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The Short List

An A&E pocket guide for February


2/23-26 When Orlando last hosted the NBA All-Star Game, Dwight Howard was a 6-year-old growing up in Atlanta and that now-empty arena on Amelia Street was a state-of-the-art showcase. Twenty years later, D12’s a perennial All-Star and we’ve got an even bigger and better venue to show off with the Amway Center. Some things haven’t changed, though—the game and the preceding Saturday night slam dunk/three-point shooting events are still tough tickets (you need to know some important people, buy a ticket-party package, be willing to pay a bundle to a ticket broker, or be one of the lucky Magic season ticket holders who won a ticket lottery).

But there’s still lots for the masses to enjoy at reasonable prices without jumping through hoops. Consider making a fast break to the Orange County Convention Center for the NBA All-Star Jam Session, happening all four days. There you can shoot baskets with your friends or family, snap up some free autographs from pro basketball players and legends, and generally get into the spirit of the weekend across 600,000 square feet of floor space. The convention center also is the site of the All-Star Celebrity Game and the NBA Development League All-Star Game. Back at Amway Center, tickets can be bought through normal channels for the NBA Rising Stars Challenge game on Friday night. There’s also a Run, Walk and Dribble event at Lake Eola on Saturday morning that will feature appearances by NBA celebs. http://nba.com/allstar2012



2/1-2/29 Its Artsfest, people! That means, in addition to their many regular offerings, Orlando area arts groups are throwing caution to the artistic winds and featuring a few hundred free, or nearly free, events in over 80 locales. Pictured is a member of DRIP, a performance group whose stage props include big mounds of coffee and orange juice rainfall. They have several performances scheduled during Artsfest.  http://artsfestfl.com



2/17-3/4 The 77th annual Bach Festival at Rollins College gives you 17 days to overdose on Johann Sebastian Bach—in a good way. With programs featuring the composer’s Magnificats, organist Clive Driskill-Smith, concerts by candlelight, and performances by the festival choir, there are many ways to fill your Bach needs. bachfestivalflorida.org



3/1-11 More than 100 thrill rides—and numerous prize cattle, sheep and rabbits—await you at the Central Florida Fair. Of course there are those maddening games too. Quick tip: You know that impossible basketball shot? You’re doomed if you use the backboard. Use a high arc and try for nothing but net. http://www.centralfloridafair.com



2/28-29 If “The Immortal World Tour’’ is anything as magnificent as Cirque’s “The Beatles LOVE” show, audiences will be absolutely mesmerized. The extravaganza featuring Michael Jackson’s music and choreography will be presented by more than 60 international dancers, musicians and acrobats for two nights only at the Amway Center. http://www.amwaycenter.com

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