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Keeping Shadows: Masterworks of Photography from the Worcester Art Museum
It would be difficult not to be totally wowed by at least one of the 100 photo images – dating from the mid-19th century to the present – in this collection curated by the Worcester Art Museum. (The exhibit is traveling around the country, and this is its only stop in the Southeast.) Each photo is accompanied by an easily absorbed narrative that explains the significance of the photographer and the work. There are different ways in which the exhibit can engage the viewer. I started by looking for perspectives on war and found statements such as "The Young Generals," 1915, by August Sander – a candid shot of a string of German boys dressed in replicas of military dress to celebrate the Kaiser's birthday – and the portrait "General Robert E. Lee and Staff," 1865, taken by Mathew Brady days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Next go-round, it was portraits that drew me in – a playful Truman Capote in an oversized overcoat, as shot in 1948 by Irving Penn, and a dramatic pose of Martha Graham, 1941, by Barbara Morgan, titled "War Theme." Whether you dwell on dates, techniques or subject matter (like technology, nature, poverty or places), give yourself at least several hours to get lost in this focused lesson. What did I learn? That human nature repeats itself. (Through May 22 at Orlando Museum of Art; 407-896-4231; $8)

— Lindy T. Shepherd

The Whimsical Wondrous World of William Wassil
Judging by his output, artist/educator William Wassil is a character who gets a kick out of his own unique self. Wassil is a friend of the Maitland Art Center, and one can view this indulgent exhibit as a tribute to his nurturing of creative spirits in his career with Orange County schools. The most polished images are the original illustrations from his 2003 children's book, Country Fishin', about a youngster on a farm who's so fixated on fishing that he envisions even pigs and corn as having gills. Wassil's other satirical/silly paintings, drawings and mixed-media assemblages occasionally work, like in "Here Mousey … Mousey," with traps snapped onto $50 and $100 bills. Most times, though, the effect is fuddy-duddyish. (Through Sunday, April 24, at Maitland Art Center; 407-539-2181; free)

— Lindy T. Shepherd

Ladies of Eola Heights
Indebted to wretched excess as much as any Michael Wanzie play, this drag drama also has a gentle subtext as it camps its way through the reunion of three elderly sisters facing their enigmatic father's funeral. The laughs are loud and deserved, from the moment Ms. Ruby Locksdale (Tommy Wooten) enters a stage crapped up to resemble the ground floor of a family home. Ruby enjoys a screechy reunion with the lady of the house, her sister, Pearl (Wanzie), a disabled goodtime gal who eases her wheezy laughter with hits of oxygen from a handy mask. Third sister Opal (Doug Ba'aser) upsets the balance as a churchgoing straight arrow who turns her back on her sibs' hooch-before-noon lifestyle. (Extended through June 18 at Footlights Theater, The Parliament House; 407-540-0317; $15)

— Steve Schneider

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