This week Harriett’s Park Avenue Fashion Week, Central Florida’s biggest annual fashion event, brings high fashion to downtown Winter Park. The West Meadow features a 20,000-square-foot tent with a full runway and VIP area. Named for Harriett Lake, one of the event’s most enthusiastic supporters, the week culminates on Saturday, Oct. 15, with a spectacular runway show from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Visit parkavenuefashionweek.com or call 407-644-8281 for the full schedule.
The Verdi Requiem
It is one of the most powerful pieces of choral music ever written. Famous for its thunderously gripping Dies irae, the operatic Verdi “Requiem” offers intensity in a work portraying every human emotion. On Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, the Bach Festival Society will open its 77th season with this landmark work of musical renown. Located in Winter Park, the Bach Festival is one of the longest continuously operating Bach Festivals in the country and among America’s great oratorio societies. Performances are at the Knowles Memorial Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. Call 407-646-2182 or visit BachFestivalFlorida.org
Be afraid … very afraid
“Something evil this way comes” in “Phantasmagoria II” as the theatrical genius of John DiDonna concocts a second version of his nightmarish take on puppetry, dance and storytelling. DiDonna has a remarkable talent for mixing highbrow ideas with lowbrow comedy. Add his special fascination with Halloween, puppets that speak lines from Edgar Allen Poe and a theater that sports a “splash zone” for blood, and you begin to understand the DiDonna mix of sophistication, sex and lowbrow humor. There are performances from Friday, Oct. 14, to Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Shakespeare Center in Orlando. Call 407-328-9005 or visit redchairproject.com
Carnage and comedy
First produced in France, Yasmina Reza’s play “God of Carnage” saw its first English production in London (2008), where it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. It went on to win the Tony for Best Play on Broadway (2009) and is currently being filmed with Jodie Foster in the lead. It’s a comedy about a fight. The Raleighs, an outwardly nice couple, visit the apartment of Michael and Veronica Novak for what they believe will be a civilized discussion about a playground fight between their two sons. The meeting degenerates — badly — into what the New Yorker called “90 minutes of sustained mayhem.” The two couples duke it out until Nov. 13 at the Shakespeare Center at 812 E. Rollins St. at Loch Haven Park in Orlando. Call 407-447-1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org
Play in a play
The Mad Cow Theatre loves the play-within-a-play plot line, and one of the best is “The Drowsy Chaperone,” with book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. This time the show-within-a-show begins when a die-hard fan of musicals plays his favorite cast album — a 1928 hit called “The Drowsy Chaperone” — at which point the musical comes magically to life. Audiences are instantly immersed in a glamorous ‘20s musical about a celebrity bride and her wedding day, complete with surprises. The Drowsy Chaperone runs Friday, Oct. 14, to Nov. 20 at the Mad Cow Theatre in downtown Orlando. Visit madcowtheatre.com or call 407-297-8788.
Star tours at Amway
Part of the instant success of the new Amway Center has been its ability to attract the biggest stars as they tour the country, and October has three of the biggest.
Thursday, Oct. 20 — They’re so popular, and they’ve crossed over so many musical genres their legions of fans often forget they’re just good ole’ country singers! Sugarland, and their cross-cultural fans, come to the Amway Center at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 21 — He’s a “dirty dancer” and a “heartbreaker” who wants to “be with you” “tonight,’ and he’s been voted sexiest man in the world! Enrique Iglesias comes to the Amway Center at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 — With the voice of perfection, Josh Groban crosses all boundaries. In his concerts, folk meets classical and arenas feel intimate. His artistry, personality and his personal touch will be at the Amway Center on Oct. 29. Visit amwaycenter.com or call 800-745-3000.