A traveling exhibit explores the history and culture of the glorious guitar. By Barry Glenn
“Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.” Frederic Chopin—arguably the greatest piano composer ever—said that more than 160 years ago about an instrument for which he didn’t even write music. Obviously he realized the guitar was a treasure that would endure.
For the next three months, the Orlando Science Center will pay homage to the stringed wonder with an exhibit called “Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World.’’ The show is being presented by the National Guitar Museum, a traveling museum based in Bridgeport, Conn.
Orlando is the first stop on the tour, which will feature precursors to the guitar (the tanbur from Persia, the lute from Europe) and close relatives (the pipa from China and the sitar from India). The biggest draw, though, is sure to be the dozens of modern acoustic and electric guitars on display, including classic Martins and Fenders, along with instruments on loan from musicians like Johnny Winter, Adrian Belew and Steve Vai.
A nice chunk of the 5,000-square-foot exhibit will be taken up by the world’s largest guitar, a Gibson whopper that measures nearly 44 feet long and 16 feet wide. Elsewhere, interactive displays will tackle everything from how vibrating strings create sound to concerns about how the wood used to make guitars is disappearing because of rainforest destruction.
And if you’ve never played guitar, here’s your chance: Touchable and playable instruments will be a big part of the exhibit.
June 11-Sept. 11. 10 a.m-5 p.m. daily, except closed on Wednesdays. Price included with general admission of $17 adults and $12 for children ages 3 to 11. Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton St. (407) 514-2000. osc.org
JUNE 14-22 If your experience with volleyball has consisted mainly of I-got-it-you-take-it confusion and suffering numerous spikes to the face, perhaps you’d enjoy watching the game as it was meant to be played. For nine days, Orlando will host the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships at three venues, with boys and girls ages 10 to 18 competing in separate tournaments. See listing on page 83 for details. 407-828-3561. aauvolleyball.org
JUNE 9 We all know that preacher’s kids are often, well… different. Take Katy Perry. Both of her parents are evangelists, and Perry’s first venture into recording was, believe it or not, a gospel album, released in 2001. Today, she’s known for very un-gospel-like songs like “I Kissed a Girl’’ and “Teenage Dream,’’ which have lit up the charts like one of the singer’s sexy fluorescent outfits. Perry will make a stop this month at the University of Central Florida Arena as part of an ambitious four-month, 50-city U.S. tour. And she’s definitely on a roll: The album Teenage Dream has already produced four No. 1 singles, including “California Gurls,’’ which was the best-selling digital song of 2010. Take that, Gaga. 7:30 p.m. $45 plus handling fees. UCF Arena, North Gemini Blvd. 800-745-3000. ucfarena.com or ticketmaster.com
Fun, It Will Be
THROUGH JUNE 12 Holy Obi-Wan Kenobi: Will the obsession with Star Wars never end? We hope not. Grab your light saber and head down to Disney for Star Wars Weekends, which celebrates Jedis, Wookies and everything in between with parades, celebrity appearances, character meet-and-greets and a chance for the kids to take on Darth Vader. There’s also a new deep-space flight simulator called “Star Tours—The Adventures Continue.” Take it from Yoda, who once told Luke Skywalker: “Already know you that which you need.’’ Yeah, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you need this. June 3-5 and 10-12. Included with admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 407-934-7639. disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends
Country-pop superstar Taylor Swift plays the Amway Center as part of her Speak Now World Tour.
Through June 12
Cornell Fine Arts Museum showcases modern interpretations of the 18th-century Japanese printmaker Sharaku.
Buzz cuts beware, it’s the season for Hair (the musical) at Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.
British rock-soul band Florence and the Machine, featuring singer Florence Welch, comes to Hard Rock Live.