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Inside Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts




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With a sleighful of special shows, including jazz, ballet, opera and a free outdoor extravaganza, it’ll be a holly, jolly holiday at the arts center.

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artsLife | WINTER 2017


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NOVEMBER 2017 11/2

Victory Productions Presents Menopause The Musical

Walt Disney Theater 7:30 p.m.


The Lemon Tree Lifestyle Presents the Jewel Gala Fashion Charity Event by Lila Limon

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater


Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert, with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


Snow Queen Ballet, Presented by the Russian Ballet of Orlando

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

6 p.m. WHITE LOGO (dont inclu


Crosscurrents: Zakir Hussain and Dave Holland, Presented by the Asian Cultural Association

Bob Carr Theater

7:30 p.m.


Je’Caryous Johnson Presents Two Can Play That Game, Starring Vivica A. Fox and Columbus Short

Bob Carr Theater

5 p.m.


Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie with Special Guest Wilderado, in Association with Live Nation

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


Starter Studio Demo Day, Supported by Withum and UCF

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater


Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson, in Association with Live Nation

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


La La Land in Concert

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


Group Dance Competition 2017, Presented by Gujarati Society of Central Florida

Bob Carr Theater


National Young Composers Challenge

Walt Disney Theater 1 p.m.

11/15, 11/17–19

Opera Orlando: Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

Showtimes Vary


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: Beethoven & Mozart, FAIRWINDS Classics Series

Bob Carr Theater

8 p.m.


Brit Floyd — The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: Home for the Holidays! Pops Series

Bob Carr Theater

Showtimes Vary


Orlando Health AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center: Nicole Equerme

7:30 p.m.



Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater


Pecha Kucha Orlando v.21

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

6 p.m. & 9 p.m.


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Presents Big Band Holidays with Special Guests Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


Paramore – Tour Two, in Association with Live Nation

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


An Evening with Davis Gaines, Presented by the Christian Service Center of Central Florida

7:30 p.m.


Opera Orlando: Amahl and the Night Visitors

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater


17th Annual Dancing for Diabetes

Bob Carr Theater

7 p.m.


FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: The Book of Mormon

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


Christmas is Comin’ Uptown, Presented by Cultural Fusion

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

Showtimes Vary


Bill Burr, in Association with AEG Presents

Bob Carr Theater

7 p.m.


Orlando Health AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center: Beemo

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

7:30 p.m.


Orlando Ballet: The Nutcracker

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary

6:30 p.m.

7 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

6 p.m.


Showtimes Vary

Performances subject to change


artsLife | WINTER 2017





Orlando Ballet: The Nutcracker Family Show

Walt Disney Theater 11 a.m.



FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: School of Rock The Musical

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary

JANUARY 2018 1/14

Bria Skonberg

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater


Jake Owen, in Association with AEG Presents

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! in Association with 35 Concerts

Walt Disney Theater 1 p.m.


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: Rimma Plays Mendelssohn, FAIRWINDS Classics Series

Bob Carr Theater

8 p.m.


Orlando Health AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center: CeCe Teneal and Soul Kamotion

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

7:30 p.m.


Jackson Browne with Greg Leisz, in Association with AEG Presents

Walt Disney Theater 7:30 p.m.


FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: Riverdance: 20th Anniversary Tour

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


Musical Thrones: A Parody of Ice and Fire

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

Showtimes Vary


Trevor Noah, in Association with AEG Presents

Bob Carr Theater

7 p.m.


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: Cirque de la Symphonie: Cirque Goes to the Cinema Pop Series

Bob Carr Theater

2 p.m. & 8 p.m.


Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet Tour

Walt Disney Theater 8 p.m.


Rufus Wainwright — February in Florida

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater


Orlando Ballet: Romeo & Juliet

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: Disney’s The Lion King

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: Bernstein and the New World, FAIRWINDS Classics Series

Bob Carr Theater

8 p.m.


Orlando Health AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center: Thomas Wynn and the Believers

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

7:30 p.m.

8 p.m.


8 p.m.

MARCH 2018 3/3

Wild Kratts Live!

Bob Carr Theater

1 p.m.


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: My Sinatra Starring Cary Hoffman, Pop Series

Bob Carr Theater

2 p.m. & 8 p.m.


Orlando Ballet: Arcadian Broad’s Beauty & the Beast Family Weekend

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: Waitress

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary

3/21, 3/23–3/25

Opera Orlando: Gioachino Rossini’s Cinderella

Showtimes Vary


Orlando Health AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center: Blueanimal

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: Brahms Symphony No. 1, FAIRWINDS Classics Series

Bob Carr Theater

8 p.m.


Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra: A Tribute to Ella! Pop Series

Bob Carr Theater

2 p.m. & 8 p.m.


Orlando Health AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center: Sandy Shugart and the January Band

Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

7:30 p.m.


FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: Something Rotten!

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary


Orlando Ballet: Contemporary Wonders with Live Music Featuring Sisaundra Lewis

7:30 p.m.

APRIL 2018

MAY 2018 Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary

JUNE 2018 6/5–6/10

FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™: Rent: 20th Anniversary Tour

Walt Disney Theater Showtimes Vary

Performances subject to change WINTER 2017 | artsLife


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r. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has announced a sleighful of holiday-themed shows sure to get almost everyone into the yuletide spirit — from big-band tunes with the incomparable Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to the elegant fantasy of The Nutcracker with the Orlando Ballet and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. The festive lineup also includes Opera Orlando’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors and Cultural Fusion’s Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown, a multiethnic reimagining of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. It all starts, appropriately, with a holiday gift from the arts center to the community: a free December 2 outdoor concert on the Seneff Arts Plaza. The extravaganza, staged by Full Sail University, will showcase choral and orchestral groups from Rollins College along with guest combos and featured soloists. (For more information, see page 19.) WINTER 2017 | artsLife


When you add the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ offerings into the mix — Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns, The Book of Mormon and School of Rock The Musical — the arts center clearly becomes the best place in town to celebrate the season. Here’s a guide to the four holiday-themed shows inside the arts center, starting with the earliest:


Anyone lucky enough to experience just one holiday season in New York City knows what a lifetime of memories it creates. There are the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, ice skating at Rockefeller Center — where the huge Christmas tree is displayed — and lavish decorated store windows along 5th Avenue. Orlando is importing a New York City holiday tradition this year with Big Band Holidays, featuring legendary trumpeter Wyn12

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ton Marsalis and the 15-member Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO). Marsalis and the acclaimed orchestra — along with two high-octane guest vocalists — will bring their jazzy brand of holiday cheer to the Walt Disney Theater on December 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced starting at $45. Expect to hear a program packed with soulful renditions of such holiday classics as “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “We Three Kings,” among many others. Since establishing itself as Lincoln Center’s resident orchestra in 1988, JLCO has performed in more than 300 cities across six continents. For the past four years, readers of Downbeat magazine have voted the group “Best Big Band.” Marsalis, a New Orleans native who has called New York home for decades, hails from what some consider the first family of American jazz. His father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, recorded with saxophonist Julian


You don’t have to wait for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to get to Orlando to enjoy a taste of what it’s like to attend a concert. The orchestra has released a number of albums, including Big Band Holidays, which features some of the evergreens the ensemble will perform at the Walt Disney Theater.

Big Band Holidays features two guest vocalists. Kenny Washington, a New Orleans native, grew up singing gospel music and toured the world with the U.S. Navy Band. Catherine Russell was a member of David Bowie’s band, and has released six well-reviewed albums of her own.

“Cannonball” Adderley in the 1950s and trumpeter Al Hirt in the 1960s. A peerless trumpeter with nine Grammys to his credit, Marsalis may have made his greatest mark as a music educator, counting fellow Big Easy native Harry Connick Jr. among his star pupils. Wynton’s brother, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, has performed with an eclectic mix of luminaries including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Sting. Two other brothers, Delfeayo (trombone) and Jason (drums) are also accomplished musicians. Big Band Holidays features Catherine Russell, a contemporary jazz and blues vocalist. She is the daughter of Luis Russell, who was Louis Armstrong’s longtime musical director, and Carline Ray, who performed with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm during World War II. From 2002 through 2004, Russell was a member of David Bowie’s band, providing backing vocals and playing guitar, piano and percussion for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s live performances and his 2003 album, Reality. As a solo artist, Russell has released six well-reviewed albums. Her cover of the 1920 Mamie Smith song “Crazy Blues” was used in an episode of the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire, and was included in a Grammy-winning soundtrack album. Rounding out the bill is New Orleans native Kenny Washington, a vocalist and a

saxophonist who grew up singing gospel music and polished his skills while touring the world with the U.S. Navy Band. During his solo career, Washington has performed with Deborah Harry and Elvis Costello, and enjoyed an eight-year gig as featured vocalist at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, a posh historic hotel. You don’t have to travel to New York City — or to wait for the orchestra to get to Orlando — to enjoy a taste of what it’s like to attend a JLCO concert, thanks to Blue Engine Records. The label was launched in 2015 to make the orchestra’s formidable backlog of recorded live performances available to jazz enthusiasts worldwide. Blue Engine’s first release, Live from Cuba, was followed by more than a dozen other albums, including new studio recordings as well as archival concerts dating back 25 years. Big Band Holidays, recorded live at Lincoln Center, was issued as a double album and has since become a seasonal classic. Expect soulful renditions of such holiday classics as “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “We Three Kings,” among many others.


Opera Orlando, the professional company formerly known as Florida Opera Theatre, will bring Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors to the arts center for a second year. The December 9-10 producWINTER 2017 | artsLife


Mezzo-soprano Morgan Davis Peckels plays the pivotal role of the Mother in Opera Orlando’s presentation of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Peckels, who’s on the voice faculty at Rollins College, has had numerous high-profile roles with various regional ensembles, including the Florida Opera Theater and the Messiah Chorale Society of Orlando.

tion is slated for the intimate Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. Showtimes vary, and tickets are priced starting at $29. Even if you saw Amahl last year — heck, even if you last saw it when you were a child — don’t think you won’t find something new to love about Orlando Opera’s restaging of this familiar story about the true nature of giving. “A dramatic, living starry sky will act as a canvas as we tune in on the Three Kings, who are en route to a certain manger,” says Gabriel Preisser, the company’s executive and artistic director. The stars are a big part of the new production, giving it more visual panache, adds David Sckolnik, the company’s marketing director. “We’re creating a bit of a planetarium in the Pugh Theater,” he says. 14

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Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera — sung in English — was commissioned by NBC for the then-new medium of television. It was performed by the NBC Opera Theater and broadcast live on December 24, 1951, from Rockefeller Center. Amahl was carried by 35 NBC affiliates and drew five million viewers — the largest audience ever to see a televised opera. Various versions were aired annually until 1966, when Amahl vanished from the airways for more than a decade following a dispute between the network and the composer. A more elaborate production — filmed partly on location in the Holy Land — was aired by NBC in 1978. But the updated Amahl lacked the charm and intimacy of the early live television versions, according to critics. Set near Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s

Cultural Fusion’s Christmas is Comin’ Uptown (above) delighted audiences last year at the arts center. Ken Brown (left) founded the nonprofit organization, which showcases the work of African-American and Hispanic playwrights and performers.

birth, Amahl tells the story of a disabled boy who walks with a crutch and lives in poverty with his mother. Late one night, the Three Kings, seeking a place to rest on their journey, knock at the door. What follows is a Christmas miracle practically guaranteed to melt hearts. The Orlando Opera production, with a cast of 26, draws on the talents of two other local arts groups. Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra players will make up Amahl’s chamber ensemble. In addition, Arcadian Broad and Kate-Lynn Robichaux of the Orlando Ballet will dance as shepherds, with choreography by Robert Hill, the ballet company’s artistic director. WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Playing the key role of the Mother will be mezzo-soprano Morgan Davis Peckels, an adjunct professor of voice at Rollins College and a performer in both musical theater and opera — including the Florida Opera Theatre’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. So, whatever happened to that 1951 version of Amahl? The kinescope — once believed to have been lost — was located in 1985 and transferred to video. It’s viewable at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.


You probably know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. But unless you saw Cultural Fusion’s version last year, you probably haven’t heard the story told quite this way. Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown — ghosts and all — will return to haunt the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater from December 15–17. Showtimes vary, and tickets are priced at $20. Loosely based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the show still has Scrooge, Marley, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and all those specters you remember from various film and television adaptations over the years. But this Christmas Carol has soul, says artistic director Ken Brown, who founded the nonprofit organization in 2014 to showcase the work of African-American and Hispanic playwrights and performers. The show, written by Philip Rose and Peter Udell, is set in Harlem in the early 1970s. During its brief Broadway run in 1979, it starred Gregory Hines as Scrooge. Brown calls it a “rousing, soulful musical that takes a look at why Scrooge is not very happy about the holiday season. A diverse cast ushers in Christmas Eve with song and dance.” When Brown moved to Orlando five years ago from Los Angeles, he says he was “amazed” by the number of performance venues and theatrical productions he found. But he was also surprised that relatively few works by African-American or Hispanic playwrights were being staged. “African-American and Latino voices just weren’t consistently heard,” says Brown, 61, who’s originally from Youngstown, Ohio, and was active with the Youngstown Players. Cultural Fusion, he says, can help “bridge the gap.” The organization held a successful chil16

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dren’s theater workshop in the Washington Shores neighborhood, and produced several shows in the 96-seat Mandell Theater at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park. LaVon Bracy Davis, the arts center’s senior director of community programming, read about Cultural Fusion and attended its first production, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, in April of 2015. The show, written by Emily Mann, is about a pair of talkative centenarian sisters who reminisce about their lives at the behest of a writer. Brown, who served as producer and director, was encouraged by Bracy Davis to bring his next production to the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. He did exactly that, staging a successful three-show run of Having Our Say. Later that year, he presented the more ambitious Crowns: A Gospel Musical Play — selling out two shows and earning raves. In 2016, Cultural Fusion was back with Anna in the Tropics, which tells the story of Cuban immigrants working in the Ybor City cigar industry at the turn of the 19th century. Written by Nilo Cruz, Anna won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. After Anna came the emotionally charged Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, by Lanie Robertson, which traces the tragic final days of heroin-addicted jazz legend Billie Holiday. A reviewer for Broadway World called the show “smooth as silk” and “awe-inspiring.” The first presentation of Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown — which likewise played to full houses — capped a terrific 2016, and confirmed what Bracy Davis and Brown had assumed: The Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater and Cultural Fusion were made for one another. Brown adds that he’s committed to using local talent in his productions. Toward that end, Orlando’s Inez Patricia School of Dance, directed by Jeré James, will collaborate on Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown. The music will be directed by up-and-coming Central Florida jazz artist Jarred Armstrong.


One of Central Florida’s most enchanting holiday traditions continues with Orlando Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. The twoact ballet — with live music by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra — will be presented six times in four days, from December 21–24, in the Walt Disney Theater. Showtimes vary, but tickets are priced starting at $19.


In The Nutcracker, a young girl named Clara is given a beautiful wooden nutcracker carved in the image of a man. In her dreams, the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince who eventually takes her to the Land of Sweets, home of the Sugar Plum Fairy.


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EVENT: Big Band Holidays DATE/TIME: Sunday, December 3, 8 p.m. VENUE: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, plus guest vocalists Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington, bring their popular holiday show to Orlando. TICKETS: Prices start at $45 EVENT: Amahl and the Night Visitors DATE/TIME: Saturday and Sunday, December 9-10, showtimes vary VENUE: Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater NOTES: Opera Orlando presents Gian Carlo Menotti’s heart-tugging tale inspired by the journey of the Three Kings and their encounter with a poverty-stricken boy and his mother. TICKETS: Prices start at $29 EVENT: Christmas Is Comin’ Uptown DATE/TIME: December 15–17, showtimes vary VENUE: Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater NOTES: Cultural Fusion presents a Christmas story with soul, set in 1970s Harlem and loosely based on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. TICKETS: Prices start at $20 EVENT: The Nutcracker DATE/TIME: December 21–24, showtimes vary VENUE: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: Orlando Ballet presents the classic tale in which the gift of a toy nutcracker transports young Clara into a world of fantasy, complete with the Sugar Plum Fairy. TICKETS: Prices start at $19 844.513.2014 •


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In the ballet, set on Christmas Eve, a young girl named Clara is given a beautiful wooden nutcracker carved in the image of a man. In her dreams that night, the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince who eventually takes her to the Land of Sweets, home of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Leading roles in the Orlando Ballet production will be performed by company dancer Kate-Lynn Robichaux, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and artist-in-residence Arcadian Broad, as her Cavalier. The production also will include scores of Orlando Ballet School students, who’ll have a rare opportunity to perform with a professional troupe. The show is sponsored by Orlando Health and Walt Disney World. First performed in 1892, The Nutcracker has become a Christmastime staple of ballet companies throughout the U.S., and has served as an introduction to ballet for millions of young people. Parts of Tchaikovsky’s score, such as “March of the Toy Soldiers,” are as familiar as many Christmas carols. “Seeing someone’s eyes light up the first time they experience the production’s rich score, beautiful choreography and elaborate sets and costumes is incredibly rewarding — and often sparks a lifelong love of ballet,” says artistic director Robert Hill. To facilitate that experience, the company will offer a one-hour Family Show version of The Nutcracker at 11 a.m. on December 23. There’ll be activities for kids in the lobby before the show. In addition, there’ll be a “Nutcracker Tea” at 12:30 p.m. on December 23 in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. Families can enjoy Land of Sweets-style treats and pose for photos with the ballet’s characters. They can also catch up on holiday shopping with specialty gifts. Tickets for the Nutcracker Tea are $50 for children and $75 for adults, with proceeds benefiting the Orlando Ballet School. Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, the event is sandwiched between morning and afternoon performances so that ticket holders for both shows can attend. 



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John V. Sinclair (above) is chair of the Rollins College Department of Music, and Keith Lay (below) is chair of the Full Sail University Music Industry Studies Department.

ure, you’ve seen holiday shows before. A choir, some instrumentalists and an inevitable “Silent Night” singalong. But it’s safe to say that Central Florida has never seen a holiday show quite like the one that Rollins College and Full Sail University — in partnership with Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts — will present on the Seneff Arts Plaza. Songs of the Season is a free outdoor concert that combines genre-spanning music from an array of Rollins orchestras and choral ensembles with state-of-the-art production values from Full Sail’s team of technical wizards. It’s a Christmas gift you can open early, on December 2 at 6 p.m. And we do mean gift — admission to this overthe-top holiday spectacular is free. Officials from Rollins and Full Sail hope that Songs of the Season will become a signature event for Central Florida — one that’s as eagerly anticipated as Christmas in the Park, the outdoor songfest that’s been presented for decades by the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. In fact, Songs of the Season will be conducted by the indefatigable John V. Sinclair, who’s also artistic director of the Bach Festival Society and chair of the Rollins College Department of Music. He’ll likely work up a sweat wielding the baton for this show — even if the weather’s chilly. All the songs will feature new arrangements by jazz bassist Chuck Archard, artist in residence at Rollins, and Jamey Ray an assistant professor of music and vocalist in the internationally renowned a cappella supergroup Voctave. “This is going to be a very high-energy show,” says Daniel Flick, also an artist in residence at Rollins, whose background includes producing multimedia musical events. Flick, who plays any instrument with strings, is point man for the music department’s WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Rollins College (above) is one of the most renowned private liberal-arts colleges in the U.S., and boasts a highly respected music program. Full Sail University (below) offers degree programs related to the media and entertainment industries, and trains its students using state-of-the-art production technology. Both institutions are located in Winter Park.


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FALL 2017 | artsLife


The Seneff Arts Plaza, which fronts the arts center’s indoor venues, has been the scene of several major concerts and festivals.

collaborations with other community arts groups. So, don’t expect a staid presentation of typical choral music on Full Sail’s massive traveling stage, which is usually rolled out for rowdy rock ‘n’ roll concerts. “This is going to be a celebration,” says Flick. “We think it’ll really bring the community together.” Vocals will be provided by the 80-voice Rollins College Choir, along with the Rollins Singers and Rollins Women’s Jazz Vocal Ensemble. Instrumentation will be provided by a 28-piece orchestra that includes students and faculty as well as members of the Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra. There’ll also be solos from local jazz favorite Michelle Mailhot, who teaches jazz to toddlers at Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, and a holiday medley from Docs & Dellas, the arts center’s dynamic in-house musical theater troupe that consists of more than 40 teen performers. Flick says the show will also showcase dancers, although all the details hadn’t been finalized at press time. There’ll be some familiar holiday favorites, of course offering musical styles ranging from classical to swing to down-home gospel. But Songs of the Season will have a distinctly international flair, with Caribbean, Latin, Irish, Italian and Viennese origins or influences. Songs of the Season marks the grand debut of a recently announced collaborative relationship between Rollins and Full Sail, both of which are in Winter Park. Basically, Rollins will provide performers and Full Sail will

provide production prowess for an array of joint projects. “We have always believed in providing hands-on experience that can translate into real-world application once our students move into their chosen careers,” says Keith Lay, chair of the Full Sail Music Industry Studies Department. Adds Lay: “Allowing our students to engage with students from Rollins gives both groups the valuable experience of working together — but more importantly, of learning from one another.” And, in the case of Songs of the Season, kicking off Central Florida’s holiday season in grand style.  — Randy Noles EVENT: Songs of the Season DATE/TIME: Saturday, December 2, 6 p.m. VENUE: Seneff Arts Plaza NOTES: Rollins College and Full Sail University are joining forces with the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to present this over-the-top holiday celebration, which will feature music in an array of genres as well as gee-whiz visuals. TICKETS: Admission is free 844.513.2014 •

 WINTER 2017 | artsLife


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Wednesday & Thursday



Rufus Wainwright has written a pair of operas in addition to recording nine albums, the most recent of which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by setting nine of the Bard’s sonnets to music.


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he arts center has presented some highly original acts over the past several years — but you’d be hard pressed to find one more original than singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. He has written a pair of operas in addition to recording nine albums — one of which salutes Judy Garland’s legendary 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall, and the most recent of which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by setting nine of the Bard’s sonnets to music. The Canadian-born Wainwright — son of folk singers Kate McGarrigle, who died in 2010, and Loudon Wainwright III, best known for his hit single “Dead Skunk (In the Middle of the Road)” — will certainly bring an eclectic pair of performances to the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater when he appears on February 7 and February 8, 2018. Showtime is 8 p.m. both nights, and tickets are priced starting at $55. Wainwright’s following includes folkies, altrock adherents and musical-theater denizens — among many other seemingly disparate cadres. In September, some of the brightest stars on Broadway came together to throw a tribute concert for the trailblazing Wainwright, whom Elton John once called “the greatest songwriter on the planet.” The event was held at Feinstein’s/54 Below, a supper

club located beneath Studio 54. There’s no doubt that Wainwright’s career has been astonishing in its breadth. His selftitled debut album, released in 1996, was called “one of the best albums of the year” by Rolling Stone. Other critically acclaimed albums followed, earning Wainwright an avid cult following. He toured both as a headliner and with Sting, Tori Amos and Ben Folds. Although Wainwright has recorded hundreds of his own songs — including contributions to film soundtracks such as Shrek and Brokeback Mountain — he may have attracted the most attention with 2007’s Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy. Backed by a full orchestra, Wainwright performed Garland’s entire set before two sold-out audiences at Carnegie Hall. He later took the same show to the London Palladium, the Paris Olympia and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Wainwright, who briefly studied music at Montreal’s McGill University before signing a recording contract with DreamWorks, has also composed two operas. The most recent, Hadrian — inspired by the reform-minded Roman emperor of the same name — will debut next year in Toronto, performed by the Canadian Opera Company. On his album of Shakespearean sonnets, WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Take All My Loves, Wainwright shares the microphone with other performers — including his folk singing sister, Martha Wainwright — and recruits Helena Bonham Carter, the late Carrie Fisher and even William Shatner to offer dramatic readings. The BBC Symphony Orchestra accompanies some cuts. Can such a work be categorized? If the answer is no, then that’s certainly fine with Wainwright, who has always followed his muse wherever it might lead. In his review of Take All My Loves, NPR’s Stephen Thompson admits that Wainwright comprises a genre 26

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unto himself. “For a singer and composer who’s always toyed with ways to pair pop showmanship with a classical musician’s finely honed chops, Take All My Loves feels like a natural culmination of Wainwright’s many passions,” Thompson opines. But Wainwright can still rock. Earlier this year, he recorded a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1970 hit “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” for the Los Angeles charity The Art of Elysium. So, what sort of show will Wainwright bring to Orlando? His solo one-night stands have


What’s a typical Rufus Wainwright album? There are none, as evidenced by the eclectic singersongwriter’s Rufus Does Judy, a re-creation of Judy Garland’s legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert, and his more recent Take All My Loves, a collection of Shakespearean sonnets set to music. But Wainwright is also a prolific writer of original material.

encompassed Wainwright’s entire oeuvre: originals, standards, sonnets, pop covers and nods to fellow Canadian songwriters such as Leonard Cohen, whose much-recorded “Hallelujah” is often on Wainwright’s set list. “I’m made up of three parts, shall we say,” he recently told the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald Leader. “One being a songwriter, one being a composer of operas and the third being a singer. The show I’m bringing to you guys really just represents who I am as a working, eating, sleeping, loving musician. This is what I have to do to in order to earn my keep. It draws on a lot of elements of my career — be it pop songs or opera stuff.”  — Randy Noles

WHAT: Rufus Wainwright WHEN: Wednesday, February 7, and Thursday, February 8, 2018, 8 p.m. VENUE: Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater NOTES: The impossible-to-categorize singer-songwriter brings a mixture of originals, standards, sonnets, pop covers — and maybe even a little opera. TICKETS: Prices start at $55 844.513.2014 •

DID YOU KNOW? In 2008, Wainwright created the concept of “Blackoutsabbath.” In an attempt to become more  environmentally conscious, participants are asked, on a designated date, to live off the grid as much as possible by unplugging appliances, walking or cycling, turning out lights and decreasing energy usage. Annual benefit concerts are held to support the cause.

Julie Mehretu b. 1970, Epigraph, Damascus, 2016, Photogravure, sugar lift aquatint, spit bite aquatint, open bite Hahnem, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College © 2017 Julie Mehretu. Image courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

WINTER 2017 | artsLife





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Jackson Browne is know for such hits as “Somebody’s Baby” and “Take It Easy,” which was a chart-topper for the Eagles. But the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is also known for his commitment to an array of social causes, ranging from human rights to environmentalism.


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ssuming you’re not standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, you won’t want to miss seeing one of the most influential singer-songwriters in rock ‘n’ roll history — who’s still running down the road trying to loosen his load after a halfcentury in the spotlight. In fact, Jackson Browne has loosened his load somewhat. The socially conscious performer — known for his introspective lyrics and his commitment to causes ranging from human rights to environmentalism — will bring an intimate acoustic show to the Walt Disney Theater on January 23, 2018. Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets are priced starting at $49. There’ll be no band. There’ll be no theatrics. Just thoughtful music that helped to define pop culture in the ’70s and beyond, with backing by Greg Leisz, a versatile multi-instrumentalist who has performed alongside Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow and other luminaries. Oh, you can be sure the set list will include “Take it Easy,” a hit for the Eagles in 1972, along with “Somebody’s Baby,” a hit for Browne after it was featured on the soundtrack for 1982’s coming-of-age comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But this iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — he’s in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, too — could play for days and not get to all the important songs he’s written or recorded in a

career that dates all the way back to 1966. Browne’s journey to rock ‘n’ roll immortality — which wended its way, metaphorically at least, through the aforementioned Winslow, Arizona — began in 1966 in Huntington Beach, California, where at age 18 he joined the rootsy Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In 1967, he moved on to Greenwich Village, where he became a staff writer for Elektra Records, and performed with folk singer Tim Buckley and model-turned-singer Nico and The Velvet Underground. He wrote the often-recorded “These Days” — now considered a rock ‘n’ roll classic — for Nico’s debut album, Chelsea Girl. But Browne’s heart was in Southern California, where he returned a year later. There he met the late Glenn Frey — who would become a founding member of the Eagles ­— and began writing songs recorded by his old friends the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as well as the late Gregg Allman, Joan Baez, Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds and, of course, the Eagles, who cut “Take it Easy.” In 1972, he signed with Geffen Records as a solo artist and released a self-titled album that spawned such radio hits as “Doctor My Eyes” and “Rock Me on the Water.” Subsequent albums — such as For Everyman (1973), Late for the Sky (1974) and The Pretender (1976) ­— established Browne’s reputation as a writer of memorable melodies and highly personal lyrics. WINTER 2017 | artsLife


On his current acoustic tour, Browne (right) is backed by Greg Leisz, a multi-instrumentalist who has performed alongside Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow and other luminaries.

Then came Running on Empty (1977), an innovative live album featuring all-new material — including songs recorded in concert, on tour busses and in hotel rooms. The title track was a hit, as were “Stay” and “the Load-Out,” the latter a tribute to fans and roadies. Browne’s followup album, Hold Out (1980), contained “Somebody’s Baby” and cemented his status as a bonafide superstar. But by then, Browne had become more involved in political activism — particularly in protesting U.S.-backed wars in Central America — and his records reflected his views. He also performed at such benefits as Farm Aid, No Nukes and on the Conspiracy of Hope World Tour, which raised money for Amnesty

Browne’s Running on Empty (1977), an innovative live album, featured all-new material — including songs recorded in concert, on tour busses and in hotel rooms. His most recent compilation, Standing in the Breech, is both personal and political, reflecting ideals of freedom, compassion and generosity.


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International. Browne’s newer songs, such as the title track from his most recent studio album, Standing in the Breach, reflect his yearning for a better world — and his faith that the good in all of us can summon the change needed to heal its wounds. There’s no question that Browne’s stances on such issues as global warming, and his fervent support of Democratic presidential candidates — he backed Bernie Sanders in 2016 — hindered his commercial appeal among some demographics. But none of that mattered to an artist who sought to make a difference with his music. By the time Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 — Bruce

Take it Easy Park in Winslow, Arizona, commemorates “Take It Easy.” The song includes the verse “Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

Springsteen offered the introductory speech — he had written countless hits for others, and three of his own albums, including For Everyman, Late for the Sky and The Pretender, had been selected by Rolling Stone as among the 500 greatest rock albums of all time. Browne, who’ll be pushing 70 by the time he reaches Orlando, has also continued to tour, playing a combination of his classic hits and more current material. Over the years, he has come to be even more appreciated for both his artistry and his humanitarianism. For someone who claimed to be running on empty four decades ago, Browne’s commitment to entertaining — and challenging — old fans while recruiting new ones demonstrates that he still has plenty left in the tank.  — Bob Kealing with Randy Noles

EVENT: Jackson Browne with Greg Leisz VENUE: Walt Disney Theater DATE/TIME: Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 7:30 p.m. NOTES: The legendary folk-rocker — a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame — presents an intimate acoustic performance of his classic hits as well as new material. TICKETS: Prices start at $49 844.513.2014 •

DID YOU KNOW? Browne performed and sang the role of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True, a 1995 musical performance benefitting the Children’s Defense Fund alongside Roger Daltrey, Natalie Cole, Tim Allen and others.

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Taylor York, Hayley Williams and Zac Farro of Paramore paid their dues a decade ago on Warped Tour stages. Their new music reflects some hardwon maturity — but it still rocks. WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Riot!, released in 2007, contained “Misery Business,” Paramore’s breakout hit, and earned a Grammy nomination. This year’s After Laughter, recorded in Nashville, is steeped in brisk, keyboard-rich arrangements. The video for “Hard Times” has notched tens of millions of views on YouTube.


ith its history of tumultuous lineup changes and the notoriously short life spans of many chart-topping bands, pop-punk juggernaut Paramore has defied the odds simply by existing fully a decade after its 2007 breakout album, Riot!. So it’s even more impressive that the band — propelled as always by the powerful vocals and highly caffeinated stage presence of lead singer Hayley Williams — has managed both a mini-reunion and a skillfully executed stylistic switch up with its newly released fifth studio album, After Laughter. Songs from the new album — plus others from the group’s more angsty early days — will rock the Walt Disney Theater on December 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced starting at $38.50. The show, dubbed “Tour Two,” was originally scheduled for September 9, but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma. Previously purchased tickets will be honored.

For Williams, the new album — the band’s first since a self-titled compilation in 2013 — reflects the perspective of a performer who had become a star on Warped Tour stages as a teenager, but was now approaching the age of 30. “You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you really hard,” Williams told The New York Times on the eve of After Laughter’s release. “I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record,” she added. “There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, ‘I want it to happen — but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.’” They figured it out, though. After Laughter was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, making it the first Para34

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more album to originate from the band’s hometown. It was produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen, a frequent Beck collaborator, and Taylor York, the band’s guitarist. During After Laughter’s creation, the band welcomed the return of drummer and founding member Zac Farro, who, along with his brother, Josh, had departed in 2010 following a year of well-documented personal and artistic differences. At first, Farro just sat in on the drums during recording sessions. Later — much to the delight of Paramore fans — he rejoined the band as a full-fledged member. In celebration, Paramore updated its official website to showcase a T-shirt imprinted with a childhood image of Farro, and emblazoned with the words “I’m Back.” The Farros and Williams met in 2002 in Franklin, Tennessee, where they were home-

“I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record,” says lead singer Haley Williams. “There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, ‘I want it to happen — but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.’” Clearly, they sorted it out. WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Paramore’s live shows are heartfelt, energetic affairs that deliver the band’s biggest hits while showcasing new material.

schooled. Their garage-band jam sessions set the stage for what would become Paramore. Soon, the band’s focus shifted to Orlando, where Steve Robertson, a locally based talent scout for Atlantic Records, trumpeted its potential. “We moved to Orlando when we made the first record and found the support to really get the whole thing going,” Williams told the Orlando Sentinel in 2013. “We lived there for a few months and made our whole first album in Orlando. I think [when we perform there] the fans sort of see it the same way we do — as a homecoming.” Atlantic and Fueled by Ramen, a Floridabased label with a formidable list of emopop acts, co-signed Paramore. The band’s debut album, All We Know Is Falling, was released in the summer of 2005. Seasoned by two summers on the Warped Tour, Paramore released Riot! in 2007. It was a platinum-selling blockbuster that yielded the signature hits “Misery Business,” “Crushcrushcrush” and “That’s What You Get.” It also earned Paramore a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. With guitarist York now in the lineup, the band’s popularity landed it on bills with such heavyweights as Jimmy Eat World and No Doubt, acts that had influenced Paramore’s sound. Exposure on the best-selling Twilight film soundtrack — “Decode” was the lead single — provided an additional boost. Paramore returned with another hit album, Brand New Eyes, in 2009. By then, however, internal issues had begun to boil 36

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over, culminating with the Farro brothers’ acrimonious exit. The new-look Paramore emerged as a trio featuring Williams, guitarist York and bassist Jeremy Davis. In the studio, they first worked with producer Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, NIN, Neon Trees, M83) as well as former Lostprophets drummer Ilan Rubin to record an eponymous 2013 album that pushed beyond the band’s familiar emo template — and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Although the radio-friendly 2013 compilation featured such high-energy rock songs as “Now,” “Fast in My Car,” “Proof” and the hit single “Ain’t it Fun” — which won a Grammy for Best Rock Single — it also contained the harmony-laden “(One of Those) Crazy Girls” and even a dose of ukulele strumming. Paramore’s range has expanded again on After Laughter, which is steeped in brisk, keyboard-drenched arrangements that recall early 1980s acts such as Talking Heads, the Cars and Blondie. The album has earned critical kudos. Variety, for example, declared that “Paramore has never sounded — or looked — more defiantly joyous. After Laughter sounds like it’s about when life kicks you in the gonads. Instead of crying about it, hopefully Paramore will come back fighting and chop life’s head clean off.” After Laughter’s first single, “Hard Times,” chugs along on an infectious foundation of polyrhythmic drums beneath a cheery wash of synthesizers and a chorus that’s an undeniable earworm. Adding to the vibe is a music video that features band members against a backdrop of neon, wispy clouds, animation and peppy splashes of color. A similar video accompanies another track, “Told You So,” which features yet another catchy melody. The official “Hard Times” companion video is proving to be a sensation, and had attracted nearly 50 million YouTube views as of late September. The “Told You So” companion video had drawn nearly 16 million YouTube views during the same time frame. At this point, band members say, Paramore isn’t interested in revisiting formulas for past successes. “We’ve gotten to a point with our new music where we don’t really want to headbang anymore,” York told The New York Times. “We’ve somehow earned our freedom.” Sure, the new material sounds upbeat. But

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in truth, some of the lyrics on After Laughter reflect a band that’s still recovering from drama and dissension. Consider this verse from “Hard Times:” All that I want, is to wake up fine. Tell me that I’m alright, that I ain’t gonna die. All that I want, is a hole in the ground. You can tell me when it’s alright, for me to come out. Other After Laughter tracks are tellingly titled, including “Fake Happy,” “Grudges,” “No Friend” and “Forgiveness” — the latter showcasing the bleak sentiment that “I just can’t do it yet.” “I couldn’t imagine putting something on an album that says, ‘life’s great, everything’s cool, party with me,’” Williams told The New York Times. “This is what you go through hard times for — so you can have these moments where you’re proud of yourself, proud of your choices and proud of your friends.” For Paramore fans, more music from an enduring band is just a welcome fringe benefit. 

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DATE/TIME: Tuesday, December 5, 8 p.m. VENUE: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: The pop-punk juggernaut, fronted by the effervescent Haley Williams, is touring in support of its new album, After Laughter. TICKETS: Prices start at $38.50 844.513.2014 •

DID YOU KNOW? “Paramore” was the maiden name of the mother of one of the band’s first bass players. At the time band members appropriated the name, they were unaware that “paramour” meant “an illicit lover.”


artsLife | WINTER 2017

Arts at Rollins

Rollins provides Central Florida access to top-quality art exhibits, plays, musical performances, and world-renowned speakers Annie Russell Theatre

Celebrate the theatrical talent of tomorrow at Florida’s longest continuously operating theater.

Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

The U.S.’s third-oldest continuously operating Bach Festival has brought world-class musical performances to Rollins since 1935.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Explore more than 5,500 works ranging from antiquity to contemporary in an intimate setting overlooking beautiful Lake Virginia.

Music at Rollins

The Nelson Department of Music showcases the depth of talent among students and faculty in performances ranging from orchestral classics to contemporary jazz.

Winter Park Institute

From Paul McCartney to Maya Angelou, the institute brings some of the world’s brightest talents to Central Florida.

Winter With the Writers

Each February, this literary arts festival brings together five of the finest contemporary authors and poets for a series of master classes and readings.

Visit to learn more and explore a calendar of events.



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La La Land, the 2016 blockbuster starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, was a love letter to classic movie musicals. The Academy Award-winning score has now returned for a live-action encore. WINTER 2017 | artsLife


The Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra consists of powerhouse players who share artistic director Rodney Whitaker’s goal of filling hearts with music and minds with knowledge. The ensemble will headline Seb’s Jazz Club: A VIP Experience, which will follow La La Land in Concert.


hat does a film that was nominated for 14 Academy Awards do for an encore? In the case of La La Land, the blockbuster musical comedydrama that grossed more than $445 million last year, it embarks on a world tour accompanied by a symphonic orchestra. In Orlando, attendees will enjoy a screening of the film — with orchestral accompaniment — in the Walt Disney Theater. That’ll be followed by a more intimate cabaret-style gathering in the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, where the Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra will perform. La La Land in Concert is slated for November 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets for the screening only are priced starting at $35. A $110 ticket also gets you into Seb’s Jazz Club: A VIP Experience, which opens its doors at 10:30 p.m.

Memorable music was a big part of the film’s success. In fact, of the six Academy Awards it won, two were for original score and original song — the dreamy duet “City of Stars,” composed by Justin Hurwitz with lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. La La Land in Concert debuted over the Labor Day weekend at the Hollywood Bowl. A sellout crowd of 17,500 showed up, and a critic from Billboard dubbed the production “a bountiful feast for the eyes and the ears.” Other critics praised the technical skill of the orchestra, which played along with the film’s orchestra in perfect synchronicity. 42

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Hurwitz himself conducted 100 musicians at the Hollywood Bowl. And when fireworks went off in the film, they also went off in the sky over the iconic outdoor bandshell. There’ll be a different conductor and different players in Orlando — the specifics hadn’t been announced at press time — and the fire marshal would undoubtedly frown on the use of pyrotechnics in the Walt Disney Theater. But expect a memorable evening nonetheless. And to make it even more memorable, opt for the VIP package. That way, following the screening you’ll be able to stroll upstairs

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to the intimate Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, which will be arranged and lighted to recreate the look and feel of Seb’s, the nowiconic jazz club from the flick. There, in an art-meets-life mashup, the arts center’s world-class jazz ensemble — under the direction of Rodney Whitaker — will play music from the film along with other jazz standards. It’ll seem as though you’re visiting the world’s coolest big-city nightspot — complete with a full bar, tables and chairs on the floor and gallery seating above. It’s no wonder that La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, has spawned a cottage industry of live-performance events. It’s basically an homage — a love letter, really — to classic movie musicals that are still enjoyed today. The film, set in present-day Los Angeles, explores the personal and professional struggles of an aspiring actress named Mia (played by Emma Stone) and a jazz pianist named Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), who are pursuing their dreams and, of course, falling in love. The storyline is enhanced with singing and dancing, vibrant colors and lush orchestration. Critics called the film terrific entertainment — and its sweetly nostalgic vibe clearly struck a literal and figurative chord in an era marked by division and political turmoil. In addition to notching two Academy Awards for its music, La La Land won for direction, cinematography and production design. Stone took home best actress honors. Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers wrote that La La Land “does nothing less than jolt the movie musical to life for the 21st

The La La Land soundtrack hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts.

century. It sweeps you away on waves of humor, heartbreak and ravishing romance.” If the film alone does that — and millions of people agree that it does — imagine how much the experience can be magnified when live music fills the hall. And imagine being able to share the experience with someone special over drinks at Seb’s — while the best jazz orchestra in the region serenades you from the stage. A rush! A glance! A touch! A chance! You’ll be in Orlando, not Hollywood, of course. But then, La La Land is as much a state of mind as it is a place. We’ll see you there. Just wear a yellow dress so we’ll recognize you. 

EVENT: La La Land in Concert and Seb’s Jazz Club: A VIP Experience DATES/TIMES: Saturday, November 11, 8 p.m. VENUE: Walt Disney Theater (La La Land in Concert) and Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater (Seb’s Jazz Club: A VIP Experience) NOTES: The romantic comedy-drama movie musical is screened with accompaniment by a live symphony orchestra in the Walt Disney Theater. Afterward, the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater will be transformed into a Seb’slike jazz club where the Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra will perform standards as well as music from the film. TICKETS: Prices start at $35 for La La Land in Concert only. VIP tickets that include Seb’s Jazz Club: A VIP Experience are $110. 844.513.2014 •


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DR. PHILLIPS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS w o u l d l i k e t o t h a n k o u r 2 0 1 7– 2 0 1 8 s e a s o n s p o n s o r s

D R . P H I L L I P S C E N T E R R E S TA U R A N T PA R T N E R S Members and Series Subscribers save 15% on their entire bill at our partner restaurants on the night of shows as well as discounts on each night’s stay at partner hotels.

WINTER 2017 | artsLife







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Diana Krall is a jazz pianist and vocalist, but her appeal spans genres. Her new album consists of timeless tunes written by the likes of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Nat King Cole. WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Krall, who was born in British Columbia, learned to play the piano by age 4, and was performing jazz at a local restaurant by age 15.


On Turn Up the Quiet, which was released in May by Verve Records, Krall covers songs by the likes of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Nat King Cole. It’s her last recording with longtime producer Tommy LiPuma, who died at 80 in March after having worked on 11 of her releases, beginning with 1995’s Only Trust Your Heart. During an era in which watching the news can be an ordeal, Turn Up the Quiet is a refreshing throwback. Its timeless tracks — including old-school versions of “Isn’t It Romantic,” “Night and Day,” “Blue Skies” and “I’ll See You in My Dreams” — are pure entertainment; graceful, unhurried and unapologetically optimistic. Turn Up the Quiet reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart. But it also cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard 200, which tracks 48

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all genres. In fact, every album Krall has released for the past 16 years has found a large crossover audience. Although Krall is known as a singer, at heart — and by training — she’s a jazz pianist. So on her current tour she’s most often seated at the Steinway surrounded by Karriem Riggins (drums), Stuart Duncan (violin), Robert Hurst (bass) and Anthony Wilson (guitarist). At Krall’s shows, vast auditoriums tend to feel more like intimate nightclubs. “I’m not standing out front in a sparkly dress,” Krall told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I have a sparkly skirt. Standing in front of a microphone isn’t what I’m comfortable doing. I just kind of play the piano and sing.” Krall, 53, was born in British Columbia. She learned to play the piano by age 4, and was performing jazz at a local restaurant by


ultry, sexy, smoky, sophisticated. All those adjectives have been used to describe the unmistakable singing voice of Diana Krall, who has won three Grammys and eight Junos while racking up nine gold, three platinum and seven multiplatinum albums. The Canadian-born Krall, whose appeal reaches across genres, is making some noise with Turn Up the Quiet, her new album of jazz standards. She’s bringing her “Turn Up the Quiet World Tour” to the Walt Disney Theater on February 3, 2018. Showtime is at 8 p.m., and tickets are priced starting at $55.50. “I’ve done standards records before, but [this time] we just got the best players that I know,” Krall told Billboard. “I wanted to create three different ensembles: a quartet, a trio and a band. The only concept was not to have a concept.”


age 15. She attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston before releasing her first album, 1993’s Stepping Out. LiPuma — the legendary producer who had worked with Anita Baker, George Benson, Natalie Cole, Bill Evans, Paul McCartney and Barbara Streisand — liked what he heard, and signed Krall to Verve Records. There she recorded such classics as Only Trust Your Heart (1995), All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio (1996), Love Scenes (1997), When I Look in Your Eyes (1999), The Look of Love (2001) and Live in Paris (2002), which won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album and was ranked No. 8 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums of the Decade. Krall toured with Tony Bennett and others, but soon became a major concert draw in her own right. She married rocker Elvis Costello in 2003 at Elton John’s estate outside London — the couple has twin sons, born in 2006 — and even tried her hand as a producer, working with Streisand on her 2009 album Love is the Answer. At Krall’s Orlando stop, expect to hear most of the cuts from Turn Up the Quiet — that’s the name of the tour, after all. But she’s musically eclectic, and usually includes jazzinfused versions of pop and rock songs on her albums and in her concerts. Live in Paris, for example, features Krall’s takes on “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel and “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell. Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” and Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally)” are highlights of 2015’s Wallflower. The title track is a 1971 Bob Dylan song that was unreleased until 2013’s The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3. “It’s a really positive show, so joyful,” Krall told the San Francisco Chronicle. “And when people come out to listen, it will be somewhat transporting in a very positive way. It’s definitely like a feel-good movie. It’s good music and we’re all up there loving what we’re doing, and we’re doing it for you.” 

Krall has won three Grammys and eight Junos while racking up nine gold, three platinum and seven multiplatinum albums.

WHAT: Diana Krall’s Turn Up the Quiet World Tour DATE/TIME: Saturday, February 3, 2018, 8 p.m. VENUE: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: The jazz pianist and vocalist, who has attracted a huge crossover following, is on tour to promote her new album, Turn Up the Quiet, a collection of standards performed with three different configurations of musicians. TICKETS: Prices start at $55.50 844.513.2014 •

DID YOU KNOW? On September 13, 2012, Krall performed “Fly Me to the Moon” at astronaut Neil Armstrong’s memorial service in Washington, D.C. Armstrong, of course, was the first human to walk on the moon’s surface.

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The arts center’s school-aged singers and dancers work hard to master their craft, and have learned a repertoire of solos and production numbers that they perform at private functions and public events.


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Alex Sheffield (front), with Sofia Deler and Jackson Boisvert (back, left and right), learn choreography for “Live in Living Color,” a production number from the Broadway hit Catch Me If You Can. It’s worth the effort, the kids say, when they see how audiences react to their polished performances.


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Guest choreographer Shawn McKnight leads a rehearsal at the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts. McKnight is one of five out-of-town industry pros who’ll work with Docs & Dellas this year.


ou’ll be fine,” says guest choreographer Shawn McKnight to a lanky male teenager struggling to learn a dance move. “You’ve got those big old legs.” There are a few suppressed giggles from some of the 43 other young performers who are being put through their paces. But no one is here simply to joke around. By the time this three-hour rehearsal ends, the Docs & Dellas will be able to perform the rousing production number “Live in Living Color” from the Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can. They can already sing and dance their way through familiar songs from such shows as Hair, Jersey Boys, Sweeney Todd, Kinky Boots, Something Rotten and many more. Docs & Dellas — originally dubbed Downtown Sounds — is an in-house company formed last year by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The new name is an homage to one of the most important couples in Central Florida’s history. You’ve probably figured it out by now. “Doc” is Dr. Phillip Phillips, the pioneering citrus magnate for whom the arts center is named. “Della” is his music-loving spouse,

who was herself an accomplished pianist. The couple often hosted concerts on the lawn of their comfortable home, which was just blocks away from where the arts center now stands. The present-day Docs & Dellas, who are all between the ages of 12 and 19, strut their stuff at arts center special events, including the Applause Awards. That’s the glitzy, Tonystyle ceremony that salutes excellence in WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Docs & Dellas delivered an energetic performance at the groundbreaking ceremony for Steinmetz Hall, the acoustical theater now under construction at the arts center’s downtown campus. Auditions are held every August for the group, which has 40-plus members ranging in age from 12 to 19.

high school musical theater. They also wow crowds at an array of private corporate functions and public community gatherings. For example, they’ll appear as part of Songs for the Season, a free holiday spectacular slated for December 1 on the Seneff Arts Plaza. The event is a collaboration between the arts center, Rollins College and Full Sail University. (For more information, see page 19.) Are you worried that today’s young people are mostly sullen slackers addicted to their electronic devices? Just spend an hour or so around Docs & Dellas — you’ll soon be singing a different tune. “We were always being asked to provide entertainment,” says Dana Brazil, artistic director for the company and director of edu54

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cation for the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts. “We put something in motion so we’d always have material ready for any occasion. Plus, it gave me a way to work with kids outside of class.” This year’s lineup of Docs & Dellas is a combination of Downtown Sounds holdovers and newcomers selected after a two-day audition process. Most are involved in theater programs at their schools, and many boast community theater credits as well. A few have even had professional gigs. Brendan Morris, 17, a student at Lake Nona High School, says he likes “being able to practice my craft and to interact with people who have the same interests that I do.” Anastasia Sims-Chin, 16, a student at Winter Park High School, adds that she appreciates

the group’s diversity, “and the way everyone supports one another.” All the participants say they’ve grown as performers from working with highly credentialed guest instructors, many of whom — like McKnight — have Broadway experience. Adding to McKnight’s stature: He’s an adjunct instructor in choreography at New York’s Pace University, which in 2014 launched a School of Performing Arts. There’ll be five such “residencies” this year. The professionals provide top-notch technical instruction, of course. But just as important, they reinforce the commitment and work ethic required to make a living as a performing artist. Music Director Timothy Hanes, who’s also the music director of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Longwood, accompanies the rehearsals on piano and helps coach vocalists. He says that virtually all the Docs & Dellas plan to continue their performance studies in college — and many plan to pursue entertainment industry careers after graduation. “It may be like kids who play sports in high school and college going to the NBA or the NFL,” he says. “But after this experience, they’ll know what it takes. They’ll realize what’s possible if they work hard and push themselves.” Brazil — whose whimsical office is cluttered with head shots, set pieces and performance posters — sits on a massive red rubber ball in lieu of an office chair as she talks about the expectations she has of Docs & Dellas members. Rehearsals are every Tuesday night at the school’s studios, located on the second floor of the arts center’s downtown campus. You’re expected to have arrived 15 minutes early, to have learned your music — and to have checked your pretensions at the door. A 14-page company handbook contains a schedule for rehearsals and performances, as well as a code of conduct that emphasizes responsibility and respect for others. It’s hard to imagine that there are too many problems of that sort with Docs & Dellas. The participants all seem to be serious — well, as serious as high schoolers and middle schoolers can get for any length of time — and totally immersed in the experience. Their passion is palpable, and their joy shines through — even during a relentless rehearsal. “I love this,” says Ava Madara, 14, a

HEART POUNDING. MIND-BLOWING. CONCERTS. We have an amazing line up of performances to celebrate our 25th Anniversary Season ranging from pop to classics, jazz to alternative and everything in between. EXPERIENCE OUR CONCERTS & GET YOUR TICKETS AT ORLANDOPHIL.ORG

WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Dr. Phillip Phillips and his wife, Della, wanted to make Orlando a more cultured place. So they hosted internationally known musicians and staged concerts at their home, appropriately located near the performing arts center that their family charitable foundation made possible. The Docs & Dellas are named for the Phillipses.

student at Dr. Phillips High School. “It’s great to see people happy when we entertain them.” What could be better? Well, getting paid for making people happy would be nice. That’s why Brazil emphasizes the importance of professionalism. “We prepare them to be prepared for this business,” says Brazil, who was formerly associate director of the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union Institute for Art & Creativity at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. “We teach them how be somebody that other people will want to hire — and to be the best that they can be.” Brazil, whose acting credits include offBroadway and regional theater as well as film and television, knows what she’s talking

about. She earned an honorable mention for the 2016 Education Tony Award and won the Broadway League’s 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Education and Engagement Award. She says that as many as 1,400 youngsters annually attend classes or a summer camp at the arts center. When you factor in various outreach programs, she adds, more than 100,000 kids are exposed to a performing arts experience at some point during the school year. So, naturally, Brazil is already thinking of ways to take Docs & Dellas to the next level. “I want to start producing shows,” she says. “I want to do a full-on production. That’s my goal next summer — to do a whole show from start to finish in two weeks.” 

FIND OUT MORE Auditions for Docs & Dellas take place every year in early August, and the season runs through June. Selected participants pay a $400 fee, which includes the cost of shirts and name tags. For more information, about either booking Docs & Dellas for an event, or about the audition process, call 407.992.1773 or visit


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M A L L AT M I L L E N I A . C O M

Nicole Equerme (above) is a singer-songwriter who does both original songs and inventive pop-rock covers. Beemo (below) is an indie acoustic band that blends rock, folk and bluegrass. Members cite REM, Johnny Cash, Nickel Creek and Ray LaMontagne as musical influences.


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hen you list cities known for thriving local music scenes, you probably think first of Los Angeles and New York City. Dig a little deeper and you’ll almost certainly conjure up Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Seattle or Washington, D.C. But what about Orlando? In fact, Central Florida is full of talented bands and solo performers, many of whom enjoy avid followings and produce excellent — and often innovative — music. No, there’s not a particular genre associated with the region, especially now that boy bands are out of fashion. But there’s certainly something for everyone. Now, thanks to the AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center Series, sponsored by Orlando Health, some of the best homegrown musicians — from bluegrass pickers to blues belters — will have an opportunity to command the stage at a world-class concert venue. Beginning on November 27 and continuing once a month through April, 2018, the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater will host six shows, each spotlighting a different locally based artist or band. The series is designed to provide “amp’d-up” exposure for the performers, who’ve been selected with variety and diversity in mind.

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Single tickets are priced at $15 for a single show. But why not stretch your musical boundaries and catch them all? A six-show subscription — with the same seat guaranteed — is $75. A three-show, pick-your-own package is $39.99. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. “Homegrown talent is something to be celebrated,” says Kathy Ramsberger, the arts center’s president and CEO. “Each of these artists is vibrant and special in their own way. They deserve the platform to perform for existing and new audiences alike — and we’re thrilled to provide that opportunity.” Here’s who’ll be getting the star treatment:

NICOLE EQUERME November 27 The singer-songwriter’s musical career began at age 10, as a euphonium player. She later began playing bluegrass on the guitar and the mandolin. She fell in love with digital music at Stetson University, where she minored in digital arts and majored in English. She earned a second degree — this time in music — from Rollins College, where she focused on composition and jazz guitar. So expect a wide-ranging show from the Gotha-based performer, who does both original songs and inventive pop/rock covers. Her self-titled first album has just been released.

BEEMO December 18 The indie acoustic band blends rock, folk and bluegrass, drawing inspiration from the likes of REM, Johnny Cash, Nickel Creek and Ray LaMontagne. Beemo began as a collaborative effort between vocalist Dan Harshbarger and Sean Quinn. The duo later added mandolin player/guitarist Matt Juliano, bassist Anthony Mickle and percussionist Justin Braun. Beemo has been featured on several radio programs, including Intersection, an arts-oriented program on WMFE 90.7, the local NPR affiliate. Wide Awake, the band’s third EP, was released in 2015. The compilation features songs with uplifting vocals, driving rhythms and nimble guitar and mandolin work.

CECE TENEAL AND SOUL KAMOTION January 22, 2018 Blues/soul/funk singer Teneal has performed with Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Johnny Lang and the legendary B.B. King, to name a few. Her first music video, a bluesy version of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” premiered exclusively on the Huffington Post, and she’s been nominated for three Independent Music Awards, winning for Best Gospel Song (“I Heard You Prayin’”) and Best R&B Album in 2011. Teneal produced and performed in Portrait of a Queen, a tribute show to Aretha Franklin that debuted last year at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. But Teneal, who was lead singer at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Orlando, isn’t just a cover artist — she and Soul Kamotion also wow audiences with original material.

THOMAS WYNN AND THE BELIEVERS February 19, 2018 The sibling-led Southern rockers who front the brother-and-sister duo of Thomas and Olivia Wynn, won “Best Rock Act” and “Best Country/Folk Act” honors for seven straight years from readers of the Orlando Weekly. Maybe it’s their incendiary but uplifting live shows, which are heighted by searing guitars and soaring harmonies. Or maybe it’s in their DNA: 60

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CeCe Teneal (above), who appears with Soul Kamotion, is a blues/soul/funk singer who has won two Independent Music Awards. Thomas Wynn and the Believers (below) is a sibling-led Southern rock group known for searing guitar work and soaring brother-and-sister harmonies.

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Blueanimal (above) is an eclectic rock band fronted by two Orlando surgeons, Matt Lube (bass) and Luke Elms (guitar and vocals). Sandy Shugart (below), who appears with the January Band, is the folk-singing president of Valencia College.


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Tom Wynn — Thomas and Olivia’s father — was the original drummer for the rock band Cowboy, which toured with the Allman Brothers Band throughout the ’70s and released four albums on the Capricorn label. Reax Magazine recently wrote that with Thomas Wynn and the Believers, “for once, you have a Florida band that is truly Florida. They look like Florida, they sound like Florida — with a touch of Molly Hatchett, The Band, Neil Young and The Black Crowes.” Their new album, Wade Waist Deep, has recently been released.

BLUEANIMAL March 26, 2018 “Is there a doctor in the house?” If anyone asks at a Blueanimal show, the two frontmen are likely to jump from the stage and rush to the rescue. The band is led by Matt Lube (bass) and Luke Elms (guitar and vocals), both of whom are Orlando surgeons who previously played in a local band called Redwax. The pair performed as an “electric duo” before adding another guitar and percussion to fill out their sound. Blueanimal, whose songs range from rowdy to whimsical, released their first album, Hippies and Beauty Queens, in 2015. They’ve recorded a new double album, as yet unnamed, that will be released soon.

SANDY SHUGART AND THE JANUARY BAND April 23, 2018 You may know Shugart as president of Valencia College, which has more than 70,000 students and is one the largest community colleges in the U.S. But he’s also a poet and singer-songwriter whose folk-rock songs ruminate on life, work, growing and growing old. With three independently produced CDs since 2000, Shugart is often booked as a speaker at conventions and professional development events. What they get from this visionary educational leader is an engaging hour or more of stories, songs and poems aimed more at the heart than the head. 

EVENT: AMP’d at Dr. Phillips Center Series SHOWS/DATES: Nicole Equerme, November 27; Beemo, December 18; CeCe Teneal and Soul Kamotion, January 22, 2018; Thomas Wynn and the Believers, February 19, 2018; Blueanimal, March 26, 2018; Sandy Shugart and The January Band, April 23, 2018. All shows are at 7:30 p.m. VENUE: Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater NOTES: A series of concerts sponsored by Orlando Health showcases locally based bands and performers spanning an array of genres. TICKETS: Single tickets are priced at $15 for a single show. A six-show subscription — with the same seat guaranteed — is $75. A three-show, pick-your-own package is $39.99. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased online at, by calling 844.513.2014 or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center Box Office at 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Online and phone ticket purchases are subject to handling fees. 844.513.2014 •

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He’s back! The masked man returns in Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-shattering 1986 extravaganza about a mysterious masked musical genius and his obsessive love for a beautiful soprano. WINTER 2017 | artsLife



he show must go on! Despite Hurricane Irma, the curtain rose just one night late on the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season. The King and I went on to enjoy a sold-out run — and to offer a welcome respite for theatergoers, most of whom were still coping with the aftereffects of the storm. By the time On Your Feet completed its raucous run in late October, life had returned to normal — more or less — in Central Florida. But Irma, unwelcome as she was, served as a reminder of the ways in which the arts can lift spirits and gladden hearts during challenging times. And so the 2017–18 season at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts — presented in collaboration with Broadway Across America and the Florida Theatrical Association — continues with a bounty of blockbusters that range from the haunting to the hilarious. Up next is Love Never Dies, followed by School of Rock, Waitress, Something Rotten 66

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and Rent. There are also three Season Options: The Book of Mormon, Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary Tour and Disney’s The Lion King. Subscribers to the seven-show season have first crack at Season Option tickets — but if there are additional seats available, they’ll go on sale several weeks before the scheduled opening date. That’s one major advantage to being a season subscriber. And here’s another: Those who renew for 2018–19 will be guaranteed seats for the touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, the dates for which will be announced with next season’s lineup. “We continue to be proud and excited about our partnership with the Dr. Phillips Center,” says Susie Krajsa, Broadway Across America’s executive vice president for presenting. “The response to the 2017–18 Broadway in Orlando season has been fantastic — and we’re thrilled to be a part of the vibrant Orlando cultural community by bringing the


Love Never Dies is set on gaudy Coney Island in 1907. There, the Phantom owns an attraction aptly titled Phantasma, to which he has lured the unsuspecting Christine, his unrequited love, to perform. Spectacular set designs vividly evoke the beachside resort’s over-the-top ambiance.

School of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher to earn extra money. He ends up turning a class of high-achieving pre-adolescents into “a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.”

best of Broadway to the Walt Disney Theater.” Here’s what to expect when the curtain goes up: n  Love Never Dies (November 21–26). You didn’t think he was gone for good, did you? Love Never Dies is the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-shattering adaptation of French author Gaston Leroux’s novel about a mysterious masked musical genius and his obsessive love for a beautiful soprano. The new musical is set in 1907 — years after the Phantom’s disappearance — amid the freak shows of New York’s Coney Island. His love, Christine Daaé, is now one of the world’s great sopranos, but is struggling in her marriage to the drinking and gambling Raoul. Christine accepts an invitation from an anonymous impresario to perform at Phantasma, a new attraction on Coney Island. With her husband and young son in tow, she journeys to the U.S. unaware that it is

the Phantom who has arranged for her appearance at the popular beachside resort. Like the original Phantom, the new show offers soaring melodies from Lloyd Webber, along with spectacular costumes and set designs that vividly evoke Coney Island’s gaudy carnival atmosphere. “I’ve often thought that we left the original Phantom with a little bit of a cliffhanger, and I thought, well, why not do a sequel to it?” Lloyd Webber says in a production video. Love Never Dies has been produced in London, Australia, Denmark, Japan and Germany. The North American tour is bringing the show to the U.S. for the first time. n  School of Rock The Musical (December 26–31). Earlier this year, Lloyd Webber earned the distinction of having four productions on Broadway at once, tying a record set by Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1953. His quartet of shows includes the revivals of Sunset Boulevard and Cats, the long-running Phantom of the Opera and the new School WINTER 2017 | artsLife




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ary Michael Patterson says she’s seen Phantom of the Opera heroine Christine Daaé from both sides now. She played Christine in the long-running musical for almost two years on Broadway. And now she’s playing Christine’s erstwhile friend, Meg Giry, in the U.S. tour of Love Never Dies, the spellbinding sequel to Phantom. “I definitely think it helps to have been in Christine’s shoes,” says Patterson, who’ll bring the “ooh-la-la-girl” to the Walt Disney Theater for a November 21–26 run. The dark Andrew Lloyd Webber musical romance is next up in the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ series. Tickets are priced starting at $34.25. Love Never Dies is set in gaudy Coney Island, New York, in 1907, about 10 years after the end of Phantom. Meg is the star of the Phantom’s burlesque attraction, appropriately called Phantasma. At first, she’s thrilled to learn that the Phantom has lured the unsuspecting Christine, now a world-class soprano, to Coney Island. “There’s a lot of that innocence and percolation of girly excitement,” Patterson says. But when Meg realizes that she’ll be overshadowed by Christine’s talent, she “has to grapple with jealousy and loss.” Only she doesn’t grapple very well. Without giving away the ending, Meg is front and center for the show’s heart-wrenching climax. Patterson says her Phantom experience helped her handle the vocal demands of the sequel’s complex score. And she likes the fact that Lloyd Webber’s characters — particularly Meg — are more nuanced than those typically found in musical theater. “I feel like I can use so many more of my tools,” she adds. Phantom was one of the first shows Patterson saw as a girl, and it remains one of her all-time favorites. As she sees it, Love Never Dies is a sequel only in that it features familiar characters. Otherwise, it’s a new story that stands sturdily on its own. 68

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In other words, she says, don’t worry about getting lost if you didn’t see Phantom. You’ll get all the back story you need as you’re swept up in the stylistically distinct Love Never Dies. Patterson, who grew up near Fort Worth, Texas, started dancing at age 3. And by the time she was accepted to the University of Michigan’s top-tier musical theater program, she had years of preparation in class and on stage. “I think I was always blessed with teachers who were supportive but realistic,” she says. Patterson’s credits include a dozen roles in regional theater, and the 2011 Broadway revival of Anything Goes. She lives in New York City and is married to actor Cary Tedder, currently performing in Broadway’s A Bronx Tale: The Musical. Love Never Dies is her first touring show, however, and that comes with all the personal and professional challenges of being in a different city — and a different theater — each week. But Patterson says the pace occasionally eases with multiweek visits in larger cities. One advantage of touring, she notes, is that the frequent changes of venue make performers “hyper-present and hyper-aware.” Adds Patterson: “If you can tour well, you can probably do anything well.”  — Dana S. Eagles


In Waitress, a pie-baking contest — and a risky relationship with a gynecologist — offers Jenna a chance for a fresh start and an escape from an abusive marriage. Shown is Jesse Mueller as Jenna in the original Broadway production.

of Rock, the touring production of which will rattle the roof of the Walt Disney Theater. Based on the 2003 movie starring Jack Black, School of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star who tries to earn extra money by posing as a substitute teacher at a prep school. Dewey turns a class of high-achieving pre-adolescents into what he calls “a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.” Last year on Broadway, one of those pre-adolescents was Orlando’s Diego Lucano, who honed his skills at the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts. Lloyd Webber has “pushed to the fore a group of rockin’-out U.S. youngsters so capable, charming, vulnerable and aspirational, their open hearts surely will fell any and all resistance,” Chris Jones wrote in the Chicago Tribune. n  Waitress (March 20–25, 2018). An allfemale creative team turned a low-budget indie film into one of the hottest tickets on

Broadway, complete with music and lyrics by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, a sixtime Grammy nominee. The late Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 film Waitress, which cost about $1.5 million to make and earned a surprising $23 million at the box office, clearly had a story that resonated with audiences. That story revolves around Jenna, a Deep South waitress with a gift for baking delicious pies, through which she expresses her hopes, dreams and fears. She’s stuck in a small town and an abusive marriage when a baking contest in a nearby county and a new gynecologist in town — with whom she has an affair, which they describe during a duet as “a pretty good bad idea” — offer the chance for a fresh start. But Jenna must find the courage to rebuild her life, encouraged by her colorful co-workers and the crusty — if you’ll pardon the pun — owner at Joe’s Diner. WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Screenwriter Jessie Nelson wrote the book for Waitress. It was directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, whose credits include Pippin and Finding Neverland. Waitress warms the heart, but it also fills the belly. A new book Sugar, Butter, Flour: The Waitress Pie Cookbook, Recipes from the Files of Jenna Hunterson, has just been released by Penguin Publishing Group, which touts it as “the perfect gift for anyone who has ever eaten her feelings or baked away the blues.” “Musicals commonly have a secondact problem,” wrote Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times, who praised the show’s character development. “Waitress is one of the few that gets better as it goes along.” The show was nominated for four Tonys, including Best Musical, in 2016. n  Something Rotten! (April 24–29, 2018). If your appreciation of musical theater is limited to the 20th century and beyond, then here’s a chance to expand your horizons. Something Rotten! raucously imagines 70

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the birth of the musical in the 1590s, when brothers and aspiring playwrights Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperately struggling to escape the pervasive shadow of William Shakespeare. “Shakespeare is like a rock star,” says Karey Kirkpatrick, who collaborated on Something Rotten! with his own brother, Grammy-winning songwriter Wayne Kirkpatrick. “We always talked about him early on as being a cross between Mick Jagger, James Brown, Tom Jones and a little bit of Austin Powers.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical — and to upstage the egomaniacal Bard, whom a jealous Nick derides as “a mediocre actor from a measly little town.” Something Rotten! is jam-packed with sly and silly homages. “A Musical,” for example, is an over-the-top production number


Something Rotten!, set in the 1590s, follows brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom as they struggle to find a theatrical gimmick that will upstage the more popular (and more talented) William Shakespeare. How about adding some songs?


Rent, a reimagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, follows a year in the lives of seven struggling artists in New York City’s East Village. Now the show has returned with a 20th-anniversary tour — and its message of hope resonates as strongly as ever.

in which the cast celebrates (and satirizes) every musical theater tradition imaginable — from Bob Fosse’s jazz hands to the Rockettes’ synchronized line dancing. In fact, during this frenetic showstopper — which was performed on the 2015 Tony Awards broadcast — there are at least 20 sendups of songs from beloved blockbusters. Time Out New York’s David Cote called Something Rotten! “Broadway’s funniest, splashiest, slap-happiest musical comedy in at least 400 years — it has laugh-out-loud lyrics, catchy music, jaw-dropping sight gags and a powerhouse cast selling Bard-laced punch lines to the ecstatic balcony.” Something Rotten! was nominated for 10 Tonys in 2015, including Best Musical, and won for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. n  Rent (June 5–10, 2018). In 1996, Jonathan Larson’s Rent told the story of struggling young artists living in New York City in the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The show ran on Broadway for 12 years, winning the Pulitzer

Prize and four Tonys, including Best Musical. Rent, a reimagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, follows a year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams in New York City’s gritty East Village. The show’s signature anthem, “Seasons of Love” (“Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes …”) has become ingrained in pop culture. Now, Rent has returned with a 20th-anniversary tour. And its message of hope in the face of fear resonates with audiences in today’s volatile political climate just as it did two decades ago, before advances in the treatment of AIDS. Director Evan Ensign told Variety that “AIDS is actually just a circumstance in the show. It’s about figuring out how we fit in, about how we create family, about acceptance.” James Hebert, critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune, agreed. “Once you get past the surface signs of its time period,” he wrote, “Rent can feel not just still vibrant but plenty relevant.”  WINTER 2017 | artsLife


EVENT: 2017–18 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season SHOWS/DATES: Love Never Dies, November 21–26; The Book of Mormon, December 12–17 (Season Option); School of Rock The Musical, December 26–31; Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour, January 26–28, 2018 (Season Option); Disney’s The Lion King, February 14–March 11, 2018 (Season Option); Waitress, March 20–25, 2018; Something Rotten!, April 24–29, 2018; Rent, June 5–10, 2018. VENUE: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: The 2017–18 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season, presented in collaboration with Broadway Across America and the Florida Theatrical Association, spans the modern history of musical theater with a lineup encompassing timeless classics, current hits and return engagements for several proven audience favorites. TICKETS: Single-show tickets generally go on sale several weeks in advance, and may be purchased at, by calling 844.514.2014, or by visiting the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 445 South Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays or from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For groups of 10 or more, email Group Sales at, or call 407.455.5550. Online and group ticket purchases are subject to handling fees. SPONSORED BY


ArtsLife, the official magazine of Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, is placed in the hands of more than 100,000 attendees of shows at the arts center’s venues. Who reads ArtsLife? Look around you. If you see an audience that your business would like to reach, then call today to reserve advertising space. Advertising opportunities in each issue are strictly limited.

407-647-0225 Published by Winter Park Publishing Company LLC in conjunction with Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.


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SEASON OPTIONS WHITE LOGO (dont include black square)

The Book of Mormon chronicles the misadventures of two naïve missionaries as they seek to share their faith in an unfamiliar country.






hree familiar blockbusters are being offered as Season Options during the 2017–18 FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ series: The Book of Mormon, Disney’s The Lion King and an earlier incarnation of Riverdance have each delighted local audiences before. Season Options are not part of the standard seven-show package. However, series subscribers have first access to tickets — and demand is certain to be strong. The Book of Mormon is slated for December 12–17, 2017. Think of it as a slightly early — and outrageously funny — Christmas present. The show, which opened on Broadway in 2011 and played Orlando in 2014, chronicles the misadventures of two naïve missionaries sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone — the team behind TV’s South Park, along with Robert Lopez, co-creator of Avenue Q and composer of songs for Frozen — The Book of Mormon has won nine Tonys, including Best Musical. Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour, hops, skips and jumps through Orlando from January 26–28, 2018. The percus74

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sive production will feature new costumes, new lighting and a new hard-shoe number, “Anna Livia,” performed by the troupe’s female members. “The success of Riverdance has gone beyond our wildest dreams,” says producer Moya Doherty of the Irish folk-dancing phenomenon. “This tour is a thank you to our audiences — and a celebration of what has been an incredible journey across two decades.” Incredible indeed. Since its debut, Riverdance has presented 11,500 performances to more than 25 million people in 47 countries. Hundreds of millions have seen it on television. The third Season Option, The Lion King, last appeared in Orlando in 2012, when it packed the Bob Carr Theater for nearly a month. Its long-awaited return engagement is February 14–March 11, 2018. The show, based on the 1994 Disney animated feature, opened on Broadway in 1997 and has won six Tonys, including Best Musical. It features the familiar, inspiring songs of Sir Elton John and Tim Rice, including “Circle of Life” and the Oscar-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” — Dana S. Eagles


Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary Tour (above left) celebrates the music and dance of Ireland, while The Lion King (above right) transports audiences to the rolling grasslands of the African savanna.

“On behalf of Dr. Phillips, Inc. and its Board of Directors; our Chairman, Jim Ferber and I would like to welcome you to Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for our fourth season.� - Kenneth Robinson, President & CEO

Dr. P. Phillips and his wife Della were committed to enhancing the arts in Central Florida. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a continuation of the Phillips family 100 year history of touching lives and promoting the arts. We are pleased to honor the Phillips Family legacy and look forward to enjoying outstanding performances with the residents of Central Florida.

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Anticipation is already building for Hamilton, which has been announced as part of the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ lineup for 2018–19.


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COMING ATTRACTION WHITE LOGO (dont include black square)



WINTER 2017 | artsLife


Lin-Manuel Miranda’s history-themed musical has been described as “the story of America then, told by Americans now.”


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he touring production of Hamilton will be part of the FAIRWINDS Broadway in Orlando™ season in 2018–19. Subscribers to the 2017–18 season who renew for the subsequent lineup of shows will be offered the first opportunity to secure tickets. Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and later the country’s first treasury secretary. The show is described as “the story of America then, as told by Americans now.” Its score combines hip-hop, rap, jazz, blues and Broadway styles. Dates for Hamilton have not yet been announced, nor has the remainder of the lineup for 2018–19. Watch upcoming issues of ArtsLife for additional details. For more information on becoming a season subscriber, visit — Dana S. Eagles


you may hear someone shout “Break a leg!” Please don’t take it literally.


However, if something happens and you need medical attention, please come to the Florida Hospital First Aid Station across from the Concierge Desk in the Della Phillips Grand Lobby.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS Jim Pugh, chairman Don Ammerman Tom Roehlk Ed Timberlake

Jim Shapiro Ken Robinson Mayor Buddy Dyer Mayor Teresa Jacobs

Lisa Nason Chris McCullion Dr. Clarence H. Brown III Kathy Ramsberger

DR. PHILLIPS CENTER DONORS $5,000,000+ City of Orlando & Orange County Dr. Phillips Charities State of Florida & UCF Walt Disney World Resort Chuck & Margery Pabst Steinmetz CNL Charitable Foundation The Family of Richard & Helen DeVos Florida Hospital Alexis & Jim Pugh Darden Restaurants Foundation Joyce & Judson Green $2,000,000+ Sharon & Marc Hagle Harvey & Carol Massey Family Ravago Tupperware Brands Corporation $1,000,000+ Basel-Kiene Bank of America City of Winter Park Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation Alan Ginsburg Family Foundation Martha & Richard Kessler Kobrin Family Foundation in memory of Sara & Jack Kobrin Harriett Lake T. Steven Miller Foundation in Memory of George C. Miller, Jr. Annette Peter Neel in memory of Doris & Asher Peter OUC - The Reliable One Harris Rosen Family State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs & the Florida Council on Arts & Culture

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Reid Berman Dr. Rita Bornstein Peter S. Cahall Frank & Yvette Carlucci O’Ann & Pat Christiansen Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation Judy & Dane Cornell Mary L. Demetree The Walt Disney Company Dolores & Bruce Douglas Nikki Seybold & The Honorable Ted Edwards LMG System Integration & LMG Show Technology James R. Heistand Heller Bros. Foundation Highwinds Network Group, Inc. Johnny Holloway Isaacs Family Trust Debra & Sy Israel, Caryn & Mark Israel JPMorgan Chase & Co. Rashid A. Khatib Kiwanis Club of Orlando Foundation, Inc. Kathleen & Richard Lee Lockheed Martin John & Rita Lowndes The Chesley G. Magruder Foundation, Inc. Irving & Darlene Matthews/ Prestige Ford Rex & Jan McPherson Rosy & Harold Mills Family Kenneth & Ann Hicks Murrah Endowment Fund III at the Central Florida Foundation David L. Neel Neiman Marcus O’Connor Capital Partners Tom & Donna Page Dr. Mary Palmer Yatin Patel Family Trust

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Patricia Schwartz in memory of William C. Schwartz Laurie & Doug Spencer Dr. Ben M. Spivey Daisy & Jan Staniszkis SunTrust Foundation Elaine Berol Taylor & Scott Bevan Taylor Foundation Sherry & Myron Thaden UBS Financial Services Craig Ustler Christy & James Venezio Ellen & Wayne Wolfson $10,000+ Donna & Howard Abell Judy & David Albertson Linda & Don Ammerman Barbara & Robert Anderson Theresa & Bob Angelo Dottie & Dick Appelbaum Carol & Herbert Arkin Arnold Palmer Medical Center Ashar Group/Mendelsohn Family Alan & Joy Austin Ashlock Jim & Jackie Baird Gail & Chris Barley Family Aric C. Barrow Austin T. Barrow Olivia L. Barrow Lorri & Shawn Barrow Mary Lou & Rex Basham Marianne & Anthony Bassile Dr. Tom & Helen Bates Jim Beck & Judy Beck in honor of Benjamin & Emma Beck Geoff, Alex & Jonathan Bedine James R. Behrends & J. Scott Silen Bento Group Foundation Gary Ingram & Bill Bergin Marty Berman & The Berman Family Vicki Berman Susan & Arnold Bierman Lauren & C. Thomas Bolick IV Juliet & John Bonner Jill & Dean Bosco Stephen & Leslie Braun Murray Brooks & Betsy Godfrey Ann & Clarence H. Brown III, MD Ina & Hugh Brown Steve Brown & Lance Koenig Julie & Ryan Burrow Brian Buwalda Hugh J. Byrnes III Rose & Steve Cahill Jennifer & Alexander Calder Cameron’s Design Campbell Family Chuck & Debi Carns Dustin Wyatt Carpenter

DR. PHILLIPS CENTER DONORS Leslie & John Cervenka Linda & Bruce Chapin Susan & Roger Chapin Barnett & Claire Chepenik Ingrid & Steve Clapp Barbara & Craig Clayton Joan & Ken Clayton Matthew & Sandra Clear Sandy & Larry Cohan Hillary & Jay Cohen Stan & Betty Collier Fund in honor of Jim Pugh Cleve Collings Mickey & Dick Cook Judy R. Cooksey & Grady M. Cooksey, Jr. Laura & Mark Cosgrove Drs. Dana & Kirsty Cowles & Family CREW - Commercial Real Estate Women Earl Crittenden, Jr. Ann & Carl Croft Jane Brownlee & Christopher Crotty Jenifer, Sean, Chance, Roxanna & Stephen Croxdale Catherine & Walt Currie Shelia & Dr. Carl Dann III Dean, Mead, Egerton, Bloodworth, Capouano & Bozarth, P.A. Dr. Edwin DeJesus Anne & Steve Deli Digital Tiger Studios Sallie Layton Douglas Electronic Arts In memory of James W. Eaton III Courtney & Anthony Eelman Mr. & Mrs. George F. Eichleay Encore! Cast Performing Arts Equinox Development Properties John Ettinger II & Tobias Bushway Catherine Abington Faircloth Jo Ann & Stuart Farb Merle S. & Louis E. Feinberg & Family Michelle H., Andrew F., Sofie M., & Benjamin R. Feinberg Sue & Randy Fields Meghan & Patrick Fitzgerald Flash-Rite, Inc., Lisa Metcalf Joseph & Paula Flood Frahm Family Pam & John Fredrick Steve & Erin Freeman Madison W. (Matt) Gay, MD GCI, Inc. Deborah C. German, MD Suzanne Gilbert Lynda & Ludwig Goetz Abby & Paul Goldsmith Barbara “Fred” Goodman Thomas Goodman The Varley Grantham Family

Drs. Brian & Dianne Haas George Hack Katherine & Guy Haggard Jacki & Rob Hale Susan S. Hamilton Cindy Hansen & Lynne Sims-Taylor Ernest S. Hardy John & Annie Hardy Bob & Ruthie Harrell Ken & Courtney Hazouri Chip & Cher Headley Michael & Wendy Henner Beth & Jim Hobart Dr. Keisha & Mark Hoerrner James R. Hopes Martha & Lynn B. Howle Timothy Huskins In Memory Of Philip L. Thomas Dr. Maen Hussein & Michelle Viveiros Garret Hutchens Interior Talent International Drive Improvement District Judith & David Isaacson Melissa, Aaron & Olivia Isler JAE Foundation Jaguar of Orlando Mark Douglas Johnson Michelle & Randall Johnson Michelle & Gerald L. Jones, Jr. Robert, Carole, Rachel & Joshua Jordan Miriam & Gene Josephs Mark Kapatoes & Amanda Varga Rosalind & Harold Kaplan Norma Kaplan Ed Kasses John Joseph Kelly Cecilia & Matt Kelly & Family In honor of Charles & Maxine Khoury Laura & Jerry Kircher Eric Hogan & Skip Kirst In Memory of Sarah Hogan Susie & Edward Kleiman Audrey & Pat Knipe Andi Knowlen Jenifer & Alan Kolar Gary Lambert Tess Wise & Ellen Lang in memory of Abe Wise Barbara Lanning John & Valerie Ledford Lee Wesley & Associates Jarryd S. Lee Richard T. Lee II Tommy G. Lee II Melissa & Peter Lehman Leitao Family Frederick Leonhardt Deborah Linden Eleni & Robert Longwell

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DR. PHILLIPS CENTER MEMBERS CHAMPION, $10,000* Evelyn & Joseph Cleveland Alan Ginsburg, Ginsburg Family Foundation Edward H. Hensley & Javier Quesada Sibille & Peter Pritchard Alexis & Jim Pugh Chuck & Margery Pabst Steinmetz Bryce L. West Nancy & Bill Yarger CONTRIBUTOR, $5,000* Rita & Jeffrey Adler Jan & Gene Godbold David Halley, Jr. Irving & Darlene Matthews Anna & James Pillow Randy & Linda Scheff Tracy Stein Bob VanderWeide

SUPPORTER, $2,500* Amy DuBois Nancy & David Harvey Candy & Douglas Hollander Karina Katz Carol Klim Mary K. Mahoney Mari & Jim Moye Nadine Petronaci Nancy & Brad Rex Mary & Larry Ruffin Dottie & Bill Silverman Walker Starling Elaine & Scott Taylor ENTHUSIAST, $1,000 Elizabeth Adams Judy B. Adams Jim Agnew Dr. Ilan & Ruth Aharoni Todd Albert Caryn & Brian Albertson Lisa Allegra

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W E A L S O A P P R E C I AT E E V E RY O N E O F O U R V O L U N T E E R S & C O L L E A G U E S AT T H E A R T S C E N T E R .

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ArtsLife Winter 2017  
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