May 29 to June 1 – Davis Gaines’ ‘Double Standards’ – An intimate cabaret
Orlando’s homegrown Broadway star Davis Gaines will take the stage at The Abbey to present his one-man cabaret called “Double Standards.” The show offers fresh takes on familiar standards from the Great American Songbook. Best known for his lead role on Broadway in “The Phantom of the Opera,” where he starred in more than 2,000 performances, Gaines will perform on May 29 at 8 p.m.; May 30 at 7 and 10 p.m.; and June 1 at 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are available at TicketWeb.com and AbbeyOrlando.com
May 31 – The eighth annual Sanford Hurricane Party
Hosted by OrlandoBands.com, Sanford’s annual Hurricane Party is a music festival that also serves as a tribute to Mother Nature asking her for a tranquil hurricane season (which begins in June). Featuring 50 bands on four stages, with a line-up ranging from The Supervillains to Whole Wheat Bread, the main events are at West End Trading Co. (202 S. Sanford Ave.) and adjoining streets of downtown Sanford. The party begins at noon and runs until the wee hours of the morning. Tickets are available at West End Trading Co. or on ticketfly.com. Visit drinkatwestend.com or call 407-716-2332 for more information.
June 1 – Josh Garrick book signing at Winter Park Public Library
Observer Arts Editor Josh Garrick recently returned from making art history as the first American in the 125-year history of the National Archaeological Museum of Greece to be invited to exhibit in that world’s top-10 museum. On June 1, Josh will sign his new book and share insights about his decades-long love affair with the Classical Greek temple – the Parthenon – at a free event at the Winter Park Public Library at 2 p.m. The Library is at 460 E. New England Ave. Call 407-623-3300 for more information.
June 1 – ‘Sail Away’ – a Maitland Symphony Orchestra concert
The Maitland Symphony Orchestra (MSO) invites us to an evening of seafaring music in a free concert for children of all ages. We can ‘Sail Away’ on June 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Maitland Presbyterian Church at 341 N. Orlando Ave. Portions of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 will be played by concert pianist Elena Ulyanova along with “A River Runs Through It,” “The Blue Danube” and more. Call 321-303-1404 or visit pamaitland.org for more information.
June 3 to 9 – Gay Days Orlando
Each year the first weekend in June attracts more than 160,000 people from around the world to Gay Days Orlando, generating over $600 million to the Central Florida economy. Held from June 3 to 9, Gay Days celebrates the diversity and pride of the gay community – especially as the grassroots effort called Florida for Get Engaged leads the South with its campaign to secure the freedom to marry (getengaged.org). It’s all at the Doubletree by Hilton on International Drive. Visit gaydays.com for more information.
Now through June 15 – ‘Star Wars’ Weekends at Disney
Grab your lightsaber and join an intergalactic event packed with out-of-this-world entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on weekends through June 15. Guests encounter “Star Wars” characters for special shows, presentations, and autographs by joining host James Arnold Taylor (the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi). Adventures include intergalactic dining and an evening finale featuring characters, fireworks and Glow with the Show elements. For more information, visit disneyworld.com
June 6 – New exhibits recognize 70th anniversary of D-Day
Beginning on June 6, Art & History Museums – Maitland will devote its museums to exhibits related to war and conflict in a manner unique to each museum’s core experience. Highlights include:
• “Battlefield” (Maitland Art Center): This thought-provoking exhibition brings together works by J. André Smith and his experience as an artist sent to the front lines, in contrast to a broad range of artworks by contemporary artists.
• “Veterans Remembered” (Maitland History Museum): Remembering local Maitland veterans, this exhibit features letters, photos and oral histories.
• “Signal Corps Phones” (Telephone Museum): Signal Corps phones are vital to troops during major conflicts, and this exhibit shows how this technology has saved lives.
• “Waterhouse at War” (Waterhouse Residence Museum): Five generations of Waterhouses lived in this family home before it became a museum. Guests will discover these early inhabitants’ service to their country.
The exhibits debut on June 6 (the 70th anniversary of D-Day) from 6 to 8 p.m. Visit artandhistory.org or call 407-539-2181.
June 6 to 8 – Westgate River Ranch presents Dollywood’s James Rogers
After performing for nearly 30 years at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park in Tennessee, country singer James Rogers will bring a weekend of entertainment to the Westgate River Ranch in Lake Wales. Surrounded by the beauty of old Florida, guests will unleash their inner cowboy as Rogers’ folk tunes evoke nostalgia and American pride during performances on June 6 at 7 p.m. and June 7 at 5 p.m. Weekend packages feature the performance, a catered dinner and stay in cowboy-themed accommodations. Visit westgateranchevents.com or call 863-692-1321 for more information.
June 6 to July 6 – ‘Hair’ at the Mad Cow Theatre
The tradition-breaking musical from the ’60s, “Hair” changed the face – and other body parts – of Broadway. With music as exuberant and timely as when it first opened, “Hair” is about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love at the time of the Vietnam War. Featuring the songs “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In” and “Good Morning Starshine,” its relevance is undeniable. It runs from June 6 to July 6 at the Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando. For more information, call 407-297-8788 or visit madcowtheatre.com
June 7 – Live from Orlando, its Science Night Live!
‘Grown-ups’ get to take over the Orlando Science Center when it’s reserved strictly for adults at Science Night Live on June 7 beginning at 8 p.m. The adult-inspired programming includes a concert by the band TWITCHY, led by Florida Institute of Technology President Anthony Catanese and former NASA Astronaut Captain Winston Scott; the laser light show in the CineDome; viewing stars and planets in the observatory; and conducting lab experiments in Dr. Dare’s Laboratory. Dress code is casual science nerd. Call 407-514-2000 or visit osc.org for more information.
June 7 – Berkshire Choral Festival in Winter Park debut
Choral works by two giants of opera – the “Stabat Mater” by Gioachino Rossini and the “Messa di Gloria” by Giacomo Puccini will be performed by the Berkshire Choral Festival under the baton of Dr. John Sinclair. The Bach Festival Orchestra, led by Sinclair since 1990, will accompany the 100-voice festival chorus. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on June 7, the concert will be held in the Knowles Chapel on the campus of Rollins College. Call 407-646-2182 or visit bachfestivalflorida.org or choralfest.org
And looking ahead …
June 14 – The stars come out for arena-size ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
Some serious rockers hit the road this summer for an arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Jesus Christ Superstar.” NSYNC’s JC Chasez plays Pontius Pilate, along with Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child as Mary Magdalene, Sex Pistol ‘Johnny Rotten’ Lydon as King Herod, Incubus' Brandon Boyd as Judas, and real-life Billy Elliott Ben Forster as Jesus. “Jesus Christ Superstar” comes to Orlando on June 14, with more than 60 cast members and musicians. From the pounding music, the huge video backdrops, and a cast of famous rockers, this is truly superstar! For tickets visit Ticketmaster.com, call 800-745-3000, or visit the Amway Center box office.