Orlando’s Broadway Brunch Bunch takes their hit show from the dining room to the main stage

By : Jeremy Williams
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If you have been to Hamburger Mary’s Orlando on a Sunday for its Broadway Brunch then you already know that no one does Broadway like drag queens do Broadway.

Each week for nearly the last seven years a team of drag queens, singers, dancers, actors and comedians—collectively known as the Broadway Brunch Bunch—put on one of Central Florida’s best shows all while their audiences “eat, drink and be Mary.”

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Watch: Randy Rainbow urges you to vote in ‘Wicked’ parody

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Randy Rainbow wants you to vote.

The YouTuber known for his political musical parodies has taken on everyone from Brett Kavanaugh to Kellyanne Conway but now he’s focused on the midterm elections.

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Legendary performer Joel Grey headlines the Garden Theatre’s 10-year anniversary celebration

By : Jeremy Williams
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Few entertainers are as synonymous with a character they have portrayed as legendary actor Joel Grey is with the Emcee from Cabaret. Grey does not so much act the part as embody the character and become the master of ceremonies at the fictional Kit Kat Club in 1930s Berlin.

Grey performed in the original Broadway run of Cabaret as well as the 1972 film version, winning a Tony Award and an Academy Award for the same role. He is one of only nine performers to do so.

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The Evolution of Us: Make Oz Great Again!

By : Dr. Steve Yacovelli
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A little while ago, I had the pleasure of watching the musical Wicked in downtown Orlando. I’ve seen this show multiple times throughout the years since its 2003 Broadway premier, however fourteen years later, and only about 120-plus days into our 45th President’s reign, the show has taken on a crazy new perspective for me. Maybe we can learn a little wisdom from the Land of Oz.

For those who are unfamiliar with story of Wicked, it’s a musical by Stephen Schwartz based on the amazing book by Gregory Maguire that tells the story of Elphaba, the “Wicked Witch of the West” most of us feared from “The Wizard of Oz.” But it’s an origin-story, a prequel, telling how she came from an unloving father; how she became green; how she was shunned for being an “outsider” because of her intellect and her, well, greenness; and the relationships she forged once she attended college and beyond. And, of course, it dovetails into the L. Frank Baum story (see the “L-F-B” reference there?) that we’ve come to know, with Dorothy and the slippers, the Yellow Brick Road, and the house that fell on a woman – Elphaba’s sister to be exact. It also explores how the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Glinda all came into being. It’s a great story that puts what I knew as a kid on its head.

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The reigning queen of Broadway, Idina Menzel, is on top of the world and she isn’t letting it go anytime soon

By : Jeremy Williams
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Idina Menzel has the billion-dollar voice – that is billion with a “B.” It is in no small part because of that voice singing the hit song “Let It Go” that Disney’s Oscar-winning animated musical Frozen became the highest-grossing animated film of all time with a $1.2 billion worldwide box-office showing. Menzel’s powerful vocals in Wicked also began that Broadway musical’s ascension over the billion-dollar mark, which it crossed in 2016, only the third time that feat has been accomplished on Broadway.

The Tony-winning Broadway icon released her fifth studio album, Idina., in September 2016, starred in Lifetime’s remake of Beaches and will soon begin recording the voice of Queen Elsa for the much anticipated animated sequel, Frozen 2.

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Kristin Chenoweth brings some elegance (and that voice!) to Ruth Eckerd Hall

By : Jeremy Williams
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UPDATE: Kristin Chenoweth’s concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall has been rescheduled for April 7. Tickets purchased for the March 13 concert will still be honored. 

 

Kristin Chenoweth, at 4 foot 11 inches, is proof that big things come in small packages. The award-winning actress and singer is known for her powerful voice and commanding stage presence.

Chenoweth, who debuted on Broadway 20 years ago in the musical Steel Pier,  has dazzled audiences with a Tony Award winning performance as Sally in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and as the original Good Witch Glinda in the smash hit Wicked.

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A Wicked Good Cause: Hit touring play goes for charity after dark

By : Jeremy Williams
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Broadway musicals are sometimes easily identified by a certain song or simple phrase, but no other can bring on the rush and excitement that one can do with just a single color, green.

Wicked comes back to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando on select nights Jan. 11- 29.

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Playwright Stephen Schwartz brings his impressive theatrical history to Clermont

By : Anna M. Johnson
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There are some things you just intrinsically know: You live “Day by Day,” you “Let it Go.” Have you heard of the Tony-award winning musical Wicked? How about Pippin or Godspell? The man behind all of these musicals is award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz, of course. Schwartz is bringing his music to the Clermont Performing Arts Center on Nov. 13 with his show Defying Gravity: Stephen Schwartz and Friends.

Schwartz has been active as a composer, lyricist and director since before 1970. His work spans many platforms, from stage to screen to page. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1968 and wrote Godspell just two years later in 1971. He has contributed to Disney musical movies and has two of his own solo albums. He was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009, and has a biographical book called Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked.

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