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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Sep. 10, 2015 4 years ago

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Orlando Shakes is bringing "Spamalot," lovingly ripped off from the classic Monty Python film, to Orlando.
by: Josh Garrick Columnist

Current: Kids from the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida became honorary ‘Mouseketeers’ at the Amway Center on the Opening Night of 100 Years of Disney On Ice on Sept. 4. Gifts, dinner, a visit from Mickey himself, and VIP seats for their first-ever ice show gave these happy children a magical experience they will never forget.

Final week to Sept. 13 – Breakthrough Theatre presents ‘5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche’

It’s 1956 at the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein’s annual Quiche Breakfast, but the breakfast is upended when the Society’s matriarchs confront the revelation that an atom bomb may be falling on their city. But these ladies stay firm in their commitment to “the egg.” This cult hit won the 2012 NYC International Fringe Festival with a mix of silliness and social observation. Call 407-920-4034 or visit

Sept. 9 to Oct. 11 – Monty Python’s ‘Spamalot’ at Orlando Shakespeare

With a book and lyrics by Eric Idle (yes, the Monty Python guy), who “found his Grail” as his musical version travelled to Broadway where it won three Tony Awards – including best musical! Now Orlando Shakes is bringing “Spamalot,” lovingly ripped off from the classic Monty Python film, to Orlando complete with Knights who “run away,” flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen and a bevy of musical numbers that elevate silliness to an art form. If you’ve ever followed my recommendation, this is the “must-see” event of the season, so buy your tickets now. Call 407-447-1700 or visit

Sept. 10 to 28 – Musical ‘Totally Electric’ at The Abbey

“Totally Electric” is a new show that takes us on a flashback to the 1980s, and the high school choir – The Sensations in their last weeks of high school. The Sensations find respect through their musical group, while being bullied by the West Lake "in crowd.” In a surprise casting twist, “Totally Electric” stars the real Miss America winner Ericka Dunlap as a Sensation giving us the fun of watching “Miss A” transform on-stage from bullied to beauty. Presented at The Abbey in downtown Orlando, visit or

Sept. 10 and 11 – ‘Guys and Dolls’ by Central Florida Community Arts

It’s New York City in the 1950s, and all the gamblers in town are depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s Crap Game while also seducing local missionary Sarah Brown to accept a date with him. Central Florida Community Arts will present a concert version of “Guys and Dolls” as its 2015 Summer Broadway production. With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, featuring classic hits including “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat” and “Luck Be A Lady,” “Guys and Dolls” will be presented at Northland Church at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 and 11. Tickets are $10. Visit for tickets.

Sept. 10 to 18 – Winter Park Chamber (of Commerce) Week 2015

Invite your friends and clients to discover how active the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is as Chamber Week kicks off with the popular Winter Park Sip, Shop & Stroll event on Sept. 10. This evening on the town features wine, hors d'oeuvres and a preview of the latest fashions, gift ideas and seasonal menu items at 31 local merchants, and a visit inside the Winter Park History Museum. Tickets are $25. The other highlight of Chamber Week is the inaugural Winter Park Outlook luncheon at The Alfond Inn. (See Sept. 17). Call 407-644-8281 or visit

Sept. 11 to 20 – Central Florida premiere of ‘Women Playing Hamlet’

The Southern Winds Theatre reminds us that in Shakespeare's day men played all of the women's roles. The funny and thought provoking new play “Women Playing Hamlet” turns that idea around as we follow Jessica (who auditions for the role of Ophelia), but ends up playing Hamlet. Comedy ensues as the cast of four ladies plays 19 different roles – including all the men’s roles. The cast includes Chloe McElroy, Avis Marie Barnes, Danielle Miller, and Marylin McGinnis. Presented at the Venue at 511 Virginia Drive in Orlando, call 407-341-3495 or visit

Sept. 11 to Oct. 10 – Swing back to the ’50s with ‘The Marvelous Wonderettes’

Loaded with hit songs from the 1950’s and ’60s, this musical comedy is set at Springfield High’s senior prom in 1958. We meet four teens with dreams as big as their crinoline skirts in this musical trip down memory lane including “Lollipop,” “It’s My Party,” “Dream Lover,” “You Don’t Own Me” and many more. Featuring Playhouse favorite Kate Zaloumes, Winter Park Playhouse artistic director Roy Alan will direct and choreograph. Call 407-645-0145 or visit

Sept. 12 and 13 – Do-it-yourselfers’ Maker Faire at the Orlando Science Center

The ultimate “show and tell,” Maker Faire Orlando will take place at the Orlando Science Center on Sept. 12 and 13. This community-based learning event inspires through do-it-yourself science and technology; workshops; panels; and exhibits. This year is bigger than ever with Maker Faire on every floor of the Science Center, in Loch Haven Park and at the Orlando Museum of Art. Featuring more than 250 one-of-a- kind creations, the Makers come from all ages and backgrounds – from techies to crafters to scientists to garage tinkerers, each with a passion for innovation. Call 407-514-2000 or visit or

Sept. 13 – Comedy Legend Martin Lawrence at the Dr. Phillips Center

Martin Lawrence is “Live Doin’ Time,” and he’s coming to the Dr. Phillips Center. The comedic legend and actor first found his way to the legendary Improv and won a performance spot on “Star Search.” He was chosen to host the groundbreaking “Def Comedy Jam” on HBO and soon had his own show “Martin” on Fox TV from 1992 to 1997 — an enormous success. Many of his films have been blockbusters at the box office, including “Nothing to Lose,” “Life,” “Blue Streak,” and “Big Momma's House.” Lawrence is live on-stage on Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. Call 844-513-2014 or visit

Sept. 16 – Robert Bowden did promise us a rose garden!

As if it has ever been possible to “simply” grow a rose, the stouthearted Winter Park Garden Club will feature Executive Director of Harry P. Leu Gardens Robert Bowden presenting “Rose Gardening Simplified.” Certainly the rose gardens at Leu Gardens are magnificent, so we will learn how to create and maintain a lush rose garden from a gentleman with decades of experience. The public is invited to Mr. Bowden’s talk, which will begin at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16 at the Winter Park Garden Club at 1300 S. Denning Drive in Winter Park. Call 407-644-5770.

Sept. 16 – Nobel peace laureate Leymah Gbowee to speak at Rollins

2011 Nobel Peace Laureate and Liberian Peace Activist Leymah Gbowee will speak on “Leading Change Through Activism” at the Alfond Sports Center at Rollins College on Sept. 16 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Gbowee has been plying her own form of non-violent activism, first in Liberia and most recently in North Korea by joining women marching for unity. A Distinguished Fellow in Social Justice at Barnard College, Gbowee travels internationally advocating for human rights, peace and security. The event is free. Visit or call 407-691-1706.

Sept. 16 and 17 – Laura Hodos’ ‘Life Upon the Wicked Stage!’

The Winter Park Playhouse Spotlight Cabaret Series continues with the exceptionally talented songstress Laura Hodos debuting her new solo cabaret, “Life Upon the Wicked Stage” on Sept. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. A tribute to the music of Academy Award winner Jerome Kern, best known for his musical “Showboat,” the evening will be filled with time-honored musical standards. Music Director Christopher Leavy will accompany on the piano. Tickets are $20; advance reservations are strongly recommended. Call 407-645-0145 or visit

Sept. 17 – The inaugural Winter Park Outlook

Keeping the community informed is paramount to our hard-working Chamber of Commerce, so on Sept. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the inaugural Winter Park Outlook will feature an in-depth conversation on Winter Park, examining the projects and initiatives that impact our lives. Attendees will hear from local experts in business, health, education and government in a panel discussion moderated by Dick Batchelor at the Alfond Inn. For reservations call 407-644-8281 or visit

Sept. 17 – Meet the Farmer: Dennis Stoltzfoos

In an effort to strengthen our local food system, the Audubon Park Exchange at the East End Market invites us to their first “Meet the Farmer” presentation on Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. Introducing Florida’s most holistic farmers, the evening will include a mix and mingle, the presentation, and a Q&A. Dennis Stolzfoos, of Full Circle Farms, was raised Amish in Lancaster, Penn. on his family’s farm. He spent 15 years in alternative healing, returning to farming to produce, “The most nutrient dense foods possible.” Based in North Florida, the farm’s mission is to bring real foods direct from the farm to feed our cells, heal sickness, and provide the next generation with vibrant health. Visit or

Sept. 17 – Painter Chad Pollpeter opens at The City Arts Factory

Popular local painter Chad Pollpeter will present his newest paintings at Redefine Gallery in The City Arts Factory. Titled “Saltimbanques,” the paintings depict a series of circus performers including tightrope walkers, trapeze artists, and acrobats. The public is invited to the opening on Sept. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. Redefine Gallery is located within the City Arts Factory on the corner of Orange Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Orlando. Call 407-257-2540 or visit

Sept. 17 – Best of Downtown Orlando Photo Contest

While attending Chad Pollpeter’s opening (see above), the same building – the City Arts Factory – will also host The Best of Downtown Orlando Photo Contest presented by the Downtown Development Board. After receiving more than 900 submissions, the DDB reserved two galleries at City Arts Factory to showcase at least one photo per photographer. The “Best Of” winners will be announced at the event. With two distinctly different art openings in the same building – at the same time – please double your viewing pleasure at the City Arts Factory on Sept. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. Visit

Sept. 17 to 24 – 10th anniversary of Fashion Week at the Mall at Millenia

Orlando’s Mall at Millenia will roll out the red carpet for its 10th annual Fashion Week beginning Sept. 17 and featuring six runway shows – most open to the public as well as the Mall’s philanthropic event benefitting Runway To Hope. Highlights include Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. – Neiman Marcus’ Fall Trend Report; Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. – Emerging Designs by Sanford-Brown College Orlando; Sept. 19 at 7:30 a.m. – Bloomingdale’s Makeup Event; and Sept. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – the Fall Collection Brunch Benefit hosted by Laura Brown, executive editor of Harper’s BAZAAR. Visit

Sept. 18 to Oct. 31 – Robin Maria Pedrero at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art

The popular Florida artist, Robin Maria Pedrero, is an award winner with work in museums and in worldwide collections. A signature member of the Pastel Society of America, Ms. Pedrero was awarded Best Florida Artist 2012 by Baterbys Art Gallery. Her colorful paintings and sculptures of nature, gardens, skies, and cups of coffee invite our hearts to dwell and our minds to take residence. The public is invited to meet this lovely lady at an opening at the Lake Eustis Museum of Art on Sept. 18 beginning at 6 p.m. Call 352-483-2900 or visit

Sept. 19 – I AM BRAVE: Orlando Women’s Success Seminar at The Abbey

Women of Central Florida have the opportunity to hear from the area’s most influential women at the second I AM BRAVE: Orlando Women’s Success Seminar on Sept. 19 at The Abbey in Orlando. The bi-annual, full-day event will feature keynote speakers Business Consultant Jenn Lee, Body Language Expert Susan Constantine, Hispanic Chamber President Diana Bolivar, Miss Florida 2014 Courtney Shaw and host of “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” Monica May. Tickets at $45 include all sessions, meet-and-greet, Q&A, and lunch. Visit

Sept. 19 – Elvis tribute show with Ted Torres Martin

The award-winning recipient of the 2014 Heart of the King Award Ted Torres Martin will bring his live stage production “Back to Live” to the Athens Theater in Deland on Sept. 19. The multi-media production takes audiences through the life of Elvis Presley in a first-of-its-kind musical performance. Featuring Presley’s hits; film sequences; live performance and concert segments; Torres Martin works with backup singers and a live band in a show that has captivated audiences for over 12 years and was named one of the “Top 5 Tributes” in the world. Call 386-736-1500 or visit or

Sept. 19 – Frankie says, “Relax, Come Get Some ‘Badness”

This will be an experience. Come watch an empty Art Gallery build into a “monster of color, light, sound, and more.” Compulsive do-gooder bad boy Frankie Messina has asked for every local artist’s worst piece of art. There are no limits to the style of the art. Current Galleries – at 116 E. First St. in Sanford – is known for experimentation, and a Bad Art Show is always a fun show. Artists walk in with the art; it gets hung, priced and sold that night. There will also be eclectic performances, live music, independent films, and more. Contact Frankie Messina at [email protected]

Sept. 19, 20 and 21 – ‘The Nearly Final Almost Posthumous Play’ … etc. etc. etc.

Fresh from a sold-out run in Tampa, Osceola Arts will present “The Nearly Final Almost Posthumous Play of the Not-Quite-Dead Sutton McAllister” in a brief, but laughter-filled run Sept. 19 to 21 at the Osceola Center in Kissimmee. Written in the tradition of British drawing room comedy, the plot finds playwright Sutton McAllister suffering a stroke and he nearly dies. Chock full of characters with questionable motives, this new comedy will have you laughing along as you wonder who’s who, what’s what, and where is the not-quite-dead Sutton McAllister? Visit

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