Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Nov. 25-Dec. 1 

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Wednesday, Nov. 25

A Leg Up for Jenn

EVENTS Bartenders are tough cookies. They have to be to thrive in a workplace where the better you do your job, the louder and ruder the clientele get. So when Jennifer Harton, one of Lil Indies' star bartenders, ended up snapping her ankle into pieces several weeks ago, she didn't complain about it. Even though a bartender who can't stand is a bartender who can't earn money, Harton took it like a champ, keeping her woe-is-me story to herself – unlike many of the patrons who have indulged in her dangerously delicious concoctions at Lil Indies. Harton's friends, however, couldn't let such a linchpin of the boozing community take a fall without a little support. They've generously donated their goods and services to a raffle that will raise money to help defray Harton's medical and living expenses until she can literally get back on her feet. The prizes are diverse, ranging from a New Belgium-branded cruiser bicycle to salon certificates to legal services, and proprietor Will Walker is donating all bar proceeds from 9-11 p.m. as well. So pop in on Thanksgiving Eve and check out Eugene Snowden at Lil Indies or the New Sam Rivers' Rivbea Orchestra at Will's to give thanks for tough bartenders – and maybe get a little something for yourself in the deal. – Thaddeus McCollum

9-11 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave.; Lil Indies, 1036 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org | gofundme.com/vx8fush8 | various menu prices

Wednesday, Nov. 25

AAHZ Presents: These Are the Breaks

MUSIC Don't tell the kids, but electronic dance music is nothing new, especially here in Central Florida. Back in the '90s, kids around here were trading in their guitars for turntables with such frequency that in 1997, Rolling Stone featured an article declaring Orlando the latest in a long line of "next Seattles" due to its strong rave and dance scene. Which, of course, put a nail in the coffin of that scene, but anyway. This week, former club kids reunite to relive their youth and dance to the Florida breaks that made the area so well known in their heyday. Local legends like DJ Icey, Kimball Collins and Andy Hughes spin sets that dust off the old-school classics of yesteryear, and U.K. garage duo Stanton Warriors headline the night with the signature mix of electro, house and breaks that permeates this year's Rebel Bass, proving there's much more to dance music than the current obsession with wubs and drops. – Thaddeus McCollum

with Stanton Warriors, DJ Icey, Kimball Collins, Dave Cannalte, Andy Hughes, Stylus | 9 p.m. | The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | thebeacham.com | $20-$50

Saturday, Nov. 28

Gwar

MUSIC Like Superboy's pet monkey Beppo (who was specifically written out of Superman's universe to block out the chimp chump move), eventually the femme force of Vulvatron will be a blurry hangover memory to serious Gwar fans who weren't ready for the boozy wonder woman. Whether you side with Kim Dylla – who is pissed they might recast the character – or with Gwar – which is comprised of seriously dedicated dudes who couldn't handle Dylla's added fray – you can't deny that either way Gwar's showmanship wins out and their bizarro metal franchise overall will be unmarred by this failed experiment. Now Gwar stomps back to Venue 578 to spray the bad blood all over fans who still revel in their theatrical metal gore. – Ashley Belanger

with Born of Osiris, Battlecross, Entombed in the Abyss | 7 p.m. | Venue 578, 578 N. Orange Ave. | 407-872-0066 | venue578.com | $20-$50

Saturday, Nov. 28

JC Sevcik Farewell Reading

LITERARY In our most recent Halloween issue, we broke the usual OW template and ran a series of flash-fiction stories submitted to us by writers who took part in There Will Be Words' Halloween reading. One of the writers who submitted a story, JC Sevcik, is currently the writer in residence at the Kerouac House in College Park. Sevcik, a Seattle-based journalist who writes for the Stranger, UPI and the Daily Dot, has spent the last three months in Orlando working on his craft, and according to the Kerouac House, he's working on a memoir about his experience in the troubled-teen industry (that is, those hard-core "scared straight" boot camp places that parents send their kids, thinking they're doing something to help them). Tonight, Sevcik holds a farewell reading at Kerouac House – a residency tradition – before he packs up and heads back to Seattle. Bring a bottle of wine, settle in for a bit at the bungalow that Jack Kerouac once called home, and listen to what Sevcik has worked on since he's been here. – Erin Sullivan

7:30 p.m. | The Kerouac House, 1418 Clouser Ave. |  kerouacproject.org | free

Sunday, Nov. 29

43rd Annual Performance of Handel's Messiah

MUSIC It's firmly established as a Christmas favorite these days, but George Frideric Handel's Messiah, his best-known work, was written in 1741 as an Easter offering. Regardless of which holiday it celebrates or your own religious beliefs, anyone can appreciate the rousing "Hallelujah" chorus – it's one of those ubiquitous tunes that everyone can hum, even if their only knowledge of classical music is from commercials and cartoons. Orlando's Messiah Choral Society has brought this glorious piece of music to life every year since 1973, welcoming all singers to join the society and help present this annual gift to the community. Even better, it's free and open to the public. (Bring nonperishable food items for donation to Second Harvest Food Bank – it's the least you can do in return.) Doors open at 2:15 p.m. and the music starts at 3; we can't think of a better way to kick off the holiday season. – Jessica Bryce Young

3 p.m. | Bob Carr Theater, 401 W. Livingston St. | messiahchoralsociety.org | free

Tuesday, Dec. 1

Emeril Lagasse

EVENTS Internationally known chef Emeril Lagasse and his favorite interjection ("BAM!" for those unaware of celebrity chef catchphrases) come to the Dr. Phillips Center this week. For a hefty price, you can buy a ticket to the Walt Disney Theater to see Lagasse answer questions, sign books and cook one of his favorite dishes (hopefully Creole-inspired). Also hosting the night to talk barbecue will be John Rivers, owner of 4 Rivers Smokehouse and the Coop. The Dr. Phillips Center partnered with Publix to feature Lagasse and two other kitchen legends, so if you miss this chef, keep an eye out for Ina Garten and Guy Fieri next year. – Monivette Cordeiro

8 p.m. | Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | drphillipscenter.org | $59.50-$99.50

Sunday, Nov. 29

The Grand Collab One Year Anniversary

MUSIC One of Orlando's most bumping local showcases, the Grand Collab celebrates its first anniversary with a party that's as bright as the smart event's reputation over its brief history. Sniffing out artists without care to genre can skew a little messy and distracting live, like a grown-up show & tell with too much community Kool-Aid, but that's not quite the way the Grand Collab's tasteful organizers play the game. Instead, they craft a rare evening of conversation between diverse acts with a real flow, thanks to DJs and hosts who care to make your night, not just make a night. The party's talent is legit, including Indigo Blak (senses-tingling R&B), the Welzeins (garage punk maniacs), Black Haw Shake (stop-in-your-tracks folk conjurer), Crenshaw (heated country rockers), plus a special bonus collab in the Grand Collab All Stars. – Ashley Belanger

with Indigo Blak, Black Haw Shake, the Welzeins, Crenshaw, the Grand Collab All Stars | 7:30 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Orange Ave. | willspub.org | $7

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