Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Aug. 17-23

Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Aug. 17-23

Thursday, 18

Pokémon Comedy Roast Showcase


Unless you've been living under a rock, you've noticed everyone playing Pokémon Go (and if you do live under a rock, please put us in touch with your realtor – that's hot property in a smartphone society). But fame comes at a cost, and the game's popularity places its animated stars in the crosshairs of Orlando's best comedians at this themed roast show. Pokémon characters go into battle with poison, ice and fire – but can they handle the emotional heat from 11 of Orlando's best comedians? Hosted by local legend Tim Murphy, this roast is sure to feature jokes that reduce the mightiest Dragonite to a weeping shower-cry mess. No Charizard will be left unburnt, no Pidgey unprodded and no Magikarp ... actually, no Magikarp would be a welcome reprieve at this point. Just don't whip out your phone and try to set up a lure module during the show – no Pokémon that enter will leave unscathed. – Abby Stassen

7 p.m. | Orlando Improv, 9101 International Drive | 407-480-5233 | | $7

Friday, 19

Puttin' On the Glitz: A Burlesque Tribute to Mel Brooks


We may never know what the ladies of Cupcake Burlesque were thinking when they came up with the idea of a burlesque tribute to Mel Brooks. That's right: a burlesque ... tribute ... to ... Mel ... BROOKS. (Let it sink in.) Were they on the couch taking in their 700th viewing of Spaceballs when they were overcome with erotomanic urges at the sight of President Skroob? Or maybe it was Gene Wilder's wild hair as he played the fussy Dr. "It's pronounced Fronk-enn-shteen!" in Brooks' Young Dr. Frankenstein? Or maybe Zero Mostel as cashed-out Max Bialystock in The Producers? When Bialystock cried, "I'm wearing a cardboard belt!" maybe the Cupcakers thought, "Wearing a cardboard belt ... only!" Well, we have our dreams of how this could play out, but truthfully we are all admiration and mystified anticipation of where it'll go. We only hope it's more Inga ("Roll, roll, roll in de hay!") than Frau Blücher (terrified horse whinny). – Jessica Bryce Young

9 p.m. | The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive | 407-412-6895 | | $15-$25

Saturday, 20

O-Town Macdown


Cheese connoisseurs should be pleased to know that Orlando's signature mac and cheese competition has returned. This year's O-Town Macdown, located in Osceola Heritage Park, brings out more than 20 vendors participating in order to help the nonprofit Give Kids the World, and the winners go home with the bragging rights of having the tastiest mac and cheese dish in Orlando. There's live entertainment, cooking demonstrations from chefs, and even a kids zone where your children can play while you eat a frightening amount of starch and dairy. There's no better chance to consume as much cheesy goodness as you want. – Harry Sayer

11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee | 407-396-1114 | | $15-$20

Saturday, 20

Orlando Public Library 50th Anniversary


The Orlando Public Library celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend with a talk from architectural historian Christine Madrid French, and it will be a celebration of concrete. The downtown landmark is a prime example of Brutalist architecture, a school of design that set out to make buildings in a raw and fortress-like style. In fact, the library was designed to require as little maintenance as possible. Take a self-guided tour of the building, learn about Brutalism and hear how the library compares internationally in this architectural style. It's both a celebration and an educational experience, and what could be better? – Jarleene Almenas

4 p.m. | Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd. | 407-835-7323 | | free

Saturday, 20

Activate Us: Activate the Milk District


With the presidential election cycle dominated by criticisms of Hillary Clinton and the dumb, dumb shit that spills out of Donald Trump's mouth, you may be tempted to just ignore the election completely and steer clear of the polls. But then there are the downticket races. From senators to school board members to county council seats, a whole lot of important decisions have to be made in November, and sitting the election out just because you can't stand the dummies who get all the attention isn't an option. In that spirit, Activate Us, a new local political group dedicated to increasing political engagement, throws its launch party tonight in the Milk District by inviting local politicians running for office to party with the hoi polloi. The idea is to get the chance to share a beer with a councilwoman or dance with someone running for state representative while the night is soundtracked by the likes of Mr. 3, Native Feel, Tommy Mot and more. While there's no word on which pols are confirmed to attend, it's still a great attempt to put the "lit" back in "politics." – Thaddeus McCollum

with Harryson Thevenin, Free the People, Native Feel, Maximino, Midnight Inspector, Holy Human, Tommy Mot, Mr. 3 | 10 p.m. | The Milk District Pavilion, 2432 E. Robinson St. | | $5-$7

Monday, 22

Local H


The beat is back for Local H as the original drummer for the band, Joe Daniels, reunites with frontman Scott Lucas and current drummer Ryan Harding. Local H is on a spring tour marking the 20th anniversary of the band's breakthrough album, 1996's As Good as Dead. The band, known for frequent touring and creative live shows, plays two sets: a short set of new and old material, and then a triumphant run through the entirety of As Good as Dead. If you were into the post-grunge sounds of the late '90s and early 2000s such as Audioslave, Collective Soul and Marcy Playground, this is the show for you. – Paul Catala

7 p.m. | The Social, 54 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | | $15-$18

Tuesday, 23

Auto Chlor


Tracing back the roots of musical margin dwellers can yield interesting results. For instance, we weren't aware that a distant ancestor of dreamwave gliders Moon Jelly was mysterious noise scrapers Auto Chlor. An exceedingly loose and shadowy collective of Florida experimentalists and performance artists, Auto Chlor specialized in off-kilter and lo-fi sound collages and stage outfits that were every bit as disturbing as they were DIY. Like most Florida noise groups, they existed for a brief period both live and on record, were woefully underdocumented and then disappeared ... until a recent live reunion at Will's and some cassette reissues via Illuminated Paths brought them out from the swamps. We're recommending this reunion, even though they made liars out of us about their last show out Will's being a one-time thing. But who's counting? – Matthew Moyer

with Maximino, White Sands, Fleetwood Snack | 8 p.m. | Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | 407-898-0009 | $5

Tuesday, 23

BJ Barham


Exceptional North Carolina band American Aquarium has built a legend in the alt-country world, and much of it's been through the live spell of fellowship and soul that radiates from frontman BJ Barham. For a while now, he's really been honing his solo expression on the road, showing a rare ability to grip an entire room just by himself. And as a thankfully regular tour stop, Orlando knows this well. But what's already a remarkably personal and moving experience live will swell with even more occasion this time because he's returning on the wind of his debut solo album, Rockingham, which drops only four days before he arrives. All that up-close heartbreak he's famous for delivering onstage deep into the night has been run through the still and bottled on this blue-collar record. And when Barham comes this time and opens these veins, that whiskey's gonna flow. Making it a very notable all-around bill are local Americana pillar Terri Binion and Justin Osborne of South Carolina alt-country band Susto, who had a stunning Orlando debut early this year opening for Heartless Bastards. – Bao Le-Huu

with Terri Binion, Justin Osborne | 8 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $15-$20


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