Current – Over $17 million raised for Orlando Pulse club victims
On June 30 it was announced that the organizations Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (The Center), the National Compassion Fund and OneOrlando had combined to raise over $17 million to assist the families of the 49 killed, the 53 who were shot and the hundreds targeted June 12 at the Pulse night club. The partnership was formed to ensure all funds collected for victims are disbursed in a unified process to expedite funds, ensure transparency and safeguard against fraud. “Words cannot express how grateful we continue to be for the outpouring of generosity our communities received as people from around the globe continue to contribute funds to OneOrlando to deliver the critical help and healing the victims’ families and survivors need to aid in their recovery,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Equality Florida raised $7 million largely via social media in a campaign that has set records for online philanthropy. The statewide LGBT organization partnered immediately with the National Compassion Fund, experts in managing disbursement following mass shootings. Donations are still being accepted. To support the victims’ families and survivors, visit OneOrlando.org
Final performances – now to July 11 – ‘The Brothers Size’ at Mad Cow Theatre
The Chicago Tribune calls “The Brothers Size,” "The greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more." Set in Louisiana, big brother Ogun is hard working and independent while younger brother Oshoosi is just out of prison and aimless. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney crafts symbolism and ritual into a tough/tender drama about the unbreakable bond between brothers and family. Call 407-297-8788, ext. 1 or visit madcowtheatre.com
Now to July 18 – Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park presents ‘Urinetown the Musical’
This oddly named musical won three Tony Awards, three Outer Critic's Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and two Obie Awards, so yes, it’s the real-deal. It’s also a comic satire of the legal system, social irresponsibility, corporate mismanagement, governmental interference, and musical theatre itself. Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, “Urinetown” is said to have catapulted the American musical comedy into the 21st century with its wicked comedy and incisive honesty. Directed by Jamaal Solomon and music directed and choreographed by Angelyn Rhode, call 407-920-4034 or visit breakthroughtheatre.com/tickets
July 8 – PechaKucha Night – twice in one night at Dr. Phillips Center
An entertainment/education event held several times a year in Orlando, PechaKucha Night features an hour of presentations on a variety of topics. Japanese for ‘chitchat,’ PechaKucha’s format is 20 images by 20 seconds. It makes the presentations concise and keeps things moving. Speakers may present on any subject, from the personal to the public. Since its debut 12 years ago in Japan, the events may be seen in more than 800 cities around the world with audiences in the thousands. There will be two such events in Orlando on July 8 at 6 and 9 p.m.
July 9 and 10 – Encore! Cast Performing Arts presents ‘Ragtime’ the musical
Encore! Cast is a super-talented, all-volunteer, 300-member organization dedicated to providing Disney cast members an outlet for expression in the performing arts as well as supporting Central Florida charities. Their next performance, “Ragtime,” is set in turn-of-the-century New York. Weaving together the stories of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring Harlem musician, they confront the very timely contradictions of wealth and poverty, hope and despair, and what it means to be an American. The performance, each at 7:30 p.m., will benefit USO Central Florida. Call 844-513-2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
July 12 –Bloomingdales presents artist Victor Bokas in ‘Bokaslicious’
The name “Bokaslicious” has just the right amount of whimsy to introduce the eclectically fun artwork of Orlando’s Victor Bokas. On July 12 at 6:30 p.m., Bloomingdales will present Victor and his work in an opening reception on its third-floor furniture showroom. Supporting local artists, Bloomingdales provides an art gallery, which allows viewers to see the artists' work as if displaying it in their homes. Victor grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, amid the images of palm trees, Florida kitsch and lush colors, along with tributes to his Greek heritage of statues, columns, and olives appearing in his work. Active in the local arts community, Victor was awarded both the Orlando International Airport mosaic art project and the Winter Park Art Festival poster. The event is free. Come and meet Victor Bokas, and let's get "Bokaslicious” at Bloomingdale's!
July 14 – A Taste of Jazz with the ‘Professors of Jazz’ at Dr. Phillips Center
Nationally known jazz artists are coming to the Dr. Phillips Center to lead a weeklong Jazz Workshop with July 14 at 7 p.m. set aside as a time for these exceptional artists to take the stage for a special, one-of-a-kind jam session and concert. Following the concert, the audience is invited to meet the artists while sampling bourbon and whiskey with light bites. The entire event is $29 with all proceeds going directly to fund the School of the Arts Jazz Camp. Special Note: Musicians and vocalists interested in participating in the Summer Intensive may request a scholarship to register for this full-day camp. Call 844-513-2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org
July 15 – Butterfly buddies in the Nehrling Gardens
Share quality-time with your child and teach them the wonders of nature as you learn about Florida’s butterflies in a class for children and their guardians. Learn about butterfly identification, life cycles, and what butterflies tell us about the world as you tour the historic butterfly haven of Nehrling Gardens. You can even take home a mini butterfly garden of your own. The suggested donation of $15 includes supplies and expenses for one child and their parent/guardian. Nehrling Gardens is at 2267 Hempel Ave. in Gotha, and the event runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Visit NehrlingGardens.org.
July 15 – ‘Purple Masquerade,’ the Prince tribute band at Daytona Bandshell
Summer at the historic Daytona Beach Bandshell means free concerts and amazing entertainers. Located in Oceanfront Park, the scenic amphitheater was built in 1937, and can host 5,000 people. Purple Masquerade is THE Prince tribute band, known for high-energy concerts of Prince’s greatest hits. With elaborate costumes and a very real stage presence, Prince is channeled by James Kincherlow as he sings all the songs we love including “Lets Get Crazy,” “1999,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Poplife,” and of course, “Purple Rain.” No tickets required, and the show starts at 7 p.m.
July 15 & 29, and Aug. 26 – Free MoviEola film series
The free outdoor movie series in Orlando’s Lake Eola Park begins each evening at 6 p.m. with activities and music from Mix 105.1. Bring blankets, chairs, snacks and the whole family to enjoy this year’s movies including “Inside Out” on July 15; “Jurassic World” on July 29; and “Minions” on Aug. 26. You’ll want to arrive early to secure your spot and enjoy some of the pre-movie activities. Movies begin promptly at 8:15 p.m. Call 407-246-4484 or visit cityoforlando.net/parks/movieola