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Thursday, March 5, 2015

In This Edition Quick Links

Advertise in the WANZeGRAM!

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Movie of the Week

Our dynamic movie-reviewing duo was participating in DANCING WITH THE FIRNGE STARS, and therefore did not review a movie on The Phiips Phile this past Monday.

Cats Take The Stage at The Venue
The Amazing Acro-Cats Set To Frolic At The Venue!

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (with delight); it’s better than Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway endeavor, and it’s playing right now in Orlando!

Making their multi-day Orlando debut at The Venue, the nationally touring ACRO-CATS is a one-hour show featuring over a dozen fabulous felines (all former orphans, rescues, and strays) walking tightropes, pushing carts, skateboarding, jumping through hoops, ringing bells, balancing on balls, and turning on lights. The newest addition to the group, NOLA, is sure to delight and amaze with her energy and ability. A new celebrity in the troupe, Alley, was just awarded a Guinness Book of World Records Title for longest jump made by a cat - but wait, there’s more! Tuna, the star of the show, is the leader of the only cat band in existence – “THE ROCK CATS” - Oz on guitar, Dakota on drums, Nue on keyboards, and Sookie on chimes. Tuna (who plays cowbell) and her backing band really strut their stuff with their own style of original music. Cluck Norris, a chicken on cymbal and tambourine, isn’t “kitten” around - she usually steals the show!

CEH Samantha Martin (Chief Executive Human) of the Amazing Acro-Cats, challenges the idea that “cats can’t be trained.” Tuna and the gang are regular ol’ house cats who have learned all their talents through clicker training. The show features a cat or kitten learning some basics using this method which highlights positive reinforcement. Although Martin has studied and worked with many species, today her primary focus is cats. Martin tells The WANZeGRAM, “Training builds richer and more meaningful relationships between animals and humans, and it can even save time and lives in emergencies.”  A lifelong fascination and unique bond with animals motivated Martin to study and earn her degree in animal husbandry and behavioral sciences. Her dedication and love for these felines can be seen in each and every purr-formance.

A portion of ticket sales from every performance goes toward cat and kitten rescue! Martin advocates adoption from local shelters and other organizations, and works with them in many ways, especially by taking adoptable cats on the road, making the Amazing Cat-Bus a mobile fostering unit. Over the past four years, Martin has purr-sonally found homes for over 156 cats and kittens, and continues to take cats in need and helps them find their furr-ever homes.  

View a recent performance:

http://youtu.be/6620Fv1Khpc

THE AMAZING ACROCATS
Featuring
TUNA AND THE ROCK CATS”

March 5  & 6  - 8 PM
March 7 - 5 PM & 8 PM
March 8
 - 2 PM & 5 PM
March 12 & 13
 - 8 PM
March 14
  - 5 PM & 8 PM
March 15
– 2 PM & 5 PM

THE VENUE
511 Virginia Drive
Orlando, FL 32803

$20

407-412-6895
www.thevenueorlando.com

Acro-Cats #1 of the top ten for Austin Chronicle’s best of 2013 list!
www.austinchronicle.com

For more show details and information about the cats, visit their website:
 
www.circuscats.com

Blue Star Collaborates with Kenny Howard on All New VarieTEASE at The Abbey

Orlando favorite Blue Star brings her renowned VarieTEASE to The Abbey with a brand new show, CARNIES VarieTEASE, opening on March 11 on the same stage where this iconic dancer/singer/actress recently garnered rave reviews as Sally Bowles in the Kenny Howard-directed Gen Y production of the Broadway musical, CABARET.

“So many people have been asking for the return of VarieTEASE CARNIVALE, but I was in the mindset to create something new,” explains Blue.  ‘Working on LADIES OF EOLA HEIGHTS and CABARET at The Abbey inspired me to want to utilize that fabulously spacious venue to mount an all-new VarieTEASE that would be reminiscent of CARNIVALE without duplicating it, and to do so on a scale not possible at my own The Venue.”

This all new VarieTEASE production explores what happens when the lights go down and the vagabond “Carnies” live out love, life, and their collective search for personal truths in the shadows outside the spotlight. Blue Star is collaborating with Abbey Artistic Director Kenny Howard on CARNIES; these two mainstays of the Orlando performing arts scene have joined forces to create a mesmerizing experience utilizing the entire Abbey as their playground.

Howard tells the WANZeGRAM, “From the moment I first set foot in The Abbey I knew I wanted to incorporate the entire space into a site-specific piece. We experimented with that idea quite successfully with the “Full Experience” pre-show during the run of CABARET, but I’m beyond excited about taking that idea to greater heights through Blue Star’s well-established VarieTEASE franchise. Her fans responded so favorably to CARNIVALE, and with the recent popularity of TV’s AMERICAN HORROR STORIES FREAK SHOW, the timing seemed right for CARNIES, and I knew if I could convince Blue to let her inventive off-beat imagination run wild in this space [The Abbey], that we could deliver something very special.”

We at The WANZeGRAM think you’ll agree:

Performance Schedule

Wednesday, March 11 – 8 PM
Thursday, March 12 – 8 PM
Friday, March 13 – 10 PM
Saturday, March 14 – 1 PM
Thursday, March 19 – 8 PM
Friday, March 20 – 8 PM
Saturday, March 21 – 9 PM
Thursday, March 26 – 8 PM
Friday, March 27 – 8 PM
Saturday, March 28 – 1 PM

$30 General/$50 VIP – Reserved Table Seating

www.TicketWeb.com

1.866.468.7630

Groups of eight or more may reserve discounted tickets by calling 407.704.6116 or by emailing:  groups@artfulevents.com.

Pictures of the Week

DANCING WITH THE FRINGE STARS

Raised $9,000 for Orlando Fringe!

Congrats to every one who donated time and/or attended. Nice Job!

Now On Sale In Our Box Office

Now On Sale!

CHRISTIAN KELTY   WANZIE
     MICHAEL MARRINACIO  ANTITRA PTICHARD

in

SIX SHOWS ONLY

Sundays Only - March 15 through April 19, 2015 – 3 PM

Very Limited Per-Show Capacity
Reservations Strongly Encouraged

$15 Advance/$20 day of show if available – cash-only at the door

RESERVE YOUR GUARANTEED ADMISSION NOW

JOE'S NYC BAR is a unique, interactive, and improvisational theatrical experience that transports its audience to a bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Popular Orlando watering hole, St. Matthew's Tavern, located in Orlando's Mils 50 District, will be utilized as the setting, complete with full-liquor service during each performance. This one of a kind theatrical experience is brimming with characters whose stories will compel viewers to become participants as they sit alongside and mingle with JOE's employees and clientele. JOE’s debuted as a part of the 2001 Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, and went on to run from 2001-2004: 10 episodes, 76 performances, with a total of 43 SOLD OUT shows. Over 6,000 audience members saw the performances, and JOE’s employed over one hundred of Orlando’s finest actors, musicians, and visual artists who brought the show to life.

CAST:
Ten years later, JOE’s still has an excited audience base, and is returning with a stellar cast including the show's creator,
Christian Kelty along with Ali Flores, Trenell Mooring, John Connon, Jenn Gannon, Michael Marrinacio, Anitra Pritchard-Bryant, Glenn (Chrysanthemum) Pace, Simon Needham, and Wanzie. 

MUSICAL GUESTS:
Each of the six Sunday-Matinee-Only performances will feature a live musical act performing intermittently throughout the show:

March 15th - Tod Kimbro & Jeff Forte     March 22nd - Eugene Snowden (of The Legendary JC’s) & Friends

March 29th - Kayleigh  Baker     April 5th - Phil Longo     April 12th - Mad as Adam

April 19th - TBD

SEATING:
All tickets for JOE'S NYC BAR are General Admission Only. Choice of seating will be on a first come first served basis. All seating is on barstools. Although this venue is wheelchair accessible, please be advised that persons who cannot transfer to a barstool will have a very limited view of the action. Seating is quite limited. Advance online ticket purchase is essential. St. Matthew’s Tavern will open for seating/bar service 30 minutes prior to show time.

JOE’S NEW YORK CITY BAR

Sundays Only - March 15 through April 19, 2015 – 3 PM

ST. MATTHEW'S TAVERN
(Formerly PARADISE, SWANK, CACTUS CLUB, SILVER HAMMER)
1300 N. Mills Avenue
Orlando, FL 32803

$15 Advance/$20 day of show if available – cash-only at the door

RESERVE YOUR GUARANTEED ADMISSION NOW

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Short Takes

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: When it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”
Charles Dickens

My Two Cents

 

GOT SOMETHING TO SAY?
By all means, share it with your subscriber friends right here in your WANZeGRAM. Submit your 350-words-or-less opinion piece, rant, rave, or observations to Email your submission to wanziemichael@gmail.com

Now Playing

Through March 7
THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR
Orlando Shakes

$20 - $45/Student Rush $12
www.orlandoshakes.org

Saturday, March 7

The Abbey

$50 General/$75 VIP
http://www.ticketweb.com

Through March 8

Central Florida Expo Park

$10/$6 Child|$30 All-Day-Rides Wristband
Thursday, March 5 – GINUWINE
Friday, March 6 – JAMES OTTO
Saturday, March 7 – TAKE THE STAGE:
Local Bands and Talent Competition
Sunday, March 8 – Final Day!
http://centralfloridafair.com

Through March 8
Baggy Pants Theater & Greater Orlando Actor’s Theater production of
THE ELEPHANT MAN
Orlando Shakes

$20
Please do NOT call Orlando Shakes. Reservations:
321.426.O252
http://actsoup.net

Through March 8
TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD
Orlando Shakes

$17 – $45
407.447.1700
www.OrlandoShakes.org

Through March 15
SINGING IN THE RAIN
Osceola Arts Center

$15-$22
https://www.vendini.com

Through March 15
LES MISERABLES
Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center

$20-$27
https://www.vendini.com

Through March 15
THE ACRO CATS
The Venue

$20
407-412-6895
www.thevenueorlando.com

Through March 22
HENRY V
Orlando Sakes

$20 -$45/$10-$22 Senior Matinees/$12 Student Rush/
$10 Off ticket price – Military & Students
407.447.1700
www.orlandoshakes.org

With 16 concerts lighting up the stage; 1.8 million beads flying through the air; a wild and wonderful parade led by amazing, outrageous performers, and great food—Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando® is Florida‘s Biggest Party.

The Mardi Gras concerts, parade and French Quarter bands are included with your Annual Pass or Universal Studios® Admission.

  • Saturday, March 7, 8 PM: Trace Adkins

  • Friday, March 13, 8:30 PM: MKTO

  • Saturday, March 14, 8:30 PM: Styx

  • Sunday, March 15, 8:30 PM: American Authors

  • Friday, March 20, 8:30 PM: Becky G

  • Saturday, March 21, 8:30 PM: Yandel

  • Sunday, March 22, 8:30 PM: The B-52’s

  • Saturday, March 28, 8:30 PM: Phillip Phillips

  • Saturday, April 4, 8:30 PM: The All-American Rejects

  • Saturday, April 11, 8:30 PM: The Band Perry

  • Saturday, April 18, 8:30 PM: Trey Songz

 

CABARET – NORBERT LEO BUTZ: GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS
Two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz returns to The Abbey with his latest cabaret GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS, focusing on the female–both the mythic and the contemporary. Butz enchanted Orlando with his first engagement at The Abbey, garnering rave reviews from every person present for the sold out shows, and from Orlando Sentinel Theater Critic Matt Palm who wrote of the singer’s performance -

“Crackling with energy… Butz's weary-sounding voice belies youthful buoyancy. He flies into actor mode with voice cracking, arms flailing, and eyes popping as he runs through a list of the women his character has dated…it's fun to watch his demeanor change, depending on the genre: he plays his Broadway songs to the audience; his bluesier numbers seem more internalized. He's playing those to his own thoughts and memories…you can't help but cheer with him. That's showmanship.”

This return engagement will feature all-new material. Expect tunes from the likes of Elvis Costello, Loretta Lynn, Frank Sinatra, and even a little Johnny Cash! The New York Times described this particular cabaret as -

“Deeper and richer than any conventional Broadway musical.”

Butz is best known for his starring roles in WICKED, THE LAST 5 YEARS, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, THOU SHALT NOT, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, and BIG FISH.

They Abbey’s Broadway Cabaret Series
Presents
GIRLS, GRILS, GIRLS
Starring

NORBERT LEO BUTZ
This Saturday - March 7, 2015

8 PM

THE ABBEY
Pine Street at 101 South Eola
Downtown Orlando/Thornton Park

Valet Parking Available

$50 General/$75 VIP:
http://www.ticketweb.com

THEATER – HENRY V
Young and brash King Henry V of England sets out to repair his broken nation after a bloody civil war, and discovers the challenges of leadership are greater than he ever imagined. From Henry's rousing battle speeches to courting the Princess of France, Shakespeare’s Henry V explores what makes a man a king...and a king a man.

The production features audience favorite John P. Keller (title roles in Nicholas Nickleby and Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker) as King Henry V. Geoffrey Kent (Petruchio in 2013’s The Taming of the Shrew) takes on the roles of Exeter/Nym, and Richard B. Watson (C.P. Ellis in this fall’s acclaimed production of The Best of Enemies) returns as Constable of France/Fluellen. Actor Stephen Paul Johnson makes his Orlando Shakes debut as Canterbury/Pistol, following appearances with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Additional casting includes local actors Brad DePlanche (as Ely/Bardolph), Kate Ingram (as Quickly/French King), Sarah Caroline Billings (as Katherine/Montjoy), and Stephen Lima (as Jamy/Bourbon).

Through MARCH 22
Previews February 18 & 19

Thursdays through Saturdays
(And Select Wednesdays)
7:30 PM
Sundays at 2 PM

Senior Matinees
March 4, 11 & 18
at 2 PM

Preview Shows
February 18 &19
at 7:30 PM

$20 Under 30
February 27
7:30 PM

ORLANDO SHAKES
Margeson Theatre
812 East Rollins Street
Orlando, FL 32803

$20, $35, $45

Student Rush $12/Previews & Senior Matinees $10, $17, $22
Military & Students $10 off single ticket prices
(Only available in Sections A and B, with valid ID)

407.447.1700

www.drphillipscenter.org

Coming Attractions
In this section you will find opening dates for future attractions so you may plan ahead. Emboldened listings indicate events added as of this edition of your GRAM.


BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA
Touring Productions:

 MOWTOWN
The Musical

March 10 through March 15
 

Disney's
BEAUTY & THE BEAST
May 12-17, 2015

PIPPIN
April 21 – April 26

ANYTHING GOES
May 26 – 31

I LOVE LUCY:
LIVE ON STAGE

June 23 - 28

SHOWS FOR CHILDREN:

DINOSAUR TRAIN LIVE   CHUGGINGTON LIVE
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA-SYMPHONY OF THE GODESS

 VARIETY:
SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW
SHEN YUNG      HARVARD GLEE CLUB
HUNDRED WATERS   COSI FAN TUTTE
 

BIG STARS:
JACKSON BROWNE   ELVIS COSTELLO   JOHN MELLENCAMP
SARAH MCLACHLAN   JAY LENO   SERGIO MENDES
DAVID SEDARIS   IRA GLASS   IDINA MENZEL

Details & Reservations:

DrPhillipsCenter.org

844.513.2014

Box Office Hours
10 AM – 4 PM, Monday - Friday
(closed on holidays and weekends)

March 5 The Famous Cat Circus ACRO CATS The Venue
March 7 MADRI GRAS PARTY Parliament House
  NORBERT LEO BUTZ: GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS! The Abbey
March 11

VarieTEASE CARNIES

The Abbey
March 16 PAUL ANTHONY STEWART: NICE ‘N EASY The Abbey
March 21 ABBA GIRZ TRIBUTE Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center
  3rd Annual BARK & BREW Lake Eola Park, near World Of Beer
March 23 SARA JONES The Abbey
March 25 THE SKIVVIES The Abbey
March 26 Movie Classics On Magnolia: KING KONG Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center
March 30 ALICE RIX The Abbey
  SLAVA’S SNOW SHOW Dr. Phillips Center
April 11 80’s Party Parliament House

 

A Note From Wanzie

I’m pleased to announce that the cast of the LION QUEEN And The Naked Go-G0 Cub at the 2015 Orlando International Fringe Festival, which until as of this writing has never been completely set in stone, is now officially confirmed:

Anthony Johnson as Timba, Doug Ba’aser as The African Storyteller/Landscapes/Irma The Bartender, Rebecca Fisher as Hala/Zuza/Judy Garland, Joe Swanberg as Fariki/The Hyenas/Kimoon, Tommy Wooten as Star, Rich Kuntz as The Red Cross Nurse & Chorus, Catherine Goodison as Dike on Bike, Douglas White as Stilt walking Giraffe/Stilt Walking Bird, and, fresh off his Abbey debut as the Emcee in CABARET, Griffeth Whitehurst as The Naked Go-Go Cub!

Kenny Howard will once again direct THE LION QUEEN, written by yours truly, with all new choreography by Douglas White, and we will be introducing completely legal original parody musical “Sound-A-Likes” compositions, new to the 2015 production. Mr. White and Mr. Kuntz of D-Squared Productions will fabricate all new costumes (for this 9-year anniversary revival of the most highly attended show in Orlando Fringe history) with the able assistance of Madame Marcy Singhaus who created the costumes designs for the original production. I’m co-producing the show with D-Squared, but have stepped out of appearing in the show this time around in favor of someone who can actually sing. Tommy Wooten is assuming the role of the evil lion with the leather-fetish, which I originated, and a much younger and uber-talented Anthony (Blue Lagoon) Johnson will be coming in from New York City to play the title role which Tommy originated.

All three of the original cast members from the 2005 production of DRAGNES OF GOD and the Naked Holy Ghost will reprise their roles in yet another revival of a show I have written; this one produced by Doug Ba’aser, starring Doug as Agnes, Tommy Wooten as Dr. Livingston, and me as Mother Superior. This double casting in two Fringe Shows running at the same festival is workable only because both shows are being presented in the Orange Venue, thus no potential for scheduling conflicts. The role of The Naked Holy Ghost has not yet been cast.

I am also pleased to be directing a show written by Orlando Fringe fave John Ryan, being produced by Ms. Goodison. 1969: STONEWALL will feature the playwright along with the considerable talents of Janine Klein, Jessica (There’s No Place Like Home) Hoehn, Frank (Tiger Tale) Casado, and a very talented 13 year-old newcomer Josh (To Kill A Mockingbird) Lefkowitz, with one remaining actor still to be determined.

I am so looking forward to this years’ Festival, not simply because I’m involved in three shows, but because, from the looks of the troupes that made the lottery, both local and those coming from all over the globe, it promises to be a banner year.

So I encourage you right now to mark your calendar for April 13 and plan on attending Fringe Previews that night.

I’m WANZIE And That’s All I Wrote!

 Wanzie Signature Photo

email me

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