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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 4 years ago

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

In the free two-day CalligraFaire event we are invited to watch the learned members of the Scribes of Central Florida as they demonstrate the ancient, and the new, art of calligraphy.
by: Josh Garrick Columnist

Now to Feb. 28 – Broadway in Orlando presents ‘Kinky Boots’

Inspired by true events, the musical “Kinky Boots” tells the story of Charlie Price, who is looking to save the family shoe business. Charlie turns to a fashionable friend — cabaret star Lola — who gives Charlie the idea that could change both of their destinies. Featuring a Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, a book by Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein, and Tony-winning choreography and direction by Jerry Mitchell, the musical turns out to be about finding friendship and inspiration where you least expect it. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

Now to March 13 – The 104th annual Central Florida Fair

The Central Florida Fair runs this year from Feb. 25 to March 13, and that includes three weekends of old-fashioned fun. With special entrance offerings – including a $1 admission with a canned food item on Feb. 25, this family fun-time offers everything from a Rooster Crowing Contest to rides, arts, food arts, livestock shows, live demonstrations on quilting, calligraphy, origami and more to main stage concerts included in the admission price. Performances include: K-Ci & JoJo (Feb. 28); Pop Evil (March 4); and Jory Boy (March 11). The Fair awards over $280,000 in scholarships annually to local students. Call 407-542-2931 or visit

Now to March 27 – Shakespearean Repertory with ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Pericles’

Orlando’s Shakespeare Theater began its annual repertory season with Shakespeare’s final play “The Tempest” in which Prospero, Duke of Milan, finds himself stranded on a remote island. This mystical play, with its tale of monsters, spirits, and love, is now in repertory with “The Adventures of Pericles,” a modern verse translation of that play by Ellen McLaughlin. The two plays have curious similarities, and the audience is invited to arrive 30 minutes before each performance – when an actor will lead the audience through a discussion of the plots of the productions. Call 407-447-1700 or visit

Now to May 1 – The Mindbender Mansion in Fort Lauderdale

Visitors to the ‘Mindbender Mansion’ at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale are greeted by the wacky Mr. E., master brainteaser, who explains how to gather hidden clues and secret passwords. Perfect for the whole family, visitors find tabletop brainteasers they can solve on their own and larger group challenges including the Feeding Frenzy-Kitchen, a Flying Machine, Spelling Fever-Hopscotch (with letter squares that light up), and the Amazing Maze. Complete the tasks and your young ones can add their portraits to the “Wall of Fame.” Visit

Feb. 26 – The Moscow Festival Ballet to present ‘Giselle’ in Daytona Beach

Merging the highest classical elements of acting and dance from the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies, the Moscow Festival Ballet presents the most perfect of Romantic ballets – “Giselle” – in one performance only at the Peabody in Daytona Beach. Poor Giselle dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another. Summoning Giselle from her grave, a group of supernatural spirits targets Giselle’s lover for death, but her great love – and forgiveness – frees him from their grasp. Call 386-671-3460 or visit

Feb. 27 and 28 – Scribes of Central Florida present CalligraFaire

In the free two-day CalligraFaire event we are invited to watch the learned members of the Scribes of Central Florida as they demonstrate the ancient, and the new, art of calligraphy. Members will write your name on free bookmarks, discuss the history of calligraphy, offer items for sale – along with a pop-up store for calligraphic supplies – and offer 50-minute intro-classes so you can try your hand at calligraphy. Classes, geared to beginners, are $5 and include all materials. CalligraFaire will take place at the Maitland Civic Center in Maitland from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 28. Visit

Feb. 28 – The 2016 Chowder Festival and Competition

Join the Orlando Chowder Festival for an afternoon of foodie fun when a variety of Florida chefs and restaurants show off their culinary talents to compete for the 2016 Chowder Cup. This seasonal foodie event also celebrates craft breweries as they offer their best winter batches. The list of competitors runs from Captain Curt’s Oyster Bar (last year’s winner) to Dunkin Donuts (for real). Held at Mercedes Benz of Orlando, tickets are $40 and benefit Heart to Heart of Central Florida. Visit

Feb. 29 to April 3 – SkippyJon Jones – The kitten Chihuahua

Continuing the Orlando Rep’s series of children’s theater (with a message) is a rambunctious Siamese kitten with big ears and an even bigger imagination. When his exasperated mother puts SkippyJon in time-out, his imagination takes him to Mexico, where he pretends he is a swashbuckling Chihuahua. With Disney as a sponsor for the run of this show, this sweet, silly tale celebrates the power and mucho fun of imagination. Call 407-896-7365 or visit

March 2 – An evening with Josh Groban at the Dr. Phillips Center

We’re sharing this news early, because if I waited, there wouldn’t be any tickets left. The Dr. Phillips Center invites you to an evening with the incomparable Josh Groban. This international singing phenomenon has more than 25 million albums sold worldwide, including five multi-platinum albums and huge hit songs such as “You Raise Me Up,” “You Are Loved” and “The Prayer.” Groban’s latest album, “Stages,” quickly reached the top of the charts and features a collection of some of the greatest music theatre songs of all time. Visit or call 844-513-2014.

March 3 to 7 – ‘My Dear Watson’ – a new musical

This new musical, written in collaboration with the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate, follows the exploits of the iconic Sherlock Holmes and his comrade Dr. Watson. It was all conceived by Jami-Leigh Bartschi while pursuing her master's degree at Rollins College. Watson will be played by Kyle Stone and Holmes will be played by John DiDonna. The performances, which begin at 8 p.m., are dedicated to Broadway veteran and former Rollins professor Kevin Gray. It’s at the Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park in Orlando, call 407-328-9005 or visit

March 4 – Winter Park Playhouse fundraiser with Cordone and Kilgore

The evening is called “Side By Side: A Tribute to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme,” and this one-night-only event will feature the popular singing duo, Natalie Cordone and Shawn Kilgore (who met while performing at the Playhouse in 2012). Ms. Cordone has performed Off-Broadway, toured Europe, and recently made her TV debut on MTV’s “The Inbetweeners.” Kilgore headlined in the Orlando Philharmonic production of “Carousel” and can be seen as Frankenstein at Universal Studios. Tickets are $65. Call 407-645-0145 or visit

March 5 – Karen Mason as Judy Garland circa 1961

A tribute to one of the most beloved singers of all time, this Orlando Philharmonic concert relives the highlights of Judy Garland’s 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall. Broadway, television and recording star Karen Mason brings to life favorite tunes including “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “After You’ve Gone,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and of course, “Over the Rainbow.” These performances, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on March 5, are at the Bob Carr Theater. Call 407-770-0071 or visit

March 5 – ‘Portrait of a Queen: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin’

“The Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin taught her listeners how to “Think” and demand “Respect” while riding down the “Freeway of Love.” This Broadway-style revue presents award-winning songstress Cece Teneal taking music lovers on a trip through stellar hits from Aretha Franklin’s 50-year entertainment legacy. Ms. Teneal says, “As a child, singing along with Aretha’s records taught me how to skillfully use my voice as an instrument.” At the Dr. Phillips Center, call 844-513-2014 or visit

March 6 – Vox Audio – by popular demand

Born as Toxic Audio at the 1998 Fringe Festival, the concept was to create a fun, interactive show, where the star was the human voice. An instant hit, the group was hired to perform at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and were soon named “Best Pop Group in America” on Ed McMahon’s “Next Big Star.” In 2004, Vox Audio opened to rave reviews Off-Broadway followed by national attention on ABC, FOX, and ESPN. Soon Vox Audio was performing for sell-out crowds in Vegas, Asia, South America, and Europe. Welcome them home to the Garden Theatre by calling 407-877-4736 or visiting

March 8 – The Moody Blues Fly Me High Tour 2016

The Moody Blues have distinguished themselves through four decades of performing rock music. Since the ’60s, as a part of the historic “British invasion,” The Moody Blues have lit up the hearts of rock fans around the world with anthems like “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and “I’m Just A Singer in a Rock And Roll Band.” The band’s unique style consistently finds airplay on radio stations and concert arenas around the world. A Meet-the-Artist VIP package is available at the Dr. Phillips Center. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

March 9 – Tony Bennett live at the Dr. Phillips Center To say Tony Bennett is a legend doesn’t begin to cover this icon’s decades of success along with his present popularity as one of the most celebrated artists of all time. From 1949, when he was discovered by Bob Hope, to his 18 Grammy Awards, his Emmy Award-winning TV specials, his 24 top-40 songs, and his legendary duets with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Lady Gaga, no one else in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a level of excellence. This is your opportunity to experience Tony Bennett live. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

March 10 – Il Volo at the Dr. Phillips Center

The magnificent, operatically trained voices of the opera-pop trio Il Volo released their fifth studio album, “Grande Amore,” last fall and followed that with a 35-date tour across the U.S. 
Il Volo will bring their impressive talent and youthful charm to the Dr. Phillips Center on March 10 for one night only. Join them to experience the group that “defines the Operatic Pop movement.” For the best seats, and more, check out the Grande Amore VIP Meet & Greet Package for the ultimate Il Volo experience. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

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