Holocaust Center will host production of opera performed in a concentration camp

In recognition of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center is hosting a special presentation of an opera once performed in a concentration camp.

MAITLAND – It started on Nov. 9 1938. In a night of unspeakable horror, violence, and destruction, Germany carried out a pogrom against its Jewish residents, where Jews were beaten, buildings were destroyed by sledgehammers, and Synagogues were set on fire.

It came to be known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, after the haunting images of the shards of broken glass that littered the streets from the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues that got smashed.

This horrifying night is also seen by many historians as the start of the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler’s campaign to murder Europe’s Jewish population.

Every year in November, the Holocaust Memorial and Resource Education Center in Maitland holds a community commemoration of Kristallnacht at the Rosen Jewish Community Center, during which the community remembers the violent pogroms against the Jewish communities in Germany and Austria on Nov. 9-10 1938, in the hope that by always remembering, the world will never forget, or repeat, this tragedy.

This year, noted Pam Kancher, the Center’s executive director, there is a unique program being planned. Continue reading

Lake County Animal Shelter seeking homes for senior dogs

senior dogs

Magnolia is one of four senior dogs that the Lake County Animal Shelter needs homes for.

TAVARES – Is there room in your home for a Ladybug? How about a Magnolia?

No, this isn’t about insects or plants. It’s about older dogs that don’t have a home – but very much need one.

The Lake County Animal Shelter is now looking for homes for several senior dogs, including ones they’ve named Magnolia, Ladybug, Shela, and Suki.

Elisha Pappacoda, the public information officer for the Lake County government, which oversees the shelter, said this is a special request at a time when the shelter in Tavares is undergoing some needed changes.

“The shelter is currently undergoing some remodeling, and we have a few special senior pups who would benefit from staying in a comfortable, safe home rather than returning to the kennels at this time,” Pappacoda noted in an email about the adoptions. Continue reading

Review: Terrors of the mind grip you tightly in “Phantasmagoria VIII: The Chains of Fire”

Phantasmagoria VIII

“Phantasmagoria VIII: The Chains of Fire” makes effect use of some classic tales of madness.


ORLANDO – Classic horror literature, in the minds of many, probably means monsters – Bram Stoker giving us the bloody-sucking terror of his vampire Dracula, or Mary Shelley creating the lumbering hulk made of fresh corpses that becomes “Frankenstein.”

Still, not all writers of long-distant eras felt they needed to invent hideous creatures of the night to scare their readers.

One of the great pleasures of watching the continuing series known as “Phantasmagoria” is their exploration of classic horror literature – tales that this talented cast recreates for their Orlando audience, often with bone-chillingly effective scares.

And now with the eighth installment of the series by actor, director and playwright John DiDonna, “Phantasmagoria VIII: The Chains of Fire,” we have reminders that some of those writers of earlier centuries saw no need for monsters to be lurking in the shadows outside. Our own minds could be much scarier to confront.

Here are two examples: how much fear and anxiety can you generate from …. Teeth and wallpaper?

Quite a bit, you might be surprised to learn. Continue reading

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