With autumn’s arrival, the 2018-2019 season of Orlando Arts has begun. The Orlando Shakespeare Theater is celebrating their 30th anniversary with a new name and logo. It is now the Orlando Shakes, still in partnership with UCF. The facility at Loch Haven Park is now the Lowndes Shakespeare Center and features a variety of plays and musicals besides the classics written by the famous bard.
Now playing through Oct. 7 is the musical “In the Heights.” A spectacular 30th anniversary celebration on Sept. 16 began the gala season in full force, with many of Orlando’s greatest art supporters. Just the Friday night before, there was a celebration at the Orlando Museum of Art across Loch Haven Park from The Shakes.
OMA, as the museum is often referred to, hosted the opening of two new exhibits. Nick Caves’s “FEAT.” will be on display until Dec. 30. The artist is from Chicago and was in attendance at the event and spoke about his works. Also on display is “Purvis Young & His Angels” through March 24, 2019.
The first Thursday of every month is a show and party featuring local artists’ works. OMA also has many educational programs and classes to offer. Then, of course, Council 101 will once again sponsor The Festival of Trees Nov. 10-18. This year’s theme is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
The Orlando Ballet’s center across Princeton from Loch Haven is going under a major reconstruction project. The kind generosity of the late Harriett Lake has made this dream a reality and her legacy will live on with the completed venue. The ballet company is now in rehearsal in another temporary space, preparing for their “Carmina Burana” performances Oct. 12-14, with matinees both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Bach Festival Choir and Orchestra will accompany the dancers.
So much is happening with the ballet this month. Robert Hill is celebrating his 10th year as the artistic director and the new executive director, Shane Jewell, has arrived. The Orlando Ballet School also has an interim director, Phillip Broomhead.
But best of all is the “Harriett, A Tribute in Pink” gala on Oct. 13 at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, DeVos Family Room. Harriett Lake was a generous donor to not only the ballet, but also many other important causes in Orlando such as cancer research, and was a former Central Florida Person of the Year.
The new facility for the Orlando Ballet should be completed by this summer and will be able to house the professional company, the schools’ classrooms and rehearsal halls, as well as places for costuming, set construction and design. Orlando is fortunate to offer something for everyone, from Opera Orlando to Gospel and Jazz and of course, the annual “Dia De Los Muertos” at the City Arts Factory and the Downtown Arts district, Oct. 18, from 6-11 p.m. Put on a costume and join a great street party.