1. ‘Cows ’n Cabs’
7 p.m. Nov. 11. Now in its seventh year, Central Florida’s “Cows ’n Cabs” returns with great food (and drink) for two deserving charities. With more restaurant participation than ever, the event promises serious tastings from more than 30 restaurants including 4 Rivers Smokehouse, The Ravenous Pig, Holler & Dash and Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen. The “down-home, cowboy-themed” evening is hosted by 4 Rivers Smokehouse founder John Rivers and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue. 4 Rivers Master Chef John Rivers knows fundraisers, and when he joined with David Larue to create a new fundraiser, they wanted the opposite of the tux-and-tie crowd. Trust me, switching to cowboy boots makes this one of the most fun FUNdraisers of the season, and all that fun benefits the After-School All-Stars and Elevate Orlando. Held in Winter Park’s Central Park West Meadow. Visit cowsncabs.com. Tickets are $110, and you must be 21 or older.
2. ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever — The Musical’
Nov. 13 to Dec 30. One of the gems of our community is the professional children’s theater at the Orlando Repertory Theatre. Every performance has a not-too-subtle message for our young ones, and for Christmas, the Rep is taking on bullying. So beware the Herdmans — a family of kids who lie, steal, swear, fight and light things on fire! When they crash into Sunday School and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the town panics. In this musical adaptation of the holiday classic, there is no chance for a silent night, but sometimes, a little joyful noise can be just the ticket. Special note: Three examples of the Rep’s nurturing nature are an American Sign Language show on Nov. 27; a sensory-friendly performance Nov. 26; and a Scout Workshop Dec. 2. The Orlando Rep is in Loch Haven Park with plenty of free parking. Call (407) 896-7365 or visit OrlandoRep.com.
3. Puccini’s ‘La Bohème’
Nov 15, 17 and 19. “La Bohème,” one of the world’s most beloved (and most performed) operas, was composed by Giacomo Puccini with a libretto based on stories about young “bohemians” living in Paris in the 1840s. The world premiere in 1896 featured a young Arturo Toscanini conducting. Exactly 50 years later, Toscanini conducted a performance of “La Bohème” on radio with the performance released on record and CD. With a story of love found and lost, Opera Orlando has updated the opera to Paris in the Roaring ’20s. Cecilia Violetta Lopez, of the Metropolitan Opera, makes her Orlando debut as Mimi, with tenor Ben Gulley as Rudolfo. Company favorites Bridgett Gan and Gabriel Preisser round out the opera’s lead quartet. Opera Orlando performs with Orlando Philharmonic musicians, and these performances will sell out. I recommend you order your tickets now by calling 844-513-2014 or visiting drphillipscenter.org.
4. ‘Daddy Long Legs’
Nov. 16 to Dec. 17. From the Tony Award-winning director of “Les Miserables,” this Cinderella-story-musical is based on the novel that inspired the 1955 movie starring Fred Astaire. The musical takes place in an orphanage, where Jerusha is the “oldest orphan in the home.” Impressed by her writing, a trustee of the orphanage offers to pay for her to go to college — all expenses paid. The only condition is that he remains anonymous, but Jerusha is to write to him reporting her progress. As she begins her first letter, she decides to call him “Daddy Long Legs,” because of a shadow she has seen (having decided the shadow belongs to her benefactor). Call (407) 645-0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org.
5. Beethoven and Mozart
8 p.m. Nov. 18. If you truly love classical music, I know when you saw the title “Beethoven and Mozart,” you smiled. As concert-goers, we feel fortunate when either name shows up on our program, but both on the same program — we get to sit back and enjoy unabashed genius. The Orlando Philharmonic will make this dream-come-true happen when Jeffrey Kahane, music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducts and performs at the piano with our orchestra. Both concerto and symphony begin with a slow introduction, with stately repetitions of a series of chords. In performance at the Bob Carr Theatre. call (407) 770-0071 or visit orlandophil.org.