Top Picks

November's best bets in the arts and entertainment.

Get the jump on the holidays at the Orlando Museum of Art.

Green Christmas

The 23rd annual Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art will emphasize renewable, recycled and natural materials.

You might pick up some tips for decorating your own holiday tree by visiting the Festival of Trees, presented at the Orlando Museum of Art in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Now entering its 23rd year, the festival is a multifaceted celebration that includes an opening night party, a boutique, a café, a display of gingerbread houses, a holiday garden, performances by local entertainers, activities for children (including visits from Santa), and drawings for prizes, among other features.

But the centerpiece of the Festival of Trees is, of course, its display of holiday trees throughout the museum. This year, there will be more than 40 full-size ones, along with decorative wreaths, holiday vignettes and smaller tabletop trees.

Decorated by local designers, businesses and other groups, the trees and other display items will express this year’s theme, Home for the Holidays. The festival typically attracts upwards of 20,000 visitors, an impressive number for any museum show.

“We have a designer forum where we bring the designers in and we try to tell them…[to] please remember that we’re trying to sell these trees to the public, so they need to be something that everyone would like in their home,” says festival chairman Carolyn Avallone. She adds that the sale of the trees, which typically go for $750 to $2,000, will benefit the museum, as will other funds raised by the festival.

This year, the tree decorators will demonstrate a concern for the environment by using renewable, recycled and natural materials, as well as some LED lighting. Avallone hopes that this will send a message to museum visitors:

“We want you to know, as a guest coming in here, that you can do this as well.”

Nov. 13-22 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Nov. 19 and 21 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) $10 adults, $6 children, $5 parking. 2416 N. Mills Ave. 407-896-4231.

No Clunkers

November 26-29  Cars, cars and more cars, from gas-sipping hybrids and green-inspired vehicles to exotics and concept models, are lined up for your inspection. The Central Florida International Auto Show also offers interactive drives and information about the latest alternative fuel options. Thursday noon-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $9, $5 for seniors, military and students with ID, $3 for children 7-12. Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse, 9800 International Drive. 407-685-9800.

Who’s He?

November 25  Lead singer for The Who, and the man who famously sang “I hope I die before I get old,” Roger Daltrey is still touring at 65, proving to members of his generation that it can be done. He keeps busy singing and acting in films, on stage and on television, and making the occasional tour with his old bandmates. 8 p.m. $69.50-$72.50. House of Blues Orlando, 1490 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. 407-934-2583.


Through November 12  Spooky marionettes and happy hand puppets are featured at the Orlando Puppet Festival. Kicked off in 2005 by puppet artists Heather Henson and Jamie Donmoyer, the fest continues to bring the art of puppetry to adults and children. Events take place at various venues: No Strings Attached, an exhibit of puppet-related art, at Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave.; Hansel & Gretel, The Fuzzy Freak Show and Pinocchio’s Halloween Party at Pinocchio’s Marionette Theater, Altamonte Mall, 451 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs; and Macabre Vignettes II, an interactive art installation by Tamara Marke-Lares and Leah Marke, and POP Night!, a series of short puppetry pieces presented by Am-Jam Productions and the Central Florida Puppet Guild, at the Cameo Theater, 1013 E. Colonial Drive. Various times. Free-$15. 407-422-8911.

Come Hear the Music Play

November 13-21  Sally Bowles, the Kit-Kat girls and that oh-so-jaded emcee mix music and satire to reveal that life can be beautiful even when you live on the decadent fringe of a sophisticated city during the rise of fascism. Cabaret, the musical version of Christopher Isherwood’s pre-war Berlin tales, will arrive on the Annie Russell Theatre’s stage with comedy and such familiar songs as “Cabaret,” “Willkommen,” “Money” and “Two Ladies.” Wednesday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m., November 21, 2 and 8 p.m. $10-$19. 1000
Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2145.

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