Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Jan.25-31

Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Jan.25-31

Wednesday, 25

Angel's Envy Spirited Dinner


DoveCote, the "French-inspired" restaurant from chef Clayton Miller, has made waves in the downtown dining scene since moving into the Bank of America building last year. But the pricey menu, though universally well received, can limit the scope of the culinary adventure that patrons are able to embark on. Which is why this prix fixe tasting menu, produced in conjunction with noted Better Bourbon brand Angel's Envy, is so notable. For less than $50, you'll get to sample four courses from DoveCote's kitchen: beef carpaccio and grilled octopus starters, a breaded pork cutlet garnished with a brown butter sauce and lemon beurre blanc, and an olive oil cake for dessert. Plus, each course comes with either an Angel's Envy cocktail or straight pours of their rye and cask-strength varieties. If you find any other high-end restaurant offering up a deal this good, take it. Make reservations now; seating is limited and sure to fill up. – Thaddeus McCollum

7-9 p.m. | DoveCote, 300 N. Orange Ave. | 407-930-1700 | | $45

Thursday, 26 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 


Every year, International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the day in 1945 that Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp. Last year, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Anne Frank's stepsister Eva Schloss, an Auschwitz survivor, wrote in Newsweek that she sees parallels today to the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and '40s. Schloss pointed out that our current president, then only a candidate – with his wall to keep out illegal immigrants and his "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" – shows the same kind of xenophobic thinking responsible for the death of 6 million would-be refugees. On Thursday, the Holocaust Center hosts a panel discussion with local Holocaust survivors who will share their stories and explain how they, like Anne Frank, were able to maintain their faith in humanity. So today might be a good day to do some listening, because God knows we are all going to need suggestions for how to do that. – Jessica Bryce Young

6 p.m. | Holocaust Center, 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland | 407-628-0555 | | free

Thursday, 26

Wicked After Dark


While the Dr. Phillips Center's run of Wicked continues this week, fans may want to check out this special cabaret night at the Abbey. Opener Rachel Potter is a bona fide Wicked alumna, playing Glinda during its second national tour. Following Potter's performance with her band Steel Union, the Abbey's stage is graced with current Wicked stars, fresh from a performance down the street, along with some other alumni and guest stars to perform song and dance numbers from their favorite Broadway musicals. Since this is a benefit for the GLBT Center of Central Florida, there are some unique raffle prizes available, including a walk-on role during Wicked's run, a chance to be a stage manager for a night and some one-on-one time with Jessica Vosk, currently playing Elphaba, as she goes through the process of getting painted green for her role. – TM

8:30 p.m. | The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive | 407-704-6261 | | $35-$75

Friday-Sunday, 27-29

A Celebration of Harry Potter


Beginning Friday, it's accio "Mom and Dad, can I please have fifty bucks?" at Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Triwizard year (fourth annual) edition of "A Celebration of Harry Potter" promises a veritable Gringotts Vault of entertainment value – and Universal doesn't tell lies. Actors Warwick Davis (Prof. Flitwick), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Slytherin's own Jason Isaacs and Tom Felton (Lucius and Draco Malfoy) lead Q&A sessions, while wand shops, movie screenings and visits from the production team add their magic to the weekend. Remember, you might have to set aside your spell books and robes for now, but Hogwarts will always welcome back those it loves. – Joshua Kennedy

9 a.m. | Universal Orlando Resort, 6000 Universal Blvd. | 407-363-8000 | | price of admission

Friday, 27

Billy Joel


We were banging our heads on our desks, trying to think of how to properly express the artistry of William Martin "Billy" Joel, when it occurred to us: Go back to the music! That's right, always go back to the "music." The music of a man who has not written or recorded any new material since 1993 yet still brings the heat for thousands of people on the road. We know a lot of people really hated the Joelster, but we liked some of his songs. "The Longest Time" is a sweet little love song, and Joel made "Uptown Girl" back when music videos meant something, dammit. But then, we heard it. First in "Piano Man" ("the businessmen slowly get stoned ... sharing a drink they call loneliness"), then on "Captain Jack" ("so you play your albums, and you smoke your pot ... but still you're aching for the things that you haven't got"): contempt for pot smokers. That's right, old Billy boy, rehab MVP, has beef with reefer. What did we ever do to you, Billy?! Did we not have the energy to get up and dance around to your damn song in that piano bar and that's why you hate us? Maybe the only reason we were able to sit through your incessant needling is because we were high. Maybe some of your straight-laced buddies will enjoy your preachy hits at the Amway Center this week, but we'll be at home on the couch, listening to Queen just as God intended. – Abby Stassen

8 p.m. | Amway Center, 400 W. Church St. | 800-745-3000 | | $49.50-$149.50

Friday, 27

Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography


This weekend's Zora! Festival features a special theater engagement that bridges Zora Neale Hurston's importance to both Eatonville and Harlem. New York City's New Federal Theatre presented Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography last year in celebration of Hurston's 125th birthday, and this one-night-only production reunites that cast and crew. Elizabeth Van Dyke's performance has received rave reviews for bringing both young and old versions of Hurston to vivid life. The cast is rounded out by Joseph Lewis Edwards, who plays four different men in Hurston's life. The play flashes back to 1925, the year Hurston arrived in New York City and found a voice in the Harlem Renaissance. Incorporating readings of Hurston's own works and her love of storytelling, the play highlights the difficulties Hurston encountered as an advocate of black culture and a staunch feminist – themes that still resonate. – TM

8 p.m. | Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | | $78.75-$128.75

Saturday, 28

Boy Harsher


Synthwavers Boy Harsher are that uniquely "Southern gothic" (in every sense of the phrase) phenomenon: a cold sonic force that emerged from fetid, humid Southern climes. The duo of Jae Matthews (vocals) and Augustus Muller (electronics) emerged from their cybernetic womb in Savannah, Georgia, fully formed and programmed from the word go. Boy Harsher are a rush of crystalline, razor sharp electronics, pounding heartbeat drums and Matthews' martial, commanding screams and confessions. A modern update on the classic Suicide/DAF/Kas Product template, then. The twosome may have cut their teeth in the noise/experimental scene (even playing International Noise Conference in Miami a time or two), but their sense of body rhythm and groove is impeccable. From their first demo (spin "Pain") to their album on Atlanta's DKA Records (Yr Body Is Nothing), it's clear that now is the time on Sprockets when we dance. Sidebar: This is the only Florida show Philadelphia's Profligate is playing; if top-shelf synth pop is your thing, darken Spacebar's door. – Matthew Moyer

with Profligate, Autarx | 9 p.m. | Spacebar, 2428 E. Robinson St. | | $5

Monday, 30

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man


Leonard Cohen left us last year, as all our loves are bound to do, with a mixture of lingering regrets but a bounty of wonderful memories and even more lovely words. In the usual reexamination of an artist's work after death, this charming documentary and musical love letter to Cohen from 2005 has been unearthed. It captures the third or fourth (fifty-seventh?) act in Cohen's career, which was near biblical in terms of myth. To wit: Cohen, delving deeper into Zen Buddhism, entered the Mt. Baldy Zen Retreat for what became a five-year stay, to become an ordained Zen Buddhist monk. When the old man emerged from the mountain, Cohen soon found that his manager at the time had basically made off with all of his money. As befits a nascent Zen master, Cohen simply dusted himself off and hit the road for a lengthy series of tours. This film intersperses a series of introspective interviews from Cohen around this time alongside footage from an expansive musical tribute show – masterminded by Hal Willner – wherein performers the likes of Nick Cave, Antony, Jarvis Cocker, Rufus Wainright and Beth Orton paid homage to their dark lord. Cohen only makes a brief musical appearance, and though it's an infinite bummer that he's backed by a bloated U2, when he opens his mouth, you forget everything else. This screening is of a 35mm print of the doc; the ticket is worth it just for that. – MM

9:30 p.m. | Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland | 407-629-1088 | | $11

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