Culture Worthy of your Calendar

The Orlando Science Center invites us to the museum's annual Neanderthal Ball on Saturday, Nov. 5.

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  • | 12:56 p.m. October 26, 2011
Neanderthal Ball
Neanderthal Ball
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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It’s a fundraiser, and it’s held in a museum, but there is nothing stuffy about the coolest event this side of the Ice Age. The Orlando Science Center invites us to the museum’s annual Neanderthal Ball on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 7 p.m.-11 pm. Let your hair down — or wear it in a bone-braid — as you party like a caveman. Join in a diamond dig for a real diamond, examine real fossils and witness the latest in caveman couture with guests encouraged to dress in animal prints. It’s a night of prehistoric fun to benefit children’s programming at the Science Center, and it’s an upscale dining event with gourmet food selections. New this year, Absolut vodka presents a martini bar in an Ice Age theme area. At the Science Center’s biggest “friend-raiser” of the year, guests rock out with themed music, bid on silent auction items, indulge in food and wine choices and enjoy one of the most spectacular views from the terrace overlooking Orlando. Call 407-514-2233 or visit

Festival of new plays

The new and improved PlayFest! The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays will be held Nov. 3-6 at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater offering a full weekend of play readings, panel discussions, parties and networking. PlayFest offers the unique opportunity to meet and talk with artists and view groundbreaking new plays in only four days. This season, Orlando Shakes welcomes the prolific playwright Jeffrey Hatcher as keynote speaker. Hatcher wrote the screenplays for “Casanova,” “Stage Beauty,” and “The Duchess.” His new play, “Strongman’s Ghost,” will be presented as one of staged readings during PlayFest. Special events include:

• Play-in-a-Day hosted by Beth Marshall – Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m.

• Keynote address by Jeffrey Hatcher – free – Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.

• Panel – “What’s a Playwright Gotta Do to Make a Living?” Free. Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m.

All events take place at the Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. Call 407-447-1700 or visit

Sunset symphony

It’s a drive, but the experience of hearing the Orlando Philharmonic perform in Florida’s most beautiful garden is an experience worth the miles. I’m referring to the 10th annual Sunset & Symphony Concert at Bok Tower Gardens, the beautiful National Historic Landmark 55 miles southwest of Orlando. This year’s concert is called “Around the World”, and the date is Saturday, Nov. 5. Guests are invited to bring picnics as the afternoon begins with the 205-foot Singing Tower carillon played by William De Turk. Then, as the Orlando Philharmonic takes the stage, children dressed as pirates will be invited to help conduct the performance of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Other selections include “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov, “Can-Can” by Offenbach and Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” Gates open at 3:30 p.m. to set up picnics, and an instrument petting zoo begins at 4:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, insect repellent and flashlights. Visit or or call 863-676-1408.

Signature chefs auction

Bring together top chefs from across Central Florida to showcase their culinary masterpieces. Mix in a generous sampling of fine wines and signature cocktails. Add in live entertainment and an auction of one-of-a-kind packages, and you have the recipe for the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction. Celebrating Central Florida, the event raises important dollars for the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. The event begins on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m. with a tasting event after which guests are invited to bid on a variety of auction packages including fine dining, hotel/resort stays, weekend getaways. At the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, 9939 Universal Blvd. in Orlando. For tickets, visit

And not to be missed …

It’s been 45 years since the founding of the National Organization for Women, and Rollins College celebrates that anniversary with free events Oct. 28-29. The events feature author Gloria Steinem and former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder. Visit or call 407-691-1995.


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