Josh Garrick: Verdi up close

Orlando Philharmonic and Florida Opera Theatre join forces to present "Rigoletto".

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  • | 9:12 a.m. February 29, 2012
Sisaundra at the Garden Theatre on March 3.
Sisaundra at the Garden Theatre on March 3.
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March 2 and 4 – Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’

It’s a melodic and very Italian evening of seduction, treachery and vendettas. On March 2 and March 4, the Orlando Philharmonic and Florida Opera Theatre join forces to present Giuseppe Verdi’s opera-masterpiece “Rigoletto” at the Bob Carr PAC. Frank McClain will direct with Joel Revzen conducting. In the opera, the hunchbacked court jester (Rigoletto) is detested by everyone but his loving daughter Gilda. Unfortunately, the womanizing Duke of Mantua has chosen Gilda as his next conquest, leaving it to Rigoletto to protect his innocent daughter. “Rigoletto” is performed with the orchestra on stage, bringing the cast up close and personal with the audience. Call 407-770-0071 or visit

March 2 to 24 – ‘The Andrews Brothers, A New ’40s Musical’

Yes, you read the title correctly. “The Andrews Brothers” is a new 1940s musical comedy running from March 2 to March 24 at the always fun, always innovative Winter Park Playhouse. “The Andrews Brothers” includes 27 Andrews Sisters songs and tells the wacky story of three brothers working for the USO in the South Pacific in 1945. When The Andrews Sisters (scheduled to perform) do not arrive, the brothers don wigs and skirts and fill in to entertain the troops. Featuring four of the finest singing actors in Florida — Kevin Kelly, Todd Mummert, Roy Alan and Sarah Michele — this promises to be another tuneful, laugh-filled success for the Playhouse. Visit or call 407-645-0145.

March 2 to 19 – ‘Bus Stop’ at Breakthrough

In 1956 a play opened on Broadway that was nominated for four Tony Awards, immediately turned into a film and provided Marilyn Monroe with one of her most legendary roles. The play is “Bus Stop” by William Inge, and it will be presented by the Breakthrough Theatre from March 2 to March 19. Set in a diner west of Kansas City, a snowstorm has caused a weather-enforced layover for the riders in the bus. Stuck in the diner as the snow falls, romantic, quasi-romantic and explosive relationships ensue. The Breakthrough Theatre is at 419A W. Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park. For reservations call 407-920-4034.

March 3 – Sisaundra and a fundraiser

You may know her as a Billboard chart topper or as an Oscar nominee, and you may have seen her as the voice of Orlando's Cirque du Soleil “La Nouba”. She is Sisaundra, Central Florida’s singing sensation, and she will perform at the Garden Theatre’s annual fundraiser on March 3. Before the performance, guests will enjoy an “Indulgence Dine-Around” and silent auction. Following the performance, dessert will be served along with a meet-and-greet with Sisaundra. It’s one great evening, with one great singer, benefiting one great theater. Visit

March 9 – ‘Beethoven’s 5th’ by the Minnesota Orchestra

The Minnesota Orchestra will present a performance of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” on Friday, March 9, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. Adding to the rapturous sound of the evening is violinist phenomenon Midori, who will perform Sibelius’ Concerto for Violin in D minor. Led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, the program also features Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn”. Having made her debut at age 11 — with the New York Philharmonic — Midori’s 29-year performing career is among the greatest before the public today. The concert is set for 8 p.m. at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. Call 407-770-0071 or visit

March 10 – James Bond and Austin Powers… in concert!

The forces of evil better stay away from the Bob Carr PAC on Saturday, March 10, as the Orlando Philharmonic pays tribute to James Bond, Austin Powers, Inspector Clouseau and other spies (and arch-villains) of the cinema with “Bond and Beyond,” performed at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Bob Carr PAC. The concert features music from 007 movies such as “Diamonds Are Forever,” “From Russia With Love” and “Goldfinger,” while Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte provides vocals for James Bond favorites. For tickets call 407-770-0071, or visit

Josh Garrick is a writer, photographer, educator, and fine art curator. He is a member of the Curatorial Council for the Museum of Florida Art. Garrick can be reached at [email protected] or 407-522-3906.