The new year brings with it much anticipation as big events crowd the Central Florida arts scene.
The biggest news will be the opening of the long-awaited downtown Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in late fall.
Florida Theatrical Association's touring Broadway series still has Tony-winning "Once" (January) and "War Horse" (February) ahead, as well as the crowd-pleasing "Jersey Boys" (April).
Orlando Ballet has a new production of "Romeo and Juliet" coming (February), as well as a showcase of original works called "Some Assembly Required" (March) and a collaboration with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (also in March). That's a big month for the Phil, which will also present three notable Broadway tenors in concert — among them, Eatonville's Norm Lewis.
Mad Cow Theatre has a classic — "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" — in store in March, but also presents the local premiere of a newer work. "The Mountaintop," onstage in February, imagines the last day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life.
Orlando Shakespeare Theater also tries something old, something new. "Julius Caesar" takes the stage in March, while the new-play series presents contemporary drama "Pluto," which deals with a school shooting (February).
The Shakes kicks off the year with its biggest-ever production, the two-night "Nicholas Nickleby," opening Jan. 24. Also coming in January: The local premiere of Broadway hit "Clybourne Park," at Theatre Downtown.
On the art front, the Mennello Museum of American Art will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a series of exhibits, beginning in January with a look at the Santa Fe art colony. Across Loch Haven Park, Orlando Museum of Art will celebrate its 90th anniversary in January with a major touring exhibition of European masters such as Rembrandt and Rubens.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun