Florida Art, Space Theater and Celestial Music
It’s a potpourri of fun this weekend with a selection of events that may not have been on your radar, but should be. A little art, a little theatre, a little music. What’s not to like?
Let’s start with visual art – and local genre visual art.
The fifth annual “Florida Showcase” has just opened at Snap! Downtown. This is an eclectic exhibit featuring over 50 Florida artists, established and emerging. In fact, the idea is to showcase both veterans and newcomers.
The works, in a variety of media, reflect Florida itself: colorful, whimsical, airy, sometimes inspiring, sometimes a little spooky.
I couldn’t take my eyes off Kierra Branker’s “By Faith, Not By Sight,” which was both colorful and a bit creepy. In the large work – 30 inches by 40 inches – a woman with colored blue hair walks through a thicket of Florida foliage. Behind her back, she holds a large aged rosary… and a butcher’s knife. Does she think she can chop down the towering plants with that knife? Or is there another goal in mind?
More direct is Darin Back’s portrait of the famous surfer Kepa Mendia, which stares enigmatically at the viewer.
If you’re looking for color, Sharma Shari Rodriguez’s “Building Blocks” features a pair of eyes surrounded by a familiar plastic brick toy in different hues, while Mar Martinez’s “Praying With My Eyes Open V” is a brilliant acrylic on wood.
On the whimsical side of things, Andrew Boyton’s “No Land Without a Lord” leaves you laughing at a sea of faces amid frills and powdered wigs – while you wonder what surprised them so much. And Todd Brittingham’s “Angel” bird sculpture, over 8 feet tall, delicately dominates the room.
Be sure to visit all three galleries; I appreciate Snap’s unique setup! Downtown. Located in the Camden Thornton Park building, the art venues are connected by a long, almost dazzlingly white hallway. Simply follow the art on the walls (and panels, if you’re more handy) from gallery to gallery.
Instantaneous! Downtown is located at 420 E. Church St. in Orlando, and its hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. “Florida Showcase” runs the rest of the year.
As for theater, how about a disco-“Star Trek” mashup?
Treasure Coast players from Brevard County take a field trip – or make it a spaceflight – at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando with an original musical.
“StarDate 1970” has two performances this weekend, at 8 p.m. on August 27 and 28 (that’s Saturday and Sunday nights) at the Pugh Theater.
Here’s the gist: aliens intercepted a 1970 radio transmission from Earth, and unfortunately for us humans, the song they heard was about war and death. So naturally the aliens now believe that humanity must be eradicated before they do irreparable damage to the cosmos.
Enter the Intra-Path spaceship, commanded by Captain James T. Jirk, who must convince these beings that music is just a form of creative expression. The Intra-Path team travels back in time to present the music of the 1970s and save humanity.
Tickets start at $35; get more information at drphillipscenter.org.
More music: The Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra will present its last concert of the summer on Saturday, August 27, featuring its VoxOCCO singers. On the program of “Let Me Be Peace”, four world premieres written specifically for the organization.
” Peace ? Peace? Peace? by Marshall Webb is an a cappella vocal work that inspired the title of the program. “O quam dulcis”, by William Ayers, member of the Central Florida Composers Forum, is arranged for choir, vibraphone and cello. It shows how quiet moments make life sweeter.
“Hope & Quietly Wait”, by Paul John Rudoi, is for choir and piano and reminds us that “neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God”.
Boston composer Carson Cooman’s Symphony No. 5 for chamber orchestra and voice deals with the patterns and connections we see in dreams. And Irish-born Caroline-Jayne Gleave’s ‘Creation’ for solo soprano and chamber orchestra features 10 short movements depicting the evolution of the human spirit.
Things to do
A look at entertainment and sporting events in Orlando and Central Florida.
“Let Me Be Peace” will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 27 at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Center, 600 N. Lake Formosa Drive in Orlando. Tickets cost $15 to $30; get more information at occomusic.com.
And there’s even more music on Sundays.
Opera Orlando’s summer concert series concludes at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, with a program titled “Late Night Encounters.” Soprano Susan Hellman Spatafora, who played Rosalinda in 2020’s “Die Fledermaus,” is joined by bass Andrew W. Potter, who just appeared in “Rigoletto.”
Accompanied by Robin Stamper, the singers will perform the music of characters who only reveal their true selves under the cloak of darkness. Doesn’t that sound dramatic?
The program includes late night scenes from Verdi’s “La Forza Del Destino” and Carlisle Floyd’s opera “Susannah”, evening art songs from Alfred Bachelet, Herbert Hughes and Richard Strauss, and favorite musical plays from “Les Miserables” and Rodgers and Hammerstein. “Cinderella.”
The concert will take place at the University Club of Winter Park, 841 N. Park Ave. Tickets are $45; visit operaorlando.org.
Find me on Twitter @matt_on_arts, facebook.com/matthew.j.palm or write to me at [email protected]. Want more theater and arts news and reviews? Go to orlandosentinel.com/arts. For more fun things, follow @fun.things.orlando on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.