Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Nov. 23-29

Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Nov. 23-29

Wednesday, 23

AAHZ Reunion


Our sense of history may be a little blunted here in Central Florida. A common criticism of the area is that we're all a little too eager to tear down the old to make way for the new. Blame our reliance on tourism, blame a populace whose roots largely only go back a generation or two, blame whatever. But one era of our history that deserves to be acknowledged on a regular basis is that period of time back in the early '90s when our collective finger was on the pulse of the future of dance music. Predating the current trap and EDM boom by decades, the mix of Miami bass, hip-hop and house that came to be known as "Florida Breaks" was prescient, even if it all eventually imploded once concerned parents and politicians started to take notice. This week's AAHZ reunion hearkens back to those days with a lineup that looks like it's straight off of a flyer from 1993: Kimball Collins, DJ Icey, DJ Stylus, Dave Cannalte and Andy Hughes. This edition also brings in Scratch-D of seminal Miami bass group Dynamix II, whose "Just Give the DJ a Break" helped spread the bass gospel to the masses in 1987 when it managed to hit No. 50 on the U.K. Singles chart. The crowd at this show might have a few more gray hairs than most dance nights in town, but you can't argue with the pedigree of the music. – Thaddeus McCollum

with Kimball Collins, DJ Icey, Scratch-D, Andy Hughes, Dave Cannalte, DJ Stylus | 9 p.m. | The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave. | 407-648-8363 | | $9-$40

Thursday, 24

Turkey Trot 5K


Wild turkeys can run up to 25 miles per hour – that's fast. But it raises the question: What are they running from? An eternal sense of emptiness and longing? Their families back at the farm, who don't understand their punk-rock leanings? Or a day where roughly 46 million of them are taken from their homes, plucked, cooked and eaten for what humans consider a national holiday? We may never know (we tried, but getting a turkey on the phone for an interview was a real headache). The good news is that no one has to run that fast for this year's Turkey Trot at Lake Eola. One of Orlando's oldest fun runs, this 5K flies in the face of everything we hold dear about Thanksgiving: sleeping until the afternoon, sitting, staring at a television and shoveling heaping plates of feathered friends into our mouths to avoid arguing about the election results. For those who dare fly in the face of time-honored gluttonous traditions, the Turkey Trot is a great way to support the Seniors First organization, which provides supportive services like Meals on Wheels to help senior citizens remain healthy and independent. The organization expects more than 6,000 spectators, walkers and runners to turn out this year. Maybe some of those supporters will include poultry who outran their holiday fate – and most of the 5K's participants to boot. – Abby Stassen

6:30 a.m. | Lake Eola Park, East Robinson Street and North Eola Drive | | $33-$38

Friday-Sunday, 25-27



In a post-medical marijuana Florida, you can expect the weed talk to intensify in tandem with the potency of each new strain introduced. Sure, weed and art have been colliding for decades now, but in this cannabis-normalization era, the possibilities for jargon-filled rhetoric about the social constructs surrounding toking up are endless. Enter ART420. The weekend-long art show and conference aims to "challenge the stereotypes of cannabis users as lazy and unproductive," according to its website. By showing that marijuana can inspire serious art while also providing the impetus for some very important discussions about our prison-industrial complex, the War on Drugs and minorities in the cannabis industry, ART420's mission to "explore the positive impacts this plant has on society and the human experience" may not be all that wacky after all. – Adam Manno

noon-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday | Henao Contemporary Center, 5601 Edgewater Drive | 407-490-4207 | | free

Saturday, 26

Flotsam and Jetsam


True survivors of the golden age of thrash, Flotsam and Jetsam have been churning out epic headbangers for more than 30 years. They take their name not from the villainous Ursula's pet eels from The Little Mermaid, but from the chapter in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings where Merry and Pippin are reunited with Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn after the Ents seize Isengard. Just as Merry and Pippin were gifted with longevity after drinking of the ent-draught, Flotsam and Jetsam have survived changing lineups and popular taste by drinking long and deep from the well of thrash, keeping their riffs pure, their kick drums doubled, and their lyrics rooted in the eternal struggle between good and evil. As Gandalf famously told Frodo, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." Flotsam and Jetsam decided to rock for as long and as hard as they can. – TM

with Helstar, Hatchet, Nu Level, S.K.S. | 6 p.m. | The Haven, 6700 Aloma Ave., Winter Park | 407-673-2712 | | $15-$25

Saturday, 26

Dolly Parton


Goddamn, now THIS is something to be thankful for! Country legend, songwriter extraordinaire, heartbreaking singer, theme-park magnate, down-home quip machine, wig enthusiast and style icon Dolly Parton is playing Florida over the long holiday weekend, just a short jaunt from Orlando. Dolly Parton, over 50 years into a singular career, is every bit the icon that Johnny Cash was, the Technicolor yin to his monochromatic yang, crossing over into the mainstream with movie roles and television shows while packing just as much songwriting acumen as Cash or Willie Nelson or Hank Williams. Here're just a few: "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," "9 to 5," "I Will Always Love You" – not to mention a run of incredibly haunting duets with Porter Wagoner, trio albums with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, or even the crowd-pleasing raveups with ol' Kenny Rogers. (And pro tip: Check out "The Bridge" and "Daddy Come and Get Me" if you think it's all sweetness and light in Dolly's songwriting aesthetic.) Fuck Black Friday, Pink Saturday is the new now. Make this pilgrimage. – Matthew Moyer

7:30 p.m. | Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa | 813-301-6500 | | $45.75-$125.75

Tuesday, 29

Cult Classics: The Fifth Element


In a tour de force one-two punch, French director Luc Besson wrote and directed a back-to-back pair of films that will forever define the look and feel of the 1990s: The Professional (1994, Natalie Portman's feature film debut as a 12-year-old assassin) and The Fifth Element (1997). While they share a certain comic-booky improbability, The Professional was a gritty, emotional thriller, while The Fifth Element was a goofy grab bag of futuristic silliness ... hence its utter genius. There are so many iconic figures and moments in The Fifth Element that it's effectively a time capsule of '90s obsessions: Milla Jovovich as an orange-haired alien in Jean-Paul Gaultier bandages; trip-hop star Tricky as a lackadaisical evil henchman; Chris Tucker in his last, and perhaps only, brilliant role as the ambiguously gendered broadcaster Ruby Rhod; and let us never forget the sight and sound of the aria-warbling, 10-foot-tall, tentacled blue Diva Plavalaguna. The "official movie trailer" you'll find on YouTube is straight garbage and manages to capture roughly nothing of the actual film experience, but The Fifth Element is such a mystery basket of absurdities and brilliance that it might be impossible for a trailer to capture. This Cult Classics screening is timed to prime us for Besson's latest sci-fi madness, Valerian, out in early 2017, but we'll happily settle in to relive a vacation on the planet Fhloston Paradise that went terribly awry. – Jessica Bryce Young

 9:30 p.m. | Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orange Ave., Maitland | 407-629-0054 | | $8

Tuesday, 29

Ariadne Greif


Ariadne Greif is a fascinating case: The soprano is universally praised for her performances of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, but rather than rest on the easy laurels of the classical repertoire standing next to a concert grand, she relentlessly pushes forward, exploring new music and more creative modes of expressing it. The New York Times enthused over her "searing top notes and dusky depths" in a 2014 production of Georg Friedrich Haas' Atthis, but also reported that "the dramatic impact of physical discomfort in performance has fascinated her for some time," describing how Greif ripped strips of duct tape off her body until she was nude, all the while singing Sappho's anguished lines. At this first installment of the Orlando Philharmonic's new "Women in Song" series, it's extremely unlikely that Greif will strip. And here in Orlando, she will be singing Schubert, Ravel and Dvorak; not Crumb, Aperghis and Ono. But: The program is still challenging in a quiet way, incorporating a spoken word piece by Cole NeSmith, cello accompaniment by O.Phil music director Eric Jacobsen and a casual atmosphere capped by a "bar hang" in the homey Plaza Live lobby after the show. – Jessica Bryce Young

8 p.m. | Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-770-0071 | | $22-$27

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