By PAM HARBAUGH
Take a breath and smile. Let comedy get your mind off humanity’s darker sides; let jazz keep you in the groove and beautiful art refresh our souls. Heads up..there’s a playreading Saturday at Melbourne Civic Theatre. Be sure to take a look at the “Plan Ahead” listings — you’ll see info on “The King and I,” directed by the amazing Barlett Sher and opening next month at Dr. Phillips in Orlando.
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PLAY READING of “The Assembled Parties,” a drama/comedy by Richard Greenberg, begins 2 p.m. Saturday at Melbourne Civic Theatre. These are GREAT events and keep gaining in popularity. Translate that to say “get there early if you wanna seat.” It’s free, but a $5 minimum donation is just so genteel and helps the theater turn on the A/C. Here’s what MCT website says about the play: “A stunning play infused with humor, THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES is an incisive portrait of a family grasping for stability at the dawn of a new millennium.” MCT is at 817 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne. Call 321-723-6935, visit MyMCT.org or just click on their ad.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at Melbourne Civic Theatre is one funny show and, as you might guess, is quickly selling out. It runs through Sept. 17. Read a story about it by clicking here. Melbourne Civic Theatre is at 817 Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne. It performs 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays and Saturday, Sept. 2. Several Sunday matinees are already sold out. Tickets are $29 to $31, plus handling. Call 321-723-6935, visit MyMCT.org or just click on their ad.
SHREK the Musical runs through Sept. 10 at the Titusville Playhouse. Of course this is the stage version of the 2001 animated movie which is very funny — to both children and adults. Read a Brevard Culture story which tells more about the show and the starring trio by clicking here. Tickets are $23 to $29. TPI performs at the Emma Parrish Theater, 301 Julia St., Titusville. Call 321-268-1125, visit TitusvillePlayhouse.com or click on their ad.
THE AMISH PROJECT runs through Sept. 10 at Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando. Written by Jessica Dickey, this one-woman play received rave reviews by The New York Times. Ms. Dickey was inspired to write it following the 2006 murder of five girls who were taken hostage at the Nickel Mines Amish school in Lanaster County, PA. At Mad Cow, it is actress Trenell Mooring who will portray seven characters, including the gunman and two young victims. Several guest speakers have been invited to Talkback sessions following select performances. $40, with discounts available for seniors and students. The Mad Cow Theatre is at 54 West Church Street – Second Floor, Orlando, FL. Call 407-297-8788 ext. 1 or visit MadCowTheatre.com.
IMPROVISATION will be performed 8 p.m. Saturday at Surfside Playhouse. This is a showcase for the theater’s summer improv classes. Tickets are $10. Surfside Playhouse is at 301 Ramp Road (5th Street South), Cocoa Beach. Call 321-783-3127, visit SurfsidePlayers.com or click on their ad.
COMEDY ZONE features stand up comics Jim Holder and Steve Netta Friday and Saturday evenings at Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach. Shows begin at 7:30 and 9:30 tonight and Saturday. Patrons to the Comedy Zone can also enjoy free music before the shows and casino games in the lobby. Riverside Theatre is at 3250 Riverside Drive, Vero Beach. Get there early and buy a burger and a beer if you like. Tickets begin at $16. Call 772-231-6990, visit RiversideTheatre.com or click onto their ad.
HEIDI’S JAZZ CLUB is a cool thing to do in the hot summer. The lively spot is busy this weekend with some great entertainment, a wonderful bar and a super bar menu. Steve Kirsner & Friends perform Friday. On Saturday, the Israeli entertainer Hella joins the Ron Teixeira trio from 8 p.m. to midnight. And Sunday is the always fun Jam Session from 7 to 11 p.m. Heidi’s is at 7 N Orlando Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL. Call 321-783-4559 or visit HeidisJazzClub.com or click on their ad.
ART & SOLE, hosted by Swanky Sole, is a fundraiser, pop up shoe boutique and art exhibition designed to raise money for Sally’s House. It happens 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Derek Gores Gallery. General admission is $25, runway seating costs $100. Remember, it’s a fundraiser, so don’t demur in peeling off those Benjamins. Mr. Gores expects it to sell out. Derek Gores Gallery is at 587 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne. Get more info at the event’s Facebook page.
DOMINIC AGOSTINI PORTRAITS exhibition runs through Sept. 22 at the Renee Foosaner Education Center, 1520 Highland Ave, Melbourne. The works on view reveal the photographer’s keen interest in celebrating the heroic in every day people. Read more about it by clicking here. The exhibit is installed in the Frits Van Eeden Gallery. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Admission free. Call 321-674-8923 or visit FoosanerArtMuseum.org.
FLORA & FIBER runs through Saturday at the Ruth Funk Center for the Arts. The exhibit, culled from the Textile Center’s permanent collection, is designed to show how plants inspire hand-weaving and dyeing and how they also inspire both the design and adornment in textile art especially in Asia and later in Europe and America. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The center is located next to Evans Library on the Florida Tech campus, 150 W. University Blvd. in Melbourne. Admission is free. More information click here or click on their ad.
FIFTH AVENUE ART GALLERY presents BEST IN SHOW exhibition runs throughout August at the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery. A portion of sales from the exhibit will go to the Central Brevard Humane Society. The Fifth Avenue Art Gallery is at 1470 Highland Avenue, Melbourne. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Call 321-259-8261, visit FifthAvenueArtGallery.com or just click on their ad.
THE STUDIOS OF COCOA BEACH will feature work by Sally Auman throughout August. The artist combines Encaustic (Wax) Painting with Digital Photography to create unique images. The Studio is at 165 Minutemen Causeway, Cocoa Beach. Regular hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Call 321-613-3480 or visit StudiosOfCocoaBeach.org.
12th ANNUAL PURE FLORIDA juried exhibition opens Aug. 29 at the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery.
DOGFIGHT opens Sept. 7 at the Henegar. This is a provocative musical and will be performed in the Henegar’s second floor Studio Theater.
THE KING AND I, the sumptuous Lincoln Center revival of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic directed by Barlett Sher, opens Sept. 12 and runs through Sept. 17 in the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando. Tickets start at $34.25. Call 844.513.2014 or visit DrPhillips.org.
39 STEPS opens Sept. 15 at Surfside Players.