Overheard in Orlando: Wanzie dances you away

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Good Morning Baltimore
It’s a cliché, but there literally wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Orlando said good-bye to Ron Legler and Andrew Springer at The Abbey on April 1. The beloved couple is moving to Baltimore, where Legler has accepted a position as president of the 2,300-seat Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. And Baltimore was a recurring theme during the party attended by more than 300 well-wishers. Legler’s co-workers at the Florida Theatrical Association and True Marketing starred in a hilariously reworked music video of “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical Hairspray. The Orlando Repertory Theatre also performed a song from Hairspray before a string of downtown Orlando VIPs read a Top Ten List of reasons the couple shouldn’t move to Baltimore. Andrea Canny had Legler and Springer reaching for handkerchiefs with her stirring rendition of “Someone Like You” from Jekyll and Hyde—Legler’s favorite song. Then a relaxed and funny Mayor Buddy Dyer presented his friends with the Key to the City. When Legler and Springer joined him on stage, they were so moved they could barely speak. The next day Legler thanked everyone on Facebook and noted that the first Broadway touring show he’ll oversee at the Hippodrome, opening next week, is… Hairspray.

Learn velvet moves from Michael Wanzie 
Rumor has it that Michael Wanzie has the moves. The actor, producer, director and all-around talent has added ballroom dance instructor to his current repertoire. In a past life, he had the men and women at the Arthur Murray dance studio in a tizzy. He also choreographed for competition. Wanzie’s Ballroom Dance Crash Course is a series of three, six-week classes that began April 7 and will run through the summer. Gay, straight, single, coupled—all are welcome and encouraged. Classes will be held at The Venue. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails and class begins at 7 p.m. Classes will focus on the fox trot, rhumba and waltz, cha-cha, mambo, swing/jive and swing hustle and the tango and samba. Each series is $50 per person or $95 per couple. To sign up, visit Wanzie.com or email WanzieMichael@gmail.com.

It’s for you. The mayor is on the line. 
MBA Orlando President Mikael Audebert received a surprise phone call recently from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s office. The Grand Poobah wanted to know if Audebert would spend the next year serving on a new task force assembled to revitalize downtown Orlando. “As Mikael, I was excited,” Audebert said. “As president of the chamber, it showed a recognition of the importance of diversity in the community and our role in it.” Audubert was one of about 70 people appointed to Project DTO-Advancing Downtown Orlando, but it’s still an honor. I mean, when was the last time the mayor called you? The task force will work for a year to review and make recommendations on everything from culture to economic competitiveness, urban lifestyle to tourism. The group will begin meeting this month and develop recommendations and present their findings in spring 2015.

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