Florida Culture for the Week of January 27, 2014 by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Jan 27, 2014 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for the Week of January 27, 2014 by Josh Garrick

Now through Feb 23 – Mad Cow Theatre presents Alan Ayckbourn's Table Manners

Following the dysfunctionally intertwined lives of a group of siblings during a weekend in the country, Table Manners is an English farce exploding with lust, hysterics, and exasperation. The family shares the weekend in search of love and the ‘meaning of’ marriage in this comic feast by Alan Ayckbourn with a cast of Mad Cow favorites led by Dan Bright in his Mad Cow directorial debut. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com


Table Manners, Mad Cow Theatre


Jan 28 to Feb 2 – Best Musical ONCE in Orlando Premiere

ONCE, winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, will play the Bob Carr PAC from January 28 through February 2. The celebrated new musical, based on the Academy Award-winning film ONCE, is about an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. The unexpected friendship evolves into a ‘complicated’ romance, heightened by the emotion of the songs they create together. Tickets are available at OrlandoBroadway.com or by calling 1-800-982-2787.




Jan 29 – Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium Demolition Kick-Off 

Next up for a face-lift in the City Beautiful is the Florida Citrus Bowl. Opened in 1936 as a public works project under President Franklin Roosevelt, the stadium is about to undergo major reconstruction. At 10 am on January 29 Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs will celebrate the beginning of the venue's reconstruction. New features will include a new lower bowl, 360-degree main concourse, club level with both enclosed & open-air seating and a 10,000 square-foot party deck. Join the crowd.  We’re all invited.


Florida Citrus Bowl


Jan 29 to March 23 – SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody at The Abbey

SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody is a hilarious new musical that brings the naughty fun of the best-selling book to life. The characters come to life in sharp-witted comedy, musical numbers, a striptease performance by the leading man, and lots of surprises. Rob Stack plays the role of the hunky billionaire Hugh (on leave from Disney’s Finding Nemo). Playing the role of author EBJ is Andrea Canny, a legend of the Orlando arts scene, and innocent Tasha is portrayed by Alice Rix, a recent University of Florida alumna. Call 407.704.6116 or visit AbbeyOrlando.com


Rob Stack


Andrea Canny



Jan 31 -- America’s Got Talent Star Fernando VARELA at Trinity Prep

Trinity Prep will present America’s Got Talent star Fernando Varela, the world-renowned tenor from Orlando. Varela will perform at the Trinity Prep Auditorium for the first time since his meteoric run on NBC’s number one summer show, America’s Got Talent. Varela’s past year has been highlighted by debut performances at the Kennedy Center, at Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Varela’s Trinity concert will feature a live band and special guests on January 31 at 8 pm. Visit trinityprep.org/buy-tickets or EppsL[at]trinityprep.org


Fernando Varela


Jan 31 – My Greek Odyssey Continues

For those of you who have been following the ‘adventure’ that began with the dream-of-a-lifetime when I became the first American Artist to exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum of Greece, the second stop on the Art tour will open on January 31 as the exhibit moves to the Sismanoglio Megaron in Istanbul, Turkey. With an invitation arranged through the always-amazing European Curator Iris Kritikou, the exhibit will be in Istanbul through mid-March.  Should you wish to ‘see the work’ in Orlando, please visit Jai Gallery at 47 East Robinson St. in downtown Orlando.  Call Coralie at 407.921.0693 or visit jaigallery.


Josh Garrick, Greece


Jan 31 to April 6 – Southwestern Allure Opens Mennello's 15th Season

Southwestern Allure: The Art of the Santa Fe Art Colony will open the Mennello Museum’s 15th Season in an exhibit of 40 artworks that reflect the experience of Santa Fe as an art colony. Featuring the period from 1915 to 1940, Allure explores the artists who went to Santa Fe, what compelled them and the work they produced. The Opening Reception will be held on January 31 beginning at 6 pm. Call 407.246.4278 or visit mennellomuseum.com


Andrew Dasburg (American, born France, 1887-1979), "Pueblo Village," c.1926-1928, oil on canvas

Andrew Dasburg (American, born France, 1887-1979), "Pueblo Village," c.1926-1928, oil on canvas


Feb 1 – Commemorating Bok Tower Gardens

February 1 is the Dedication Day as the magnificently beautiful Bok Tower Gardens commemorates their 85th Anniversary with FREE admission. The occasion will feature guest speakers, special carillon concerts, a tree planting ceremony, and a rare opportunity to ‘Cross the Moat’ surrounding the Singing Tower. No reservations necessary. Visit boktowergardens.org


Celebrating Bok Tower Gardens


Feb 5 and 6 – Robin De Jesus in Cabaret at The MEZZ

Robin De Jesus, currently performing at Lincoln Center, is best known for his Tony-nominated roles in In the Heights and La Cage aux Folles. De Jesus will present Crush to Crushed, a cabaret evening of pop, rock, Spanish soul and Broadway music on February 5 at 8 pm and February 6 at 10 pm at The MEZZ in Downtown Orlando. De Jesus will discuss “crushes, loves, break-ups, hook-ups, sex and his Mother’s best kept secrets.” (Be prepared for laughs). Visit ticketweb.com or AbbeyOrlando.com


Robin de Jesus


Feb. 6, 7, 8 – Tables Extra Extraordinaire

Decorators, brides, interior designers, and anyone who enjoys elegant entertaining will want to visit the Holy Trinity Conference Center in Maitland for Tables Extraordinaire. This unique fundraiser showcases 30 lavishly decorated tables while offering luncheons or dinners reminiscent of a trip to Greece. The 3-day event ends on Saturday evening (Feb 8) with a Gala Banquet. During the day, visit the Center for Greek pastries and delicacies (they even offer ‘take-out’ for lunch and dinners). Visit htgocorlando.org or Tables Extraordinaire on Facebook, or call 407-333-3895.


Tables Extraordinaire


Feb 6, 13, 20, and 27 – Winter With the Writers at Rollins College

Five award-winning writers will take part in the FREE Winter With the Writers at Rollins College. The 2014 season will present: former poet laureate Charles Simic on February 6 at 7:30 pm (master class at 4 pm); Hemingway Award-winner Justin Cronin on February 13 at 7:30 pm (master class at 4 p.m.); Authors Alan Michael Parker and Laura van den Berg on February 20 at 7:30 pm; and Madison Smartt Bell on February 27 at 7:30 pm (master class at 4 pm). Discussions and readings are free and open to the public. Visit rollins.edu/winterwiththewriters 


Dr. Simic at Rollins College


Feb 7 to March 10 – This Lady Gives Her Heart and Soul

For an 11th year, Fine Art ‘Heart Artist,’ and Ambassador of Love Donna Dowless will usher in the Valentine Season with her exhibit Heart and Soul 2014. Donna, whose talent and generosity of spirit unites the Fine Art world of Central Florida, will open February 7 at 5:30 pm in the Art Gallery of the Grand Bohemian Hotel and run through March 10. Ms. Dowless will be joined by Canadian jewelry artist Amber Higgins. Call 407.581.4801 or visit grandbohemianhotel.com


Donna Dowless, Heart Artist


Feb 8 and 9 – 18-Year-Old Sarina Zhang Performs with Orlando Philharmonic

On February 8 at 8 pm and February 9 at 2 pm, the Orlando Philharmonic will present a unique program called Russian Romance featuring 18-year-old cellist and pianist Sarina Zhang. At just 18 years of age, Juilliard student and rising star Sarina Zhang has accumulated an impressive array of awards and solo appearances for her dual talent. She’s been featured on PBS four times, performing on both cello and piano. Most recently Zhang was a 2013 Young Arts National Finalist after winning first place in the Juilliard Pre-College Piano concerto competition (2012). Call 407-770-0071or visit OrlandoPhil.org


Pianist Sarina Zhang






Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators