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Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, March 8-9 

Thursday, 9

Allison Crutchfield and the Fizz

MUSIC

After more than a decade of throwing down in a number of bands beloved in indie rock, alternative and punk circles, guitarist-singer-songwriter Allison Crutchfield finally steps out on her own with perhaps her most intriguing and essential set of songs yet. Crutchfield came to indie renown with her pop-punk project with twin sister Kate, the churning and memorably named P.S. Elliott. Crutchfield then struck out on her own with Swearin', releasing albums on Merge, and pitching in on Kate's solo project, the blissful noise of Waxahatchee. As Swearin' ground to a halt amid personal upheavals, Crutchfield rebounded with a suite of songs that mark not just a stylistic departure from previous works but also the most honest expression of her songwriting voice yet. The songs that make up Tourist in This Town are a melancholic, bruised-yet-unbroken mix of synth-pop and classic alt-rock swoons, all redolent of Blake Babies, Breeders, the Cure and Heavenly. Hearing the Tourist songs live is a chance to take in an artist at her creative peak. – Matthew Moyer

with Vagabon, Wet Nurse, TV Dinner | 8 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org | $10-$12

Thursday, 9

Taking Your Pulse Town Hall

CIVICS

The feeling of losing a loved one, especially to murder, can be hard to talk about immediately. We saw that in Orlando after the massacre that killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse. Some wanted to talk about their loved ones and tell their stories in front of news cameras right away. A few people, afraid after the world had shown them terror, hid inside their homes for days – sometimes even for months. Others were too heartbroken to talk. Consequently, not every story was told as the media covered Pulse in the weeks after June 12, 2016. Almost nine months after the tragedy, the community has an opportunity to change that. StoryCorps, a New York-based project that travels the country recording and sharing American stories, is working with WMFE 90.7 FM this week in Orlando to preserve the stories of people directly impacted by the massacre along with stories from the broader Central Florida region. The "Taking Your Pulse" project has set up several spaces around town to participate in the collection, or you can do it directly from your phone using the StoryCorps mobile app. The project's main event is a community conversation at the hospital where many of the victims and survivors were taken. WMFE's Matthew Peddie hosts a panel with survivors, first responders, doctors, nurses, LGBTQ and Latinx community leaders, and city officials, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando Police Chief John Mina. Granted, it's still hard for some to talk about Pulse without getting a lump in their throats, but this project helps honor victims' legacies and is a definite step on the path of healing. – Monivette Cordeiro

7 p.m. | Orlando Regional Medical Center, 52 W. Underwood St. | wmfe.org | free

Friday, 10

FayRoy

MUSIC

With the recent, unwelcome news that a certain local venue has maybe, possibly fallen in the line of duty, the search for new, alternative, safe spaces for shows takes on a bit more of a hint of urgency. To that end, it's heartening to see that upstart bookers Ugly Orange are throwing their first show at the Henao Contemporary Center on Edgewater Drive this Friday. Ugly Orange tests the gallery show waters – a natural fit for a promoting outfit that regularly merges visual and sonic expression – with an album release party for Tampa's haunted pop ensemble FayRoy. The new album, Heaven at Twenty-Seven, expands their sound ever outward, flirting with more baroque arrangements and thoughtful lyrical schemes/themes. Local sonic support comes from indie-shoegaze outfit Transcendental Telecom and the always-surprising This Heat-style vibes of young'uns RV. Art music for art people. – MM

with Transcendental Telecom, RV | 9 p.m. | Henao Contemporary Center, 5601 Edgewater Drive | henaocenter.com | $5

Friday-Saturday, 10-11

VarieTease: Stolen Thieves

DANCE

Blue Star's VarieTease has been transporting audiences to new worlds through daring themes and sensual choreography for years. But now, this ballet-trained burlesque star is stepping in another direction, one with a bit more totalitarian flavor. Running only four shows, Stolen Thieves: A New World Order features five characters that struggle with the balance between good and evil, what's right and wrong, in an effort to get back what they've lost at the hands of others. In today's political climate, with power struggles dominating the news cycle, it might ring a few bells. But the show's ultimate message, one we all have to face, is just how far would you go to reclaim what's yours? – Deanna Ferrante

7 p.m. | The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive | 407-412-6895 | thevenueorlando.com | $18-$22

Friday-Sunday, 10-12

Sing Along With The Muppet Movie

FILM

Though ABC's short-lived reboot, The Muppets, may have fizzled out last year, the one thing we did learn from the Office-aping sitcom was that the Muppets really don't need to be updated. Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang are at their best having wacky misadventures, usually in the pursuit of saving a theater from going under. This special presentation from Heather Henson's Ibex Puppetry uses the best Muppet vehicle, 1979's The Muppet Movie, as a springboard for an interactive experience somewhat akin to the beloved MuppetVision 3D show at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Ibex uses live music, puppetry, shadow-acting and creative kites to bring the road-trip origin story of the Muppets to life. Plus, you'll get to sing along with the Muppets to the classic soundtrack. Try not to tear up during "Rainbow Connection." – Thaddeus McCollum

7 p.m. Friday, 1 & 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday | The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive | 407-704-6261 | abbeyorlando.com | $25

Saturday, 11

Paula Poundstone

COMEDY

In a lot of ways, Paula Poundstone is different than most comedians, but the most obvious one is: She's happy. So happy, in fact, that her book The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness comes out in May, in which she talks about years of fumbling toward joy. The 30-year road veteran is best known these days for her spot on the panel of NPR game show Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me, but she never stopped doing stand-up, even as she raised almost a dozen special-needs foster children, adopting three, along with pets including at least "10 cats, a big stupid dog, two tadpoles, a bearded dragon lizard, and a bunny." Life's not all bearded dragons and bunnies, though; Poundstone was arrested for drunk driving with kids in the car, and temporarily lost custody while she went through rehab. But the fun of tap-dancing, she says now (seriously, look at her Twitter – she's really into the tapping) is one of the things that keeps her on the sunny side. Expect to see some shuffling and maybe a buck-and-wing or two incorporated into her notoriously loose, famously unrehearsed and inexpressibly hilarious act Saturday at the Plaza. – Jessica Bryce Young

7 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | plazaliveorlando.com | $28.50-$45

Sunday, 12

Bryan Ferry

MUSIC

Though glam-icon-turned-suave-showman Bryan Ferry's outward flattening of women into virtual lust objects really "should make the cognoscenti think," it would be a mistake to dismiss this posh talker as a dandy. Ferry's beauty queens staged in calculated strain across plush album covers and promos are not uncomplicated pin-ups, just as his adoration doesn't attempt invulnerability. From the disposable darling of "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" to Manifesto's mute party of mannequins and "Love Is the Drug" made jazzy for Baz Luhrmann's overblown Gatsby, the former Roxy Music frontman has been caught up in a love affair with the hollow pit of opulence throughout his four-and-a-half-decade-long career. Even Ferry's rich cover catalog, with a submissive "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," heart-rending "Song to the Siren" and near-manic "I Love How You Love Me," drips isolated intensity. Set to perform favorites from parallel solo and group careers – including his latest release, Avonmore (2014), a return to the melancholy of Roxy's final album, Avalon (1982) – the suave-as-ever 71-year-old's tremulous voice remains utterly singular. If Ferry has chosen to aestheticize his politics, so might we take him for an arresting crooner obsessed by one of the few timeless themes: the complexities of romance. – Moriah Russo

with Judith Owen | 8 p.m. | Hard Rock Live, 6050 Universal Blvd. | 407-351-5483 hardrock.com/orlando | $40.50-$70.50

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