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Selections: Our picks for this week's best events (Jan.4-10) 

Thursday-Sunday, 5-8

Orlando Fringe Winter Mini Fest


One of the nice things about Orlando Fringe is how it coincides with springtime. Loch Haven Park bursts into colorful, theatrical bloom just as the snow starts melting, birds start chirping and we get to ditch our woolen scarves and mittens for bikinis and sandals. Or at least all of that stuff would be true if we didn't live in perpetual sweat-drenched summer. But Fringe is taking advantage of our in-no-way-related-to-climate-change lack of seasonal variety by throwing a mini-Fringe this weekend. Nineteen favorites, like Becky's Fun Time Hour (pictured), Voci Dance's Paint Chips, the "who hurt you?" gut-punch of Space and plenty of others, return for a long "winter" weekend. It's a great opportunity to catch up on some stuff you might have missed last year, and an opportunity to mingle and get the scoop on what to look out for at the main event in May. Happy Fringing! – Thaddeus McCollum

various times through Sunday | Loch Haven Park, 777 E. Princeton St. | 407-648-0077 | | $3-$15

Friday, 6

Blackberry Winter


More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's – no, hey, come back, we swear this isn't a downer – but probably very few of them would believe that something joyful could be made from their disease. Steve Yockey's new play, Blackberry Winter, proves them wrong. A "blackberry winter" is the obverse of Indian summer – a brief cold snap in the middle of spring's awakening warmth. In Blackberry Winter, protagonist Vivienne alternates between relating the workaday particulars of caring for her mother, who has slipped into a state of dementia, with flights of fancy: She's created an origin myth for Alzheimer's, a fable about Gray Mole (who steals memories) and White Egret (who tries to protect the forest animals). Storytelling is the most human impulse; the comforts of fiction may be fleeting, but the attempt to impose a narrative on life's chaos is soothing in and of itself. Blackberry Winter brings the warming thaw of spring to a heart frozen by fear and grief. – Jessica Bryce Young

7:30 p.m. | through Feb. 5 | Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. | 407-447-1700 | | $13-$50

Saturday, 7

Studio One: Go With the Flow

ART Those Christmas cards you bought at Target this year to send to your friends and relatives were nice and all, but wouldn't it be cool to impress with a handmade card that won't get chucked into a bin? Learn to add inky doodles and fancy writing to custom-designed cards, stationery and wall art this weekend at OMA's Go With the Flow: Pen & Ink Designs class with Catherine Cross. You can stop obsessively watching videos on Instagram of people creating beautiful designs with ink pens by using this class to learn to make your own with different techniques and tools. Take the class, and don't suffer through a generic holiday card ever again! – Monivette Cordeiro

10 a.m. to noon  | Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave. | 407-896-4231 | | $25 (advance registration required)

Sunday, 8

Uncomfortable Brunch: Requiem for a Dream


Unlike a lot of the Uncomfortable Brunch film picks, this month's movie isn't wall-to-wall sex. (Although it has its moments, it's no Salo. Or Visitor Q. Or Night Porter, or Wetlands, or ... well, you get it.) The discomfort produced by Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream is of a more sly variety – this chronicle of addiction comes closer to capturing the experience of a high than any other drug movie we can think of, and the seductive nature of the trip is barely overshadowed by the horrors of the fall, which Aronofsky also limns with terrifying precision. Ellen Burstyn and Jennifer Connolly are astonishing in this film, and it's astonishing that they committed to these parts as full-out as they did; Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans don't embarrass themselves, and that's all we can ask. (Fun fact: Clint Mansell's score, performed by the Kronos Quartet, is notable for the much-used-since-2000 "Lux Aeterna"; "Life Eternal," from Mansell's score for the "San Junipero" episode of Black Mirror, bears more than a slight resemblance.) – JBY

1 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | $10-$12

Sunday, 8

The Scene


What would be a productive way to start your 2017, as a fan of art and music? We'd suggest you start local; more specifically, take in a hefty dose of Orlando-based creativity across music, dance and visual art all in one spot, in the company of a bunch of likeminded heads. Phraydoe Peans and Mango Beats have got you covered. They're holding their annual Scene fest one more time. Billed as an "indi music and arts festival," the Scene is built on a hip-hop foundation but takes in all genres and platforms: MCs, bands, B-boys, street art, vendors, spoken word. The fest aims to unite the various creative tribes in the City Beautiful, and who doesn't like a good party? – Matthew Moyer

with Family Gang, Nosis, Dear Tatiana, Sweet Cambodia, Fighting the Silence and many more | 7 p.m. | Venue 578, 578 N. Orange Ave. | 407-872-0066 | | $10

Monday, 9

Bartender's New Year's Eve


Every New Year's Eve we go out, we get hammered, we laugh, we cry, we throw up on the person we wanted to kiss at midnight. (What, that's never happened to you? Well la-dee-dah, Fancy Pants!) And every year, a silent witness shakes their head at our shenanigans: the bartender. So crucial to our New Year's goals yet so physically between us and the alcohol, bartenders bear witness to countless triumphs and tribulations every year on Dec. 31. But what about them? When is it the bartender's turn to cut loose and water a garden of regrets? Service industry members need look no further than Courtesy Bar this year for a New Year's Eve especially for them. This, of course, digs another rabbit hole: Who bartends the bartender's party? Who polices the police – and the bartenders? In both cases, it appears to be another bartender. But enough with the existentialism, and on to the drinking! Kick up your heels, barkeeps! You've been taking care of this mouthy Chicago transplant since July, and – believe us – you've earned this. – Abby Stassen

9 p.m. | The Courtesy Bar, 114 N. Orange Ave. | 407-450-2041 | | $15-$25

Monday, 9

Great Minds


Now this is a sign of good things to come for 2017. The much-loved DIY/performance venue Space Station – which hosted everything from a dramatic reading of Sartre's No Exit to a vaporwave showcase to Latinx punks Ruleta Rusa last year – has been sadly silent as of late, but this stacked, heavy bill is a great excuse to reacquaint yourself with the place. Local extreme noise terror duo Freakazoid are anchoring the show, aiding and abetting Valdosta's Machinist, a quartet dealing into a hyperspeed hardcore/thrash synthesis, along with Nashville metalcore practitioners Death Card, and aggro, Victory-style hardcore troupe Great Minds (also from Nashville). Show starts early, don't fall prey to the seductive wiles of punk time, because these sets are going to be brief and brutally to the point. – Matthew Moyer

with Death Card, Machinist, Freakazoid | 7 p.m. | The Space Station, 2539 Coolidge Ave. | 321-356-2804 | | $7

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