Tag Archives: Richard Rodgers

‘Billy Elliot,’ ‘La Cage’ to be part of next Orlando Bway series

Faith Prince and Giuseppe Bausilio in the national tour of 'Billy Elliot the Musical' (photo by Joan Marcus)

Billy Elliot the Musical, the Tony Award-winning best musical of 2009, will be only one of several popular favorites included in the 2011-2012 Broadway Across America series at Orlando’s Carr Performing Arts Centre.

Also coming to Orlando next season: The 2010 Tony winner for best revival of a musical, La Cage aux Folles; the 2008 Tony winner in the same category, South Pacific; the multiple-Tony-winning mega-hits The Lion King and Les Misérables; and last season’s hit The Addams Family.

Billy Elliot will be here for a 12-day run and The Lion King for a month.

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Local theaters branch out? Well, not so much.

Every year American Theatre magazine publishes a list of the 10 most widely produced shows of the coming season — and most years that list is a look at what’s new and interesting and not so well-known. Granted, a small-cast Pulitzer-winner from a season or so before is likely to get a lot of productions across the country. But, besides A Christmas Carol and the plays of Shakespeare, you’re sure to see a lot of titles on that list that are just trying out their wings.

Not so much in Central Florida, where I just took a semi-systematic look at what’s scheduled for the 2010-2011 season and found a whole lot of same old, same old. The most popular playwright among the 60-plus theaters across Central Florida this season? Neil Simon, who’s now 83 years old and who hasn’t turned out a really good play (forgive me, but it’s true) in nearly 20 years.

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