Back when Will Shakespeare was writing, women were not allowed to perform on the stage. Now, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater continues its Free Reading Series on Sunday, Nov. 14 with Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", performed with an all-male cast. They are calling the series "cross dress'd Shakespeare", and "Twelfth Night" lends itself to the theme as it is the tale of Viola, a woman (who disguises herself as a man), but he (as she) falls in love with her master, only to be sent to woo another woman on his behalf. Further complications arise when Viola's twin brother arrives, and no one is quite sure who they love! The all-male reading is how Elizabethan audiences would have seen "Twelfth Night" originally. "Twelfth Night" will be 'read' in the Shakespeare Theater in Orlando's Loch Haven Park at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14.
Santa's early visit
The Red-Nosed Reindeer Romp is family night at the Annual Festival of Trees. Kids are invited to bring Mom and Dad to this magical evening at the Orlando Museum of Art from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17. The whole family can join Santa Claus, Mrs. Winter Wonderland and Mrs. Pockets and sing-along with award-winning Mr. Richard. The Russian Ballet of Orlando will be on hand along with Tony Brent's magic and comedy. Puppet shows, face painters, balloon artists and holiday treats will make the evening "merry and bright." Admission is $12 for all ages (children younger than 3 are free). The Festival of Trees runs through Sunday, Nov. 21 at the Orlando Museum of Art in Loch Haven Park. Visit www.omart.org or call 407-896-4231 extension 254.
Art from Monte and Marcos
No one throws a party/opening like Tommy Cannalonga of Gallery 17-92 in Winter Park. On Friday, Nov. 19, the Gallery will celebrate the work of one of Orlando's favorite artists — Monte Olinger, an award-winning artist/designer known for his landscapes and figurative work in watercolor and acrylics. Monte is also creative director at Baker Barrios Architects, where he leads a team of interior designers for the hospitality industry. Monte will show new work from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 19 (although openings at Gallery 17-92 never really end at 9) This opening is held in conjunction with a new exhibit by Marcos Cruz at the opposite end of the same building (it's really two openings in one) featuring the work of Cruz, Chad Pollpeter, Marla E, Jeff Pendergrass and Mike Marras. The Gallery is located at 912 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park. Call 407-647-1792.
'Grease' at Rollins
I've been looking forward to this production since it was first announced. "Grease - The Musical" is fun all the way through, but I've never seen a production with "age-appropriate actors." These kids are supposed to be in high school, and yes, Rollins is a college, but at least they were recently in high school. The Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins opens the hit musical featuring the T-Birds and Pink Ladies, singing "You're the One that I Want", "Greased Lightning", and "Hand Jive" from Nov. 12-20. And while "Grease" is a feel-good musical, a closer look reveals another side that the Rollins Department of Theatre is quick to acknowledge. In order for any of these characters to achieve what they want — or think they want — they must compromise who they are. Can Danny and Sandy cross the social bridge to find love? Does their "image" really define who they are? The Rydell senior class struggles with these questions against a backdrop of rock-a-billy tunes. With a "Teen Angel" thrown in for good measure, it's all fun in the end. Call 407-646-2145 or visit www.rollins.edu.