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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2014 5 years ago

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Set in the seedy East Village of New York City, "Rent" is about finding love, falling in love, and living for today.
by: Josh Garrick Columnist

Now through 2015 – SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary celebration

The perfect Florida morning of March 21 found SeaWorld administrators and long-time enthusiasts among a sea of bubbles celebrating SeaWorld’s multi-park 50th anniversary celebration. Over the next 18 months visitors will find park pathways overflowing with a Bubble Blowout, spontaneous ‘pop-up’ performances, up-close encounters with animals rescued by the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team, a newly designed SEA Garden, and the new Surprise Squad, roaming the park giving away prizes and gifts. On June 21, a new Shamu production will debut, with new music and “new whale behaviors.” Visit for details.

Now through April 7 – Breakthrough Theatre Presents ‘Rent’

Set in the seedy East Village of New York City, “Rent” is about finding love, falling in love, and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “Rent” is a pop phenomenon with songs that rock and a story based on Puccini's “La Boheme.” The lives of a group of impoverished young artists, living under the shadow of AIDS, are examined along with their dreams, loves, conflicts and passions. Sensitively directed by Justin J. Scarlat, “Rent” runs through April 7 at The Breakthrough Theatre in Winter Park. Call 407-920-4034.

Now through March 30 – ‘EVITA’ on the Broadway Series

The inventive – and decades later – classic Broadway show “EVITA” offers us the Argentinean diva Eva Peron center stage at the Bob Carr PAC. The multi-award-winning musical chronicles the life of Eva Peron in a six-day run from March 25 to 30 telling the ‘rags-to-riches’ tale of Evita and her rise to power from being an illegitimate child from the slums to becoming First Lady of Argentina. For a brief time, Evita was “high-flying-adored,” only to have her fragile health prove her downfall. Visit or call 1-800-982-2787.

Now through April 6 – Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ at Valencia College Theater

The hilarious tale of eight lovers, four brothers, and two fools comes to Valencia College's East Campus on a stage designed to resemble Shakespeare's Globe Theater. In this play, the audience sees love – from sibling rivalry to love at first sight – "in a beguiling game of love, lust and mistaken identities.” Valencia College’s East Campus is at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. A talk-back session will follow the April 4 performance, moderated by Theater Program Chair John DiDonna. Call 407-582-2900 or visit

Now through April 27 – ‘The True Story of Three Little Pigs’

Based on the popular book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” tells the Wolf's side of the story in a rock musical for the entire family. Alexander T. Wolf (aka Big Bad Wolf) is accused of deplorable crimes. Facing a jury of pigs and a judge (with a weakness for musical theater), can the Wolf possibly get a fair trial? The audience will decide! Before the show, Orlando Shakes actors invite the audience to join in pre-show fun in this rock n’ roll musical for audiences of all ages. Through April 27, call 407-447-1700 or visit

March 29 – Beethoven Sonatas performed by Leonidas Lipovetsky

Critically acclaimed since his debut recital at age 12, Leonidas Lipovetsky will perform the fourth in a series of eight performances of all 32 Beethoven Sonatas on March 29 at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Florida International Piano Competition, Lipovetsky has recorded for the BBC, Radio Moscow, and PBS; and he was the first recipient of the Van Cliburn Scholarship. Lipovetsky will perform Sonata No. 7 (“the Equestrian”), Sonatas No. 3, 9, 10,and 8 (“the Pathetique”) at the Shakespeare Center in Orlando. Call 407-770-1700 or visit

March 29 – Wanzie’s Big Fat Variety Show

As much an attraction as the fabulous acts that show up to support the LGBT Community Center, Michael Wanzie himself will emcee the second annual Wanzie’s Big Fat Variety Show on March 29 at 7 p.m. Acts include Ukulele Sensation Scott Whittemore, The Magic of Tim & Spencer, Ginger Minj as Mrs. Lovett from “Sweeny Todd,” aerialist Robbie Drennen, John B. deHaas on keyboards, and the vocal stylings of Julie Orhberg, Nick Kroger, Beki Herrbach, Shawn Walsh, David Dorman, and more! Wanzie guarantees “fabulousness,” and that’s enough for me. Visit

April 1 to May 31 – Paper Bag Mushrooms around the world

Since 2005, an idea from the mind of artistic wunderkind Doug Rhodehamel has ‘planted’ thousands of paper bag mushrooms, constructed by hundreds of individuals, students and organizations, on every continent of the world – including Antarctica! Everyone is invited to join in, showing support for creativity and art education while also becoming part of the largest art installation in the world. You and yours can be part of this artistic happening by visiting to learn how.

April 4 to 13 – The 23rd annual Florida Film Festival

The Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater in Maitland includes cutting-edge cinema, while also indulging in food and wine events, ‘industry’ parties, and a star-packed attendee list. Accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Festival plays host to more than 100 visiting directors, producers and award-winning talent – all right here in Maitland. For a complete list of films and events, visit

April 4 to 6 – The Central Florida Home and Garden Show

Spring is finally here (yay!), which means it’s time for homeowners to get started on home-projects (yay?). Inspiration and expertise may be found at the Home & Garden Show set for April 4 to 6 at the Orange County Convention Center. This home improvement extravaganza offers innovative products, advice and great deals in remodeling, home improvement and gardening, with hundreds of experts all under one roof. Highlights include appearances by celebrity landscaper Ahmed Hassan, chef demonstrations, how-to presentations by Chris Tice, and designer rooms. Visit or call 877-871-7469.

April 5 – Oliveira Plays Brahms

With a schedule including appearances with the world's greatest orchestras, Elmar Oliveira is among this generation's most honored artists. Oliveira is the first and only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at Moscow's Tchaikovsky International Competition and the first violinist to receive the Avery Fisher Prize, in addition to capturing first prize at the Naumburg International Competition. Oliveira will take on Brahms’s towering “Violin Concerto” with the Orlando Philharmonic between Jean Sibelius’ most popular works – the tone poem “Finlandia” and the magnificent Symphony No. 2 on April 5 at 8 p.m. Call 407-896-6700 or visit

April 6 – Gold Medal Stars on Ice Tour

The United States’ first ice dancing gold medal in history was won this winter by the pair of Meryl Davis and Charlie White at the Olympic Winter Games in Russia. On April 6 Stars on Ice will visit the Amway Center and, for the first time ever, the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating team will headline the tour. Davis and White, along with their teammates will bring the spirit of the Winter Olympics home to the U.S. along with a star-studded cast of champions. Founded by Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, Stars on Ice offers us the chance to celebrate the accomplishments of these historic skaters. Visit

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