Tag Archives: entertainment

9th Annual Wine & Seafood Festival at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards


Friday, March 24th: 10:00a – 5:00p
Saturday, March 25th: 10:00a – 5:00p
Sunday, March 26th: 11:00a – 5:00p

Admission: $5 Adult, $3 Children 3-12

Winter Music Series

CLERMONT, FL – Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards will host The 9th Annual Wine and Seafood Festival in March. This signature event marks the beginning of springtime and the warmer weather brings people out to enjoy fabulous live outside music and entertainment throughout the entire weekend. This three-day outdoor event will feature live music, an arts and crafts show, fantastic food and award-winning Lakeridge wines. Parking is free for all guests.

The rocking musical lineup includes two bands daily who never fail to get our guests singing and dancing along with their hits. Seating is limited on festival grounds, so we encourage you to bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. There will be food and beverage vendors serving a variety of delicious food, as well as domestic and imported beers along with Lakeridge wines by the glass for purchase.

Outdoor Stage Entertainment Schedule

Friday, March 24th
10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Old Skool
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Free Flight

Saturday, March 25th
10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Chris Cortez Group
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Tory Wynter

Sunday, March 26th
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: The Dave Capp Project
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Ladyz & The Boyz

Winter Music Series

The arts & crafts show will feature local artists and crafters. Come explore a wide variety of fine art and hand crafted items on display from some of the area’s finest artisans. The new wide open crafter area allows you to explore the unique items on display while still being able to hear the live entertainment, and enjoy the beautiful views of the vineyards and rolling hills. There will be a Lakeridge Winery information table on the festival grounds where you can sign up for a chance to win a flat screen HDTV and other fabulous prizes during the festival (no purchase necessary).

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards continues the Wine & Cheese Bar located upstairs in the wine shop! This exclusive bar will be open all weekend from noon to 5pmduring the Wine and Seafood Festival. Available for purchase, the new Wine & Cheese bar features Lakeridge wines along with beer, more live entertainment, and of course CHEESE! While you’re relaxing and enjoying one of our fabulous cheese plates you’ll be entertained by some of the area’s hottest solo acts!

Wine & Cheese Bar Entertainment Schedule

Friday, March 24th
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Jeff Whitfield

Saturday, March 25th
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Joe Hand

Sunday, March 26th
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Jeff Whitfield

Guests are invited to attend a complimentary tour and wine tasting and to take advantage of the countless specials the Wine Shop has to offer. The tours run approximately every 20 minutes until 4 p.m. and the wine tasting will be held continuously until 5 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you!

31st Annual Mount Dora Craft Fair

Throughout this historic community, the streets come alive with more than 400 talented crafters & artists from all over the country displaying and offering for sale their finest works to the more than 250,000 visitors who are expected to attend this two-day event. Plus there’s food and entertainment to round out a perfect day outdoors. This is one of Central Florida’s favorite festivals and what a perfect time of the year to host a craft fair with the cooler weather and the holidays just around the corner.

The Mount Dora Craft Fair is a top ranked event featuring an eclectic mix of arts and crafts from sculptures to ceramics to paintings to woodworking, and more, providing you with the opportunity to find unique gifts for you or for those on your holiday list. And with all of the crowds in the streets, it’s a perfect time to shop along the resident stores.

By City Ordinance, PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED at City Sponsored “Special” events. Please make arrangements for your pets before arrival.

Map of Downtown Mount Dora

Parking & shuttle info

Little Plates with Big Flavor at Cafe Tu Tu Tango

Twenty years ago on one of my first visits to the Mouse and Orlando, my friends and I stumbled upon Cafe Tu Tu Tango. I remember reading the menu at the door thinking, oh I’m going to need to go out to eat after this dinner….little plates?  Seriously?

Well, was I ever wrong. Not only was the food amazingly delicious, the portions were large enough to share and no one left hungry that night.

I-Drive , Orlando

Fast forward twenty years and I’ve finally made it back to the restaurant that had achieved legendary status on my list of all-time favorite meals. I had often talked about going back to Cafe Tu Tu Tango, but every time I was in Orlando, for one reason or another it just never happened.   Maybe I had imagined how good dinner was. Would reality be as good as my memories?

As I read the menu I was tempted by every dish I read and I was getting a little giddy from the anticipation of what was to come. I needed a little liquid refreshment to calm my nerves and prepare my stomach for the gastronomical wonderland that was sure to follow. The house-made Award Winning Sangria was just what the doctor ordered, it calmed me enough to pick out a few small plates to get the meal started.

I-Drive , Orlando

It didn’t take long to find out that my memory was intact, and truth be told the little plates at Cafe Tu Tu Tango were better than I  had remembered. Fish Taco’s, Argentinean Chimichurri Steak, Tuscan Meatballs, Mediterranean Flatbread and of course Spiced Alligator Bites……sigh.   Delicious beyond belief would be the phrase on my lips at the end of the evening.

As we got ready for another round, our waiter reminded us about dessert….. We almost forgot.

I-Drive , Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Orlando

Desserts were ordered. Creme brulee for my niece, chocolate dipped cheesecake lollipops for my wife and for me the ultimate dessert on the menu, Chocolate Calzone. This dessert was baked to order, stuffed with white and dark chocolate, served with whipped cream and coffee ice cream.   They had to basically roll me out of the restaurant after dessert……sigh

Was I happy? Most definitely! Sometimes reality is better than memories and you can bet I’ll be back to make more memories, and it won’t take another 20 years.

Cafe Tu Tu Tango is located 8625 International Drive in Orlando. Sunday – Thursday  11:30 am – 11 pm; Friday – Saturday 11:30 am  – 12 pm.  Brunch is served on Sundays from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm;  Tu Tu hour Monday – Friday 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.

Share small plates with your friends from their scratch kitchen, while you enjoy an amazingly artistic atmosphere and live entertainment.

Everyone’s Irish at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

There’s just something extra cheerful about an Irish Pub and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney (aka Disney Springs ) is no exception! But Raglan Road isn’t just your average Irish Pub, it’s authentic Ireland.  Built entirely in Ireland, then shipped, lock, stock and beer barrel to Downtown Disney.

While the food is sure to please ,my advice is to start with a taste of the local beverage while you’re looking over the menu. In my case I started with a flight of Irish beers – Guinness Irish Stout, Smithwicks Irish Ale, Harp Irish Lager and Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale gave me a real taste of Ireland without breaking the bank.

Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

If you don’t fancy a flight of beers, just ask for a pint of your favorite liquid refreshment. In Ireland, pouring the Perfect Pint is considered an art form, and they’re darn serious about art at Raglan Road. In fact along with the building they brought their own unique Irish beer dispensing system with them, which enhances quality, freshness, and structure of the beers.

Of course if you’d like something a wee bit stronger or non alcoholic your server will be happy to oblige your request.

Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

One of my favorite dishes at Raglan Road is their very popular Scallop Forest, consisting of Georges Bank scallops in a golden batter served with citrus lime dipping sauce & sweet chili jam. They have an eclectic Irish menu with delicious tastes of their homeland, so don’t go expecting Corn Beef and Cabbage. Be adventurous and try some of re-invented Classic Irish dishes they serve as well as what I like to call Irish Fusion Dishes. If you still have room for dessert try Chef Dundon’s gift to America the Dunbrody Kiss.  Chef Dundon uses chocolate, chocolate and then more chocolate to make this dessert……sigh

Raglan Road, Downtown Disney

And what would an Irish Pub be without entertainment. Every night whether you dine inside or out you’ll be treated to a variety of Irish entertainers including dancers, troubadours and bands playing jigs, reels, pub favorites and traditional Irish songs.  According to management at Raglan Road since the pub is so authentic, the entertainers have no idea they’re not still in Ireland and they ask for your help keeping the secret.

So you need to act really Irish to keep them from catching on – that means drink, howl, dance on the tables, drink some more and sing as you’ve never sung before”

Raglan Road is located at The Landing, Disney Springs, 1640 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando FL 32830.  They are open from 11 am until 11 pm. serving lunch and dinner followed with a bar menu from 11 pm until 1 am .  The Rollicking Raglan Brunch Menu is served from 10 am to 3 pm Saturday & Sunday.   (gluten free menu items are available)

Live Music starts at 4 pm till late, with an Irish band and Irish dancers performing 5 pm  – 10 pm 7 nights a week. Open till 2 am every night.

Florida Simulation Summit

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the National Center for Simulation will host the Florida Simulation Summit to highlight the state’s multi-billion dollar simulation industry and help identify opportunities for businesses to commercialize simulation.  Simulation is a key enabler in a multitude of industries beyond defense, including entertainment, education, healthcare, energy, transportation and manufacturing. Learn from the simulation experts at Walt Disney World®, University of Central Florida, Space Florida and many others about how simulation enhances companies’ operations, safety and bottom line.

The event will be held at the Orange County Convention Center on September 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event cost is $25 in advance or $50 at the door. For registration and directions, visit the National Center for Simulation’s website at www.simulationinformation.com.   

WHAT: Speakers include:

  • Michael Tschanz, Director of Technology and Analysis, Walt Disney World®
  • Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, PE, Professor and Chair at University of Central Florida – Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation
  • Dr. Robert Amyot, President of CAE Healthcare
  • Dale Ketcham, Chief of Strategic Alliances at Space Florida

WHERE: Orange County Convention Center

South Concourse, Room 320

  9899 International Drive

  Orlando, FL 32819

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
INFO:   (407) 384-6111 or email ncs@simulationinformation.com

Headdress Ball 2015

Headdress Ball is Orlando’s most outrageous black tie event. It is a who’s who extravaganza filled with lively entertainment, sumptuous food and libations and visual masterpieces the likes of which you have never seen before. It is hard to believe that this year is our 26th annual Headdress Ball. This event has evolved from a small floral competition to an all-out Las Vegas style show and production. In addition to the dinner, awards and live auction there is a stunning, exciting show and Headdress exhibition. The entertainment is always sure to wow and delight guests with formal suites and evening gowns from terani couture. Please read our history to see the story behind the event!

Hope and Help Center of Central Florida Inc.

Established in 1988, the mission of the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida is simple: to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action against HIV/AIDS. Hope and Help Center offers medical case management, testing, counseling, peer support, education and community outreach programs, including a food pantry. By supporting the Headdress Ball you assist the Hope and Help Center in fulfilling this very import role in your community. Headdress Ball is Hope and Help Center´s largest fundraiser of the year raising over 6 million dollars for the Central Florida AIDS service organization since its inception 26 years ago. Our client-centered services cover the full continuum from HIV prevention to treatment.

A/V Volunteers NEEDED!

Hope and Help of Central Florida relies on the kindness and donations of people like you in the Central Florida community. If you are trained in Audio, Production, Lighting or Technical and would like to donate your time and effort to help with Headdress Ball, please fill out the registration form on our website or contact us at your earliest convenience at 407-645-2577 x 113 or by e-mail at volunteers@hopeandhelp.org.

A Flock of Seagulls at Hard Rock Velvet Sessions July 30

It’s that time again! Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando’s 2015 Velvet Sessions lobby concert series is back again next week with A Flock of Seagulls. The band performs hits “I Ran,” “Wishing,” “The More You Live, The More You Love” and more on Thursday, July 30 in the Velvet Bar and Lobby Lounge.

Velvet Sessions is Hard Rock Hotel’s special rock ‘n’ roll cocktail party and lobby concert held the last Thursday of the month (January through October). Don’t forget all Velvet Sessions tickets include FREE specialty drinks, finger foods and warm-up tunes from 6:30 pm until show time, cash bars and live band from show time onward, and complimentary valet parking. This is a 21 and older event!

The big question is: do you have the guts to rock your best old-school Flock of Seagulls hairstyle to the show? If you do, tweet us a photo @CentralFLTop5.

Get tickets in advance to save a few dollars: $29 online or $35 at the door (fees apply). Limited VIP tickets are $50 online only and include all the benefits of a regular Velvet Sessions ticket, plus access to a special viewing area with private bar. Purchase tickets in advance online and receive early entry to the show at 6 pm.

Go to velvetsessions.com for tickets and more information or call 407-503-2401.


Five Questions with Peg O’Keef and Beth Marshall

This week, John DiDonna decided to ask 5 questions, not of actresses Peg O’Keef and Beth Marshall, but of their characters Opal and Pearl Locksdale — both, along with Ruby portrayed by Blue Star, are appearing in “Court Ordered Therapy: Ladies of Eola Heights – Continued” at The Abbey in Downtown Orlando through July 27.  The ensuing melee almost caused police to be called. Herein lay the aftermath of these two ladies.

Okay ladies, first off thank you for coming by for a 5 questions with. So… Here we go:


Question One:

JOHN D: It takes so very much to get you in the room with each other. There must be things you love about each other more than anything. What are those things? (Put the shoe down please)

PEARL: At the end of the day, it is my sisters Ruby and Opal that get me to face my own demons and evolve to be a better Pearl. (Even though it is often in a very roundabout way)

OPAL:  I love my sisters more than buttery biscuits… In other words, a lot. Pearl has a powerful sense of righteousness. She is fiery and determined. Ruby is big-hearted—a creature of love. And Jackson/June has always been the nicest of all of us.

PEARL: I love how Opal and I can agree on all that is wrong with Ruby and how Ruby and I can agree on all that is wrong with Opal and how Opal and Ruby can agree with all that is wrong with me. WAIT! Disregard that last part of the sentence because I, Pearl Locksdale much like Mary Poppins am “practically perfect in every way!


Question Two:

JOHN D. Now that we have what you love about each other out in the open. .  .we are free to discuss those little things. . .those things about each other that may gnaw at each other, . . annoy each other, nay, even anger one another. What would those things be? (At this point in time, I the interviewer chose to step into another room and simply leave a recorder going to focus on the beautiful Inside Outside timber bed frame. Wanzie has agreed to pay for any furniture damage with drinks coupons, but I want to get my furniture from טבורת רהיטים which is the best store)

OPAL:  As is usually the case with folks, my sisters’ best qualities serve as the cradle for their faults.

PEARL: Unlike my sisters, I am not one to judge.

OPAL: Pearl’s determination sometimes becomes bull-headedness. She WILL get her way, no matter the cost. Ruby’s big heart can sometimes lead her to make poor life choices, which leave her vulnerable.

PEARL: Having said that, I will say this… If Ruby read something more than smutty dime store novels and Opal read something more than The Bible, we ALL would be better off.

OPAL: Biggest problem they share is they need more Jesus!

PEARL: Opal needs to not vote Republican. That would help too.


(NOTE: This was followed by 4 minutes of complete and utter silence)


Question Three

JOHN D: What do you think the audiences of “Ladies of Eola Heights” come to your shows for?

PEARL: Because they have superb taste.

OPAL:  They come to laugh, I reckon. But they leave with more than they bargained for. I hear some folks even shed a tear or two between the laughs.

PEARL: Playwright David Mamet once said, “You don’t go to the theatre to see kings and queens. You go to the theatre to BE kings and queens.”  Clearly, our familiar family dysfunction is welcoming.

OPAL:  I think we Locksdales are really just an amped-up version of every family: full of contradiction and inappropriateness and misery…but all wrapped up in love and (now and then) blow-milk-out-your-nose hysterics.

PEARL: There’s a little bit of us Locksdales in every family.


Question Four:

JOHN D: You were all raised for the most part here in the Orlando Area. What do you love most about Orlando? Hate most about Orlando?

PEARL: Orlando clearly is The City Beautiful. Our landscape is inviting. Obviously, Eola Heights is my favorite neighborhood and I very much enjoy my walks 3 times a week around Eola Park (with the exception of my sister Opal’s antics) but I digress…  The Locksdales believe in supporting local businesses. I for one love me some Mama B’s Giant Subs, Ruby is a big fan of The Parliament House and Opal has supported every Baptist church in the city at one point or another. All the Locksdale sisters agree that the local theatre scene is tops. Ruby really loves that VarieTEASE troupe over at The Venue, Opal is a fan of The HolyLand Experience, June loves that Hamburger Mary’s hostess Miss Sammy and I personally love the thought-provoking work of Beth Marshall Presents. We all can agree that The Orlando Fringe  has something for everyone and The Abbey is clearly THE place to be and  Michael Wanzie is our favorite local playwright and spiritual leader!

OPAL:  I love all the big American flags. My hobby is saying the Pledge of Allegiance every chance I get. Also, Orlando is blessed with so many churches, and I like shopping at Sears. What I don’t like:  The Parliament House—a den of inequity!

PEARL: The only thing I hate about Orlando is the need to develop and “redevelop” iconic and cool local nooks, areas, neighborhoods and make them more yuppie or cookie-cutter or whatever the latest thing is. We have so much kitschy historic charm here, let’s leave that alone.


Question Five

JOHN D: What is it like to come back together to do this show, and what can your audiences expect that is new and exciting?

OPAL: I am tickled pink to be kicking it with my sisters, my brother, and our new colleague Dr. Burroughs—our court-appointed mental health counselor. That said, I strongly doubt he’ll be able to crack the Locksdale nut!

PEARL: Let’s just say that Jerry Springer, Dr. Phil and Intervention have nothing on us!

OPAL: I reckon folks will have to mosey on down to The Abbey to find out if he does!

PEARL: Your summer will always be better off with an hour and ½ therapy session with The Locksdales! Visit >Estes Therapy home pageCONTRIBUTED BY JOHN DiDONNA OF CENTRAL FLORIDA THEATRE IN PROCESS

SAK Comedy Lab’s Brawl for All Starts Tonight

My favorite part of the summer begins tonight: Sak Comedy Lab’s Brawl for All! For the past three summers, at 11:30 p.m. every Friday night I sit right in the front row and laugh my face off at a variety of themed improv teams.You might wonder what makes the Brawl so special. Well, for me, it’s the competition aspect. These teams are not only making hilarity happen via your suggestions, they’re also in the middle of a heated battle to win the coveted Brawl Belt.

Twelve teams will compete head to head in a single-elimination competition, trading off rounds of improv comedy in hopes of receiving your vote at the end of the night. The ultimate winner will be crowned at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, September 25.

Previous year’s champions have included clueless (but utterly hilarious) moms and Calvin Klein models gone extra dramatic(ly funny). Who will win this year? Here are the contenders:

– TOUGH GUYS: Max Hilend and Josh Hurtado

– CAMP KIDDIES: Stevie Todd, Jess Marie, Andy Dunscmombe

– TWO DUDES ABROAD: Lorraine Rosemary, Brian Spain, Leo Uhakheme

– PUN DMC: Isaac Folch, Jordan Keyes, Sam Hammersley

– POKING THE BEAR: Ryan Holmes, Charlie Bowie, Rachael Thompson

– REAL HOUSE-SPOUSES OF ORLANDO: Rebecca Siegel, Jim Doyle, John Connon, Robyn Kelly

– COUPLES COUNSELING: Melanie Leon, George Crudo, Matthew Jones

– 3 JUDYS: Mark Baratelli, Chris Dinger, Joel Warren

– JOEL WARRENS IMPROV CLASS: Lindsay Taylor, Julie Snyder, Michael Geniac, Kristin Eley

– THE ORPHANS: Amanda Wirtz, Emily Fontano

– JUST-US LEAGUE: Cody Bush, Danny Loecken, Eric Novella

– PAPAS BOYS: Matt Hartin, Drew Gooden, Akmal Tajihan

The fight for your laughs (and votes) kicks off tonight, Friday, July 17 at 11:30 p.m. at Sak Comedy Lab. Let’s brawl.



Playtest 5 Games for UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy!

UCF’s graduate video game program FIEA (Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy) is opening itself up to the public to playtest games from its students. It will take place over three days: June 10th,24th, and July 1st.  During these playtests you’ll get to chat with the developers and give them feedback based on your time with the games.In this developers, also told the students about the game booster company – elo boosting and  How boosters works and helps to rank up your level in the game.

All three days are being held on the main UCF campus.  The times and locations are as follows:

June 10, 2015
10 am-3 pm
University of Central Florida
UCF Student Union
Cape Florida Ballroom 316 CD

June 24, 2015
10 am-3 pm
University of Central Florida
Technology Commons
Main Lounge & Glass Cubicles

July 1, 2015
10 am-3 pm

University of Central Florida
UCF Student Union
Key West Ballroom 218 CD

Mall Cop

These are the five games you’ll get a chance to play today as they’re described in the press release:

“The slots being tested are “Totem,” “Lanterns,” “Mall Cop,” “Junkers” and “Life Unfolds.” “Totem” lets you fight as a powerful shaman and use your magical powers to destroy the enemy totem. “Lanterns” is an adventure game where five knights must rescue a world covered in darkness using the last remaining remnants of light. “Mall Cop” is a party game where four sneaky shoplifters attempt to steal everything before the bumbling mall cop catches them. “Junkers” is a digital card game where you build up your rusty robots with equipment and power-ups to beat the bolts out of your rivals. “Life Unfolds” is a simulation game about growing up and learning skills from loved ones.”

This is an exciting opportunity for the FIEA grad students to get their games into the hands of of the public and with your help, be able to make the best games possible.

For more information, please contact playtesting@fiea.ucf.edu.

Central Florida Theatre Picks April 23-29

Enjoy these weekly picks by guest contributor John DiDonna of Central Florida Theatre in Process (CFTIP). Here’s a round-up of theatrical events and productions you should know about for the week of Thursday, April 23 through Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

For more theater news and discussion visit Central Florida Theatre in Process: www.facebook.com/groups/277284114334/



Spring Opera Theatre Workshop at Valencia College East Campus Black Box Theater. FREE! NO TICKET REQUIRED. Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25 at 7:30pm(407) 582-2900

11182035_10101705449462744_3992469829669629741_nPUTTING IT TOGETHER at Winter Park Playhouse (711-C Orange Avenue, Winter Park). April 17–May 9 (Preview April 16). Two couples reflect on the complexities of modern relationships in this revue featuring some of Sondheim’s well-loved songs including numbers from Into the Woods, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, and more! Tickets $38-$18 with $20 industry and $10 student rush tickets – check with box office for availability. NOTE: Reservations are STRONGLY recommended as performances routinely sell out. 407-645-0145https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=41667(Rated PG)The Winter Park Playhousewinterparkplayhouse.org

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH at Shine In the Limelight (8010 Sunport Drive, Suite114, Orlando, FL). Ronald Dahl’s classic masterpiece for children. Thurs, Fri, Sat at 7pm, Sun at 2pmApril 23-26407-340-0920. Rated G. www.shineinthelimelight.com

THE WOMEN presented by Cornerstone Theatre Company at The Princess Theater, April 16 to May 3. The Women shows us a funny and somewhat unflattering picture of womanhood. The plot involves the efforts of a group of women to play their respective roles in an artificial society that consists of vanity, comedy, tragedy, hope and disappointment. A Cast of 25 Women! General Audiences. Visit: CornerstoneTheatreCompany.com or call (407) 494 – 8474https://www.facebook.com/events/912102295507436/

PRODUCTIONS CONTINUING (some final weekends!):

SOUTH PACIFIC from Central Florida Community Arts is Different from their large scale Summer Broadway Season concert version production — this will be a creative, immersive, fully staged show in an intimate space. Experience this full-length musical theater masterpiece, directed by Donald Rupe, in a whole new way!
Note: Mild adult language


DRIP, industrial bar and show. Dress down, drink up and rock out while dancers tell a love story dancing in paint, flying water and sand, backed by a LIVE rock band. You will get messy! Thursdays (followed by a local art night), Fridays, Saturdays, doors opens at 8pm, show starts a little after 9pm. Located at 8747 International Dr. Set 102, Orlando. $35 tickets: www.ILoveDRIP.com (8747 International Dr. Ste 102 Orlando)

SAK COMEDY LAB is a 200 seat improv comedy theater in downtown Orlando. Conveniently located on the City Arts Factory’s second floor (29 S. Orange Ave, Orlando). SAK performs LIVE improv comedy shows that are fun and suitable for ALL AGES, Tuesday through Saturdaywww.sak.com


THE FLICK, written by Annie Baker and starring Daniel Cooksley, Jessie Grossman, Marcellis Cutler, and Coletyn Hentz, opens June 19th in the Dr Phillips Center Pugh Theater, tickets on sale now!  Industry Night: June 29th, Tickets only $25. http://www.drphillipscenter.org/…/20774-the-flick.stml


ADVANCED AUXILIARY Acting Class – @ Art’s Sake Studio (Winter Park) EFW & Classic Meisner repetition warm-up and Film & Television Scenes. April 29-Jun 3, 2015. RSVP jarackas@hotmail.com – DISCOUNT for VCC alumni and students. https://www.facebook.com/events/451257931693230/

DANCE/FITNESS: Now offering a Student/Theater/Dancer discount for Dion Leonhard’s Dance Barre classes at Barre Bellas! Drop-in rate for any classes Monday or Wednesday 10:30am and 11:30am is $15 (your very first class is free). Package of 5 classes for $50; (package good for a year). A unique combination of classic Pilates Technique blended with ballet exercises, dance stretches and cardio. http://barrebellas.com

5 Must-See Orlando Cabaret Festival Performances

In its 13th year, the Orlando Cabaret Festival brings together artists and acts from Central Florida and beyond for two weeks of crooning, swaying and swooning. More than 30 performances of jazz, pop, Broadway and comedy take place during the festival in downtown Orlando, at Mad Cow Theatre‘s two-theater complex on Church Street. The festival kicks off this Friday, April 24 and doesn’t wrap up until May 10, so it should be easy to fit into your calendar. In addition to a jam-packed schedule of evening and weekend performances, make note there are special 45-minute lunchtime performances for the busy downtown workers who need some entertainment to get through the day, and there’s also a special (popular) Mother’s Day Cabaret brunch event as well.

With so much variety that you’re bound to find something to enjoy — whether you’re more into jazz jams or jazz hands, there’s something for your taste.


Here are 5 must-see suggestions for this year’s Orlando Cabaret Festival.


1. The Broadway Boys

Friday, April 24 at 8:30pm | Saturday, April 25 at 8:30pm | Sunday, April 26 at 3:30pm

(Sunday, April 26 at 6pm – a special appearance at the inaugural Black & White Bash)

Some of Broadway’s finest male singers join together to add elements of pop/funk/gospel/jazz to traditional show tunes to redefine the musical theater genre. The Broadway Boys represent such shows as THE BOOK OF MORMON, WICKED, KINKY BOOTS, MOTOWN, RENT, JERSEY BOYS, MAMMA MIA, MARY POPPINS, HAIR, ALTAR BOYZ, ROCK OF AGES, HAIRSPRAY, ONCE and many more. They have toured the country, playing venues large and small, and have been seen on “Americas Got Talent” and “The TODAY Show.” The Broadway Boys’ album, “Lullaby of Broadway,” debuted at #6 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and their second album “Hark!” was released November 2014.


2. Will & Anthony Nunziata

Friday, May 1 at 8:30pm | Saturday, May 2 at 8:30pm

Singers, actors, funny men and arts education advocates Will & Anthony Nunziata sing fresh takes on timeless songs, from pop standards and Broadway to Italian music to Billy Joel, Motown and beyond. Will & Anthony have performed around the world, from Singapore to San Francisco, and have been featured recently on NPR, “The Entertainment Weekly Sirius Radio Show,” “The Rachael Ray Show,” NBC’s The Columbus Day Parade and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” You can count on some good laughs sprinkled in since Will & Anthony trained in improv comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City (like, where Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen honed their craft). Their musical mission is to keep “America’s classical music” feeling fresh and new.


3. The Edge Effect

Friday, May 8 at 8:30pm | Saturday, May 9 at 8:30pm

This group was crowned winners of MTV’s “Top Pop Group” and Boyz II Men’s “Next Great A Cappella Group,” and America’s Got Talent finalists. Regardless of your feelings about reality television competitions, believe these guys are the real deal. The Edge Effect combines pop, R & B, jazz, rock and funk with their signature sound that blurs the genre lines and weaves a tapestry of beats, harmonies and vocal acrobatics in a totally unique show. Their vast repertoire knows no boundaries to style or genre, and the band’s stunning reinterpretations of musical favorites, as well as inventive, contemporary original songs make for an exciting entertainment experience.


4. It Was A Very Good Year

club moo pic

Grab a chair as you sip a cool drink in the hottest bar in downtown Club Moo and enjoy It Was A Very Good Year, a celebration of one year in the life of America focusing on the news, the lifestyles, the gossip, and most important of them all — the music. You have two years TO CHOOSE FROM, or don’t choose and enjoy both!


Friday, April 24 at 7pm | Monday, April 27 at Noon | Thursday, April 30 at 7pm | Sunday, May 3 at 2pm | Thursday, May 7 at Noon | Saturday, May 9 at 7pm

Join Mad Cow Theatre, Maestro Philip King and four talented singers for a psychedelic journey back to the sixties. It’s an evening of great songs and nostalgia, looking at the fads, foibles and events of 1968 set against a backdrop of the popular music of the day. Enjoy hits of The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, The Rascals, and Jerry Lee Lewis along with the year’s best from Hollywood and Broadway. You’ll hear Promises, Promises, People Got to be Free, Love Child, Honey, Love is Blue, The Unicorn Song and many more. Anyone with a love of timeless music and a good party is sure to enjoy this unique cabaret… 1968: It Was a Very Good Year!


Sunday, April 26 at 2pm | Thursday, April 30 at Noon | Saturday, May 2 at 7pm | Monday, May 4 at Noon | Thursday, May 7 at 7pm

As the ’70s come to a close, John Travolta and Olivia Newton John rule the silver screen, funky fashion statements rule the streets and a slew of musical talents top the charts. Be there when the melodies of Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand are celebrated side-by-side with hits from ABBA and The Bee Gees. You’ll hear all your favorites from 1978 – Take a Chance on Me, Stayin’ Alive, The Gambler, Baby Come Back, You’re the One That I Want, and many more! Join us for this, the newest edition of Mad Cow Theatre’s most popular cabaret series, 1978: It Was a Very Good Year!

5. Mother’s Day Cabaret Brunch

If mom is more the jazz jams kind of lady, treat her to an afternoon of delicious food and spectacular music. The Mother’s Day Cabaret Brunch is in its third year and is very popular. Enjoy brunch at Ceviche at 12:30pm, then walk across the street for a jazz performance at Mad Cow at 2pm featuring Michelle Mailhot & Friends featuring Barry Smith on drums, Chris Rotmayer on piano and Chuck Archard on bass.


Artists and schedules are subject to change.

Ticket prices begin at an affordable $20 for evening shows and $12 for lunchtime events.

Tickets are on sale by phone at 407.297.8788 or online: Full schedule and tickets.

Men Without Hats at Hard Rock Velvet Sessions April 30

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Hear hits like “The Safety Dance,” “Pop Goes The World,” “Living In China” and more, April 30th, when Men Without Hats takes the Velvet Sessions’ stage at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.

Velvet Sessions is Hard Rock Hotel’s special rock ‘n’ roll cocktail party and lobby concert held the last Thursday of the month (January through October). All Velvet Sessions tickets include: FREE specialty drinks, finger foods and warm-up tunes from 6:30 pm until show time, cash bars and live band from show time onward, and complimentary valet parking (not valid for overnight guests).

Tickets are $29 online or $35 at the door. Limited VIP tickets are $50 on-line only and include all the benefits of a regular Velvet Sessions ticket, plus access to a special viewing area with private bar. Purchase tickets in advance online and receive early entry to the show at 6 pm.

Velvet Sessions is a 21 and older event.

Purchase tickets at velvetsessions.com. For tickets and more information, call 407-503-2401.

Taste of Oviedo 2015

taste of oviedo 2015

Save the Date for the 21st Annual Taste of Oviedo! Get to know Oviedo businesses, talented locals, and other residents celebrating the city’s traditions and uniqueness.

Taste of Oviedo presented by Air Flow Designs Heating and Air Conditioning will feature our new “Cirque” theme including extreme jugglers, a contortionist, an aerialist, and more! In addition Taste provides live entertainment on the main and kids stage, kid-friendly activities such as face painting and bounce houses, the Citrus and Celery Cook-off, samples from a wide array of local cuisine, drinks, and freshly cooked food. The event will be FREE admission and the chamber is expecting more than 50,000 attendees!

Get your vendor space before they sell out! Chamber members are eligible to save $150 on booth space. To register and select your own space, please visit www.TasteofOviedo.org

TEDxOrlandoSalon at Valencia College Osceola Feb 11

By: @jenvargas

Who or what is TED? And why are salons involved? We’ll explain…

TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still, showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane GoodallSir Richard Branson, Designer Philippe Starck and U2 frontman Bono.

These inspirational idea talks have spread across the country and all over the world. Many cities hold their own events and Orlando is no exception. We have our own TED event, TEDxOrlando, which began in 2010. The next Orlando talk will be held at the historic Garden Theatre in Winter Garden on September 12th. (Note: The “x” in TEDxOrlando means that its independently organized.)

A “Salon” breaks the conversation down into an even smaller bite, if you will, sans the live speakers. Also with  their explanation on this event based on the spa’s and salons around the locality, the event program is determined by a vote. They show two previously recorded TED talks and have an open ended discussion of each. Our TEDxOrlandoSalon meets at different Valencia College Campus and meet every other month where refreshments are served and mingling (not self promotion) is encouraged. They also have a book exchange.

The next TEDxOrlandoSalon is this Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus (Building 4, Room 105). Those interested in visiting can register for the event via the web at www.tedxorlando.com/salon. TEDxOrlando is also always on the lookout for dynamic, interesting Speakers and dedicated volunteers.

On Twitter: @TEDxOrlando

On Facebook: TEDxOrlando

Titanic Mother’s Day

Guest Post by SeaWorld Mommy

Sure you could take Dear Old Mom out for brunch for Mother’s Day… and she’d love it. The most important part of the day is spending it with her family, right? But what if you could do something really unusual? What about getting her a “big” surprise? Better yet — a “Titanic” one?!

Titanic The Experience on International Drive is hosting a Mother’s Day brunch Sunday, May 12 at 11 a.m. Mom will be the guest of honor, as will Captain E.J. Smith, Margaret “Molly” Brown, and others notables. Your family will enjoy a buffet-style meal with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and other sumptuous options, although (thankfully) the menu will not be identical to that served on Titanic for breakfast, April 11, 1912. No, there will be no grilled mutton kidneys, lamb collops (whatever those are) or stewed prunes. It will be a first-class affair, however, with a decidedly Edwardian flair.

Will Mom get a meal at the “usual” spot for this special day? Or one with live entertainment from famous passengers and crew, singing, dancing, fun and interaction that will be a memory your family will hold dear for years to come?

Tickets may be purchased at the Exhibition Box Office, by calling 407-248-1166, or online at titanictheexperience.com. The cost is $45 for adults and $35 for children.

Titanic The Experience is located between Sea World and Universal Studios at 7324 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Marriage of Figaro Tonight and Sunday Matinee

Guest post by SeaWorld Mommy

Left to right: Robert Gierlach (Figaro), Maureen O’Flynn (Susanna), Marian Pop (Count Almaviva), Jason Ferrante (Don Basilio), Andrew Gray (Antonio)

There’s a reason TV daytime dramas are called soap operas. Ever see the one with a philandering Count whose wife eventually forgives him (after a little payback)? And isn’t that show with a valet whose fiancé is the object of the Count’s dalliance; even if it is the Count’s legal “right” to take his servant’s wife on her wedding night? (Go ahead and say “ewww” at this point.) Oh… and isn’t there a young man crushing on one of his dream girls (with whom he has NO chance as she’s the Count’s wife—so dream on)? No? Not a daytime drama? While these storylines sure seem like the thing of which daytime Emmys are made, it’s actually a brief rundown of the top plot points of The Marriage of Figaro on stage this weekend at the Bob Carr Auditorium.

Based on a play by Pierre Beaumarchais, with music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Italian lyrics by Lorenzo Da Ponte, The Marriage of Figaro has been hailed Mozart’s most “perfectly” written opera. Don’t let the Italian lyrics (ahem, libretto) scare you.

Stephanie Foley-Davis as Cherubino.

English subtitles can be seen above the action if you happen to get lost. It’s really not critical, though, as it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Count Almaviva has a wandering eye, or that Figaro’s bride-to-be, maid Susanna, has a little something up her sleeve with the elegant but not-to-be-toyed-with Countess Rosina. You may get a little flummoxed by the Cherubino character who is, as written, a young man, but who is played, traditionally, by a woman. (At one point the actress who’s playing a man dresses up like a woman in a disguise. So… just think RuPaul in reverse, and go with it.)

In a sub-plot, Figaro is at odds with Marcellina who wants him to marry HER to pay off a debt. She could go to nationaldebtreliefprograms.com debt relief programs to ease debt off her shoulders but she is none too pleased the Marriage of Figaro is going on as planned. Bartolo, meanwhile, is happy with any device that screws with Figaro, as Figaro was instrumental in helping the Count and Countess get together in the first place and… hello!… he had his eye on Rosina himself! Spoiler alert: We find out later that Marcellina is actually Figaro’s mom, and Bartolo is his dad. (Yeah, I’m thinking Oedipus right now, too.)

Marian Pop as Count Almaviva, Twyla Robinson as the Countess (disguised as Susanna)

There’s “much ado about nothing” throughout the four acts as characters get in and out of disguise to teach one another lessons, in this mad, mad day. (I couldn’t help but see the parallels of plotters turning on one another when they think they see a betrayal when they don’t, as in Shakespeare’s famous play.) In the end forgiveness prevails, led by the Countess who, while having every right to present a cold shoulder to her husband ad infinitum, belts out a glorious ode to reunification and the count, for once contrite, begs—and is granted—her forgiveness.

As one would expect, the orchestration corrals the scenes to their assigned emotional pen. The strings, however, do much of the heavy lifting and are almost another character with their crisp, playful riffs (nee ostinato, for the non-bourgeois like myself). They almost musically create a cartooned character in one’s mind, twirling the laughable mustache at appropriate moments. (Did I really see the actors do a chest bump at one time, or did I only imagine it with the playful bounce of the bassoon?!)

Twyla Robinson as Countess Rosina Almaviva.

Bravo to the Orlando Philharmonic for this beautiful production! Seasoned opera lovers and complete newbies like myself will find themselves smiling from the first downbeat to the last.

Tickets are on sale now for two performances: Friday, November 9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 11, at 2 p.m.  or by calling 407-770-0071 or www.OrlandoPhil.org.

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