Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker returns to the Dr. Phillips Center Dec. 7-16, but this year there will be something a little more diverse about the traditional holiday treat. For the first time in Orlando Ballet's history, the key role of Clara will be played by an African American dancer. Amaya Joseph, from the Orlando Ballet School, performs as the young heroine who saves the Nutcracker Prince from the Mouse King. Tickets are on sale now at drphillipscenter.org, and are expected to sell out.
Late last month, the lineup was announced for the Orlando Fringe's third annual Winter Mini-Fest event, which returns to the Orlando Shakes Jan. 10-13, 2019. Half of the 22 featured productions will be encores of award-winners from last spring's Fringe, including 13 Dead Dreams of Eugene, An Excruciatingly Ordinary Toy Theater Show, Beneath the Bikini, FrogPig and F*ckboys: The Musical. But the rest are brand-new works by popular Fringe performers or hit shows from other festivals that will play Orlando for the first time. Among the premieres are the highly anticipated You Belong Here, Martin Dockery's new comic monologue about China, and Heart Attacks & Other Blessings, Chase Padgett's story of nearly dying on a Disney cruise ship. Discount five-show passes and tickets for Club Fringe members are available now at ofwinterminifest.com; individual ticket sales to the general public start on Thanksgiving Day.
The Mystery of Irma Vep, through Nov. 18 at Orlando Shakes ... Of Mice and Men, through Nov. 18 at Theatre UCF ... Bridges of Madison County, through Nov. 18 at Theater West End ... Rapture, Blister, Burn, through Nov. 18 at Mad Cow ... Assassins, through Nov. 26 at Breakthrough Theatre ... BOOM, through Dec. 9 at Theater on the Edge.
A Christmas Carol, Nov. 28-Dec. 30 at Orlando Shakes ... Avenue Q, Nov. 16-Dec. 1 at Rollins College ... Winter Wonderettes, Nov. 16-Dec. 16 at Winter Park Playhouse ... Hello, Dolly! Nov. 27-Dec. 2 at Dr. Phillips ... On Golden Pond, Nov. 30-Dec. 16 at CFCArts ... Mystery of Edwin Drood, Nov. 30-Dec. 23 at Mad Cow ... An Evening with Davis Gaines, Nov. 29 at Dr. Phillips ... Sleigh, Dec. 7 at Wayne Densch ... Black Cow Jumps, Dec. 8 at Winter Park Library ... Orlando Opera presents Hansel and Gretel, Dec. 8-9 at Dr. Phillips.