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Selections: Our picks for the best things to do in Orlando this week

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Thursday-Sunday, 25-28

MegaCon

EVENTS

Even if we did get treated to a fantastic Star Wars Celebration earlier this year, MegaCon is still the kingpin when it comes to our annual pop-culture convention season. With numerous guests from the worlds of film and television (Tim Curry!, Eliza Dushku!, the Stranger Things kids!), comics (Tom King!, Dan Slott!, Stan Lee!), video games (Nolan North!; the voice of Super Mario, Charles Martinet!), and even the internet (Felicia Day!), MegaCon's strength lies in having something for everyone. And this year, Mega gives a little back to the community with a special separately ticketed ($150) charity event at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening. Featuring several of the creators of the special Love Is Love benefit comic published in the wake of Pulse, the exclusive cocktail hour lets you rub elbows with some of the Love Is Love creators, including George Perez, Scott Snyder, Jason Aaron and the Badass Queen of Comics, Gail Simone. It's the preview for a special charity auction of original art from the book and, frankly, we love it. – Thaddeus McCollum

4-9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday | Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive | megaconorlando.com | $20-$139

Thursday, 25

A Very Bowie Party & Fundraiser

MUSIC

Once upon a time, Katie Ball was our favorite cheerleader of all things local and awesome. She wrote and photographed a book about Florida bands called Any Cool Music? (still available on Amazon!), she served as director of programming at short-lived but groundbreaking cultural hub Urban ReThink, and she was just an all-around irrepressible bundle of positivity. She moved away in 2011, but she still has a place in Orlando's history and heart. And now Katie Ball has brain cancer. When she announced the news on Facebook, she did so with characteristic screwball humor and sunny attitude, but the truth is that she and her family need some help offsetting the medical bills that accompany stage IV glioblastoma. At this fundraiser featuring a night of David Bowie tunes (Ball's favorite artist) and remembrance, anyone can contribute to Katie and Jay's Warrior Fund on GoFundMe or bid on art in the online Art Auction to Help Katie Ball Kick Cancer's Butt. If anyone can do that, it'll be Katie. – Jessica Bryce Young

9 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org | free admission, donations requested

Friday, 26

PechaKucha Night Orlando v20

LEARNING

In Orlando, it's been difficult for pechakucha to hold onto its mundane and simplistic nature. Originally created as a business presentation format, it became popular worldwide as a more culture-oriented fun night out, a way to give talks on anything from how to embroider to the top thrash-metal basslines of all time. But when Eddie Selover began PechaKucha Nights in Orlando, it became a proving ground for local thought leaders – some already celebrated, some surprising new faces. This 20th edition will display the growth PechaKucha Orlando has experienced in its seven years, featuring Imam Muhammad Musri of Central Florida Islam, Anna Eskamani of Planned Parenthood and Watermark editor in chief Billy Manes, among others, offering personal perspectives on current events and trends. The posters for V20 are emblazoned "We Need to Talk"; they do, we do, and we all need to listen as well. – JBY

6 p.m. and 9 p.m. | Pugh Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | drphillipscenter.org | $24-$30

Saturday, 27

Functionally Literate presents Jeff VanderMeer with Amy Green

LITERARY

Tonight's Burrow Press event isn't "just" a reading (not that there's anything less than delightful about their readings); it's a meeting of the minds between two environmental thinkers with very different takes on the natural world. Jeff VanderMeer, acclaimed author of the dystopian Southern Reach trilogy, released his latest novel, Borne, last month. Like the trilogy, it's an enticing and foreboding look at the intertwining of technology with nature, organic family relationships in conflict with a capitalism motivated by greed and control. WMFE's Amy Green, on the other hand, is an award-winning environmental reporter whose forthcoming book, Moving Water, is a look at the attempt to save the Everglades. "Journalism tells us where we stand now," says Jared Silvia, host of the Functionally Literate series, "and fiction can warn us about where we're headed." Well, OK, but let's hope life with flying giant bears and "surveillance moss" never becomes a reality. ­­– JBY

7 p.m. | Bush Auditorium, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park | burrowpress.com | free

Saturday, 27

Body//Talk: The Twin Peaks Party

MUSIC

We're not going to talk about Judy, we're just going to keep her out of it. And we're not going to speculate about the relative damn-fineness of David Lynch revisiting his iconic, deeply strange and dark-as-fuck television masterpiece after 25 years. However, we can predict that this Body//Talk Twin Peaks welcoming party will be a fun and quirky night out. Going all out in the conceptualist stakes, the event features flourishes like Twin Peaks-themed cocktails, coffee and cherry pie, and a costume contest. On the musical front, things are looking solid with sets from retro-synthwaver Moondragon (who should be right at home among the skewed nostalgia), Factory pop inheritors RV and the "Twin Peaks Ensemble," who are tasked with re-creating Angelo Badalamenti's flawless suicide-noir soundtrack. A plastic-wrapped-Laura-Palmer is a sure costume win, but we'd love to see an Agent Phillip Jeffries wreaking havoc on smartphone cameras. – Matthew Moyer

with Moondragon, RV, DJ Damn Fine Cup of Coffee, the Twin Peaks Ensemble | 9 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org | $7-$10

Sunday, 28

Orlando Carnival

EVENTS

Memorial Day Weekend is a reason for food, music and fun in a much different way for the Caribbean crowd. For years, the Original Orlando Carnival Association has turned the city into an extravagant, colorful celebration of island culture, and in its 30th year, it's expected to be one for the books. High-energy, costumed dancers and bands such as BackYard Mas – along with cultural music performers toting steel drums, bongos and more – bump and shake their way to the Camping World Stadium in a parade to kick off the event. People of all ages can see performers like Fay-Ann Lyons, with her pure yet powerful pipes; enjoy classic dishes from the food tents; and check out the arts and crafts from the vendors selling their wares. With the cheerful tropical music that will be playing all day and night, leaving your dancing shoes at home would be a mistake. – Kristin James

noon | Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place | orlandocarnivaldowntown.com | free

Sunday, 28

DJ Magic Mike

MUSIC

As DJ Screw is to Houston and RZA is to New York City, so is DJ Magic Mike to Orlando. Basically, a treasure, a monument, an institution. And kicking back against becoming a museum piece, he's still making music and DJing very regularly around town! Magic Mike (née Christopher Martin) is a worshipper at the altar of bass, a prophet of the low end, falling in with early and cutting-edge Miami Bass DJs and producers at the tail end of the '80s. Though Magic Mike returned to Orlando in short order, the sounds he was helping develop and hone were still inextricably linked with the Miami Bass boom (ha), with his epochal 1990 album Bass Is the Name of the Game and 1992's Ain't No Doubt About It recognized as all-time classics of the genre and distinguishing themselves with a grimier more hard-driving sound – still sounding fresh to our ears. Unwilling to be pigeonholed, Magic Mike expanded his oeuvre into more straightforward hip-hop areas and even some break-oriented work, always staying one step ahead of himself. Find out for yourself if bass really is the final frontier. – Matthew Moyer

9 p.m. | House of Blues, Disney Springs | 407-934-2583 | hob.com/orlando | $15

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