Posts Tagged With: music

Orlando Fringe Festival

Orlando Fringe Festival

TEDDY’s RATING: 

The Orlando Fringe Festival has been held for 22 years now and I have never been before. Just another event in Orlando I had yet to discover. But now that I have, I definitely plan to return. Come to find out, the Orlando Fringe is the longest running Fringe Festival in the US.

Posters of ShowsMore than 20 years ago, I visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. I loved it. Plays, performances, comedy acts, you name it, they had it, and lots and lots of it. (So, why did I not attend the Orlando Fringe Festival in all this time? I’ll never know!)

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival started in 1947 when a group of performers, who were not part of the official Edinburgh International Festival, decided to put on their own performances in empty store fronts, basements, anywhere they could find space. They were staged “on the Fringe” and the idea was a huge success, now making the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the largest festival in the world.

The 14-day festival in Orlando, like in Scotland, offers all types of performances for all types of ages, and all of it uncensored. So, keep that in mind when choosing shows. They do have ratings Shakespeare Centeron each. In the beginning, the festival took place in empty storefronts, but now it takes place in lovely Loch Haven Park, utilizing the Shakespeare Center and other buildings.

Since this was my first year going to the Fringe, I chose two performances to see out of the hundreds offered. Like in Edinburgh, you kind of have to make your choices based on limited descriptions of each. (In Scotland, I made my choices based on titles, some of which had nothing to do with the actual content of the show.) I was, however, able to find more info about each online.

Jett Backpack

Jett Backpack and the Battle at the End of the Universe:

The Earth has been kidnapped and it’s up to dashing Jett Backpack and his crew to save the day! This comedy sci-fi play had fun costumes and props and over the top B-movie acting that made it quite entertaining. I also liked the references to Star Trek and Star Wars, including the pre-show audio of William Shatner singing David Bowie’s “Major Tom,” an all-time classic.

The Mud Flappers Variety Hour:

They billed themselves as “an entire hour of music, comedy and vaudevillian antics, combining music and sketch comedy into a spectacular never before seen on stage or screen.”  Okay. Why not give it a go? I watched their music video online and really liked their sound and I wasn’t disappointed by the music. Plus, I Mud Flappersliked the fact that they were a local band from Lake Mary, Florida. The variety part, short films and sketches, were not as great, but some of them were clever and amusing. And there was some unexpected full frontal male nudity. One of the lead singers came out wearing only shoes, socks, a bow tie and his banjo, and strummed a song about liking to sing in the nude. And the banjo revealed more than it concealed. This is why they rate the shows. They really are uncensored.

Ticket prices ranged from free to about $11.00, all of it going to the performers. (The Fringe itself makes money from selling mandatory Fringe buttons to each patron.)

I wonder what next year’s Fringe will offer. I’m anxious to find out and will definitely check out more performances.

Dates of Visit:  May 2013

http://orlandofringe.org/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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Categories: Florida, Play | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Get a Taste of the World

TEDDY’s RATING: 

It’s time once again to tempt your taste buds at the 17th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival going on right now through November 12th.

If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth going to try some of these culinary creations. I love having the chance to try new foods, which are in tapas-sized portions. I’m not that courageous when it comes to foreign dishes, but over the years I’ve enjoyed some interesting and yummy things at the Food and Wine Festival.

        

More than 25 booths, or marketplaces, are set up around Epcot’s World Showcase. This year features two totally new food stops: Terra, where you can partake in vegan treats like Trick’n Chick’n Curry; and Florida Local, which features the Sunshine State’s local flavors like Zellwood Sweet Corn Salad.

Other new exhibits include The Chocolate Experience: Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli where you can try their drinking chocolate; The Mr. Food Watermelon Patch; and the Festival Center Wine Shop.

          

My favorite foods and drinks are Canada’s Cheddar Cheese Soup, the Caribbean’s Bacardi Frozen Dragon Berry Colada, Morocco’s Mimosa Royale, Ireland’s Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache, Belgium’s Belgian Waffle with berries, Australia’s Lamington cake and Scandinavia’s Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry sauce. Oooohhhh, I’m so hungry.

I tried a couple of new things this year: the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce in Canada and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Clam Chowder at the Hops & Barley place. Both were good, but unfortunately, not great. I had hoped to try the Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Coconut Foam at the new Terra marketplace, but by then I was stuffed.

There are also celebrity chef demonstrations and wine seminars throughout each day. HGTV hosts home entertaining seminars featuring their celebrity designers.

“Eat to the Beat” is a concert series that takes place at the American Gardens Theater each evening of the festival. In addition to regular bands like Air Supply, Gin Blossoms, Survivor, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, there will be some new performers appearing this year: Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler and Dennis DeYoung from STYX.

Here are some fun facts about the festival:

Each year more than 3,000 gallons of Canada’s Cheddar Cheese soup are made. I eat about half of that!

The Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie dish is one of the most popular menu item at the festival. I concur.

The lingonberry is a staple food in Scandinavian cuisine. I compare it to cranberries, but not as tart.

More than 100,000 desserts are eaten at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Of all the dishes I try, most ARE desserts!

          

One big change to the Festival this year is the use of Earth-friendly food containers. I completely understand Walt Disney World’s dedication to recycling, but these containers tend to make the food look much less appetizing.

Dates of Visit:  Various years

www.epcotfoodfestival.com

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Disney, Eat, Play | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Giddy Up to the Apopka Food Truck Roundup

TEDDY’s RATING: 

Rustle up some tasty vittles at the Apopka Food Truck Roundup!

The food truck craze has really exploded all across the country. You can sample all types of food in one place. Kind of like a traveling food court. I’ve even toyed with the idea of opening up one myself. Teddy’s Tantalizing Treats?  Hmmm.

Anyway, the Apopka Food Truck Roundup takes place the first Thursday of every month at Kit Land Nelson Park in downtown Apopka, Florida from 5:30pm to 9pm. This food truck event has been so successful that in August they’ll be celebrating their 1st birthday.

Several of the food trucks are regulars at the Roundup and others take turns making an appearance. Here are the trucks that were there when we went:

Burger Culture, Sunset Ice, TJ’s Seafood Shack, The Crooked Spoon, Monsta Lobsta, Yum Yum Cupcakes, Brisket Bus, Jimmy’s Meatballs, Kerri Out, Fat Tortillas, Korean BBQ Taco Box, Big Wheel Truck, The Crepe Company, Shipyard Brewing.

       

Each of them has their own Facebook page and you can follow them on Twitter so you know where to find them each day or weekend. Some have website, some even do catering.

Here’s the food that we tried:

The Crooked Spoon: Macaroni & Cheese, with bacon, yellow and red peppers, fresh basil and crumb topping.
The Brisket Bus: Pulled brisket sandwich with cole slaw.
TJ’s Seafood Shack: Fish & Chips.
The Crepe Company: Red, White and Blue Crepe (strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream).
Sunset Ice: Banana and strawberry Italian ice.

And we rounded off the meal with half a dozen cupcakes from Yum Yum Cupcakes: Root Beer Boom Boom, Orange Cream Dream, The Ballad of Churro, Peanut Butter Choco-Rama, Red Velvet and Lady Bird (gluten-free hummingbird cake).

Everything was very good, especially the cupcakes. Of the six, there wasn’t one that I didn’t like, but my favorites were Root Beer Boom Boom and Peanut Butter Choco-Rama.

I do have to say that the prices were a bit steep ($8.50 for the mac and cheese, $13.00 for the six cupcakes), but you’re paying for the experience. And it was a fun experience. There was live jazz music. The city sets up tables and chairs, which a lot of other food truck sites don’t do. We got there early before there were any long lines. Food is made fresh to order, so you should be prepared to wait. And even though most trucks take credit cards, it’s faster if you have cash.

So, why not lasso a great meal at the next Apopka Food Truck Roundup? But get there early, before the stampede!!

Dates of Visit:  July 5, 2012

http://www.facebook.com/ApopkaFoodTruckRoundUp

http://www.apopka.net/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bagpipes and Belly Dancing

TEDDY’s RATING: 

If you like world music, take a stroll around EPCOT’s World Showcase and get a taste of tunes from Canada to Mexico, Japan to Morocco.

In my opinion, the musical entertainment at the Walt Disney World theme parks is always first rate. I’ve rarely seen a show that’s not at least very good. And no matter what your taste in music, you can find something worth seeing, and hearing, at EPCOT.

MEXICO: Mariachi Cobre, a 12-piece Mexican Mariachi band, performs at the Mexico Pavilion. Originally formed in 1971, the group has been performing at EPCOT since it opened in 1982. With 3 guitars, 2 trumpets and 7 violins, they bring to life sounds of Mexican folk music.

GERMANY: Oktoberfest Musikanten performs traditional Bavarian music inside the Biergarten restaurant and outside in the courtyard of the Germany Pavilion. This 6-member group, decked out in German lederhosen and playing accordions, tubas and guitars, frolic to the oom-pah sounds of Germany.

UNITED STATES: The United States Pavilion features both the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps as well as the Voices of Liberty, inside the rotunda of the American Adventure building. The Fife & Drum Corps is a colonial-era band that plays the spirited patriotic music of early America. The Voices of Liberty is an 8-member a capella group that sings classic American songs like “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Ol’ Man River,” and “Amazing Grace.”

JAPAN: Matsuriza performs on the huge Japanese Taiko drums at the Japan Pavilion. This percussion troupe was formed in 1998 and they play traditional works as well as their own compositions. You know when a Matsuriza performance is going on. You can hear it and feel it all the way across the World Showcase Lagoon.

MOROCCO: Mo’Rockin’ is a 6-person group that plays music from the Middle East, Africa, Spain and America. With traditional and modern instruments, they create original high-energy sounds that keep your feet tapping. And if you feel a bit adventurous, join the belly dancer and wiggle your hips to the beat.

UNITED KINGDOM: The newest addition to the EPCOT World Showcase musical groups is the British Revolution. They replaced the British Invasion who performed the music of the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits and the like. The British Revolution performs hits from bands like Led Zepplin, The Clash, The Rolling Stones and the Police.

CANADA: I save the best for last. Off Kilter is a kilt-wearing, bagpipe-playing Celtic rock band. I just love these guys. I have several of their albums. If you never thought a bagpipe could be part of a rock group, think again. These guys put on a kick ass show. They’ve been performing at the Canada Pavilion since 1997.

Next time you’re at EPCOT, why not take in a show or two? You may be surprised at what you hear. And maybe you’ll develop a taste for some new music.

Dates of Visit:  All the time!

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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It’s Blooming Magical at EPCOT

TEDDY’s RATING: 

Spring has sprung early and it’s already time for the 2012 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival. It starts today, March 7th!

I can’t remember how many times I’ve been to the festival, but since this is the 19th one, I must have gone 18 times! And I know that I will definitely keep going for years to come. There’s always something new to see. The displays are beautiful and you can’t help but take a million pictures. (Alas, not all million are posted here!)

Every year the entrance to the park and the entrance to World Showcase are redesigned with topiaries that showcase Disney characters or movies. This year will feature Fantasia at the park’s entrance.

In the past, they’ve featured Toy Story characters, Cars characters and our favorite Disney standards. The Disney landscapers and horticulturists always do a fantastic job designing over 100 different topiaries that are featured throughout the park. I’ve just included a few here, but will highlight more in a special story about the festival’s topiaries later this month.

I always take the Rose Walk, which goes between World Showcase and Future World.  If you time it right, there are hundreds of roses in bloom of all different varieties and colors. It may be a cliché, but I do always stop and smell these marvelous roses.

Make sure you take a stroll through the butterfly house which has grown in size over the years. Hundreds of butterflies all flying freely around you. It’s lovely.

HGTV will have their cavalcade of stars at the Designer’s Stage in the Festival Center including Jason Cameron from Desperate Landscapes, Monica Pedersen from Designed to Sell and Carter Oosterhouse from Million Dollar Rooms.

The Flower Power Concert series will feature performances by music legends from the 1960s and 1970s: Jose Feliciano, The Guess Who, The Turtles, The Spinners, Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits and more.

This year we will surely miss the beloved and extremely entertaining Davy Jones of The Monkees, who passed away last month. He usually opened or closed the Flower Power Concert series. He was scheduled to appear May 18 through 20. We love you and miss you Davy!

The festival runs every day at EPCOT from March 7 until May 20, 2012. Flower Power Concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre at 5:15pm, 6:30pm and 7:45pm each Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival.

Dates of Visit:  Yearly

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/special-events/epcot-international-flower-and-garden-festival/

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