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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 4 years ago

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

"The Wizard of Oz" Educational Exhibit is a journey of discovery at the Orlando Science Center.
by: Josh Garrick Columnist

Current – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer receives national honor

Americans for the Arts and The U.S. Conference of Mayors presented the 2016 Public Arts Leadership Awards at the Mayors’ Winter Meeting on Jan. 22. Most deservedly, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer received the national award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population of 100,000 or more. Since 2003, Mayor Dyer’s name has been synonymous with arts leadership, culminating last year when we opened our new $500 million, 330,000-square-foot Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Once again we thank and congratulate Mayor Dyer for making us all – “Orlando Proud.” Visit

Now through March 31 – Reed Nissan’s Project Hope

Reed Nissan recently launched its second annual Reed Nissan HOPE Project to raise funds and awareness for the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. The dealership will donate approximately $50,000 to CHCF through sales and promotional efforts during this year’s HOPE Project. Last year $30,000 was raised to provide over 220,000 nights of shelter and 270,000 meals for the homeless. A portion of sales from each car sold from now to March 31 will be donated to the charity. Please visit

Now through Feb. 27 – ‘I Left My Heart: A Salute to Tony Bennett’

This new musical revue features three tenors paying tribute to the man Sinatra called “the greatest singer in the world.” With a score of 40 standards, all recorded by Mr. Bennett, the show includes the hit songs “Stranger in Paradise,” “The Best is Yet to Come,” “Rags to Riches,” and his best known hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Presented by the good folks at the Winter Park Playhouse (who do this kind of thing very well), call 407-645-0145 or visit

Now through Feb. 21 – ‘ART’ (a play) at Mad Cow Theatre

In the play titled “ART,” Serge has purchased a peculiar painting for an exorbitant sum of money only to have Serge’s acquisition met with confusion and disgust from his longtime friend. The painting is a white canvas with white diagonal lines. How could Serge have been deceived into valuing something so silly? In this Tony Award-winning comedy, playwright Yasmina Reza digs under the surface of “sophistication” to find the root of our attractions and obsessions. Call 407-297-8788 or visit

Now through Feb. 21 – Oh, brother! ‘Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing’

In this “real-life-concerns” play, presented by Orlando Rep, Peter has an attention-stealing little brother who makes Peter feel like a fourth-grade nothing. From the story by Judy Blume, adapted for the stage by Bruce Mason, Fudge is a toddler terror who gets away with anything. The way in which Peter deals with his “problem” is presented as a humorous look at family life and the troubles that can only be caused by a younger sibling. Call 407-896-7365 or visit

Now through April 24 – Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers

For 125 years, National Geographic has documented the world with stunning photography by a forward-thinking generation of photojournalists as different as the places and the subjects they cover. Curated by Photo Editor Elizabeth Krist, this all-woman exhibit presents the story-telling experience as seen by millions through the insightful use of a camera. From Africa to the Jersey Shore, these stories explore what it means to be human in the 21st century. At the Orlando Museum of Art, call 407-896-4231 or visit

Now through May 1 – ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at the Orlando Science Center

“The Wizard of Oz” Educational Exhibit is a journey of discovery at the Orlando Science Center. Guests travel from the farm to the land of Oz to explore Munchkinland, the Witch’s Castle and the Emerald City before heading back home. Create a tornado in Dorothy’s bedroom, explore Munchkin houses, and enter the Emerald City to create a “Horse of a Different Color.” Climb the mountain to the castle of the Wicked Witch to capture her broom and finally, click your heels three times remembering, “There’s no place like home.” Call 407-514-2000 or visit

Jan. 30 – Bug-A-Palooza at Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens has been invaded by a collection of humongous bug sculptures that kids will love with a “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” kind of role reversal. Jan. 30 offers family fun too big to miss when Leu Gardens’ Bug-A-Palooza offers your family a chance to enjoy an insect’s world with hands-on Mad Science activities, a free magnifying glass, free photos, a visit from Scout Bee, craft projects, and an insect petting zoo. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A free Insect Hunt Adventure Guide is available to help discover the Big Bugs hiding throughout the gardens. Visit

Jan. 30 – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

The original Jersey boy, Frankie Valli is an American legend. His incredible career with the Four Seasons, as well as his solo success, has spawned countless hit singles including “Sherry,” "Walk Like A Man," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Rag Doll," "Oh What A Night," "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," and "Grease." His songs have been part of iconic movies such as “The Deer Hunter” and “Dirty Dancing” while an unprecedented 200 artists have done cover versions of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Cheer on this living legend on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. by calling 844-513-2014 or visiting for tickets.

Jan. 30 and 31 – The Battle of Townsend's Plantation

This fictional civil war battle is re-enacted annually on the grounds of Renninger's Market in Mount Dora. One-thousand Union and Confederate soldiers bring history to life through living history exhibits, folk music, weaponry demonstrations, authentic camps, artillery, soldiers in period dress, and a Civil War Dress Ball. Hear the boom of full-scale artillery and thrill to the charge of cavalry soldiers in this educational experience for all ages at 20651 U.S. 441 in Mount Dora on Jan. 30 and 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit

Jan. 30 & 31 and Feb. 5, 6 & 7 – The 30th annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire

For two weekends, the Alachua County Fairgrounds is transformed into a medieval marketplace where trumpets and a royal procession announce the arrival of dancers and singers; 160 artisans selling jewelry, glassware, wood carvings and clothing; nine stages of entertainment; blacksmiths, gypsies, jugglers, magicians; and knights jousting on horseback. Children embark on their own adventures including human-powered push rides, camel and pony rides, a free educational guide, and art and essay contests. In the food court, lords and ladies can be seen feasting on giant turkey legs. Parking is free. Visit

Feb. 1 – Menchie’s free frozen yogurt

Free is good, and completely free is better – especially when Menchie’s decides to celebrate Frozen Yogurt Day by gifting fans a free 6-ounce cup of frozen yogurt on Feb. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. No coupons are necessary for frozen yogurt lovers to enjoy this sweet deal. The world’s largest frozen yogurt brand has over 500 locations throughout the world including Red Bug Village in Winter Springs; The Oaks at Lake Mary; and Winter Park Corners at 1939 Aloma Ave. in Winter Park. For a complete list of locations, visit

Feb. 4 to April 2 – The 10th annual Central Florida Watercolor Society Exhibition

Founded in 1998, the CFWS is proud of its heritage of being open to anyone interested in watercolor, regardless of expertise. The organization’s 10th annual Members Exhibit will be held at the SoBo Gallery in Winter Garden, featuring recent works by CFWS members. The opening on Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. includes an awards ceremony, and is free and open to the public. This year’s judge is Janet King, who will conduct a workshop from Feb 1 to 3. Visit

Feb. 5 to March 22 – Donna Dowless + Amber Higgins = HeArt & Soul

The Grand Bohemian Gallery, in the hotel of the same name, will present the 12th annual “HeArt & Soul” exhibition featuring contemporary artist Donna Dowless’s mixed media works and Canadian artist Amber Higgins’ stellar glass jewelry designs. Each year thousands of fans acknowledge the coming of Valentine’s Day with Orlando’s Ambassador of Love – Donna Dowless — and her partner artist to celebrate the art of love. This year’s opening is on Feb. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Gallery is at 325 S. Orange Ave. in Orlando. Call 407-581-4801 or visit

Feb. 5 to 7 – Orlando Ballet: ‘The Firebird’ & ‘To Familiar Spaces In Dream’

A prince, a princess, and a demon ruler create the enchantment, romance and mystery of “The Firebird,” danced to Igor Stravinsky’s classic score and based on the Russian legend of an exotic bird’s magical feathers. This production, with fresh choreography by Robert Hill, will be presented by the Orlando Ballet in three performances from Feb. 5 to 7. The program will also include “To Familiar Spaces In Dream” by Jessica Lang, danced to music by Philip Glass, John Cage, and Craig Armstrong. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

Feb. 6 to March 25 – Harold Garde at the Henao Center

Harold Garde is a living legend, a brilliant working artist who paints every day, with an extraordinary career that spans over 70 years. Graduating from Columbia University in 1951, Garde was immersed in the New York art world as Abstract Expressionism brought the world’s attention to NYC. Now, direct from his retrospective at the Orlando Museum of Art, the Henao Center presents “Harold Garde: The Last of the Game Changers” with all works for sale. An opening – public invited – will be held on Feb. 6 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Henao Center on Edgewater Drive in Orlando. Call 407-272-0317 or visit

Feb. 6 – The Festival Singers to perform at Winter Park Presbyterian

In a concert titled “Awakening,” the Festival Singers will present a free choral concert featuring music by American composers including works by Richard Bjella, Jake Runestad, Ryan Murphy, Joseph Martin, Stephen Paulus, and Stacey Gibb. Dr. Kevin Fenton of Florida State University directs the Festival Singers, made up primarily of music educators. Winter Park Presbyterian is located at 400 S. Lakemont Ave. in Winter Park, and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, and donations will be accepted. Visit

Feb. 8 – An evening with 2CELLOS

The two young Croatian heartthrob cellists, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, known as 2CELLOS, have achieved international success by taking the cello to a new level with their incredible talent and passion. They have broken down the boundaries between classical and film music to pop and rock, and are equally impressive whether playing Bach and Vivaldi or rocking out to AC/DC and Iron Maiden. Up-price VIP packages are available for those who wish to meet-and-greet the two performers. The show is Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

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