnestora Opera was broadcast nationally on PBS. Visit operaorlando.org or email Joe[at]rizzolovesmusic.com
 Baritone Gabriel Preisser at University Club

Sept 1 to Sept 5 – Allstate and Tom Joyner Celebrate FAMILY During Labor Day Weekend
Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, will return to the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida on Labor Day Weekend to celebrate FAMLY. Families from all over the country will join Joyner and friends for a weekend of stellar concerts and activities featuring Jill Scott and El DeBarge, Masters of Funk Brick, The Bar-Kays, Switch, and Steve Arrington. In addition celebrity sightings; seminars; and activities for all ages will be FREE inside the expo. Concert tickets, from $29 to $69.50, may be purchased at FamilyReunion.BlackAmericaWeb.com 
Allstate and Tom Joyner Celebrate FAMILY During Labor Day Weekend

September 2, 3 & 4 – Disney On Ice presents ‘Follow Your Heart’ 
While bringing Disney•Pixar’s record-breaking animated feature “Finding Dory” to the ice for the first, this live ice skating extravaganza also features Disney’s “Frozen” and other beloved Disney stories for six performances at the Amway Center. Swim with Dory and Nemo and join Olaf and Kristoff in reuniting the royal sisters Anna and Elsa. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and Disney Princesses make their dreams come true as your whole family creates unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all of your Disney friends. “Follow Your Heart” into Orlando where tickets are $18 to $100 at amwaycenter.com, Amway Center box office, Ticketmaster, or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000
 Disney On Ice presents ‘Follow Your Heart’
 Disney On Ice presents ‘Follow Your Heart’

Sept 2, 3 & 4 – Free ‘Sandtastic Weekend’ at the Swan and Dolphin
Feel the sand beneath your toes as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts host a ‘Sandtastic Weekend’ with ‘beach activities’ for all ages. The event highlight is 100 TONS of sculpted sand designed by world-class sculptors on the Swan and Dolphin’s private beach. Guests may watch the masterpieces being created, ‘learn’ techniques of sand sculpting, and compete in an amateur sculpture contest. The fun includes games on the beach, a DJ, a campfire and s’mores! Overnight accommodations and a full ‘Sandtastic’ schedule are available at sandtasticweekends.com or by calling 800.227.1500. The events are Free and open to the Public. 
Free ‘Sandtastic Weekend’ at the Swan and Dolphin
Free ‘Sandtastic Weekend’ at the Swan and Dolphin

Sept 2 and 3 – The Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Impersonators
Imagine Marilyn, Madonna, Elvis, Cher, Michael, Tina, Lucy, Lady Gaga, Janis Joplin, G.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and 100 other icons of the past and present gathered together in one ‘Celebrity’ Convention. That is exactly what you’ll see at the Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Impersonators at The Florida Hotel & Conference Center at The Florida Mall in Orlando. This year we may attend the talent showcases AND have our picture taken with our favorite ‘celebs.’ Tickets are $25 at the door, BUT by purchasing on-line, 50% of each ticket will go to the OrlandoUnited Fund when you use the promo code OrlandoUnited and purchase your advance tickets at SunburstConvention.com
The Sunburst Convention of Celebrity Impersonators

September 4 at 2 pm – Lyric Tenor Marco Panuccio Sings Opera in the Park
Marco Panuccio is the featured performer for the final concert for the summer series from Opera Orlando in a program entitled “O Solo Mio” – a collection of famous arias and Neapolitan songs. Pianist Robin Stamper will accompany him. Panuccio is earning international acclaim: from a recent ‘La Traviata,’ “Marco Panuccio’s ‘Parigi, o cara’ is bewitching and heartrending.” From the role of Bégearss in The Ghosts of Versailles, Opera News raved, “As the villain Bégearss, he gave what might well turn out to be a career-making performance.” Tickets – online at Operaorlando.org – are $30. 
Lyric Tenor Marco Panuccio Sings Opera in the Park

Sept 7 to Oct 9 – West Side Story Opens Orlando Shakes Season 
The most famous of the contemporary Romeo and Juliet stories finds idealistic young lovers Maria and Tony caught between rival street gangs. Their struggle to love and survive in a world of hatred and violence is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of all time. Based on the original concept by Jerome Robbins, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story's Latin and classical-inspired score features the treasured songs "Maria," "Tonight," and "America." HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Visit orlandoshakes.org
West Side Story Opens Orlando Shakes Season
West Side Story Opens Orlando Shakes Season

Sept 8 at 5 pm -- Winter Park Garden Club Offers Free Open House and Plant Clinic
The Winter Park Garden Club invites the Public to an Open House & Plant Clinic at their Mead Garden location at 1300 S. Denning Drive in Winter Park. Tom MacCubbin, Florida’s foremost garden expert, will be on-hand to identify plants in your yard and diagnose diseases they might have. Bring a clipping with you if you have questions. Founded in 1922, the Club’s mission is to educate members about gardening, landscape design, and conservation This program is Free and the Public is invited. Call 407-644-5770 or visit winterparkgardenclub.com
Winter Park Garden Club Offers Free Open House and Plant Clinic

September 8 & 9 at 7:30 pm – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
The Biblical story of Joseph and his ‘coat of many colors’ comes alive onstage this fall as the young Joseph, favored by his father, is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Featuring a fantastic choir, live music by the CFCArts Symphony Orchestra and many of the finest actors in Central Florida, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s timeless musical offers an adventure of family and faith at Northland Church, 530 Dog Track Road in Longwood. Assigned seats are $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Priority and Premium seating is available. RECOMMENDED Call 407.937.1800 x710 or visit cfcommunityarts.com
– Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

September 8, 9, & 10 -- The 3rd Annual Florida Local Food Summit 
Florida's top food and farming entrepreneurs, chefs and ‘foodies’ will present a weekend Summit to celebrate all things ‘local food and farming’ with farm tours, farm-to-table meals, a Grower's Festival and classes. The Farm Tours are FREE and open to the Public. The ‘Summit,’ including breakfast and lunch ($50) will be held on Sept 9 from 8 am to 5 pm at East End Market. Keynote: Recognized throughout the world as a leader in humane animal husbandry, organics, and environmental sustainability, the Keynote Speaker is 4th generation cattleman Will Harris of White Oak Pastures in Georgia. His presentation is Free and open to the Public on Sept 9 at 6 pm in the East End Market Courtyard. RECOMMENDED Visit eastendmkt.com/events/florida-local-food-summit/
The 3rd Annual Florida Local Food Summit
The 3rd Annual Florida Local Food Summit
The 3rd Annual Florida Local Food Summit

Sept 9 to Oct 2 – Central Florida Premiere of ‘Bonnie & Clyde,’ the Musical 
With a ‘White Trash’ craving for excitement and ‘fame,’ two small-town nonentities in Depression-era Texas meet, feel a ‘spark,’ and recklessly set out to chase their dreams. Too quickly that ‘spark’ leads the young lovers’ to robbery and murder, willing to do anything to survive. This musical, infused with blues, gospel and rockabilly, was nominated for Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score in 2012. While “everyone loves a bad boy,” the musical’s mature subject matter may not be suitable for all audiences. Call 407.877.4736 or visit gardentheatre.org
Central Florida Premiere of ‘Bonnie & Clyde,’ the Musical
Central Florida Premiere of ‘Bonnie & Clyde,’ the Musical

Sept 11 at 2 pm – Central Florida Ballet Honors 9/11 with Benefit Performance
The Central Florida Ballet commemorates the 15th Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center with “9/11 An American Moment,” a ballet to be presented at Northland Church in Longwood. Created in 2006, “9/11” honors and re-creates the patriotism, courage, faith, and pride in response to the attack. During the hour-long performance various types of dance are featured with a sound track that includes news-broadcasts. Audience favorite Israel Rodriguez is featured in the production that received recognition in 2007 by the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Tickets are $20, $30, and $50. Call 407.849.9948 or visit centralfloridaballet.com
Central Florida Ballet Honors 9/11 with Benefit Performance

Sept. 11 – One Voice – Opera’s Response to the Pulse Tragedy in Orlando 
‘One Voice Orlando: A Celebration in Song,’ is the benefit Gala Concert from the opera community in response to the ‘Pulse Tragedy’ in Orlando. The performance will take place in Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “National stars and musicians have joined in this outpouring of support and generosity for the victims, their families and those impacted by this horrific shooting,” said Gabriel Preisser, Executive Director of Opera Orlando. “Internationally-renowned David Charles Abell will conduct and legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes will be one of the evening’s hosts.” All performers are donating their services with tickets at $25 to $125 available at operaorlando.org or by calling 844-513-2014. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 
One Voice – Opera’s Response to the Pulse Tragedy in Orlando
 
Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators