They delivered the papers, until they made headlines … direct from Broadway comes "Newsies," the smash-hit Disney musical.
Tonight to Feb. 8 – Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome – to ‘Cabaret’
“Cabaret,” the sexy, groundbreaking musical by Kander and Ebb reminds us of the darkness of 1931 Berlin as the Nazis began their rise to power. Based on the sexual abandon of the Kit Kat Klub and the relationship between performer Sally Bowles and writer Cliff Bradshaw, this new production features Blue Star as Sally, Griffith Whitehurst as the Emcee, and Robert Stack as Cliff. Tickets are $40, but there are $70 tickets that include an “immersive pre-show prologue.” Visit AbbeyOrlando.com
Tonight – Art for All Spaces presents ‘Reviving the Ancients’
Celebrating the relevance of past cultures and ideas, Art for All Spaces invites the public to a walking tour of “Reviving the Ancients” at the CityArts Factory tonight beginning at 6 p.m. Featuring the work of 30 artists, the works explore ways in which the human race has addressed questions of existence through image-making. Four artist/scholars will conduct the tours, offering insights from the perspectives of history and psychology. Call 407-450-2255.
Now through Feb. 1 – Disney’s ‘Newsies’ in the new Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips
They delivered the papers, until they made headlines … direct from Broadway comes “Newsies,” the smash-hit Disney musical that won the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography. Based on true events, “Newsies” tells the story of a band of underdogs who become heroes by standing up for what’s right. Presented at the Dr. Phillips Center through Feb. 1. Call 844-513-2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org for more information.
Jan. 30 to Feb. 8 – Tennessee Williams ‘descends’ again
The trademark themes of this greatest American playwright are all over this story of an unhappy immigrant's daughter, running a dry goods store while tending to her dying husband. This may not be Tennessee Williams’ best-known play, but the trademark sexual longing and thwarted dreams fill the stage in this contemporary re-telling of the ancient Greek Orpheus legend. The Greater Orlando Actors Theatre brings “Orpheus Descending” to the Shakespeare Theater from Jan. 30 to Feb. 8. Call 209-479-9923 for tickets.
Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 — The 26th annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival
ZoraFest, held annually in Eatonville, offers programs in folklore, literature, music, religion, theater, the visual arts – and a giant outdoor fair – to celebrate the cultural contributions of persons of African ancestry. This season’s events include “Roots to Rap: A Musical Revue” on Jan. 30; the ZORA! STEM Conference on Jan. 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly; jazz artist Najee, and much more. Call 407-647-3188 or visit zorafestival.org
Jan. 31 – Pirates set to invade Tampa!
Ahoy mateys! Those not-so-scary-pirates of the Mystic Krewe of the Gasparilla are preparing to invade Tampa, where they’ll land in full force on Jan. 31. The fully rigged Gasparilla will sail into Hillsborough Bay, cannons blazing, with hundreds of vessels in escort. Begin with the Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, grab the beads n coins they’ll be throwin’ during the Parade of Pirates, and follow it all with live music and celebration at the Pirate Street Festival. Arrrrrgh! Visit gasparillapiratefest.com
Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 – A Civil War Festival with battle re-enactments
Renninger’s Antique Center in Mt. Dora is usually the scene of treasure-hunters looking for the next big bargain, but on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, it will be the scene of The Battle of Townsend's Plantation and Civil War Festival. These guys do a great job – some even “dying” for their cause. There is a real, living history campground, weapons demonstrations, cavalry and horsemen – all in period costume. Admission is $6. Call 407-719-9866 or visit townsendfirm.com/plantation
Jan. 31 to May 10 – Maya Lin: ‘A History of Water’ exhibition at OMART
The Orlando Museum of Art will present Maya Lin’s huge “A History of Water” exhibit including sculptures, drawings, large-scale installations, and the artist’s multimedia memorial to the earth’s vanishing biodiversity. Known for work that resonates with regard for the natural world, Maya Lin challenges her viewers to reconsider their relationship to the environment. Ms. Lin is the renowned artist and architect whose work includes the much celebrated Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Call 407-896-4231 or visit omart.org
Feb. 4 to 7 – Tables extra Extraordinaire
Decorators, brides, wedding planners, hostesses and art collectors will be thrilled with a visit to the Holy Trinity Conference Center in Maitland for Tables Extraordinaire. This inspiring four-day “fun-raiser” offers tours of 30 lavishly decorated theme tables and homemade Greek cuisine reminiscent of a trip to the Greek isles. This year the event includes a gallery of the works of Josh Garrick, recently exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum of Greece. Visit Tables Extraordinaire on Facebook, or call 407-333-3895 or 407-774-2744.
Feb. 4 to March 7 – The ‘real’ Wives of Windsor
Centuries before the “Real House Wives of Atlanta,” Bill Shakespeare introduced us to the “Merry Wives of Windsor.” Now Orlando Shakes places the play in small-town America, where the old bachelor Falstaff pursues two wealthy housewives. Shakespeare's comedy meets 1950s sitcom in this spirited romp filled with mistaken identities and canned laughter! The comedy begins 30 minutes before each performance when an Orlando Shakes actor leads the audience through a discussion of the plot and of the play. Call 407-447-1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org
Feb. 5 – Winter with the Writers presents Sapphire
Famous for her prose and poetry, Sapphire is the author of the best-selling novels, “Push” and “The Kid.” “Push,” about a brutalized Harlem teenager, won countless awards and became one of the top 10 books of 1996. “Push” then became the film “Precious,” which received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Sapphire will speak to issues of empowerment and overcoming adversity on Feb. 5 in a free lecture at Rollins College. Visit Rollins.edu/winterwiththewriters or call 407-447-1700.
Feb. 6 – Paula Poundstone at Plaza Live
Thirty-two years ago comedian Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country stopping at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went. A high school dropout, she went on to become one of the great humorists of our time. A regular panelist on NPR, she still tours regularly with her unique brand of self-effacing intelligence and wit. This comic legend will welcome us to Plaza Live in east Orlando on Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. Visit plazaliveorlando.com.
Feb. 6 to Feb. 28 – HeArt and Soul
Orlando’s ambassador of love is also Orlando’s famous heart-artist. She creates an annual art exhibit during the month of February (something to do with Valentine’s Day). Get it? The lady is Donna Dowless, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to squeeze into the art gallery at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando on Feb. 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m. to see what wonders she has created. She’s joined this year by Canadian artist Amber Higgins. Visit heartartist.com or call 407-581-4801.