Tavares is home to one of cinema's longest-enduring performers. In 1964, this star debuted alongside Robert Redford in This Property Is Condemned, and more and more films would follow that initial role, including True Grit and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? An impressive resume for any actor, but even more so considering this star is over 100 years old. The Orange Blossom Cannonball, appropriately nicknamed "America's movie train," has hurtled down the tracks in classic westerns and other films for half a century, though its roots stretch back much further. The 1907 steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches and a caboose, complete with a potbelly stove made in 1873.
When not sharing screen time with George Clooney or his five identical siblings, the train carries the general public along the banks of Lake Dora. Hours aboard the locomotive seemed ripped from another time?conductors and staff don period costumes, and they spin tales of the train's past as well as the history of the area.
The IceHouse Theatre has been delighting audiences with professional productions for more than 60 years. From March 18 through April 9, critics can soak up the drama juices of Bingo. This Groupon is valid for any showing on Thursdays (7:30 p.m.), Fridays (8 p.m.), and Saturdays (8 p.m.). Bingo tells the story of three female friends who encounter danger, romance, and a mysterious stranger as they soldier through hurricane warnings to finish their weekly bingo game. Attendees can expect energy, laughter, and a curse upon anyone whose paper-cup-and-string phone rings during the show.
The seasoned performers of Piccadilly Circus dazzle audiences of all ages with 90 minutes of acrobatics, comedic high jinks, and trained animals beneath the big top. Audiences gasp at high-flying trapeze artists swooping through the air with the confidence of a kite in a wind tunnel, as well as contortionists able to bend themselves into human bonsai trees. Death-defying motorcyclists roar into a caged globe to perform a 360-degree display of vehicular mastery. Gaggles of clowns coax out chuckles, and a trained elephant parades around the ring, occasionally stopping to memorize an audience member's phone number. General-admission seating surrounds the ring, allowing ample viewpoints from which to observe the boisterous spectacle.
With more than 60 years of theatrical experience, Ocala Civic Theatre presents more than a dozen fully staged productions each year in its 401-seat venue at the Appleton Cultural Center. Having nothing to do with amphibians or singing, When Bullfrogs Sing Opera is a charming comedy of manners focusing on two sisters from the country town of Bullfrog Waller. When Millicent, who has jettisoned her rural roots for a big-city lifestyle, is suddenly forced to deal with her thoroughly countrified sister Coreen coming back into her life, she panics and, in an effort to keep her roots hidden, tries to pass her sister off as an actress deep inside a role as a backwoods girl. In ensuing mix-ups, misunderstandings, and deceitful dealings, relationships are threatened, secrets are revealed, and library cards are left unused as Millicent is forced to confront the embarrassment she feels toward her past.
The acrobatic Zoppe-Zamperla family steers the reins of Cavallo Equestrian Arts, LLC, drawing on 166 years of showmanship to delight audiences as it tours the globe, standing, flipping, and hanging upside-down on galloping horses. Transporting spectators back to the age of knights, mystics, and spaceships made of wood, Cavallo Equestrian Arts' performers combine these death-defying feats with jousts amid music, dancing, and acrobatics, as well as spectacles such as fire-breathing. The Zoppe-Zamperla brothers have assembled their talents and passions into wondrous shows, earning them featured performances in movies such as The First of May and The Fisher King and opportunities to amaze in events such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's circus.
Champion over the ghoulish attractions gracing all 18 holes at Monster Mini Golf. The Winter Garden location contains enough geometric challenges to make the course interesting for all ages. Navigate your illuminated golf ball past horrible goblins, a disgruntled swamp monster, impolite specters, and a scarecrow jack-in-the-box, or just stand in awe at the 3-D spectacle. Be sure to listen for Monster Mini Golf’s own in-house radio station, "W.I.R.D. (Weird Radio)," whose live, on-site DJ hands out prizes for random reasons on the links.