Remember when summer was the time for Central Florida’s arts and cultural scene to slow down? Well, those days are over. From dance to art, theater to music, here are 20 events in June alone to check out. Start filling your calendars.
1. “Sylvia”: Now until June 5th. The IceHouse Theater in Mount Dora presents a comedy about a man, a woman and a dog that comes between them. Part of the fun of the show: a human actor plays a dog. Read more at icehousetheater.org.
2. “On the heights”: Now until June 12th. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about life and love in New York’s Latinx Washington Heights is playing at the West End Theater in Sanford. Read more at theatrewestend.org.
3. “Voice of justice”: June 5th The CFCArts concert of the Broadway musical Ragtime will take place June 18-19 at Dr. Phillips Center. But the series of free social events leading up to the concert continues on June 5 with The Voice of Justice, Brandon Martin’s Abbey cabaret in downtown Orlando that explores the African-American experience. On June 9 at the Orlando Museum of Art, watch The Long Arrival documentary by local filmmakers about the first integrated Little League game in the South. Read more at cfcarts.org.
4. Deaf Art Exhibition in Florida: June 3-4. The group’s last show is at the Rice Pavilion at Rollins College. In this show for deaf and hard of hearing artists, all artists and volunteers are fluent in sign language. Some of the artwork reflects themes relevant to people with hearing impairments, including ableism and a love of sign language. But other works show the attention to detail that is characteristic of deaf artists who navigate the world through their eyes. Learn more at www.floridadeafartshow.org.
5. “The Way (The First Book of Experiences)”: June 3-4. Celebrate 50 years of Bobby Callender’s psychedelic music on a “spiritual scale” as host Timucua Arts Foundation puts it. The entire legendary album will be recreated live by the entire band, string ensemble and Callender himself. More info: timucua.com.
6. Applause Awards: June 4th. Nearly 400 students from 30 high schools in nine Central Florida districts will participate in a lively evening of performance arts achievement. The two top honors will compete at the national level later this year. The event is presented by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more at www.drphillipscenter.org.
7. Puppet Party: Opens June 4th. Jack and the Beanstalk kicks off the summer season of children’s plays like Aladdin and summer camps as Puppet Celebration opens in the Winter Garden. Read more at puppetcelebration.wordpress.com.
8. SAK Comedy Lab on the road: June 4th. Speaking of the Winter Garden, SAK Comedy Lab improv artists will perform the first of three summer pop-up shows at The BreakRoom on West Colonial Drive. Learn more at sakcomedylab.com.
9. Pegasus PlayLab: June 4-12. The UCF New Plays Festival presents the family musical “Spells of the Sea” June 4-5 on the campus of the University of Central Florida, with more readings and performances to follow over the next two weekends. Read more at PerformingArts.cah.ucf.edu.
10. CDCFest: June 5th The Contemporary Dance Choreography Festival, founded by McClain Timmerman, returns with a program in which new works shed light on the socio-political issues and the beauty of our humanity. The performance takes place at the Orlando Repertory Theatre. Read more at cdcfest.com.
11. “Dream” by Emergence Dance: June 5th The latest Emergence Dance show is “an ethereal fantasy” as Artistic Director Cindy Heen says, with themes “Dream, Explore and Discover”. It’s at the ME Theater in south Orlando. Learn more: www.EmergencyDance.com
12. “We dance together”: June 10th. At the second United We Dance event, Central Florida residents will dance in the streets, with a portion of the proceeds going to the OnePulse Foundation. This year, former Pulse DJ Scott Robert will be playing tunes on Washington Street in Orlando’s Thornton Park neighborhood. Bring costumes and pay tribute to those who died in the mass shooting in Pulse, as well as the resilience of our community. Tickets: orlandoweeklytickets.com.
13. “From Here”: June 10-12. Donald Roop’s critically acclaimed musical about a group of friends following the Pulse Massacre is presented in concert form at the Renaissance Theater in Orlando. Blake Aburn and Becca Southworth star. More information: www.renttheatre.com.
14. “Real West”: June 10-12. Lightning in a Bottle, a new theater company formed by actors from Rollins College, presents True West, Sam Shepard’s take on sibling rivalry. It will be staged at the Breakthrough Theater in Winter Park. Learn more at www.libtheatre.com.
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15. Game a day: June 11th. Teams of writers, actors and directors have 24 hours to come up with a short play and stage it in this dynamic theatrical performance. This year’s event from Beth Marshall Presents has a special focus on the LGBTQ community. It’s at Penguin Point Productions in the Oviedo Mall. Learn more at bethmarshallpresents.com.
16. “School of Rock”: June 16-19. The South Playhouse Theater in Orlando presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical based on the hit film, featuring professional adult actors leading talented youth. Read more at theatersouthplayhouse.org.
17. OCCO “There from here”: June 18th. Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra presents three new works dedicated to the journey of hope and redemption. Among them: a new work by Charlie Griffin from Central Florida, “Myths and Dreams” by Kyle Trow and a trombone concerto by David Wilborn. The concert will take place at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Center. Learn more at www.occomusic.com.
18. “I’m Enough: Blankets of Justice”: June 18th. The Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park is hosting a reception to celebrate the opening of this fabric art exhibit with social messages from the Charmettes Club of Orlando, sponsored by the Delta Omicron Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sorority. The exhibition runs until August. 27. Also on June 18, the center celebrates June 10 with a program to improve mental health in black communities through art and architecture. Read more at hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org.
19. Celebration June 19: June 19. Black Theater Girl Magic presents two family events. A free “Lunch and Learn” (reservation required) at the Orlando Repertory Theater includes stories, music, face painting, and a barbecue lunch while attendees learn about Emancipation Day. In the evening, Edge of Freedom will feature live music by black artists including Jarred Armstrong, Veril Jones and Amber Robinson, as well as an exhibition of black art. Read more: blacktheatregirlmagic.org
20. Florida New Musical Festival: June 23-26. The Winter Park Playhouse’s new production extravaganza includes readings of the first act of musicals in development, with talks and visits from playwrights. Read more at Winterparkplayhouse.org.
Find me on Twitter @matt_on_arts, facebook.com/matthew.j.palm or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want more theater and art news and reviews? Go to orlandosentinel.com/arts. To learn more, follow @fun.things.orlando on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.