“Josh Recommends” for the Week of December 6, 2019 By Josh Garrick


“Josh Recommends” for the Week of December 6, 2019 By Josh Garrick 

“The Play That Goes (SO) Wrong” 
FINAL WEEK-END -- NOW to Dec 8 at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Described as “what would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate baby” – “The Play That Goes Wrong” is Broadway (& London’s) outrageous, laugh-a-minute Murder-Mystery-Comedy. It’s certainly one of the funniest plays I’ve ever seen, and I swear – no matter what your mood is when you arrive at the Dr. Phillips Center, you’ll be smiling and laughing from the time you leave. It’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED at the Dr. Phillips Center, call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org “The Play That Goes Wrong”

A FREE Holiday Pops Concert with the Orlando Philharmonic 
December 8 at 5 pm 
There is no more beautiful place to “welcome the Holiday Season” than Winter Park’s Central Park and no more wonderful way to celebrate than with a FREE ‘Pops’ concert by the Orlando Philharmonic. The Philharmonic and the City of Winter Park invite all of us to bring a blanket and a picnic for the sounds of the season with familiar favorites to delight your family and friends. Sponsored by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust, Mauricio Céspedes Rivero will conduct with Chrystal Johnson and Brandon Martin, vocalists in this FREE event. Visit orlandophil.org 
 A FREE Holiday Pops Concert with the Orlando Philharmonic

Merry Winter Garden Light Shows
December 7, 13, 14, 15, 20 & 21 beginning at 6 pm 
While the ultra charming town of Winter Garden could be the setting for Bedford Falls, we are invited to watch as their ‘story-book’ City Hall is transformed with a light show using digital mapping and projections. Featuring kid-friendly animated holiday greetings, one of the most amazing light shows in Central Florida is FREE in Winter Garden for you and your family. 
Merry Winter Garden Light Shows

Mills Gallery – Bob Kealing talks Burroughs, Kerouac, and the Beat south
December 11 at 6:30 pm 
One of Americas most influential novels, "Naked Lunch" had its origins here in Orlando. As a part of the William S. Burroughs' “Seven Deadly Sins” exhibit, Mills Gallery will host a talk with journalist Bob Kealing on this pivotal time in the writers' careers, shining a light on this piece of local history. While living at his sister's home in College Park, Jack Kerouac finished the final edits to his "On the Road" masterpiece. Kealing will sell and sign copies of his book, "Kerouac in Florida, Where the Road Ends” at 1650 Mills Ave. N. in Orlando. 
Mills Gallery – Bob Kealing talks Burroughs, Kerouac, and the Beat south

The Art Gallery at Grand Bohemian Hotel 
Dec 12 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm 
The Art Gallery at the Grand Bohemian Hotel has declared an end-of-year celebration for a one-night event recognizing the Gallery’s local artists. You can finish your Christmas shopping while supporting local talent during this “Meet & Greet Happy Hour.” Artists include: Almut Belote; Loura Parks Dobbs, Donna Dowless, Roberto Gonzalez, Peterson Guerrier; Matt Maher; Heather Nagy; Ursula Schwartz; and PJ Svejda. This ‘Kid-Friendly’ exhibit is at 325 S. Orange Avenue in Orlando. Call 407.313. 9000. The Art Gallery at Grand Bohemian Hotel

The NUTCRACKER at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Dec 13 to 15 & Dec 20 to 23 
The Orlando Ballet presents the cherished Holiday tradition, The NUTCRACKER. As Tchaikovsky’s music soars, let Clara’s world of dreams take you on a magical journey through snowflakes, waltzing flowers and dancing candies! Join the thousands of families who enjoy this production every year – this season with LIVE music by the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras. Visit drphillipscenter.org or call 844.513.2014
Dancers: Boris Ceballos & Kate-Lynn Robichaux; photograph by Michael Cairns. The NUTCRACKER at the Dr. Phillips Center with the Orlando Ballet
Dancers: Boris Ceballos & Kate-Lynn Robichaux; photograph by Michael Cairns

Phantasmagoria Returns with “A Christmas Carol, a Ghost Story of Christmas”
Dates below: If you have yet to see a production from the Orlando-based theatre troupe Phantasmagoria, you are forgiven ONLY if you know them solely for their spooky productions at Halloween. This Holiday Season brings those “Steampunk Theater Ghouls” out in force to give us “A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story” – which is the way Dickens himself saw it. Remember -- Ghost of – Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Unsent Christmas Cards – Oops! Anyway this cirque-style troupe is back with the most famous ghost story of all time. Producer John DiDonna says, “In Victorian times, they read ghost stories during the Season.” And I say, “Who better to return us to that macabre tradition?” Dates for this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED “A Christmas Carol” are: 
Dec 13, 14, 16 in Orlando at the Shakespeare Center
Dec 18 in Deland at the Athens Theater
Dec 19 at the Mount Dora Community Center
Dec 20 in Ocala at the Reilly Arts Center
Dec 21 in Sanford at the Wayne Densch Arts Center
Dec 27 in Eustis at the Historical State Theater Visit Phantasmagoriaorlando.com for tickets. PHANTASMAGORIA Returns with “A Christmas Carol – a Ghost Story”

Central Florida Ballet’s Incomparable Nutcracker Experience
Dec 14 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm and Dec 15 at 2 pm 
Known nationally as the “exciting” Nutcracker, the critically acclaimed CFB Nutcracker ballet offers Orlando a unique holiday experience. This version of the ballet features international guest artists and an (Orlando-based) pyrotechnic display. Guest performers include Dusty Button, "...the punk rock Black Swan ballerina,” and international sensations Emanuel Tavares Filho and Saaya Pikula Mason. Performances are held at the Orange County Convention Center’s Linda Chapin Theater at 9800 International Drive. Visit centralfloridaballet.com
Central Florida Ballet’s Incomparable Nutcracker Experience

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church presents “WONDER – a Christmas Concert” 
Dec 14 at 5:30 pm & 7:30 pm 
Dec 15 at 5:30 p.m. SOLD OUT
St. Luke’s Music Ministry explores the magic of Christmas at this special concert featuring a 150 voice choir and orchestra along with St. Luke’s ‘praise team,’ children’s and youth choirs, hand-bells, dancers and beautiful scenery to put your family in the Holiday Spirit. Sing along to your favorite carols and listen to new songs of the wonder of Christmas. Tickets are $12 and $6.50. Visit stlukes.org/christmas
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church presents “WONDER – a Christmas Concert”

The ONE-MAN “A Christmas Carol” 
December 22 & 23 
Coming just before Christmas Eve, the 22nd season of the One-Man "A Christmas Carol,” performed brilliantly by David McElroy and directed by Marylin McGinnis, will once again dazzle with an acting tour-de-force that must be seen to be believed. McElroy’s performance is touched by genius as he carries the story forward, sometimes changing characters without even taking a breath. A hat, a scarf, a candle is all he needs to passionately tell Dickens’ most beloved story. This HIGHLY RECOMMENDED performance may be seen at Penguin Point Productions in Oviedo, FL
The ONE-MAN “A Christmas Carol” - Photo credit: Bonnie Sprung
Photo credit: Bonnie Sprung

The CFCArts Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” 
NOW to Dec 15 
Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie in his quest to get a real Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. The consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” It’s all here including the family’s exploding furnace, the wet tongue on a freezing lamppost and the “prize” lamp (shaped like a woman’s leg). For this theatrical holiday perennial, call 407.937.1800 or visit cfcarts.com The CFCArts Theatre presents “A Christmas Story”

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown 
NOW to December 15 at the Winter Park Playhouse 
Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip comes to life in this joyful Broadway musical. It’s a “day in the life” of the Peanuts gang including Charlie Brown, bossy Lucy, prodigy Schroeder, perfectionist Sally, blanket-toting Linus and lovable Snoopy. In one of the finest ensemble casts ever to be assembled in Orlando, I LOVE this performance. With only a few performances remaining, allow the Peanuts gang to make YOU HAPPY as they discover HOW they make each other happy. For this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED performance, call 407.645.0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” (at Orlando Shakes) 
NOW to December 29
A sequel to Jane Austen’s 'Pride and Prejudice' (set two years after the novel ends), “Miss Bennet” is a romantic comedy that this time features bookish middle-sister Mary as the unlikely heroine. Tired of her role as dutiful sister in the face of her siblings’ romantic escapades, the family gathers for Christmas and an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for an intellectual match (and possibly) even love. Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org
“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” (at Orlando Shakes)
“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” (at Orlando Shakes)

“Miracle in Bedford Falls” – The Musical at Orlando Rep 
NOW to December 29 
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!” The beloved Holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life” is now a musical with the character George Bailey finding himself in a desperate place on Christmas Eve. His guardian angel shows George what the world would have been like if he’d never been born as friends and family surround George with the Holiday spirit of generosity and love. At Orlando Rep, call 407.896.7365 or visit orlandorep.com Miracle in Bedford Falls – The Musical at Orlando Rep
“Miracle in Bedford Falls” – The Musical at Orlando Rep

“The Spitfire Grill” – a Musical -- at Mad Cow Theatre 
NOW to Dec 29 
At the Mad Cow, “The Spitfire Grill” is for sale (BUT with NO interested buyers). Hannah decides to raffle it off with entry fees of $100 and the best essay on “why you want the Grill.” Percy, a parolee, lands a job at the Grill, and things start heating up with wheelbarrows-full of entries. “The Spitfire Grill” is an inspiring celebration of the power of what one (or two) persons can do. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com “The Spitfire Grill” at Mad Cow Theatre
“The Spitfire Grill” at Mad Cow Theatre

Sweet, Fresh, Juicy: Florida Oranges in Art and History
NOW to Jan 5, 2020 at the Art & History Museums – Maitland 
The citrus industry had an enormous impact on Central Florida during the mid-20th century, and the Museums’ new exhibit spans the Maitland Art Center Gallery and the Maitland Historical Museum to examine the rise and fall of the citrus industry through a collection of historic citrus labels, many on loan from the Orange County Regional History Center. Visit artandhistory.org Sweet, Fresh, Juicy: Florida Oranges in Art and History


Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators