“Josh Recommends” for January 31, 2020 by Josh Garrick


“Josh Recommends” for January 31, 2020 by Josh Garrick 

WORLD CLASS NEWS of the ARTS from ORLANDO, Florida -- 
In a string of World Class events over the past week, our Orlando Ballet Company moved into its multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art new home, Michael Scott returned to his home-town to show how a Broadway legend creates a spontaneous standing O, and Gabriel Preisser, Artistic and Executive Director of Opera/Orlando WON A GRAMMY AWARD in the category of best opera recording. Preisser is one of the lead singers in “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” a 1998 opera by Tobias Picker. Preisser, who is showing the world that a great singer can also be a great administrator, missed the Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles because he was about to perform in another contemporary opera – “All is Calm” that the Orlando company had presented – brilliantly – a few weeks ago. CONGRATULATIONS Gentlemen. We are “Orlando Proud” of you. 

NOW to Feb 9 at the Dr. Phillips Center 
It is so thrilling for any "Arts Writer" when something you expect to be good turns out to be blessed with GREATNESS ... and even a touch of genius. The performance I just saw (and LOVED) has moved ALADDIN into one of the Top 5 spots of my all - time favorite Broadway musicals, and so much of that LOVE is thanks to the performance of Orlando's own native son MICHAEL SCOTT who returned to Orlando to honor us (and his home-town) by re-creating his role of the Genie in ALADDIN. That is the role that began Michael's road to Broadway fame. NOW the graduate of Dr. PHILLIPS High School is showing off his wonderfulness on the great stage of the Dr. PHILLIPS Center. Talk about your proud parents !! “ALADDIN" opened on Broadway in 2014 and has grossed over $1 billion since that Night!!! Much of that extraordinary success is thanks to Orlando’s own Michael SCOTT who created the role of the Genie on Broadway, in London, and in Australia and has appeared in 8 Broadway productions since then. That gives an already “HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” show several more reasons to get your tickets NOW. The great news is that there are still some very good seats left for certain performances. PLEASE do not miss this landmark production – in the Disney Theater no less! Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org

“The Lion in Winter” at CFCArts Theater 
The Christmas gathering in the play “The Lion in Winter” by James Goldman is dysfunctional to the extreme. Forget all the good feelings you may have from a month ago. The Christmas of 1183, in Chinon, France, has more than your typical family squabbles – especially with the King’s three sons all vying for the throne. For an Xmas Holiday full of lies and treachery, this is the play for you. Add a cast of local “stars,” and visit CFCArts.com or call 407.937.1800 

“Men on Boats” at Mad Cow Theatre 
NOW to Feb 9
Ten explorers. Four boats. One GRAND Canyon. 150 years ago. “Men on Boats” is a semi-historical re-telling of the 1869 Powell expedition when one-armed Captain John Wesley Powell and a crew of amazingly loyal volunteers charted the course of the Colorado River. Jaclyn Backhaus's celebrated play questions the multi-layered myths of manifest destiny through gender-swapped colonial adventuring. Call 407-297-8788 ext 1 or visit madcowtheatre.com 


“Violet” at the Theater in Winter Garden 
NOW to Feb 9 
This curious folk-musical, with the very unlikely premise (for a musical) about a young lady who once had a hatchet scar on her face, “Violet” spends a decade trying to find a doctor to heal her disfigurement traveling cross-country with the hope of being healed. Along the way Violet’s real journey is to discover the meaning of true beauty. At the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, call 407.877.4736 or visit gardentheatre.org 
BEEHIVE -- The 60's Musical at the Winter Park Playhouse 
NOW to Feb 22 
Created by Larry Gallagher and told from the perspective of six women who came of age in the 1960s, this Off-Broadway musical recalls the days of miniskirts, transistor radios and flower power! In a semi-concert format, with comments about the period between songs, the show celebrates iconic female singers like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Connie Francis and Lulu, and over 30 of the most memorable songs of the era including “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Where the Boys Are,” “One Fine Day,” and so many more! For tickets call 407.645.0145 or visit winterparkplayhouse.org 

Anne of Green Gables at Orlando Repertory 
NOW to Feb 23 
This beautiful story, based on the beloved novel of an orphaned girl who finds not only a home, but a family, is a faithful dramatization of the beloved classic. Marilla and her brother request an orphan boy to help work their farm, but they are mistakenly sent the high-spirited red-head named Anne Shirley. Trials and tribulations come and pass, but Marilla and Matthew admit Anne is the best thing that ever happened to them … AND Anne comes to understand she is a loved and a worthwhile person. Visit orlandrep.com or call 407.896.7365x1 

The Three MUSKETEERS, from the novel by Alexandre Dumas
February 5 - March 22
Its sword-fight choreography time as Orlando Shakes presents “The Three Musketeers,” adapted from the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas. This witty, action-packed, swashbuckler follows young d’Artagnan and his band of Musketeers as they fight to protect the ones they love from the evil Cardinal Richelieu. Promising to be one of the hits of the current season, this story of double crossings, kidnappings, and secrets comes complete with lavish sword fights and sweeping romance from a time when love and honor (supposedly) ruled the world. Visit orlandoshakes.org or call 407.447.1700 x1 

FAVO’s 100th Art Show !!!
Feb 7 from 5 pm to 9 pm 
Showing that “doing GOOD leads to a Karmic return of GOOD,” I’m excited to report that the First Friday Show of Feb 7 will celebrate FAVO’s 100th art show. It was a brilliant idea – for a CHURCH – to turn an abandoned motel into a bee-hive of artist studios, and I send CONGRATULATIONS from ALL of Central Florida’s Artist Community to Will Benton who has made this adventure work. With LIVE Music, food trucks, a ‘kids creative table,’ and several of our favorite Artists including Crystal Dombrosky, Monte Olinger, Denisse Berlingeri, Cheri Riechers, Mimi Hwang, Ken Austin, and so many more, this FREE event is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. 

GIRL of the GOLDEN WEST with Opera/Orlando 
Feb 7 at 7:30 pm and Feb 9 at 2 pm 
Now that the Director of Opera/Orlando has WON his first Grammy (see above), we are to be treated to an example of his brilliance as the opera “Girl of the Golden West” will be sung in English and presented in the Wild West atmosphere of the Cheyenne Saloon and Ceviche Ballroom in Downtown Orlando. I LOVE the way our “new” Opera Company continues to re-invent itself AND the way in which they present Opera. Just think – an original “Golden West” atmosphere – with great singers and a shiny GRAMMY award on that bar-room shelf blessing the whole proceedings. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org 

Lewis Black in the “It Gets Better Every Day Tour”
Feb 7 at 8 pm at the Bob Carr Theater 
Can’t you just feel the sarcasm oozing from the title of Lewis Black’s newest tour?? Known as the king of the comedy rant, LEWIS BLACK uses his comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life with topics that range from social media to politics as he exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world. Call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org

CINDERELLA by the Orlando Ballet 
Feb 14 to 16 
The whole Orlando Ballet Company is feeling like Cinderella these days having opened their “dream facility” just two weeks ago. How fitting to celebrate the idea that “DREAMS really do come true” than with CINDERELLA, presented by the Orlando Ballet. You’ll have a Ball (wink) with the notorious Stepsisters and the charming Fairy Godmother, (as a pumpkin turns into a carriage right before your eyes!) With choreography by Victoria Morgan, Prokofiev’s haunting score, and LIVE music provided by the Orlando Philharmonic, this production is supported by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation. Visit orlandoballet.org or call 844.513.2014 or visit drphillipscenter.org

Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators