Our 2019 picks for the best things to see and hear in Central Florida’s best season 

Fall Arts Guide 2019

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click to enlarge PHOTO VIA ADOBE STOCK
  • Photo via Adobe Stock
Oct. 4-6

Be Original Theater Festival

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, drphilipscenter.org, $10-$12

Although the Dr. Phillips Center is in the midst of a public relations contretemps over its contracts with arts organizations like Orlando Ballet and Orlando Opera, this weekend-long festival of new plays is something of a feather in its cap. Check out staged readings of 16 brand-new plays in the Pugh Theater and the Dr. Phil's rehearsal room by both new playwrights and recognizable local names like Michael Wanzie, Jami-Leigh Bartschi and Ashleigh Ann Gardner.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MICHAEL CAIBIO
  • Photo by Michael Caibio
Oct. 11

Let's Have a Ball

5:30 p.m. at Orlando Museum of Art, ivanhoevillage.org, $35-$45

The Ivanhoe Village Main Street District kicks off Come Out With Pride weekend by throwing a party at Orlando Museum of Art. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in anything from ball gowns to denim to celebrate "Orlando's Indie Side" while enjoying light bites, drink specials and a silent auction of local adventures. Plus, all attendees get a year's residential membership in the Ivanhoe Village Main Street District, resulting in plenty of special offers throughout the year.

click to enlarge Mike Christopher in "Dawn of the Dead" - PHOTO COURTESY FANTASM
  • Photo courtesy Fantasm
  • Mike Christopher in "Dawn of the Dead"
Oct. 11-13

Fantasm

9 a.m. at Rosen Shingle Creek, fantasmorlando.com, $30-$120

Filling the void left by Spooky Empire's moving their annual autumn con to Tampa, new local horror con Fantasm has a pretty impressive roster for a rookie event. Boasting a partial cast reunion of pulpy cult horror masterpiece Return of the Living Dead (including the best punks), Michael Berryman from The Hills Have Eyes, Mike Christopher ("Hare Krishna Zombie") from Dawn of the Dead, and no less than comedy icon and mainstay of one of the highlights in American television Cheers, John "Cliff Clavin" Ratzenberger (pinch us). Terrifying locals like Phantasmagoria, author Jackie Sonnenberg and the Speakeasy Sirens are confirmed too.

click to enlarge THE DEATH OF KINGS: THE WHITE ROSE AND THE RED  (DIRECTED BY IRWIN APPEL IN SANTA BARBARA CA, 2015)
  • The Death of Kings: The White Rose and the Red (directed by Irwin Appel in Santa Barbara CA, 2015)
Oct. 11

Macbeth

Lowndes Shakespeare Center, orlandoshakes.org, $30-$62

Something wicked this way comes? Californian director and sound designer Irwin Appel takes the reins for Orlando Shakes' unique production of Shakespeare's Scottish play, inspired, Throne of Blood-style, by "the traditional Japanese theater styles of Noh and bunraku." Macbeth may be the richest source of the Shakespearean phrases that dot our daily speech – "full of sound and fury," "screw your courage to the sticking-place," "blood will have blood" – but Appel, choreographer Christina McCarthy, scenic and costume designer Ann Sheffield, and lighting designer Kevin Griffin mean to make this as much a visual feast as a literary one.

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA COME OUT WITH PRIDE/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Come Out With Pride/Facebook
Oct. 12

Come Out With Pride/Big Gay Brunch

Noon at Lake Eola Park, comeoutwithpride.com, free-$135

A heartening moment of celebration and solidarity in the midst of increasingly challenging times for the LGBTQ+ community, this massive afternoon march through downtown Orlando is a potent reminder of hope and love. Heartwarming, visually stunning, packed full of people from all walks of life, it's one hell of a local tradition. Orlando Weekly is in the mix too, with our Big Gay Brunch event at the Abbey nearby, serving as a great pregame for the afternoon's festivities.

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY DR. PHILLIPS CENTER
  • Photo courtesy Dr. Phillips Center
Oct. 12

Wayne Brady

8 p.m. at the Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, drphillipscenter.org, $39.50-$65

The most successful product of SAK Comedy Lab's improv comedy troupe returns to Orlando for a homecoming date on his current tour. Brady is best known as a regular on both the U.K. and U.S. versions of improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but his résumé includes everything from talk-show host to soap opera star to Broadway sensation. Welcome home, Wayne.

click to enlarge Tenzin Dolker in "The Sweet Requiem" - PHOTO COURTESY JUNO FILMS
  • Photo courtesy Juno Films
  • Tenzin Dolker in "The Sweet Requiem"
Oct. 12-14

South Asian Film Festival

Enzian Theater, enzian.org, $12-$55

Enzian's annual South Asian Film Festival is an opportunity to get a look at films about the Indian subcontinent and its diaspora. This year's lineup includes four features about topics as diverse as Tibetan refugees and an Indian-American stand-up comic. For the best variety, check out Chhota Cinema, the annual showcase of short films that offers five different perspectives on Indian life.

click to enlarge Serpentico - PHOTO BY JOHN MOSES
  • Photo by John Moses
  • Serpentico
Oct. 13

Mayhem on Mills: Halloween Horror Fights II

3 p.m. at Will's Pub, willspub.org, $15

One of the campy highlights of early-'90s World Championship Wrestling was the "Chamber Of Horrors" match, which culminated with Abdullah the Butcher getting shocked in an electric chair by Cactus Jack. Expect punk-inspired local wrestling fed Mayhem on Mills to take at least a little inspiration from that at their Halloween-ish October outdoor card. An early confirmed match with Florida lucha sensation Serpentico facing off against Chuckles the Clown in a "coffin match" suggests this just might be the case.

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