The Mad Cow Theatre takes on our hot summer nights with some scorching 'drama' as they present "The Heiress", a psychological play based on the Henry James novel "Washington Square". "The Heiress" is a study in suppressed emotion based on the heightened manners and mores of 1850s New York, where a lonely widower and his even lonelier daughter live lives empty of emotion. That life is changed completely when a charming suitor comes to woo the daughter, but why did he appear so suddenly and what exactly are his 'intentions'? Produced around the world on stage and screen, this story of love and betrayal was written by Ruth and Augustus Goetz. Directed by Michael Marinaccio, the cast features Jennifer Christa Palmer as Catherine. "The Heiress" will be performed from July 23 to Aug. 22 at Mad Cow Theatre, 105 S. Magnolia Ave in downtown Orlando. Visit madcowtheatre.com or call 407-297-8788.
Change the world drama
"Manners and mores" of a very different time and place will be the subject of yet another play dealing with love and abandonment when The Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park presents Ntozake Shange's award winning drama "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf". The play deals with every emotion you can name while providing a no-holds-barred 'message' about what it means to be a woman of color in the 20th century. The play, with stories of abandonment, rape and domestic violence, joins with hope and love to inspire audiences throughout the world. This is theater that demands to be heard. The production features Charmion Sparrow, Debra Foxx, Evelyn Tyler, Felichia Wright, Kisha Peart, Shellita Boxie and Vanessa Valdez, and is directed by Daniel Boisrond. Opening on July 23 and running through Aug. 1, visit breakthroughtheatre.com or call 407-920-4034.
Change the world art
An artist who "majored in landscape architecture and minored in art with a focus on sculpture" may be the perfect artist for a world in which we can no longer think of 'rubbish' as trash. On July 23 at 6 p.m., the ever-inventive Lake Eustis Museum of Art will invite the public to an opening for "Natural Reclamation: Byron Walker" including an artist's talk. Winter Park sculptor Byron Walker reveals his respect for nature in each of his unique pieces as he assembles found objects into unique works of art. Walker uses intelligence and humor (and trash) to 'provoke' his viewers into re-thinking their ideas on art and conservation. The exhibit will run through Aug. 22. The Lake Eustis Museum of Art is at 200 B E. Orange Ave. in Eustis. Call 352-483-2900 or visit LakeEustisMuseumofArt.org.
"Strings of Passion"
With music ranging from the Baroque to Romantic works, and including passionate tangos and contemporary jazz, the String Section from the Orchestra has (perhaps) the widest range of music in the repertoire. That 'range' will be on display as the Orlando Philharmonic continues its Sounds of Summer Series with "Strings of Passion" on Monday, July 26. Works include Handel's "Trio Sonata", Mendelssohn's "Song Without Words", Dubossarsky's "Romanian Fantasy", Elgar's "Salut d'Amour" and more. Violinist Olga Feroni says, "With a selection of music ranging from Handel to the innovative melodies of American jazz, this will be less a history lesson of great music and more a journey through the creative spirit and passion that has driven all human endeavors since the first creative thought dawned in the minds of our prehistoric ancestors. Music is everywhere in love and life." Performing on the program are violinists Olga Feroni, Joni Hanze-Bjela, Julia Gessinger, Shelley Mathews, Olga Kolpakova and Dina Fedosenko, along with pianist Sergei Kossenko. It begins at 7 p.m. in the Lowndes Shakespeare Center at 812 E. Rollins St. (Loch Haven Park), for tickets and information. Call 407-770-0071 or visit www.OrlandoPhil.org.