“Josh Recommends” for the Week of April 21, 2018 By Josh Garrick

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“Josh Recommends” for the Week of April 21, 2018 By Josh Garrick 

Opera Orlando’s Wondrous Annual Gala Celebration -- April 20 at the Alfond Inn 
It is with enormous joy that I just returned home from Opera Orlando’s 3rd Annual Gala with the message that ANY organization wishing to put on an enjoyable and memorable Gala look no further than everything Opera Orlando did – from being greeted at the door to the most ‘fun’ check in of all time to the realization that every serious music “lover” in Central Florida was there with charge card at the ready. We sat, watched, heard, and texted our contributions as amazingly talented opera singers walked amongst us while the “leader board” showed that no sooner did we “match” one challenge grant then another would come forth. The wealthy and generous would set up a challenge -- $5000 -- $10,000 -- $20,000 – game – set – MATCHED with the result that as far as I could figure – Opera Orlando raised something like 4 times what it had projected. I’ve already written that Opera Orlando – having just concluded its 2nd full season, has presented such imaginative and beautifully sung performances that no critic in the world would believe the organization was concluding its’ SECOND SEASON! Last evening – we gave standing ovation after standing ovation to the singers, to company board founders Kathy and Steve Miller, to the generous givers and to the world’s most talented and charismatic Artistic/Exec Director and (hit a high A) Baritone Gabe Preiser. The evening also included the magically talented Robin Stamper, a silent auction, formal dinner, and the witty Scott Maxwell as host. All this is to say – should you wish to present a Gala fund-raising dinner, call Opera Orlando and book Gabe Preiser to run it for you. LOL – I tease. LEAVE YOUR MITTS OFF OUR EXEC DIRECTOR, and forget his name. He’s really a crotchety old man and had nothing to do with all the moola raised last evening. Even having said that there are many of us who would offer him his position for LIFE, AND we have enough lawyers here in O-town that – should some BIG-budget opera company look into “corporate personnel raiding,” there would be a contingent of us ready to get them to the head of the line at the ‘Tower of Terror.’ NOW – Should you wish to feel part of the “RAPTURE” that comes with giving a donation to Opera Orlando, call 407.512.1900 or visit operaorlando.org. Tell anyone who answers the phone – “One of the Joshes told me you needed my charge card number.” NOW – go to your phone – dial 407.512,1900 and donate – Go to your phone … dial … donate … go to your phone … 
Opera Orlando’s Wondrous Annual Gala Celebration -- April 20 at the Alfond Inn. From left -- Josh Garrick, ,Joshua Vickery, David Kiyak, Cheryl Wilmarth Boza, Vicki Landon, Chris Barton, R.K. Little Kelley, and Gene Columbus
From left -- Josh Garrick, ,Joshua Vickery, David Kiyak, Cheryl Wilmarth Boza, Vicki Landon, Chris Barton, R.K. Little Kelley, and Gene Columbus at The Alfond Inn

The Orlando Philharmonic presents “A Tribute to Ella!”
TODAY – April 21 at 2 pm and 8 pm at the Bob Carr Theater
Larry Blank conducts the Orlando Philharmonic along with vocalists Capathia Jenkins, Harolyn Blackwell, and Aisha de Haas all coming together for a swinging tribute to Ella Fitzgerald in celebration of the Lady’s 100th birthday – honoring the “First Lady of Song” with some of the songs she made her own. Call 407.770.0071 or visit orlandophil.org 

The Orlando Philharmonic presents “A Tribute to Ella!”

Sandy Shugart & The January Band presented by Orlando Health AMP’d
April 23 at 7:30 pm at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Orlando's Sandy Shugart is the President of Valencia College, AND he is a musician/poet. He says he “blends the two careers, because they nourish each other.” His “day job” gives him material that he turns into folk-rock lyrics. With three independently produced CDs since 2000, Shugart has developed a unique performance style including stories, songs and poems aimed at the heart more than the head. This multi-talented college president joins his musician/friends to create an evening of acoustic coffee-house-style stories and music. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 

Sandy Shugart & The January Band presented by Orlando Health AMP’d

 

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando presents “Something Rotten!”
April 24 to 29 at the Dr. Phillips Center 
Think starched ruffs, cod-pieces, and the discovery of sequins as “Something Rotten” invites us to a musically twisted view of the London theater scene in 1590. When a soothsayer foretells the future of theatre as singing, dancing and acting all at the same time, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom decide to write the world’s first musical. Direct from Broadway “Something Rotten!” is the laugh-a-minute story of the Bottom brothers who are desperate to write their own hit play while that rhyming "rock star" Shakespeare keeps coming up with the hits. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 
FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando presents “Something Rotten!”

“The Little Mermaid” presented by the CFCArts Youth Theatre Troupe
April 27 at 7 pm and April 28 at 2 pm & 7 pm 
CFCArts KNOWS the Disney treasure chest of musicals, and it has wisely determined to have the CFCArts Youth Theatre Troupe invite us to that magical kingdom “under the sea” where the young mermaid Ariel longs to follow her heart to the human world above. Ariel KNOWS there is a handsome prince up there who could be HERS, but one of the great Disney villains of all time, the evil sea-witch Ursula, wishes to ruin Ariel’s happiness. Can Ariel’s friends Flounder, Scuttle, and Sebastian save the day for The Little Mermaid? It is Disney after all … and CFCArts is all about making people happy. Tickets are $5 to $15. Visit cfcarts.com/mermaid 

“The Little Mermaid” presented by the CFCArts Youth Theatre Troupe

“Orlando Funk Fest” with Grammy-nominated Tank, Xscape, & Plies 
April 27 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando 
As Tank prepares for his gig in Orlando, he celebrates his newest accomplishment with the success of his single “When We” officially certified gold by the RIAA and securing the #1 spot for 11 weeks on the Billboard Adult R&B Song and UAC Radio charts. Featured on his latest album “SAVAGE,” When We” is the only core R&B record to crack the Billboard Hot 100 and is steadily climbing the Urban Mainstream Radio chart. This comes on the heels of his recent release of “When We Remix” that features label-mate Trey Songz and Ty Dolla $ign. The “When We Remix” is available on all digital retailers. For tix to “FunkFest” call 877.350.7404
“Orlando Funk Fest” with Grammy-nominated Tank, Xscape, & Plies
“Orlando Funk Fest” with Grammy-nominated Tank, Xscape, & Plies

The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Garden Theatre 
April 27 to May 27 
Based on the Victor Hugo novel, with magnificent music from the Disney film by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, this epic musical finds the deformed bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral longing to escape his captivity by the religious hypocrite Archdeacon Frollo. During his one night of ‘freedom,’ he is treated cruelly by the people of Paris until a beautiful gypsy comes to his rescue. Her beauty and spirit captivate the bell-ringer, the lecherous Archdeacon and the Captain of the Guard. In the end all three must deal with the complex emotions she evokes. At the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, call 407.877.4736 or visit gardentheatre.org. 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Garden Theatre

Art for ALL Spaces’ Annual Themed Art Exhibit “The Monument as Art”
NOW OPEN to the Public with ‘Reception’ – May 3 at 6 pm 
Art for ALL Spaces’ Annual Exhibit includes the creative responses by Central Florida Artists to Brad Biggs’ thematic challenges. This year’s theme – “Public Monuments” explores the monument in all its variations – from Stonehenge to monuments yet to be proposed, to controversies about monuments that should (or should not) remain in place. I am pleased to say I created an Art Installation at the center of this exhibit. It is a fantasy city, based in the year 1000 BC, a detail of which is shown here. The exhibit is at the City Arts Factory in Downtown Orlando. Call 407.648.7060 or visit Art-For-All-Spaces-LLC on Facebook. 
Art for ALL Spaces’ Annual Themed Art Exhibit “The Monument as Art”
Monumentalia (detail) by Josh Garrick

Orlando Ballet to Present Three Premieres in “Contemporary Wonders” 
May 4 & 5 at 8 pm and May 6 at 2 pm 
The Orlando Ballet will present three new works in the Ballet’s up-coming “Contemporary Wonders” program. Opening with an Orlando Ballet premiere by choreographer Jessica Lang titled “From Foreign Lands and People.” In the second premiere, Arcadian Broad will both choreograph AND compose “Mad Hatter’s Wonderland” – the story of Alice as seen through the eyes of the Mad Hatter! The program will close with a collaboration of choreography by Robert Hill with live vocals performed by Sisaundra Lewis called “Love Is” an emotional work about the healing power of love. Tickets start at an affordable $19, and may be purchased by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting drphillipscenter.org 

Orlando Ballet to Present Three Premieres in “Contemporary Wonders”

Mad Cow's Annual Black & White Bash
May 6 at 6 pm 
I would never BASH the great folks at the Mad Cow Theatre except for the one evening each year when we can join them for Mad Cow's biggest party of the year (which THEY call a “Bash”) This high energy cocktail party, is complete with drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a taste of their up-coming annual Cabaret Festival – featuring 4eva29, time to mingle with the artists, and raffles filled with prizes. Please help support the always wonderful Mad Cow Theatre. Wear your best black & white and join in the thanks to the evening’s Sponsor: KRES CHOPHOUSE at 17 West Church St. in Downtown Orlando. Call 407.297.8788 x1 or visit madcowtheatre.com. 

Mad Cow's Annual Black & White Bash

On-going … 

Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” Presented by CFCArts Theatre
FINAL Performances – to April 22 at the CFC Black Box Theatre 
In 1970, this was the musical that made “Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim” into a magical phrase for success on Broadway. Sondheim’s “Company” won seven Tony Awards and features several of the composer/lyricist’s best-loved songs. Set on the night of Robert’s 35th birthday, Rob ‘contemplates’ his life as a bachelor as he introduces us to hiss “crazy, married friends.” HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -- one of my favorite musicals of all time at the Black Box Theatre at 250 SW Ivanhoe Boulevard, call 407.937.1800 or visit cfcarts.com 

Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” Presented by CFCArts Theatre

Mad Cow Theatre presents the American Classic “A View from the Bridge”
FINAL Performances -- to April 22 
The Mad Cow Theatre currently offers the Arthur Miller American Theater drama – “A View from the Bridge.” This classic American tragedy is Italian in heritage and classically Greek in scale. A working-class couple watches over their niece’s coming of age, while immigrant cousins bring about a clash of cultures with the resulting friction turning violent. First staged after Arthur Millers’ public defiance of McCarthyism, the play explores differing views of the ‘American Dream,’ while serving as a time capsule for the socio-cultural climate of America TODAY. Visit madcowtheatre.com or call 407-297-8788 x1. 

 Mad Cow Theatre presents the American Classic “A View from the Bridge”

9 to 5: The Musical at Rollins College 
FINAL WEEK – to April 28 
We tend to forget the hit 1980 movie 9 to 5 was created with music and lyrics by the one and only Dolly Parton. It’s the kind of musical that inspires you to stand up for yourself, find love, and follow a dream – all at the same time, AND it’s the kind of musical that the students at Rollins College can handle like the best cheer-leading team. In the musical, three co-workers get even with their sexist boss by getting rid of him and giving the business a “me too” make-over. With lovable characters, lovable songs and lovable acting students pouring out their hearts in the most beautiful jewel-box theater in all of Florida – you’ll want to call 407.646.2145 for your tickets asap – It’s a pleasure to RECOMMEND this show at the Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College. 9 to 5: The Musical at Rollins College

“The Luckiest People” at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater 
FINAL WEEK – to April 29
In this brilliant new play by Meridith Friedman, the question of WHAT is our responsibility to our spouses, children, and parents is laid out before us. Including several of the finest performances of this exceptional Orlando Shakes’ season, the play is guaranteed to pull up memories of your own family as it tells of the recent death of a beloved Wife and Mother. Following the funeral, Richard’s elderly Father asks to move in with Richard who is less than thrilled at the idea of living with his Father. Accusations fly and competing priorities lead to … consequences. This sometimes humorous, always thought-provoking work is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Call 407.447.1700 or visit orlandoshakes.org 
“The Luckiest People” at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater
from left Alexander Mrazek, J.D. Sutton (seated), and Steven Lane. “The Luckiest People” at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater Photo: from left Alexander Mrazek, J.D. Sutton (seated) and Steven Lane 

Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad Mad Mad Mad Treasure Hunt at Orlando Rep 
NOW to May 13
In the latest from Orlando Rep, “Judy Moody” is known for her ‘flights of fancy,’ but a (for-real) adventure on a treasure-island begins when the Moody family drops anchor on Artichoke Island. ‘Welcomed’ to the island by a (for-real) PIRATE -- Scurvy Sam, Judy Moody and her brother Stink begin an adventure with clues, codes, and puzzles in a race against the clock and other treasure-hunters. To create this 60-minute adventure, Orlando REP teamed up with six other Theatres for Young Audiences around the country to commission the new play by Allison Gregory based on the books by Megan McDonald. Ask about ‘Special Performances’ on April 14, 21, 22, and 23 when you call 407.896.7365 or visit orlandorep.com 

Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad Mad Mad Mad Treasure Hunt at Orlando Rep

Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators

 

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