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Hairspray, Sounds of Summer and Orlando’s Looming Boom: Culture Worth the Miles

| July 21, 2011

Disney donates $686,950 to Central Florida non-profits.

Photorealist Painter Doug Bloodworth

The ‘highlight’ of this month’s Third Thursday Gallery Openings, on Thursday July 21, is at the Gallery at Avalon Island. This month the Gallery presents the “complete works” of painter Doug Bloodworth.


According to gallery director Jeff Shonkwiler, “Doug has been exploring with ‘process art’ by shooting bullet holes through his paintings of Clint Eastwood or Humphrey Bogart or surrounding scenes of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd with television screens and antenna. Doug paints in a variety of styles, but no matter what he creates, Doug’s work is always a treat.” On exhibit through September 9, appointments are suggested. The Gallery at Avalon Island is located in Downtown Orlando at 39 S. Magnolia Avenue at the corner of Pine Street. The opening reception is July 21 from 6 to 9 pm; the event is free, and the public is invited.

A Youthful ‘Hairspray’

Hairspray, the musical that inspired a motion picture and won 8 Tony Awards on Broadway is coming to the Orlando Repertory Theatre, Central Florida’s professional theater for young audiences. The production features Youth Academy performers, many of whom are the ‘real age’ of the characters being performed. The story features Tracy Trunblad, a ‘pleasingly-plump’ teenager determined to dance on a local TV show. While following her 1960’s dream, Tracy – staying true to herself – combats stereotypes and segregation. “Hairspray isn’t just about racial acceptance. It also tackles size and gender stereotypes, forcing us to look at others and confront our own prejudices,” says Director Gary Cadwallader. The show runs July 22 to July 31 with a Fundraising Reception set for Wednesday, July 27 at 5:30 pm. The Orlando Repertory Theatre is at 1001 E. Princeton Street in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park. Visit or call 407-896-7365.

Jackie Manna’s FREE Shows for Children

The award-winning children’s entertainer and ventriloquist Jacki Manna will present ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’ on Monday, July 25 at 12:30 pm at the “world’s largest McDonald’s” on Sandlake Road and on Wednesday, July 27 at 7 pm at the Winter Park Library. Both shows are free and open to the public. The Travels of Marco Polo takes children on an adventure from Italy to China. Wonders from foreign lands come to life with Ms. Manna’s original, comedic characters in a show including magic, ventriloquism, and comedy. Manna and her characters have been making children laugh for over 20 years in performances throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. “Jacki was so skilled in her teaching and ventriloquism that the kids didn’t even know they were learning,” said Evelyn Malles of a previous performance at the Winter Park Library. For  information, contact Jacki Manna at 407.925.3527 or visit

Summer Serenades’ from the Philharmonic

The Orlando Philharmonic’s joyful Sounds of Summer Series continues with a true chamber music performance on Monday, July 25 at 7 pm. The program features the Philharmonic’s woodwinds and horns in a program of ‘serenely’ beautiful serenades.  On the program are Mozart’s Serenade No. 11 AND 12, featuring the diversity of the woodwind family. Each is made of different kinds of wood and use different reeds, while the horns for which Mozart composed were the hunting horns of his time. Serenade No. 12 (written in1782-83) is nick-named “Night Music” referencing its minor key. Also on the program are the Petite Symphonie by Charles Gounod and the Quintette Pour Instruments Á Vent by Claude-Paul Taffanel. Taffanel was famous for his revival of Baroque music in 19th Century France, and his popular Wind Quintet makes one believe there are more than five instruments playing due to its rich orchestration. Musicians include Colleen Blagov, Jamie Strefeler, Sherwood Hawkins, Nikolay Blagov, Patrick Graham, Diane Bishop, Erin Robertson, Mark Fischer and Carolyn Blice. The Shakespeare Center is at 812 East Rollins Street in Orlando. Call 407-770-0071 or visit

Orlando in Forbes’ Top 10

In the most recent issue of Forbes Magazine, Orlando landed in the number 10 position in a ranking of The Next Big Boom Towns in the U.S.” Writers Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill took the 52 largest metropolitan communities in the U.S. and ranked them based on job growth, growth in educated migration, population growth and attractiveness as a place to live, start a business, or simply make money. When considering cities positioned to grow and prosper in the coming decade, local architect and art critic Richard Reep said, “The ‘for sale’ signs on so many homes might be millstones around our necks, but the nation views us as a place with affordable housing for children and families.  And with UCF’s Research Park, we are attracting talented science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing whizzes – all of whom earn a lot of dough, and spend it on quality-of-life enhancements like arts and culture.”  With that kind of hopeful, up-beat publicity, Orlando just acquired a whole new reason to determine that the creation and building of the new performing arts center is the “right thing to do!”

Disney Gives $686,950 to Central Florida Nonprofits

Thanks to the more than 228,000 hours donated by Walt Disney World VoluntEARS, the Walt Disney Company recently gave $686,950 to the Central Florida community. Cast members – who volunteer and give freely of their time – earmarked the funds to local nonprofits with the top recipients including the American Cancer Society, Give Kids the World, and the SPCA. “Disney VoluntEARS make Central Florida an even better place for everyone to enjoy,” said Nancy Gidusko of Walt Disney World Community Relations. “Disney cast members share their spirit and inspire all of us to find even more ways to help our neighbors in need.” Each year, Disney recognizes VoluntEARS who donate hours of service with contributions of up to $1,000 to the non-profit organization of their choice. This year, Disney awarded 887 EARS to You grants. Top honors went to Judy Hughes as 2010 ‘VoluntEAR of the Year’ and Disney’s ‘Theme Park Merchandise Team’ as the 2010 VoluntEAR Team of the Year. Both received $2,500 cash donations to the charity of their choice. In addition, 609 Disney VoluntEARS (who contributed more than 100 hours of service) will also receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House. The VSA is a Presidential recognition program for Americans of all ages who volunteer a minimum of 100 hours during the year. Award recipients receive a letter from President Barack Obama, a pin and a personalized certificate.

Doug Bloodworth's 'Bugs and Elmer'

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