“Josh Recommends” for the Week of October 6, 2018 By Josh Garrick

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“Josh Recommends” for the Week of October 6, 2018 By Josh Garrick 

Congratulations to JOHN DIDONNA and PHANTASMAGORIA 
I’ve been saving this for October – a month that John DiDonna and his stylish theatre troupe of ‘Steampunk’ thespians seem to “own” Central Florida. Each year, the Seminole County Board of Commissioners and the Seminole Cultural Arts Council select a resident of Seminole County who “has contributed time and talent for the enrichment of the County.” This year, they recognized teacher, actor, producer and playwright John Didonna as the Seminole County Artist of the Year for 2018. The award was presented to Mr. Didonna this summer, recognizing his unparalleled work as the full-time Chair and Artistic Director of Theater at Valencia College; as the founder of the critically acclaimed theatre troupe, Phantasmagoria; as an actor; and for past honors as Best Thespian; Actor of the Year; Best Director; Best Playwright; and his ranking among the Top 25 Community College Professors. If you’ve lived in Central Florida in the past nine years and NOT yet seen Phantasmagoria – THIS is the year for you to ‘experience’ their charismatic form of theatrical story-telling – overlaid with ‘Steampunk’ style. 

Oct 12 to 15 -- Shakespeare Center – Orlando 
Oct 14 at 2 pm -- Orange County Library, Downtown Orlando 
Oct 18 at 6 pm -- Dia de los Muertes, Downtown Orlando 
Oct 19 at 5 pm – “Immerse Orlando” (see below) 
Oct 19 & 20 – State Theatre – Eustis 
Oct 20 -- Lake Mary Museum
Oct 20 & 21 -- Steampunk Industrial Show – Mount Dora
Oct 26 -- Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center – Sanford 
Oct 27 – Reilly Arts Center – Ocala 
Oct 26 to 28 -- “Spooky Empire Experience” – Orange County Convention Center
Oct 30 & 31 – The Higgins House “Phantasmagoria Experience” – Sanford
Nov 3 – Athens Theatre – DeLand 

Performances will range from a full-evening of theatre at the Shakespeare Center to “hauntings” at libraries and museums. Full evenings are ticketed events while many shorter appearances are FREE. Visit phantasmagoriaorlando.com for the theater or event nearest you. 

Congratulations to JOHN DIDONNA and PHANTASMAGORIA
Congratulations to JOHN DIDONNA and PHANTASMAGORIA

FINAL WEEK -- “In the Heights” at Orlando Shakespeare Theater
NOW to Oct 7
For the past several years, Orlando Shakes’ has begun each season with a big – and brilliantly produced – musical. This year the musical 'In the Heights' tells the story of New York’s vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the open windows carry the rhythm of three generations of music. The musical won the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations. Visit orlandoshakes.org  

“In the Heights” at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

FINAL WEEK -- “Noises Off” by CFCArts Theatre
NOW to Oct 7 
This frantically funny farce shows us a “play within a play” so that we – the audience – get a crazy backstage view of the chaos that ensues as the “show MUST go on.” We watch as the production deteriorates into comic disarray involving “actors” carrying on ‘rocky’ love interests, doors that don’t work, bad acting, and a pregnant stage manager. See what lunacy can happen when you take a show on-tour and what it takes to keep a cast on the stage – when they’re supposed to be – on-stage. Visit CFCArts.com or call 407 937 1800 

“Noises Off” by CFCArts Theatre

Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano” at the Winter Park Playhouse 
NOW to Oct 14
The Winter Park Playhouse is known for musicals that celebrate the songs of our great composers. Their current “I Love a Piano” follows the journey of a piano from its first days in Tin Pan Alley to the 1950's including over 60 of the amazing 1500 songs written by Irving Berlin. Including "Blue Skies," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "God Bless America,” the Playhouse offers as many of his songs as possible as they celebrate America’s “happiest” and most prolific composer. Call 407.645.0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org
Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano” at the Winter Park Playhouse

Osceola Arts’ Hispanic Heritage Month Juried Art Show 
NOW to Nov 2 -- Osceola Arts in Kissimmee pays tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month in its 10th Annual Hispanic Juried Art Show. This vibrant (and eclectic) exhibit is on display at the Center with works created by 75 Artists living and creating art in Central Florida. Representing Florida’s diverse Hispanic community, all art exhibits at Osceola Arts are free and open to the public. Visit osceolaarts.org or contact marilyn[at]osceolaarts.org.
Osceola Arts’ Hispanic Heritage Month Juried Art Show

“Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook” at Orlando REP
NOW to Nov 4 
Junie B. Jones returns to Orlando REP in an all-new show – this one dealing with HONESTY. Apparently someone has stolen Junie B.’s mittens, but then Junie B. finds an awesome pen, so it’s okay to keep it, right? AND there’s a handsome new boy in class who Junie is determined to impress. Junie B. struggles with the issue of honesty in this hilarious and heartfelt story based on the best-selling book by Barbara Park. Call 407 896 7365 or visit orlandorep.com
“Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook” at Orlando REP

“Nick Cave: Feat” at the Orlando Museum of Art 
NOW to Dec. 30 
Chicago-based artist Nick Cave’s creations remind us of a Mardi Gras parade -- bursting with colors and textures that are fun for audiences of all ages. But a deeper look at Cave’s work reveals issues of identity, social injustice, race, and violence. His ‘trademark’ human-shaped sculptures began as a response to the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles over 25 years ago. As an African-American man, Cave felt vulnerable after the incident so he created a type of “armor” protecting him from profiling by concealing his race and gender. Organized by the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, visit omart.org or call 407.896.4231 

“Nick Cave: Feat” at the Orlando Museum of Art

… And Opening Soon … 

“The Mystery of Irma Vep” at Orlando Shakespeare 
Oct 10 to Nov 18 
Years ago this fall-out-of-your-seat-laughing comedy was a vehicle for playwright Charles Ludlam to ‘prove’ that a hilarious murder-mystery could be played on a tiny stage with two actors (who were also quick-change artists). Now Orlando Shakes is presenting this “Gothic horror” with actor Chris Crawford playing Lord Edgar, Jane Twisden, An Intruder, and Irma Vep while his fellow thespian Brad DePlanche also plays four roles. Throw in vampires, werewolves, and the resurrection of an Egyptian princess in Gothic England as you laugh along with this deliriously melodramatic comedy. Directed by Jim Helsinger (who never misses a comic possibility), call 407.447.1700 x1 or visit orlandoshakes.org 
“The Mystery of Irma Vep” at Orlando Shakespeare

“The Mystery of Irma Vep” at Orlando Shakespeare

The Orlando Ballet’s “Carmina Burana” at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Oct 12, 13, and 14 
In celebration of Artistic Director Robert Hill’s 10th anniversary with the company, the Orlando Ballet will open its 45th season with “Carmina Burana,” in collaboration with the Bach Festival Society. The Ballet premiered “Carmina Burana” in 2013 as part of the grand opening of the Dr. Phillips Center. Now the Ballet will join with Winter Park’s Bach Festival to re-produce this unique collaboration. The Bach Festival will provide live accompaniment and vocals to “Carmina Burana” during each performance. Tickets start at just $19! Visit drphillipscenter.org or call 844.513.2014. 

The Orlando Ballet’s “Carmina Burana” at the Dr. Phillips Center

Take Cover !! – “Those Hitchcock Birds” ARE BACK !!
Oct 12 to 28 
“The Birds” is an unsettling look at societal collapse. Conor McPherson’s stage adaptation of “The Birds” – based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story (the same source material as the Hitchcock thriller), follows two strangers taking refuge from the attacking birds in their lakeside town. In an isolated house, Diane and Nat must learn to live together as they hide from the attacking birds, but tensions mount when another survivor enters the house and disrupts their already strained relationship. At the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, call 407.877.4736 x0 or visit gardentheatre.org. 

  Take Cover !! – “The (Hitchcockian) Birds” ARE BACK !!

The Orlando Philharmonic Presents “American Blues” featuring Rhiannon Giddens
Oct 13 at 2 pm & 8 pm 
Celebrate classics from American composers as Eric Jacobsen conducts and Rhiannon Giddens, co-founder of the Grammy award-winning band Carolina Chocolate Drops, sings and plays the banjo. Her elegance, extraordinary voice, and the spirit that brings audiences to their feet is evident on Giddens’ Grammy-nominated album “Tomorrow Is My Turn.” Masterfully blending gospel, jazz, blues, and country, these American classics showcase her dazzling vocal prowess. At the Bob Carr Theater, call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org 

For the Opening Night of the Orlando Philharmonic season, Conductor Eric Jacobsen embraces diversity with music influenced by international songs and rhythms.

Maxwell: 50 Intimate Nights Live at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Oct 16 at 7:30 pm 
The then-23-year-old Maxwell achieved universal praise and double platinum status for his debut album, garnering a Grammy nomination. Maxwell’s MTV; Unplugged came next, attracting universal acclaim, including covers of artists’ Kate Bush and Nine Inch Nails. Time has only deepened the mutual appreciation between Maxwell and his fans. Now blackSUMMERS’night, reveals links to a musical canon that peels back the curtain on love and heartbreak like only Maxwell can. VIP Packages are available for this performance. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
Maxwell: 50 Intimate Nights Live at the Dr. Phillips Center

Brett Eldredge: The Long Way Tour
Oct 18 at 7:30 pm 
When Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Brett Eldredge released his brand new single “The Long Way,” it became the best-selling album (all genres) upon release and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. “The Long Way,” which he performed on both TODAY and The Tonight Show, follows Eldredge’s six chart topping singles including his most recent, “Wanna Be That Song.” Fans have also certified the Platinum mega hit “Drunk On Your Love” and Gold certified “Lose My Mind.” Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
Brett Eldredge: The Long Way Tour

“Dia de los Muertos” (Halloween) Party at the City Arts (Monster) Factory 
Oct. 18 beginning at 6 pm 
For the most creative “Halloween Party” of the year, don’t miss the evening hosted by the Downtown Arts District at the City Arts Factory at 29 S. Orange Ave in Orlando. ‘Inspired by’ Day of the Dead and Halloween art (for sale), those clever folks at CityArts combine this unique art show with a costumed street party on Opening Night with food, drinks, and spooky Artists offering specially created “Halloween Art.” Presented by the Downtown Arts District, the suggested donation is $5. For more visit DDLM2018.eventbrite.com 

“Dia de los Muertos” (Halloween) Party at the City Arts (Monster) Factory

The Doobie Brothers at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Oct 19 at 8 pm 
The Doobie Brothers have been delivering roots-based, guitar-driven rock and roll for over four decades, selling more than 48 million albums and winning four Grammy Awards. Their latest album, “Southbound” features new recordings of the band’s biggest hits with country music’s biggest stars including Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith. In all, the Doobies have tallied up five top 10 singles and 16 top 40 hits; 3 multi-platinum; 7 platinum and 14 Gold albums. Meet & Greet packages available for this performance. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 
The Doobie Brothers at the Dr. Phillips Center

“Young Frankenstein” at the CFCArts ‘Black-box’ Theatre
Oct 19 to Nov 4 
With music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, this stage adaptation of the 1974 cult classic movie by the same name, features the ‘grandson’ of the infamous Victor Frankenstein -- Frederick Frankenstein and his sidekick, Igor. As Frederick works to create his own monster, “Young Frankenstein” is a comic spin-off of the classic novel. Full of songs and surprises, you’ll leave this show laughing and singing your own version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” And if the weather is just right, you may even witness a miracle! Visit CFCArts.com or call 407.937.1800. 

“Young Frankenstein” at the CFCArts ‘Black-box’ Theatre

“IMMERSE 2018” all around Downtown Orlando 
Oct 19 & 20 
Two days and more than 1,000 artists plan to awaken you to a Downtown Orlando of boundless creativity. Music and dance from classical to hip hop, acrobats, murals, projections, theater, installations and everything in between for art lovers and people who think they don't like art – all in the streets and public spaces of Downtown Orlando. Bring your family – bring your friends – and IMMERSE yourself in wonder. The IMMERSE Basic Ticket is FREE letting you experience hundreds of performances and there are three other ticket forms with varying offers. Visit creativecityproject.com/book/
“IMMERSE 2018” all around Downtown Orlando

Lewis Black: The Joke’s on US Tour at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Oct 20 
Following 2017's highly successful “The Rant, White & Blue Tour,” prepare yourself for The Joke's On US Tour! Known as the king of the comedic rant, Lewis Black uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin – and that covers a lot of territory. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
Lewis Black: The Joke’s on US Tour at the Dr. Phillips Center

Band Preservation Inc. Presents “An Evening of Swing”
Oct 20 at 8 pm 
This evening of “Swing” is a tribute to the greatest music of the century that defined America. Featuring music from the Andrews Sisters, Glen Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and many more with fantastic vocals accompanied by Central Florida’s finest 1940’s show orchestra! Anita ODay, Helen O’Connell, Tex Benneke, and even the “Chattanooga Choo Choo!” Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
 Band Preservation Inc. Presents “An Evening of Swing”

Opera Orlando’s “Steampunk” Tales of Hoffman
Oct 24 to 30 at the Dr. Phillips Center 
The first of Opera Orlando's Mainstage productions will be presented in the intimate Pugh Theater and feature the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Jacques Offenbach's magnum opus interweaves four stories from the works of German author E. T. A. Hoffmann, (who is the opera’s lead character). Making their Opera Orlando debuts, Metropolitan Opera tenor Won Whi Choi sings the title role, with Cuban-born soprano Laura León singing all four female heroines. Also making Opera Orlando debuts will be Argentinean conductor Jorge Parodi and stage director Eve Summer. The magic and fantasy of each story will be created within a ‘Steampunk’ landscape of smoke and mirrors. We are invited to show our Halloween spirit and come in ‘Steampunk’ costume to the October 30 performance. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org or operaorlando.org
Opera Orlando’s “Steampunk” Tales of Hoffman

The Mann Family Tour: “Us Against the World” 
Oct 27 at 7 pm 
Grammy Award-Winning Platinum Recording Artist Tamela Mann and NAACP Image Award-Winning Comedian David Mann bring their family experience “with something for everyone” to the Bob Carr Theater. Featuring David, Tamela, son David Jr, and daughter Tia, it’s an evening of music, comedy and family entertainment. Including new music by Gospel’s leading lady, Tamela Mann and a unique sit-down with David and Tamela where they’ll share from their new book, “Us Against The World: Our Secrets To Love, Marriage & Family,” call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
The Mann Family Tour: “Us Against the World”

BOB DYLAN and His Band 
Oct 26 at 8 pm 
The iconic singer-songwriter, author, and artist Bob Dylan has been one of the most influential figures in popular culture for more than five decades. Dylan has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Along with that success, Dylan has received eleven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. Premium packages are available for this show. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
BOB DYLAN and His Band

Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators

 

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