Local artist Josh Garrick gives his top five recommendations for upcoming arts and culture events in Central Florida.
1. “BIG RIVER: THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.”
Adapted from the classic American 1884 novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, “Big River” tells the story of Huck Finn, runaway slave Jim, and the (musical) journey they take along the Mississippi River. Their adventures are told through “foot-stompin” blue- grass and country music and lyrics that are perfect for the setting of the novel by country music star Roger Miller. Miller became an overnight star of the American music scene in 1964 with the hits “Chug-A-Lug” and “King of the Road.” “Big River,” which opened on Broadway in 1985, ran for more than 1,000 performances. This celebration of pure Americana is at the Mad Cow Theatre in Downtown Orlando through Oct. 22. For tickets, visit madcowtheatre.secure.force.com.
2. DISNEY’S “NEWSIES.”
The Orlando REP has opened its new season as the first theater in the Southeastern United States to present the Drama Desk and Tony Award-winning “Newsies: the Musical.” Inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this Disney musical tells of publisher Joseph Pulitzer raising the price of newspapers — at the newsboys’ expense. Against all odds, a young leader rises up to help “the little guys” stand up and seize the day. The musical is selling so well that the theater has added two extra performances and continues through Oct. 22. For your thrilling dose of inspiration, call (407) 896- 7365 or visit orlandorep.com.
3. TIFFANY AT THE MORSE: TWO NEW EXHIBITIONS.
As Central Florida’s most beautiful museum continues its glorious 75th-year celebration, the Morse Museum in Winter Park is appropriately focusing on the “creative eye” of Louis Comfort Tiffany and the creative process at his studios. “Tiffany — Impressions on Film, Canvas and Paper” is an exhibition of Tiffany’s personal photographs, paintings and watercolors that provide a view of the man who built the artistic empire of Tiffany Studios. The museum is located at 445 N. Park Ave in Winter Park. The VIP/Members opening begins at 5 p.m. Oct. 16. The exhibit opens to the public at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 17. Call (407) 645-5311 or visit MorseMuseum.org.
4. “ON YOUR FEET! THE EMILIO AND GLORIA ESTEFAN BROADWAY MUSICAL.”
The hit musical “On Your Feet” will conga its way into the Dr. Phillips Center with the inspiring, “against-all-odds” story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. From their humble beginnings in Cuba, the Estefans came to America and broke through all “traditional” barriers to become a cross-over sensation at the top of the pop music world. Just as they began to enjoy international stardom, however, they lost almost everything when a truck crashed into the Estefan tour bus, breaking Gloria Este- fan’s back. After years of pain and physical therapy, Gloria Estefan once again stepped onto the stage as a heroic performer and role model to the world. Directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, with choreography by Olivier Award-winner Sergio Trujillo and with an original book by Academy Award-winner Alexander Dinelaris, “On Your Feet!” will be presented Oct. 17 to 22 at the Dr. Phillip Center for the Performing Arts, where the center’s vision is “Arts for Every Life.” This musical truly fulfills the center’s vision in every way. Call (844) 513-2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org.
5. ANDRÉ RIEU AND THE JOHANN STRAUSS ORCHESTRA.
You will need to get your tickets early for this performance. André Rieu is a world-class musical phenomenon, a true “King of Romance,” having sold an unmatched 40 million CDs and DVDs while earning more than 30 No. 1 chart positions worldwide. Along with his 60-piece orchestra (the largest private orchestra in the world), Rieu has created a global revival in waltz music. Having received more than 480 platinum awards, three Classical Brit Awards for “Album of the Year” and billions of YouTube views, Rieu is one of the biggest solo male-touring artists in the world. He has broken all classical concert records, packing stadiums and arenas with more than 700,000 adoring fans each year. With his natural charisma, Rieu conducts his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra and plays his Stradivarius violin to create a celebratory atmosphere unmatched since the Strauss’ turned New Year’s Eve into the Hapsburg Emperor’s favorite concert of the year. At 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Amway Center. Visit amwaycenter.com.