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Civil War Recreations, a Pie Festival, Art, Cocktails and a One Act Fest: Culture Worth the Miles

| March 30, 2011

Works by John Didier at the Maitland Art Center.

Works by Jon Didier at the Maitland Art Center.

‘First Thursday’ at the Orlando Museum of Art

The Original-Happens-Once-A-Month-On-The-Same-Day-Of-The-Month-Art-Party here in Central Florida is the award-winning 1st Thursday (of each month) presented by the Orlando Museum of Art. The 1st Thursday event for April 7 is called Fashionista.


Artists are invited to present works in which the art of fashion – from the ‘chic’ to that which is ‘unique, original, and/or creative’ will be on display. Every 1st Thursday offers live music and a variety of drinks and food tastings for sale. Combine your sense of art and style and pull out that outfit that never worked before, call it ‘Art,’ and wear it with pride at the Orlando Museum of Art on April 7 from 6 to 9 pm. The Museum is at 2416 North Mills Avenue in Loch Haven Park. Call 407 896 4231 x260 or visit

Culture & Cocktails at MAC

Jon Didier at work

The Maitland Art Center has been particularly active over the past year – finding new ways in which to present ART to the community. One of their new activities is called Culture & Cocktails – a monthly meet and greet that mixes Fine Artists with music … and cocktails! April’s event is set for Friday, April 8 from 6 to 9 pm and features two popular Central Florida Artists. Robin Maria Pedrero, a Florida Artist Hall of Famer, is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America. Her art captures life’s pleasures through natural forms and geometrics in layers of charcoal, pastel, colored pencil, ink, acrylic or oil paint. Jon Didier earned a BFA in Drawing/Printmaking at the University of Central Florida. His work is based in copper etching or mixed media drawing, and has been displayed at the Orlando Museum of Art. He is a printer for Flying Horse Editions. Live music, food and drink will be offered. The cost of admission is $5 (includes one free drink). The Maitland Art Center is at 231 West Packwood Avenue in Maitland.

Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars

The Plaza Theatre continues to bring legendary singers and song-writers to their PlazaLive Series, and Friday, April 8 will find Louisiana’s #1 “roots music export” and Grammy Nominee Tab Benoit and a stellar ensemble of fellow New Orleans musicians performing at the Plaza. Benoit will be joined by Cyril Neville, fellow roots-man Anders Osborne, fiddler Waylon Thibodeaux, New Orleans drummer Johnny Vidacovich, harmonica/accordion player Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, and Mardi Gras Indian, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux joining together with a musical plea for the fragile eco-system for the wetlands surrounding their hometown. Recorded just before Hurricane Katrina, the group’s opening song Bayou Breeze – don’t let the water wash us away – is now a haunting, unheeded warning recorded eight months before disaster struck. The show is filled with New Orleans’ cross-cultural musical influences of Louisiana Rock, Funk, Soul, and Cajun classics paying loving tribute to years of music history (and the environment that music comes from). The Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars will be at the Plaza Theatre on April 8. Call 407.228.1220 or visit

A Warm Pie Festival Welcome

Here’s one more wonderful reason to live in Central Florida. On April 9 and 10, pie lovers, tasters and bakers are invited to the Disney-created community of Celebration, Florida for two very sweet days at the Great American Pie Festival. Now in its 9th (I-never-miss-it) year, this pie extravaganza dishes up layers of fun for the whole family. While enjoying some of the best desserts imaginable, we are also invited to enjoy entertainment and baking demonstrations as we achieve pie nirvana. Every flavor and filling you can imagine will be offered for two ‘full’ days. The Crisco Kids Creation Station will give young bakers an opportunity to create with Piecasso tin art, while the Pietopia Stage features entertainment and demonstrations with chefs from across the country. Of course there are ‘Pie-Eating Contests,’ and most importantly there is the Never Ending Pie Buffet featuring an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of award-winning pies – as well as ice cream, toppings and beverages from regional and national bakeries. The festival is held lakeside in downtown Celebration from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday and noon to 5 pm on Sunday. The Never Ending Pie Buffet is $10 adults and $5 for ages 6 to12. For more information, visit the American Pie Council at

Civil War Experience

Florida’s role in the Civil War was important insofar as our State provided cattle and salt for the South’s too-often hungry soldiers. On Sunday, April 10, as part of the on-going exhibit “Florida in the Civil War” at the History Center (downtown), visitors will have opportunities to ‘meet’ costumed Civil War re-enactors and ‘talk’ with people of the Civil War era – civilian and military, North and South. Guests may travel through time – back to the 1860’s – to speak with a young bride and her soldier groom, ask ‘slaves’ about their experiences, play period parlor games, and re-discover the issues that Americans faced living in a country at war with itself. The time travel experience takes place from 1 pm to 4:30 pm and is included with admission to the Museum. Call 407.836.8500 or visit The Orange County Regional History Center is housed in the beautifully restored 1927 courthouse in downtown Orlando, and features three floors of permanent exhibitions.

One-Act Play Fest

breakthrough theater of winter parkIn the coming weekend, The Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park will test new waters with its first Original One-Act Festival on April 8, 9 and 10 as it presents a weekend filled with original one-act plays written by Floridians. And tickets are an affordable $5 each! The schedule is as follows:

Friday, April 8
7 pm “Relatively Crazy” written and directed by Danielle Dilks
8 pm “The Scandalous Edwin George” written and directed by Katie Thayer
9 pm “The Circle” written and directed by Nicole Bowman
10 pm “The Pier” by Michael LiCastri
Saturday, April 9
4 pm “Relatively Crazy” written and directed by Danielle Dilks
5 pm “The Circle” written and directed by Nicole Bowman
6 pm “The Scandalous Edwin George” written and directed by Katie Thayer
7 pm “The Pier” by Michael LiCastri
8 pm “Gooseberry Pie” written and directed by Charles Gershman
9 pm “The Chubby Chase” written and directed by Nicole Carson
Sunday, April 10
3 pm “Gooseberry Pie” written and directed by Charles Gershman
4 pm “Relatively Crazy” written and directed by Danielle Dilks
5 pm “The Circle” written and directed by Nicole Bowman
6 pm “The Pier” by Michael LiCastri
7 pm “The Chubby Chase” written and directed by Nicole Carson

The Breakthrough Theatre is at 419A W. Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407.920.4034 or visit

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