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Depression-Era Art, Piano Extravaganzas, Bands, Brews, BBQ: Culture Worth the Miles

| February 23, 2011

Shout: At the Winter Park Playhouse March 4 through the 27th.

At Seaworld and Busch Gardens

Those two related parks – SeaWorld in Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa, are bringing big names in country, Latin, and classic rock to perform at both parks – with each performance included in the price of Park admission. 


REO Speedwagon, and Josh Turner will perform at ‘Bands, Brew & BBQ’ along with ‘Viva La Música’s’ Jerry Rivera, Manny Manuel, and Ednita Nazario (in Orlando) while the 5th Dimension, the Osmond Brothers, Tony Orlando, Travis Tritt & The Charlie Daniels Band and Charo headline in Tampa.  And the Parks make the deal even ‘sweeter’ with the 2011 Fun Card, where you pay for one day and come back all year – any time you want.  That way you can catch ALL the music ALL year long.  The pay-one-day ‘Fun Card’ offers return access to all of the animal (and fish) encounters, thrill rides, and entertainment the Parks have to offer. The ‘BBBBQ’ theme also offers samples of international beers and food tastings. You may purchase the Fun Card at either front gate, online, or by calling 888.800.5447. Visit or for the complete schedule.

A Pair of Pianists

Tzimon Barto

The 2nd Florida International Piano Competition will take place this year in September. In addition to the Competition, Founder Ellen Hamilton has created a Piano Concert Series and educational programs for Central Florida. One very special event will take place Saturday, February 26 at 7:30 pm at the Full Sail Concert Hall when two world-famous pianists – Tzimon Barto and Laurent Boukobza – perform in a ‘Double Piano Extravaganza!’ Both men come to the stage with international renown and both have ties to Central Florida. Barto, born in Eustis, Florida, is a bodybuilder, speaks seven languages, has authored several novels, and is the founder of a program to teach first-graders music, art and ancient Greek.

Laurent Boukobza

Boukobza is a tenured Professor of Piano at UCF, has studied – and taught – throughout Europe, has won dozens of prizes at piano competitions, and has performed and recorded throughout the world.  Together these two pianistic powerhouses will perform Brahms’ Sonata in F Minor for 2 Pianos, followed by individual works by Liszt. They will conclude with Ravel’s La Valse for 2 pianos. This unique performance will take place at Full Sail University, 141 University Park Drive in Winter Park. For tickets, call 407.645.2525; for Credit Card Purchases visit

SHOUT! The Mod Musical

SHOUT! The Mod Musical, will be presented in its Central Florida premiere at the ‘always fun’ Winter Park Playhouse from March 4 through 27.  This “absolutely smashing” Off-Broadway Musical sings its way through the 1960’s following the lives (and fashions) of five groovy girls as they come of age during those crazy years of swinging London. Like a musical time capsule, this ‘Mod’ (60’s for ‘awesome’) musical journey takes us back to the pop songs that made stars of Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield and Lulu. Letters to an advice columnist, true confessions, and psychedelic dances serve as the frame for the hits that make up the show. The Playhouse has five dynamic women in the cast, including Playhouse favorite Heather Alexander; Candace Neal; Natalie Cordone, Sarah-Lee Dobbs and Kate Zaloumes. For even more fun, be there for opening night March 4, when the Winter Park Fish Co. will sponsor a fish and chips pre – show reception in honor of the British theme. Call 407.645.0145 or visit The Playhouse is located at 711-C Orange Avenue in Winter Park.

Fine Art of 1934

Ross Dickinson's 'Valley Farms' (1934) Click on the image for larger view.

That jewel-box of a museum – the Mennello Museum of American Art at Loch Haven Park, recently opened another in its list of great fine art exhibits. Working in collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Mennello is currently exhibiting works created from December of 1933 to June of 1934.  Called 1934: A New Deal for Artists, the exhibit presents masterpiece after masterpiece by relatively unknown artists who, faced with the economy of the 1930’s Depression, were ‘hired’ by the federal Public Works of Art Project to create paintings to celebrate our nation. The Public Works of Art Project lasted only six months, from December 1933 to June 1934, but the New Deal program employed artists and encouraged them to depict the American Scene. The exhibit presents 56 of the finest works created by these New Deal Artists – paintings that represent the American spirit at a time when hope was all that these Artists had to work with. 1934: A New Deal for Artists will run through May 1 at the Mennello Museum at 900 East Princeton Street.  Call 407.246.4278 or visit

And Not to be Missed:

Congratulations to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater for a brilliantly funny and original production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in performance through March 19th.  For tickets, call 407-447-1700 or visit

Julia Eckel's 'Radio Broadcast' (1933-34), at the Mennello Museum of American Art. Click on the image for larger view.

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