Florida Culture for the Week of April 20, 2015 by Josh Garrick

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Florida Culture for the Week of April 20, 2015 by Josh Garrick

April 21 – Tony Award Winning PIPPIN at the Dr. Phillips Center 

PIPPIN is a high-flying, death-defying hit musical filled with acrobatics, feats of magic, and songs from the composer of Wicked. Winner of four Tony Awards – including Best Musical Revival, PIPPIN follows a young man’s journey as he chooses between a simple, happy life or risking all for a flash of glory. This Broadway classic is filled with circus tricks and acrobatics at the Dr. Phillips Center from April 21 to 26. Visit drphillipscenter.org or call 844.513.2014


Tony Award Winning PIPPIN at the Dr. Phillips Center


April 21 – Story of Klimt Masterpiece in Free Public Lecture 

Anne-Marie O’Connor, author of The Lady in Gold, will be the speaker at the Morse Museum’s McKean Public Lecture on April 21. Entitled The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, the talk will share details of the life of the Jewish society lady portrayed in the masterpiece. Confiscated by the Nazis, the legal battle that led to its recovery has had ramifications throughout the art world. The lecture will begin at 7:30 pm in the Tiedtke Hall at Rollins College. Admission is free. Visit morsemuseum.org or call 407.645.5311


Story of Klimt Masterpiece in Free Public Lecture


April 24 – The 50-Plus Resource Expo

Service providers, health care agencies, and consultants are all under one roof on April 24 from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm when the Orange County Commission on Aging presents a Free Resource Expo to bring together professionals who work with the 50-Plus community. Entertainment will be offered by jazz legend Jacqueline Jones at the Renaissance Senior Center at 3800 Econlockhatchee Trail. Visit 50plusfyi.org or call 407.265.0534


The 50-Plus Resource Expo


April 24 to May 10 – Mad Cow Theatre’s 13th Annual Cabaret Festival

Over the course of 17 days, Mad Cow Theatre will present 25 Cabaret performances of jazz, pop, and Broadway. Along with headliners including The Broadway Boys, Will & Anthony Nunziata, and Orlando’s own The Edge Effect, the perennial favorite It Was a Very Good Year will transport audiences back to 1968 and 1978. Mad Cow Theatre is at 54 West Church Street in downtown Orlando. Call 407.297.8788 or visit orlandocabaret.com for the complete schedule. 


April 25 – Thomas ‘Thor’ Thorspecken to Lead a ‘SketchCrawl’ 

The super-talented sketch Artist Thor, known for ‘artistically’ recording events all around Central Florida, will host a hands-on art event on April 25 beginning at 3 pm at the Culture Xchange Gallery at Orlando's Fashion Square Mall. The idea is to record everything around you with sketches and then share the work at sketchcrawl.com. The event is Free and will include live music, vendors, food trucks, and chalk artists. Meet at 3 pm with sketchbooks. 


Thomas ‘Thor’ Thorspecken to Lead a ‘SketchCrawl’


April 25 – Floating Lanterns as Canine Memorial 

Beginning at 6 pm on April 25 at Harbor Park, hundreds of water lanterns will offer dog lovers a special remembrance of the dogs that touched their lives. In this unique ceremony, the lanterns carry messages as a way to say ‘goodbye’ resulting in a panorama of lanterns floating on Lake Baldwin. New this year, Artist Linda Brant will hang 1583 dog tags on site at the Park. “According to Orange County Animal Services,” says Brant, “there were 1583 dogs euthanized at the facility in 2014. By hanging a tag for each of these dogs, I hope to call attention to the forgotten ones that die each year and to encourage people to consider adopting dogs from shelters such as OCAS.”  The event is free. To order a lantern visit floatinglanternmemorials.com 


Floating Lanterns as Canine Memorial


April 25 & 26 – UCF Opera Students to present Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

The University of Central Florida Opera Department will bring Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas to life in performances on April 25 and 26 with each performance featuring a different UCF student cast accompanied by a chamber orchestra. The tragic love story tells of Prince Aeneas, a Trojan, and Dido, Queen of Carthage. The April 25 at 7 pm performance features Kristen Judson and Hunter Curry.  The April 26 at 1 pm performance features Lydia Jorge and Eric Spinner in the UCF Visual Arts Building. For tickets, call 407-823-1500.


UCF Opera Students to present Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas


April 26 – MAYSfest, the A – MAYS – ing Student Orchestra 

The Metropolitan Area Youth Symphony celebrates its Fifth Season with an a-MAYS-ing finale concert of youthful talent at the Bob Carr Theater. MAYS of Orlando will be joined onstage by the Lake Brantley High School Patriot Singers to express “the musical union of strings and bows, brass and winds, and heavenly voices.” The date is April 26 at 4 pm. Tickets are $15.  Call 407.761.5170 or visit maysymphony.org 


 MAYSfest, the A – MAYS – ing Student Orchestra


April 26 – Mad Cow Theatre’s 1st Annual Black & White Bash

After 18 seasons, Mad Cow Theatre is throwing a party/fundraiser to support the future of the theatre. We are invited to the elegant Kres Chophouse on April 26 where the ‘Cattle’ (of Mad Cows) promise to “sweep us off our feet with delectable hors-d’oeuvres, signature cocktails, and live musical performances.” Individual tickets are $100 with all proceeds benefitting Mad Cow Theatre. Call 407.297.8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com  


Mad Cow Theatre’s 1st Annual Black & White Bash


April 28 – Students Plant Trees for Peace

85 Christian, Jewish and Muslim students from The Geneva School, Jewish Academy of Orlando, and Leaders Preparatory School, will join together to plant trees for peace on April 28 beginning at 11:30 am. Mayor Steve Leary will welcome the students as the young arborists plant six trees, blessing them with traditions according to each faith. They will then celebrate with a picnic on the lawn of Martin Luther King Park at 1050 W. Morse Blvd in Winter Park. Visit cityofwinterpark.org


Students Plant ‘Trees for Peace’

Students Plant ‘Trees for Peace’

Students Plant ‘Trees for Peace’


April 29 – Mayor Buddy Dyer’s ‘State of the City’

The hardest working Mayor in the world will talk about the ‘State of the City’ on April 29 at 10:30 am. The site for Hizzoner’s address is the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – just one of the incredible success stories for which Mayor Buddy Dyer is more responsible than any other. Add to that SunRail and its partnership with LYNX, the Amway Center, the re-built Citrus Bowl, See Art Orlando – the iconic sculpture walk, and the brilliant opening of our Soccer Franchise. Amazing is too simple a word. Join in the applause as Orlando’s Super-Mayor tells us what’s next. Visit cityoforlando.net


Mayor Buddy Dyer’s ‘State of the City’

Mayor Buddy Dyer’s ‘State of the City’


May 1 and May 3 – Puccini’s TOSCA with the Orlando Philharmonic

It’s love and death at the OPERA when a fiery prima donna is forced to play a role she never imagined as she becomes trapped between her lover and a treacherous police chief who will stop at nothing to satisfy his lust. That lust leads to one of opera’s bloodiest and most intense conclusions. Conducted by Joel Revzen, with Keri Alkema as TOSCA, the opera will be performed on May 1 at 8 pm and May 3 at 2 pm at the Bob Carr Theater. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org.


Puccini’s TOSCA with the Orlando Philharmonic

Puccini’s TOSCA with the Orlando Philharmonic


May 1, 2 & 3 – Coppelia presented by Orlando Ballet  

Orlando Ballet’s production of Coppélia opens the month of May at the Dr. Phillips Center. NOT your typical love story, the soon-to-be-married-Franz falls in love with a life-sized doll (Coppélia). NOT a popular notion with his fiancé (Swanhilda), the fiancé impersonates the doll leading to a “Boy meets doll” love triangle. Riiiiight. Let’s see what the Orlando Ballet makes of this comic folk-tale. Note: For young audiences, a one-hour performance of the ballet will be presented on May 2 at 11 am.  Call 407.426.1739 or visit orlandoballet.org 


Coppelia presented by Orlando Ballet. Kate-Lynn Robichaux as Coppélia

Kate-Lynn Robichaux as Coppélia    


May 1 to 31 – Peter Pan at the Garden Theater  

Take flight with Peter, Wendy, Michael and John as they bring new ‘magic’ to this timeless Broadway musical that now combines live action with digital theatre. Thanks to the magical talents of the Theatre's digital partners, we’ll follow these fairy-tale characters out the nursery window on a trail of pixie dust to Neverland. This uniquely new theatre magic is happening at the intimate 299-seat Garden Theater in Winter Garden. RECOMMENDED. Visit gardentheatre.org or call 407.877.4736


Peter Pan at the Garden Theater


May 2 – Hearts of Gold Concert to Benefit Coalition for the Homeless

May 2 will be an extraordinary night at Hard Rock Live featuring a phenomenal concert with the Orlando Pops Orchestra and the vocals of Fernando Varela (Forte, America's Got Talent) and Branden James (America's Got Talent), pianist superstar William Joseph, and vocalist Sisaundra Lewis (The Voice). Funds support the Coalition for the Homeless where, each night, 600 of our neighbors in need – over 150 of them children – are provided with a place to sleep, meals, childcare, counseling … and hope. Yes, YOU can make a difference. Email tracie.morris[at]cflhomeless.org or call 407.426.1265.


Hearts of Gold Concert to Benefit Coalition for the Homeless - Sisaundra

Hearts of Gold Concert to Benefit Coalition for the Homeless - Fernando Varela


May 2 and 3 – St. Johns River Festival of the Arts 

Historic Sanford invites us to an Art Festival and Art Experience as 125 nationally accredited fine artists and craftsmen line the City’s historic brick streets with original paintings, pottery, sculpture, woodworking, photography, jewelry, blown glass and more. It’s Great Art, Great Food, Great Music, AND Free Parking along with hand crafted foods at the Culinary Arts Court and LIVE ‘Artist-in-Action’ demonstrations. Call 407.416.1779 or visit stjohnsriverartfest.com 





May 3 – One Night to Benefit the Trauma Center at Orlando Health 

It’s a milestone year for the 10th Annual One Night that celebrates the excellence in Trauma Care at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Hosted by the Mall at Millenia, One Night includes a champagne reception with silent auction followed by a gourmet meal during which guests are introduced to true-life-saving trauma care stories and the people who experienced the moment-to-moment life-saving care offered by these helicopter and ambulance medics, technicians, and emergency physicians. YOUR ticket purchase will help save lives by visiting onenightsaveslives.com or calling 321.843.3230. 


 One Night to Benefit the Trauma Center at Orlando Health.  One Night to Benefit the Trauma Center at Orlando Health
Jane & Phil Easterling with Trauma Center First Responders 



Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators