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

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Wednesday, 2

Paella and Beer Pairing

EVENTS

Paella: the perfect combination of seafood, meats, rice, veggies and spices. There are as many delicious variations as there are different chefs who have tried their hands at the classic Spanish dish. But it takes two to tango, and Deadly Sins is offering various brews to partner up with your paella. Sample three types of gourmet paella along with three different craft beers, recommended by the chef himself to accent the bold flavors. Of course, you can trust your own palate and pick whichever brews particularly tickle your fancy. Five bucks for an evening of authentic cuisine and a few cold ones doesn't sound bad at all. – Kristin James

6-9 p.m. | Deadly Sins Brewing, 750 Jackson Ave., Winter Park | deadlysinsbrewing.com | $5

Wednesday, 2

Engaging Your Legislator

CIVICS

"You will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy," may have been used by Obi-Wan Kenobi to describe the spaceport town of Mos Eisley, but we're pretty sure old Ben never got a chance to witness the Florida Legislature in action. Thanks to unscrupulous districting, Republicans hold an insurmountable majority in both chambers, meaning that debate consists less of whether or not to fuck the citizenry, and more of whether or not they're going to fuck us with knives, flamethrowers or both. (No, not literally ... yet.) And since state-level politics is often marginalized in the press thanks to the antics of the rabid orangutans who run the national circus up in D.C., many of the Florida legislators act with impunity in pushing corporate-backed measures that are a detriment to their constituents. But the League of Women Voters is here to teach you how to let your representatives know that you're watching them. At their workshop this week, you'll learn what tactics to use to make sure your rep takes your call. Plus, Florida House representatives Mike Miller (District 47-R) and Carlos Guillermo Smith (District 49-D) will be on hand to answer questions about their priorities going into the next session. Make sure they hear you. – Thaddeus McCollum

6:30 p.m. | Winter Park Community Center, 721 W. New England Ave., Winter Park | lwvoc.org | $10

Friday-Sunday, 4-6

National Model Train Show

EVENTS

"Trainspotting" is a term used in reference to any sort of hobby that revolves around meticulous attention to detail. It's derived from railway aficionados who would obsessively record the engine numbers of locomotives that stopped in their towns, though the term is often applied to those who obsess over vinyl record pressing labels, comic book issue numbers, or any other interest that boasts an excessive amount of minutiae. And minutiae is just what you'll get at the National Model Train Show, taking over the Orange County Convention Center this weekend. Manufacturers and retailers create dazzling displays of miniature railways, festooned with tiny towns, tunnels, flora, fauna and more. Each diorama represents hundreds of hours of work, especially the 2,500-square-foot Incredible LEGO MiniLand, made from millions of LEGO pieces. And of course, most of what you see will be available for purchase, just in case you want to turn your own garage into a monument to minutiae. – TM

noon-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday | Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive | nationaltrainshow.org | $14-$26

Saturday, 5

Bear Dream

MUSIC

This Orlando band's name won't be familiar to many – that is, unless you're an especially keen reader of "This Little Underground." The new act is the vehicle for Evan Shafran, whom most know as the wild caveman drummer of freak-rock group Happy Valley. Word came our way – then was confirmed by Shafran himself – that the inspiration for the name was a 2014 column reviewing Happy Valley that described the burly performer known for playing shirtless as a "bear dream." Though they haven't played out much, Shafran and the boys – a band that includes notable Orlando weirdos Danny Feedback and Jim Ivy – have created an album's worth of material to officially unveil at this release show. That debut LP is a melted prog-punk kaleidoscope that's cut from the same mischief and subversion that made Happy Valley so individual and exceptional. And once you lay your eyes on the glorious cover art, you'll see just how far Shafran is willing to go to live the dream. – Bao Le-Huu

with Gargamel!, Steve Garron Is an Asshole | 9 p.m. | Will's Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | willspub.org | $5

Sunday, 6

Sonu Nigam

MUSIC

If you're not a fan of Bollywood soundtracks, it's likely the only encounter you've ever had with Sonu Nigam was his appearance on one song from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. Yeah, "Aaj Ki Raat," the one you skipped over because it sounded too much like a Bollywood soundtrack song (which is ironic since the song was pretty crossover-y). If you are a fan of Bollywood soundtracks, you are certainly instantly familiar with his voice, as it's been heard on more than 2,000 songs, including – swoon – "Ishq Bina" from Taal (which, seriously, if he had done nothing else, would have ensured his place in playback singer history). In other words, Nigam is a capital-G Giant in the world of Indian film soundtrack singers (and a heartthrob to boot), and he delivers an appropriately overwhelming live performance that, even if you have only a mildly passing interest in the music, is well worth the price of admission. – Jason Ferguson

with Atif Aslam | 7 p.m. | CFE Arena, 12777 N. Gemini Blvd. | 407-823-6006 | cfearena.com | $59-$159

Monday, 7

Big Trouble in Little Courtesy

EVENTS

Among the many successful filmic collaborations between John Carpenter and Kurt Russell, Big Trouble in Little China is ... a lesser work, let's say. Lacking the grim joie de vivre of Escape From New York or the claustrophobic horror of The Thing, Carpenter's attempt to join the martial-arts film pantheon has little to recommend it – unless you enjoy laughing yourself sick. If you don't mind snickering at hundreds of people's hard work, then Big Trouble in Little China is a goddamn masterpiece. Luckily, at this event it matters not where you stand on the morals of MSTK-style fun-poking, because the Courtesy is bringing in two articles of unquestionable excellence: Jacksonville barkeep Robert Freeman and food from Orlando's Chuan Lu Garden. Freeman will be interpreting BTLC's ridiculous villain, Lo Pan, as a cocktail, among other characters; Chuan Lu will buzz your face off with Sichuan dopeness; enjoy or ignore the chop-socky as you please. – Jessica Bryce Young

8 p.m. | The Courtesy Bar, 114 N. Orange Ave. | 407-450-2041 | thecourtesybar.com | admission is free, drinks are not

Tuesday, 8

Ekphrastic Floridas

LITERARY

Adventurous local literary imprint Burrow Press teams up with the Gallery at Avalon Island for a one-off cross-disciplinary celebration of unseen and unheard views of Florida with Ekphrastic Floridas. Spinning out of Avalon's current gallery exhibition – the very impressive Roadsides & Skylines show – Ekphrastic Floridas gathers together a crew of local writers to read a piece, each based on art in the Roadsides show. With a roster featuring Iljeen Jo, Amber Norman, Lucianna Chixaro Ramos, and avant-lit vets Steven Garnett and Holly Tavel, it'll make for a fascinating challenge to match text with the intriguing and evocative visuals of Roadsides, a show that features photography, shadowboxes and everything in between. Whoever is paired with Jacksonville resident Crystal Floyd's intricate and otherworldly dioramas definitely has their work cut out for them. – Matthew Moyer

7:30 p.m. | The Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave. | avalongallery.org | free

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