Opening this week:

Here’s a big batch of shows opening this weekend:

‘My Fair Lady,’ Orlando Philharmonic and Mad CowOrlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Mad Cow Theatre present ‘My Fair Lady’

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra collaborates with Mad Cow Theatre to present the tenth concert in the 2009-2010 Super Series, a semi-staged production of one of the most beloved musicals of all time, My Fair Lady.  Two performances will take place on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston Street, Orlando.  A matinee performance is held at 2 PM and an evening performance is held at 8 PM.  Sponsors for the performances are the Darden Foundation (Super Series Sponsor), Merrill Lynch Wealth Management/Bank of America Corporation (Concert Sponsor), Harriett Lake (Artist Sponsor), United Arts of Central Florida and Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Cultural Tourism Program.

Hailed as one of the greatest musicals of all time, My Fair Lady is the timeless story of Professor Henry Higgins, the crotchety, middle-aged bachelor and phoneticist and Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl, who becomes part of his experiment in order to transform herself into a “lady.” The story is based upon George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.

Maestro Christopher Wilkins leads the orchestra in this classic musical featuring stage direction by Alan Bruun, Artistic Director of Mad Cow Theatre. This is the fifth collaboration between the Orlando Philharmonic and Mad Cow Theatre.

Featured performers include: Michelle Knight (Eliza Doolittle), Philip Nolen (Henry Higgins), Karel Wright (Mrs. Higgins), Jacob Haines (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Mark Lainer (Colonel Pickering) and Michael Edwards (Alfred P. Doolittle).

Audiences will enjoy favorite hits including: “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” “Wouldn’t it Be Loverly,” “The Rain in Spain” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.

Tickets to My Fair Lady are $13, $26, $36, $48 and $65.  To purchase tickets, phone the Philharmonic’s box office at 407-770-0071, or visit the Philharmonic’s website at www.orlandophil.org.

‘Broadway Under the Stars,’ Barber Park:

This is the second annual concert presented by Oran ge County Commissioner Linda Stewart:

Broadway Under the Stars – ACT II

Saturday, May 8, 2010
5 pm – 8 pm
Barber Park, 3701 Gatlin Ave., Orlando, FL 32812
Free.

NOTE: Location is different than it was last year — NOW AT BARBER PARK

Listen to your favorite Broadway hits sung by some of Orlando’s finest performers! Featuring Becky Fisher, Janine Klein, Sam Singhause, Andrea Canny, plus a special surprise appearance.

Food, popcorn, coffee and soft drinks can be purchased at the event. Or bring blankets, picnic bskets and lawn chairs.

*Sorry NO ALCOHOL*

For more information, call 407-836-7350
Distrct4@ocfl.net
or www.OrangeCountParks.net.

‘Pollock,’ Mennello Museum/Beth Marshall Presents:

“The strangeness will wear off and I think we will discover the deeper meanings in modern art.”
~Jackson Pollock~

Don’t miss this unique artistic collaboration with Beth Marshall Presents and the Mennello Museum of Art.

ONE SHOW ONLY!

What: The Pollock Project Abridged
A live performance of the unorthodox life and art of Jackson Pollock. Part Theatre. Part History. All Art.

Concept/Artistic Director Beth Marshall
Written By John Didonna
Starring John Didonna as Jackson Pollock, Jennifer Bonner as Lee Krasner and Douglas McGeoch as Hans Namuth.

Where: The Mennello Museum of Art, 900 E. Princeton St., (Loch Haven Park), Orlando.

When: Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9

Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm

Cost: $5 to benefit The Mennello Museum

VERY LIMITED SEATING! (There are only about 10 actual chairs and the rest is standing room only) 40 people total capacity.

Reservations required: 407.246.4278

More info www.mennellomuseum.com

‘Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks,’ IceHouse Theatre, Mount Dora:

Sparks fly when Lily Harrison, the widow of a southern Baptist minister, hires Michael Minetti, a sarcastic dance instructor, to give her ballroom dance lessons in her St. Petersburg Beach condo.  Their instant clash of personalities fills the first encounter with friction – and humorously zinging insults.  In this witty and disarming play, these two characters bristle and snap – each ultimately revealing more than intended while both face the music – and dance.  As the two strangers practice the swing, tango, waltz, fox trot and cha-cha they learn that perhaps, they are not so different after all.  In this contemporary comedic-drama with mature themes, playwright Richard Alfieri’s clever weaving of the story around the dance lessons adds a unique and entertaining element.  Performances are May 7-30, Thurs.-Sun., at the IceHouse Theatre, 1100 N. Unser St., Mount Dora.

Appearing as Lily Harrison is Mount Dora resident Susan Mulholland.  Her first IceHouse show was A Wonderful Life and she’s thrilled to be back on our stage.  She is not new to acting, having played a number of leading roles at a variety of theatres before moving to Lake County two years ago.  In the role of Michael Minetti is real-life ballroom dance instructor David Hicks, who teaches at the John Parnell ballroom dance studio in Orlando.  With a background in theatre performance, David is delighted to be making his IceHouse debut in this warm and moving play.  Due to a schedule conflict, actor/dancer Terry Thomas will step in for David Hicks on May 20 and 27.  Terry’s resume includes a wide range of musicals, comedies and dramas over the past two decades in Orlando and elsewhere.

“I just loved this play when I first read it.  I believe our audience members will easily relate to the time of life where Lily finds herself; in her 70’s, retired to Florida, dealing with the social and personal challenges that come with the territory.  The playwright brings such a depth of understanding and empathy to these two characters, at the same time, allows us to laugh at their foibles and the familiar squabbles that arise from their equally stubborn personalities.  It really is some great writing — and is sure to be an entertaining evening in the theatre,” comments the show’s director, Darlin Barry.

“The story is aimed at the open-minded theatre patron who can appreciate an intelligent story of two adults with very different backgrounds who, despite those differences, find that they can still be friends.”

Due to some mature subject matter, the play is suggested for audiences of 16 and older.   Lighting design is by William Dumas, set design by Darlin Barry.

Show Times: Thursdays @ 7:30 pm, Fridays & Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 2 pm.  Tickets: $20 adults, $18 seniors (62+ Thurs./Sun.,) $12 teens, $15 with college ID, and $15 for groups of 15 or more.  Box Office Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 1 pm – 5 pm and one hour before shows.  The IceHouse Theatre Box Office: 352.383.4616, or online: www.icehousetheatre.com.

(Photo: David Hicks and Susan Mulholland as Michael and Lily. Photo by Malcolm Yawn Photos.)

‘Three Days of Rain,’ Moonlight Players Theatre, Clermont:

Three Days of Rain
by Richard Greenberg
Coming to Moonlight Players Theatre
May 6-16, 2010
2 weekends + Thursdays at 7pm

A year after he disappeared on the day of his father’s funeral, Walker Janeway returns to New York. He takes up temporary residence in the unused space where thirty-five years earlier, his father, Ned, and Ned’s late partner, Theo, both architects, lived and designed the great house that would make them famous. Sleepless and emotionally jangled, Walker scours the old empty space for clues, evidence or keys to the tortured family history. Discovering his father’s journal hidden under the bed, he finds it as unforthcoming as his nearly silent father had been. Walker is joined by his sister, Nan, and their friend from childhood, Pip, Theo’s son, to hear the reading of Ned’s will. It is there that Walker forces the confrontation that the others need. After an evening of harrowing and sometimes comically inadvertent revelations, Walker disappears once more. This time he returns later that evening with a surprising, but to him, definitive solution to the family puzzle.

We travel back to 1960, when Ned’s journal begins. We meet the parents at the same age their children are in Act One: Ned, who seems very different from the cold monster the children conjured; the charismatic and putative genius, Theo; and Lena, Walker and Nan’s mother, the delightful, troubled “Southern woman who admits to thirty.” In the guise of a love story, we are offered all the information needed to devise an alternative reading of the sad, unexpectedly romantic family story.

Director Kent Vanderberg is pleased to be bringing this complex and engaging drama to a local stage more accustomed to comedies and musicals. Best described as a “way-homer”, this is the type of play audiences will be talking about on the way home, untangling the relationships and questioning the conclusions drawn in the first act in light of the revelations that unwind in the second.

“Audiences are advised to come the first weekend so that they will still have time to come back again the second weekend to pick up on what they missed, or misinterpreted, the first time,” said Vanderberg.

He was delighted by the spirited debate the script elicited from his talented cast and is thrilled to see the play’s characters come to life infused with the resulting depth of understanding and empathy.

A firm believer that the sum of a life is a collection of moments that we replay and attempt to make sense of long after they pass, Vanderberg offers Three Days of Rain as fodder for contemplation and the kind of entertainment which audiences will be talking about long after the curtain falls.

About the director: Remember that guy on The Ed Sullivan Show who could keep a dozen or so plates spinning all at 3 Days of Rain continued: once? Director Kent Vanderberg has unconsciously modeled his life after that guy and is now quite the plate-spinner himself. Jack of many trades, approaching mastery of one or two, Kent is taking his first spin directing for the stage with Three Days of Rain. Co-owner of Big Sky Productions, Kent and his partner and red-hot-smokin’ wife Owaissa produce commercials, documentaries, videos for the web and for live events. Their daughter McKenzi was the first in the family to appear on the Moonlight Players stage, followed by Owaissa in A Christmas Carol and Kent in Chicago. Clearly NOT an actor, Kent is now backstage where he belongs and is delighted to be moonlighting with the Players.

This show runs May 6-16 for two weekends, Thursday through Sunday. Thursdays at 7:00pm, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm.

‘Zombabes in Toyland,’ Playwrights’ Round Table/Arfnotz Productions:

Mark your calendars for May 9th at 1:30 pm! Playwrights’ Round Table and Arfnotz Productions will present a free public reading of the campy new comedy Zombabes in Toyland. The reading will occur at the Casselberry, FL public library at 215 Oxford Road.

Zombabes in Toyland is very loosely based on the children’s classic Babes in Toyland, but adds Zombies. Flee with Alex and Jesse as they evade their evil guardian Baron Von Maldemer, the psychotic Toymaker on the Island of Zombie Toys. This reading is rated PG for one naughty word and some light bondage.

Arfnotz Productions is actively seeking volunteers to read and possibly be a part of a pre-Halloween production of Zombabes in Toyland. If you’re interested, please contact me for a copy of the script and further details. There are roles for two older males, two younger males and two younger females.

What:              A free reading of a new play by Al Pergande
Where:            215 Oxford Road, Casselberry, FL (Oxford is just east of 436 and 17-92)
When: Sunday, May 9th at 1:30 pm
Who:                This reading is sponsored by Playwrights’ Round Table
Cost:                Free, and plenty of free parking!
Anything else? Bring a sweater; the room we use is always very cold!

For more information contact Al Pergande at 407-896-6599 or 321-517-0188 or Al@Ink19.com.

Playwrights’ Round Table is a 503c Not For Profit Corporation whose mission is to serve new and experienced playwrights by providing a venue for the presentation of new works, starting with workshops and then progressing to staged readings and occasional full productions.

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