OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST ARTS & CULTURE HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH

OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST ARTS & CULTURE HAPPENINGS THIS MONTH

By Nick Steele

WHAT’S HAPPENING

OCALA FILM FOUNDATION PRESENTS: DON’T GET TROUBLE IN YOUR MIND
In association with South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ocala Film Foundation will be hosting a screening of Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Story on February 10th as part of their monthly series, Cinema Sunday at Ocala Marion Theatre, 50 Southeast Magnolia Exd., Ocala. Rated PG.

Arriving just in time to coincide with Black History Month, this documentary about The Carolina Chocolate Drops, is a fascinating look at how the band stunned the music world, taking home a Grammy in 2010 for their debut album Genuine Negro Jig. This behind the scenes story focuses how Joe Thompson, a prolific black fiddler, mentored the Drops to success and also highlights the African origins of the banjo and the central role African-Americans played in shaping our nation’s popular music.

In addition to the screening, there will be Close-Up Education Programming at 1pm at the Ocala Marion Theatre (not included in the screening ticket price), the screening will begin at 3:30pm and the “Conversation” VIP Event will start immediately following the screening (5-7pm). Ticket prices for the screening-only begin at $12.24 and increase based on what other elements of the program you wish to participate in. There is a discounted admission price for the screening with a valid student ID.

Cinema Sunday is designed to be a cinematic experience showcasing art, culture, & diversity from some of today’s most gripping independent filmmakers. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ocalafilmfoundation.org

MY FAIR LADY RETURNS TO THE BIG SCREENS
Simultaneous screenings: February 17th at 1pm and February 20th 3pm at 7pm, showing at both Regal Hollywood 16, 2801 SW 27th Ave, Ocala & The Rialto Theatre, 1105 Alonzo Ave, The Villages

TCM Big Screen Classics & Fathom Events are bringing the original “pretty woman” back to the big screen to mark the 55th anniversary of this sweet and spirited classic about a common working girl, as in flower merchant—not the way Julia Roberts played it, who is plucked from the harsh London streets by a wealthy gentleman who is determined to make her into a proper lady. The radiant Audrey Hepburn steals the show, and a few hearts along the way, in this 8-time Oscar-winning musical opposite the charming yet thoroughly obtuse Rex Harrison (think Richard Gere with an English accent and a full set of tweeds). The film has been lovingly-restored, frame-by-frame, from the original 65mm negative and scanned utilizing state-of-the-art technology under the supervision of famed film historian Robert Harris. With costumes by the legendary Cecil Beaton, music by Frederick Loewe and exclusive insights from Turner Classic Movies, you’ll be enchanted by this timeless classic in all it’s original splendor. My Fair Lady is one of the greatest musicals in film history, so don’t miss a chance to see it on the big screen! This presentation includes a brief intermission. *Ticket prices and showtimes may vary depending on theatre.

BEN SOLLEE AT TUSCAWILLA ART PARK
The City of Ocala presents a one-night-only performance by renowned singer, songwriter composer, cellist, and self-proclaimed storyteller Ben Sollee on Friday, February 22nd. The Kentucky-born musician has been on a wild ride since he emerged on the music scene, thanks to his innovative playing style and electrifying performances. His music contains elements of folk, jazz, bluegrass, as well as rhythm and blues. With a style that is distinctly his own and hard to define, he regularly plays to sold out crowds who love his signature sound. Following a performance at New York’s Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, even the lofty New York Times, who labeled him a “softer-edged Dave Matthews” heaped on the praise, “Appalachian mountain music gave way to the blues, and one song was appended with a fragment from a Bach cello suite, beautifully played. More often than not Mr. Sollee preferred plucking the instrument to bowing it. Joy peeked through the music like rays of sunshine in the Kentucky woods.” Yup, this sensitive singer-songwriter is kind of a big deal and who couldn’t use a little more joy peeking through!

Now for the harder-edged/not so joyful fine print: Admission is $10. Doors open at 6pm and performance begins at approximately 7pm. This is an outdoor venue with an open area for seating, bringing chairs and/or blankets are recommended if you wish to be seated. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, outside food and coolers are not permitted. Smoking/Vaping is permitted in designated areas only. For more information, visit www.ocalafl.org/performingarts or contact Ocala Cultural Arts either at [email protected] or (352) 629-8447.

MARDI PAWS FOR A GREAT CAUSE
Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL) will be hosting their fourth annual FURBALL on February 23rd from 6pm on, at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club at 8300 NW 31st Lane Road in Ocala. If you’re an animal lover or just love a good time, you won’t want to miss this fun and festive evening. The FURBALL raises vital funds for the life-saving work done by this fantastic group of staff, volunteers and fosters—on a mission to solve the problem of pet homelessness in our area. This elegant “black-tie optional” evening begins with a cocktail hour, followed by a delicious dinner, delightful music by the jazz trio Left on Broadway featuring Olivia Ortiz & Mike Wall, gaming, raffle prizes and a spirited silent auction with some covetable items. You’ll also have an opportunity to learn about the great work that VOCAL does at their no-kill shelter, where homeless and unwanted animals benefit from excellent care in a facility with room to run and play, as well as an attentive staff to care for them until they find their forever homes. VOCAL also operates a low-cost spay/neuter program that has become a critical resource for our community. “FURBALL proceeds will enable us to continue to fund spay-neuter surgeries for low-income owners, through our ‘Fix the Future’ fund and prevent thousands of unwanted animals from being born.” explains President & Co-Founder Linda Norman. “That begins with prevention, which is why we have made opening our low-cost spay-neuter clinic our top priority. Our new clinic is expected to open in March of this year, thanks to our donors.”

Proceeds from this year’s FURBALL will also enable the group to continue to shelter and foster the animals currently in their care. Tickets for the event are $125 per person and can be purchased at vocalforpets.org or by calling (352) 289-0800. If you can’t make the event, check out all the wonderful four-legged friends available for adoption or consider supporting their mission by signing up for a monthly or annual membership. You can even help just by accessing chewy.com through their website the next time you order food and supplies for your fur babies. For every new customer purchase through VOCAL’s site, Chewy will donate $20 to this wonderful organization.

TASTE AT THE FARM
The College of Central Florida Foundation’s 31st annual Taste of Ocala will have a new twist this year, as well as a new location. On Saturday, March 2nd from 6:30-9pm, what was formerly known as Taste of Ocala reinvents itself on CF’s newest campus Vintage Farm at 4020 SE Third Ave in Ocala. In 2016, the college received its largest gift on record from the Vintage Farm family. The gift of the 103-acre Vintage Farm has allowed CF to expand Equine Studies and Agribusiness programs to include a bachelor’s specialization in equine studies and plans are underway to begin a one-year cattle management certificate program. The Vintage Campus barn has recently undergone a renovation to include classroom space and other modifications. “There is no time like the present to invite the community out to our new jewel for a party with a purpose” offers Chris Knife, CF Foundation Executive Director. “The Foundation is working on a new event to carry the Taste of Ocala torch into the next thirty years. Taste at the Farm will be a ‘Country Chic’ event that is sure to leave attendees wanting to come back and visit the Farm again for our yet to be named gala in 2020.”

This year’s event is a celebration of restaurants who have participated in past “Taste” events. Since its inception in 1989, Taste of Ocala has raised more than $1.46 million for College of Central Florida student scholarships. The proceeds from this year’s event will raise funds to be used toward student scholarships, specifically for students pursuing a degree in CF’s Bachelors in Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management, Bachelors of Science in Early Education and Bachelors of Science in Nursing.

Ocala’s favorite “food and philanthropy” event will feature live music and samplings from local restaurants. Guests will enjoy food, wine and craft beer tastings from The Braised Onion, Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar, Cakes Come True, Chefs of Napoli IV, Eaton’s Beach Sandbar & Steam Shack, Edible Arrangements, Fox Den Tavern, Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grill, The Mojo Grill & Catering Co., and Tony’s Sushi & Japanese Steakhouse.

Since its inception in 1989, Taste of Ocala has raised more than $1.4 million for College of Central Florida student scholarships. For more information, visit TasteAtTheFarm.org. For information about sponsorship opportunities call the CF Foundation at 352-873-5808 or visit CF.edu/Foundation.

WELL READ

THE AGE OF LIGHT, BY WHITNEY SCHARER, FEBRUARY 7TH
“Lee Miller is so fascinating, and ahead of her time in so many ways, that I think her story subverts the expected tropes of this type of historical fiction.” Scharer says of her real life heroine, who went from being a sought after Vogue model to stepping behind the camera and taking charge of her destiny. “She’s not a passive, wilting flower. She’s ambitious and hungry, and her drive to become an artist is intimately connected to her and Man Ray’s love affair, yet it complicates that relationship in unexpected ways.” Complications certainly abound in this fictionalized glimpse into the real-life wild child who beguiled the likes of Picasso and Cocteau in 1930s Paris and even posed in Hitler’s bathtub — but it’s those complications that make the novel, like Miller herself, captivating and utterly fascinating.

WORTH WATCHING

AGATHA CHRISTIE’S THE ABC MURDERS, PRIME VIDEO, FEBRUARY 1ST
If you’re a fan period murder mysteries with an ample dose of evil and intrigue, then you won’t be disappointed by this limited series from the BBC. John Malkovich leads a stellar cast of menacing characters, as an world-weary Hercule Poirot with a dark secret that has come back to haunt him. He does so with a lack of his trademark sarcasm and joie de vivre. In fact, his Poirot is a shadow of himself, tormented and nearly broken by a relentless and unpredictable killer. But it is Rupert Grint, formerly the devil-may-care Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter film franchise, who surprises in his darkest and most adult role to date. As Inspector Crome, Grint proves a formidable foil to Malkovich’s Poirot and allows us to see his acting chops and dramatic intensity. Overall, this moody and compelling adaptation holds you in it’s grip, right up to the killer ending. Prime members can stream the series using the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/originals. Eligible customers, who are not already Prime members, can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime.

WHAT MEN WANT, IN THEATERS FEBRUARY 7TH
Ever since we gave those ladies a Ghostbusters reboot, man….Kidding! But if you’re over thirty, you already know that this movie is an update of the hit Mel Gibson rom-com What Women Want, in which he is gifted with the ability to hear what women are thinking and uses his newfound superpower to get over on Helen Hunt, in a couple of different ways. Like the original, this female-power film gives Taraji P. Henson a way to flip the script at work and at play. And you can be sure that if you put a powerhouse like Taraji P. Henson up against the likes of Tracy Morgan, Max Greenfield, Aldis Hodge, Pete Davidson and Shaquille O’Neal, it’s going to be a wild ride. OM

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