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Volume 2, Issue 6 June 2017



Ethan Russell

The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra 2017-18 Season The Sharon® Season 3

The Studio™ Season 2

Songs for a New World Staff Spotlight

Backstage at The Sharon Victory Productions The Sharon Performing Arts Academy

A Word From

Volume 2, Issue 6 | June 2017


Whitney Morse, Artistic Director, The Sharon® L. Morse Performing Arts Center

Spring Forward to New Seasons We are getting very excited here in The Sharon® offices! We are are looking forward to Season Three at The Sharon and Season Two at The Studio. Coming up at The Sharon, I am very excited about our Broadway selections. We have the stage musical version of one of my favorite childhood movies: Dirty Dancing, my all-time favorite musical Cabaret, also A Chorus Line which highlights what it’s like to be a stage performer, and of course the much anticipated Jersey Boys. It is sure to be a smashing Season Three at The Sharon! And if that were not enough to look forward to next season at The Sharon, we also have two Broadway legends: Ben Vereen, and soon after, Bernadette Peters will grace our stage. We have also secured the return of Clint Black; and Kansas has included us on its latest world tour! Of course we are very excited about our second season at The Studio where we will be asking you to examine commitment. We are bringing you shows along the theme: “Commit with Abandon: what will you gain by getting go?” In this season, we will start with the hilariously funny Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, where we will look closer at what it means to be committed to family and faith. Our second show is Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally. I am particularly excited about that show as I am slated to star as the female lead. It is sure to be a challenge because that show will feature just myself and one other actor. In Frankie and Johnny we will weigh the pros and cons of a romantic commitment. Then for our third show, we will be bringing you our most ambitious show yet: Company by Stephen Sondheim. With a cast of 14 and a large pit band to boot, it is sure to knock your socks off! Then to round out our commitment season we will look at commitment to one’s art and career in Red by John Logan. We have so much to look forward to at The Sharon and The Studio and we are so glad you all have decided to come along with us on the artistic ride!

For more show details see Page 19

See you at



$20-$40 7PM

Ethan Russell The Best Seat in the House


Who is Ethan Russell? One day Ethan Russell was an American tourist with a camera — the next he was shooting Mick Jagger in London, 1968. From his first shoot of Mick Jagger, for a 1968 cover for Rolling Stone magazine, to the final performance and very last pictures of The Beatles together, high atop Apple Records, Ethan is the only photographer to do an album cover for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who. While Ethan wrote three books exploring those years, he now performs in front of a live audience to recount his “ride,” and what it was really like to be there, beyond the lens.

an “We trusted Ethan as artist, which made him ch invisible to us, and whi phs to allowed his photogra ate capture our most intim gger moments.” — Mick Ja


What is the Best Seat in the House? Russell will relive his eclectic journey through an extraordinary evening of stories, music and photographs during his live, multi-media event, The Best Seat in the House. This is a rare opportunity to hear from someone who witnessed and recorded music history in the making. Ethan’s selected images fill a screen, supported by music and his personal, behind-the-scenes stories which ensure audiences leave feeling like they were there, too. Ethan takes you behind-the-scenes and guides you through two tumultuous decades of shooting musical legends. The Best Seat in the House is accompanied by a gallery showing of his work (inside The Sharon’s Lobby) and Ethan is present to sign prints available for purchase.

Tickets On Sale Now! Series prices available at box office windows or call 352-750-5411


September 3rd, 2017; 7:00 pm – Pops Concert October 9th, 2017; 7:00 pm – Italian/American Celebration November 19th, 2017; 7:00 pm – Messiah Concert December 12th & 13th, 2017; 7:00 pm – Holiday Concert January 17th, 2018; 7:00 pm – Classical Concert February 6th, 2018; 7:00 pm – American Music March 28th, 2018; 7:00 pm – Classical Concert April 10th, 2018; 7:00 pm – Easter Concert May 15, 2018; 7:00 pm – Opera Gala


The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra is back at The Sharon for the 2017/2018 season!

$20-$60 4

Three time Grammy Award Winning Singer

Debby Boone In 1977, Debby Boone earned instant fame when You Light Up My Life became one of the biggest songs in history, charting #1 on Billboard for 10 straight weeks and selling in excess of four million albums. That year she received the Grammy for Best New Artist and has since received an additional seven Grammy nominations, winning two more. In 2008, the song was ranked #7 in Billboard’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Top-Charting Songs.

Sept 8th / 7pm / $20-$50 On sale July 19th, 2017

The most sought after Big Band in the world!

Glenn Miller

Orchestra 5

Sept. 12th, 7 pm On Sale July 26th $25-$60

Prolific singer-songwriter Clint Black has long been heralded as one of Country music’s brightest stars. His many talents have helped shape his long career, as Black has transcended genres to become one of the most successful artists in all the music industry. To date, Black has written, recorded and released more than 100 songs, a benchmark in any artist’s career. An astounding one-third of these songs eligible for major single release also achieved hit song status at Country radio, while more than 20 million of his albums have been sold worldwide. While it’s well-known that Black is an accomplished singer and guitarist, people may be surprised to learn that he is also proficient on drums and harmonica.

Sept 15th, 7pm ~ $45-$115 On Sale August 2nd

Air Play

October 4th, 7pm | $20-$55 On sale August 9th

Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, kites that float over the audience and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder, laugh until it hurts, and be touched by the affection and rivalry between a sister and brother on a life-changing and surreal journey.


Ben Vereen is on tour with his one man show, Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen, dazzling audiences throughout the United States. Ben performs a unique blend of artistry, combining a tribute to Broadway, Frank Sinatra, and a very special tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. Featuring songs such as “Defying Gravity,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “For Good” from Wicked and “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen is a contemporary and timeless journey through the Broadway songbook. Ben promises an evening of song and dance, filled with entertainment and laughter, stories and inspiration!

Steppin’ Out with


October 7th, 7pm On Sale August 16th; $20-$65

Oct. 24 | 7pm On Sale Aug. 30 $15-$35


The Tony Awards meets Whose Line Is It Anyway? Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny. The New York Times calls Broadway’s Next H!T Musical “Hilarious!” Time Out NY says “At last! A musical of, for, and by the people.”



“As an actress, singer, comedienne and allaround warming presence Bernadette Peters has no peer in the musical theatre right now.” Frank Rich, The New York Times.

Meet and Greet - $125 On Sale August 23rd

October 10 & 11, 7pm On sale August 16, $20-$55

The 5 world-class illusionists that make up the Champions Of Magic come to the USA for the first time following 4 years touring the UK with sold out shows, rave reviews, and a run in London’s West End.


Catch Me! Flip FabriQue is a young troupe founded by a group of friends who are professional circus artists. Their shared dream is to create circus shows that reflect their unique image, draw from their personal experiences and unleash each member’s full potential.

Nov. 1st $25-$70


On sale Sept 13th


Buenos Aires

Performing a journey through dance & music in the ”Spirit of Argentina”

Direct from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tango Buenos Aires. Tango Buenos Aires has become one of Argentina’s great cultural exports, known throughout the Americas, Europe and the Far East as the most authentic and uncompromising representative of the Tango.

November 28th, 7pm On sale Oct. 4th, $20-$50


Dec 9, 7pm. $55-$125.

Kansas, the legendary rock band! With a legendary career spanning more than four decades, KANSAS has firmly established itself as one of America’s iconic of classic rock bands. This “garage band” from Topeka released their debut album in 1974 after being discovered by Wally Gold, who worked for Don Kirshner, and have gone on to sell more than 30 million albums worldwide.

JAN 12 - 13, 2018

ON SALE NOV 22, 2017 | $50-$100 DIRTY DANCING – THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heartpounding music, passionate romance and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit features the hit songs Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heartstopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life. London’s Sunday Express says, “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”


HELSINGBORG ORCHESTRA Jan. 24, 2018; 7pm | On sale Dec. 6, 2017 | $20-$80

The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra (HSO) was founded in 1912 and is one of Sweden’s oldest orchestras. Its principal conductors have included Sten Frykberg, John Frandsen, Okko Kamu, and Andrew Manze, with whom it has recorded symphonies by Beethoven and Brahms. The HSO is undoubtedly one of the region’s key international leaders and is much sought-after for both concert tours and recording projects.

“Chanticleer fascinates and enthralls for much the same reason a fine chocolate or a Rolls Royce does: through luxurious perfection.” – Los Angeles Times

CHANTICLEER JAN 29, 2018 | 7pm | $20-$40 ON SALE NOV 29, 2017


Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including Cabaret, Willkommen, and Maybe This Time. Leave your troubles outside – life is beautiful at CABARET – John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff ’s Tony-winning musical about following your heart while the world loses its way.

FEBRUARY 12TH & 13TH, 2018, 7PM ON SALE DEC. 20, 2017  $35-$100


Romeo & Juliet


The Moscow Festival Ballet was founded in 1989 when legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet Sergei Radchenko sought to realize his vision of a company which would bring together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet.

February 20th-23rd, 2018; 7pm On Sale December 13th, 2017, $20-$80



March 2nd, 2018 | 7pm

BODYTRAFFIC returns to The Sharon with a new repertoire Spring 2018. Founded in 2007 by Lillian Barbeito and Tina Finkelman Berkett, BODYTRAFFIC has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world. Named “the company of the future” by The Joyce Theater Foundation, Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2013 and Best of Culture by the Los Angeles Times, the young company is already internationally recognized for their high quality of work.

On Sale Jan. 10th, 2018, $15-$40


MAR 6, 2018, 7PM | ON SALE JAN 3, 2018 | $30-$65 Since its inception in 1960, the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba has been instrumental in developing and introducing Cuban and Latin American music to the international classical music community, in addition to covering a vast symphonic and chamber repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music. International tours have taken the orchestra to The United States of America, Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, Peru and Argentina.


JERSEY BOYS is the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the the behindthe-scenes true story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time.

APRIL 13 & April 14, 2018 On Sale February 21, 2018

Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and 9 TonyÂŽ Awards including Best Musical. A CHORUS LINE is musical theatre in its most pure form! Its celebration and true-tolife depiction of performers and their struggle to achieve greatness on the Broadway stage has earned the show unanimous praise as one of the true masterpieces of live theater.

April 18th & 19th, 2018, 7pm

On Sale: February 14th, 2018, $45-$90


See you at



Commit with Abandon: What will you gain by letting go?

Sept 5th - Deadline to renew subscriptions Sept 12th - New subscriptions will go on sale at 8:30am, $120 Sept 19th - Individual tickets will go on sale at 8:30am

The Studio Theatre - Tierra del Sol 806 San Marino Drive, The Villages, FL 32159 | (352) 751-7799 #TheStudioTheatreTDS



Family and faith are not always kosher.

Set against the backdrop of 21st century Manhattan, Joshua Harmon's critically acclaimed comedy asks questions about what you choose to believe, when you're chosen. The patriarch of a Jewish family passes away, and three, very different grandchildren gather at his funeral. Liam is a declared atheist, while Dapha has a ferociously attached herself to every aspect of her Jewish heritage. Jonah, on the other hand, does his best to keep the peace and stay out of any arguments. When Liam brings home his shiksa girlfriend Melody and declares ownership of their grandfather's Chai necklace, a vicious and hilarious brawl over family, faith, and legacy ensues. Preview: OCT 31st - NOV 2nd | $15 Opening: NOV 3rd | Closing: DEC 3rd | $35


Order Up! Moonlight, music, and meatloaf with a side of desire. Four time Tony Award Winner, Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune tells the story of Frankie, a waitress, and Johnny, a short-order cook, who work together in the same restaurant. Lights up on Frankie and Johnny in the bed of a grimy 1987 New York studio apartment. Frankie is hopeful that Johnny will now put on his clothes and depart, but Johnny, the romantic, has other ideas. Through sometimes touching and sometimes hilarious banter shared over sandwiches and a song, the promise of a relationship beyond a "one-night stand" begins to emerge for these two lonely hearts. Preview: DEC 19th - DEC 21st | $15 Opening: DEC 22nd | Closing: JAN 11th | $35



Here is the church, Here is the steeple. Open the doors And see all the crazy married people. On the night of his 35th birthday, Robert struggles to think of a wish to make as he blows out his birthday candles. The lone bachelor, surrounded by "those good and crazy people" -- his married friends -- Robert is uncertain whether he should simply be happy with his lot or whether he should wish for his own romantic partner. Over a series of dinner parties, first dates, and thoughtful conversations, Robert attempts to understand the pros and cons of marriage from his diverse and frequently hilarious friends, and begins to make sense of his own persistent bachelorhood. Stephen Sondheim's seven time Tony Award winning musical, Company is a mature, intelligent, and wildly funny look at relationships, vulnerability, and "being alive." Preview: JAN 30th - FEB 1st | $20 Opening: FEB 2nd | Closing: MAR 4th | $40


Bleed for your art. Famed abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko asks his recently hired young assistant, Ken, the loaded question, "What do you see?" John Logan's visceral two-hander, Red, features artist Mark Rothko at the height of his career. Set in 1950s lower Manhattan, this biographical play illustrates Rothko struggle as he lands the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York's famed Four Seasons Restaurant. When Ken begins to challenge Rothko, he faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. This six time Tony Award winning play takes a compelling look at the ever-changing relationship between an artist and his creations. Preview: MAR 20th - MAR 22nd | $15 Opening: MAR 23rd | Closing: APR 22nd | $35


Songs for a New World

Can you find the courage to take a leap of faith? The Studio Theatre presents a limited engagement of Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World. Songs for a New World is the musical which catapulted Tony Award winning composer, Jason Robert Brown (author of The Studio season's spring musical, The Last Five Years) into international fame.

Performed minimalistically by a cast of two men and two women on a bare stage, this remarkable song cycle examines the challenges, rewards, and knowledge we obtain and endure when pursuing our dreams in a new world of possibility.


Whitney Morse | Fernando Varela | Allyssa Yost | Josh Kimball


Tickets On Sale Now | $20 August 13th - August 29th | 7pm Only 9 performances


Amber Sacks


Production Assistant at The Studioâ„¢


My name is Amber Sacks and I am following my passion in Show Production. This passion began with my first concert. While others were there to enjoy a band's performance, I got swept away with more of the technical aspects of the show. I fell in love with the atmosphere and appreciated the work it took to make their (the band’s) music come to life. Then, I felt the urge to be surrounded by that atmosphere as much as possible. I've worked multiple internships expanding my knowledge in live music and concerts, followed by working my way into a paid internship with a performing arts center. I also took the leap, by making the decision to work towards a bachelors degree in show production and live event science at Full Sail University. As a hardworking person with a strong work ethic, I like to get things done quickly and efficiently, which is an essential skill in this line of work. Since I am still learning, I ask a lot of questions and seek out explanation of things that I don’t quite understand at first. I want to expand my knowledge as much as I can. . As they say, "experience is key!"

What is your role at The Studio™? My role at the studio, as Property Master, is to find and gather all props or items that actors handle throughout the show. This means finding the props that will be needed, setting the props, and making sure the director is pleased. As a Production Assistant, my role is to make sure the actors are happy and ready for their show. I also assist with quick changes, scene changes, and making sure the actors are prepared for the next scene. I also work the soundboard if necessary, which includes getting actors mic’d and running sound checks.

What is your background and what got you started in theatre?

What has been your favorite experience so far at The Studio? If I had to pick, I would choose one of The Last Five Years shows. Being the Property Master, I had the privilege of writing in a notepad used during the show and that day I decided to recite a whole Eminem song. One of the actors (Brian Zealand) actually read what I wrote, and I almost lost it during one of his songs!

Anything else you’d rather touch on or add? I love being a part of this team, so I'm looking foward to another successful season!

It was back in middle school when I first got into theatre. I was in eighth grade and our art class had to build the set and get costumes together for the drama kids. Always on the technical side of things, I enjoyed bringing a regular stage to life.

What's your favorite part of the job? My favorite part of the job are the people I get to work with. There are many talented, extraordinary people that make all of this possible and I am lucky to learn from and form a bond with each of them.

"We have an amazing crewparticularly Amber." -Jill Jones, Actress (Catherine, Proof)



The Sharon's Annual Usher Appreciation Party and Training was on Monday, May 1st. The celebration started with safety protocol training and then transitioned into a karaoke party! Interview with Rebecca Morse, House Manager What was the event for? Yearly Emergency Evacuation Drills and a party after to express our appreciation for all of the hours and energy that the ushers so generously donate. The average donated hours per person per show is 5, multiply that by 32 (number of ushers used each show) and then multiply that by 120 shows per year — that is a whopping 18,200 hours per year of donated time! Rebecca Morse, Grace Petty, Cathy Stark, and Elizabeth Constant

How many Ushers attended? About 150, though I have 190 ushers on my roster.


What is the Blue Glove Award about? It is a brand new award! This group of volunteers are so giving and helpful, since the inception of the usher program, they have made suggestions of ways to improve our service to the patrons here at The Sharon®. I wanted to encourage more of that and wanted to come up with an award, but didn’t know what I wanted that award to be. Larry Bulger won the Inaugural “Blue Glove Award” for his suggestion to plant a blue glove (used by the ushers for clean up after each performance) in the program bin so that when the usher giving out the programs gets to that glove, they know they are running low on programs and can remedy their situation. So his suggestion is the namesake of the award. I cannot take credit for the award name — The idea to call it “The Blue Glove Award” was also suggested by another usher, Donna Taylor!

Larry Bulger

Linda and Peg

What do you appreciate the most about your Ushers? Their amazing generosity! Generosity of time, energy, innovation and commitment to service. They truly embody The Villages® Core Values.

Anyone in particular you would like to recognize? Do you have room for 190 names? Ha, I could not do my job without all of them and the help of my two Assistant House Managers, Cathy Stark and Grace Petty.

Final thoughts from Rebecca Morse: I know I speak for the entire staff here at The Sharon® when I say “Thank You” to all of my ushers. We are so thankful to have them with us, and they are a great big part of the success of this facility.

The Sharon accepts new applications for Ushers every year during the month of June. Please visit The Sharon box office throughout regular hours during June to fill out and submit your application!

Thank You to all of our Ushers! 24



The above offerings are brought to you by Victory Productions. Tickets can be purchased at or at all Box Office locations in The Villages®. All shows at The Studio Theatre™. For questions, please e-mail:


FREE professional photography* available in The SharonÂŽ Lobby! * For select shows

Look for the photographer at your next show. Download & Share It


Performing Arts Theatres of The VillagesÂŽ


The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center has a mission to provide quality entertainment to The VillagesÂŽ and its surrounding communities. #TheSharon

Our mission is to inspire the residents of Central Florida to examine relevant issues by elevating them through innovative and intimate storytelling. Think outside the box, inside the box at The Studio Theatre. #TheStudioTheatreTDS Š 2017 The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. Prices and availability subject to change without notice.

THE SCOOP - June 2017  
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