Culture worthy of your calendar

Artistic Director Robert Hill is turning our Orlando Ballet Company into a great company.

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  • | 12:56 p.m. October 13, 2010
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Beethoven’s 5th and 9th

Sometimes “fate knocks at the door” and two local orchestras decide to perform the two greatest musical works of all time — one week apart. This month, Beethoven is literally in competition with himself as the Brevard Symphony presents Beethoven’s “5th Symphony” on Saturday, Oct. 16. One week later, the Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” on Oct. 23-24.

Pundits will argue which is greater until the end of time, but for those of us who simply sit back and luxuriate in the perfect sound that begins with the 4-note motif — ba ba ba bum — there is a thrill in hearing these works live that cannot be replaced. Those 3 G’s followed by E-flat have commanded attention for more than 200 years.

The “5th” will be performed at the King Center in Melbourne. Call 321-242-2024 or e-mail [email protected] for more information. Beethoven’s “9th” requires a great orchestra and a great chorus, because the “9th Symphony” presents us with the Master’s “Ode to Joy.” Completely deaf by the time he created the “9th Symphony”, Beethoven was such an extraordinary human being that the sheer joy in the sound he would never hear will always stand as an example of humanity’s potential for greatness. The Bach Festival will perform Beethoven’s “9th” on Oct. 23-24 at the Knowles Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. Call 407-646-2182 or visit

‘Noises Off’ and laughter on

The idea for the comedy play “Noises Off”, which opens the season at the Winter Garden Theater, came about when playwright Michael Frayn was watching one of his own comedies from backstage and thought, “It was funnier from behind than in front. One day I must write a farce from behind.” Frayn creates “a play within a play” — a bad sex comedy called “Nothing On,” and all three acts of “Noises Off” contain a performance of “Nothing On”. We follow the play from rehearsal to opening night and on tour as romances and arguments break out, entrances are missed, relationships deteriorate and the play falls apart. The laughter comes from the slapstick off-stage chaos affecting the on-stage performance. “Noises Off” is presented from Oct. 15-Nov. 7 at the Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St. in Winter Garden. Visit or call 407-877-4736 extension 303.

On your toes…

It’s truly happening. Artistic Director Robert Hill is turning our Orlando Ballet Company into a great company, and he’s doing it by breaking down pre-conceptions of what ballet is. He is seamlessly mixing the “classics” with what is sleek, new and modern. Opening the season with one of the greatest of the classics — “Giselle” — he is making sure it gets all the coaching it needs. The Orlando Ballet Dancers recently had the unprecedented opportunity to be coached by one of the greatest dancer-teachers in the world — the American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. “Giselle” is a ballet which is all about subtlety, and it is exciting to anticipate the ways in which the dancer’s special “coaching” will show up on stage in this not-to-be-missed performance. “Giselle” will be performed on Oct. 22-24 at the Bob Carr. Call 407-426-1739 for tickets.

Art veterans

That jewel-box of a museum — The Mennello Museum — will open its fall season with two of the most beloved fine artist/master-teachers of Central Florida. Opening on Oct. 15 with a reception from 6- 8 p.m., the museum will honor Maury Hurt and Grady Kimsey who have painted, created, taught and influenced Florida artists and art students for more than 40 years. Hurt’s facility with oil paint captures landscapes, dreamscapes and portraits with technical brilliance. Hurt will be joined by Kimsey, locally celebrated and nationally recognized for his mysteriously whimsical sculptures. Kimsey continues to inspire generations of artists, fusing his mixed-media figurative sculptures with fantastic narrative implications. The Mennello Museum of American Art is in Loch Haven Park at 900 E. Princeton St. Call 407-246-4278 or visit