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The outré art of Edward Gorey has earned him the title “Master of Indefinite Suspense.”

©2010 edward gorey charitable trust

Elegant Enigmas

Edward Gorey’s amusing and unsettling images will soon be on view at the Orlando Museum of Art. By Jay Boyar

Cartoonist Charles Addams, whose work inspired the Addams Family franchise, may have published in the classy New Yorker magazine for decades, but his drawings have always had a broad appeal to go along with their playfully macabre streak.

Like Addams, Edward Gorey also drew darkly humorous cartoons for The New Yorker, among other outlets. But where Addams reached a vast public, Gorey’s crowd has always been select, even elite.

Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey will be presented at the Orlando Museum of Art from August 13 (appropriately, a Friday) through Halloween (also apt). It features some 170 discreetly disturbing illustrations by the “Master of Indefinite Suspense,” who lived from 1925 to 2000.

One drawing in the show, which appears in Gorey’s 1966 Book, The Gilded Bat, depicts a ballerina with a faintly unhappy expression leaping from a stage covered with faux icebergs that are set against a nighttime backdrop. The ominous caption, left, leaves us to ponder the undisclosed fate of the poor ballerina.

Another drawing, from The Doubtful Guest (1957), shows a formally dressed family at breakfast with their guest, who resembles a hairy bird and is holding a plate with pieces missing. Here, the rhyming caption is:

It joined them at breakfast and presently ate

All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate.

That hairy bird, or whatever it is, would not look out of place in a Charles Addams cartoon, but the emphasis would be quite different. If Addams’ style can be something of a blunt object, Gorey’s outré approach is surgically precise.

August 13-October 31. Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday noon-4 p.m. $5-$8. 2416 N. Mills Ave. 407-896-4231.



The Scottish Play

AUGUST 6-29 “Double, double toil and trouble,” chant the three witches in “the Scottish play,” i.e., Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Clearly, they are up to no good, and neither are the title character and his wife, Lady Macbeth, in this classic tale of ambition and murder, coming to Mad Cow Theatre. Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. $22-$24. 105 S. Magnolia Ave. 407-297-8788.





Cinema Arias

AUGUST 8 & 21 Enzian Theater’s series of filmed operas continues with an encore screening of La Traviata on August 8 and the local premiere of I Puritani on August 21. Filmed at La Scala, the former stars Angela Gheorghiu as Verdi’s famous “fallen woman” of 19th century France. The latter, filmed at Teatro Comunale di Bologna, stars Juan Diego Flórez and Nino Machaidze in Vincenzo Bellini’s tale of passion and romance, set against the backdrop of the English civil war of the 1640s.

Noon. $20, members $17.50. 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 407-629-1088, ext. 0.



Leave It to Bieber

AUGUST 4 At an age when most young people are thinking about avoiding acne, getting a driver’s permit and maybe finding a part-time job at the mall, Justin Bieber launched himself into superstardom, thanks to strategic YouTube exposure. The 16-year-old phenom with the baby face, moplike hair and legion of panting tweens brings his pop/R&B sound (and guest artist Sean Kingston) to town this month to showcase his My World 2.0 album, the follow-up to last year’s My World (natch!). An only child from Stratford, Ontario, Bieber could be called a self-made kid: “I grew up below the poverty line,” he has said. “I think it made me stronger as a person.”

7 p.m. $30.50-$50.50. Amway Arena, 600 W. Amelia St. 407-839-3900.




Still Having Fun

AUGUST 1 We got to know Cyndi Lauper as a girl who just wanted to have fun, but now, poor thing, she’s singing the blues. Actually, there’s no need to feel sorry for Lauper. She’s singing those blues on her recent album, Memphis Blues, which forms the basis for her concert here, with guest guitarist David Rhodes. In fact, she’s still determined to keep things at least somewhat sunny: “I looked at what was going on in our country and I really felt like everybody’s singing the blues,” she told People magazine. “So I needed to take the blues music and make it uplifting.”

7:30 p.m. $30-$33. House of Blues, 1490 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista. 407-934-2583.

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