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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 5 years ago

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

More than 75 restaurants are serving up savings this September during Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month.
by: Josh Garrick Columnist

Current – September is Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

More than 75 restaurants are serving up savings this September during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month. With the greatest number of restaurants in the program’s nine-year history, this year’s event includes more dates thanks to the addition of the special preview week, which began on Aug. 25. Following three-course dinners for $33 at some of Orlando’s finest restaurants, savvy diners can turn their evening into a stay-cation with one of several Magical Nights dine-and-stay packages. A full list of restaurants, menus and hotel packages is available at

Aug. 29 to Sept. 8 – Breakthrough Theatre Presents ‘The Dixie Swim Club’

Five women whose friendships began years ago on their college swim team set aside a weekend every August to recharge those relationships meeting on North Carolina's Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other's lives. “The Dixie Swim Club” presents four weekends over a period of 33 years as their lives unfold, showing the enduring power of friendship, and taking this comedy to a poignant and surprising conclusion. Directed by Karen Casteel at the Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, call 407-920-4034 for reservations.

Aug. 29 – ‘Lego Movie’ at Lake Eola

Movieola combines the beauty of Lake Eola Park and the fun of family movies. On Friday, Aug. 29, “The Lego Movie,” a free family movie, will be shown on Lake Eola’s east lawn. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with games, music and food available for purchase, with the movie starting at 8:30 p.m. Visit

Aug. 30 – Country Star Blake Shelton at Amway

Five-time Academy of Country Music (ACM) nominee, including a nod for Entertainer of the Year, Blake Shelton brings his Ten Times Crazier Tour to Orlando's Amway Center on Aug. 30. Featuring songs from his Grammy-nominated Country Album of the Year, “Based On a True Story,” Shelton is currently enjoying his 10th consecutive number one hit. Shelton’s passion for country music and his commitment to mentoring his teammates from “The Voice” make him a worldwide ambassador for country music. Visit and for tickets.

Sept. 1-6 – The 44th annual United States Dance Championships

More than 700 competitors from 30 countries will compete for 27 championships as The United States Dance Championships return to Central Florida. The Championships host the world’s premiere collection of ballroom dance superstars for the most prestigious competition of its kind. Dancers will compete for titles including U.S. National Pro/Am, U.S. Open Pro/Am, U.S. National Professional, U.S. Professional Open and World Professional titles at the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel. Held Sept. 1-6, call 310-544-4636 or visit for tickets.

Sept. 2-28 – ‘The Borrowers’ opens the season at the Orlando Rep

The Rep’s new season kicks off with “The Borrowers” from Sept. 2 to 28. The new play by Charles Way is based upon the award-winning children’s classic by Mary Norton. Arrietty Clock is a typical tween yearning to experience the grown-up world – except that she and her tiny family live on dollhouse furniture under the floorboards. When their home is discovered, Arrietty is pushed into a bigger adventure than she ever could have wished. Call 407-896-7365 or visit

Sept. 4 and 5 – CFCArts presents Meredith Willson’s ‘The Music Man’

CFCArts presents Meredith Willson's beloved musical “The Music Man” on Sept. 4 and 5 in a concert production. Love is in the air in the summer of 1912, as con-man Professor Harold Hill arrives in River City, Iowa, posing as a bandleader in order to sell instruments for a non-existent marching band that he promises to conduct. Including the Broadway classics “Ya Got Trouble” and “76 Trombones,” “The Music Man” won six Tony Awards and an Academy Award making this piece of Americana into an enduring classic. The cast includes a 100-voice choir and full orchestra at Northland Church in Longwood. Tickets ($10) are available at

Sept. 4-26 – ‘FIVE’ at UCF Art Gallery

Known for his bold abstractions in vivid color, Paul Scarborough is one of the “FIVE” artists whose work will be featured at the University of Central Florida Art Gallery from Sept. 4 to 26. The exhibit features large-scale abstract paintings from each of the artists including Cicero Greathouse, Nancy Jay, Jackie Otto Miller and Chris Robb. A reception, open to the public, will be held at the gallery in the Visual Arts Building on the UCF campus. Call 407-272-0736 for more information.

Sept. 4-7 – Disney On Ice presents ‘Frozen’

In the first time the Academy-Award-winning tale is presented live, “Frozen” captures the dynamic between two royal sisters: Anna and Elsa. Anna embarks on a journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to test the limits of her powers. In the production, Mickey and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the story with appearances by Disney Princesses who come together to prove that love is the greatest power of all. At the Amway Center from Sept. 4 to 7, tickets are available at or, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Sept. 5 – Arts for Education at the University Club of Orlando

Art For All Spaces and the University Club of Orlando join forces to host Arts for Education, a first of its kind event showcasing the work of both established artists and students from local colleges. Proceeds from art sales will support the University Club Scholarship Fund, which has donated over $1.6 million in scholarships. Featuring the work of Ken Austin, Megan Paquette Stepe, Robin Maria Pedrero, Linda Brant, Judy Batterson, Marsha De Broske, Richard Munster, Doug Powell, Louis Lockheed, Saulius Jankauskas, Irma Kirveline, Patrica Byron, Natasha Schaidt, Bonnie Sprung, Cathy Hempel, Bricelyn Shafron, Janae Corrado, Paul Scarborough, and works by students of the University of Central Florida, Rollins College, Valencia College and Seminole State College, tickets at $20 ($10 for students) are available at

Sept. 5 – Dancin’ Through the Decades at The Abbey

The Abbey is pulling out all the stops to host the biggest party in town as the music plays and the drink specials flow. Autumn at the Abbey will present a variety of local and nationally renowned talent, including a weekly cabaret series, comedy shows, and happy hours – all beginning with Dancin’ Through the Decades on Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. A non-stop music video party, showcasing hits from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, five HD screens and an amazing sound system, begin your fall season with this no cover event. Visit

And looking ahead …

Sept. 10 to Oct. 12 – ‘Les Miserables’ at Orlando Shakespeare

Our fearless Shakespeare Theater takes on one of the greatest Broadway blockbusters of all time as they open their season on Sept. 10 with “Les Miserables.” Adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo and featuring Central Florida’s own Broadway Star Davis Gaines, “Les Mis” is set in 19th-century France where Jean Valjean is on a quest for redemption. Relentlessly hunted by Police Inspector Javert, the two men – along with a host of fantastic characters – are swept into France’s revolution. Call 407-447-1700 or visit

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