Florida Culture for the Week of May 23, 2016 by Josh Garrick


Florida Culture for the Week of May 23, 2016 by Josh Garrick

FINAL WEEK -- NOW to May 29 – Singin’ in the Rain – A ‘Splashy Musical’
Directed by Rob Winn Anderson, the Garden Theatre’s BIG annual musical has become a MUST-SEE event. The LIVE staging of one of the great movie musicals of all time offers a Tinsel-town starlet, a handsome leading man and a love affair that could change lives while making (or breaking) careers. Taking us back to the time of silent movies, this classic is chock full of unforgettable songs and dancing at the beautiful Garden Theatre in Winter Garden. Call 407.877.4736 or visit gardentheatre.org
Singin’ in the Rain – A ‘Splashy Musical’

NOW thru Summer – The Puzzling Mindbender Mansion at Orlando Science Center 
Visitors to the Mindbender Mansion at the Orlando Science Center (OSC) are greeted by the wacky Mr. E., Master Brainteaser, who explains how to gather hidden clues and secret passwords. Perfect for the whole family, visitors find tabletop brainteasers they can solve on their own and larger group challenges including the Feeding Frenzy-Kitchen, a Flying Machine, Spelling Fever-Hopscotch (with letter squares that light up), and the Amazing Maze. There are 40 brain-teasers and 5 full-body-and-mind activities in this exhibit. Complete the tasks and your young ones can add their portraits to the “Wall of Fame.” Visit osc.org 
The Puzzling Mindbender Mansion at Orlando Science Center
The Puzzling Mindbender Mansion at Orlando Science Center

NOW to Sept 25 – “Naked Before the Lens” at the Ringling Museum 
An exhibit that ‘exposes’ the way in which photographers have used the naked body in their work opened this week at the always impressive Ringling Museum in Sarasota.  While the human body has always played an important (and mostly idealized) role in Western Art, this exhibit focuses on the 20th and 21st Century’s unique abilities of the camera to capture detail, connecting us to the specifics of time, place, and ‘relationship’ between photographer and model thereby using photography’s unique qualities to ‘explore’ desire, intimacy, vulnerability, and … nakedness. Visit Ringling.org. 
“Naked Before the Lens” at the Ringling Museum

May 26 to 29 – MegaCon at the Orange County Convention Center
MegaCon’s 4-day comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event in Orlando is packed with activities, celebrity guests and super-fans in costume. The pop culture extravaganza is host to thousands of fans at the Orange County Convention Center, this year offering a World Premiere screening of ‘Star Trek Continues,’ a REAL wedding, celebrity photo and autograph sessions, panels, Q&A’s, Artist Alley, tattoo pavilion, costume contest, kid’s zone, and over 650,000 square feet of celebrity spotting and shopping madness. Visit MegaConvention.com
MegaCon at the Orange County Convention Center

May 26 to 29 – The Jacksonville Jazz Festival 
What began three decades ago as the humble Mayport Jazz Festival is now one of the largest FREE jazz festivals in the country.  Boasting an all-¬star lineup of jazz legends, this year the Fest returns to downtown Jaxville for an epic street party full of great food, good fun and plenty of FREE entertainment. The festival boasts three outdoor stages with state¬ of ¬the¬ art light and sound spread across 15 city blocks.  New this year is the Jazz Marketplace and Jazz Eats and Drinks, the city’s best al fresco dining options, along with signature events including the Piano Competition, Jazz Jam, Sacred Jazz Brunch and more.  They also promise new and improved VIP packages for 2016. Visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com
 The Jacksonville Jazz Festival

May 28 – Celebrate Brisket Day with the Master – John Rivers 
OK – I’ll buy it. May 28th is National Brisket Day so long as I can celebrate it with Florida’s Founding Father of Barbecue, John Rivers. In honor of the occasion, Chef John is throwing a Red, White and Brisket Party at 4 Rivers Smokehouse’s flagship Winter Park store, complete with live music, local craft brews and a special that’s too good to miss!  On May 28, for one day only, 4 Rivers will serve its signature 18-hour, Smoked Angus Brisket in a Chili Cheese Brisket Burger – along with Chili Cheese Fries at this inaugural celebration. Call 407.474.8377 or visit 4Rsmokehouse.com 

May 30 – MEMORIAL DAY – Remember them ALL 
To repeat the words -- courage, sacrifice, dedication, and selfless devotion – is not enough. Americans who died in combat did so because ‘they knew’ they were making America a safer place for all of us. To truly honor them, WE need to do our part to ‘create’ the America they defended. There are many ways to make our community a better place – offer time and skills to a local charity, tutor a child or adult with reading comprehension, donate blood, help or advise a veteran to find a job, coach a sport, serve dinner at a shelter, ‘entertain’ at a retirement home. Words are not enough; it is our actions that honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 
MEMORIAL DAY – Remember them ALL

June 1 to July 3 – Avenue Q – Think Muppets with Potty Mouths 
In 2003, a gang of puppets created a worldwide phenomenon known as Avenue Q. Taking on the lessons of life, these colorful characters advise their friend Princeton on everything from getting a job to internet porn. With songs including “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” “If You Were Gay,” and “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” the puppets of Avenue Q will have you thinking, “I said that once (or at least thought it).” Presented by the Mad Cow Theatre in their Downtown Orlando complex through July 3, call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com 
 Avenue Q – Think Muppets with Potty Mouths

June 4 –  9 am to 1 pm – Orange County Hurricane Expo 2016
Orange County, encouraging residents to be prepared for hurricane season, offers the 2016 Hurricane Expo on June 4 at the Renaissance Senior Center at South Econ Community Park at 3800 South Econlockhatchee Trail. The Free event offers information and free items, including weather radios and first aid kits, while supplies last. Attendees will learn from emergency responders from the Florida Division of Emergency Management on how to survive and deal with floods, high wind damage, and property loss. Hurricane Season begins June 1 and ends November 30.  Call 407.836.9140 or visit ocoem[at]ocfl.net
Orange County Hurricane Expo 2016

June 4 at 7 pm – ‘Dream Catchers’ – Lillian Verkins & Fay Samimi Art Exhibit  
Multiple Award-Winning Artists and friends Lillian VERKINS, painter and Fay SAMIMI, ceramic sculptor, will ‘share’ the Henao Contemporary Center’s Main Gallery Space with their new exhibit entitled ‘Dream Catchers.’  Their Opening Night will take place on June 4 beginning at 7 pm with the exhibit running through July 17. The Public invited to the Opening. Dream Catchers is a Two-Person Art Exhibit curated by Josh Garrick at the Henao Contemporary Center, located at 5601 N. Edgewater Drive in Orlando (College Park)  Visit henaocenter.com 
‘Dream Catchers’ – Lillian Verkins & Fay Samimi Art Exhibit
June 4, 6 & 8 -- Copa America Centenario Soccer Tournament Held in Orlando, U.S.A. 
For the first time in its 100-year history, the Copa America Centenario, the oldest international soccer tournament in the world, will be staged outside of South America in 10 U.S. venues from June 3 to 26. This once-in-a-lifetime event features the top stars in the world in this 16-nation championship. The thrill of the biggest tournament in the Western Hemisphere will take place in Orlando featuring Costa Rica vs. Paraguay on June 4; Bolivia vs. Panama on June 6; and Brazil vs. Haiti on June 8. Visit CA2016.com or OrlandoCitySC.com

Copa America Centenario Soccer Tournament Held in Orlando, U.S.A.

June 5 -- The Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts 2016 Applause Awards
The Applause Awards, a program created by the Dr. Phillips Center School of the Arts, supports high schools that have their theater productions reviewed by a team of adjudicators. In June, the Dr. Phillips Center hosts the Applause Awards to recognize the performances that demonstrate outstanding talent. From Dr. Phillips High School’s “Mary Poppins” to Boone High’s “The Addams Family” over 30 Schools participated in this year’s judging. New to the program: One male and one female will be selected from the Orlando showcase to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) on June 27. For tickets call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
The Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts 2016 Applause Awards

June 5 at 7:30 pm – Maitland Symphony’s Spring Concert “The Magic of Youth”
Under batons held by Eric Mendez and Dale Burket, “The Magic of Youth” is Maitland Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert. MicheLee Puppet’s ‘Gussie’ will be the Master of Ceremonies with her associate Kris Zara; Dr. Lori Lovell will sing Mahler’s poignant “Kindertotenlieder No. 4; I often think: they have only just gone out,” and Maitland Middle School’s ‘Musicale’ will sing with the Orchestra. Alyssa Orantes Romanova is the guest violinist on Kabalevsky’s Violin Concerto.  The whole family will enjoy “Carnival of the Animals”, selections from “West Side Story” and “Star Wars” at this FREE concert at Maitland Presbyterian Church at 341 N. Orlando Ave. Donations appreciated. Call 321-303-1404 or visit PAMaitland.org 
Maitland Symphony’s Spring Concert “The Magic of Youth”

June 6 – noon to 1:30 pm – “Hope Blooms – A Cancer Survivors Day” 
The cancer journey is shared by far too many. When the path to remission is traveled with the care of a devoted friend or loved one and/or a team of caring health professionals, it can also be a time of hope and renewal.  The Public is invited to an inspiring afternoon including stories from those who have ‘survived,’ a dove release, and time for fellowship and refreshment. The event is Free; rsvp by May 31 at 863.687.1400 to the Lakeland Regional Cancer Center at 3525 Lakeland Hills Boulevard. 

And looking ahead … 

June 18 at 7:30 pm – The World Ballet Competition 10th Anniversary GALA Performance
ORLANDO will host the 10th Anniversary of the World Ballet Competition (WBC) – the ‘Olympics of Ballet’ – concluding with a Gala Performance to showcase an extraordinary evening of talent. The 1st half of the evening sets a new level for youthful performance as it consists of the WINNERS, ages 9 to 24, from the week of competition. The 2nd half of the Gala presents Guest Artists from around the world including Orlando’s own beloved Ballet Stars Katia Garza and Israel Rodriguez– for the first time ever -- performing the Spartacus Love pas de deux. The performance is at the Linda Chapin Theater at the Orange County Convention Center at 9800 International Drive in Orlando. For Tickets, please visit worldballetcompetition.com
The World Ballet Competition 10th Anniversary GALA Performance




Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators