When Theatre Downtown was evicted from their Orange Avenue home early this year, they could have given up the ghost, but instead they came roaring back at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Led by Chris Prueitt as the titular poet, Theatre Downtown’s Poe won a Patrons’ Pick Award for the most tickets sold in their venue. Hopefully this will be the start of a long and healthy afterlife for the beloved community troupe.
2. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org
3. Florida Film Festival, floridafilmfestival.com
1. Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk, thorntonparkdistrict.com
2. 1st Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art, omart.org
3. Third Thursday Gallery Hop – Downtown Arts District, orlandoslice.com
If you’re an animal lover who just doesn’t cotton to cats, skip to the next entry. Now, to all the cat devotees still reading: If you didn’t see the Acrocats’ first-ever Orlando appearance at the Venue in March, you missed the greatest stage performance in the whole history of everything. Samantha Martin’s troupe of rescued felines can walk tightropes, balance on balls and play musical instruments – and occasionally they even do so on command! Did we mention the percussion-playing chicken named Cluck Norris? ’Nuff said.
2. Pat Greene
3. Terry Olson
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2526, cfam.rollins.edu
In April, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum opened Women and Abstraction, a major survey of abstract and minimalist art made by female artists from the late 1940s to the present. For CFAM curator Amy Galpin, it was a passion project long in the making; for the rest of the community, it was simply jaw-dropping. Works by giants like Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe and Helen Frankenthaler joined lesser-knowns like Hayal Pozanti and Shinique Smith – 80 years’ worth of abstract art so powerful it gave viewers chills. Under the leadership of Galpin and director Ena Heller, and with this show coming on the heels of CFAM’s formidable Kara Walker exhibition, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), it definitely felt like the Year of the Woman at CFAM.
2. VarieTease, thevenueorlando.com
3. Polylust Burlesque, polylust.tumblr.com
2. Improv Orlando, 9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, theimprovorlando.com
3. Shit Sandwich at Bull & Bush, 2408 E. Robinson St., shit-sandwich.com
2. Uncomfortable Brunch, uncomfortablebrunch.com
3. Love Your Shorts, loveyourshorts.com