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Music Boxes, Puppets, and Highwaymen Artists: Culture Worth the Miles

| November 17, 2010

The Sound of Music … at the Science Center

Music boxes may use levers, forks, gears, weights, springs and bellows to produce music – AND they have fascinated us for centuries.  Now, in a wonderfully original exhibit, guests of the Orlando Science Center may explore the fine art of ‘mechanical music’ through displays of antique music boxes while experiencing principles of physical science at work within each piece.


Guests may even compose their own original music by “punching” notes into player strips and then listening to the final product.  The World of Mechanical Music is at the Science Center now through January 9.  While many of the music boxes have been untouched for 200 years, displays will examine ‘mechanical music’ as home entertainment so guests may understand how music boxes were the precursor to the IPODs of today.  The Orlando Science Center is at 777 East Princeton Street at Loch Haven Park in Orlando. Call 407.514.2000 or visit

Crime and Puppetment for Third Thursday

That special Thursday (the Third of the Month) happens this week and that means Orlando’s Downtown Galleries will present new exhibits (and Openings) all on the same night – Thursday, November 18.  The “stand-out” exhibit this month is puppets as ART brought to us by the 6th Annual Orlando Puppet Festival. Visitors to the Gallery at Avalon Island are invited to “explore the dark genius that sparks the creative life of puppets” as we view hand-crafted puppet sculptures and performance objects, “rag and bone creatures of low cunning and high art.”  With works by a diverse group of puppeteers, the annual puppet festival is a mix of live theatrical performances along with film, gallery, and ‘puppet slam’ events. “Crime and Puppetment,” will run from Opening Night of November 18 (6 to 9 pm) through December 10.  The Gallery at Avalon Island is located at 39 S. Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Orlando. Call 407-312-0708 or visit

She Came, She Saw, She Conquered!

Mad Cow Theatre prides itself on taking on all kinds of theater. Having just given us an exemplary production of a Sondheim musical, they switch gears and step back several centuries to present the most famous of the Restoration Comedies – She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith. Written in 1773, She Stoops to Conquer is a ‘comedy of manners,’ meaning it comments on (read ‘ridicules’) the pretensions, manners, and social customs of 18th Century Englishmen. The comedy has delighted audiences for over two centuries with its use of language, elegant costumes, and farcical situations arising from mistaken identities. Londoner Charles Marlow arrives at a country estate to court Kate Hardcastle, only to take her father for an innkeeper and his ‘intended’ for a barmaid! Practical jokes abound in this piece of theatricality that pits town against country and parent against child. Celebrated for ‘re-inventing’ the comic theater of its day, She Stoops to Conquer runs from November 19 to December 19.  The Mad Cow Theatre is at 105 South Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Orlando.  Call 407.297.8788 or visit


Highwaymen Weekend – November 20 and 21

As part of their very popular exhibit Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen, the History Center will present the first ever Highwaymen Weekend on Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21. The ‘Highwaymen’ were a group of African-American Artists who sold their paintings – often by the side of the road – in the segregated South of the 1950s and ‘60s. Collectively they produced more than 200,000 paintings over a 30-year period. On this weekend, guests will meet some of the original Highwaymen Artists, have the opportunity to purchase their unique paintings, and visit the exhibit. Artists will be on hand each day to display their work and talk about their experiences. Regular museum admission applies. The History Center is located in the magnificently restored 1927 courthouse at 65 East Central Boulevard in Downtown Orlando. Call 407.836.8500 or visit

High Brow – Low Brow – New Brow

We have to hand it to a bunch of Artists who literally name their own Art Movement. With a new touring exhibit called “More Than Sunshine,” their tour begins in Orlando at Twelve21Gallery with an Opening on November 19. Showcasing the “New Brow Art Movement,” this wildly talented group of young artists synthesizes the world of pop culture with surrealism, ‘low brow,’ comic books, punk rock, street culture, graffiti and underground art. Having achieved that, they then tell us, “Think Florida – the subject and how you voice the message is up to you.”  And it’s all so new that we get to see it before the other touring cities “Check it out” at 1221-C North Orange Avenue in Orlando.  Call 407-982-4357 or visit or

And Not to be Missed …


Art Party Featuring Monte Olinger

There is a Party/Opening at Gallery 17-92 on November 19 to celebrate the work of  Monte Olinger, award winning artist and designer. The Gallery is located at 912 South Orlando Avenue in Winter Park. Call 407.647.1792.

Grease at Rollins

The senior class of Rydell High – as interpreted by the Drama students of Rollins College – bring us that all-time American rock-a-billy musical GREASE through November 20. Call 407-646-2145 or visit

Museum as Aquarium

Artist Doug Rhodehamel’s SEA OF GREEN transforms the Lake Eustis Museum of Art into a giant undersea world through December 5 at 200 E. Orange Avenue in Eustis. Visit or call 352-483-2900.

Ancient Greece in Pictures

The black and white photographs by Josh Garrick at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach are on display through January 11. Free “Art Talks” accompany the exhibit. The next is November 18 at the Peabody. Call 407.522.3906

Art ‘Veterans’

The Mennello Museum presents two Fine Art/Master-Teachers of Central Florida. Maury Hurt and Grady Kimsey have created, taught, and influenced Florida artists for over 40 years. Call 407.246.4278 or visit

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