Florida Culture for the Week of December 5 by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Dec 05, 2011 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for the Week of December 5 by Josh Garrick

The ‘New World’ in the Eyes of Explorers
The Art & History Museums – Maitland invites us to ‘explore’ what our Florida peninsula was like BEFORE the European explorers in its new exhibit Borders of Paradise: The New World in the Eyes of Explorers, beginning December 9 and continuing through February 26.  Borders of Paradise includes watercolors, prints, and maps that illustrate real (and exaggerated) versions of the ‘New World,’ including works by Artists who viewed the new American landscape firsthand. Many of their portrayals were reproduced throughout Europe shaping Europe’s skewed perception of the new lands well into the 19th century. These explorers included accounts of exotic cultures and people living on lands overflowing with unlimited riches and fantastic creatures. Of special interest are the maps – often outrageously divergent from what we now recognize as geographical fact. The Museum is at 221 W. Packwood Avenue in Maitland.   An Opening Reception will be held December 9 from 6 to 9 pm in the Museum galleries. The Maitland Art Center galleries will also be open during the reception featuring the exhibit Dialogue: Camilo Velasquez. Call 407.539.2181 or visit ArtandHistory.org


history of Florida


Florida map



Music of a Classic Christmas
The superbly trained, 160-voice Bach Festival Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra invite the community to the Knowles Memorial Chapel (on the Rollins College Campus) for their annual holiday concert. A tradition for generations of Central Florida families, the Bach Festival Society celebrates 77 years of musical offerings this season. One of the longest continuously-operating Bach Festivals in the country, the Choir’s performances are of the highest caliber. Under Conductor John Sinclair, the Christmas program will also feature the Festival Youth Choir as they perform holiday favorites and selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Performances are December 10 at 7:30 pm and December 11 at 2 pm at the Knowles Chapel.  Call 407.646.2182 or visit BachFestivalFlorida.org


Bach Festival Choir



Free Holiday Concert
Tinsel Tapestry is the title given to the FREE program of Holiday music being offered by the Maitland Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, December 11 at 7:30 pm.  The Tinsel in the title is a major clue as to the music to be included in the concert as the Symphony, sponsored by The Performing Arts of Maitland, offers the concert in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Maitland.  Program highlights include the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, Leroy Anderson favorites, Deck the Halls from the Manheim Steamroller collection, Christmas melodies from Irving Berlin, and a medley of festive Hanukkah folk tunes. The concert is free and is a celebration for all ages. The First Presbyterian Church is located at 340 North Orlando Avenue. No reservations are required.


Tinsel Tapestry



DIS-Enchanted Princesses
Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, the Little Mermaid and a gaggle (what do you call a bunch of ‘angry’ princesses?) bring their brand new, hit musical comedy BACK to where it all began – Orlando.  Called Disenchanted: Bitches of the Kingdom, this musical revue features princesses from your favorite ‘fairy-tales’ in a way you’ve never experienced them before. These Princesses are ‘mad as hell,’ about the exploitation they've suffered in animated films and theme parks so Snow White’s band of angry princesses have put together a bus-and-truck tour to fight back in the only way they know how ... through song and dance! No damsels in distress, these dames unite in a riotous vaudeville that has played to rave reviews across the eastern seaboard. Featuring Michelle Knight as Snow White and Andrea Canny as the Little Mermaid, we also hear from Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Tinker Bell, Cinderella, and even Pocahontas. The show is currently in negotiations for productions in New York City and Las Vegas, but we get to see it first – running through January 7 at the Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins in Orlando. Visit disenchantedprincesses.com or a call at 917.733.5029


Michelle Knight as 'Snow White'; Photo Credit:  Kristen Wheeler Photography

Michelle Knight as 'Snow White'; Photo Credit:  Kristen Wheeler Photography


Michelle Knight as 'Snow White', Lisa Sleeper as 'Sleeping Beauty; Photo Credit:  Kristen Wheeler Photography

L to R: Michelle Knight as 'Snow White', Lisa Sleeper as 'Sleeping Beauty; Photo Credit:  Kristen Wheeler Photography



A Swingin’ Xmas at the Abbey
For years the amazing voice of Michael Andrew has led a Holiday musical variety act which has become a Central Florida favorite. This year Michael Andrew’s Swingin’ Christmas will feature his all-new 10-piece orchestra, and performances will take place in The Abbey, downtown Orlando’s newest performance space.  From December 13 to 22, Michael and his Orchestra will perform holiday favorites in his uniquely festive, crooner style. Michael was the headline singer for two years at the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center in New York City, and has been described as “one of the great singers of all time.” He and his bands have played engagements ranging from Presidential Inaugural Balls to society fundraisers. For tickets call 1-866-468-7630. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at 100 South Eola Drive, Suite 101. Performance times vary; visit AbbeyOrlando.com for details.


Michael Andrew's Swingin' Christmas



The Winter Park Boat Parade
“Rain or shine” – the 8th annual Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade will take place December 10 on Lakes Virginia and Osceola. This community-wide water parade – with holiday-themed (and lighted) boats along the lakes’ shorelines – is hosted by the Rotary Club of Winter Park to benefit local non-profits. Food, wine and beer are available for purchase, but admission to the very best viewing area – the Gardens at the Polasek Museum is FREE. The event schedule includes 3:30 to 4:30 pm: Water ski show on Lake Virginia with viewing on the Rollins College campus; 5 pm: Festivities begin at the Polasek Museum with a visit from Santa. (Bring lawn chairs and blankets); 5:45 pm: The boat parade begins on the east shore of Lake Virginia and proceeds through the Palm Canal to Lake Osceola where the parade will pass in front of judges at the Polasek Museum. Visit wpboatparade.com or call 407-647-6492.


Winter Park holiday boat parade


Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade


Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade



It IS a Wonderful Life
That beloved holiday movie – It’s a Wonderful Life – has (inevitably) been turned into a play, and the Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park will present "It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" through December 19th.  This American classic comes to life as a 1940’s radio broadcast with an ensemble that brings “dozens of characters” to the stage.  The story of George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve, and while it doesn’t exactly spoil the story to say that this is NOT a tragedy, it is interesting to note that the plot includes the recipe for helping a fairy to earn his/her wings! Tom Larkin directs with Justin Scarlat serving as Music Director.  The Breakthrough Theatre is located at 419A W. Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407. 920.4034.


Breakthrough Theatre



Parker Sketch at Lake Eustis Museum of Art
Orlando painter Parker Sketch explores pop culture with ties to a high-tech life in a solo exhibit Brain on Art: Parker Sketch opening December 9 from 6 to 9 pm at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art. Sketch celebrates pop culture with vibrant colors and graphic icons that define our world. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sketch is a very “collectable” Artist on the Florida scene. Sketch often casts himself in his paintings, including Startled featuring Powerpuff Girl Blossom and a mysterious ‘Sketch’ character. “Art is communication,” Sketch says. “The artist must be aware of that. But what rewards me most is the process of creation.” The exhibit runs through January 15 at 200B East Orange Ave. in Eustis. Call 352.483.2900 or visit LakeEustisMuseumofArt.org.    


Startled by Parker Sketch

Startled by Parker Sketch


Robert couldn't escape his demons, by Parker Sketch

Robert couldn't escape his demons, by Parker Sketch



How Sweet It Is!
If your idea of what chefs are like has been formed by the histrionics you see on television, then you owe it to yourself to spend an afternoon – December 10 to be exact – with Rosen Shingle Creek’s Executive Pastry Chef David Ramirez.  Not only has Chef David brought renown to Central Florida as one of the finest pastry chefs IN THE WORLD, but Chef David is also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.  His life-long ambition has been to be a chef, and he has achieved that status by creating unbelievable chocolate creations, some as high as 6 feet. Chef David was the ‘Captain’ of the 2009 American team at the Coupe du Monde World de la Pâtisserie competition of the best pastry chefs in the world, and on Saturday, December 10 from 2 to 4 pm, Chef David will share some of his ‘secrets’ in a demonstration – with tasting – at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Tickets are $15.97 and reservations may be made by calling 407.996.9770.


Chef David Ramirez




Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators