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Hope, Art, and Winnie the Pooh: Culture Worth the Miles

| October 5, 2010

pump boys and dinettes

The Tony Award-Nominated ‘Best Musical’ at the Winter Park Playhouse Oct. 15-Nov. 7

Art of Hope

“Hope” is a word laden with emotion, and “hope” was one of the magical words that elected our current President. That same “hope” is about to be interpreted by Artists from throughout the Southeastern U.S. in a two-part exhibit called, “The Art of Hope – A Regional Juried Exhibition Commemorating the First African American U.S. President, Barack Obama,” Artists from all visual mediums were invited by the Crealde School of Art to use their creativity to commemorate the “hope” surrounding the Obama presidency.


“This single event in history,” says Crealde Director Peter Schreyer, “has re-established America as a beacon of hope for millions of people around the globe.” The two-part Opening Reception on October 8 begins at Crealde’s Jenkins Gallery from 6 to 7:30 pm and then moves on to the Hannibal Square Heritage Center from 7:30 to 9 pm. The Reception is free, and the exhibit runs through January 15, 2011.  Call 407.671.1886 or visit

The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival

This glorious time of year is the perfect time to check out the latest works by Florida Artists at the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival. The only Festival to feature Florida artists exclusively, this community-oriented, volunteer-run sidewalk art show also offers loads of entertainment and events for all ages. Held in beautiful Central Park in downtown Winter Park, attendees will enjoy work from 150 Artists who were selected from over 400 applicants. Painting, Ceramics, Crafts, Drawing, Graphics, Sculpture, Jewelry and Photography will all be exhibited, and purchasing an original piece of ART helps support a Florida Artist. Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, the Festival is free and open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm. (Complimentary valet parking is available). Visit or call (407) 644-8281.

The House at Pooh Corner

It was inevitable that Winnie the Pooh and friends would come to the stage of the Orlando Repertory Theater, a company that specializes in performances to enrich the lives of families and children.  Beginning on October 9, the Orlando Rep will present the House at Pooh Corner based on the children’s characters created by A.A. Milne. Milne found the inspiration for his four Pooh books after the birth of his only son – Christopher Robin.  Little Christopher was given a menagerie of stuffed toys – a bear, a tiger, a pig, and a donkey, and the rest is children’s literature history.  Milne’s books continue to be best sellers; his classic Pooh stories known round the world. The Orlando Repertory Theatre is located in Loch Haven Park at 1001 East Princeton Street. Call 407-896-7365 or

Pump Boys and Dinettes

The Tony Award-Nominated ‘Best Musical,’ Pump Boys and Dinettes comes to The Winter Park Playhouse on October 15 and runs through November 7.  Created by the singer/actors of the original Broadway cast, this “slice-of-the-South” musical is about the ‘Pump Boys’ who sell high octane fuel on North Carolina’s Highway 57 and the sassy ‘Dinettes,’ who run the Double Cupp diner next door. Between changing tires and baking pies, the gang performs a smile-a-minute, down-home mix of country-western, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, and blues music in this tale of friendship and life’s simple pleasures. The much-anticipated return to the stage of Playhouse favorite Heather Alexander will take place as she takes on the role of ‘Prudie.’. Artistic Director Roy Alan says, “Pump Boys and Dinettes fits right into the genre of feel-good musicals we produce that help you forget your troubles and walk out of the theatre with a big smile on your face!” The Playhouse is located at 711-C Orange Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407-645-0145 or visit


“A Haunting Nightmare of Puppetry, Dance, and Storytelling” is how Artistic Director John Didonna describes the Empty Spaces Theatre Company’s next production.  Consider it the adult Halloween entry into the Orlando Puppet Festival 2010. We can be assured – with Didonna’s always inventive and fascinating direction – this is a most appropriate addition to the Halloween season. PHANTASMAGORIA promises large scale puppets, shadow puppets, and a “Grand Guignol” version of Punch and Judy (complete with spurting blood!).  Then add live actors, dancers and ‘haunted’ storytelling to the theatrical craziness. Along the way, stories of Frankenstein, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Poe’s The Raven and Varney the Vampire are brought to terrifying life (and death).  With performances from October 15 to October 31 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park, Empty Spaces presents us with an intriguingly macabre Halloween entertainment. For tickets call 407.328.9005 or visit

And Not to be Missed …

Delicious Discoveries at Disney

Forget the diet; the 15th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs through November 14. Visit or call 407.939.3378

Giselle Opens Ballet Season

One of the not-to-be-missed performances of the new season is the Orlando Ballet production of Giselle set for October 22, 23, and 24 at the Bob Carr. Call 407.426.1739

Florida Highwaymen at the History Center

“Against All Odds: The ART of the Highwaymen” brings together 26 African-American artists who sold paintings by the side of the road, collectively producing more than 200,000 paintings – through January 2. Call 407.836.8500 or visit

Shakespeare’s 39 Steps

The 39 Steps became Broadway’s longest running comedy. Now, the Shakespeare Theater presents a cast of four (playing over 150 eccentric characters) in a hilarious evening of nonstop laughter. Call 407.447.1700 or visit

The Art of Edward Gorey

“Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey” shows off the sophisticated illustrator whose atmosphere of potential danger made ‘creepiness’ into fun – running through Halloween at the Orlando Museum of Art. Call 407 896 4231 or visit

Charles Turzak, Master of Modernism

American Modernist Charles Turzak epitomized the American Modern Art movement in the 1930s. His Art Deco woodcuts are on display at the Albin Polasek Museum running through November 14th.  Call 407-647-6294 or visit

Crealde’s Jenkins Gallery audacity of change art

'The Audacity of Change,' part of an exhibit at Crealde’s Jenkins Gallery

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