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Selections: Our picks of the week's best events, Nov.30-Dec.6



Thursday, Dec. 1

Christmas in the Park


Those who have visited the Morse Museum of American Art before will recall the beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows on display. On the first Thursday of each December, however, the exhibit travels outside the museum as nine of these windows are installed in Central Park. They serve as the backdrop to a Christmas concert that includes the Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir and Brass Ensemble. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, food and drinks while they enjoy the show. But be warned, this event has been known to get crowded. If you'd like a good spot, get there early. – Martina Smith

6:15 p.m. | Central Park, 251 S. Park Ave., Winter Park | 407-645-5311 | | free

Friday-Sunday, Dec. 2-4

Spooky Empire


Hurricane Matthew may have done a number on your roof, but it's nothing compared to the chaos it wreaked on Spooky Empire. The annual horror convention had the bad luck to be scheduled for the very weekend that Matthew hit the area, and ended up having to cancel with barely any notice. Many attendees from out of town were stuck in their non-refundable hotel rooms, deprived of their planned photo ops, zombie walks and parties. It was a big blow to Spooky, which is a labor of love run by a small cabal of horror fans who lack the deep pockets of, say, Informa, the multinational corporation that owns MegaCon. Luckily, most of the biggest names for the canceled October con are returning for this make-up date, including the Stranger Things kids and wrestling legend Ric Flair. Plus, they've managed to add a few luminaries like the one and only Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. If Spooky Empire took place in any other town, Hurricane Matthew might have sounded its death knell, but here in Orlando, where Halloween is practically a year-round event, this rescheduling should be just a minor inconvenience. – Thaddeus McCollum

2 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday-Sunday | Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse, 9800 International Drive | 954-258-7852 | | $35-$75

Friday, Dec. 2

Illuminated Paths Showcase


Local cassette label Illuminated Paths straddles two separate aesthetic sensibilities: No. 1, a highfalutin "art for art's sake" approach to the selection of artists to release, regardless of commercial possibilities or genre restrictions; No. 2, a good ol' American work ethic, with multiple new titles being released weekly and otherwise unheard music disseminated far and wide. Vaporwave, noise, ambient, hip-hop and outsider folk are all on the IP release list. On Friday night, the usually nebulous online IP collective will manifest at Uncle Lou's for a show that will be nothing less than a deeply weird human mixtape. Headlining is our very own freak-folk maestro and oddball legend Ray Brazen, along with the ADD pop-culture blender electro of Polykarp, Byson's shimmering, downtempo sample-soundscapes, and the dark synth torch songs of Tampa's Fjshwjfe. – Matthew Moyer

with Ray Brazen, Polykarp, Byson, Fjshwjfe | 9 p.m. | Uncle Lou's Entertainment Hall, 1016 N. Mills Ave. | 407-898-0009 | $3

Saturday, Dec. 3

I Love the '90s Tour


With more VH1 Surreal Life cast members than they'd probably like to admit, the I Love the '90s Tour is rolling up to Orlando, Hammer pants in hand. Salt N Pepa, Coolio, Young MC and others are riding on a wave of nostalgia, playing their hits from decades past to an audience in desperate need of being thrown back. The '90s were a simpler time, and not just musically. The Clintons were still kind of liked, a loved one could walk you to the gate of your flight (with their shoes on the whole time!) and if you mentioned Donald Trump outside of New York City, you were likely to get more raised eyebrows than curled fists. "Gangsta's Paradise," "Let's Talk About Sex" and "Bust a Move" are setlist mainstays, but if you're enough of a fan, you might recognize some deeper cuts you can wild out over. Do break out your neon windbreaker and any kind of FUBU gear you might have buried deep in your closet (in a box presumably labeled "do not open") and turn out for this very literal flashback. – Adam Manno

with Salt N Pepa, Coolio, Tone Loc, All-4-One, Young MC | 7 p.m. | Amway Center, 400 W. Church St. | 800-745-3000 | | $36.50-$96.50

Saturday, Dec. 3

Stanley Clarke


Stanley Clarke, bass player extraordinaire, has an incredible legacy, having played with everyone from the Stones to Stewart Copeland, and Pharoah Sanders to Carlos Santana, and let's not forget the legendary Return to Forever. If there's a movie or TV show you like, chances are he scored it: Boyz N the Hood, Pee Wee's Playhouse and The Transporter, to name a few. Folks like Victor Wooten and Esperanza Spalding hail him as an important influence, not to mention the countless metalheads who cite him and Return to Forever as being at the roots of modern progressive metal. In the current age of cookie-cutter music, Stanley Clarke stands head and shoulders above much of what is churned out onto the market and reminds us of a time when music was ruled by the musicians and not the business. – Kyle Eagle

7 p.m. | The Plaza Live, 425 N. Bumby Ave. | 407-228-1220 | | $49.50-$69.50

Sunday, Dec. 4



Hmm. Is it a nifty new pharmaceutical? Some kind of magic mushroom? Nope. Ciclovia is mood-altering in a better way – in the way that only comes from moving and breathing outside in the sunshine. Stretch your muscles and your mind with free yoga, Zumba, skating and a soccer play zone sponsored by Orlando City Soccer Club, plus a bike polo exhibition, a live art wall sponsored by the Walls of Pho Hoa muralists, live music and free advice from local bike shops including Kyle's, Retro City and Orange Cycle. After all that active play, you may want to grab something from one of the food trucks and hang out in the beer garden – it's OK, you've earned it. – Jessica Bryce Young

10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Lake Eola Park, Robinson Street between Rosalind and Summerlin avenues | | free

Sunday, Dec. 4

Uncomfortable Brunch Presents: Straw Dogs


This installation of beloved local film series Uncomfortable Brunch was originally scheduled for July, but in the wake of Pulse, the organizers opted to hold a fundraiser event for victims featuring Boys Don’t Cry instead. Little did they know that we’d be in a post-election scenario in which Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 treatise on violence, masculinity and fragile male egos would be so poignant. The film follows an American professor, David (Dustin Hoffman), who rents a cottage in his English wife’s native Cornwall. Unfortunately, his wife’s ex-boyfriend and his goony pals view David as a weak egghead, undeserving of the beautiful wife he’s, in their view, purloined from their clutches. As things get further and further out of hand, the film executes scenes of escalating violence that hit the audience like a literal punch to the gut. There are a lot of things going on in the subtext of the film, which has resulted in it being derided almost as often as it’s praised. Many view its depiction of the wife as inherently misogynist, though censor boards unwittingly contributed to that analysis by cutting crucial moments out of a certain scene. And the debate over whether it condemns or glorifies violence will probably go on for as long as it’s able to find an audience. But in a time where some of us are feeling a little bit like vicious uneducated rednecks are literally out to get us, Straw Dogs hits even closer to home than usual. Just FYI: Amazon does, in fact, sell bear traps. You’ll understand later. – Thaddeus McCollum

noon | Will’s Pub, 1042 N. Mills Ave. | | | $10-$12

Monday, Dec. 5



If you can't beat 'em, get really drunk and beat someone else in this festive Yuletide event. Krampusnacht takes place every year on the evening of Dec. 5 when a horrifying half-goat, half-demon visits the homes of naughty children, beats them with a switch and takes them away to his lair as punishment for their bad behavior. (It started as a German thing, don't worry about it.) The celebration expanded over time to include a Krampuslauf, in which celebrants dress as Krampus and get liquored up, and the Hammered Lamb is taking advantage of the excuse to party with horns on this year for Orlando's Krampusnacht. We're not one to shy away from themed shindigs, but parts of this story aren't adding up to us. For example, Krampus is clearly unfamiliar with B.F. Skinner's work in behavioral psychology, which states that aversive events like punishment only work to decrease undesirable behavior, not to increase positive behavior. We told you not to drop that Psych 101 class, Krampus. You didn't even finish your first semester! You just HAD to drop out when the guys in your Sigma Pi rush wouldn't stop making fun of your terrifying facial features and now you're stuck working at Best Buy and you only get out once a year around the holidays. Good luck dealing with the poorly behaved children you bring home, Krampus, because nothing's more terrifying than a home full of misled youths and a clueless single father. – Abby Stassen

8 p.m. | The Hammered Lamb, 1235 N. Orange Ave. | 407-704-3200 | | free

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