“Josh Recommends” by Josh Garrick – For October 2021

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“Josh Recommends” by Josh Garrick – For October 2021

The Arts Scene in Central Florida is chock full of arts groups who can’t wait to get back into their performance spaces to – once again – share the extraordinary joys of LIVE performance with us. Read on -- there are classics for some and new works for others, and NOW is the time to reserve your tickets to become a part of it all …

 “Josh Recommends” by Josh Garrick – For October 2021

Orlando Shakespeare presents
Every Brilliant Thing

Now to October 16
Orlando Shakes returns to its “home theaters” with a play about laughter. This uplifting story explores laughter as ‘the antidote to all things.’ This play is the funniest play you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see. When his Mom is depressed, a young child creates a list of all the things that make life wonderful- from “ice cream” to “sunshine.” Told with audience participation, I’m betting you smiled just reading that.  Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org

Orlando Shakespeare presents Every Brilliant Thing

Winter Park Playhouse presents
The Book of Merman (as in Ethel)

Now to October 17
Beginning with the fact that any theatrical event related to the great Ethel Merman is bound to be fun and chock full of great songs, the Winter Park Playhouse offers a Regional Premiere -- fresh from its Off-Broadway run. The new musical comedy takes a hilarious look at a real encounter between Ethel Merman and two young Mormon ‘missionaries’ who arrived at her door. With a witty original score and a from-the-heart message about being true to yourself, this new musical comedy is (like Ethel Merman) big, brassy and fun!  Call 407.645,0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org

Winter Park Playhouse presents The Book of Merman (as in Ethel)

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
at Calvary Orlando at 1199 Clay St. in Winter Park

October 23 at 7:30 pm
Featuring Eric Jacobsen, conductor, Benjamin Hochman, piano, and Masumi Per Rostad, viola

Program: 
James Lee III– “Amer’ican” (World Preview)
JESSIE Montgomery – Viola Concerto (World Premiere) with Masumi Per Rostad, viola
DVOŘÁK– Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”
On October 23, the Orlando Philharmonic is back in adventurous territory with a World Preview AND a World Premiere AND a beloved Dvořák Symphony (his 9th). Dvorak urged fellow-composers to seek inspiration in their own cultures, (as he did in his Ninth), drawing on African-and Native American melodies he heard during his American journey (never forgetting the rhythms and influence of his native Bohemia). You’ll also hear contemporary voices: African-American composers James Lee III’s Amer’ican and Jessie Montgomery’s Viola Concerto, composed for Grammy Award-winner Masumi Per Rostad. Call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Featuring Eric Jacobsen, conductor, Benjamin Hochman, piano, and Masumi Per Rostad, viola

Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando presents
Giants, Dragons & Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures

On exhibit NOW to January 23, 2022
Originally created by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Giants, Dragons & Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures features unique ‘cultural objects’ that highlight the ways people around the world have envisioned or depicted mythic creatures. The exhibit includes cast fossils of prehistoric animals to investigate how – through fear or simple imagination – fossils may have inspired the legends around these “creatures.” For example, dinosaur fossils were mistaken for the remains of griffins, and tales of mermaids or sea monsters came from exaggerated fisherman’s stories of real creatures such as the giant squid. Fascinating! Call 407.836.8500 or visit thehistorycenter.org

Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando presents Giants, Dragons & Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures

The Mad Cow Theatre in Downtown Orlando presents
A Year with Frog and Toad

October 6 to 24
Based on the “Frog and Toad” children's stories, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, this beloved Broadway hit and Tony-nominated musical lifts every heart—amphibious, mammal … and reptilian, with its jazz score performed by singing and dancing vaudeville-styled forest creatures. This musical is for any kid (or grownup-child-at-heart) who wants to celebrate the morale boosting joys of friendship. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com

The Mad Cow Theatre in Downtown Orlando presents A Year with Frog and Toad

The Orlando Ballet presents
The Jungle Book

October 7 to October 10
The Orlando Ballet opens their season with a colorful retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s stories from The Jungle Book. With whimsical costumes, imaginative sets, and music that conjures the magic of young Mowgli’s life in the jungle, this performance is for audiences of all ages. Join Mowgli as he befriends monkeys, Baloo the Bear, a larger-than-life Bengal Tiger and a clever, 50-foot-long-snake. Within the run, there is also a condensed one-hour performance of the ballet specially designed for family members of all ages. For more, call 407.418.9828 or visit orlandoballet.org

The Orlando Ballet presents The Jungle Book
Photo: Eugene Ballet

Opera/Orlando presents
La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

October 29 and 31
Opera/Orlando has a great track record for up-dating great operas.  For example, they updated Mozart’s Don Giovanni to a contemporary college campus … and it was brilliant.  La Traviata is a perennial favorite in the opera world, and it will open Opera/Orlando’s fall season with another update to today. Instead of taking place in the original 1853, this version is based on the true story of a 26-year-old “hostess” of a high stakes’ poker game named Molly Bloom. The lead couple will “honeymoon” in a Hamptons summer house, and she will eventually die from cancer (not TB) in a contemporary hospital room. More later. Set for performance at the Dr. Phillips Center, visit operaorlando.org for tickets. 

Opera/Orlando presents La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center presents
“Tootsie”

November 2 to 7, 2021
Rolling Stone calls it “musical comedy heaven, “ and The Hollywood Reporter calls it “the most uproarious new musical in years!” Tootsie is a laugh-a-minute love letter to the theater that tells the story of a talented (but difficult) actor who struggles to find work until one act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime. With a hilarious Tony®-winning book by Robert Horn and a score by 2018 Tony-winner David Yazbek, Bloomberg says it’s “so packed with punchlines, it should be called a jokebox musical!” Can’t say how much I agree with Rolling Stone -- “In these turbulent times, when the world seems out of balance, we need a place to let the good times roll. Tootsie is it!” Call 800.448.6322 or visit orlando.broadway.com 

The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center presents “Tootsie”

Open NOW at the
Orlando Museum of Art

The Orlando Museum of Art did its “relaunch” to the public at the end of September with a new Executive Director and CEO.  The new Director’s first show(s) are incredible with four new exhibits featuring some of the greatest painters who ever lived including Botticelli, Rubens, Rembrandt, Titian, Raphael, and more! These masterworks take up several rooms in the museum and make a grand statement as to what we may look forward to with Director Aaron deGroft at the helm. These priceless works are shown under the title “Treasures from the Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University: Five Centuries of Old Master Painting.” The other three exhibits include “Cathedrals of Florida: Masterworks by Clyde Butcher,”  “Connoisseurship and Collecting: Masterworks of European Painting from the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary,” and “Luces y Sombras: Mexican Photography from the Bank of America Collection”

Assisting Dr. DeGroft in bringing this treasure-trove of art to Orlando are Chief Curator Hansen Mulford, and Associate Curator Coralie Claeyson-Gleyzon. The Museum is in Loch Haven Cultural Park at 2416 N. Mills Ave.  Call 407.896.4231 or visit omart.org.

Open NOW at the Orlando Museum of Art Luces y Sombras: Mexican Photography from the Bank of America Collection
From Luces y Sombras: Mexican Photography from the Bank of America Collection

Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators