Tag Archives: Culture

“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/

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.