Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Perfect Gift is an emotional holiday dassic.

Dangerous Theatre (115 W. 1st St., Sanford, Florida 32771) has just moved to Sanford. At a find dress rehearsal for The Perfect Gift, Winnie Wenglewick explained that she had been moving all day So the rehearsal promised to be a big one. Written and Directed by Winnie Wenglewick, the show features the talents of Winnie Wenglewick, Thomas C. Taffinder and Larry Stallings. This is the first show in the new Sanford Theater space. Blue tape on the floor showed how the cavernous space would be divided into two theaters each seating about 50 people. For now the place look like an abandoned warehouse which suits the theme of the production. Blue tarps stretched between metal pillars served as the dressing room. 

The play opens with a homeless man playfully sparring with an imaginary character.  He is caught in a headlock when Stacia (Winnie Wenglewick)  walks into the scene. They meet for lunch often on this park bench. She admires and accepts his quirky behavior. He is excited about the approaching Christmas Holidays but she is jaded, despising the religious hypocrisy and commercialism of the season. They both have fond memories from their childhoods but only he keeps that sense of wonder alive. He invites her to have a holiday feast with him and a buddy under a bridge. 

In the second act, the PVC supported black curtain is removed to open the space for a table covered in a tacky Christmas table cloth.  A Christmas tree made from a series of hangers is suspended from a coat rack. The sumptuous feast consists of exotic holiday fair, like Doritos, chocolate covered pretzels and spam. Both men explain why they live off the grid. One lost his wife and then was put in a retirement home by his daughter. He escaped and prefers life on the streets to the stagnant home. His wife, whom he often speaks to, watches over him. when Stacia said, "Oh, you have an imaginary friend too." He responds, "She's not imaginary." The invisible friends are guardian angels. She comes to realize that sometimes all you have to do is listen with your heart.

Stacia has to leave the banquet to give a present to her daughter. She approaches a small headstone and places a small doll up against it. In a flashback she recalls a holiday argument with her daughter who wanted an expensive doll for Christmas. Since it isn't in her budget she tries to convince her daughter that the present isn't what is most important. Unswayed , the daughter shouts "I hate you!' and runs off into traffic. what follows is an incredible monologue about loss and sorrow. 

After the show, Winnie explained that she has lost many dear friends in 2016. Kim Stalling who played a part in this production last year died. She listed other friends lost an then Pulse. She taped photos to the back of the headstone  to remind her of the pain and sorrow felt this year. There might not be room to tape 49 portraits, but they were in her heart. She looked completely emotionally spent after the performance. 1960's animated holiday classic tunes filled the empty warehouse. 

The Perfect Gift Dates: December 2nd - 18th
Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm and Sundays @ 1pm
Tickets $20.00
$5.00 discount for students, seniors, military and anyone wearing a Fringe Button from any year.

The ticket price includes holiday refreshments and treats.

Special Performances:
Monday, December 5th @ 8pm Theatre Industry Night
Tickets only $10 for any theatre folks
Thursday, December 8th @ 8pm "Alive After 5"
Pay-what-you-can performance.
Every 2nd Thursday is Sanford's monthly Alive After 5 event from 5pm to 8pm just a block from the theatre on 1st Street.
Be alive after 5 then come see The Perfect Gift.
Donations collected at the end of the show.

Please note: Seating for this show will be very limited, less than 40 seats per show. It is strongly recommended that you purchase tickets online or make a reservation by calling the Box Office at 407-358-6677.

We only accept cash at the door. Credit/debit card purchases online only

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Marshall Ellis Theatre presents The Nuthouse.

I went to a tech rehearsal at Marshall Ellis Theatre (1300 La Quinta Drive #3, Orlando, Florida 32809) for the world premiere of The Nuthouse. The ME Dance company has created a fun and inspired story with dance routines set to s music of the Nutcracker. The show promises to be a New Holiday Tradition for Orlando, Florida.

Several years ago on Christmas Eve, Doctor Ebenezer, a caring and passionate inventor that dreams of revolutionizing the mental health industry at Nuremberg Asylum, was making a great discovery in supplemental medicines. The Doctor recognized that his patients served as prisoners in there own illnesses and so, in the hopes of cracking nuts, he began to perform lab experiments in order to create the perfect chemistry of drugs that would cure his patients.

The Doctor continues to seek to provide a medical diagnosis of individuals by an assessment of their symptoms and signs associated with particular types of mental disorders. The Asylum is filled with various patients that suffer from anxiety, bipolar, insomnia, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity, and drug dependence disorders just to name a few. It is no easy task for the staff at Nuremberg Asylum to handle these challenges. However, it is Christmas Eve and the patients have been anticipating the annual Christmas festivities and the arrival of a new patient.

Upon the arrival of Claire, the newest patient, Doctor Ebenezer assures her that she is safe for the general population and he releases her into the recreational room in the asylum. After the annual Christmas traditions have taken place it is back to the usual treatments of recovery. Claire, lost, scared and hopeless, finds herself in the Doctor's lab. She decides to take action to set herself free. While slipping off into a sleep state she thinks, "Is this the real life?' Locked in the asylum, she is different but still the same. The patients, nurses and Doctor continue to perform bizarre activities. The head nurse is suddenly dancing a hot romantic Flamenco with a male doctor.
Young dancers from Marshal's dance class performed in the second act. They sat in front o me during the first act. This was their first opportunity to see the show from the audience. On stage a dancer was on the floor building a house of cards. When the house collapsed, she screamed. The young dancers reacted with surprise and delight. I loved watching a dancer that held a broom as her dance partner. Her dance was graceful and elegant as was her imagined partner.

The Nuthouse will be performed at ME Theatre. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance. Each show lasts an hour and 10 minutes, including an interactive 15-minute intermission. Beer, wine, water, soda and light snacks are available for purchase. Tickets are $20 per person. Select discounts at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 407-816-7080.
Show times are December 2 at 8:30 PM to December 11 at 10 PM. #NotyournormalNutcracker

Friday, December 2, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for December 3rd and 4th.

Saturday December 3, 2016.
4pm to 7pm. Free. Small Things Considered. Arts on Douglas. 123 Douglas St, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 Exhibit runs through January 10, 2016. Arts on Douglas is pleased to announce the opening of its premier year-end group exhibition and holiday sale, Small Things Considered. This annual exhibition features original small-scale works of art sized 10” x 10” or smaller.

7pm to 9pm  Second Ybor City Art Walk. 7th Ave Ybor Tampa, Florida 33605. Officially beginning the second Saturday of July (the 9th) we are bringing back the Ybor City Art Walk! Featuring a number of arts organizations and artsy businesses, be sure to R.S.V.P. here to get the official map for the walk!
This event will begin at 7pm and end at 11pm (or maybe there will be an after party!)
Here are the participating locations:
The Bricks of Ybor
Bloodline Tattoo
Ybor Arts Colony
Hot Wax
Wandering Eye Art Gallery
Dysfunctional Grace
Moon Over Havana Arts Gallery
Live Arts Labs
There will be other businesses joining the lineup so stay tuned! For any questions please feel free to contact the Ybor Art Alliance here through Facebook.
Expect to be wowed!

8pm to 10pm Shuffleboard at Orlando's Beardall Courts. Orlando's Beardall Courts 800 Delaney Ave Orlando FL. On the 1st Saturday of each month. Free fun!

Sunday December 4, 2016.
10am to 6pm Free. Ciclovia. Downtown Orlando. Live music, food, Beer, Dancing, Yoga, walking, Biking, Skating.

10am to 4pm Free. Sparkle Art Market. Dandelion Communitea Cafe 618 N Thornton Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803. Sparkle is an annual Art Market made up of Central Florida's best artists, crafters, jewelers, designers, ceramicists and lots more. For one day, Sunday December 4th these makers, of all things beautiful, will gather for you to support local artists and keep your money in the community!
The location is Dandelion Communitea Cafe, a healthy food venue where they prepare meals with love. The cafe is Certified Green by Co-op America and features rain barrels, a community herb garden and compostable to-go ware.
Parking is free.

2pm to 6pm. Free. Light Up SoDo 2016. Sodo S Orange Ave at W Grant St, Orlando, Florida 32806. This is the BIGGEST Light Up SoDo event yet! We're taking over Sodo and lighting up Main Street for the holidays. This is a family-friendly event with a "naughty and nice" theme. Kick off the season with Santa, princesses, face painting, train rides, a beer garden, holiday market, live wreath making, DJ and more!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Drip Drop Splash is a hit with the kids.

The Orlando Science Center, (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803) invested $5 million dollars to create a brand new Kids Town.I sketched the construction once a week and I was fascinated by Drip Drop Splash.Three towers surrounded a central pool from which water flowed outwards in three directions.  The towers have hand cranks and when I are turned the illuminated water rises up to cascade down blue kite shaped gutter which then send the water into an elevated clear bowl. Hole as in the bowl allow the water to rain down into the circular reservoir. Kids can crawl under the reservoir and stand up in the middle where no rain falls. There is magic when standing in a rain storm and remaining dry.

This sketch a s done at a VIP preview reception where donors were encouraged to bring their children. I started the sketch before the ribbon cutting. Once the ribbon was cut, the kids swarmed in to play. Staff were excited because they we rent cells that the new interactive exhibits would be a hit.  The kids assembled water wheels and to redirect the flow. Photographers and video crews shot footage of the kits at play. One child watched me work and asked if he could sketch as well. I gave him another sketchbook and be drew three cartoon faces for me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New Kids Town construction at the Orlando Science Center.

For the past several months [ have been going to the Orlando Science Center (777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803) once a week, to sketch the five million dollar construction of the New Kids Town. A company in Ohio designed all the interactive exhibits. Seven rooms were constructed to house the huge play areas. The first area under construction consisted of a man of green metal support rods. The inner skeleton was still visible. Each support beam was numbered and a large architects drawing was consulted to see which beam went where.

A Genie lift was used to get up high or some times to supper a horizontal beam before it was secured. Workers climbed ladders and walked the beams like tightrope walkers. I was issued a hard hat and it came in useful since I had to duck l avoid a beam being lifted into place. Above me, a worker was sparkling wall joints a the supervisor advised me to move aside for a while. I took his advice because he had my safety in mind.

Workers looked over my shoulder, to see if they had been caught in the sketch. One worker told me about a friend of his who made decent money doing tattoos. Perhaps I've missed my calling. I could imagine this Climb Time area will be very popular once the kids get a chance to explore it

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Highwayman Painter R. L. Lewis.

There was a fundraiser at the University Club across from Orlando's Downtown Library. Today the University Club is just a pit of rubble as new construction has begun on s 22 story high rise on that street corner. This fundraiser's cause was Art for Education. The evening was a fine art exhibition and sale with all proceeds going towards The University Club Foundation Scholarship Fund. There was artwork by students and local artists. There were complimentary hors devours and a cash bar.

I don't remember to much a boo the art on display. I tend to walk through big shows it this quickly and only stop when a piece speaks to me. Will Benton had one of his large circular paintings on display.

R. L. Lewis was executing a painting so I settled in to sketch him at work. He sold several pieces and his wife handled the sales. His work is bright an almost luminescent with bold brush work. In looking up his work, I discovered he sells prints at Walmart for $23.45. That blows my mind. I am missing the bandwagon in finds ways to distribute my work.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Disney Springs Waterside Park.

I was asked by a music producer to do a sketch of one of the bands at Disney Springs Waterside Stage. After a quick sound check, the first performer was Nicholas Marks. He performed solo acoustic guitar with gusto. He was seated on start, but then stood, walking out into the audience as he played. I recognized "Green Sleeves" which is a piece I used to play on trumpet. Mr. Maserati in sun glasses, a golf cap and a highly sequined shirt danced to the music. He was covered in logos and must be a cast member. A young boy got caught up in the dance moves and joined in. The crowd went crazy when he eventually re-joined his family. Nicholas's fingers flashed quickly against the strings and he hugged the guitar to he chest like a lover as he danced and played. Despite his energy and showmanship few people danced.

After his set there was a new nighttime show called Starbright” that appeared over the lake at 7:00pm and 8:30pm starting November 20-January 8. Hundreds of colored lights hoovered in the night sky like flying saucers. They assembled themselves into the dimensional shapes a like a spiraling Christmas Tree. I couldn't figure out how it was done at first. Were there lazers being projected into fog? Finally my inner child took over and I watched with absolute awe. The colors changed from green to blue and then white. The orbs re-assembled themselves into various shapes one being a giant blue dove. I later learned that the show was created using 300 drones that moved together in perfect synchronicity thanks to some new computer coding. 

The band I had come to sketch La Calle, got on the stage after Starbright. They performed energetic salsa music that had everyone dancing. It became difficult to see the band through the crowd of dancers, but I patiently persisted. A little ten year old boy took an interest in my sketch. "Can I have it?" he asked. "Noooo| I need it" I replied. "Can you draw me something?" he pleaded. "Maybe when I'm done." I offered. I knew he would eventually loose interest and sure enough, he was soon running up and down steps and jumping over railings. Where are his parents? Anyway the band kept everyone entertained and dancing. I wrapped up my sketch, as La Calle  started their second set. You can hear this group on Tuesdays after 7pm at Disney Springs Waterside Stage, through January 8th.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Earl's Kitchen opened at the Millennia Mall .

Former Disney animation artist Sam Ewing, sent me an invite to Earl's for a preview food tasting evening at Earl's Kitchen  (Millenia Mall, Unit 246, 4200 Conroy Road Orlando Florida.) The restaurant was offering a free evening of dining to test out the menu and service staff. Before I official opening.

Katy Bakker was there with her husband. Katy had curated all the art on the walls at Earl's. Andrew Spear had a large mural featuring parrots on the white wall next to the kitchen. His signature cross hatched drawing could easily be seen from any table in the restaurant.

I arrived early and sketched at the bar waiting for a friend to arrive. Citrus drinks and wine flowed but they were not free, so I stuck with water. I always want to keep the cost of each sketch down to a minimum.

The wait staff was very attentive and they kept asking how things were. Kathy and Eric Backmore warned me that we would be praising the food more than chewing the food. By the end of the meal I was nodding my head like a bobble doll saying with a hint of sarcasm, "yes, yes it was veeeery gooooood."

There was one free alcoholic drink on the menu, but I us driving so I stuck with caffeine. Service staff were all dressed in black and I spent some time trying to decide who had the most fashionable shoes. Earl's is a sleek, upscale Canadian chain serving gourmet burgers, global comfort food, cocktails, wines and beers. It was a pleasant night out, though I don't recall exactly what I ate. I just eat food to keep my hand twitching on the page. I would make a horrible "foodie." I was impressed with the upscale atmosphere and would gladly return.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Kara Martinez remembers friends lost at Pulse.

Michael Pilato held a 49 hour painting marathon in his new studio above Anthony's Pizza on the corner of Colonial Drive and Mills Avenue. Kara Martinez stopped by to help with some of the paintings done of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. She remembered two of the victims, Juan Rivera Valazquez, Luis Conde who owned D'Magazine Salon down in Kissimmee. 

Kara was nervous about how she would look, going to her high school prom. She turned to Juan and Luis and they reassured her and made her feel like a princess. Actually, Kara is a princess. She plays the part of Ariel from Disney's Little Mermaid for a local talent agency. She goes to parties to play the part. She talked lovingly about Juan and Luis describing how playful they were and how much she will miss them. Juan and Luis had been a couple for 14 years, and they owned the salon for seven years. Today the salon has shut down, another vibrant beacon that has gone dark in Orlando.

As we painted the 49 portraits, she began singing Ariel's song. The music by Alen Menkin and Howard Ashman is contagious. Kara sang about her trinkets and baubles from the people who lived above the water. "I want to be where the people are, I want to see them dancing. Wish I could be part of that world." We all sang along as we painted, but under the joy lingered pain. On June 12th so many people were joyfully dancing. Then in a split second of madness, loves were cut short. Some died quickly, while others slowly bled out in agony. Others would survive but be left with scars and nightmares. This is not your typical Disney ending.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 26th and 27th.

Saturday November 26th, 2016
7:30pm to 9:30pm. Free. Glendaliz Camacho's Farewell Reading. Kerouac House 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, Florida 32804. Please join as as we bid farewell to our Fall resident writer, Glendaliz Camacho. Bring something to drink if you like and listen to what Glendaliz has been working on while living in the Kerouac House.

8pm to 11pm. Free, but get food and drink. Jazz Saturdays. Cork and Fork American Grill5180 S. Conway Road, Belle Isle, FL 32812. Cork & Fork American Grill Takes Their Fresh & Tasty Cuisine To The Next Level With Exciting New Menu Items - Plus Saturday Jazz Entertainment And Sunday Brunch Launching This Month.

8:30pm to 10:30pm Free. The Geeek Easy with Amy Watkins and Open Mic. Open to all: Musicians-Lyricists-Artists-and Poets of all kinds
Bring out the cape and have some fun.

Sunday November 27, 2016
Noon to 2pm. Free, but get food and drink. Florida Gospel Jam. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Isle FL. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday.

2pm to 4pm Free, but get coffee. Irish Music. Olivia's Coffee House, 108 N Bay St, Eustis, FL.

10pm to midnight. Free. Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Free comedy show! Come out & laugh, or give it a try yourself.