When you have a holiday like Cinco de Mayo, I strongly support the good folks at my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant Cocina 214 in their decision to turn one day into a three-day festival.
Now through May 11 – The 12th annual Orlando Cabaret Festival at Mad Cow
For 18 days, Central Florida gets to celebrate cabaret with some of the world's great singing artists, including award-winning actor and vocalist Nicholas Rodriguez (May 1, 2 and 3), Tony Award-winning Broadway and TV star Laura Benanti (May 9 and 10), and a dozen other wonderful performers. Call 407-297-8788 or visit orlandocabaret.com for a complete list of performances.
Now through May 3 – Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning ‘The Goat’
DiDonna Productions, known for tackling controversial theater projects, will present a full staging of Edward Albee’s black comedy/tragedy “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” Premiered on Broadway in 2002, and winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and Drama Desk Award for Best New Play, “Goat” explores the extremes of human tolerance when a loving marriage is rocked by an impossible-to-understand love. Including questions of infidelity, love and betrayal, this tragic and sometimes hilarious play questions our own definitions of love and tolerance. With parental guidance highly suggested, “Goat” will be performed through May 3 at the Shakespeare Center. Reserve tickets at 407-328-9005 or visit redchairproject.com for charge card orders.
May 3 and 4 – CFCArts presents the romantic composers
In a program titled “Exploring the World of Romance,” the 75-voice CFCArts Classical Choir will be joined by a chamber orchestra as they sing selections from Mozart, Rossini and Schubert. The audience will also experience works by Neo-Romantic composers Randall Thompson and Jean Belmont in a concert to be held May 3 at 7:30 p.m. and May 4 at 2:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 1600 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park. Tickets are an affordable $10, with children age 12 and younger admitted free. Visit cfcarts.com
May 3 to June 1 – ‘Keepin’ it Fresh’ in Sanford
Jeanine Taylor, known for bringing attention and respect to folk art, will present a multi-artist show entitled “Keepin’ It Fresh” with a free opening reception on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coinciding with the St. Johns River Festival of the Arts, Taylor “wanted to assemble these artists to demonstrate how well different folk art works together.” The four artists are Cecel Allee (Georgia), David Hammock (Alabama), and Phyllis Trager Hyman and Jane Theis (Florida). The Gallery is at 211 E. First St. in Sanford. Call 407-323-2774 or visit jtfolkart.com
May 3 – MAYSfest 2014 – A large student orchestra
More than 250 MAYS students will come together to conclude the fourth season of the MAYS Student Orchestras, which includes eight orchestras and three in-school strings programs. The Jonathan May Foundation was granted nonprofit status this season with a unique structure that ensures the MAYS Orchestras will always be directed by musicians and educators. The concert will be held on May 3 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Bob Carr PAC in Orlando. Call 1-800-978-0407 or visit MAYSymphony.org
May 3, 4 and 5 – Cinco de Mayo via COCINA 214
When you have a holiday like Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May in Spanish), I strongly support the good folks at my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant – Cocina 214 – in their decision to turn one day into a three-day festival. Historically, May 5 marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla, but here in Winter Park, it allows Cocina 214 to have ‘ambassadors’ from Jose Cuervo and Corona serve up drinks. On Sunday, locals can enter their dogs in the annual Running of the Chihuahuas. The party continues on May 5 as the restaurant celebrates with a Patron Ice Luge at 5 p.m. followed by Corona giveaways and Don Julio tequila samples. For details, visit cocina214.com
May 4 – The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra in concert
The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra will conclude its 57th season on May 4 at the Bob Carr PAC with all four of the organization’s award-winning youth orchestras performing. Violist Tyler Pacheco (17), a senior at Lake Highland Prep, is in his fourth year as a member of FSYO, this year holding the principal violist position. Mr. Pacheco will perform the first movement of the “Walton Viola Concerto.” In addition, 40 graduating seniors will be recognized for their dedication to classical music. The concert will begin at 4 p.m. For tickets and details, visit fsyo.org
May 4 – ONE NIGHT – the fundraiser – saves lives
The moment tragedy strikes, the Orlando Regional Medical Center’s Level One Trauma Center stands ready to serve. ONE NIGHT is the annual fundraiser that celebrates the Center’s commitment to serving Central Florida “when it matters most” through a presentation that brings true trauma care stories to life. ONE NIGHT supports this life-saving resource – Central Florida’s only Level One Trauma Center. The event includes a champagne reception, a silent auction, dinner, and multimedia program with personal testimonies from trauma survivors. To purchase tickets, visit OneNightSavesLives.com
May 8 – Winter Park History Museum’s opening night
It’s probably no coincidence that the Winter Park History Museum – located so close to the train tracks in Winter Park – has announced its next exhibit called “Whistle in the Distance: The Trains of Winter Park.” The whole family is invited to the opening on May 8, beginning at 5 p.m. Call 407-647-2330 or visit wphistory.org
May 9 and 11 – The Orlando Philharmonic presents Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’
The Orlando Philharmonic has created a series of brilliantly produced operas – with the unique idea of placing the orchestra on-stage with the singers performing in front of the orchestra. On May 9 at 8 p.m. and May 11 at 2 p.m., the Philharmonic will present Giuseppe Verdi’s most melodious and popular work – “La Traviata.” Sung in Italian with English subtitles, Elizabeth Caballero will perform the role of Violetta, and Brian Jadge will perform as her lover Alfredo. “Verdi's score contains some of the most beautiful music ever written,” says Conductor Christopher Wilkins. Call 407-770-0071 or visit orlandophil.org
May 10 – The Chef’s Gala for United Way
An alarming one in five families in Central Florida need help with basic necessities, and the most tasteful way to help United Way help all those thousands of Central Floridians is by purchasing a ticket to the annual Chef’s Gala – the United Way’s signature gala. Foodies and philanthropists come together to sample the creations of our region’s top chefs – and thanks to the generosity of host Walt Disney World – 95 percent of all proceeds go directly to help those in need. From the Cask & Larder to Victoria & Albert’s, great chefs from our greatest restaurants help those in need. Email [email protected] or call 407-429-2129 for more information.
May 11 – A friendly reminder
This year Mother's Day falls on Sunday, May 11.
Current – Dr. Phillips Center launches annual membership campaign
This week, the new Dr. Phillips Center announced its annual membership campaign. As part of the Center’s commitment to engage the community in arts for every life, seven giving levels, with memberships starting at $75 and ranging up to $10,000, offer benefits from invitations to special center events to artist meet and greets. Every member will have the ability to purchase tickets for shows presented by the Center before they are offered to the general public. In addition, inaugural season memberships purchased by Nov. 1 will be extended through Nov. 1, 2015. Membership registration and benefits are available at drphillipscenter.org/membership