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Orlando Events – What to Check Out this Week!

Orlando Weekly highlighted a few events to check out through the end of the month. We have included the information here for your easy reading.

Friday, 27 | Billy Joel

We were banging our heads on our desks, trying to think of how to properly express the artistry of William Martin “Billy” Joel, when it occurred to us: Go back to the music! That’s right, always go back to the “music.” The music of a man who has not written or recorded any new material since 1993 yet still brings the heat for thousands of people on the road. We know a lot of people really hated the Joelster, but we liked some of his songs. “The Longest Time” is a sweet little love song, and Joel made “Uptown Girl” back when music videos meant something, dammit. But then, we heard it. First in “Piano Man” (“the businessmen slowly get stoned … sharing a drink they call loneliness”), then on “Captain Jack” (“so you play your albums, and you smoke your pot … but still you’re aching for the things that you haven’t got”): contempt for pot smokers. That’s right, old Billy boy, rehab MVP, has beef with reefer. What did we ever do to you, Billy?! Did we not have the energy to get up and dance around to your damn song in that piano bar and that’s why you hate us? Maybe the only reason we were able to sit through your incessant needling is because we were high. Maybe some of your straight-laced buddies will enjoy your preachy hits at the Amway Center this week, but we’ll be at home on the couch, listening to Queen just as God intended. – Abby Stassen

8 p.m. | Amway Center, 400 W. Church St. | 800-745-3000 | | $49.50-$149.50

Friday, 27 | Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography

This weekend’s Zora! Festival features a special theater engagement that bridges Zora Neale Hurston’s importance to both Eatonville and Harlem. New York City’s New Federal Theatre presented Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography last year in celebration of Hurston’s 125th birthday, and this one-night-only production reunites that cast and crew. Elizabeth Van Dyke’s performance has received rave reviews for bringing both young and old versions of Hurston to vivid life. The cast is rounded out by Joseph Lewis Edwards, who plays four different men in Hurston’s life. The play flashes back to 1925, the year Hurston arrived in New York City and found a voice in the Harlem Renaissance. Incorporating readings of Hurston’s own works and her love of storytelling, the play highlights the difficulties Hurston encountered as an advocate of black culture and a staunch feminist – themes that still resonate. – TM

8 p.m. | Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave. | 844-513-2014 | | $78.75-$128.75

Saturday, 28 | Boy Harsher

Synthwavers Boy Harsher are that uniquely “Southern gothic” (in every sense of the phrase) phenomenon: a cold sonic force that emerged from fetid, humid Southern climes. The duo of Jae Matthews (vocals) and Augustus Muller (electronics) emerged from their cybernetic womb in Savannah, Georgia, fully formed and programmed from the word go. Boy Harsher are a rush of crystalline, razor sharp electronics, pounding heartbeat drums and Matthews’ martial, commanding screams and confessions. A modern update on the classic Suicide/DAF/Kas Product template, then. The twosome may have cut their teeth in the noise/experimental scene (even playing International Noise Conference in Miami a time or two), but their sense of body rhythm and groove is impeccable. From their first demo (spin “Pain”) to their album on Atlanta’s DKA Records (Yr Body Is Nothing), it’s clear that now is the time on Sprockets when we dance. Sidebar: This is the only Florida show Philadelphia’s Profligate is playing; if top-shelf synth pop is your thing, darken Spacebar’s door. – Matthew Moyer

with Profligate, Autarx | 9 p.m. | Spacebar, 2428 E. Robinson St. | | $5

Monday, 30 | Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man

Leonard Cohen left us last year, as all our loves are bound to do, with a mixture of lingering regrets but a bounty of wonderful memories and even more lovely words. In the usual reexamination of an artist’s work after death, this charming documentary and musical love letter to Cohen from 2005 has been unearthed. It captures the third or fourth (fifty-seventh?) act in Cohen’s career, which was near biblical in terms of myth. To wit: Cohen, delving deeper into Zen Buddhism, entered the Mt. Baldy Zen Retreat for what became a five-year stay, to become an ordained Zen Buddhist monk. When the old man emerged from the mountain, Cohen soon found that his manager at the time had basically made off with all of his money. As befits a nascent Zen master, Cohen simply dusted himself off and hit the road for a lengthy series of tours. This film intersperses a series of introspective interviews from Cohen around this time alongside footage from an expansive musical tribute show – masterminded by Hal Willner – wherein performers the likes of Nick Cave, Antony, Jarvis Cocker, Rufus Wainright and Beth Orton paid homage to their dark lord. Cohen only makes a brief musical appearance, and though it’s an infinite bummer that he’s backed by a bloated U2, when he opens his mouth, you forget everything else. This screening is of a 35mm print of the doc; the ticket is worth it just for that. – MM

9:30 p.m. | Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland | 407-629-1088 | | $11

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