Tag Archives: Winter Park Playhouse

Top 5 “Other Music” Events for November

1. 38th Annual Handel’s Messiah

November 28 at Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
A traditional show, we can’t wait to allow our ears to be blessed with this music!

2. Thanksgiving Day Carillon Concerts

November 25 at Bok Tower Gardens
If you have never been to the Bok Tower Gardens, treat yourself and family this Thanksgiving. Sumptuous as pumpkin pie!

3. Orlando Philharmonic Home for the Holidays

November 27 at The Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
We love to ring in the coming holidays with some of our favorite holiday melodies!

The Orlando Philharmonic performing with the legendary John Williams at the recent opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

4. The Grand Knights of Singing-An Opera Gala

November 7-14 at UCF Opera Rehearsal Hall Auditorium
We love the thought of listening to gorgeous voices fill the air during this season. And until Orlando Opera makes a come back, we’re heading to UCF!

5. Something New

November 8 and 12 at Winter Park Playhouse
Featuring T. Robby Piggot and then Tim Evanicki, the area’s only theater dedicated to musical theater may have a hit on its hands!

T. Robert Piggott

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Filed under concert, Music, November 2010, Seasonal, Top 5 Other Music Events

United Arts “In Your Backyard: Where Newcomers Meet the Arts”

I would actually revise this event’s tagline to “Where Locals Meet the Arts.” You see, I am not a newcomer, but rather a 3rd generation Central Floridian, but even I was delighted by the information I received when I attended United Arts’ last “In Your Backyard.”

Every quarter, United Arts gathers local cultural venues to a morning get-together. Here you get to mingle with some leaders in the arts world and hear what’s new and exciting. Then, you watch a short presentation which gives in-depth information about each participating venue.  When I attended the last “In Your Backyard” held at the Winter Park Playhouse, here’s who I got to know better:

Winter Park Playhouse

Heather Alexander, Executive Director of the Playhouse, gave a brief overview of their lovely theater. It’s a nice size theater, a converted warehouse space. The theater focuses on musical theater (only one in Central Florida that only does musical theater) and they like to feature rarely seen or Off Broadway shows. They also do a series called  “Playhouse in the Park” which are free performances on the stage in downtown Winter Park in Central Park.  By the way, their upcoming “Pump Boys and Dinettes” was voted the #1 “Top 5” performing arts event this month!

The Enzian Theater

We next heard from Henry Maldonado, the President of Enzian, as he explained that the Enzian is more than just a movie theater – they are looking to create an independent movie experience! They have Film Slam once a month after the Sunday brunch, which focuses on local up-and-coming movie makers. They want to create debate and discussion and to have viewers realize, “Arguing over movies is the most fun thing you can do it and Enzian is the place to do it!”  He also explained that the theater’s outdoor Eden Bar is a destination, where people who love movies are hanging out. They also do monthly outdoor movies called “Popcorn Flicks” in Winter Park’s Central Park. They also have movie festivals throughout the year such as the upcoming Jewish Film Fest in November or the nationally prestigious Florida Film Festival in the spring. (IMDB.com recently listed this as one of the best in the world!)

Crealde School of Art

We next heard from Peter Schreyer, the Executive Director of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, which is a special project by Crealde and the culmination of 8 years of research by residents, historians, etc.. There you can see 125 museum quality pieces of the Heritage Collection, and it is located at Hannibal Heritage Center, on the corner of Pennsylvania and New England in Winter Park. Schreyer described it as “125 windows into a historic community: photographs and oral histories of west Winter Park.”  I appreciate the facts that all the staff and docents are lifelong residents of the area. Last year he says they received 7,500 visitors and 35% were from out of town. In addition to this special project for west Winter Park, Crealde has been the leader in teaching arts in central Florida for 14 years now.  They have a beautiful facility off Aloma Ave. (their main campus) which contains a state of the art digital photography classroom with a grant. The Top 5 enjoys going to Crealde for their Annual Cup-A-Thon!

Orange County Arts Education

Next up was Scott Evans, the Director of the Orange County Arts Education Center. He spoke passionately about the importance of maintaining arts education in Florida’s public schools. He then listed some of the programs he oversees:

  • Magic journey to the arts program (highest percentage of paid lunch schools, in partnership with Orlando magic)
  • Children, arts and cultural alliaNce of a central FL … Takes children with poor home lives to museums, meet artists, etc.
  • Provide teachers with tools to teach art across the curriculum
  • Arts summer art guide…. Free and available from the public library or online

Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida

Last we heard from Autumn Ames, the Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida. She listed several of the highlights of the Alliance:

  • Red Chair Project, a “One Stop Shop for Arts”
  • Marketing branch/community engagement of United Arts
  • Serve 7 counties in Central Florida region
  • Promote arts to residents and tourists
  • Classes and workshops listed here
  • Free for arts organizations to post…
  • Orlando Arts Getaways – hotel, arts, restaurants, etc.
  • Red Chair Affair in August
  • Orlando Arts Sampler (ticket to 7 different arts groups for around $100)

By the way, the Top 5 absolutely loved the Red Chair Affair this year… it was magical!

So, if you have a chance, be sure to attend this quarter’s “In Your Backyard” to see what great arts and cultural things are happening right here in Central Florida. You might even win 2 free tickets to an upcoming event! Here’s the information: Wednesday, October 13 at the Maitland Art Center from 8:00 – 9:30 am.


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Filed under Education, General Info, Maitland, The Arts, Uniquely Florida

Orlando Improv Festival – The Top 5 Reasons You Must Go!

So, there are tons of reasons why you should go see the performances at the first annual Orlando Improv Festival on September 20 – 21…to support local cultural and art events, to be a trend-setter, to do something out of the ordinary, etc., etc.  However, we put our heads together with the festival’s creator, Mark Baratelli of TheDailyCity.com, to come up with the Top 5 reasons you simply must be there!

1. It’s a COMEDY festival.

And, in today’s world, we need to laugh more than ever!  From threats of burning Korans and the devastating unemployment rate, to in-our-face negative political ads and news of the ongoing war, couldn’t we all use a break?  Definitely! And remember, laughter is the best medicine for ALL that ails us!

2. Tickets are CHEAP.

Baratelli wanted something everyone could enjoy, and so ticket prices have been kept at just $5 – $7 per show. Where else can you see professional performers from around the country perform in our backyard for that price?

3. Performances include groups from all over the nation.

That’s right, not only do you get to see the best of Orlando’s improv talent, but you also get to see performers from Austin, Seattle, Atlanta and even Sarasota.

4. Location. Location. Location.

Being held at the Winter Park Playhouse allows for festival goers to enjoy the ambience, especially in between shows. If you haven’t been to the Playhouse yet, you are in for a treat. Located along Winter Park’s hip Orange Avenue scene, near The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park Fish Company and the new Cup of Soul Cafe, you can dine like royalty before or after a show, or kick back and relax on a comfy couch in the Playhouse’s ultra-intimate lobby.

5. It’s NOT on a weekend.

Okay, what? It’s not on a weekend?  That’s right! Baratelli realizes that his audience’s time is precious, and weekends are often packed with family obligations or other events, and so he decided Monday and Tuesday nights would be perfect to invite us out to enjoy… pure genius!  (Come on, would you rather be home cooking dinner on a boring regular Monday night, or would you prefer to be kicking back in style while being royally entertained? I know which I would choose!)

And the best part? You can join the fun for free!  The Top 5 has 2 “All-Access” Passes to giveaway. (That’s a $120 value!!!)

To Win All Access Passes:

1. Become a Top 5 fan on Facebook.

2. Leave a comment under the Orlando Improv Festival post.

3. Cross your fingers, because you just might be randomly selected to win the tickets! Winners will be chosen on Friday, September 17, so hurry to post your comment to be in the running!


Filed under Fun, General Info, New & Hot, The Arts