Winter Garden Gets Behind 'Joseph'
Since realizing the dream of restoring the theatre in grand style, the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden is realizing another wish-fulfilled as it presents its own, self-produced musical — "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". The early musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber will be performed Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 16. This joyful musical, performed in a variety of musical styles from calypso to cabaret, and rock to country features true community participation in a cast of "hometown Winter Garden talent." David Coalter, a performer at the Holy Land Experience, is Joseph. Patte dePova, a Disney performer, is the narrator. Getting large numbers of local residents involved was a deciding factor in this first producing venture. The real 'stars' of the show, said Nicole Manvel Walls, are the children in the chorus, a group that swells the number in the cast to 50. As the Garden Theatre embarks on its first producing adventure, you and your family can support the Theatre at 160 Plant St., Winter Garden. Visit gardentheatre.org or call 407-877-4736 for more details.
Politics as comedy
If your idea of political satire is "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report," then you ain't seen nothin' yet! The Capitol Steps will perform their newest show — "Liberal Shop of Horrors" — at the Plaza Theatre in one performance only at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 1. The Capitol Steps were "born" in 1981. With Ronald Reagan as president, Steps' co-founders Elaina Newport, Bill Strauss and Jim Aidala decided "If entertainers could become politicians, then politicians could become entertainers!" Digging into the headlines, they created song parodies and skits that proved to be as popular in Peoria as they were on Pennsylvania Avenue. If you're tired of hearing about health care, bailouts, partisan politics or the Tea Party, then stay away from the Capitol Steps, but with musical satire poking fun at all sides of the issues, this is one performance sure to earn your bipartisan support. The Plaza Theatre is at 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando. Call 407-228-1220 for more information.
Orlando Cabaret Festival
Mad Cow Theatre is among the most innovative and talented groups in Orlando. Beginning April 30, their intimate two-theatre complex in downtown Orlando plays host to The 8th Annual Orlando Cabaret Festival with more than 40 performances of jazz, pop, Broadway, comedy and a few 'surprises' along the way. The Festival is a great mix of Central Florida's favorite artists along with celebrity performers from the New York City cabaret scene. This year's world-class headliners include Karen Akers, KT Sullivan and The Broadway Boys. Concert star Akers has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and three performances at the White House. Sullivan, headliner at the Oak Room of the famous Algonquin Hotel, has been called "Cabaret's Crown Princess." The Broadway Boys, returning for a third appearance at the Festival, are a collection of the hottest male voices currently working on the New York stage. Another feature of the Festival is a series of weekday lunchtime performances designed for downtown workers. At 45 minutes, the performances allow workers to "come to the cabaret" and still make it back to their offices within an hour. Mad Cow's theaters provide a true up-close-and-personal cabaret experience with these extraordinary performers. Performances are April 30 through May 16. Visit Orlandocabaret.com or call 407-297-8788 for details. The Theatre is at 105 S. Magnolia Ave.
Orlando Philharmonic's My Fair Lady
After their amazing success with Porgy and Bess, The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will once again collaborate with Mad Cow Theatre to present a semi-staged production of one of the most beloved musicals of all time, My Fair Lady. With two performances on Saturday, May 8 at the Bob Carr at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., My Fair Lady is the timeless story of Professor Henry Higgins who 'experiments' with a Cockney flower girl in his willful determination to transform her into a "lady." My Fair Lady is the most famous of the musicals by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Maestro Christopher Wilkins will lead the orchestra with stage direction by Alan Bruun, Artistic Director of Mad Cow Theatre.
Audiences will fall in love once more with the hits, "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". Call the Philharmonic's box office at 407-770-0071 or visit www.orlandophil.org for more information.