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Volume 1, Issue 7 November 2016

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS • James Gregory • The Havana Cuba All Stars


A Word From


Volume 1, Issue 7 | November 2016



Next To Normal

Battle of the Chefs

Southern Fried Chicks

The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra Havana Cuba All-Stars James Gregory The Hot Sardines The Staff Spotlight The Sharon Schedule Backstage at The Sharon The Sharon Performing Arts Academy

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

Next To Normal™ Rehearsals Rehearsals are well underway at The Studio Theatre™ Tierra Del Sol for our inaugural production of Next To Normal. The rehearsal process is my favorite part of theatre making. It is where the nitty gritty work really happens. We hash out every detail and figure out every little moment in the script. So far, all of that is going swimmingly in our brand new space at Tierra Del Sol. All of our actors arrived in The Villages® in late October, and we hit the ground running. We have been focused very intently on the show, our music, lines, and characters. Meanwhile the artistic and technical team have been working tirelessly to get all the finishing touches done on the set, focus all the lights, and get the sound system ready for our live band to accompany our microphone wearing actors.

It is so exhilarating to not only be a part of the cast, but also to watch our brilliantly talented and skilled team of designers and technicians execute all the technical elements of our first show with such grace and precision. We are currently about half way through our rehearsal process and are just days from our first preview and the excitement could not be more palpable. The cast is raring to go and the technical and creative teams are just as pumped. Theatre is, in my opinion, the most collaborative and multidisciplinary art form there is, and being a part if it from the ground floor is both momentous and triumphant. We simply cannot wait for our first audience to witness Next To Normal.

NEXT TO NORMAL Side effects may include…dysfunction. Next To Normal explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Containing a thrilling contemporary score, Next to Normal is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other.

Opening: NOV18th | Closing: DEC17th



Tickets On Sale Now! $15 Previews | $30 Performances The Studio Theatre - Tierra del Sol 806 San Marino Drive, The Villages, FL 32159 | (352) 751-7799


NEXT TO NORMAL Preview: NOV 14th-17th


Opening: NOV18th

Closing: DEC17th

The Studio Theatre™ Tierra del Sol is opening this month! Here’s a sneak peek of the cast rehearsing…

Tickets On Sale Now! $15 Previews | $30 Performances The Studio Theatre - Tierra del Sol 806 San Marino Drive, The Villages, FL 32159 | (352) 751-7799


NOVEMBER 7TH • 2PM & 6PM • $25 5

presented by

Who will be the winning chef? Executive Chef Kevin Robinson RedSauce

Head Chef Eric Reed Hemingway’s at Havana Country Club

Nov. 7


6 d n a m p 2 • s • Two Show or ro a h S e h T t a ts now Buy your ticke in ta r te n E s e g TheVilla .com/vote ellness yEvergreenW

favorite at M Vote for your

If you have an appetite for drama (and

humor), this is one reservation you’re goin g to want to make!

Hosted by Bill Green of TV home shopping fame.

Cooking Live Onstage at

Eric Reed, Head Chef, Hemingway’s at Havana Country Club Born and raised in the Homestead/Miami area, Eric has been perfecting his culinary craft ever since he was just 15 years old, working in various kitchens. He moved north after Hurricane Andrew and today oversees operations at several dining establishments in The Villages®: Hemingway’s at Havana Country Club, Legacy Restaurant at the Nancy Lopez Country Club, and the Oasis Burger Company. “I absolutely love what I do; the insanity; the creation; the teaching,” explains Eric. “I am so grateful for my teams. They make me better every day; they inspire me to always be better.” Eric’s exciting career has had him cooking for the Duchess of York Sara Ferguson, the chairman of China, Donald Trump, Nancy Lopez, and Arnold Palmer, to name a few. Over the years he has been honored with many accolades, from Best Up and Coming Chef in the tri-county area to winner of the Marion County Chili Cook Off. Eric’s secret to serving up delicious dishes is his belief in the freshest of ingredients, and quite simply, his tremendous love of food. He’s equally passionate about his family: “I have two sons, Draven and River, and an amazing and supportive wife, Sandy. They are my rock!” He's already sharing his secrets with two little chefs in the making: “I love teaching my boys the ways of the chef.”

Kevin Robinson, Executive Chef, RedSauce As RedSauce’s Executive Chef since the restaurant’s opening seven years ago, Kevin has poured his heart and soul into this popular eatery. His lifelong love of food and years of culinary expertise can be tasted in a wide assortment of decadent creations. While his cooking career began in earnest in South Florida, he likes to say it all began in his family’s kitchen in upstate New York. After growing up there and studying at Fulton Montgomery Community College and the University of Hartford, he moved to South Florida and worked at three different restaurants, learning the fundamentals of cuisine and developing a work ethic – not to mention falling in love with the restaurant lifestyle! The next chapter of his career took him back to New York where he served as a sous chef at Isabel’s Restaurant, as a banquet chef at the Glen Sander’s Mansion, and as an executive chef at The Hall of Springs and Saratoga Performing Arts Center. He then advanced to the country club sector where he served as an executive chef at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club and as Banquet Chef & Director of Catering at the Saratoga National Golf Club. Kevin’s return to Florida began his successful tenure at RedSauce, which has grown and changed over the years and truly encompasses all of his varied culinary and life experiences. When he’s not enjoying his work life at RedSauce, he’s enjoying his home life in Oxford, Florida, with his wife, Tina, and son, Izzy.

Bill Green, Host Our show host is one of the stars of HSN television, Bill Green, one of the channel’s most popular hosts. Bill’s down-to-earth personality has developed a large following since he began working there in 1994, entertaining viewers with equal parts comedy and sincerity. At HSN, the world’s pioneer of electronic retailing, his role as one of the most well-versed and well-liked hosts has had him presenting everything from fashion jewelry and accessories to outdoor lawn and garden items. “Every new category of merchandise presents a new challenge,” claims Bill, and he loves a challenge. Bill is no novice when it comes to working along side top chefs and has spent many hours on air broadcasting with personalities including Chef Emeril Lagasse and Chef Wolfgang Puck.


NOVEMBER 17TH • 7PM • $20 - $35 7

Etta May

Sonya White

Mia Jackson

Winner of the prestigious, American Comedy Award's "Comic of the Year." This Kentucky woman is a comedy icon, described as "Minnie Pearl with a migraine." Etta has been seen on Oprah, CMT, Showtime, Comic Strip Live, Comedy Stage plus many others. Etta May is an audience favorite of XM/Sirius Radio Comedy Channels and on the syndicated radio show "The Bob and Tom Show." She's a regular on CMT countdown shows and featured programming. CMT's Documentary Series that featured the "Blue Collar" boys and "Etta May" places her as one of the top southern comics in the business.

Sonya White, originally from Virginia, now calls Chicago home. She combines her southern charm with big city street smarts. Her comedy and dead on impersonations make her show unique and down right funny. You've seen Sonya on HBO, E! and Comedy Central. A favorite on Girls Behaving Badly, Comedy Spotlight and The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Sonya's sitcom credits include "Nightshift" on Fox, "Big Brother Jake" on The Family Channel and MTV's "Spring Break." Top that off with her cartoon voices for the Cartoon Network she's one funny versatile lady.

Mia Jackson is a bonafide Georgia peach, a self proclaimed know-it-all, and always wondered what would happen if she took her sense of humor to the stage. That’s exactly what she did! After graduating from the University of Georgia she hit the local comedy scene and has thrilled audiences since day one. To her credit she has appeared on Oxygen, TLC, NickMom's Night Out and was recently a featured semi-finalist on Season 9 of NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2015. Mia is a diverse comedian with an outspoken voice and unique perspective. Smart, funny, and versatile, Mia entertains all types of crowds.

This professional orchestra will present musical masterpieces to our local community that will enlighten and entertain. Their purpose is to nourish the hearts, minds and souls of families with the glorious gift of music while inspiring the next generation to pursue this same noble tradition.

2016/17 Season Schedule

Tuesday 11/22/2016 7pm Messiah Monday 12/19/2016 2pm Holiday Monday 12/19/2016 7pm Holiday Tuesday



Classical Concert

Wednesday 1/11/2017


Classical Concert




American Music




American Music




Classical Concert

Wednesday 3/15/2017


Classical Concert




Opera Celebration

Wednesday 4/5/2017


Opera Celebration

November 22, 2016 - April 5, 2017 | $21-$39 Series prices available at box office windows or call 352-750-5411

VPO • NOVEMBER 22ND • 7PM • $21 -$39

The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra is back at The Sharon for the 2016/2017 season!

NOVEMBER 29TH • 7PM • $25-$45





“Cuban Nights” Drawing their inspiration from traditional Cuban Son, Cuba’s greatest musicians have created and maintained the songs and music of the rich culture of the Cuban people in the program, “Cuban Nights.” Staying true to an acoustic base, they have developed a fresh sound with inventive songwriting, and have preserved the traditions of the Cuban musical art form. The Cuban Nights program is representative of the extraordinary musical legacy of this wonderful country. The Havana Cuba All-Stars is a band comprised of Cuba’s greatest and most prominent musicians, and is devoted to promoting the entire tapestry of Cuban music. The origin of the Havana Cuba All-Stars began when it was created to exemplify the great musical traditions of the Cuban people. This is the debut tour of Cuba’s greatest musicians in the United States and Canada.

The Havana Cuba All-Stars Fito Florian - Spanish Guitar, Tres & Chorus Alejandro Albar - Steel Guitar, Tres & Chorus Juan Luis Alarcon - Bongos, Cowbell & Cajon Vicente Arencibia - Lead Vocal & Congas David Echevarria – Lead Vocal, Bongos & Hand Percussion Michel Salazar - Bass and Chorus

Camilo Menjura - Chorus, Hand Percussion, Guitar Andres V. Valdes - Chorus & Guitar Yoan Sanchez - Timbales, Snare, Congas & Percussion Eikel Venegas - 2nd Trumpet & Slide Trombone Michel Padron - 1st Trumpet & Valve Trombone

Exclusive Interview with Band Leader Michel Padrón Tell us the story behind starting the Havana Cuba All Stars. My band, Asere, was formed 20 years ago. My friends and I wanted to keep the traditional Cuban music of Havana alive in the minds of the people of Cuba and outside of Cuba. Some of us had grown up together playing the music of my country along with Jazz and other styles. As we became older and wanted to preserve our heritage of Havana Cuba music the group was formed. Since then we have traveled and performed in many countries such as Australia, Africa, and Europe. What made you choose ASERE as your tour’s name and how does it reflect the new friendship between the U.S. and Cuba? “Asere” is the name of our core band which started 20 years ago. Assure, means mate, or buddy meaning friend. It just seems appropriate to name the tour this for this new relationship between our countries. What makes Cuban music stand out from the rest? Cuban music is for dance. It can be slow to fast music, but all can be danced to. This was the tradition of our grandfathers when this style was formed. You will want to move to the music and you will feel our heart and soul in all the music we will perform. It will be a high energy time that I know everyone will enjoy and want to keep dancing! The Afro - Cuban rhythms are infectious and keep you wanting more.

What types of instruments/sounds can our audience expect from your performance? We have congas and bongos, cowbells, timbales, and other percussion instruments. We also have Spanish Guitar, Steel string guitar and the Tres, which is a special Cuban guitar with a special sound. We also have the bass and, of course, vocals. With this tour being the first ever U.S. tour for the All Stars, what do you hope to get from this experience? What do you hope the audience will take from your performance? It is so wonderful to be here in the United States. I never thought this would happen. But, here we are. I hope it is the beginning of a lot of wonderful tours in the U.S. I hope the audience will recognize our passion for the traditional Havana Cuban music. I trust they will see our heart and soul in our music and I hope they dance during the show, buy a CD and take it home to dance to also. What are you looking forward to most during the U.S. tour? Seeing all the wonderful places that we are able to perform. From small to large everyone has been very nice to us and welcome us with open arms. We did not know what would happen here. This is what we enjoy. In your promotional videos most of your concert is in Spanish, for the U.S. tour have you adapted some of the speaking and lyrics into English? Our concert is all in Spanish. But, that does not mean that you will not understand. The songs speak for themselves, whether fast or slow. Cuban music is for dance. So come and dance and enjoy a wonderful evening. I do attempt to speak some English during the show to help explain some of the songs. What is one of your most memorable moments as a group together? Standing on Broadway in New York City was amazing. We looked at everything and then pinched each other to see if we were awake.


DECEMBER 3RD • 7PM • $20-$45 11

“Funniest Man In America”

For over two decades, the unforgettable caricature of veteran comedian James Gregory has stood grinning: his shirt

EXCLUSIVE Audio Interview

untucked, his arms outstretched, a carefree welcome to a down-home, hilarious comedy experience. It’s storytelling at its best. The trademark caricature is the essence of James Gregory’s comedy: rib-tickling reflections on life from the front porch. Gregory is constantly touring. He’s on the road about three days a week, forty six weeks a year. He continues to entertain sold-out crowds in theaters and comedy clubs and remains in demand for corporate events. Gregory has been the featured entertainer for over 200 corporations, including the Coca Cola Company, Kimberly Clark Corporation, Hewlett Packard and Kroger. Gregory has also been the featured speaker for events sponsored by various civic and church groups. Gregory is heard weekly on syndicated radio shows such as Rick and Bubba, John Boy and Billy and Bob and Tom. Combined, these shows are broadcast to people in over 220 cities nationwide. As a result, he now has a grass-roots following that numbers in the millions. Gregory was born in a rural area about twenty five miles east of Atlanta, GA. He got his first job at the age of twelve at a small country grocery store. By the time he was fifteen, he was working thirty-seven hours a week, as well as going to school. As an adult, Gregory has worked for the U.S. Postal

Service, the Department of Defense, and spent almost ten years as a salesman before discovering the wonderful world of standup comedy. Gregory does not “tip-toe” through life as if he’s walking on broken glass or egg shells. That style is evident on stage as well. He is not politically correct. Much of his humor is centered on brilliant observations of crazy relatives and people obsessed with the slightest change in weather conditions - now referred to as global warming. He delights in poking fun at modern sensitive parents and outof-control environmentalists. Gregory has been quoted as saying, “If you want me to be concerned about endangered species, you need to convince me that we’re about out of chickens.” The James Gregory show turns the clock back to a time when life was simpler; to a better time, before the death of common sense; a time when people sat on the front porch and actually talked to each other without a cell phone in their ear. Gregory’s success, like his comedy, is the direct result of the values he grew up with. And now, twenty something years later, it is this unique brand of humor that packs the crowds into his sold-out shows. The absence of vulgarity sets James apart and his stories are carefully crafted art. “I have lived long enough to know people, know life”, Gregory reflects. “My comedy is based on my life experiences. It’s real, it’s funny and the audience loves it. That’s why I’m still in business.”

"James Gregory is in a class all by himself... his humor transcends all barriers." – Entertainment Magazine


DECEMBER 11TH • 7PM • $15-$60

The Hot Sardines reinvent hot jazz for the 21st century with glamour, grit and passion with their self-titled debut album, set for release on October 7th on Decca/Universal Music Classics. This 8 piece hot jazz ensemble unleashes their distinctly dazzling and inventive sound, featuring both early jazz classics and original new Sardine compositions. Their album launch marks a defining moment in the Sardines’ evolution, which started as a slow burn fueled by a shared passion for music from another era and escalated as the band’s performances ignited the same passion in audiences all over the world.


Take a blustery brass lineup, layer it over a rhythm section led by a stride-piano virtuoso in the Fats Waller vein, and tie the whole thing together with a one-of-the-boys frontwoman with a voice from another era, and you have the Hot Sardines. (We haven’t even told you about the tap dancer yet.) In a short time, the Hot Sardines have gone from their first gig – at a coffee shop on the last Q train stop in Queens – to selling out Joe’s Pub five times in as many months, headlining at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, and opening for the Bad Plus, Lulu Gainsbourg and French gypsy-jazz artist Zaz. Through it all they’ve become regulars at the Shanghai Mermaid speakeasy and turned The Standard, where they play regularly, into their own “saloon in the sky” (The Wall Street Journal) – complete with tap dancing on the bar – honing a live persona that’s been called “unforgettably wild” and “consistently electrifying” (Popmatters). The Sardine sound – wartime Paris via New Orleans, or the other way around – is steeped in hot jazz, salty stride piano, and the kind of music Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt and Waller used to make: Straight-up, foot-stomping jazz. (Literally – the band includes a tap dancer whose feet count as two members of the rhythm section). They manage to invoke the sounds of a near-century ago and stay resolutely in step with the current age. And while their roots run deep into jazz, that most American of genres, they’re

intertwined with French influences via their frontwoman, who was born and raised in Paris (and writes songs in both languages). The band was born when said Parisian (“Miz Elizabeth” Bougerol) met a stride piano player (bandleader Evan “Bibs” Palazzo) at a jam session they found on Craigslist. Above a noodle shop on Manhattan’s 49th Street, they discovered a mutual love for songs from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s that no-one really plays anymore. Or if they play them, “they handle them with kid gloves, like pieces in a museum,” says Evan, underscoring a point the pair can’t stress enough: “This music isn’t historical artifact. It’s a living, breathing, always-evolving thing.” Members of the Sardines collective have worked with a genre-hopping roster that includes Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens, Lauren Ambrose, Sondre Lerche, Vetiver, Of Montreal, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling, Branford Marsalis, the New York and Jerusalem Philharmonics, Slavic Soul Party and the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra.





The Villages® is truly Autumn Elis Encarnacion’s hometown. Although she was born in Brooklyn, NY, she grew up right here in central Florida. Since she was a little girl she has had the unique opportunity of watching The Villages community develop literally from the ground up. She was even one of the first students to attend The Villages Charter School. This was one of many inaugural events that Autumn has had the unique opportunity to be a part of here in The Villages community. Upon the opening of The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center®, Autumn joined The Sharon® team as the backstage Production Assistant. On the day of production she acts as the point person backstage for the performers and the touring production teams. From prepping the artist’s dressing room, to calling places at the top of show, she is a key player in making it all come together the night of the performance. In addition to her role at The Sharon, Autumn has also taken on the role of Company Manager for The Studio Theatre™ Tierra Del Sol. Autumn attended school at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and Advanced Performance. In her life outside of work Autumn continues to sing and perform around Central Florida. When she is not at the Theatre, she is spending all of her time with her family & her beautiful baby girl, Capri. “I remember our first event, The Sharon’s premiere Gala celebration with Patti Lupone. It was the first time I realized that my dreams to pursue my passion for art and for theatre were not only possible, but within armsreach, right here in the town where I grew up.”

What will be the most exciting thing opening night at The Studio Theatre? The most exciting moment for me the opening night at The Studio will be right at curtain, when the show is about to begin. The audience is quiet, the lights come up, and everyone is waiting patiently to hear the first phrase spoken and/or sung by the ensemble. In that moment each person existing in the space of The Studio will simultaneously start to experience the culmination of endless hours of labor and rehearsals, creativity and tears, all to tell the story of these specific characters and the world in which they were created. Each piece set inside the intimate nature of the black box. There is nothing like it. To me, those moments are the magic of theater. What do you do at The Studio Theatre? I am the Company Manager for The Studio Theater. I am responsible for managing the

Cast House, property where the cast stay during the run of the show. Since a lot of the actors for The Studio travel from all over the country, we want them to feel like this is their home away from home. We help coordinate transportation and introduce them to all the local spots. Have you found your dream job? Since I was a little girl, I have always loved to sing and perform. I studied theatre, dance, choral music both in high school and in college. My mom often tells stories of me singing in the lines at the grocery store or in the middle of the park when I was younger. And I think it may be something in my DNA because even til this day, I still perform in the grocery stores and sing in public restrooms! For me, working at The Sharon and The Studio Theatre, is exactly where I need to be! With her 5-year-old daughter, Capri.

From Left: Whitney Morse, Elizabeth Constant, Autumn Encarnacion, Yasmeen Stogden




“The Villages Wellness Challenge” inaugural event was a huge success with over 800 participants, representing 21 different departments/companies within The Villages community. At the Brownwood Paddock Square® on Saturday, October 29th, The Villages Employees (as well as friends and supporters) ran a 5K. The Sharon® Team tied on the win for best participation with Team Polo and both groups received the “Golden Shoe” award. Afterward, an amazing breakfast was held to benefit “Beyond the Stars,” an employee assistance program.


The Villages® is making new traditions!


Share your holidays

with The Sharon !




e l b a l i Ava ffice locations.


xo at all bo

The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center has a mission to provide quality entertainment to The Villages® and its surrounding communities.

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.

© 2016 Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., All Rights Reserved. © 2016 The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. Prices and availability subject to change without notice.

THE SCOOP - Nov 2016  
THE SCOOP - Nov 2016