“​Sweeney Todd” Kicks off Garden Theatre Season, Starting September 12th


35th Anniversary of Epic Sondheim Musical

WINTER GARDEN, FL (August 22, 2014) – The Garden Theatre is proud to present TheatreWorks Florida’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street showing September 12 – October 5, 2014. Sweeney Todd kicks off the Garden Theatre’s 2014-2015 Season and is sponsored by Joe Worsham and Becky Worsham Farrant at Pacific Global Investment Management Company and by Insight Credit Union.

Sweeney Todd will be the first live play to use the Garden Theatre’s new state-of-the-art lighting system, which includes LED lights programmed on a cutting-edge console with the ability to make lightning-fast adjustments, as easy as from a mobile device. These new elements have been added to intensify the patron experience and immerse them deeper into the story.

The suspenseful, heart-pounding Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, currently in its 35th anniversary year, tells the infamous tale of revenge by an unjustly exiled barber returning to 19th century London. His thirst for blood soon includes his unfortunate customers, while a resourceful owner of a pie shop downstairs has the people of London lining up in droves for a mysterious new meat pie recipe.

Sweeney Todd is directed by Scott A. Cook, the artistic producer of TheatreWorks Florida. It is a definite departure from Cook’s most recent shows at the Garden Theatre – the musical comedies Nunsense and Legally Blonde. Cook has developed show designs and concepts for companies such as Universal Studios Florida and the Walt Disney World Company, and won numerous producers’ honors including the Pierrots Award, Best Musical for Cats at Theatre Winter Haven in 2006 and 10 awards including Best of Fest at the 2012 Orlando International Fringe Festival for Little Shop of Horrors.

As he prepared for Sweeney Todd, Cook researched the history of the character and discovered a debate as to whether a demented barber really existed. The character first appeared in an 1846 “penny dreadful,” a type of horror tale of the era published in serial form. Many of these publications were fictionalized accounts of real crimes, and allegedly the writer who first set down Sweeney Todd’s name in print was known to hunt regularly through newspapers for his story ideas.

“The 19th century London world of Sweeney Todd is a twisted, bizarre, nightmarish puzzle that resonates with the audience’s own senses and experiences, begging the question: what is evil and what is madness?” said Cook. “The message of Sweeney Todd is clear: there is evil and madness afoot and nothing will be served up plain. Be warned…”

The remarkable cast includes:
Sweeney Todd – Nick Kroger
Mrs. Lovett – Candy Heller
Anthony Hope – Robb Ross
Johanna – Jennica McCleary
Beggar Woman – Janine Papin
Judge Turpin – Alexander Mrazek
Beadle Bamford – Nathan Jessee
Adolfo Pirelli – Benjamin Ludwig
Tobias Ragg – Nick Rishel

Ensemble members include Eric Desnoyers, Tony Moreno, Matthew Johnson, Omar Montes, Kristy Barnes, Lindsey Gradwohl, Frida Söderdahl and Desiree Perez.

Those who have previously appeared on the Garden Theatre stage include Janine Papin (Nunsense, 33 Variations), Alexander Mrazek (A Christmas Survival Guide, Alice Lost in Wonderland), Matthew Johnson (Legally Blonde), and Desiree Perez (Hairspray, Nunsense, Little Shop of Horrors).

Tickets to Sweeney Todd are $25 for seniors and students, $29 for adults. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. There will be an Industry Night performance on Monday, September 29 at 8pm with $15 tickets for those in the theatre industry.

For tickets, visit gardentheatre.org or contact the Garden Theatre Box Office at 407-877-GRDN (4736). Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts of up to 25% by contacting group sales manager Jana Goupil at 407-877-4736 x208.

Enter to Win “The Good Witch’s Garden” on DVD [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of “The Good Witch’s Garden” on DVD, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the film on DVD. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite “Good Witch” film in the series. This giveaway will remain open until May 2nd at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Cassandra Cassie Nightingale has settled into Middleton and is busy making a home of Grey House. Her boyfriend, Sheriff Jake Russell, and his kids are happy to have Cassie in the neighborhood, but she has yet to gain the trust of some people in town. Before long, a stranger rolls into town with papers entitling him to legal ownership of Grey House. Before she knows it, Cassie is left without a home and is convinced Middleton isn t where she belongs. Ultimately, everyone will learn holding on too tightly to something can make it more likely that thing will slip through your fingers.

Theatre Review “Alice Lost in Wonderland” Garden Theatre – Winter Garden, FL

“Alice Lost in Wonderland”
Writer/Director: Rob Winn Anderson
Garden Theatre
160 W. Plant St, Winter Garden FL
October 20, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Since I moved from New York (and missing Broadway), the Garden Theatre, located in Winter Garden, FL, has been my answer to fill that void. When I saw they they were going to be presenting a darker take on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”, I knew I had to see it. The play “Alice Lost in Wonderland” made its world premiere this weekend and I was left quite speechless while leaving the theatre. I am a sucker for this classic story and always jump at the chance to see it portrayed in a difference view. The story was unique and backed with very impressive performances from the cast.

Official Premise: “Alice Lost in Wonderland” uses Lewis Carroll’s classic book to inspire the story of a woman frantically searching for what she has lost. Years of falling in and out of mental institutions have broken her and now she finds herself in a terrifying situation where chances are final and journeys into dark places are both wonderful and haunting.

This show is definitely not for kids. It is quite intense and contains some very mature themes. In terms of visual, the show consisted of only one set. So there wasn’t much of a visual “wow” factor. So the weight of the show rested on our cast of performers…and luckily like I mentioned they all were very impressive. I have seen plenty of local theatre productions and you always have talent that just isn’t quite up to par. Well, not at this theatre, the performers all pulled their weight and gave great performances.

If you are drawn in like myself to see a twisted production of “Alice in Wonderland”, you should be enjoy this quite a bit. The use of light and smoke in the show is very effective and add great atmosphere. It kept my interest the whole production and had me guessing as well to where they were going to take it. I have seen plenty of shows where I lose interest, but not here. Highly recommended to catch this play during its world premiere at the Garden Theatre (just leave the kiddies at home).

Cast of “Alice Lost in Wonderland”
Jane- Becky Eck
Alice/Dr.Alice/Cheshire Kitten- Taylor Anderson
Queen of Spades/Dr. Barb- Meaghan Fenner
White Rabbit/Mr. Gwynn- Alexander Mrazek
Ducky/Duchess/Crumpet/Pigeon- Julie Snyder
Mouse/White Knight- Erik Nelson
Carter/Mad Hatter- Wesley Slade
Louis/Sir Time/Tweedle/Gardener- Mike Deaven
Bill/Caterpillar- Tod Caviness
Campbell/Mock Turtle- Nicholas Bethencourt Neto

When: October 18th-November 3rd
Where: Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden
Tickets: $25; $21 students and seniors
Call: 407-877-4736
Online: gardentheatre.org

Garden Theatre Announces “Alice Lost in Wonderland”

GARDEN THEATRE ANNOUNCES ALICE LOST IN WONDERLAND

Original World Premiere of Psychological Drama

WINTER GARDEN, FL (Oct 2, 2013) – The Garden Theatre announces the original world premiere of Beth Marshall Presents’ production of Alice Lost in Wonderland, written and directed by award-winning playwright Rob Winn Anderson with producing artistic direction by Beth Marshall, October 18 – November 3, 2013, at the Garden Theatre (160 West Plant Street, Winter Garden). Alice Lost In Wonderland is sponsored by Insight Credit Union. The Garden Theatre’s 2013-2014 Season is presented by CenturyLink.

In this original world premiere, Alice Lost in Wonderland uses Lewis Carroll’s classic book to inspire the story of a woman frantically searching for what she has lost. Years of falling in and out of mental institutions have broken her and now she finds herself in a terrifying situation where chances are final and journeys into dark places are both wonderful and haunting. This whimsical psychological thriller steps out of reality and into a shattered mind to create a classically creepy and intriguingly creative journey through wonderland.

Since the Garden Theatre re-opened in 2008, there were talks about Beth Marshall Presents producing an adaptation of Alice In Wonderland, and so the idea shifted. “The concept of the show morphed into numerous forms throughout the years,” said producer Beth Marshall. “But I always knew that it would be from a strong female view point, giving the production an even darker and more adult feel. At this point the play went from being an adaptation to more of an original take.”

This play is written and directed by Rob Winn Anderson, an Orlando resident and nationally acclaimed director and playwright who’s other plays have been featured at Kennedy Center Playwrighting Intensive. Anderson is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America Inc., Chicago Dramatists, SAG, and many more.  Anderson most recently directed Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues and his fresh take on The Wizard of Oz at the Garden Theatre last season. During Biloxi Blues, Marshall presented him with her vision of Alice Lost In Wonderland and asked if he would write and direct the show. The next six months were brainstorming ideas, sharing images, songs, writings, research. “It feels like we’ve been through a million rewrites,” says Marshall. “Now here we are in our own wonderland.”

Beth Marshall plans to get two tattoos inspired by the show. The first tattoo, which she intends to get before opening night, will be the White Rabbit mask, and right below it the line from the play, “Even nonsense has sense in it.”  The second tattoo is an original design by set designer Tom Mangieri, a playing card of The Queen of Spades, which Marshall intends to get before the show closes.

Show times are Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $25 for adults ($21 for seniors/students).  There will also be an Industry Night on Monday, October 28 at 8pm.  This show is open to the public, with $15 ticket for those in the theatre industry.  Note: This show contains mild drug and mental illness references, and mild language. For tickets, visit gardentheatre.org or call the Garden Theatre Box Office at 407-877-GRDN (4736).

ABOUT BETH MARSHALL PRESENTS

Beth Marshall Presents is an independent production company based out of Orlando, Florida, producing theatrical, dance, music, multi-media performance art and all things creative in arts & entertainment with a special focus on original works and touring festival circuits. This is Beth Marshall Present’s ninth show produced at the Garden Theatre, including previous shows L’Ange Avec Les FleursOur TownCrimes of the HeartDriving Miss Daisy, A Christmas CarolThe Diviners, Biloxi Blues, and Children of a Lesser God. Visit bethmarshallpresents.com for more information.

ABOUT THE GARDEN THEATRE 

Located in the heart of historic downtown Winter Garden on Plant Street, the Garden Theatre is a not-for-profit community organization committed to enriching, engaging, and entertaining through creative experiences. The theatre, which reopened 2008, showcases an atmospheric theatre in a Mediterranean Revival style venue. The Garden Theatre hosts live plays, concerts, movies, and more to the residents of and visitors to the city of Winter Garden. For tickets or additional information, contact the Garden Theatre Box Office at 407-877-GRDN (4736) or visit the new Garden Theatre website at gardentheatre.org.

Book Review “Maisy Grows a Garden”, “Maisy Learns to Swim” & “Maisy’s Fairground”

Author: Lucy Cousins
Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Hardcover: 16 / 32 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: February 12, 2013 / February 26, 2013

Our Scores: 5 out of 5 stars

If you would like to know “What makes Maisy’s garden grow?” Well, “Maisy Grows a Garden” has the answer for you.  Kids can help Maisy by pulling the tabs and helping Maisy plant and grow a tasty vegetable garden. “Maisy Learns to Swim” exploures Maisy as she is learning to swim. I can see this book becoming very popular with my daughter as she gets a little older, even though she is already our little water bug and never wants to leave the water.

When it comes to the Maisy series, my daughter will surely have every possible book released.  I absolutely love this series and it gets better with each new release.  “Maisy’s Fairground” is a Maisy Pop-up-and-Pla​y Book.  This is a little different from the typical Maisy book and it literally feels like you are at the carnival.  Did I mention that this has a spinning pop-up Ferris wheel? Wow, it is completely amazing and had my daughter screaming “Wow”, as well as her daddy.

I absolutely love this “Maisy” series. They is educational yet still very interactive and entertaining.  I love anything where you need to interact with the book.  My daughter absolutely loves grabbing the tabs and playing with this book (and she is only 1).  Also keeps the parents busy As she grows, I am sure she will continue to enjoy these great books.

Official Premise: Maisy loves to try new things, just like her young fans. This interactive science story invites toddlers and preschoolers to help Maisy dig, sow seeds, water the earth, and weed the garden. Little ones will love seeing the carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and beans spring from the pages as they take the first steps to develop a green thumb with Maisy and Panda.

“Maisy Learns to Swim” Official Premise: Today Maisy is going swimming for the first time, and she is a little nervous. Good thing Eddie and Tallulah are coming, too. Eddie is a natural, but Maisy and Tallulah get into the pool slowly — ooh, it’s freezing! But soon they are kicking and floating and even blowing bubbles with the rest. Whether water-shy or raring to go, young readers will find much to relate to as Maisy experiences another childhood first.

“Maisy’s Fairground” Official Premise: Come one, come all, and take in the bright colors and excitement of a day at the fair with Maisy and her pals. Just pull a tab or spin a wheel to make the bumper cars bump (bash! crash! ), see the friends having fun on the bouncy castle (up! down! ), or set the roller coaster in motion (screeeeaaammm! ). But nothing compares to the giant, interactive 3D Ferris wheel just waiting to spring to life on the final spread!

Lucy Cousins has become one of my favorite children’s author. She is the creator of the “Maisy” series. “Maisy Grows a Garden” is a Maisy First Science Book and “Maisy Learns to Swim” is a Maisy First Experiences Book.  I am very glad that I happened to come across one of these book a year ago and since then we have about 5-10 books from this series. Keep ’em coming Lucy!

Kimberly Lacy talks about HGTV’s “Curb Appeal”

Kimberly Lacy is the project manager on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” formally known as “Curb Appeal: The Block”.. She is also attending this year’s Central Florida Home & Garden Show May 25-27th, 2012. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Kimberly about working on the show and also about the upcoming event.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your involvement with the “Central Florida Home & Garden Show”?
Kimberly Lacy: I’m coming to Central Florida Home and Garden Show as a presenter and Consumer. As a presenter I plan to inspire and motivate the “average” Do It Yourself’er with easy, budget conscious tips and ideas to get them well on their way to becoming the rock that needs to be turned over to one of the Jewel’s in their neighborhood.

MG: Tell us what you enjoy most about working on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal”?
The thing that I love the most about working on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” is that it doesn’t seem like much of a job. Don’t get me wrong it is a job and it hard work but the instant gratification and appreciate from the Homeowner’s makes it all worth it. It get’s more rewarding everyday and every homeowner I meet. I can be myself and considering I was born to turn Frown’s upside Down, It’s my way of paying it forward and building community.

MG: Working as Project Manager on the show, what is your process when approaching a new job?
I approach a new job with an open mind and the “Can Do Attitude”, I don’t worry. All with knowing and keeping the budget for the project in mind. The budget can easily make or break the job. With that being said, when scouting neighborhoods for the perfect candidate to be a neighbor makeover, we only choose homes that we can give the homeowners and viewers a dramatic before and after with clean up, trimming and pruning, paint, and landscape and still staying within a $1,000 budget.

MG: Any fun stories from behind the scenes that did not make it to the show?
That’s funny! There are always so many fun stories from behind the scenes that don’t make the show. These stories include the crew that work with us behind the scenes. We were working in Oakland, it was a bright and sunny day and every one was in a good mood. We had empty Burlap sacks, which had pebbles in them, laying around and I (being the life of the party) had the bright idea to put on a potato sack race. We even had the human wheel barrel race going on. We created the lanes and finish lines for the races with bags of soil and mulch, pots and paint pails. It was a really good time and we filmed it on my flip cam.

MG: When can does the fourth season of “Curb Appeal” start and what can we expect?
The name of the show has changed from “Curb Appeal: The Block” to “Curb Appeal”. The shows time has also changed from 8:00pm to 5:30pm on Saturdays. So set your DVR’s, it may be hard for people to make it home at 5:30pm on Saturday. The show airs on March 31, 2012. The fifth season will roll in right after so no one will be without their favorite show, “Curb Appeal”. The fourth season is the last season we have Chip on the show and we are having a lot of fun, as per the usual and creating some spectacular makeovers. We are in the San Francisco Bay area, so there are several different types of architecture and John is able to create some serious never seen before designs.

DVD Review “Fireflies in the Garden”

Directed by: Dennis Lee
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Julia Roberts, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hayden Panettiere, Ioan Gruffudd, Cayden Boyd
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 98 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

“Fireflies in the Garden” is the type of film that really proves that an amazing impressive cast does not mean an amazing movie. The cast includes the amazing talents of Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Julia Roberts, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hayden Panettiere. Willem Dafoe easily gives the best performance out of the group by a long shot. This film has been in on the shelf for many years since it was filmed back in 2008, it is no surprise why either. In fact the film was completely re-cut recently prior to this release and I am scared to see what it was like prior to the that.

The film centers around an accident with Charles (Dafoe) and his wife Lisa (Roberts) as they are heading to a family reunion. From there I was completely lost with the film switching between past and present through flashbacks. When the family gets together during the funeral there lives become intertwined. Charles and his son Michael (Reynolds) try to work their difficult relationship…also told through flashbacks.

I did really enjoy the score of the film from Jane Antonia Cornish. It helps push this film a long during its short 89 minute running time that feels more like over 2 hours. The special features are almost non-existent. There is only a brief behind the scenes called “A Flash of Life: The Making of Fireflies in the Garden”. Watch it for the cast and Dafoe’s performance but otherwise it is worth taking a pass on.