Florida Culture for the week of January 26, 2015 by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Jan 26, 2015 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for the week of January 26, 2015 by Josh Garrick

Jan 27 to Feb 1 – Disney’s Newsies in the NEW Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips
They delivered the papers, until they made headlines… Direct from Broadway comes Newsies, the smash-hit Disney musical that won the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography. Based on true events, Newsies tells the story of a band of underdogs who become heroes by standing up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s about fighting for what’s right. Presented at the Dr. Phillips Center from January 27 to Feb 1, call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org




Jan 29 to Feb 8 – Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome – to CABARET at The Abbey

Cabaret, the sexy, ground-breaking musical by Kander and Ebb reminds us of the darkness of 1931 Berlin as the Nazis began their rise to power. Based on the sexual abandon of the Kit Kat Klub and the ‘relationship’ between performer Sally Bowles and writer Cliff Bradshaw, this new production features Blue Star as Sally, Griffith Whitehurst as the Emcee, and Robert Stack as Cliff. Cabaret is directed by Ken Howard. Tickets are $40, but there are $70 tickets that include an “immersive pre-show prologue.” Visit AbbeyOrlando.com




Jan 29 – Art for All Spaces Presents Reviving the Ancients

In a celebration of the relevance of past cultures and ideas, Art for All Spaces invites the Public to a ‘walking tour’ of Reviving the Ancients at the CityArts Factory on January 29 beginning at 6 pm. Featuring the work of 30 Artists, the works explore ways in which the human race has addressed questions of existence through image-making. Four Artist/Scholars will conduct the tours, offering insights from the perspectives of History and Psychology. Call 407.450.2255 or e-mail artforallspaces[at]gmail.com


Art for All Spaces Presents Reviving the Ancients


Art for All Spaces Presents Reviving the Ancients


Jan 29 – Maya Lin – A History of Water (public lecture)

On January 29 at 7 pm, the designer of the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Memorials, Maya Lin will discuss her current focus on bringing issues of biodiversity and habitat loss to the forefront. Presented at the Orlando Museum of Art, a ‘pre-viewing’ of her new exhibit will follow the lecture. Free. Visit omart.org


Maya Lin


Jan 30 to Feb 8 – Tennessee Williams ‘Descends’ Again

The trademark themes of this greatest American playwright are all over this story of an unhappy immigrant's daughter, running a dry-goods store while tending to her dying husband. This may not be Tennessee Williams’ best known play, but the trademark sexual longing and thwarted dreams fill the stage in this contemporary re-telling of the ancient Greek Orpheus legend. The Greater Orlando Actors Theatre brings Orpheus Descending to the Shakespeare Theater in Loch Haven Park from January 30 to February 8.  Call 209.479.9923 for tickets.


Orpheus Descends


Jan 30 to Feb 1 -- The 26th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival

ZoraFest, held annually in Eatonville, Florida, offers programs in folklore, literature, music, religion, theater, the visual arts – and a giant outdoor fair – to celebrate the cultural contributions of persons of African ancestry. This season’s events include the The Historic Black Towns and Settlements Historic Preservation Conference; Roots to Rap: A Musical Revue on January 30; and the ZORA! STEM Conference Jan 30 from 8 am to 4 pm; Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly; jazz artist Najee, and much more. Call 407.647.3188 or visit zorafestival.org






Jan 31 – Pirates Set to Invade Tampa

Ahoy mateys! Those not-so-scary-pirates of the Mystic Krewe of the Gasparilla are preparing to invade Tampa, where they’ll land in full force on January 31. The fully-rigged Gasparilla will sail into Hillsborough Bay, cannons blazing, with hundreds of vessels in escort. Begin with the Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, grab the beads n coins they’ll be throwin’ during the Parade of Pirates, and follow it all with live music and celebration at the Pirate Street Festival. Arrrrrgh! Visit gasparillapiratefest.com


Pirates Set to Invade Tampa

Pirate ship Gasparilla


Jan 31 and Feb 1 – A Civil War Festival with Battle Re-enactments

Renninger’s Antique Center in Mt. Dora is usually the scene of treasure-hunters looking for the next big bargain, but on January 31 and February 2, it will be the scene of The Battle of Townsend's Plantation and Civil War Festival.  These guys do a great job – some even “dying” for their cause. There is a real, living history campground, weapons demonstrations, cavalry and horsemen – all in period costume.  Admission $6. Call 407-719-9866 or visit townsendfirm.com/plantation


The Battle of Townsend's Plantation and Civil War Festival


The Battle of Townsend's Plantation and Civil War Festival


The Battle of Townsend's Plantation and Civil War Festival


Jan 31 to May 10 – Maya Lin: A History of Water Exhibition at OMART

The Orlando Museum of Art will present Maya Lin’s huge A History of Water exhibit including sculptures, drawings, large-scale installations, and the artist’s multimedia memorial to the earth’s vanishing biodiversity. Known for work that resonates with regard for the natural world, Maya Lin challenges her viewers to reconsider their relationship to the environment. Ms. Lin is the renowned artist and architect whose work includes the much celebrated Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Call 407.896 4231 or visit omart.org


Maya Lin: A History of Water Exhibition at OMART


Feb 4 to 7 – Tables EXTRA Extraordinaire

Decorators, brides, wedding planners and hostesses will be thrilled with a visit to the Holy Trinity Conference Center in Maitland for Tables Extraordinaire. This inspiring 4-day ‘fun-raiser’ offers ‘tours’ of 30 lavishly decorated theme tables and home-made Greek cuisine reminiscent of a trip to the Greek isles. This year the event includes a gallery of the works of Josh Garrick, recently exhibited in the Natl Archaeological Museum of Greece. Visit Tables Extraordinaire on Facebook, or call 407-333-3895 or 407-774-2744.


Tables Extraordinaire


Feb 4 to March 7 – The ‘Real’ Wives of Windsor

Four centuries before Real Wives of Atlanta, Bill Shakespeare introduced us to the Merry Wives of Windsor.  Now Orlando Shakes places the play in small-town America, where the old bachelor Falstaff pursues two wealthy housewives. Shakespeare's comedy meets 1950’s sitcom in this spirited romp filled with mistaken identities and canned laughter!?! The comedy begins 30 minutes before each performance when an Orlando Shakes actor leads the audience through a discussion of the plot and themes of the play. Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org  


Merry Wives of Windsor


Feb 5 – Winter with the Writers presents Sapphire

Famous for her prose and poetry, and a great public speaker, Sapphire is the author of the best-selling novels, Push and The KidPush, about a brutalized Harlem teenager, won countless awards and became one of the ‘top ten’ books of 1996. Push became the film Precious, which received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Sapphire will speak to issues of empowerment and overcoming adversity on February 5 in a Free lecture at Rollins College. Visit Rollins.edu/winterwiththewriters or call 407.447.1700


inter with the Writers presents Sapphire


Feb 6 – Paula Poundstone at Plaza Live

32 years ago, comedian Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country stopping at ‘open mic’ nights at comedy clubs as she went. A high school drop-out, she went on to become one of the great humorists of our time. A regular panelist on NPR, she still tours regularly with her unique brand of self-effacing intelligence and wit. This comic legend will welcome us to Plaza Live in Orlando on February 6 at 8 pm. Visit plazaliveorlando.com.


Paula Poundstone at Plaza Live


Feb 6 to Feb 28 – Heart and Soul

Orlando’s Ambassador of Love is also Orlando’s famous Heart-Artist. She creates an annual Art exhibit during the month of February (something to do with Valentines’ Day). Get it?  The lady is Donna Dowless, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to squeeze into the Art Gallery at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando on Feb 6 beginning at 5:30 pm to see what wonders she has created.  Joined this year by Canadian Artist Amber Higgins, visit heartartist.com or call 407.581.4801


Heart and Soul, Donna Dowless




Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators