“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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Julie Taymor Talks “Titus” at New York’s First Time Fest

April 7 – Tonight the First Time Fest will be honor director Julie Taymor with the John Huston Award for Achievement in Cinema. This will be her first film award after directing four features: The Tempest, Across the Universe, Frida and first film, Titus.

Made in 1999, Titus is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s violent revenge tragedy, Titus Andronicus. It stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as the titular Roman general whose murder of the sons of an enemy Queen (Jessica Lange as Tamora) leads to the destruction of his entire family. Taymor joined festival goers this week, along with composer Elliot Goldenthal for a screening and discussion of the film. It screened as a part of the fest’s First Exposure series highlighting successful director’s first features.

Even though Taymor had already produced the play “very simply and inexpensively” in a church in 1994, the film version did not come about until after her wildly successful production of The Lion King on Broadway.

“I came off The Lion King and what do you do next?” she told the audience, “I had to go to the opposite end of the spectrum–I mean I know that’s considered Hamlet–but really I think that I just didn’t want to be put into a box of any sort. And also I really wanted to work with the greatest writer in the English language…and I had loved the play when we did it.”

Taymor maintained it was her favorite Shakespeare play despite the popular opinion that it’s not one of Shakespeare’s best works saying it presented “a young man’s anger…before he got refined and self-reflective” and later adding “no contemporary movie compares to the bravado of that play. That you think Titus is going to be the good guy and then he kills his daughter! And then he kills his sons! And then Tamora and she says ‘cruel, irreligious piety’, her sons are taken away–you should understand everything that she does. And then look what she does.”

Along with her passionate discussion of the play itself Taymor offered additional trivia about the film itself including:

  • Al Pacino was in consideration for the lead role before Anthony Hopkins signed on.
  • Taymor initially planned to shoot the film in Las Vegas rather than Rome but after visiting Rome on the advice of production designer Dante Ferretti, changed her mind.
  • Many of the cast members including Jessica Lange, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Laura Fraser had never performed Shakespeare before the film.
  • Anthony Hopkins insisted a scene in which he has one of his hands chopped off be done in one take because, as Taymor recalled him telling her “ I know myself and what I’m gonna do, if i do it again, I will have a heart attack.”

Julie Adams reflects back on her role in “Creature from the Black Lagoon”

Julie Adams is known best as the bathing beauty Kay Lawrence in 1954’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. She also appeared in the musical comedy “Tickle Me” along side Elvis Presley in 1965. Recently, Adams has authored a book on her life and career called “The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections From The Black Lagoon”, which was published in 2011 and is currently available via her website. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Julie about her role in “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and discuss her outstanding career.

Mike Gencarelli: Why do you think that Creature has resonated with fans for all these years?
Julie Adams: I think it’s a good movie. The script was well-written by Harry Essex and Arthur A. Ross. Jack Arnold was a fine director; he did a beautiful job directing the film. Our ensemble cast helped to make a fantastic story believable. The Creature suit was unique and original, and still captures audiences’ imaginations today with how immaculately it was designed and realized on film. The music also accentuates the suspense and enhances the scary moments. Creature enthusiasts from back in the 1950s watched the movie with their children in the 1970s. Today, people who grew up in the 70s run the film with their kids, so we now have three generations of fans — it is truly remarkable to be a part of this kind of phenomenon.

MG: What was your initial reaction when you first saw the Gill Man costume? Was it on Ben Chapman or Ricou Browning?
JA: I was startled the first time I saw the Gill Man fully realized. I’ll never forget how believable the costume looked. I did the majority of my work in the film with Ben Chapman. Ricou primarily worked with my double, Ginger Stanley, in the underwater sequences that were shot in Wakulla Springs, Florida.

MG: Did shooting the film in 3D cause any issues during production?
JA: Have you seen the new 3D Bluray? Shooting in 3D had very little impact on me throughout the course of the production. That aspect of the filmmaking was left up to our fine camera crew and director. I have seen the new 3D Bluray. In fact, we screened it in Jacksonville, Florida in March at Sun-Ray Cinema with a sold out audience. The entire film has been digitally restored. It’s almost like a new movie. Like a crystal clear window into the past. It is absolutely spectacular!

MG: What was it like swimming knowing that “the creature” was underneath you?
JA: In actuality, it was all an illusion. Because I only did the swimming on the surface at Universal Studios in Hollywood, the Creature was never beneath me at the studio. That was the magic of editing. The stunning underwater photography in Florida was seamlessly cut together with the shots of me on the surface on the studio backlot, creating the effect for the audience that the Creature and I were actually in the Black Lagoon together. I’m still astonished at how well the underwater ballet with Kay and the Gill Man still captivates viewers to this day!

MG: Any interesting stories from shooting in the water?
JA: Probably the most intriguing was from a scene near the end of the picture when I am being carried by Ben Chapman in the Creature’s underwater lair. Someone at the studio had forgotten to heat the tank that day. It was a chilly autumn morning, and the water was quite cold. So when Ben emerged with me in his arms I was trying desperately not to shiver. The goggles on Ben’s Creature mask fogged up and he couldn’t see very well. The cave set was made up of paper mache’ rocks that had a few jagged edges. While carrying me unconscious in his arms, Ben accidentally bumped my head against one of the rocks and my eyes suddenly opened and I raised my head. The director yelled “Cut,” and production was delayed momentarily while a small scrape on my forehead was tended to by a nurse. Of course, the studio made a publicity stunt out of it and pictures were taken of the mishap. I still love seeing the photo of Ben in his Creature suit looking over me solicitously as the nurse tends to my forehead. In the end, it was a very minor incident and production resumed about fifteen minutes later.

MG: Tell why did you decided to write your memoir “The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections From The Black Lagoon”?
JA: It was really the fans’ idea. Over the years a lot of folks who enjoy my work in movies and television asked me about writing a memoir. Finally in 2009, my son Mitch and I decided it was time to sit down and write one! It took us more than two years to complete. We have been delighted with the response to it, movie enthusiasts from all over world have read it, some have even sent nice notes telling me how much they have enjoyed it. There is an entire chapter about the making of Creature from the Black Lagoon, the book is also filled with numerous behind-the-scenes photos form Creature and other films and television shows that I appeared in through the years. It is available exclusively through my website at www.julieadams.biz.

MG: Any plans to release as audio book expanding the original small run?
JA: Due to the popularity of the print book, we released the audio book near the end of 2012. I read the entire story for the production, which was a lot of fun and brought back so many memories. I think my fans have enjoyed hearing me read the story on the audio book. Some even own both the print and audio book, which is wonderful!

MG: What was it like working with Elvis Presley?
JA: It was a dream. I’m from the South and Elvis was a true Southern gentleman. One example of this was how he sent all of the actresses in Tickle Me flowers on their first day on the set. I also marveled at how well he performed his singing numbers in the movie, lip-syncing them perfectly. Elvis was a phenomenon, and I cherished my time working with him!

MG: Looking back on your amazing career what were some of your favorite roles?
JA: Naturally, I loved the role of Kay Lawrence in Creature. It was nice playing an educated scientist who goes off on an adventure up the Amazon in search of the origin of a mysterious claw. I also enjoyed portraying Laura Baile in Bend of the River, opposite James Stewart, whom I consider to be one of the silver screen’s finest actors. Later in my career I had great fun as Eve Simpson, the realtor in Cabot Cove on Murder, She Wrote. She was an eccentric character who provided some funny moments on the show. And of course it was a great experience to play comedy with someone as skilled as Angela Lansbury. I also loved performing in the theatre. One of my favorite roles was as Mary Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s masterwork Long Day’s Journey into Night. I’ve been fortunate to play a lot of interesting women over the years, and feel blessed to have had so many opportunities in film, television, and on the stage to entertain audiences.

Win Code to Watch "Knife Fight" starring Rob Lowe & Julie Bowen on SundanceNOW [ENDED]


In conjunction with the theatrical release of “Knight Fight”, Media Mikes is excited to to give two readers a chance to win a code to watch “Knife Fight” starring Rob Lowe & Julie Bowen right now on SundanceNOW. All you have to do is let us know, in a few sentences, your favorite film about politics. The giveaway will be open until February 8th. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email. The film is currently in theaters and is also available on the platform at: https://www.sundancenow.com/film/knife-fight/1040

If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of “true believer” Paul Turner (Rob Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office. With the help of a bright young assistant (Jamie Chung) and a seedy operative (Richard Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Julie Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a philandering Kentucky governor (Eric McCormick), a blackmailed California senator (David Harbour), and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Carrie-Anne Moss). When the ugly side of Turner’s work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean.

KNIFE FIGHT is a smart, crackling, comedic “inside look” at what happens behind closed doors in modern American politics. Two-time Academy Award-winning director Bill Guttentag teamed with renowned political consultant Chris Lehane to create this political story for the new century. As the November election approaches, KNIFE FIGHT pulls back the curtain on the “real truth” of the political process.

Interview with Julie Benz

Julie Benz is currently co-starring in ABC’s new series “A Gifted Man”. She is also co-starring in TNT’s upcoming Mystery Saturday Night film, “Sandra Brown’s
Ricochet”, which airs November 30th. Julie is also know for her recent roles on the TV series’ “Dexter” & “No Ordinary Family” and films like “The Boondock Saints II: All Saint’s Day”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Julie about her new TNT movie and what we can expect from her role.

Mike Gencarelli: Were you familiar with Sandra Brown’s novel prior to working with the film “Ricochet”?
Julie Benz: I was familiar with Sandra Brown. I had read “Ricochet” a long time ago like a while ago and really enjoyed it. I’m an avid reader and I love her books.

The character of Elise is a little mysterious and a little bit of a trouble maker; what did you like most about playing her? And how did you prepare for the role?
JB: What I loved was how for me with the challenge of playing Elise was how close she keeps everything inside and you don’t know if she’s good or bad and you’re never sure exactly what she’s thinking and that was a real challenge for me to play. I had to work really hard on an accent. So I worked very hard on my accent for the movie as well and that helps me really get into Elise. With that specific type of Southern accent she moved slower and talked slower than I do and that allowed me to actually be a little more serious.

MG: Did you consider the role to be challenging overall?
JB: No. I mean it was challenging to play but it wasn’t difficult in the fact that I mean I understood what her intentions were sure. I mean the way she got around to doing stuff wasn’t necessarily all that normal. But in her heart everything like her intentions behind it all was pure. So but you had to actually admit too she’s a little crazy for what she did.

MG: How do you feel the film different from the book?
JB: I think it does an amazing job of adapting the book into the movie. There’s so much information in the book and you get a lot more back story but the film itself follows the action quite specifically.

MG: You are quite involved with your social media, how has that been playing into the promotion of projects like “Ricochet” for you?
JB: Oh I mean it’s always so great. TNT puts up a new promo for the show I can just Tweet it and everybody goes and looks at it. I love social media. I think it’s a great way to not just promote the work that you do but also to have direct contact with fans and are able promote any kind of charities that you’re involved in.

JB: With “Ricochet”, what do you think it is that will draw viewers in?
JB: You know, first the story. The story is really compelling in the way that it’s shot. It is very much as a film and then of course I mean you have John Corbett and Gary Cole, so what’s not to watch?

MG: Well you just mentioned Gary Cole he’s always such a fascinating actor. What was he like to work with?
JB: Oh he’s the pro man. He is this ultimate gentlemen first and second just a pro. Just watching him grasp his character and making the choices that he made to play Judge Laird, it’s like being in a master class watching him work.

MG: Okay now also recently after you spent so much time on series work like “Dexter” and “Ordinary Family” and now “A Gifted Man”, how was it different to work on a film with a set beginning, middle and end?
JB: Well it’s a little overwhelming at first because we shot it in 18 days. So it’s a pretty fast process and pretty fast filming. So you have to really do a lot of homework before you arrive on set and really do a lot of your character development before you get there. Rather than when you are in a TV series they start kind of crafting the role for you and they start writing it in your voice after you’re cast and tailoring it to who you are. I love doing television because I love being on set everyday with the same people. So it’s sad when you have to say goodbye.

Interview with Julie Dawn Cole

Julie Dawn Cole started her career with the role of Veruca Salt in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Her career turned towards performing on TV and theater. She is presently working on getting a degree counseling and psychotherapy and hoping for a Willy Wonka reunion in the near future. Movie Mikes has the chance to talk with Julie to ask her a few questions about “Willy Wonka” and what’s the come in the future.

Click here to purchase “Willy Wonka” merchandise

Mike Gencarelli: How do you feel that “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has impacted your life”?
Julie Dawn Cole: A lot actually and I am currently working on my memoirs at the moment. Which hopefully will be published in four or five months. It has given me a lot of time to look back on it. Obviously at the time as a 12 year old, I had no idea the impact it was going to have and continued to have. I was just a kid having fun doing a movie of a great story. Little did I think I would be talking about it 40 years later.

Mike Gencarelli: Who was your favorite cast member during the shoot?
Julie Dawn Cole: Obviously I because very close to Denise (Nickerson) who played Violet Beauregarde. We were two girls, we were both away from home and both almost 13 years old. We became very close like sisters. However we both did have a crush on Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket). There definitely was a little bit of rivalry going on. The entire cast we were all very close. I do have a special place in my heart for both Denise and Peter.

Mike Gencarelli: Do you keep in touch with any of them still?
Julie Dawn Cole: Yes, I do. In fact we lost touch for a long time but thankfully there was reunion in ’97 for a convention in NJ at Chiller Theater.  That was the first time I saw Peter Ostrum and Paris Themmen since we finished shooting in 1970. So I met up with them. Since then I have met up with Denise, Diana Sowle (Mrs. Bucket), Rusty Goffe, he was an Oompa Loompa, Mel Stuart. Pretty much the rest of us has been meeting up occasionally since then.

MG: Sources say that you have two props from the movie? Can you tell us about that?
JC: Well I did have an Everlasting Gobstopper, I believe I was one of the only ones to end up with one of those. I do have a Golden Ticket. I do still have the wrapper of a Scrumdiddlyumptious bar and the Wonka Bar. A lot of the stuff we were a loud to keep at the time. Once they were used in the shooting they were redundant. At one point I had about ten Golden Tickets, but over the years I have lost track of them.

MG: What was your favorite memory from the filming of “Willy Wonka”?
JC: Lots of different memories, probably a favorite scene would just being in the chocolate room. The pure imagination set with all river and waterfall, it was just magical to experience. I suppose I found have to say that filming my song, which was largely filmed on my 13th birthday is my most memorable.

MG: Do you have a least favorite?
JC: Would have been in the pure imagination chocolate room because I had to eat all this chocolate stuff out of a styrofoam watermelon. I had to scoop all the chocolate stuff out and as a child I did not like chocolate. Which is ironic being being in the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. I especially didn’t like the chocolate goop that was in there it was rather disgusting, so that was probably my least favorite.

MG: Shortly after “Willy Wonka”, you only acted in two more movies? Any reason you stopped making movies?
JC: Largely in the UK, our film industry wasn’t as big as your in the US. The work that was available was in television, so that is the direction that my career took.

MG: You have been extremely active in television over the years, what has been your favorite project to work on?
JC: Wow, over the years I have several. Most recently I have done presenting (on “This Morning”, a British daytime television series), which enabled me to travel and I went to China, India, and all sort of other places. I worked on a drama for about two years about nurses, I was 17 or 18. Also lots of costume drama which I have enjoyed as well. I have been very lucky with my career.
MG: How do you feel about the remake directed by Tim Burton “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”?
JC: I have mixed feeling about it. Obviously I am going to be loyal to my own. I enjoyed some parts of it, specifically the exterior shots of the factory. The rest of it, I do know that probably best for other people to decide. I couldn’t be objective.

MG: Tell me how you came up with “Veruca Salt’s Big South African Adventure?
JC: That came about because from an advertising campaign in the UK for Virgin Holidays. They used a singer Charlotte Church, who is well known over here and she recorded by song “I Want It Now”. The emphasis was “I Want the World, I Want the Whole World”. They thought it would be quite fun to take the real Veruca Salt to an exotic location and if it was good enough for Veruca Salt, then it would be good enough for the rest of us. I had a fantastic few days in South Africa courtesy of Virgin Holidays. I was just having fun and being a grown-up Veruca Salt. The premise was what would Veruca Salt be like if she was grown-up…probably still demanding.

MG: Would you ever be interested in a Willy Wonka cast convention reunion?
JC: Definitely, definitely. I am rather hoping that when my book comes out, me might all get to meet together again. It has been too long, it is time we do another one. It is the 40th anniversary next year so maybe its time they got us back together again. The main kind of instigator was Paris Themmen, he was quite active in getting us all together. He got involved with other things and we lost our connection. I had a fantastic number of years, we traveled New York and all over America. It would be fantastic to do more. Chiller Theater was an amazing experience. The first one was was huge back in ’97 and there were lines around the block. With my book and with the 40th anniversary maybe they will have a reason for hooking us back together again.

MG: What do you have in store for the future? Any adventures planned?
JC: It is a possibility I may be doing a show based on a show we did at Melborne Comedy Festival in 2004, I may taking that to Edinburgh for the Edinburgh festival. I have been working hard in a completely different area and I am about to qualify with a BA in counseling and psychotherapy. So my career could be doing off in a completely different direction.

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