Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Wanna Go To Prom with Mel Taylor?

Orlando Frosty Ball with Mel Taylor Bad Girls ClubMost people know radio DJ Mel Taylor as one of the voices on WJRR, but she also spears a charitable organization called Mel’s Bad Girls Club (MBGC), that aims to raise money for other charities by having fun events and fundraising activities.

This Friday, December 5th, MBGC is holding an event called The Frosty Ball, which is being billed as a sort of Christmas prom. Originally, tickets were $25 a piece, with proceeds going to B.A.S.E. Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation. But in hopes of drawing a bigger audience and more money for the charity, Mel is now offering tickets to the event in exchange for any kind of donation. A portion of the bar sales will also benefit Base Camp.

The event is being held at the City Arts Factory (located at 29 S. Orange Ave; corner of Orange and Pine downtown), and in addition to partying with Mel and her gang, you can enjoy a silent auction, a raffle with some great prizes, a dj spinning some great tunes all night and take in an art show also put on by MBGC until 11pm, featuring over 29 different female artists and Base Camp patients.

Since this is a prom, they do request you wear some kind of semi-formal/business/cocktail attire (in other words, please make an effort and don’t just slip on a t-shirt and ripped jeans). Doors open at 8:30pm and the party will go on until they kick y’all out.

For more information, visit MBGC’s official website or MySpace page.

See Blue Man Group at a Discount

blue man groupYup, found another deal going on tickets. This time it’s on the Blue Man Group show over at Universal Orlando. I haven’t seen the Orlando version, but I have seen the Vegas version and I loved this show. It’s visually interesting, funny and I loved the interactive elements.

Through this Sunday (November 29), you can purchase Orchestra/Poncho area seats, which normally go for $74 for $54. That’s a $20 savings, which will at least get you a couple of drinks at the concessions stand.

To nab these tickets for shows through March 13, 2009, call 800-BLUEMAN (800-258-3626) or visit the theater box office at Universal CityWalk and mention the promotional code BLUEZOOUS. Blackout Dates for this offer are Nov. 24-30 & Dec. 22- Jan 1. The discount is also not valid for Friday and Saturday evening shows.

WPRK Fund Raiser at Park Ave CDS

This may be short notice for some, but I got an email from Park Ave CDs saying that tomorrow, October 12th, as part of WPRK’s annual fundraising efforts, the store will be hosting a sale with items starting at only $1.

The sale is only at Park Ave’s main store, located at 2916 Corrine Dr, and runs from noon until 4pm.

WPRK 91.5 fm broadcasts from Rollins College and uses this fundraising drive to raise money for station improvements, permanent Internet broadcasting, and educational resources.

While you have your calendars out, other unrelated upcoming events at Park Ave’s main store include instore performances by Copeland on October 14th at 8pm, Gaslight Anthem on October 23rd at 1pm and Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band on November 1st at 6pm.

Visit the store’s website for more info on any of these events.

2nd Annual Orlando Hispanic Film Festival

Like movies? Go check out the 2nd Annual Orlando Hispanic Film Festival opening today through the weekend, wrapping up on Sunday. The event is being held at the Premiere Cinemas 14 at Fashion Square and coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month festivities.

This event is described by the website as a “high energy, high profile event” that provides a “highly desirable platform where independent filmmakers from around the world can showcase their work to industry professionals and the entire Central Florida Community.”

Awards will be presented to the top films in several categories, selected by a committee of Orlando area entertainment professionals, with the exception of the Audience Award, which, you guessed it, is decided by audience kudos. The categories are:

• Best Feature
• Best Short Film
• Best Documentary Feature
• Best Short Documentary
• Best Screenplay
• Best Original Score
• Best Director
• Best Cinematography
• Best Short Animation
• Best Actor Male
• Best Actor Female
• Best Ensemble Cast

Cool stuff, looks like over 50 films will be screened, so should be something for everyone’s tastes.

Last Call for Disney’s Pleasure Island

For those who haven’t heard the news, tonight is the last night for the clubs at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island. Even though last ditch attempts have been made by fans of venues like the Adventurer’s Club, Disney says they have plans for the space currently occupied by the clubs which include more dining and shopping options.

The Rock’n’Roll Beach Club was closed in February, but tonight is the last hurrah for Mannequins, 8-Trax, BET Sound Stage, Motion, the Comedy Warehouse and the Adventurer’s Club. To celebrate, PI is bringing back Frankie and the West End Boys for one last night to play the waterfront stage (since the West End stage was replaced several months ago by the new pedestrian bridge to the West Side of Downtown Disney). They will play four 45-minute sets at 7:30pm, 8:45pm, 10pm, and 11:15pm.

The Adventurer’s Club will also open early at 6pm with additional Library shows, as will the Comedy Warehouse with shows at 6:55pm, 8pm, 9:10pm, 10:25pm, 11:35pm and 12:45am.

It’s free to be on PI, so you can enjoy the waterfront and DJ entertainment outside. Individual club admission is $10 (plus tax) with a multi-club pass costing $20 (plus tax). Annual PI passes will still be valid this last night, too, and holders can then request a pro-rated refund for the balance. Or you can use that pass and trade it in for a special Universal Orlando CityWalk party pass good until next March.

Even though I haven’t been to PI much in recent years, it’s still sad to see Disney close it all down. When I first moved to Orlando thirteen years ago, I knew nobody and many of the friends I have today are ones I made by going out to PI the first few years I lived here. I also have many good memories of celebrating birthdays and other special occasions with friends there.

So, I think I’m gonna head out to say goodbye and maybe take some photos. Will I see any of you out there?

Two Annual Theme Park Fests Start Today

For who look forward to those fall fests at the area theme parks, two of the biggies start today.

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A trio of champagnesEpcot’s Food & Wine Fest starts today. It’s the 13th year of the festival which offers up samples of food and drink from around the world, and this year’s focus is on “culinary cities,” along with the state of Louisiana. You do need to buy a park admission or have an annual pass of some kind for Walt Disney World, but once inside, you can stroll the World Showcase in the back of the park and try food and drink native to countries and cities from around the world. Average samples will set you back $2 to $5 per item, so it’s an inexpensive way to try something you’ve never had before.

There’s also free seminars daily, which usually offer up samples (though the lines can be very long to get in to one, especially on weekends), and free nightly entertainment from nationally-known entertainers. This year’s fest kicks off with the sounds of ska-swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy tonight and tomorrow (Saturday) and continues over the weekend with Sheena Easton on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

For more info, visit the official Walt Disney World Food & Wine website.

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Universal OrlandoFor those that would rather be scared than wined and dined, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights also starts tonight. It’s the 18th incarnation of the annual event and this year’s theme is Urban Legends, Fairy Tales & Myths, epitomized by the legend of Bloody Mary, who comes to life if you chant her name into a mirror. Universal says over 300 new characters were created for this year’s event, which runs September 26-27, October 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 22-26 and October 29-November 1.

Separate park admission is required for Halloween Horror Nights, even if you have a Universal Orlando annual pass, but special Florida-resident discounts and multi-night passes are available. The event’s official website has all the details.

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Are you planning to go to one or both? Do you prefer one over the other? Let us know in comments.

Enzian 2 For 1 Special

Most people don’t need any additional incentives to go see a movie at the Enzian. Comfortable seats, great food and drinks, along with an eclectic list of films is usually enough.

But I’ve discovered there is a promotion running, in conjunction with the Orlando Visitor’s Bureau, called “Endless Summer” that will get you two movie tickets for the price of one at the Enzian. Yeah, you read that right. Two tickets for the price of one.

The deal runs through November 15th and you simply need to use the promotion code “08CVBESUM” when buying your tickets.

A list of current and upcoming films, along with a full dining and drink menu, can be found online at The Enzian website.

The Enzian is located at 1300 South Orlando Avenue in Maitland.

Travel Channel Airs New Sam Brown in O-Town

Samantha Brown Passport to Great Weekends in Orlando [photo: The Travel Channel]Anyone who watches the Travel Channel on a regular basis knows who Samantha Brown is. Her “Passport to…” series generally gives a half-hour snapshot of a given locale with her visiting a cross-section of hotspots, tourist “must-sees” and the like.

Well, in February, Brown visited Orlando for a new show, called “Passport to Great Weekends.” The results of her visit aired last week on the Travel Channel when the Orlando episode premiered. Yeah, I missed it, too, but just watched it this weekend on TiVo.

Surprisingly, she visited some cool, more off-the-beaten path type of stuff – you know, the “non-theme-park” side of Orlando that everyone gripes the tourists never visit.

She based herself downtown at The Grand Bohemian Hotel, then visited Winter Park to take in the Saturday Farmer’s Market. She also got a little tipsy at The Wine Room and shoe shopped at Shou’ture Salon. She ate some soul food at Johnson’s Diner on Church St., spun her own hand-blown pint glass at Keila Glassworks at the CityArts Factory, then drank out of it later at NV on Pine. She rounded out the show by doing some indoor skydiving at SkyVenture, over by Universal Orlando.

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. Over at the Pulse of Central Florida, their biggest complaint was that it should have been an hour to include something other than the Winter Park area. I agree, that would have been nice (some suggestions: Lakeridge Winery on a festival weekend, Mt. Dora, more on the downtown area, etc.). But, considering she had 30 minutes (ok, probably closer to 20-25 after commercial breaks) to showcase the city beyond the theme parks, I think she picked some rather fun things for visitors to check out. And anything that encourages travelers to not only visit but explore Orlando is a good thing, imho.

According to a pre-show interview with Orlando Sentinel TV Critic Hal Boedeker, Brown said, “Being in Orlando and showing it in a light few outsiders see it in was so much fun, and after seven years of coming to Orlando to only do the theme parks, a real eye-opener. It’s a great city.”

Thanks Sam…I think so, too.

If you missed the episode and want to check it out for yourself, the Travel Channel has two more airings of it this week: Jul. 16 at 11pm (that’s tomorrow) and Jul. 17 at 11am (Thursday morning).

Those who want a little more in-depth on Brown’s visit can read her blog online about it at the Travel Channel. Her crew also blogged about the skydiving. There’s even a small “webisode” online about her kayaking in the area that didn’t make it into the show (unless I just missed it).

So I have two questions for you dear MB readers. Did you see the show and what did you think? Also, if Brown were to revisit for “Great Weekends” part 2, where would you suggest she go?

Dance To The Beat of Your Own Drummer

Picture this… a large group of people get together in a public location, strap on their mp3 players and at a predetermined time, start dancing until their batteries wear out. Every one dances to what they like best, some dressed in costumes, other just jamming out in whatever makes them comfortable. No dress code, no bad DJs – just them and the music they brought in one big outdoor makeshift dance floor.

Orlando Silent Rave 2008It’s called a Silent Rave and the organizers of the Orlando International Fringe Festival announced this week they are holding one in conjunction with the fest on May 24th.

From the press release:

Many forms of “Silent Raving” can be seen at music festivals such as Coachella and Bonaroo. In New York City’s historic Union Square Park thousands gathered with their iPods, portable CD players, and other forms of mp3 players, and danced until their batteries died. People arrived dressed in business clothes, clearly taking a break or perhaps on their way to work, they sparkled in sequins, or they floated around with a pair of wings. The idea of a “Silent Rave” is show that you should not care what others think and just be yourself.

“Silent Rave: Orlando” is able to happen thanks to Beth Marshall, the producer of the Orlando International Fringe Festival. If you want to participate, simply show up at the Fringe Fest grounds at 1001 East Princeton St. on Saturday, May 24th. Then at 5:24pm, hit play on your mp3 player and start dancing.

This sounds like so much fun, I can’t wait to give it a try.

For more information on the event, including tips and graphics you can use to help promote the event, organizers have set up a Facebook page for the Silent Rave. You can also visit the official site for the Orlando International Fringe Festival for more on this and other Fringe events.

Spread the word and I’ll see you there!

Lakeridge Winery To Host Blues Festival

Lakeridge Winery ClermontLike your wine with a side of the blues? Then you’ll want to make a trip out to the Lakeridge Winery in Clermont this weekend for their annual blues festival.

The fest runs Saturday, April 26th, from 10am until 5pm, and Sunday, April 27th, from 11am until 5pm. The Teague Stefan Blues Band will play Saturday from 10am until 1:30pm and on Sunday from 11am until 1:30pm. Both days, “Beautiful Bobby” Blackmon B3 Blues Band takes over from 2pm until 5pm.

Besides the live music, Lakeridge Winery will offer tents selling food, beer and Lakeridge wines by the glass both days. And all of this takes place outside, with the vineyards as a backdrop. Be sure to take one of their free tours of the grounds, as well.

The Lakeridge Winery is located on U.S. Hwy. 27, 3 miles south of Florida’s Turnpike Exit 285 and 6 miles north of Clermont. Admission to the blues fest is $2 per person, with food and drink extra. Parking is free. For more information or driving directions, visit says highs in the 80s with almost no chance of rain for both days, so it should be a good weekend for the event. And while there, definitely try the Southern White wine – it’s my favorite.

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