Culture worthy of your calendar

The Garden Theatre is taking on the Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein classic "The Sound of Music"

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  • | 12:36 p.m. April 27, 2011
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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‘The Sound of Music’ in Winter Garden

The Garden Theatre’s first self-produced musical — with an all-local cast — was so successful that they’ve taken on the Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein classic “The Sound of Music” as their next producing venture. They justifiably call their self- produced musicals “a true community celebration,” with demand for tickets “extending the run” through May 29. With the story based on the real-life memoirs of the Trapp Family Singers, every song from the musical has become a beloved classic. Along with the title song, the show includes “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” The original Broadway production opened in 1959 and is world-famous for inspiring the 1965 film that opens with Julie Andrews singing on a hill.

In the Garden Theatre production, Meggin Stailey stars as Maria, and Tim Rerucha is Captain von Trapp. With a cast of more than 50 children and adults, the show has included more than 300 members of the Winter Garden community “working on sets and staging for months.” The Garden Theatre is at 160 W. Plant St. in Winter Garden. Call 407-877-4736 or visit

The Philharmonic presents ‘La Boheme’

When the recession ended the long run of the Orlando Opera Company, the Orlando Philharmonic stepped up with its unique combination of vision and talent to present concert opera performances, and those performances immediately became highlights of our performing arts season.

Joining the Mad Cow Theatre, the Philharmonic continues this tradition with “La Boheme” to be performed on Friday, April 29, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. One of Puccini’s most popular operas, the story focuses on the love between Mimi and the poet Rodolfo. Conductor Christopher Wilkins said, “‘La Boheme’ is a story of youthful idealism and first love. I am thrilled that we can feature a leading pair who embodies everything this opera is about. Maria Antunez and Noah Stewart are young, beautiful and ardent performing artists with the necessary vocal agility to deliver these demanding roles.” At a concert opera, the orchestra performs on stage, while the singers interact as they would in a fully staged version.

For tickets, call 407-770-0071 or visit

Cabaret Festival at Mad Cow

The Mad Cow Theatre likes to mix its fun and entertainment, happily announcing the return of one of its signature events — The Annual Orlando Cabaret Festival. Calling it Orlando’s Home of the Great American Songbook, the festival finds the Mad Cow hosting more than 40 performances of jazz, pop, Broadway and comedy as Florida’s favorite artists join artists from the New York Cabaret scene as headliners. Jesse Nager, artistic director of The Broadway Boys; singer/songwriter Tony DeSare, one of the country’s hottest young cabaret artists; and identical twins Will and Anthony Nunziata headline the festival. The festival will celebrate Songbooks from the years 1946, 1956 and 1966 in separate shows. Each evening of the festival offers three acts, a cabaret lover’s dream. Another feature of the festival is a series of lunchtime performances that last 45 minutes, so downtown workers can make it back to their offices within an hour. The Orlando Cabaret Festival runs through May 15 at Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando. Call 407-297-8788 or visit for the complete schedule.