Culture Worthy of your Calendar

The art festival season is in full swing with free art festivals every weekend throughout Florida. Last weekend gave us glorious fall weather for the best Maitland Rotary Art Festival on record, and this weekend, the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival returns to Central Park on Saturday, Oct. 8, and Sunday, Oct. 9. Showing Florida artists exclusively, 150 outstanding artists are selected to display their works in ceramics, drawings and graphics, fiber, fine crafts, jewelry, painting, photography and sculpture. More than 200,000 visitors set an attendance record in 2010, many of those art lovers helping support our Florida artists by purchasing original art. In addition, attendees will find live musical entertainment, children’s art workshops and a beer garden. Visit autumnartfestival.com or call 407-644-8281.

A musical farce

Leave it to the dynamic duo at the Winter Park Playhouse to find the funniest, fall-out-of-your-seat musicals to bring to Central Florida, and I’ve been waiting for this one. Opening this week is “Ruthless! The Musical,” a farce that draws from characters from such classic films as “All About Eve,” “Gypsy,” “The Women” and “Valley of the Dolls.” In the “stage-door” plot, 8-year-old Tina knows she was born to play Pippi Longstocking, and she will do anything to win the part. The Daily News called it “hilarious … beyond praise,” and artistic director Roy Alan said “We’ve wanted to do this show for more than eight years and are ecstatic that we can finally bring it to Central Florida.” “Ruthless!” plays at the Winter Park Playhouse through Oct. 29. Call 407-645-0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org

Too good for heaven

What better place than The Abbey to produce a musical called “Altar Boyz”? The story of a heavenly boy band out to save the world one screaming fan at a time, five small town boys — Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham — sing their way around the country, working miracles with their hits “Girl You Make Me Wanna Wait” and “Jesus Called Me On My Cell Phone.” Mixing angelic voices, sinful choreography and a touching story, “Altar Boyz” will be performed at The Abbey from Wednesday, Oct. 12, to Nov. 13. The Abbey is the new mixed-use theater/bar at 100 S. Eola Drive in downtown Orlando, a space designed to accommodate everything from concerts to community theater. Visit AbbeyOrlando.com. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketweb.com or by calling 1-866-468-7630.

‘A Wrinkle in Time’

The Orlando Repertory Theatre continues its theater for children series with “A Wrinkle in Time,” adapted from the award-winning book by Madeleine L’Engle. The play begins, as so many adventure stories do, on a “dark and stormy night.” Celebrating the power of the imagination, this fantasy-adventure sends three children across space and time where they must learn to rely on their individual strengths in order to rescue their father. Performances take place on weekends through Nov. 6 at the Orlando Repertory Theatre in Loch Haven Park. Visit orlandorep.com or call 407-896-7365.

A Night at the Oscars

Memorable music from the greatest Hollywood films of all time, including “Ben-Hur,” “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” will highlight the Orlando Philharmonic’s concert titled “A Night at the Oscars”. On Saturday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., the orchestra will perform as memorable movie scenes are projected on a huge screen above the stage. The program is conducted by Dirk Meyer and narrated by Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie. “A Night at the Oscars” is created by John Goberman, the Emmy-winning producer of Live from Lincoln Center, and has played to sold-out audiences throughout the world. It’s at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Call 407-770-0071 or visit orlandophil.org

Source:Winter Park Observer