March Top Picks
Beaming Down to MegaCon
William Shatner will be among the guests attending this month’s big gathering at the Orange County Convention Center.
Remember that classic Saturday Night Live sketch in which William Shatner told a roomful of Trekkies to “get a life”?Well, now you might be able to have a similar experience at the 19th annual MegaCon, at the Orange County Convention Center this month.
That’s right! William Shatner—Cap. Tain. James. T. Kirk. Him. Self.—is scheduled to attend that convention, where he will discuss his life in and out of Star Trek. And if he tells you to get a life, all the better, right?
Shatner won’t be the only famous face at MegaCon, a celebration of sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, anime and gaming. Also set to give a talk there is Stan Lee, legendary co-creator of such Marvel superheroes as Spider-Man and Iron Man.
Other MegaCon guests will include such actors as Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis from Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Erin Gray (Buck Rogers). Also on the guest list are such major comic-book creators as Howard Chaykin, Denny O’Neil, Roy Thomas and local artist George Pérez.
For true believers, the convention will offer panel discussions by both Marvel and DC comics representatives, as well as costume contests, large Star Wars and robot displays, a Lego pit, merchandise booths, autograph areas, and many children’s activities.
MegaCon-owner Beth Widera estimates that 40 percent of this year’s projected 37,000 attendees will be from Orlando. Some, she adds, will likely be aspiring artists hoping to catch the eye of one of the major comic-book companies.
“It’s that sort of thing that happens at MegaCon,” she notes. Which, in a sense, may be a way for someone to get a life.
March 25-27. March 25 1-7 p.m., March 26 10 a.m.-6 p.m., March 27 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $23.96-$25 single tickets (VIP package ticket prices vary). Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive. 386-364-1826. megaconvention.com
The Hearing of the Green
MARCH 13 On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s natural to want to head for a pub and concentrate on quaffing a pint or two (or more). But just a few days earlier, to sort of warm up for the big celebration, consider a concert by Camerata Ireland, a 40-piece chamber orchestra that’s both Gaelic and classy. Appearing in Central Florida as part of the 76th Bach Festival, the group will offer a program that’s heavy on Irish music. In addition, its leader, acclaimed pianist Barry Douglas, will perform works by Liszt and Mozart. And after absorbing all those sophisticated sounds, you ought to be ready, later that week, to let loose at the pub! 4 p.m. $30-$40. Tiedtke Concert Hall, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2182. bachfestivalflorida.org
MARCH 21-27 Golf’s greatest players will converge on the Orlando area this month for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, in which Ernie Els (pictured at far left with Palmer) will defend the top spot. Pre-tournament events start March 21, with the competition commencing March 24. Daily tickets range from $15-$45, weekly badges are $100-$300. Special VIP packages are also available. Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. 866-764-4843. arnoldpalmerinvitational.com
MARCH 31 That Kathy Griffin, what a scamp! Whether she’s playfully pawing poor Anderson Cooper on CNN’s New Year’s Eve bash, muddling through her D-List existence on her freewheeling reality show or aiming her tart standup remarks at such famous targets as Ryan Seacrest, the Emmy-winning comedian is always something of a handful. With her witty, winking blend of self-deprecation and celebrity dish, Griffin comes off like your mischievous BFF who somehow gets to mingle with the beautiful people but can’t stop herself from saying all the wrong things about them the minute she sees you. And yet, most of the time, her words turn out to be the right things, at least from a comedy perspective. See and hear for yourself this month, when Griffin’s standup tour rolls through town. 8 p.m. $43-$77.75. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St. 407-849-2577, 800-745-3000. orlandovenues.net, ticketmaster.com
MARCH 2-May 15 It’s time again for that hardy perennial, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
MARCH 3 Social activist Julian Bond offers a conversation and a talk at Rollins College.
MARCH 5 Coming to the UCF Arena is singer/songwriter/rapper Kid Rock.
MARCH 18-20 Take a stroll though the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, along Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.
MARCH 30 Share an evening with Jay & Silent Bob, aka actor Jason Mewes and filmmaker/actor Kevin Smith (Dogma, Clerks), at Hard Rock Live.