Tag Archives: arts

How to participate in tonight’s #PulseOfOurHeartbeat FlashCast

Tonight, something special will take place. Call it a ‘musical hug’ for the City of Orlando created by Central Florida mom, Kelly Green.

Members of the Orlando community are meeting tonight at host studio WMFE Orlando for a flashcast (think: FlashMob but performed by anyone online) of this inspired musical anthem honoring the 49 victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting and Christina Grimmie, shot and killed by a deranged fan.

Anyone with a social media account (Twitter Live, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, Blab, Instagram, Periscope, etc) is invited to participate in tonight’s flashcast and to share beyond this evening. Viewers are encouraged to learn this simple, one minute song and can sing, sign, dance, even play a favorite instrument along to the track and share it with the world using the hashtags #PulseOfOurHeartbeat and #flashcast.

No fear (of singing). No shame (of sharing). All love for Orlando.

Aren’t musically inclined? That’s ok. You can still take part by sharing the virtual, musical hugs of others.

Our Central Florida community, and the City of Orlando, are beginning to heal. There’s a long road ahead. It will not happen overnight but our community will never lose our love and light.

Upon hearing the news of Christina Grimmie death on Friday, June 11th, local mom and blogger, Kelly Green of SeaWorldMommy.com (also a contributor here at Top 5) found herself says, “I had insomnia the morning before and ‘watched’ the news of Christina Grimmie unfold on social media as it happened,” she shares.

As any mom and concerned friend would be, Kelly started to worry. “I was sick to my stomach as I had stood at that very spot numerous times,” Kelly says. “The next morning I saw even more horrific news on social media. I immediately started texting my friends who I knew might have been there.

Many Central Floridians were doing the same in the early hours of June 12th, and Kelly’s friends were among the fortunate ones. “My immediate friends were thankfully OK, but friends of theirs were not as fortunate. One friend lost five friends. Another knew a handful. Still another has the same last name as a victim and I called her immediately. She did not know him, but often got mistaken for being a relative, and was a sister in spirit.

So, Kelly did what many other creatives in need of an emotional outlet did – she wrote her feelings down. This stream of consciousness and deep emotional pain turned into a heartfelt song called, “Pulse Of Our Heartbeat.” Thus, the musical hug was born.

I’ve been writing music since I was 5, and seeing how my city… the city of family fun, incredible natural beauty, and all-out joy… was attacked truly shook me to my core,” she says. “The words and music poured out of me as I said musically what my soul breathed: We stand UNITED.

Be part of the live #PulseOfOurHeartbeat #flashcast TONIGHT, June 29 at 8pm ET across most social media platforms. This Anthem for Orlando is a musical hug to our city. Listen to it. Learn it. Sing it to your followers. Broadcast it yourself and keep the music rolling across the ‘net to all those affected by the tragedy that hit our city. We stand UNITED!

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnthemForORL/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnthemForORL

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/AnthemForORL

“The Flick” Director Kenny Howard Answers 5 Questions

This week Gen Y Productions brings a 4 week engagement of Annie Baker’s “The Flick” to the stage at the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This marks the Florida premiere of the play which earned the 2013 Obie Award for Playwriting and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  “The Flick” runs June 17 through July 12.

Central Florida Theatre in Process’ John DiDonna asked the show’s director Kenny Howard to answer five questions:

Kenny Howard, director of "The Flick" playing at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts June 17-July 12

Kenny Howard, director of “The Flick” playing at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts June 17-July 12

JD: The production team you were part of is both Tony winning and Grammy nominated. Why the return to producing in Central Florida?

KH: For me it was about artistic vision and community. I went up for an AD job off-Broadway and to further my career as a director, yet ended up a managing member of a Tony Award-winning Broadway Producing company and a record label for Original Broadway Cast and Broadway artists’ cabaret albums.   Every moment was an amazing experience, but I needed to regroup and focus on what I actually wanted. That ended up being expression as an artist and a sense of community; both of which were things I had always felt I had here, so I came back for that purpose, as well as I just missed my family here in Central Florida. It was 17 years in the theatre community when I made the move to NYC, and I missed it horribly.  

 

JD: How does it feel being one of the first long-run shows in the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts? What are the risks? What are the benefits? (Okay, it is three parts but still one question!)

KH: Great question(s)! I had made a play to use the Pugh previously. I wanted in that space.

It is a gorgeous space that reminds me of the Jewel Box at the Signature Theatre in NYC.   Being a resident of Orlando almost 22 years, I was aware of the Pugh as the theater “for all lives,” (or whatever phrase they finally settled on), and I wanted to take them up on that.   I can’t tell you how it really feels until we load in on Sat (Note: June 13)., but I am a huge fan of the space and I’m excited as hell. The risks are many. Although not as expensive as first thought, it is still the most expensive venue of its kind in Central Florida, which requires a certain amount of attendance to be truly successful financially. AND, although not a producer for this production, I cannot help with my years of experience as a producer concern myself with that reality.

We are very fortunate to have a producer who not only rises to the challenge, but chose a play that challenges me, the cast, and crew, as well as the audiences. The benefits are that we are doing another production there in August. It is a musical that is over four times the size in cast and we have the benefit of acclimating ourselves to the space. Also, I believe in the vision of the Pugh that was first presented, and I hope that working with DPC for this project makes them amenable to doing the same for many local theatre companies. We are blessed to have a thriving theatrical community and I would like to see theatre companies follow suit and have more local productions take place there.

 

JD: Tell us about “The Flick”! What about this show will pull people into a live theatrical experience this summer?

KH: I can honestly say that personally I have never seen a show quite like “The Flick.” The setting of the play is inside an old movie house, that uses an old 35mm projector, and much like the theatre, the lives of the three lead characters are stuck in a rut. It is a story of the human spirit, change, heartache, yet very funny and extremely poignant. The audience is the screen and we watch the lives of 3 everyday people that we would normally pass in the theatre or on the street without a second glance. But in the movie house named “The Flick” we find ourselves immersed in three people doing their job and examining their lives and the need for connection. It is falls into a category of complete realism so these characters are not “performed,” as much as lived in by the fantastic cast.

 

JD: What is it like collaborating with the team of “The Flick”?

KH: This team is fantastic. Gen Y’s Managing Member Aaron Safer is amazing when it comes to artistic freedom, and he is a champion of the show, and can hustle. Chris Yakubchik as AD is another who provides great insight to the text. The cast collectively is so strong. Anastasia Kurtiak is a dream stage manager who keeps us all on track. Marcellis is a reserved man, but is bringing Avery to life in a beautiful way. Jessie Grossman is the bomb! She is a consummate professional and her Rose is truly lovely to watch. And then Daniel Cooksley is someone I have admired on the stage for years and the audience and we are extremely fortunate to have him breathe life into Sam. Coletyn is young, but he is bright and funny, and we are lucky to have him. Bonnie Sprung is our set designer and has out done herself for this one, and lastly Roy Brown, who I have used for most of my lighting design needs who in each instance has not only succeeded but gone above and beyond expectations. So as far as collaborating with this team…I’m very fortunate. J

 

JD: What is coming up next for Kenny Howard? Projects? Vacation?

KH: Next up in July is “Wanzie’s Court Ordered Therapy: Ladies of Eola Heights-Continued” at The Abbey which reunites Chris and I with Beth Marshall, Peg O’Keefe, Blue Star, Sam Singhaus and our newest cast member of the Locksdale tribe…Kevin Kelly. Then in August “Heathers: The Musical” we are back in the Pugh Theatre at DPC. In September I have BMP’s Play-in-a-Day, and the reboot of The Abbey’s Monday Night Cabaret Series, then in October “Bat Boy” at The Abbey. I do have another project in both the spring and summer of 2016, but it has not been announced yet. Vacation? What’s that? I will get to NYC whenever I can, and I will get to KY to visit my parents.

But mostly….”I can’t – I’m in rehearsal.”

 

Tickets range from $35 to $60 for the hilarious and heartrending “The Flick,” and are on sale now at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

 

– Interview and post courtesy of guest blogger John DiDonna of Central Florida Theatre in Process

Central Florida Theater Picks June 12-18

Enjoy these weekly picks by guest contributor John DiDonna of Central Florida Theatre in Process (CFTIP).

Here’s a round-up of theatrical events and productions you should know about for the week of June 12-18, 2015. For more theater news and discussion visit Central Florida Theatre in Process: www.facebook.com/groups/277284114334/

(PHOTO: Coletyn Hentz, Marcellis Cutler, Daniel Cooksley and Jessica Hope Grossman in “The Flick” playing at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts June 17-July 12.)

OPENING THIS WEEK

THE FLICK, written by Annie Baker and starring Daniel Cooksley, Jessie Grossman, Marcellis Cutler, and Coletyn Hentz, opens June 19th in the Dr Phillips Center Pugh Theater, tickets on sale now!  Industry Night: June 29th, Tickets only $25.
http://www.drphillipscenter.org/…/20774-the-flick.stml

THE REPUBLIC – Pseudonym Productions (Near downtown Orlando)
Immersive theater brings video gaming to real life in an innovative, interactive performance experience.
June 11th (8pm), 12th (7:30pm & 10pm), and 13th (7:30pm)
Exclusive offer for this group: Use discount code CFLTHEATRE to save $5 off tickets!
http://www.Facebook.com/TheRepublicGame
http://www.TheRepublicGame.com
Rated M for Mature. Advance ticket purchase required.

PRODUCTIONS CONTINUING (some final weekends!):

BULLSHOT CRUMMOND – SIZZLING SUMMER BOGO DEAL , a campy British comedy, continuing at Valencia’s East Campus Black Box Theater June 12, & 13 at 7:30pm and June 14 at 2:00pm. There are a limited number of BOGO tickets available per each remaining performance. Buy one General Admission ticket and get the second General Admission ticket for free!  This offer is good either with the box office (407) 582-2900 or online at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts with the Promo Code ‘carrierpigeon’ (yes, all one word). NOTE: For online purchase, you must enter that you want 2 General tickets. After you enter the Promo Code, the system will adjust the pricing. Cannot be combined with other discounts. Not valid for previously purchased tickets. We invite you to ‘Like’ our ‘Valencia Arts & Entertainment’ Facebook page.

ONGOING PRODUCTIONS

DRIP industrial bar and show. Dress down, drink up and rock out while dancers tell a love story while dancing in paint, flying water and sand, backed by a LIVE rock band. You will get messy!
Thursdays (followed by a local art night), Fridays, Saturdays
Doors opens at 8pm, show starts a little after 9pm.
Tickets: www.ILoveDRIP.com
$35 DRIP 8747 International Dr. Ste 102 Orlando, Fl 32819

SAK COMEDY LAB is a 200 seat improv comedy theater in downtown Orlando. Conveniently located at the City Arts Factory’s second floor, 29 S. Orange Ave. SAK performs LIVE improv comedy shows that are fun and suitable for ALL AGES, Tuesday through Saturday.www.sak.com

OPENING SOON

MY PAL BETTE – Presented by interACTionZ and playing at UCF’s Performing Arts Center in Studio 1 Little Tommy Klein needs some divine intervention: between the kids at school, his feuding parents, and his own inner demons, he needs the right DIVA to teach him to be FIERCE! Enter Bette Davis, a diva with balls the size of Massachusetts and a heart to match! June 20th and 21st at 7:30pm and June 20th at 4pm. Free admission with a suggested donation to interactions. Rated PG-13. https://www.facebook.com/events/634287566716129/

DAMES AT SEA – Winter Park Playhouse, 711-C Orange Avenue (Winter Park). July 24 – Aug 22 (Preview July 23). Parody of the large, flashy 1930’s Busby Berkeley-style movie musicals in which a sweet “hometown” girl steps into a role on Broadway and becomes a star. Tickets $40-$15 and $10 student rush tickets – check with box office for availability. NOTE: Reservations are STRONGLY recommended as performances routinely sell out. 407-645-0145 (Rated PG) http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org

SPOTLIGHT CABARET SERIES featuring David Almeida – Winter Park Playhouse, 711-C Orange Avenue, (Winter Park). Wed & Thu, June 24 & 25 ONLY! Mr. Almeida will perform popular songs made famous by Broadway divas, television shows and comedies like the popular British comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Tickets are $18 + one drink minimum. Standing room tickets are available for $10 (with no drink minimum) when seating has sold out. 407-645-0145 (Rated PG) http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org

EDUCATION

DANCE/FITNESS: Now offering a Student/Theater/Dancer discount for Dion Leonhard’s Dance Barre classes at Barre Bellas! Drop-in rate for any classes Monday or Wednesday 10:30am and 11:30am is $15 (your very first class is free). Package of 5 classes for $50; (package good for a year). A unique combination of classic Pilates Technique blended with ballet exercises, dance stretches and cardio. http://barrebellas.com

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM WORKOUT! – w/ Jen Jarackas @ Art’s Sake Studios – It’s a gym for your feelings! Designed to GROUND your body and mind, RELEASE emotional blocks, and EXPLORE the truth of your truth. Saturday, June 20th, 2015. RSVP jen@jenniferjarackas.com /321-234-6968 by JUNE 15TH. $5 discount for VCC students & alumni. https://www.facebook.com/events/830492266998259/

DRAMATIC EDUCATION – Are you looking for a Summer Drama Program that will boost your child’s academics and social skills while teaching them theatre basics and working together as team while putting together a theatre production? Well look no further! Dramatic Education’s Summer Drama, Art & Entrepreneurship Program is a 3 week program in July for incoming 6th-9th graders. You can choose 2 of the following 4 classes: Drama, Art, Stagecraft, and Marketing/Management. This year’s production is Disney’s Lion King Jr. For more info please contact 407-494-1744/www.dramaticeducation.com

AUDITIONS/JOB OPENINGS

BETH MARSHALL PRESENTS 2015-16 Theatrical SEASON AUDITIONS! June 21st & 22nd Garden Theatre by scheduled appointment only. AEA and Non Union Professionals. Full breakdowns of all shows and characters are in the invite and at BethMarshallPresents.com. Email Mike@BethMarshallPresents.com to schedule your appointment. (NEEDED Actors ages 11-70’s). Job ops for Stage Managers, Interns, Costume Designers as well. https://www.facebook.com/events/1631015253810277/

AUDITIONS FOR “SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!” ON TOUR
Directed and choreographed by: SCOTT A. COOK
For complete audition information please visit our website at: www.theatreworksfl.org
CASTING: (3) LEAD male & (3) LEAD female singer/dancer/actors. All roles open. Please download a character list here:http://www.theatreworksfl.org/…/srl_synopsis_characters.pdf…
TO AUDITION: By appointment only. Please use our Appointment Calendar. Visit the TWF website to schedule or use direct link:http://www.appointmentquest.com/scheduler/2160087538
AUDITION DATE AND TIME: SUN, JULY 19, 2015 starting at 2:00PM | MON, JULY 20 2015 starting at 6:00PM / CALLBACKS: TUES JULY 21, 2015 from 6:00PM10:00PM NOTE: If you are called back, please plan to attend the entire time frame.
AUDITION LOCATION: Davenport Community Campus, 8 West Palmetto St., Davenport, FL 33837. Please enter the dance studio from the Maple Street side of the campus. Signs will be posted.
MORE AUDITION INFORMATION: Please email Abel Gonzales: auditions@theatreworksfl.org
Produced by: TheatreWorks Florida / Presented by: TheatreCares

AUDITION NOTICE: Orlando Repertory Theatre is seeking Equity and Non-Equity actors for six exciting shows the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Please visit http://www.orlandorep.com/auditions/ for the Audition Schedule, Audition Guidelines, and Character Breakdown. We strongly encourage all ethnicities to audition for all productions!
There are a total of three general calls, each of which requires an appointment.
General Audition #1 – Friday, June 5th (9:00am-5:00pm)
General Audition #2 – Wednesday, June 10th (2:30pm-9:30pm)
General Audition #3 – Wednesday, June 24th (2:30pm-9:30pm)

AUDITIONS for Neil Simon “God’s Favorite” this Sunday and Monday Show will be at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, July 17th and 18th. call 909-560-7454 auditions will be at 203 Washington, in NSB 32168 https://www.facebook.com/events/1619102021680913/

IMMEDIATE HIRE: TheatreWorks Florida is now accepting submissions for COSTUME DESIGNER for SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!. 3+ years of musical theatre experience required. Salary: Independent Contractor Salary. To apply, please send a cover letter of interest highlighting your experience and a resume to Abel Gonzales, TWF Company Manager, at: theatrecares@theatreworksfl.org

AUDITIONS for Clandestine Arts production of “Carrie The Musical” are quickly approaching, and slots are filling up. Be sure to schedule an appointment so you don’t miss out on this rarely produced show!  https://www.facebook.com/events/955259921162696/

Five Questions with “Arts For Every Life” Documentary Director Famor Botero

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, as part of Snap! Orlando’s YOU ARE HERE project, hosts “Backstage” featuring the premiere screening of the documentary “#ArtsForEveryLife,” this Saturday, May 23 at 7pm. The film provides a behind-the-scenes look at Central Florida’s arts community and the building of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The screening is free and offers guests a rare opportunity to enter the Walt Disney Theater from backstage.

The film’s director Famor Botero is a Full Sail University graduate and was thrilled to return to Central Florida for this project. He shot his first documentary as a Full Sail student, and the Saturday following graduation he screened the film at a local theatre. The documentary, “Take Me Home,” caught the attention of MSNBC and provided Botero with a platform for his future which would include an invite to the Oscars.

While filming his project “Los Ocho” in Miami, producer Robin Cowie approached him with the opportunity to helm the “#ArtsForEveryLife” project, which takes its name from the stated “vision” of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (DPCPA), and focuses on the extraordinary growth of our arts community and the leaders behind it.

Dancer Arts for Every Life

Image from #ArtsForEveryLife

We asked Famor Botero these five questions:

1. What surprised you most about the Central Florida arts community today?

My biggest surprise was the pride and authenticity of its artists, the support they have for one another and the humble welcome I received from each and every one of them. This truly is a community of amazing people.

2. What do you see as the biggest change in our arts community since the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts entered the scene?

The biggest change I have seen since the opening is the connection between smaller arts organizations, it seems as if they now have a bigger place to call home where everyone comes to get inspired.

3. “Arts For Every Life” is the vision for both the performing arts center and for this film — what does “Arts For Every Life” mean to you?

Personally I believe that we are all artists, deep inside we feel the need to create something out of nothing…. There is an artist in everyone; there is art for all and by all.

4. Which genre of the arts aside from filmmaking is your favorite?

In a world surrounded by visual arts in all of its genres, I find music to be fascinating. I often close my eyes to the sound of music and it transports me to places that only exist in my imagination. As an artist the sound of art inspires me to create and survive in a world filled with so much negativity. My goal is always to inspire people no matter where I go. Music allows me to keep a clear head so I can continue to do just that.

5. You got invited to the Oscars! We are  so jealous! What can you tell us about that experience?

Attending the Oscars was an amazing experience. Meeting people I have admired and people whose careers inspire me was definitely a huge step towards beginning to fulfill my own goals as a filmmaker. Although a lot of people tell me in the four years since graduating I have achieved a lot, I feel this is only the beginning. I feel blessed and I’m very humble about my journey. I have really big dreams to be accomplished and the best part of all these dreams is that when I close my eyes I have the certainty that I will accomplish them all, so I have a lot of hard work to do and a lot of people to inspire.

Some of Famor Botero’s work includes the award-winning short film “Los Ocho,” “ProjectMad” starring Dr. Maria Miller and featuring Gerald De Pego, and the documentary “Take Me Home.” His upcoming projects include a feature film with Oscar Winner Anthony Lamolinary titled “The Mothership.”

“#ArtsForEveryLife” was produced by Robin Cowie, directed and co-Produced by Famor Botero and sponsored by the Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts.

Snap! Orlando’s YOU ARE HERE is a month-long event designed to engage guests in social, historical, and artistic conversations through the mediums of photography, visual arts, and film. The event includes a full schedule of exhibitions, lectures, experimental media and workshops showcasing the energized core of Orlando’s arts and culture movement. Learn more here.

#ArtsForEveryLife

#ArtsForEveryLife

Connect with Famor and learn more about his work at www.famorbotero.com.

RSVP for the free screening here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/snap-orlando-presents-backstage-film-premiere-at-dr-phillips-performing-arts-center-tickets-16424144057

Orlando – Please Don’t Redefine Us

Lately I’ve been reading numerous articles by extremely passionate Orlando-area citizens, who declare their love for the City Beautiful. They write about the thriving literary community, the bursting tech industry, the outstanding colleges and universities, and even the highly touted food and art scene.

And in nearly every article, each well-meaning writer relates angry disgust that media outlets from across the nation are just now discovering that Orlando isn’t a “cultural wasteland” after all. And as a by-product of that anger, every writer then wants to redefine who we are or wants to describe Orlando as having a rebirth. (As if all our greatness had disappeared until just recently!)

Perhaps this common theme of needing to redefine what Orlando is comes from the fact that most of these writers start their articles by explaining they moved to Central Florida “several years ago” for school or work or to retire. And like many, they didn’t expect to fall in love with the City and were thrilled to see how much it had to offer in the aforementioned literary, arts, food, tech et al. (How ironic they now take exception to the fact that outsiders don’t also know this.) These writers say, “You don’t know the real Orlando. We’re not just Disney.”

While I certainly appreciate these eager citizens wanting to tout how wonderful our area is, I find myself bristling at the term “redefining” because feels like we weren’t good enough before these people arrived in Central Florida and decided to give us a new definition.

You see, I was born and raised here, just like my mother was, and just like my grandmother was back in the 1800s. There are a number of us here, actually, native Central Floridians that have always known what Orlando is and don’t need new arrivals to suddenly tell us what we are and what we have.

We’ve Always Had a Literary Scene

Yes, even before Jack Kerouac.

Back in 1926 Rollins College began the Animated Magazine. Since paper and printing supplies were still in somewhat short supply due to the fairly recent first World War, then-college President Hamilton Holt decided that the articles should be read aloud on stage instead of printed. This turned into an annual event that used to draw thousands. In the crowd sat dignitaries from around the world, including Secretaries of State and even former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Animated Magazine - Rollins College

Animated Magazine – Rollins College

The Animated Magazine lives on today, under the tutelage of editors like U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and has helped bring about the annual Winter with the Writers, which is where I got to see Maya Angelou when she visited back in 2007.

With the Orlando Public Library opening in 1923, and the Zora Neale Hurston Festival operating for nearly 30 years now, this is just further evidence the literary scene is not having a rebirth but has quietly been here all along.

We’ve Always Had an Art Scene

One of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious art festivals happens right here at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. The Orlando Museum of Art was established in 1924, the Maitland Art Center in 1937, and we’ve had the Crealde School of Art and Jamali for over 40 years now. Add in the Polasek Museum and the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass at the Morse Museum, and we’re doing just fine.

Albin Polasek

Albin Polasek

Famed actor Buddy Epsen’s father started the Central Florida Ballet Company in 1945. “I dared not start a ballet company here in Orlando because the idea seemed hopeless,” Epsen was quoted as saying. “Now there are several companies throughout Florida.” Epsen’s company was later taken over by Edith Royal, whose “Ballet Royal” supplied generations of dancers to the great stages of the world.

And even earlier, Ruth Pounds started a dance school in 1935, which taught both my mother and then me how to dance, sit, curtsy, and all the etiquette required of a cultured young adult.

The area has always had beautiful architecture thanks to those like Gamble Rogers, II, who helped create the beauty that attracted leading artists, business tycoons, and top politicians to settle in the area.

When President Dwight Eisenhower dedicated the opening of the basement radio station at Rollins College (still one of the longest-running basement radios in the country), we made indie radio hip long before we made boy bands hip in the 1990s.

We’ve Always Had a Tech Scene

Lockheed Martin opened its doors in 1956. (My mother worked there afternoons in high school!) Shortly thereafter, the Kennedy Space Center was built nearby to oversee the Apollo missions. We watched those missions, and later those of the Space Shuttle, right from our backyards – and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get much cooler than that!

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Thankfully this tech industry also had a need for engineers; thus UCF was founded in 1963 and has grown into one of the largest universities in the nation. Add in the innovations of Walt Disney in the 70s, and then Full Sail University in the 80s, and yep, we’ve always had a tech scene.

We’ve Always Had a Food Scene

Food trucks did not make the food hip in this city.

We’ve always had great food, ranging from Dixie Crossroads and La Cantina to Le Cordon Bleu and Gary’s Duck Inn. From the 94th Aero Squadron, which served incredible food since World War I, to Ronnie’s Diner which opened in 1956, Orlando always had talked-about food. The fact that the establishments serving that food is changing, doesn’t mean there weren’t great restaurants before the new ones arrived.

Ronnie's Diner

Ronnie’s Diner

With T.G. Lee Dairy and the many orange groves, we’ve always been farm-to-table. And when you add in Publix (founded in 1930), we were doing just fine long before this so-called rebirth.

We’re Growing, Not Rebirthing

Yes, it is an exciting time to be in Orlando. We are growing in many different, wonderful ways. Newcomers are bringing great assets, and companies are setting up roots and investing here. With strong leadership we will continue to flourish.

And while I admire the zeal these newcomers use to tell the rest of the world how great Orlando is, please don’t act like this is a new development in Orlando’s history. Don’t call it a rebirth or try to redefine it.

We are who we are, and always have been.

We don’t want to be New York, San Francisco, or even Austin. We want to be who and what we already are. We’re orange groves and Disney. We’re tech and and old-fashioned books. We’re art and great food.

But, we’re not the best thing since sliced bread… we were cool long before that hit the world back in 1930!

This guest post was written by Bess Auer, fourth generation Floridian and the first editor of the Central Florida Top 5. You can connect with her on Twitter at @Bess_Auer.

Central Florida Theatre Picks April 23-29

Enjoy these weekly picks by guest contributor John DiDonna of Central Florida Theatre in Process (CFTIP). Here’s a round-up of theatrical events and productions you should know about for the week of Thursday, April 23 through Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

For more theater news and discussion visit Central Florida Theatre in Process: www.facebook.com/groups/277284114334/

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Spring Opera Theatre Workshop at Valencia College East Campus Black Box Theater. FREE! NO TICKET REQUIRED. Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25 at 7:30pm(407) 582-2900

11182035_10101705449462744_3992469829669629741_nPUTTING IT TOGETHER at Winter Park Playhouse (711-C Orange Avenue, Winter Park). April 17–May 9 (Preview April 16). Two couples reflect on the complexities of modern relationships in this revue featuring some of Sondheim’s well-loved songs including numbers from Into the Woods, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, and more! Tickets $38-$18 with $20 industry and $10 student rush tickets – check with box office for availability. NOTE: Reservations are STRONGLY recommended as performances routinely sell out. 407-645-0145https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=41667(Rated PG)The Winter Park Playhousewinterparkplayhouse.org

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH at Shine In the Limelight (8010 Sunport Drive, Suite114, Orlando, FL). Ronald Dahl’s classic masterpiece for children. Thurs, Fri, Sat at 7pm, Sun at 2pmApril 23-26407-340-0920. Rated G. www.shineinthelimelight.com

THE WOMEN presented by Cornerstone Theatre Company at The Princess Theater, April 16 to May 3. The Women shows us a funny and somewhat unflattering picture of womanhood. The plot involves the efforts of a group of women to play their respective roles in an artificial society that consists of vanity, comedy, tragedy, hope and disappointment. A Cast of 25 Women! General Audiences. Visit: CornerstoneTheatreCompany.com or call (407) 494 – 8474https://www.facebook.com/events/912102295507436/

PRODUCTIONS CONTINUING (some final weekends!):

SOUTH PACIFIC from Central Florida Community Arts is Different from their large scale Summer Broadway Season concert version production — this will be a creative, immersive, fully staged show in an intimate space. Experience this full-length musical theater masterpiece, directed by Donald Rupe, in a whole new way!
https://www.facebook.com/events/350876958449463/
Note: Mild adult language

ONGOING PRODUCTIONS

DRIP, industrial bar and show. Dress down, drink up and rock out while dancers tell a love story dancing in paint, flying water and sand, backed by a LIVE rock band. You will get messy! Thursdays (followed by a local art night), Fridays, Saturdays, doors opens at 8pm, show starts a little after 9pm. Located at 8747 International Dr. Set 102, Orlando. $35 tickets: www.ILoveDRIP.com (8747 International Dr. Ste 102 Orlando)

SAK COMEDY LAB is a 200 seat improv comedy theater in downtown Orlando. Conveniently located on the City Arts Factory’s second floor (29 S. Orange Ave, Orlando). SAK performs LIVE improv comedy shows that are fun and suitable for ALL AGES, Tuesday through Saturdaywww.sak.com

OPENING SOON

THE FLICK, written by Annie Baker and starring Daniel Cooksley, Jessie Grossman, Marcellis Cutler, and Coletyn Hentz, opens June 19th in the Dr Phillips Center Pugh Theater, tickets on sale now!  Industry Night: June 29th, Tickets only $25. http://www.drphillipscenter.org/…/20774-the-flick.stml

EDUCATION

ADVANCED AUXILIARY Acting Class – @ Art’s Sake Studio (Winter Park) EFW & Classic Meisner repetition warm-up and Film & Television Scenes. April 29-Jun 3, 2015. RSVP jarackas@hotmail.com – DISCOUNT for VCC alumni and students. https://www.facebook.com/events/451257931693230/

DANCE/FITNESS: Now offering a Student/Theater/Dancer discount for Dion Leonhard’s Dance Barre classes at Barre Bellas! Drop-in rate for any classes Monday or Wednesday 10:30am and 11:30am is $15 (your very first class is free). Package of 5 classes for $50; (package good for a year). A unique combination of classic Pilates Technique blended with ballet exercises, dance stretches and cardio. http://barrebellas.com

5 Must-See Orlando Cabaret Festival Performances

In its 13th year, the Orlando Cabaret Festival brings together artists and acts from Central Florida and beyond for two weeks of crooning, swaying and swooning. More than 30 performances of jazz, pop, Broadway and comedy take place during the festival in downtown Orlando, at Mad Cow Theatre‘s two-theater complex on Church Street. The festival kicks off this Friday, April 24 and doesn’t wrap up until May 10, so it should be easy to fit into your calendar. In addition to a jam-packed schedule of evening and weekend performances, make note there are special 45-minute lunchtime performances for the busy downtown workers who need some entertainment to get through the day, and there’s also a special (popular) Mother’s Day Cabaret brunch event as well.

With so much variety that you’re bound to find something to enjoy — whether you’re more into jazz jams or jazz hands, there’s something for your taste.

 

Here are 5 must-see suggestions for this year’s Orlando Cabaret Festival.

 

1. The Broadway Boys

Friday, April 24 at 8:30pm | Saturday, April 25 at 8:30pm | Sunday, April 26 at 3:30pm

(Sunday, April 26 at 6pm – a special appearance at the inaugural Black & White Bash)

Some of Broadway’s finest male singers join together to add elements of pop/funk/gospel/jazz to traditional show tunes to redefine the musical theater genre. The Broadway Boys represent such shows as THE BOOK OF MORMON, WICKED, KINKY BOOTS, MOTOWN, RENT, JERSEY BOYS, MAMMA MIA, MARY POPPINS, HAIR, ALTAR BOYZ, ROCK OF AGES, HAIRSPRAY, ONCE and many more. They have toured the country, playing venues large and small, and have been seen on “Americas Got Talent” and “The TODAY Show.” The Broadway Boys’ album, “Lullaby of Broadway,” debuted at #6 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and their second album “Hark!” was released November 2014.

 

2. Will & Anthony Nunziata

Friday, May 1 at 8:30pm | Saturday, May 2 at 8:30pm

Singers, actors, funny men and arts education advocates Will & Anthony Nunziata sing fresh takes on timeless songs, from pop standards and Broadway to Italian music to Billy Joel, Motown and beyond. Will & Anthony have performed around the world, from Singapore to San Francisco, and have been featured recently on NPR, “The Entertainment Weekly Sirius Radio Show,” “The Rachael Ray Show,” NBC’s The Columbus Day Parade and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” You can count on some good laughs sprinkled in since Will & Anthony trained in improv comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City (like, where Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen honed their craft). Their musical mission is to keep “America’s classical music” feeling fresh and new.

 

3. The Edge Effect

Friday, May 8 at 8:30pm | Saturday, May 9 at 8:30pm

This group was crowned winners of MTV’s “Top Pop Group” and Boyz II Men’s “Next Great A Cappella Group,” and America’s Got Talent finalists. Regardless of your feelings about reality television competitions, believe these guys are the real deal. The Edge Effect combines pop, R & B, jazz, rock and funk with their signature sound that blurs the genre lines and weaves a tapestry of beats, harmonies and vocal acrobatics in a totally unique show. Their vast repertoire knows no boundaries to style or genre, and the band’s stunning reinterpretations of musical favorites, as well as inventive, contemporary original songs make for an exciting entertainment experience.

 

4. It Was A Very Good Year

club moo pic

Grab a chair as you sip a cool drink in the hottest bar in downtown Club Moo and enjoy It Was A Very Good Year, a celebration of one year in the life of America focusing on the news, the lifestyles, the gossip, and most important of them all — the music. You have two years TO CHOOSE FROM, or don’t choose and enjoy both!

1968

Friday, April 24 at 7pm | Monday, April 27 at Noon | Thursday, April 30 at 7pm | Sunday, May 3 at 2pm | Thursday, May 7 at Noon | Saturday, May 9 at 7pm

Join Mad Cow Theatre, Maestro Philip King and four talented singers for a psychedelic journey back to the sixties. It’s an evening of great songs and nostalgia, looking at the fads, foibles and events of 1968 set against a backdrop of the popular music of the day. Enjoy hits of The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, The Rascals, and Jerry Lee Lewis along with the year’s best from Hollywood and Broadway. You’ll hear Promises, Promises, People Got to be Free, Love Child, Honey, Love is Blue, The Unicorn Song and many more. Anyone with a love of timeless music and a good party is sure to enjoy this unique cabaret… 1968: It Was a Very Good Year!

1978

Sunday, April 26 at 2pm | Thursday, April 30 at Noon | Saturday, May 2 at 7pm | Monday, May 4 at Noon | Thursday, May 7 at 7pm

As the ’70s come to a close, John Travolta and Olivia Newton John rule the silver screen, funky fashion statements rule the streets and a slew of musical talents top the charts. Be there when the melodies of Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand are celebrated side-by-side with hits from ABBA and The Bee Gees. You’ll hear all your favorites from 1978 – Take a Chance on Me, Stayin’ Alive, The Gambler, Baby Come Back, You’re the One That I Want, and many more! Join us for this, the newest edition of Mad Cow Theatre’s most popular cabaret series, 1978: It Was a Very Good Year!

5. Mother’s Day Cabaret Brunch

If mom is more the jazz jams kind of lady, treat her to an afternoon of delicious food and spectacular music. The Mother’s Day Cabaret Brunch is in its third year and is very popular. Enjoy brunch at Ceviche at 12:30pm, then walk across the street for a jazz performance at Mad Cow at 2pm featuring Michelle Mailhot & Friends featuring Barry Smith on drums, Chris Rotmayer on piano and Chuck Archard on bass.

 

Artists and schedules are subject to change.

Ticket prices begin at an affordable $20 for evening shows and $12 for lunchtime events.

Tickets are on sale by phone at 407.297.8788 or online: Full schedule and tickets.

Central Florida Theatre Picks April 9-16

Enjoy these weekly picks by guest contributor John DiDonna of Central Florida Theatre in Process (CFTIP)

Here’s a round-up of theatrical events and productions you should know about for the week of Thursday, April 9 through Wednesday, April 16, 2015. For more theater news and discussion visit Central Florida Theatre in Process: https://www.facebook.com/groups/277284114334/#

OPENING THIS WEEK

Streecar Named Desire 2015A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at Seminole State College’s Fine Arts Theatre on the Lake Mary Campus on April 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 at 7:30pm and on April 12 & 19 at 2pm. For tickets and information call (407) 708-2040. This play includes mature themes and is not recommended for children. Details: https://www.seminolestate.edu/arts/events/theatre

HAVING OUR SAY: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years produced by Cultural Fusion at Shakespeare Center. A wise and witty stage play chronicling the story of two well-lived sisters at ages 101 and 103, written by Emily Mann and directed by Kenneth Brown. Thursday, April 9, Friday, April 10 & Saturday, April 11 at 8pm, 812 E Rollins St, Orlando. Details: www.culturalfusion.org (Check out the special effects makeup provided by #aeostudios!)

SWAMPED, performed by the beginner class of Central Florida Community Arts’ Children/Youth Arts program at Calvary Assembly in Winter Park. Saturday, April 11 at 6:30pm. $10 per person and kids age 12 & under are free. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/589179114551397/

 

CONTINUING PRODUCTIONS (some final weekends!) 

Metamorphoses 2015METAMORPHOSES is Mary Zimmerman’s magical adaptation of the Myths of Ovid set in a water environment of transformation, directed by John DiDonna. Through April 12 at Valencia College East Campus, Black Box Theater. Save $2 per ticket when you purchase online at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts and use Promo Code VALENCIAWEB. Valencia Box Office (407) 582-2900

 

JOE’S NYC BAR via Beckett Thomas Productions and St. Matthews Tavern (Orlando) is an interactive, improvisational, immersive theatre experience in which the audience is transported to a bar on Manhattan’s lower east side. Purchase tickets at WANZIE.com for $15 in advance, or $20 at the door the day of show. Every Sunday through April 19, 2015, matinee performance only, 3pm door, 3:30pm show time! (Note: Rating “21 and over”)

ONGOING PRODUCTIONS

DRIP, industrial bar and show. Dress down, drink up and rock out while dancers tell a love story dancing in paint, flying water and sand, backed by a LIVE rock band. You will get messy! Thursdays (followed by a local art night), Fridays, Saturdays, doors opens at 8pm, show starts a little after 9pm. Located at 8747 International Dr. Set 102, Orlando. $35 tickets: www.ILoveDRIP.com

SAK COMEDY LAB is a 200 seat improv comedy theater in downtown Orlando. Conveniently located at the City Arts Factory’s second floor, 29 S. Orange Ave. SAK performs LIVE improv comedy shows that are fun and suitable for ALL AGES, Tuesday through Saturday. www.sak.com

OPENING SOON 

SPOTLIGHT CABARET SERIES featuring Noel Marie Matson. Noel Marie premieres her new cabaret SONGS MY MOTHER SANG, featuring music from the songbooks of Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Carol Burnett at the Winter Park Playhouse, 711-C Orange Avenue, Winter Park. Tuesday and Wednesday, April 17-18 ONLY. Tickets are $18 + one drink minimum. Standing room tickets are available for $10 (with no drink minimum) when seating has sold out. Details: 407-645-0145 or Playhousewinterparkplayhouse.org (Note: Rated PG)

PUTTING IT TOGETHER follows two couples reflecting on the complexities of modern relationships in a revue featuring some of Sondheim’s well-loved songs from Into the Woods, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, and more! Winter Park Playhouse, 711-C Orange Avenue, Winter Park. April 17–May 9 (Preview April 16). Tickets $38-$18 with $20 industry and $10 student rush tickets – check with box office for availability. NOTE: Reservations are STRONGLY recommended as performances routinely sell out. Details: 407-645-0145 or Playhousewinterparkplayhouse.org (Note: Rated PG)

TIME PASSES – Valencia College Theater in Association with Playwrights Round Table festival of 14 – 5 minute plays. April 17-18 at 8pm and April 19 at 2pm, Lowndes Shakespeare Center (Loch Haven Park) – ADMISSION FREE (Donations accepted at door) https://www.facebook.com/events/331658243710240/

THE WOMEN presented by Cornerstone Theatre Company at The Princess Theater, shows us a funny and somewhat unflattering picture of womanhood. A cast of 25 women put effort into their respective roles in an artificial society that consists of vanity, comedy, tragedy, hope and disappointment. April 16 through May 3. Details: (407) 494 – 8474 or CornerstoneTheatreCompany.com

EDUCATION

ADVANCED AUXILIARY Acting Class – @ Art’s Sake Studio, Winter Park. EFW & Classic Meisner repetition warm-up and Film & Television Scenes. April 29-Jun 3, 2015. RSVP jarackas@hotmail.com – DISCOUNT for VCC alumni and students. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/451257931693230/

DANCE/FITNESS: Now offering a Student/Theater/Dancer discount for Dion Leonhard’s Dance Barre classes at Barre Bellas. Drop-in rate for any classes Monday or Wednesday 10:30am and 11:30am is $15 (your very first class is free). Package of 5 classes for $50; (package good for a year). A unique combination of classic Pilates Technique blended with ballet exercises, dance stretches and cardio. Details: http://barrebellas.com

AUDITIONS/JOB OPENINGS

AUDITION NOTICE: THE FLICK, Non-union, paid, appointment only. Details: http://playbill.com/jobs/job_detail/the-flick-orlando-non-union-only-345064

AUDITION NOTICE: calling actors between the ages of 17-21 to audition for the 1 man 1 woman show “Out of Gas on Lovers Leap” By Mark st. Germain, produced by The Breaking Ground Production crew, directed by Jonathan Raffoul

Coming to Theatre UCF: Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia

Are you a fan multiverse stories like Pleasantville or the BBC mini-series Lost In Austen — with a scientific twist? Then you will really enjoy Theatre UCF‘s latest production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia beginning January 22 with a run extending through February 1st. (Added bonus, there will be a pre-show discussion prior to the Friday, January 23rd show! More info below…)

Dramaturg Teresa Kilzi has prepared a guide for patrons to read prior to attending Arcadia. The dramaturgy will be on display in the theater lobby, and an abbreviated version will be given to all attendees with their playbill. Patrons can also download the materials in advance and watch some background videos with the cast and director at theatre.ucf.edu.

Having a background in literature, physics, and nineteenth-century England would certainly enhance the experience of seeing Arcadia, but that’s not a combination that most people have. All the audience really needs is an eagerness to know and to learn,” says Kilzi.

 

Kilzi continues, “If there were one key piece of information for audience members to know, it would be for them to have a grasp on the erotic and glamorous nature of Lord Byron! He is central to Arcadia, and yet, he never appears in the play. Byron was revered for his work in literature and lusted after by all who knew him, and he used that magnetism to navigate his way through high society.

Tickets are $10-$20 for Arcadia are available (with NO fees!):

  • Over the phone via Theatre UCF’s Box Office at (407) 823-1500,
  • In person Monday-Friday: 12pm – 6:00pm at PAC-M, Building 119 [2 hours before Theatre Performance in the Theatre, Building 6]
  • Or online at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34486

Be sure to check out their Season Ticket packages too!

More information about Arcadia:

Stoppard’s Arcadia blends arts, sciences, and language play with human emotions 

ORLANDO, Fla. January 13, 2015 — Theatre UCF, part of the UCF School of Performing Arts, will present Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia from January 22February 1, 2015 in the Main Stage theater on the University of Central Florida campus.

Arcadia is a witty and complex story that switches between two time periods, 1809 and 1999. In the earlier time period, thirteen year-old Thomasina makes a startling scientific discovery that will change the way people understand the world. Around her, the adults, including her tutor Septimus, are busy with their illicit passions, intense rivalries, and fast-fired bon mot. In 1999, residents and visitors of the same English estate have similar preoccupations, while they piece together puzzling clues to uncover its past scandals.

Director Kate Ingram has long wanted to bring this play to UCF because of how it brings the sciences and mathematics to the stage. “We have such a strong history of sciences at UCF. It’s a perfect fit for the university.

She quotes character Thomasina as she talks about why she appreciates Arcadia. “‘I, Thomasina Coverly, have found a truly wonderful method whereby all the forms of nature must give up their numerical secrets and draw themselves by number alone.’ And I love that because this play combines human nature, and math, and physics all rolled into one. And if that’s not enough to make someone want to come see this play, I don’t know what is.

Ingram and UCF Physics professor Enrique Del Barco will host a free preshow discussion on Friday, January 23 at 7 pm, in which they will discuss some of the scientific principles of the play. Del Barco, a longtime patron of Theatre UCF, has been working with the cast during the rehearsal process so that they develop a deeper understanding of the content of the play.

Rollins CFAMily Day August 8

Rollins Family Days Museum of Fine Arts

Rollins Cornell Fine Arts Museum will hold a free event for kids and their parents Friday, August 8. The second in their summer RollinsFamDayfamily free days, CFAMily Day will include Hands-on Art Activities, Docent-led Tours, Scavenger Hunt Competitions and Individual Free Sketching.

Limited parking is available next to the museum.  Free parking in the SunTrust parking garage on Lyman Avenue with museum validation. 
Email cfameducation@rollins.edu for more information.

Group Behind Red Chair Affair Absorbed Into United Arts

As many local arts groups face financial uncertainty one that was struggling has found a new life as part of one of region’s major cultural support groups.  On October 11 the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida surprised everyone with an announcement that they were being absorbed into the arts and cultural advocacy organization United Arts of Central Florida.  Over the past 25 years United Arts has become the dominant organization in the local and culture industry, with ties to over 50 local arts, sciences and history organizations.

The Arts and Cultural Alliance, probably best known for their Red Chair Project, approached United Arts a year ago.  Since then the two have worked to find which Alliance programs best aligned with United Arts’ mission and goals.  Both parties voted in late September to approve the merger.  Along with Red Chair Project United Arts has also kept the Alliance’s Central Florida Community Database, a shared big data program that allows member organizations to gain insight into the behaviors of Central Florida arts patrons, you can learn what is marketing automation here. Two full-time Alliance staff members will oversee the programs.

Two Alliance board members, Rebecca Rhodes (chairwoman of the Alliance board) and Howard Britt, will be joining United Arts’ board.

“I am delighted to welcome both Howard and Rebecca to the board,” said Linda Landman Gonzalez, chairwoman of United Arts’ board. “They bring unique expertise and corporate representation to an already stellar group working on behalf of Central Florida’s cultural community.”

Rhodes says the Alliance team is ready for this next step in strengthening the cultural community.  Rhodes serves as the senior manager of social media and internet marketing for Tupperware Brands’ U.S. and Canada markets.  “Our board is proud of what the Alliance achieved in the organization’s 10 years,” Rhodes said. “Consolidation makes sense for this community, and we look forward to seeing key Alliance programs grow under the leadership of United Arts.”

Speaking on the merger Flora Maria Garcia, United Arts’ president and CEO, stated that “The timing for this consolidation is good,” she continued, “It will facilitate a stronger marketing effort on behalf of the cultural community, as well as a conservation of financial resources.”