Florida Culture for the Week of March 26 by Josh Garrick

by Josh Garrick / Mar 26, 2012 / 0 comments

Florida Culture for the Week of March 26 by Josh Garrick

Now through April 8 – The Earl Family Is Troubled …

Actor/Director John DiDonna keeps us on the edge of our theater seats with plays that are described as visceral, explosive, and brutal.  His latest effort is Christopher Humble’s tragi-comedy The Flight of the Earls which deals with the ‘troubles’ of Northern Ireland. Violence and betrayal rip through the Earl family, and blood is spilled for the ‘sake of Ireland.’  Directed by John DiDonna, The Earls will be performed for two weeks only through Sunday April 8 at the Shakespeare Center. For reservations call 407.328.9005. Tickets are cash only at door; for credit card pre-orders, visit redchairproject.com


March 30 through April 29 – Noel Coward’s Private Lives

An evening of sophisticated one-liners and witty come-backs make up what is arguably Noel Coward’s best play. Private Lives is scandalous (even today), and it is also veddy British and as sparkling as perfectly chilled champagne. Private Lives opens March 30 with Jennifer Christa Palmer as Amanda and Philip Nolen as Elyot. This glamorous and tempestuous couple haven't seen each other since their divorce five years ago when they meet (again) by chance on a hotel balcony. Their passion re-ignites, but they happen to be on their respective honeymoons … with two other people! At the Mad Cow Theatre in downtown Orlando.  Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com


March 30, 31 and April 1 – Minerals, Gems and Beads … Oh My

The Orange County Fairgrounds will be the site of the Spring Mineral, Gem and Bead Show presented by the Central Florida Mineral and Gem Society. Visitors will find unique beads, minerals and gems, fossils and artifacts, custom jewelry and ‘metaphysical stones.’ Demonstrations, workshops, and children’s activities are scheduled along with door prizes and silent auctions for some of the more spectacular gems. The Fairgrounds are at 4603 West Colonial Drive in Orlando. Admission is $5 adults and $2 students. Parking is free. Call 407-250-5828 or visit cfmgs.com


March 30 and 31 and April 1 – Outdoor Festival in Jupiter

The beauty of the Florida Everglades makes a perfect backdrop for the Florida Trail Association’s annual hiking conference called the Ocean to Lake Hiking and Outdoor Festival. Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Martin County and Palm Beach County assisted in the event, which celebrates years of protecting open space and natural resources in the Everglades. Taking place March 30 through April 1, the weekend offers outdoor fun, workshops and hiking along parklands and the Florida National Scenic Trail. One highlight is Clyde Butcher's presentation of his world-famous photographs. Call toll-free at 877-HIKE-FLA or visit floridatrail.org. Festival headquarters is at the West Jupiter Recreation Center at 6401 Indiantown Road in Jupiter, FL 33458.


March 30 to April 23 – The Last Five Years … A Musical

The Jason Brown musical The Last 5 Years ingeniously chronicles the five-year life of a marriage – from meeting to break-up. This intensely personal look at the relationship between the two characters will be presented with a unique twist by Director Wade Hair at the Breakthrough Theater of Winter Park as the musical will have 4 different casts – with each cast performing one weekend of the 4-week run. The casts are: Erynn Hair and Rob Guest (March 30-April 2); Sarah Ross and Justin Nickerson (April 6-9); Krystal Gillette and Sage Starkey (April 13-16); and Jolie Hart and Adam McCabe (April 20-23). Call 407.920.4034 or visit breakthroughtheatre.com.


March 31 – McRae Art Studios Open House

In Winter Park – on the RIGHT side of the railroad tracks – is a studio warehouse filled with 22 of the finest working Artists in all of Florida. Their work is seen in museums and prestigious collections both locally and throughout the country. Twice a year, they invite us (the Public) to meet them, see inside their workspaces, and – most importantly – offer us ‘bargains’ in Fine Art. I NEVER miss this opportunity to purchase new work while supporting our local Artists. The date is Saturday March 31 from 5pm to 9 pm. Admission is free and open to the public. The space is called McRae Art Studios, and they’re at 904 Railroad Avenue in Winter Park.  Call 407.599.9956 or visit mcraeartstudios.com


Mar 31 & April 1 – Downtown Food & Wine Fest

20,000 ‘foodies’ and wine lovers will experience local cuisine paired with wines from around the globe at the Downtown Food & Wine Fest on March 31 and April 1. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the two-day Fest features food samplings from 40 restaurants, domestic and international wines, and live entertainment. Dave Robbins, Sr. VP of CBS Radio Orlando says, "As one of the area's signature events, our talented team is ready to produce an unforgettable experience to bring our community together to indulge in the sights, sounds, and tastes of The City Beautiful."  Visit DowntownFoodAndWineFest.com and "like" Downtown Food & Wine Fest on Facebook.


April 4 – Spoiler Alert! – ‘Walking Day’ FLASH Mob

If you’re walking anywhere near Central Park (in Winter Park) on Wednesday morning, April 4 around 8:30 am, you needn’t be surprised if your friends and neighbors suddenly stop in their tracks and begin repeated movements in a ‘light workout.’ Put together by Mandy Nice of NICE Life fitness studio, this fitness-flash mob is part of the kick-off of the Work Well Winter Park health initiative. And since April 4 is National Start Walking Day, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce wants us to get energized, have fun, and celebrate by taking a walk down Park Avenue. (No previous experience required).  Visit winterpark.org


April 7 through 30 -- Parker Sketch Solo Art

Parker Sketch is the busiest Artist on the Central Florida Art scene with his contemporary take on ‘Pop Art’ featuring video games, cartoon characters, music icons, and wine glasses. In his new exhibit – Biography – we view a personal side of Parker Sketch in his most sophisticated collection to-date. The work tells of Parker's experiences growing up in the poverty of the projects of Chicago, a dysfunctional family, his early exposure to alcohol, living on the streets, and discovering his sexual identity. The show features several self portraits, including work from his years at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his BFA. Biography will be on display at Gallery Q at The Center at 946 N Mills in Orlando. A FREE reception will be held on April 7 from 6 to 9 pm. Call 321.287.5634 or visit thecenterorlando.org


April 7 – Rogers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

I highly recommend the Orlando Philharmonic’s opera/musical stagings with the Orchestra on-stage and the performers in front of the Orchestra.  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, conducted by Christopher Wilkins, will be performed on April 7 at 2 pm and 8 pm at Bob Carr PAC, and both performances feature an all-star cast including dancers from the Orlando Ballet. Named the best musical of the 20th Century by Time Magazine, Carousel follows the story of Billy Bigelow, a swaggering carnival barker who captivates and marries naïve mill worker Julie Jordan. Michelle Knight, Todd S. Mummert, and Andrea Canny are just a few of the super-talented singing-actors you will recognize in this production. Call 407.770. 0071 or visit orlandophil.org.




And Not to be Missed … through April 22 – RED 

RED at the Shakespeare Theater brings us a brilliant play (RED), brilliantly directed by Patrick Flick, and brilliantly acted by the two-man cast of John Herrera as Painter Mark Rothko and Buddy Haardt as his assistant. This is as fine a production as you will see anywhere. Orlando Shakes proves – once again – we have great ART here in Central Florida. Do NOT miss it. Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org