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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 4 years ago

Josh Garrick: Culture for Your Calendar

Magical Dining is truly magical. Beginning Aug. 24 and running through Sept. 30, we get to select from 76 participating restaurants to enjoy three-course dinners for $33.
by: Josh Garrick Columnist

Now through Sept. 30 – Orlando's Magical Dining celebrates 10th delicious anniversary

Magical Dining is truly magical. Beginning Aug. 24 and running through Sept. 30, we get to select from 76 participating restaurants to enjoy three-course dinners for $33. Visit Orlando has lined up more fine dining restaurants than ever before, and there is no better time for foodies to enjoy Orlando, named one of The New York Times' 52 Places to Go in the World. Bottom line – we get to choose among great restaurants and enjoy a three-course meal for $33 now through Sept. 30. A full list of participating restaurants is available at

Now through Sept. 20 – ‘Tribes’ at Mad Cow Theatre

Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, “Tribes” tells the story of Billy, a young, deaf man with a quirky and dysfunctional family. Billy struggles to find his place in his own home, but when he meets a young woman with deaf parents, she teaches Billy about a type of family he never knew. With dark humor and sincerity, Nina Raine’s new play reminds us we don’t get to choose our family and what it means to belong. Call 407-297-8788 ext. 1. ASL interpretation will be offered for performances on Aug. 23, Sept. 4, and Sept. 17.

Aug. 28 to Sept. 20 – Needle and Thread: New Work by Butch Anthony

Alabama folk artist Butch Anthony has taken up needle and thread to lend a new dimension to his Southern-Gothic art. Antique photographs and reproductions on canvas are embellished with embroidery and a touch of wit to create arresting, and often humorous, images. Jeanine Taylor Folk Art will host an opening reception for his new work on Aug. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. (coinciding with the Sanford Art Walk). Entry is free. The gallery is located at 211 E. First Street in historic downtown Sanford. Visit or call 407-323-2774.

Aug. 29 – Tamia at House of Blues

The beautiful in every way Tamia will headline with her Love Life tour at the House of Blues in Orlando on Aug. 29 in support of her sixth studio album, “Love Life.” Released on June 9, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart. “Love Life” was the much-anticipated follow-up to Tamia’s “Beautiful Surprise” of 2012, which earned two Grammy Award nominations. Tamia’s two-decade career is highlighted by six Grammy nominations, 10 top-20 R&B chart songs including her hits “So Into You,” “Spend My Life With You,” and “Stranger In My House.” Tickets at

Aug. 29 and 30 – Florida Kids and Family Expo

From pre-natal to empty nest and everything in between, the Florida Kids and Family Expo is your opportunity to discover what Central Florida has to offer moms-to-be, babies, toddlers, kids, teens and families. Enjoy over 200 exhibitors at the Orange County Convention Center, three stages of live performances (both days), interactive stations, schools, medical info, robotics, birthday entertainment, fitness, safety items, sports facilities, pets, farm animals, day cares, home decor, Orlando Magic, beauty products, security, laser tag, arts and crafts workshops and more. This is a fun-for-the-whole-family event. It runs Aug. 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For tickets visit

Aug. 29 and 30 – New Score Chamber Orchestra in two dates and two venues

The New Score Chamber Orchestra (NSCO) is a collection of Orlando's finest concert musicians performing new compositions by contemporary composers. Audiences are treated to new music from different corners of the world. In their up-coming concerts, NSCO will feature two soloists: David Brill, performing his father's “Violin Concerto in D” and Shelly Chen, premiering Dr. Man-Ching Donald Yu's “Ballades of Four Seasons.” The performance on Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. is at the Maitland Presbyterian Church, and the Aug. 30 performance at 5:30 p.m. is at the Abbey in downtown Orlando. Tickets are $20. Call 321-800-6556.

Aug. 30 – Music at the Casa presents Joshua Glenn Wilson & Friends

Local jazz musician Joshua Glenn Wilson will be joined by friends and colleagues who share stories and sound-scapes ranging from opera to musical theatre and jazz standards at the Aug. 30 Music at the Casa (Feliz) event. Mr. Wilson holds a bachelor of arts degree in music with a focus in jazz piano from UCF and serves as associate music director at Trinity Lutheran Church. He joins Casa Feliz with a passion for exploring the dovetailing of sounds and stories, and how our lives influence the music we make. The program begins at noon and is free and open to the public. The Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum is at 656 N. Park Ave. in Winter Park. Visit

Sept. 1 – Free program for veterans – Keep the spirit of ’45 alive!

VITAS Healthcare, with a reputation for special care for World War II veterans, will present a free program – Celebrating the Greatest Generation – to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II by honoring local veterans and those who were there to support them. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 1 at the Winter Park Civic Center at 1050 W. Morse Blvd in Winter Park, the free program will feature keynote speaker Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon and a USO-style show with the Orlando Big Band. RSVP to Veronica Soto at VITAS Healthcare by calling 407-599-2534.

Sept. 3 to 7 – The 2015 Allstate/Tom Joyner Family Reunion

Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” along with Allstate Insurance, is celebrating family fun with the Free 2015 Family Reunion. On Labor Day weekend Sept. 3 to 7, families from all over the country will join Joyner for concerts, celebrity meet and greets, seminars, and endless activities inside this free expo. Concerts include Frankie Beverly and Maze, Teddy Riley, Yolanda Adams, and Kirk Franklin, a fam-fest with the cast of “Black-ish,” a “Good Times” reunion, and an appearance by basketball legend Dominique Wilkins at the Gaylord Palms Resort at 6000 W. Osceola Parkway in Kissimmee. Call 407-248-9191 or visit

Sept. 4 to 6 – Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic

The full legacy of Walt Disney is celebrated as Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse leads a parade of more than 50 beloved characters including Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Disney princesses Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. “Frozen” comes to life along with 14 classic stories including “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Portrayed by an international team of award-winning figure skaters with high-energy choreography, breathtaking sets, and 30 musical masterpieces, it all comes together to make 100 Years of Magic the ultimate Disney fan experience. In six performances at the Amway Center from Sept. 4 to 6, visit or or call 800-745-3000.

Sept. 5 – Rocket Man: The Elton John Experience

Rus Anderson is the Rocket Man as he and his musicians re-enact an early Elton John concert with outrageous replica costumes, live instruments, faster tempos and flashy grand pianos. It’s a magical journey with real musicians that leaves audiences laughing, singing, and dancing as Anderson puts everything he has into making his show the most fun Elton John tribute in the USA. The Elton John Experience will be at the Daytona Beach Oceanfront Bandshell on Sept. 5 at 7:15 p.m. with fireworks immediately following. This concert is free and open to the public.

Current – Gaboon viper on exhibit at the Central Florida Zoo

A Gaboon viper can now be seen at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford. Gaboon vipers have the largest fangs of any viper at nearly 2 inches, and the snakes are also among the world's largest vipers with lengths of over 5 feet. Relatively placid, the snakes will only harm humans if they are stepped on or harassed. These nocturnal predators possess an extraordinary camouflage pattern and two "horns" on their nose that aid in concealment as they wait in ambush for their prey in the rainforests of east and central Africa. Visit or call 407-323-4450 for more information.

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