Florida Culture for the Week of December 8 By Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Dec 08, 2014 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for the Week of December 8 By Josh Garrick


Dec 11 and 12 – CFCArts presents Home for the Holidays

CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra will transport us back to the 1930s and 1940s where the music of Christmas combined with the ‘big band sound.’ Follow the Hero and his family as he makes his way home for the holidays and experience the music that brought them together. Featuring a 280-voice choir and 55-piece ‘Big Band orchestra,’ Home for the Holidays will be presented on December 11 and 12 at Northland Church in Longwood. Tickets at $10 at cfcarts.com/home-for-the-holidays

Home for the holidays


 CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra
Photo:  CFCArts Community Choir and Orchestra


Dec 12 to 14 – Breakthrough Theater presents The Very First Christmas

As part of their commitment to ‘sharing the love of Christmas,’ the Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park offers 4 holiday shows this season. In the coming week-end – December 12 to 14 – Breakthrough will present The Very First Christmas with a script by Artistic Director Wade Hair. In the play, a recently widowed grandfather tells the story of the first Christmas to his grandchildren, while vocalists illustrate the story through song. Showing the LOVE in this production, the vocalists include Kelly Fagan, Author and Director Wade Hair, Saige Love, YaDonna Russell, and Musical Director Justin Scarlat. Call 407-920-4034.


Breakthrough Theater presents The Very First Christmas


Dec 13 – Breakfast with Santa at the Zoo

They learn a whole new Gift for Sharing when Kids come away with a special love for animals after meeting Santa at the Central Florida Zoo on December 13. Whether it’s Breakfast at 9 am or Brunch at 11 am, kids may share their holiday wishes with Santa, enjoy up-close animal encounters, CREATE a special animal treat, and then watch as the Zoo-Keepers give the animals their special holiday gifts – hand-made by the children. For this special Christmas memory, call 407.323.4450 ext. 123 or visit centralfloridazoo.org


 Breakfast with Santa at the Zoo


Dec 13 & 14 – Central Florida Ballet’s Nutcracker

Central Florida Ballet’s Nutcracker holds the title of “most entertaining Nutcracker” as featured in ABC Nightline News; named as “one of five outstanding productions in the entire nation” by CNN Headlines News; and – thanks to some on-stage fireworks, it was called “the pyrotechnic Nutcracker” by USA Today. This fusion of the Nutcracker – with a little bit of Cirque and those on-stage fireworks – makes this the FUN version of the Holiday Classic. In performance December 13 and 14 at the Orange County Convention Center, call 407.849.9948 or visit CentralFloridaBallet.com


Central Florida Ballet’s Nutcracker


Dec 13 and 14 – Classic Christmas with the Bach Festival Choir & Orchestra

A Classic Christmas with the Bach Festival is a true Winter Park Holiday tradition. On December 13 and 14, their program will feature favorite Christmas works performed by the Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir, and Orchestra in the beautiful Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. And this season, you can bring the Holiday spirit home with All is Bright: A Choral Christmas, the CD available for purchase on their website. Visit Bachfestivalflorida.org


Classic Christmas with the Bach Festival Choir & Orchestra


Dec 13 & 14 – Orlando Gay Chorus presents Naughty & Nice

Samuel Clay Price and Harold Wright, Co-Artistic Directors of the Orlando Gay Chorus will offer Naughty and Nice, the Chorus’ annual holiday concert at The Plaza Live on December 13 and 14. Promising a ‘fun twist to your holidays.’ the Orlando Gay Chorus is acknowledged for their musical excellence and the built-in fun of their programming. Tickets are $25 at orlandogaychorus.org. Patrons are invited to bring a new unwrapped toy in support of Toys For Tots!


Orlando Gay Chorus presents Naughty & Nice


Dec 14 – The Maitland Symphony Orchestra’s presents Holiday Traditions

Under the direction of Margaret Patten, the Maitland Symphony Orchestra will offer a FREE concert of holiday music on December 14 at 7:30 pm. The program will include traditional favorites including the Little Drummer Boy and Do You Hear What I Hear?, the ever-popular Sleigh Ride, and a nod to the new with a medley from Frozen. The public is invite to this free concert to be offered in the sanctuary of Maitland Presbyterian Church at 341 N. Orlando Avenue in Maitland. No reservations required.


The Maitland Symphony Orchestra’s presents Holiday Traditions


Dec 15 at 7 pm -- Orlando Philharmonic Presents Rimma Plays the Four Seasons

Among the most beloved works in classical music, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons were created to evoke musical responses for each respective season. Composed in 1725, Vivaldi’s arrangement for solo violin with strings defined the concerto from that time forward.  Conducted by Music Director finalist Eric Jacobsen, the program features concertmaster Rimma Bergeron-Langlois performing Vivaldi’s masterpiece, followed by the Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. Presented on December 15 at 7 pm at The Plaza Live in Orlando, call 407.770.0071 or visit Orlandophil.org


 Orlando Philharmonic Presents Rimma Plays the Four Seasons


 Orlando Philharmonic Presents Rimma Plays the Four Seasons


Dec 18 – Free Shipping Day

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday followed by Giving Tuesday.  And NOW – let’s see if this works – there is Free Shipping Day for those of us who need the adrenaline of waiting till the last moment to do our shopping.  The concept is simple.  On this day, all orders are shipped FREE, and they are guaranteed to show up by Christmas Eve. Sounds good on paper – who’s with me?  Check freeshippingday.com for the very large list of stores that have made the pledge.

Dec 19, 20 & 21 – The Orlando Ballet's Nutcracker

The Orlando Ballet Nutcracker is set apart from the others as it will be performed in our NEW Performing Arts Center AND it is being performed to the beloved Tchaikovsky score performed LIVE by musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic. All the beauty that brings us back year after year is here as Clara is transported on a magical journey complete with Sugar Plum Fairy and dancing flowers. If the full-length ballet is a stretch for your little ones, they can still have the Nutcracker Experience – in the new Family Series 1-hour version of the holiday classic. Call 407.426.1739 or visit orlandoballet.org


And Looking Ahead …

Dec 26 to Jan 4 – The Book of Mormon Rings Orlando’s Bell

Having won the BEST MUSICAL Tony Award – and every other award you ever heard of – one might think this musical has brought us the ‘Rapture’ … if it weren’t for the blasphemy! The Book of Mormon features a book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and it’s worth seeing just to see ORLANDO sung about as a teenager’s idea of ‘heaven.’ At the Bob Carr. Visit Ticketmaster.com or call 800-982-2787.


The Book of Mormon




Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators