Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Dec. 21-27

Selections: : Our picks of the week's best events, Dec. 21-27

Wednesday-Friday, 21-23

Dickens by Candlelight


Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol to make the public pay attention when he said, "Hey! Quit being jerks to the less fortunate!" He knew that conveying a serious message called for shiny packaging, and there's nothing more sparkly than Christmas (source: childhood). Perhaps Hillary's greatest weakness was her inability to make the entirety of her campaign Christmas-themed  – but we digress. The glitter is toned down for Dickens by Candlelight, a retelling of the classic Yuletide tale using only three actors weaving through tables full of audience members squinting at the action by candlelight, just as Dickens intended. The unique casting and staging intrigue us, but we're really curious about how much of a fire hazard this may be. This may just be our inner Scrooge coming out, but old-timey costumes are notoriously cumbersome and the combination of low lighting, constant movement and British accents makes us wonder if this morality tale is up to code. Luckily the show has a 20-year run under its belt so we can probably enjoy the production's tea and cookies safely while Ebenezer finds himself. – Abby Stassen

7:30 p.m. | Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. | 407-222-7669 | | $40

Thursday, 22

Get Your Jazz On


These monthly Alfond Inn affairs are already pretty jolly – unlimited roast pig, cocktails and live jazz will do that, not to mention complimentary valet parking in Winter Park – but December's edition sounds especially ho-ho-homey. In addition to the usual roasted meats from the caja box (and some vegetarian selections), and the unlimited wine, beer, spirits and cigars, there'll be spiked hot apple cider, Christmas tunes, even a snow machine. The Dana Kamide Quartet plays under the stars as you rest easy in the knowledge that your ticket price helps fund the Alfond Scholars Program, which awards scholarships to Rollins College students. We all enjoy a Christmas song and a cup of wassail at the end of the year, even those of us who are able to enjoy them outdoors in December. – Jessica Bryce Young

6:30-9:30 p.m. | Alfond Inn, 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park | 407-326-2623 | | $45-$50

Saturday, 24

Christmas Eve Open House


Tired of being bored while you wait for Christmas Eve? It doesn't have to be that way. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is allowing free admission to all guests on Dec. 24 for the majority of the day. The Winter Park museum currently has several exhibits on hand, but you'll want to watch out for the ones that focus on their stunning collection of art glass by Gilded Age legend Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Raintree Chamber Players, a group of local professional musicians, serenade you as you explore the Morse Museum for the last three hours of this event. – Monivette Cordeiro

9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. | Morse Museum of American Art, 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park | 407-645-5311 | | free

Thursday, 22

Moloko Plus


The week of Christmas is usually a dead time for live performances of the non-holiday variety, but the new monthly Moloko Plus showcase is defying the odds this week with a show devoted to electronic sounds and modular synthesizers. Though the vibe certainly falls under the "experimental" umbrella, the artists booked for this inaugural night stray much closer to the ambient side of that designation, eschewing much of the abrasiveness usually associated with experimental electronic shows. The synths are droney and the beats sparse, creating an appropriate soundtrack for the deserted midnight streets that usually accompany the holidays. Stick around after the early show for an edition of Spacebar's signature Bring Your Own Vinyl night, where you can use their professional turntables to show off your own taste in records, experimental or otherwise. – Thaddeus McCollum

with Sh4pes, Christian Kady, Void Machine, Pressurewave | 7:30 p.m. | Spacebar, 2428 E. Robinson St. | | free

Friday, 23



Our last-minute Xmas gift to you, the discerning music listener, is a hot tip on a last-minute show that even took us by surprise. Craow, the dark synth/industrial techno solo project of Florida exile Sean Halpin, is playing his first show in Florida since a string of dates in 2013 that took him up and out of Florida permanently. Though now firmly ensconced in the experimental arts playground that is Providence, Rhode Island, Halpin cut his teeth in the same fertile Tampa underground scene that gave the world Merchandise, Haves & Thirds, and Ukiah Drag. Craow has gone through several permutations before settling into its current form of solo Halpin crafting pitch-black, hard industrial groove workouts on a variety of synths and samplers. Live, Craow is pure negative energy and catharsis through dance. If you went to the Visage reunion and wondered to yourself why no one does it as good as Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb used to do it, Craow is now your favorite new band. And for younger folks looking for a harder dance fix, come take a listen. Did we mention the show is free? – Matthew Moyer

8 p.m. | Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road | 407-623-3393 | free

Monday, 26

Orlando Is Tight


While, sure, we agree with the popular "Orlando Doesn't Suck" T-shirts, the slogan does come off as a little overly defensive. When they first started popping up back in the day (like, what, two years ago?), some people thought that Orlandoans could do with an unofficial slogan that had a bit more positivity to it. Hence, the Orlando Is Tight comedy showcase got its name. After host Jaron Millan left Orlando for L.A., the showcase fell off Backbooth's schedule, but you can still see folks wearing T-shirts with the proactive slogan. Since the holidays have brought Millan back home, this reunion showcase is your last chance for a while to snag one of those shirts for yourself: The first 10 people through the door get a now-vintage Orlando Is Tight shirt. Plus, there will be 10 more up for grabs as prizes throughout the night. The show itself promises a mix of traditional stand-up, live sketch comedy and some of the better video sketches from Digital Boobs Comedy, a sketch troupe founded by Millan and co-headliner Ryan Fowler. It won't suck. – TM

10:30 p.m. | Backbooth, 37 W. Pine St. | 407-999-2570 | | $5Tuesday, 27

Tuesday, 27

Cult Classics: Under the Cherry Moon


Riding the stratospheric highs of commercial and critical acclaim for 1984's Purple Rain – both the film and the soundtrack – Prince was given the equivalent of a blank check for a follow-up film by the suits at Warner Bros., salivating over the notion of Purple Rain II. Prince, being Prince, smirked enigmatically and penciled himself in to both star and direct this film, Orson Welles–style. Prince emerged with a sprawling, ambitious, artistic left turn – a black-and-white film set in the French Riviera, evoking the spirit of old Hollywood glamour, chock-full of hallucinatory visuals and humor, and, bizarrely, no performance of "Kiss," the hit song from the accompanying soundtrack album, Parade. This was Under the Cherry Moon. Cherry Moon is the story of Christopher Tracy (Prince) and Tricky (Jerome Benton), gigolo brothers who bum around Europe, seducing and cheating rich mademoiselles. But things don't really go according to plan when Christopher falls in love with a target, and the movie spirals out of control from there. Sadly, it bombed upon release. But by then, Prince had already moved on; stung by the critics, seemingly bored by filmmaking, he would return to music, sealing himself away in the studio to work on what would become his most sprawling and solitary recorded work – Sign O' the Times. With Purple Rain having already done a memorial theatrical run, now's the perfect time for Cherry Moon to rise from the vaults of Paisley Park. And y'know what? It's aged damn well. It's a vibrant, beautifully shot piece of filmmaking, and Prince is absolute magic to watch. He's got the look .... – Matthew Moyer

9:30 p.m. | Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland | 407-629-1088 | | $8

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