Theatre Review “RENT: 20th Anniversary Tour” Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando FL

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando presents RENT: 20th Anniversary Tour
Show dates: Tuesday–Sunday, June 5–10, 2018
Show times vary
Tickets start at $34.25

RENT is a Broadway musical that I have seen many many times since 1996. This show is special. It has always been special and it will always be special. It was a show that is ahead of it’s time and still as smart as ever. Having seen this show on Broadway numerous time and now seeing it for the first time at the Walt Disney Theatre at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and it was like I was transported to the first time I saw it over 20 years ago now! I have never been to show where the audience was literally sitting on the edge of their chairs, dancing and singing along like this! The cheers! The applause! It was literally magic! It was like seeing it for the first time again. This show is an experience! Do not miss it!

The cast of the anniversary tour really delivered for me. I had VERY high standards for these songs and the way they are sang specifically. I really love this movie. I have been listening to it for more than half my life. The cast at this theater gave it their all. They knocked it out of the park! Roger was a real highlight for me and Angel, of boy, Angel he was simply amazing! Some notes about the Walt Disney Theater that I have been noting over the last few months, sitting in Orchestra Left in Row J and around there, we had some of the performances cut off due to the angling. It wasn’t anything major but I think it could have been adjusted since orchestra right had a lot of unused space. In the beginning of the performance, there was a little bit of an issue with the music overpowering the singing but over the first song I did not notice it again.

The set this performance did remind me of RENT. It represented the show perfectly but I just miss that Broadway feeling of getting entirely new set each Act. We stay in one scene the whole performance and I was looking for something new each scene with some new objects onto the stage. But don’t let this take away from a magical evening, I can guarantee you there wasn’t a dry eye in the theater. The last thing I want to mention is that the range of age from this performance was outstanding. It ranged from early teens to senior citizens. I mean for a show to have that much range…this many years later is something special. RENT has been touring to celebrate it’s 20th anniversary for the last two years now and I don’t know when I will see it live again…and I encourage you to see this while you can!

Official Synopsis: In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway…and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

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MEGACON™, Southeast’s Largest Fan Convention, Wraps Another Year of Fun and Fandom at the Orange County Convention Center – May 24-27, 2018

Action-Packed Weekend Delivered Ultimate Fan Experience with Jason Momoa, Jeff Goldblum, Elijah Wood, John Cena and more

Orlando, FL – June 4, 2018 – MEGACON™, the Southeast’s largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming event, wrapped up the Orlando convention throughout Memorial Day Weekend at the Orange County Convention Center. The four-day multi-genre convention welcomed more than 100,000 fans and included programming for all ages, a star-studded celebrity lineup and more.

This year’s featured celebrity guests included Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings); Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park); Jason Momoa (DC Justice League); John Cena, Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman (WWE Superstars); Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman); Billy Dee Williams and Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars); Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor (Xena: Warrior Princess); Jodi Benson and Christopher Daniel Barnes (The Little Mermaid); Rob Liefeld (Deadpool and X-Force) among others.

All Photo Credit: Rachel Parker, MEGACON Orlando

 

MADAME TUSSAUDS PARTNERSHIP

MEGACON Orlando partnered with Madame Tussauds Orlando for an exclusive first-look of the museum’s newest exhibit, Justice League: A Call for Heroes. On Thursday, May 24, fans united at MEGACON Orlando for a sneak peek of the new Wonder Woman™ wax figure. Following this, guests were invited for an after-hours official opening of the exhibit and admission to the ICON 360 Orlando.

MASTER OF COSPLAY SOUTHEAST QUALIFIER

New to the MEGACON Orlando lineup this year was Master of Cosplay Grand Prix, a new cosplay competition created by FAN EXPO HQ in 2018. Guests competed in the Southeast Qualifier at MEGACON Orlando on Saturday, May 26 for a chance to win prizes and advance to compete for the title of FAN EXPO’s very first Master of Cosplay Champion in an international finale to be held in Toronto as part of FAN EXPO Canada on Labor Day weekend.

Winners included:

-Novice Division – Anthony Acosta and Anne Rosato (Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen)

-Journeyman Division – Lindsay Premo (World of Warcraft)

-Masters Division – Bryan Doell (Ronan the Accuser, Marvel Comics)

-Runner-Up – Josh Morris (The Gate, Hex Mortis)

-Best In-Show – Dovah Design (Snow White Knight)

 

STAR WARS GALACTIC NIGHTS

MEGACON Orlando extended the fun after-hours with a special fandom experience, Star Wars: Galactic Nights on Sunday, May 27 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The event brought together the Star Wars saga, a panel discussion with the creators of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (a new land coming to the theme park in 2019), special photo opportunities, event-exclusive merchandise and more.

 

BOOTH HIGHLIGHTS 

Exciting new booths were packed on the show floor this year, including Jurassic Park, which allowed guests to go back 25 years and relive one of the greatest movies of all time through a tour of the iconic fictional theme park. The booth included a virtual reality headset to let guests get up close and personal with dinosaurs in their natural habitat. Additionally, other classic booths, including the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman Film, Star Wars by the 501st Legion and Ghostbusters, were back for another year.

 

PANELS, PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES, SIGNINGS AND MORE 

Many panels and photo opportunities took place this weekend, with highlights including  a signing by Marvel Comics creator Jim Lee, with a sold out presentation from Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum, more than 200 cosplayers in a special Marvel Cosplay Meetup, Geek Speed Dating, Steven Universe Live Shadowcast Performance and Sing-A-Long, Phantasmagoria Performance and more.

MEGACON Orlando 2019 will take place May 16 to May 19, 2019, which is the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend. For more information and tickets, please visit www.megaconorlando.com. Can’t wait until 2019? MEGACON Tampa Bay will take place September 21 to September 23, 2018. Guest announcements are being finalized right now and tickets will be on sale in mid-June at www.megacontampabay.com.

ABOUT FAN EXPO HQ

MEGACON Orlando is owned by FAN EXPO HQ, one of the largest entertainment convention groups in North America. Collectively it hosts over 500,000 fans annually at FAN EXPO CANADA™, Boston Comicon, FAN EXPO VANCOUVER™, FAN EXPO REGINA™, FAN EXPO DALLAS™, Toronto ComiCon, Dallas Fan Days and MEGACON Tampa Bay.

 

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“OUC Speakers at Dr. Phillips Center” Returns With The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik

 — Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday, March 2, 2018 — 

ORLANDO, Fla. (February 26, 2018) — Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and OUC – The Reliable One announced today that actress, author and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik will kick off the second year of the popular speaker series, “OUC Speakers at Dr. Phillips Center.”

Best known for her critically acclaimed role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Bialik will explore seemingly dissimilar — yet altogether entertaining — topics such as the work of the brain and behavioral development; her life as an actress and scientist; and the special relationship that exists between The Big Bang Theory and its audience. Her speaking engagement will take place Saturday, April 14 in the Walt Disney Theater.

Tickets for “An Evening with Mayim Bialik” presented by the Dr. Phillips Center in association with UCF Celebrates the Arts start at $35; a limited number of tickets will also be available for $200 for a meet and greet with the actress. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 2.

“The OUC Speakers at Dr. Phillips Center platform allows us to make meaningful connections with our customers and our community,” said Roseann Harrington, Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Community Relations of OUC – The Reliable One. “And the series is steeped in both education and innovation — two things we’re passionate about. We’re very pleased to be part of the program for a second year.”

“It’s rewarding to renew our relationship with OUC and collaborate together on the speakers series,” said Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center. “The popularity of the format is really evolving, as more guests — especially Millennials — look for alternative entertainment options.”

Tickets may be purchased online at drphillipscenter.org, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees.

OUC is part of a growing list of arts center business partners, including Florida Hospital, Fairwinds Credit Union and Morgan Stanley. Businesses interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities should email corporate@drphillipscenter.org or call 407.992.1746.

About the Speakers

Mayim Bialik 

Mayim Bialik currently stars on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory as ‘Amy Farrah Fowler,’ for which she has received two Critics Choice Awards, four Emmy Award nominations and seven SAG Award nominations. From playing the young version of Bette Midler’s character in Beaches to guest spots on series such as WebsterMurphy Brown, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, in addition to her turn as ‘Blossom Russo’ in the iconic 90’s sitcom Blossom, Bialik has appeared in numerous beloved roles throughout her dynamic acting career.

An acclaimed author, Bialik has written #1 New York Times bestseller Girling Up: How to be Strong, Smart, and Spectacular, as well as Beyond the SlingMayim’s Vegan Table and the soon-to-be released, Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant. Bialik has recently dedicated her skills as a writer, actress, neuroscientist and mother to driving GrokNation.com, the website she started in 2015.

Following the end of Blossom, Bialik left acting for a time and earned her BS in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2000, with a minor in Hebrew & Jewish Studies. She went on to complete her PhD in Neuroscience, also at UCLA, and then completed her doctorate in the fall of 2007, which examined the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome. While at UCLA, Bialik was a dedicated student leader in UCLA Hillel, leading and starting a Women’s Rosh Chodesh group, chanting and blowing shofar for the High Holiday services, and conducting and writing music for UCLA’s Jewish acapella group.

In addition to acting and raising her two boys, Miles and Fred, Bialik serves as a spokeswoman for a multitude of brands and organizations including Texas Instruments, DeVry University, Capitol One, Fisher Price, City of Hope, Gillette, (among others) and speaks at events around the world.

About OUC

Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, Orlando Utilities Commission is the second-largest municipal utility in Florida and 14th largest in the country. OUC provides electric, water, chilled water and/or lighting services to 375,000 customer accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties.

About the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. With its opening in November 2014, the performing arts center launched its vision of Arts for Every Life by being a gathering place for creativity and discovery; a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room, and other event rental spaces. Future expansion includes Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat acoustical theater, along with rehearsal, classroom, office space and commercial development spaces. Dr. Phillips Center is a private non-profit collaborating with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the City of Winter Park, the State of Florida and generous donors.

 

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Theatre Review “Waitress” @ Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – Orlando, FL

Waitress: The Musical
Show dates: Tuesday–Sunday, March 20–25, 2018
Tickets: start at $34.25
Walt Disney Theater at @ Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 South Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

Let me just start my saying that I have never seen or even wanted to see the 2007 film, “Waitress” starring Keri Russell, which this musical version is based on. I wouldn’t have ever even seen the play if it wasn’t for a few of my friends who say the play on Broadway over the last few years and RAVED about it! Suddenly my interest was kicked off and to top it off the musical features music and orchestration by Sara Bareilles. From the opening scene of the “Waitress”, I knew I was hooked.

Here is the official premise of the show: Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

Like I mentioned “Waitress” features original music and lyrics by 5-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and I really enjoy the music (listening as I type as well). The songs were strong, uplifting and really beautiful. Desi Oakley, who played the lead Jenna, has an outstanding voice. She really blows you away with some of her songs. They have such range and perfectly pitched. Jeremy Morse, who played the role of Ogie, easily stole the show and was extremely funny. He has previously starred in the same role back in 2015 in the American Repertory Theater staging of “Waitress”. Also really dug that there was a live band on the stage in the background throughout most of the show, which blended in so well I forgot they were their sometimes.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts delivered another winning show for me. Being from New York originally and missing Broadway a little, shows like this makes me miss it much less. Here is a little tip since I believe I found the perfect seats for this theatre. We were in Row Q in the Left Orchestra and we had perfect seats, it is at the divide, so no one in front of you and plenty of leg room. Definitely will look for these seats again in the future.

“Waitress” has a lot of heart. It plays to your funny bone the first Act and just kicks you in the stomach for the second Act and delivers a great finish. I believe shows like this are important because they feature strong women and have a positive message of love and the beauty of life. I have to admit one thing that after this show I REALLY wanted me some pie! So make sure to not go hungry because this show will leave your mouth watering.Now if you excuse me I am craving some pie and I need to watch the movie finally!

Hamilton, 2017 Tony®-winning Best Musical, Leads the 18/19 Fairwinds Broadway in Orlando Season at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

 

HAMILTON,

2017 TONY®-WINNING BEST MUSICAL AND
2018 GRAMMY® AWARD WINNER DEAR EVAN HANSEN

and

TONY®-WINNING BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL HELLO, DOLLY!

Starring Broadway Legend Betty Buckley

to anchor

18/19 FAIRWINDS BROADWAY IN ORLANDO SEASON

AT DR. PHILLIPS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

 

Current subscribers may renew their seats for the upcoming season beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, March 9

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 9, 2018) — Hamilton will headline the 2018–2019 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando series at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to Hamilton the season includes the six-time 2017 Tony® and 2018 Grammy® Award winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen and the 2017 Tony® Award-winning Best Revival Hello, Dolly! starring Broadway legend Betty Buckley.

The arts center joined Florida Theatrical Association and Broadway Across America today to announce the full line-up.

18/19 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando series:

  • Hello, Dolly! — November 27–December 2, 2018
  • Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical — December 18–December 23, 2018
  • Hamilton — January 22, 2019-February 10, 2019
  • Fiddler on the Roof  March 5 –March 10, 2019
  • Dear Evan Hansen — April 16 –April 21, 2019
  • Anastasia — May 14–19, 2019
  • Come From Away  June 11–16, 2019

The season will also feature the return of audience favorite as a Season Option:

  • Jersey Boys — October 30–November 4, 2018

Subscribers will have first access to purchase tickets for Jersey Boys once they have renewed their seats for the 18/19 season.

“This will be a stand-out season on so many levels,” said Dr. Phillips Center President and CEO Kathy Ramsberger. “Hamilton has become a theatrical phenomenon, and three of the seven shows made their debut on Broadway just last year, so the content is fresh and relevant. The other big benefit is that we’ve had great success securing show performers for special appearances and educational workshops in our local schools, including our own School of the Arts. Extending the arts beyond our facility and into the community is one of our top priorities.”

“We are proud to partner with Dr. Phillips Center and Florida Theatrical Association for what is sure to be a record-breaking season in Orlando! This is going to be an unforgettable season of the best that Broadway has to offer,” said Susie Krajsa, EVP of Presenting for Broadway Across America.

“We’re excited to continue bringing special, one-of-a-kind experiences to our members through our continued support of the FAIRWIINDS Broadway in Orlando series at Dr. Phillips Center,” said FAIRWINDS President and CEO Larry Tobin. FAIRWINDS recently signed a multi-year agreement with the arts center, which includes naming rights to the series.

Current subscribers can renew their seats starting at 10 a.m. Friday, March 9, 2018 through April 13, 2018. Subscribers who renew early before March 23, 2018 can guarantee the lowest price for their subscription by taking advantage of our new loyalty pricing. FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando will first send renewal information via email and encourages renewing online for ease and convenience. This electronic communication will be followed up with an invoice and brochure sent via posted mail to all subscribers.

While new subscriptions cannot be offered at this time, interested parties may join the subscription information list to be notified if any subscription seats become available. Groups of 10 or more may begin placing for most shows in the new season beginning March 9, 2018. Group minimums and discounts vary by show. Seating locations for group orders may not be confirmed until later this year.  Group tickets may not be available for Hamilton. For more information, email groups@drphillipscenter.org or call 407.455.5550. Tickets for individual shows in the 2018–2019 season will be made available at a later date.

For more information and to renew a subscription for the 2018–2019 season, visit OrlandoBroadway.com.

 

 

ABOUT THE SHOWS

 

Jersey Boys

October 30–November 4, 2018

Walt Disney Theater

Season Add-On

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, JERSEY BOYS. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true.

FEATURING THE LEGENDARY TOP TEN HITS:

“Sherry” • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” • “Walk Like A Man” • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” • “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”

 

Hello, Dolly!

starring Betty Buckley

November 27– December 2, 2018

Walt Disney Theater

Tony Award®-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in HELLO, DOLLY! – the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Winner of four Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks’ “gorgeous” new production (Vogue) is “making people crazy happy!” (The Washington Post). Breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous raves on Broadway, this HELLO, DOLLY! pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion – hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event. A musical comedy dream. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic. Wow, wow, wow, indeed!”

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical

December 18–December 23, 2018

Walt Disney Theater

This holiday season, discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  Start with a timeless tale of joy and goodwill, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow and come see Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS!  It’s a must-see classic in a lavish new musical that the New York Times says to “put on your wish list.”  Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. The show is full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written. The gift everyone is dreaming of is this merry and bright holiday musical.

 

Hamilton

January 22, 2019–February 10, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Fiddler On The Roof

March 5–March 10, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

 

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind South Pacific, The King and I and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play Oslo, bring a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The original production won 10 Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. You’ll be there when the sun rises on this new production, with stunning movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer

Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Featuring the Broadway classics “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life,” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will introduce a new generation to this uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy! To love! To life!

Dear Evan Hansen

April 16 – April 21, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the winner of six 2017 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2018 GRAMMY award for Best Musical Theater Album.

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.

“One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history,” says The Washington Post. The New York Times calls DEAR EVAN HANSEN “a gut-punching, breathtaking knockout of a musical” and NBC News says the musical is “an inspiring anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond.”

DEAR EVAN HANSEN features a book by Tony winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy, Tony and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La LandThe Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony nominee Michael Greif (RentNext to Normal).

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, produced by Atlantic Records, made an extraordinary debut on the Billboard 200 when released and entered the chart at #8 – the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961—before going on to win the 2018 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. A special edition coffee table book authored by Levenson, Pasek, and Paul, Dear Evan Hansen: through the window (Grand Central Publishing / Melcher) is now available, offering an in-depth, all-access look at the musical, including never-before-seen production photos and cast portraits, behind-the-scenes stories, and a fully annotated script by the authors.

 

Anastasia

May 14–19, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.

ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush new score by Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) with direction by Tony winner Darko Tresnjak.

 

Come From Away

June 11–16, 2019

Walt Disney Theater

On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all.

Broadway’s COME FROM AWAY has won Best Musical all across North America. The New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!”

 

For more information and to renew a subscription for the 2018–2019 season and Broadway in Orlando, visit OrlandoBroadway.com.

###

 

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando is presented at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with Broadway Across America and Florida Theatrical Association.

Florida Theatrical Association (FTA) is a non-profit civic organization with a volunteer board of trustees established to ensure the continued presentation of quality touring Broadway productions and the promotion of arts education throughout the state of Florida. For more information, visit FloridaTheatrical.org.

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA (BAA) is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and The Broadway Channel.  Led by 11-time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 44 markets with over 400,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include BeautifulCats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, Hairspray, Hello, Dolly!, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, The Producers, School of Rock and Waitress. Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com and Broadway.com.

About Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. With its opening in November 2014, the performing arts center launched its vision of Arts for Every Life by being a gathering place for creativity and discovery; a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room, and other event rental spaces. Future expansion includes Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat acoustical theater, along with rehearsal, classroom, office space and commercial development spaces. The Dr. Phillips Center is a private non-profit collaborating with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the State of Florida and generous donors.

About FAIRWINDS

FAIRWINDS Credit Union, headed by President/CEO Larry Tobin, is the largest financial institution headquartered in Central Florida, with assets of $2.2 billion, more than 177,300 members and over 510 employees. The financial cooperative established in 1949 is open to anyone living or working in Central Florida. Membership also is available to family of members who live outside Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Osceola, Polk, Brevard or Lake counties.

 

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Orlando Boat Show arrives on March 2, 3 & 4, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center

Central Florida’s Premier Boat Show!
With 2
0 of Central Florida’s Best Boat Dealers
Representing Over 60 Manufacturers
Bowriders, Pontoon Boats, Ski Boats, Cruisers,
Fishing Boats, Bass Boats and Deck Boats
Marine Electronics, Accessories & Much More!
If You Are Interested In Being A Vendor At The
Show Please Call 386/943-8383 Or Email
contact@orlandoboatshow.com
See Over 60 Great
Booth Vendors!
The boat show in March will be
the best Orlando Boat Show Ever!
Don’t miss this spectacular show!
March 2, 3 & 4, 2018
at the Orange County
Convention Center
South Hall B
Fun for the whole family!
Kids 12 & Under Are Free
Show Hours
Friday – 10am to 8pm
Saturday – 10am to 8pm
Sunday – 10am to 5pm

 

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Theatre Review “The Lion King” @ Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – Orlando, FL

The Lion King
Show dates: February 14–March 11, 2018
Walt Disney Theater at @ Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 South Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Tickets: start at $35.25

I remember like it was yesterday when “The Lion King” opened up on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater in October of 1997. I saw it that year and was mesmerized by the outfits and the set, just beautiful! Years later I had a chance to see it again in Las Vegas in 2009 and again I experienced that wonderful same feeling. Last night, I experienced that same feeling again. From the moment the lights went down, I immediately got the chills! The music came on and the cast come flooded through the seating area in full costume, singing at full volume. This was magic!

The Walt Disney Theater at @ Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a wonderful spot to enjoy theatre. Coming from Broadway, this theatre easily rivals the experience for me personally. The sound is fantastic. The seating is so comfortable much better than a ton of the old Broadway theaters, I can recall. They even utilized two of the box seating areas and had musicians playing living music throughout, which really added a nice 3D sound. I have to admit though, they seemed a little distracting during the song, “Be Prepared” since it seemed a little out of sync.

Buyi Zama has played Rafiki in the stage production of “The Lion King” since day one and it was such an amazing experience to get to see her again in this role, now for the third time. She doesn’t miss a beat and she is on point from seeing her over 20 years ago! Coming off the last ‘Gazelle’ National tour, Mark Campbell, returned a Scar and easily commanded the stage. Besides a little technical difficulty with his mask, was on par if not better than John Vickery in the Broadway production! Literally gave me chills when he spoke!

Buyi Zama as “Rafiki” in THE LION KINGNorth American Tour. ©Disney. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Having seen “The Lion King” live on Broadway and in Las Vegas, this easily one of my most enjoyable to see how it came to life. This felt like a full Broadway production. Even after the show, we got a chance to go backstage and got to view how everything is stored and all the costumes and how the set works. It was amazing. I also got some insight from Mark Campbell, who describes some difference in how the sets move in and out of place and how climbs up the set pieces during the herd sequence, so it really just showed how much goes in behind-the-scenes.

The ensemble cast should also get a shout out here because they were just amazing, when we were backstage we saw how easy of the ensemble cast has 10-15 outfit changes per show. It was simply extraordinary. “The Lion King” started its nearly one month run on February 14 and runs till March 11, 2018, so if you can catch a show I would highly recommend it. Tickets can be purchased here!

Disney’s THE LION KING Performances Begin on Wednesday, February 14 and Play for Four Weeks Through Sunday, March 11 at Dr. Phillips Center

Buyi Zama as “Rafiki” in THE LION KINGNorth American Tour. ©Disney. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Orlando, FL, January 29, 2018 – Casting has been announced for the Orlando return engagement of Disney’s The Lion King. The show’s first appearance in the Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and it’s third time to Orlando, the four-week engagement runs from February 14 through March 11.

The production features Mark Campbell as “Scar,” Gerald Ramsey as “Mufasa,” Buyi Zama as “Rafiki,” Nick Cordileone as “Timon,” Greg Jackson as “Zazu,” Ben Lipitz as “Pumbaa,” Gerald Caesar as “Simba,” Nia Holloway as “Nala,” Keith Bennett as “Banzai,” Martina Sykes as “Shenzi” and Robbie Swift as “Ed.”

The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Joziyah Jean-Felix and Ramon Reed and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Danielle W. Jalade and Gloria Manning.

Rounding out the cast are Derek Adams, Kayla Rose Aimable, Andrew Arrington, William John Austin, Eric Bean, Jr., Kolin Jerron, Thabani Buthelezi, Sasha Caicedo, Kyle Robert Carter, Thembelihle Cele, Erynn Marie Dickerson, Tony Freeman, Mukelisiwe Goba, Deidrea Halley, Jalen Harris, William James Jr., Jane King, Gregory Manning II, Christopher L. Mc Kenzie, Jr., Nhlanhla Ndlovu, Aaron Nelson, Selloane Nkhela, Phylicia Pearl, Christopher Sams, Jordan Samuels, Mpume Sikakane, Sadé Simmons, Kimber Sprawl, Kevin Tate, Jennifer Theriot, Courtney Thomas, Shacura Wade, Zola Williams and Krystal Worrell.

Coming to Orlando as part of the 2017 – 2018 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando season tickets start at $35.25 and may be purchased online at drphillipscenter.org, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees. For groups of 10 or more please contact Group Sales at Groups@drphillipscenter.org or calling 407.455.5550.

Ticket buyers are reminded that Dr. Phillips Center is the only official retail ticket outlets for all performances. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that Dr. Phillips Center is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 19 million theatergoers. Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, The Lion King now proudly returns to Orlando to make its debut in the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Shows, dates, times, prices, and artists are subject to change.

Dashaun Young as “Simba” in THE LION KINGNorth American Tour. ©Disney. Photo by Joan Marcus.

ABOUT THE LION KING

In its 20th year, THE LION KING continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the only show in history to generate six productions worldwide running 15 or more years.  Performed in eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo and Sapporo, Madrid, Scheveningen, Holland, and on tour across North America, for a total of eight productions running concurrently across the globe.  Having played over 100 cities in 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.          

THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.  THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design. 

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.  The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.” 

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.  Other members of the creative team include:  Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as co-producer.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

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About the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. With its opening in November 2014, the performing arts center launched its vision of Arts for Every Life by being a gathering place for creativity and discovery; a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room, and other event rental spaces. Future expansion includes Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat acoustical theater, along with rehearsal, classroom, office space and commercial development spaces. Dr. Phillips Center is a private non-profit collaborating with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the City of Winter Park, the State of Florida and generous donors.

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando is presented in partnership with Broadway Across America and Florida Theatrical Association. FTA is a non-profit civic organization with a volunteer board of trustees established to ensure the continued presentation of quality touring Broadway productions and the promotion of arts education throughout the state of Florida. For more information, visit FloridaTheatrical.org .

Broadway Across America (BAA) is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes LionKing.com and The Broadway Channel.  Led by 11-time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 44 markets with over 400,000 subscribers. Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, Hairspray, Hello, Dolly!, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, The Producers, School of Rock and Waitress. LionKing.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit LionKing.com and Broadway.com.

 

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Toy Review: Imaginext DC Super Friends RC Mobile Command Center

DC Super Friends RC Mobile Command Center
Imaginext

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

With the Imaginext DC Super Friends RC Mobile Command Center, young Super Heroes can steer the action from the palms of their hands with the remote control, sending the command center forward and in a backward turn. At the press of the transform button, the Batwing platform rises, revealing the full command center with projectile launcher, jail, and cockpit for Batman. This transforming, crime-fighting machine is the perfect home base for your young Super Hero to create all sorts of action-packed, crime-fighting adventures with their favorite Caped Crusader!

Imaginext continues to really impress me with their DC Super Friends line. One of their newer releases the RC Mobile Command Center is packed with features that will surely enhance your child’s play experience. From the Centers remote control action to its impressive lights and sound and to top it all of a launching Batwing! Imaginext pulled out all the stops on this one. The toy is controlled by a four button remote which has good sized buttons making easy for even younger children to use and when not in use the remote hooks nicely to the back of the center for easy storage. Some other nice details were the fold down sides which house a jail cell and an additional projectile shooter. The cockpit of the vehicle also folds down where there is a seat for the included Batman figure.

Toy Tester Ian w/ the Command Center

Our toy tester Ian really gave the Command Center a good workout as he patrolled up and down the hallway of our house for what seemed like hours pausing only to see who he could land the launching Batwing on. (That thing really launches a good distance) From a parents point of view the toy offers quite a bit. Like all Imaginext toys the Center features a rugged build design that will survive even the roughest play. The only real drawback we could find was that once the toy is off the wheels lock which does not allow users to push the toy around freely. With the toy being a touch on the heavier side this may make moving the center a touch difficult for smaller children. That aside the DC Super Friends Mobile Command Center is a rolling, talking, lighted, launching good time that will certainly put a smile on your young ones face this holiday season.

 

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Theatre Review “Finding Neverland” @ Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – Orlando, FL

Finding Neverland
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Orlando, FL
June 6th, 2017

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Finding Neverland is a story about how author and playwright J.M. Barrie overcame creative struggles when four children and their widowed mother came into his life one day in Kensington Park in London, just after the turn of the century in the early 1900’s. Jack, George, Michael, Peter, and their mother Sylvia Llewelyn Davies broke Barrie out of a creative “slump” he was in by helping him to rediscover his inner child, reminding him that sometimes you shouldn’t take life too seriously and should just have some fun.

Barrie draws his inspiration primarily through Peter, who lost his playfulness and imagination following the passing of his father. Although Jack, George, Michael and their mother tried to maintain positivity following their loss, Peter just wasn’t the same. He had seemed to “grow up” too soon. But when Barrie and the Davies’ all met that fateful day in Kensington Gardens, Barrie couldn’t help but feel like he had to somehow restore Peter to the child he was before his father’s passing. In the process of doing so, Barrie ultimately found the child that had been suppressed within himself for far too long. As a result of Barrie finding that child buried deep inside, he remembered Neverland – an imaginary place he had fashioned in his mind when he was a young boy. That imaginary place, combined with inspiration Barrie drew from his various adventures with the Davies family, is what drove Barrie to give life to the story of Peter Pan as we now know it.

Neverland itself can be summed up as a beautiful story… about how we came to know another beautiful story. There’s laughter, joy, a little bit of sadness, and a whole lot of fun. But Neverland, in its Broadway play format – now traveling North America – is truly a masterpiece of the stage. It’s not just the story that made it such an enjoyable experience – but also the fantastic cast that brings the story to life in front of a live audience.

For just a few short hours, I hung on every line and every lyric of the dialogue and song that projected towards me from the stage. I couldn’t wait for the next witty line, silly joke – or even sad twist in an overall whimsical and upbeat storyline. The four young actors that played the Davies children were wonderful. Rory Donovan, who plays the roles of both Charles Frohman, the man who backed Barrie’s plays, as well as Captain James Hook – was fantastic. His Hook was intimidating yet hilarious at the same time. The entire cast worked so well together, was so polished and really seemed like they were having the time of their lives up on the stage.

Throughout the play I didn’t look at my watch, check my phone, or even have a single thought about anything else in the world outside of that theatre – not even once. When the play broke for intermission I was annoyed; I didn’t want the fun to stop. When it finally ended, I wanted it to start from the beginning all over again. If you have a chance to catch this play while it’s on tour do yourself a favor, and anyone else who you might consider bringing along, and go buy some tickets right now. I promise you that you’ll have a blast, and for at least a few short hours you’ll forget about everything else in the world and do nothing by laugh and smile. And we could all use more of that in our lives.

 

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Theatre Review: Wicked @ Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando FL

“Wicked” opened on Broadway in New York back in 2003 and has since com “a cultural phenomenon” according to Variety and called “the best musical of the decade” by Entertainment Weekly. “Wicked” has been performed in over 100 cities in 14 countries around the world being translated into six languages and is the winner of over 100 international major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards. And this month it is in Orlando, FL at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts’s Walt Disney Theater from January 11 – 29, 2017.

If you have never seen or heard of “Wicked” here is a quick premise: The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy dropped in. Elphaba, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made Wicked one of world’s most popular musicals.

This show was simply outstanding. Simply outstanding! I grew up in New York and visit the theatre district many many many times and have seen hundreds of plays. I loved the grand scale of it all. The sets, the cast, the music! It was all so amazing to me. When I moved to Florida in 2010, I thought I wasn’t going to be  able to see that scale of amazing again in the theatre…and that was true until I found the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts’s Walt Disney Theater. These people put on shows like I have never seen. “Wicked” was so just epic and breathtaking that I feel like I have to see it twice to soak in all the magic that it was!

I am sure that Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth were amazing in their original roles on Broadway. No doubt. But these two leads in Orlando were absolutely breathtaking! Their voices really pick you up and take your through this amazing story behind “The Wizard of Oz”. The talent on this production overall is just A+. With all the shows I’ve seen I have to admit this was in no question of the best in recent year! Must see this show at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts or at least during its North American tour.

Live Review: Ace Frehley, F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes Barre, PA

Ace Frehley, KillCode

Date: April 15, 2016
Venue: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes Barre, PA

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley made a stop at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes Barre, PA on April 15th, as part of a 12 show east-coast run promoting his latest album release titled “Origins Vol.1” The night was a series of ups and downs which at one point had the near capacity crowd on their feet cheering and the next moment had them scratching their heads while leaving the theater to a slow din of boo’s.

Being a huge fan of Ace I was certainly well aware of the fact that when it comes to the “Spaceman” you never know what you are going to get and, this night was certainly a testament to that. The show kicked off with the NYC based band KillCode whose modern rock tinged sound was met with a warm response from the Wilkes Barre. This could have been attributed to the fact that one of the bands guitarists was from the rural esque town or possibly that their performance was the most consistent of the night. Either way the band seemed well rehearsed and fit the opening slot well. After a brief set change and following the sounds of “Fractured Mirror” which played over the P.A. Ace and his band consisting of drummer Scot Coogan, guitarist Richie Scarlett and bassist Chris Wyse would take the stage. The group kicked off the set with one of Ace’s signature songs “Rip it Out” which gave way to several Kiss classics such as “Rocket Ride”, “Parasite” and “Love Gun”. It was at the start of “Parasite” that I began to notice that the night was in for an awkward turn. The songs tempo shifted back and forth as it seemed Ace and the rest of the band were clearly on separate pages. Thankfully after a bit of back and forth things leveled out and songs like Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” and “Rock Soldiers” sounded great. Towards the end of the bands set Ace began to move less and less and at one point he was even sitting on one of his speaker cabinets. After a lackluster solo and his signature smoking guitar trick the band quickly ran through the Kiss/Ace staple “Cold Gin” before immediately leaving the stage. Previous shows on the tour featured a two song encore which the fans were anxiously waiting and cheering for. After several minutes the house lights came fully on and music began playing over the P.A signaling the show was over. As fans made their way out the doors loud boos and other un-pleasantries filled the air. With a set a set that ran just under 90 minutes there was certainly cause for such reactions.

Fast-forward about 12hrs. to when it was announced that immediately after the Wilkes Barre show Ace was rushed to a nearby hospital and treated for exhaustion and dehydration. (As a side note the last show of the tour scheduled for 4/16 was canceled) I understand people get tired and things happen but when you are at the level Ace is at and have been performing as long as he has shouldn’t steps be taken to prevent these types of avoidable occurrences? Especially on a tour consisting of only 12 dates! This however is the typical type of Ace behavior which partly makes him so entertaining yet which has also plagued his career since his early days in Kiss. Will it ever change? That’s very hard to say. What I can say is that on 4/15 Wilkes Barre was treated to classic Ace all the way.

Set List:

1.) Rip It Out
2.) Toys
3.) Rocket Ride
4.) Parasite
5.) Love Gun
6.) Snowblind
7.) Sister
8.) Emerald (Thin Lizzy Cover)
9.) Rock Soldiers
10.) Bass Solo/Strange Ways
11.) New York Groove
12.) 2 Young 2 Die
13.) Shock Me/Guitar Solo
14.) Cold Gin

Concert Review: Slipknot “This Summer’s Last Stand Tour” Darien Center, NY

“This Summer’s Last Stand Tour”
Slipknot, Lamb of God, Bullet for My Valentine, Motionless in White
Date: Wednesday, July 29th 2015
Venue: Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Slipknot’s “Summers Last Stand Tour” made a stop at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Center on July 29th. Along with the masked 9 piece band from Iowa was Lamb of God, Bullet for My Valentine and Motionless in White. With a line up this impressive the energy outside was running high and as the night progressed each act did a great job building on that energy.

Opening up the night was Scranton, Pennsylvania’s very own Motionless in White. The band performed a brief set which included songs off of each of the bands 3 albums. Though fans were still making their way into the venue those who were able to get through the slow moving security lines were treated to a solid performance by the up and coming metal band. Bullet for My Valentine would take the stage next performing a handful of songs off their upcoming album titled “Venom” in between the new tracks were fans favorites such as “Raising Hell” and “Waking the Demon” which both were definite highlights of the bands set.

Virginia metalers Lamb of God were up next and instantly took the night to the next level. Flanked by large video screens and an impressive lighting rig the visual elements of the show seemed much higher than previous shows by the band. Vocalist Randy Blythe stalked the stage like a deranged psycho path stalking his next victim while spewing out thought provoking lyrics. Drummer Chris Adler laid an impressive rhythmic path which guitarists Mark Morton, Will Adler and bassist John Campbell followed beautifully. The band performed a few songs from their recently released “VII: Sturm Und Drang” along with such LOG classics as “Ghostwalking” and “Laid to Rest” with the always prevalent “Redneck” closing out the set. The band sounded and looked better than ever which made for a great show experience. Shortly after the members of Lamb of God left the stage two giant red curtains emblazoned with large black S logos would close of view of the stage. As the anticipation built so did the crowd which seemed to almost double from when the house lights first came on.

Once the lights came back down and Slipknots “XIX” began playing through the PA it was on. Front man Cory Taylor dominated the stage as the band performed a variety of songs ranging from their break out hit “Wait and Bleed” to newer songs such as “The Devil and I” and “Before I Forget”. DJ Sid Wilson provided a bevy of entertainment as he jigged and shook his way around the impressive stage which included a giant devil head. Guitarist Mick Thompson and Jim Root handled the 6 string duties perfectly while new members drum Jay Weinberg and bassist Alessandro Venturella handled a fair share of the rhythmic duties which were highlighted at times by the addition of Shawn “Clown” Crahan and Chris Fehn. The band as a whole sounded better than ever and performed this night at the top of their game.

With a number of dates left on the “Summers Last Stand Tour” you would be doing yourself a tremendous disservice if you don’t catch one of the remaining dates. Each of the four bands leave nothing on the table making the night worthy of the price of admission and then some.

Motionless in White Set List:

1.) Break the Cycle
2.) Devil’s Night
3.) America
4.) Abigail
5.) If It’s Dead, We’ll Kill It
6.) Unstoppable
7.) Reincarnate

Bullet For My Valentine Set List:

1.) Now Way Out
2.) Your Betrayal
3.) Raising Hell
4.) Scream Aim Fire
5.) Army of Noise
6.) Tears Don’t Fall
7.) Waking the Demon
Lamb of God Set List:
1.) Walk With Me in Hell
2.) Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
3.) Still Echoes
4.) 512
5.) Ghost Walking
6.) Ruin
7.) Hourglass
8.) Vigil
9.) Laid to Rest
10.) Redneck

Slipknot Set List:

1.) Sarcastrophe
2.) The Heretic Anthem
3.) Psychosocial
4.) The Devil in I
5.) AOV
6.) Vermillion
7.) Wait and Bleed
8.) Killpop
9.) Before I Forget
10.) Sulfur
11.) Duality
12.) Disasterpiece
13.) Spit It Out
14.) Custer
15.) (sic)
16.) People=Shit
17.) Surfacing

Theatre Review “Slava’s Snowshow” Orlando FL, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Tuesday, February 17, 2015–Sunday, March 1, 2015
Walt Disney Theater
120 minutes (2 hours)

“Slava’s Snowshow” is like nothing I have ever seen before on the stage. I have seen a dozen of the Cirque du Soleil shows and since Slava is the original Cirque du Soleil clown, I knew sort of what to expect. Still I haven’t been to a show that literally it has almost been a week since I saw it and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. This award winning international clown show has been touring for 20 years and I hope it goes for another 20 years. Even though this is a circus show, it is really magical. The set is extremely simple yet so effective. There is so much done with so little. The colors are so vibrant and the use of music blends in so beautifully.

Since this show is called “Snowshow”, I also expected the use of snow but never like this. Watch the 30 second clip below to just get a glimpse of what you can expect. You literally have snow exploded at you like a avalanche and it is breathtaking. Before the break, there is also a part with a spider web that takes over the entire theater. Words connect explain how terrifying yet at the same time exhilarating experience it was. to top it off it end with dozens of balls flying into the audience and the kids went crazy for that!

This was the first time that I got to visit the brand new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, FL and it is a marvel it is own. The parking situation is not great at all though and the staff was also quite nasty and rude. I don’t just mean one person either, I mean every single employee that we encountered was unpleasant. Luckily it got overshadowed by this amazing show. If it comes to your city, I highly recommend.

Orlando MegaCon Returns to the Orange County Convention Center April 10-12, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 2, 2014) — Orlando MegaCon, the Southeast’s largest comic book, anime, gaming and multi-media event, is returning to the Orange County Convention Center April 10-12.  The popular event promises to be bigger and better than ever with more events, exhibits and the announcement of celebrity guests including comic book icon, Stan Lee (Saturday and Sunday only).

The weekend starts off with the First Annual MegaWalk at MegaCon 2015, hosted by the Hero Initiative. This event will take place on Friday, April 10 at 11 a.m. with all proceeds going towards the Hero Initiative. The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. The walk’s grand marshal will be comic book legend George Perez.

The festivities continue on Friday night at The Cosmos Party. With DJ performances, dancing, laser light show, VIP celebrities and costume contest, The Cosmos Party is the official launch of MegaCon. The Cosmo Party takes place in Ballroom D and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  Attendees must be 18 or older with proper ID to attend this event.

MegaCon’s avid attendees come first and foremost to see the all-star line-up of comic book guests including George Pérez, Ed McGuiness, Mike Perkins, Marv Wolfman, Allen Bellman, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Cho, Ethan Van Sciver, Andy Smith, Darwyn Cooke, Drew Geraci, Rob Hunter, Katie Cook, Bob Layton, Chuck Dixon, Andy Price, Mike Lilly, Sean Chen, Greg Horn, Dan Parent, Sergio Cariello, Billy Tucci and Brian Pulido

Also big draws at MegaCon are the “media guests” (stars of TV, film and professional sports).  Media guests include:

  • Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies – The Walking Dead
  • Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and Mark Boone Junior – Sons of Anarchy (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Hulk Hogan – Professional wrestling icon (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Cary Elwes – The Princess Bride
  • Karen Gillan – Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Jenna Colman, Arthur Darvill – Doctor Who (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Summer Glau – Firefly, Arrow (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Adam Baldwin – Firefly, Chuck
  • Alan Tudyk — Firefly
  • David Ramsey – Arrow
  • Lou Ferrigno – The Incredible Hulk
  • Sean Patrick Flanery, David Della Rocca, Clifton Collins, Jr. – The Boondock Saints
  • Jeremy Shada, Olivia Olson – Adventure Time
  • Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Trey MacNeille – The Animaniacs and professional voice actors
  • Grey DeLisle and Troy Baker – professional voice actors

Other weekend events include the MegaCon video gaming with the Supercon 2K series and an arcade room by Freeplay Florida.

MegaCon 2015 Showroom Dates and Hours:
Friday, April 10:        12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 11:   10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, April 12:     10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

MegaCon 2015 Ticket Prices:
Online:  Friday – $30, Saturday – $35, Sunday $30, 3-day – $70
Onsite:  Friday – $35, Saturday – $40, Sunday $35, 3-day –$75

MegaCon 2015 Location:
Orange County Convention Center
West Building – Exhibit Halls A4 through B4
9899 International Drive
Orlando, FL  32819

Saturday tickets are expected to sell out, so guests are encouraged to consider attending MegaCon on Friday or Sunday.

About MegaCon

MegaCon has grown to become one of the largest comic book and sci-fi conventions in the nation with attendance increasing each year. Designed to appeal to all ages and interests, MegaCon allows attendees to meet and mingle with their favorite comic book artists and TV/film stars, buy amazing collectibles from hundreds of vendors and artists, enjoy gaming events, and participate in numerous activities throughout the weekend.

The MegaCon guest list is constantly growing. Check www.MegaConvention.com frequently for more updates.

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Editor’s Note:

Guest appearances, events and times are subject to change or cancellation. For current information, visit www.megaconvention.com.