Selections: Our picks for the best things to do in Orlando this week

Selections: Our picks for the best things to do in Orlando this week

Wednesday, 16

J. Cole


J. Cole has been tearing it up on stages across North America, touring behind his fourth studio album, 4 Your Eyez Only. With the Nitti Beatz-esque track "Immortal" and the trip-hop heavy "Change," Cole ably demonstrates his range and capabilities as a producer, but what the record showcases, as a total conceptual package, is Cole's ability to craft compelling and intimate lyrics. Following the fictitious life of James McMillan Jr., Cole immerses listeners in overlapping narratives of love, death, the pull of the streets, redemption and fatherhood. The album has been very well-received, and was certified platinum in April; around the same time, Cole released an associated documentary on the recording of the album with HBO that he co-directed. This Amway show comes at the tail end of a lengthy tour, so expect Cole's set to be lean and road-honed. – Jacob Galvin

with Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, BAS, J.I.D., Ari Lennox | 7 p.m. | Amway Center, 400 W. Church St. | 407-440-7900 | | $26.50-$542.93

Thursday, 17

Once More With Feeling


The Third Thursday gallery hop downtown this week gets the small-screen treatment at CityArts Factory. Originally pegged to be a tribute show to the hands-down greatest television show of the 1990s (go ahead, fight me), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CityArts has opened the show up to submissions that deal with any of the artists' favorite TV shows. But let's be honest: We're here for the Scoobies. Not that other shows don't deserve the attention, but the seven seasons of Joss Whedon's masterpiece taught us everything we know about friendship, love, dealing with adversity, and hand-to-hand combat. Can you really say that about How I Met Your Mother? (Sorry, Willow.) – Thaddeus McCollum

6-9 p.m. | through Sept. 16 | CityArts Factory, 29 S. Orange Ave. | 407-648-7060 | | free

Thursday, 17

Behind Every Good Mic


Anyone remotely connected with the scene can tell you that sexism is alive and well in comedy. Whether it's dealing with the pervasive myth that women are incapable of being funny, or the tendency of promoters to either only book one female comic on a show at a time or market all-female lineups specifically to female audiences, women have to work twice as hard for half the respect that male comics get. But this showcase at Stardust is a little different. Featuring 10 female comics, the show is one of the first productions by Female Writers & Comedians of Central Florida, a loose-knit group looking to get more representation for female perspectives in front of audiences. And at the bargain price of free, it's not hard to support their mission. – TM

8 p.m. | Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road | | free

Saturday, 19

Vaporwave V


Put aside any preconceptions you've picked up like a virus on the internet regarding a lack of musical authenticity on the part of the vaporwave micro-genre. Vaporwave is more than just Soundcloud hype: It's an ethereal substrain of ambient dance music that beguiles the listener with its hazy, addictive hooks; it only then dawns on said listener that much of the catchiness comes from a subversive repurposing of sound and imagery from a neon '80s past into a subtle critique of the poisonous effects of nostalgia and indeed the whole pop-culture-industrial-complex. In other words, dayglo goes dark damn quick. Orlando is fortunate enough to have an emerging roster of local vaporwave arch-conceptualizers, most of whom are young enough not to be constrained by reverence for their sound sources – which makes for even more anarchic and satisfying juxtapositions. Local webzine SR50 curates a night of shimmering sound featuring Dan Mason, Orov, Yosai and Immalaise. – Matthew Moyer

9 p.m. | The Geek Easy, 114 S. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park | 407-332-9636 | | free

Saturday, 19

El Gran Combo


A summer in Florida is no verano en Nueva York. For one, it's eternally hotter, making it more of a hellish nightmare than a dream to be outside dancing salsa in the street. But listening to the song of the same name from El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico inspires us to sway and swirl on the cobblestones of Wall Street Plaza and hope for a festival of mamoncillo sometime soon in Orlando. Known worldwide as the "University of Salsa," El Gran Combo has been in the business of putting out hits like "Gotas de Lluvia," "Azuquita pa' el Café" and "Me Liberé" under the direction of legendary pianist Rafael Ithier for more than 55 years. Famous musicians, like Andy Montañez, have learned the rhythm trade with this orchestra, while others like Celia Cruz and Héctor Lavoe have recognized its talents and asked for accompaniment. You can't miss a salsero treat like this, so go menea los mangos to the music of these giants at the Hard Rock Live this weekend. – Monivette Cordeiro

9 p.m. | Hard Rock Live, 6050 Universal Blvd. | 407-351-5483 | | $30-$50

Sunday, 20

Dawson City: Frozen Time


Located just below the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was a Canadian gold rush town so rugged that it burned down every year in its first nine years of existence. This settlement became the involuntary proprietor of a huge collection of films by dint of parsimony: As fortunes were made throughout the 19th century, the residents demanded entertainment, and in the early 1900s, Dawson City became part of the worldwide distribution of silent films. As remote as it was, it was often the last stop for a print, and the distributors didn't want to pay to ship them all the way back. So there they sat, until a buried cache of 553 films was unearthed in 1978. Director Bill Morrison (Decasia) is known for his work with degraded and disintegrating film stock; Dawson City does feature some of the aged nitrate film prints, but functions more as a detective story about hiding and finding. Highly recommended. – Jessica Bryce Young

noon | Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland | 407-629-0054 | | $9

Monday, 21

Solar Eclipse


North America hasn't been in the path of a total solar eclipse in 99 years, but on Monday, you'll be able to see the total solar eclipse for a few minutes in Orlando. Orlando Science Center and University of Central Florida host viewings of the total solar eclipse, which will reach 85 percent totality in Orlando and peak at about 2:51 p.m. At OSC's main location, a general adult admission price of $20.95 will get you demonstrations, access to solar eclipse glasses and solar telescopes, and phone camera filters that will let you capture the eclipse. OSC will also be distributing glasses at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Central Park West Meadow in Winter Park from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. At UCF's Reflection Pond, anyone is welcome to the viewing hosted by two student groups, which will provide telescopes and solar eclipse glasses. UCF professors and solar system student researchers will be present to explain the phenomenon. Both OSC and UCF stress the importance of not looking directly at the sun during the eclipse – although the sun is partially covered, permanent eye damage can still occur. OSC and UCF recommend using the solar eclipse glasses that will be provided, or creating a pinhole camera from a cereal box. (How-to videos are widely available online.) – Virginia Vasquez

2:51 p.m. peak time | multiple locations | | | free-$20.95

Tuesday, 22

Five Course Collaborative Dinner


Chef Josh Oakley of the Smiling Bison joins chef Nat Russell of the Tennessee Truffle for this culinary flight of fancy in trendier-by-the-week Sanford. The Bison is known for its refined takes on pub grub like poutine and pizza, whereas Russell left his longtime post as chef of the traditional Café de France to open his temple to all foods Southern. The two of them will no doubt mesh well – we predict plenty of bacon, biscuits and butter – and to top it all off, they'll be joined new Sanford bar Bitters & Brass, who will serve low-alcohol cocktails during the hors d'oeuvre hour. Tickets must be pre-paid – no late reservations. – Jessica Bryce Young

7-10 p.m. | The Smiling Bison, 107 S. Magnolia Ave., Sanford | 407-915-6086 | | $65

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