Two new exhibits at the History Center look at costumes and other artifacts from the world of movies and TV.
We tend to think of history as a pretty down-to-earth affair.
The War of 1812. The Industrial Revolution. Custer’s last stand. That sort of thing.
Beginning this month at the Orange County Regional History Center, they’re taking an airier approach to the subject with a new exhibition called Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television. Created by Seattle’s Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, it contains more than 40 costumes and props from sci-fi, fantasy and superhero films and TV series.
“It’s really about the magic of costumes and the pivotal role that costuming plays within movies,” says Cynthia Cardona Meléndez, the center’s curator of collections. “Nothing makes or breaks a movie more than a costume.”
Among the items on display will be the black pointed hat worn by the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, Seven of Nine’s sexy spacesuit from Star Trek: Voyager, Darth Vader’s robe and cape from Star Wars and George Clooney’s Batman costume from Batman & Robin—the one with the prominent nipples that caused a flap when the film was released back in 1997. There will also be such props as Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and Indiana Jones’ whip.
“You know, it’s all about the accessories,” Meléndez jokes.
A smaller companion exhibit, Lights! Camera! Action! Filming in Paradise, focuses on Florida films. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at a mock movie set, and contains posters and artifacts from such Sunshine State productions as Apollo 13, Where the Boys Are and Meet the Fockers. Films made specifically in the Orlando area—including Parenthood, The Waterboy and, of course, Ernest Saves Christmas are, sad to say, underrepresented.
“We weren’t able, oddly enough, to get artifacts from those movies,” says Meléndez.
Taken together, these two exhibits and several related events at the History Center address an expansive definition of history.
“When people say ‘history,’ you automatically think wars and battles,” Meléndez explains. “But how people spend their leisure time, that is all part of that larger social history.”
February 6-May 16. Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $6-$9. Check Web site for related events. 65 E. Central Blvd. 407-836-8500. thehistorycenter.org
February 6-March 7 To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Winter Park’s Bach Festival offers several free events, including a preview on February 6 at Tiedtke Concert Hall at Rollins College, a concert in Central Park on February 13 and an open rehearsal of the Anniversary Mass on February 18 at Knowles Memorial Chapel, also at Rollins. The festival lineup includes the Anniversary Mass at 7:30 p.m. on February 20 and 3 p.m. on February 21; Mendelssohn & Mozart featuring Grammy award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman at 7:30 p.m. on February 27; Bach’s Mass in B minor at 3 p.m. on February 28; and James David Christie on the organ 3 p.m. on March 7. $20-$50. Knowles Memorial Chapel, Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2182. bachfestivalflorida.org
Country King & Queen
February 26 Country superstars George Strait and Reba McEntire team up with special guest Lee Ann Womack for an evening of hits at the Amway Arena. In a career of more than 25 years, Strait has produced the most No. 1 singles of any artist, including Elvis (57 to date). One of the most successful female recording artists in history, McEntire is the winner of 15 American Music Awards, 12 Academy of Country Music Awards and two Grammy Awards. 7 p.m. $70.50-$90.50. Amway Arena. 1-800-745-3000. orlandovenues.net
Through August A significant trove of rare propaganda posters was discovered during the Cornell Fine Arts Museum renovation. These posters—rare Stalinist-era propaganda from the Soviet Union and a group of American and British posters created during World War I—have been painstakingly restored to form an exhibition, Man and the Machine, that illustrates the power of the image in social and political history. Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday noon-5 p.m. $5; free to Rollins College faculty, students and staff, and other students with ID. 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park. 407-646-2526. rollins.edu/cfam
The Other Bob Saget
February 19 Before Bob Saget became a household name as the affable host of America’s Funniest Home Videos and the wholesome dad on Full House, he was infamous as a stand-up comedian whose work was far from family-friendly. Returning to his roots, he brings his raucous tour to Orlando’s Hard Rock Live this month. 8 p.m. $35-$45, Universal Studios CityWalk, 6050 Universal Blvd. 407-351-5483. hardrock.com