Now in the permanent collection at the Polasek Museum –
In this joyous art story, a bust of Woodrow Wilson previously thought destroyed by Nazis in World War II is now on permanent display at the Polasek Museum. This new acquisition, an extraordinary piece of American history, was created by Albin Polasek in 1928 and dedicated by Tomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia. After the U.S. declared war on Nazi Germany, the monument was destroyed in 1941, but after the war ended, one original plaster cast of Wilson’s bust was hidden in a warehouse in Prague, where it was discovered in 2008. Now on display at the Polasek Museum, guests can learn about the casting process for this sculpture and about the intriguing story surrounding it. Museum visitors may view the bust as part of the tour of the historic Polasek home, and welcome this reminder of Albin Polasek’s commitment to freedom to the Museum bearing his name. Call 407-647-6294 or visit polasek.org
Now through Dec. 30 – ‘Mass Appeal’ at the Mad Cow Theater
Happily ensconced in its new home at Church Street Station, the Mad Cow Theater continues its season with the Tony-nominated play “Mass Appeal” running through Dec. 30. In the story of Mark Dolson, a seminary student, and his mentor Father Tim Farley, Mark deals with what he feels are hypocrisies in the Catholic faith. As the story progresses, Mark causes Father Tim to take a deeper look at his faith and beliefs. Written in 1981, this touching comedy was made into a movie in 1984. Mad Cow is at 54 W. Church St. in Orlando. Call 407-297-8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com
Dec. 13 through 28 – ‘Three Artists Arting …’
The Steinway Piano Gallery has a rich tradition of presenting local artists, and this tradition will end – as least until Steinway Pianos finds a new home – with an exhibit called “Trio.” Three of Central Florida’s most popular artists will present this triple treat at an opening Dec. 13 at Steinway Piano in Altamonte Springs. The nature-inspired paintings of Robin Maria Pedrero will be joined by abstracts by Annette Margulies and textural works by Fern Matthews. The opening is Dec. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at 303 E. Altamonte Drive in Altamonte Springs. Call 407-339-1772.
Dec. 13 through 16 – ‘Babes in Toyland’ in Sanford
At the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford, where their commitment is to offer great entertainment for all ages, “Babes in Toyland” finds familiar characters from Mother Goose nursery rhymes joining together to present a Christmas-themed musical extravaganza. Based on an operetta by Victor Herbert from 1903, this family-friendly version finds Little Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, Red Riding Hood, The Master Toymaker and a host of other characters bringing their own holiday story to children of all ages. Call 407-321-8111 or visit waynedenschperformingartscenter.com
Dec. 15 and 16 – Bach Festival’s Classic Christmas
Hallelujah to the chorus! One of the most anticipated events of every holiday season is the performance featuring the 160-voice Bach Festival Choir, Orchestra and Youth Choir in holiday music arranged specifically for the Bach Choir and Orchestra. Performed in the acoustically superb Knowles Chapel on the Rollins College campus, these performances – Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. – feature classic holiday favorites, such as “Joy to the World” along with orchestra performances of “Carol of the Bells” and other seasonal favorites. Call 407-646-2182 or visit BachFestivalFlorida.org
Dec. 16 – Maitland Symphony’s Holiday Concert from the Heart
At this annual musical event, hosted at the First Presbyterian Church of Maitland, the 100-member Maitland Symphony Orchestra will perform a free, family-friendly concert on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Musical guests include Mauricio Rivero, principal violist with the Orlando Philharmonic, and singers Rob Ross and Jill Cohen with a guest conductor appearance by Donna Dowless, Orlando's official “ambassador of love.” First Presbyterian is located at 341 N. Orlando Ave. Call 321-303-1404 or visit PAMaitland.org
Dec. 21 – A Very Merry Power Chords Christmas concert
An amazing group of young singer/dancers – trained and rehearsed at the Orlando Repertory Theatre – will present their unique version of a Christmas concert at the Orlando Rep on Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Attending one of their concerts is not only an hour of sheer joy at any time of the year, but it’s also one of Central Florida’s finest examples of hope for the talent of tomorrow. The whole family will love The REP Power Chords LIVE. Visit orlandorep.com/event/a-very-merry-power-chords-concert or call 407-896-7365, extension 1.