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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 6 years ago

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

In this gripping drama, a family is caught up in a tug of war between justice and racism.
by: Josh Garrick Columnist

Now through Feb. 2 – The Breakthrough Theatre presents Best of Broadway Revue

It’s become an annual event for the Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park to present a Best of Broadway Revue, and this year the featured songs will come from Broadway of 1920 to 1974. That means the song selections will pay tribute to all of the great Broadway songwriters from the Gershwins (“Show Boat” and “Porgy & Bess”) to Sondheim (“Company” and “Into the Woods”). Performers will include Artistic Director Wade Hair and Music Director Justin Scarlat. Call 407-920-4034 or visit

Now through March 8 – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at Orlando Shakes

In this drama, told through the eyes of the 6-year-old daughter of small-town lawyer Atticus Finch, the family is caught up in a tug of war between justice and racism. Set in the Depression-era South, the play includes racism and rape, but the conclusion shows how hatred can be tempered with courage and compassion. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird” continues to inspire. Presented at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater through March 8, call 407-447-1700 or visit

Jan. 23 to 25 – ‘Swan Lake’ by the Orlando Ballet

The Orlando Ballet launches its first season at the new Dr. Phillips Center with what many consider to be the greatest of all classical ballets – “Swan Lake.” Set to Tchaikovsky’s brilliant music, and based on the folk-tale of a young princess transformed into a swan by a vengeful sorcerer, this production will have two special additions to the company. Joseph Gatti and Adiarys Almeida will perform as guest artists for the Jan. 23 performance and the Jan. 25 matinee. Gatti and Almeida will dance as the Prince and the Swan Queen. Call 407-426-1739 or visit

Jan. 23 and 24 – It’s quilt fever time at the Fairgrounds

The Florida Cabin Fever Quilters Guild opened its doors to Central Florida 30 years ago, and since then, their members have produced countless numbers of quilts for personal use as well as for community service. Annual programs include a mystery quilt, a challenge quilt, and bi-annual quilt shows (Jan. 23 and 24) at the Central Florida Fair Grounds. The show will have over 300 quilts on display, over 20 vendors, appraisers, special exhibits, door prizes, and scissor sharpening. Call 407-898-3270 or visit

Jan. 23 to Feb. 22 – The Explorers Club at Mad Cow Theatre

Shocking! What is this world coming to? The place is Victorian London (1879), the home of all that is proper in this world, and the venerable Explorers Club faces a crisis. A woman has applied for membership. Harrumph and Humbug…. Membership extended to a woman, indeed. Benjamin, bring me the Scotch. This silly business will all be dealt with at the curiously named Mad Cow Theatre from Jan. 23 to Feb. 22. Call 407-297-8788 or visit

Jan. 23 to June 7 – Dr. Dale Kennington to exhibit at the Mennello Museum

The Mennello Museum will open its yearlong “Storytellers of the South: Voices of Women” series of exhibits with “Real Lives” by Dale Kennington. Kennington spent her life in Alabama, living through momentous periods of American history, embracing the canvas as her means of emotional expression. She grew in reputation as a children’s portrait painter, but suspended that business to focus on her studio work, and has been named a Master Artist by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism. Call 407-246-4278 or visit

Jan. 24 and 25 – The annual Manatee Festival

Along with the food and Manatee Viewing, the creators of the Manatee Festival at Blue Spring State Park are intent on offering entertainment for the whole family. There will be over 100 arts and crafts booths; face painting; children's fingerprinting; SPCA’s Adopt-A-Pet; Central Florida Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors; the Disconnected K9's Frisbee Dogs; rock wall climbing; a U.S. Army obstacle course; and a balloon man shooting gallery. The festival is a fundraiser with proceeds benefitting Blue Spring State Park and educational scholarships. Admission is $8 for adults and $2 for children ages 4 to 10. Visit

Jan. 26 to Feb. 22 – ‘The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg’

2015 is the 150th anniversary of the conclusion of the Civil War with organizations across the country offering works that recognize the War’s continuing impact. The REP will host a series of events anchored by the play “The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg” from Jan. 26 to Feb. 22. In the play, a 12-year-old boy becomes a hero by saving his older brother at the Battle of Gettysburg. Then he helps lead the Union to victory! It’s true (or mostly true), because Homer will tell any tale to save his brother. Call 407-896-7365 or visit

Jan. 27 to 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 to the most powerful men in New York in a tale about fighting for what’s right. Presented at the Dr. Phillips Center from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1, call 844-513-2014 or visit

Jan. 29 to Feb. 8 – Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome – to ‘Cabaret’ at The Abbey

However you first experienced “Cabaret” – in a school production, on Broadway or in the 1972 film that made Liza a super-star – the ground-breaking music 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. “Cabaret” is produced by Aaron Safer with direction by Kenny Howard. Tickets are $40, but there are $70 tickets that include an “immersive pre-show prologue.” Visit

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