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Volume 2, Issue 3 March 2017

© Joan Marcus


A Word From


Volume 2, Issue 3 | March 2017



The Last 5 Years

Children Theatre Camp The Hit Men

The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra Classical Music The Irish Comedy Tour Annie Paul Anka Saturday Night Fever Illusionist Rick Thomas Billy Gilman The Staff Spotlight

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

Authentic Theatre One of my favorite things is the immersive possibilities of theatre. In some theatres you walk into the space and it is completely transformed. For example, I recently went to see Natasha and Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway and they made the entire theatre look like we were sitting in a drawing room of a Russian Artistocrat in 1812. I walked into a theatre I had been in many times before and I hardly recognized it. I immediately knew I was in for something spectacular. And it was just that, I was completely surrounded by the world of the play. I remember about eight years ago I went to see The Hypocrites production of Our Town when it was playing in a tiny theatre downtown in Manhattan. Not only was it an amazing production, but when they friend bacon the aroma of the sizzling meat filled the theatre. I wasn’t just watching a play, I was experiencing Grover’s Corners as created by incredibly innovative theatre makers. At Steppenwolf, in Chicago, I saw an absolutely earth shattering production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Tracy Letts and Amy Morton. The actors smoked so many herbal stage cigarettes in the production, there was a haze in the space. I felt like I was in Martha and George’s smoke and boozed soaked living room. I carry these experiences with me as I strive to bring meaningful and thought provoking theatre to The Villages. I am always asking our team for that level of authenticity and complete immersion. I truly believe that it is the immersive experience that separates the theatre from film. While I love a good film, and believe me I do, to me there is nothing like smelling actors cooking on stage, or seeing and smelling them smoke a cigarette, you are there with them breathing the same air. As a theatre maker it is incredibly important to me to push our theatre as far as it can in that direction. As the world keeps changing and technology advances and Virtual Reality is no longer a thing of the past, it has become vital to me, and clearly many other theatre makers to remind people of how vibrant actual reality is. How amazing is it to have real people living, breathing, cooking, smoking, fighting, and dancing right there in front of you? To me, there is no virtual reality that can even come close to that. So, I hope as you walk into The Studio this season we can offer up something you can truly get lost in, something living, vibrant, and above all authentic.

The Sharon Schedule Backstage at The Sharon



WAIT LIST If you didn't get tickets for The Last 5 Years or Proof, you still have a chance to see the shows!

The Sharon Performing Arts Academy posed by Written and Com BROWN JASON ROBERT by the New York stage

ed for Originally Produc Marty Bell Arielle Tepper and o, IL Theatre, Chicag ed by Northlight Originally Produc ment with

special arrange materials is presented through ed performance The Last 5 Years onal (MTI). All authoriz York, NY 10019. Music Theatre InternatiMTI, 421 West 54th Street, New by 4 www.MTI are also supplied 4 Fax: (212) 397-468 Tel.: (212) 541-468

We have a Wait List each show night. Just arrive 1 hour before curtain to any show and add your name to the list! Then kick back in the bar until 5 mins to curtain. If we have open seats, YOU will be the first to know!

MISSED THE INAUGURAL SEASON? Season 2 of The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol is around the corner!

The four productions that will make up the 2017-2018 season will be officially announced on May 10th. For Season Subscriptions: · Current Subscribers will have from May 16th until Sept 5th to Renew their Season Subscriptions!

· May 16th - Renewals will go on sale at 8:30am

· Sept 5th - Deadline to Renew Subscriptions

· Sept 12th - New Subscriptions will go on sale at 8:30am *There will be a limited number of new subscriptions available* For Tickets: · Sept 19th - Individual Tickets will go on sale at 8:30am · Available at any of The Villages Box Offices or online

Visit for more details. Follow Us! Facebook Twitter (@thesharonstudio) Instagram (@thestudiotheatretds)

Tickets On Sale This Summer! The Studio Theatre Tierra del Sol 806 San Marino Drive, The Villages, FL 32159 | (352) 751-7799


The Last 5 Years With music and lyrics by three-time Tony Award winner, Jason Robert Brown, The Last 5 Years follows the characters of Jamie (an upcoming novelist) and his girlfriend/fiancĂŠ/wife, Cathy (a struggling actress). This powerful and intimate musical explores the journey of a New York couple who succeed, struggle and succumb to the challenges and charms of married life. Utilizing a divergent plot structure, this two character musical simultaneously demonstrates a budding romance and a dissolving marriage. Follow Jaime's story in chronological order as it crashes into Cathy's side of the story told in reverse chronological order. See the Drama Desk award winning musical once named by Time Magazine as one of the ten best shows of the year!


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




Performed by local children from our community...

What will the week of Theatre Camp look like?

Click Here For .PDF

Download our schedule for the week!


A week-long Children’s theatre camp

Where: The Sharon When: Who:


June 5-9 | 9:30a-5pm

1st -8th graders

$100 (includes 2 tickets to public performance)

To Register

Visit our website at TheSharon.Com OR The Sharon Box Office **Can only register at The Sharon Box Office or online**

All Students will be cast as a role in the

performance. The roles will be selected the – first day of camp.

Students eligible to apply will be any student entering 1st-8th grade.


MARCH 5TH • 7PM • $20-$50



Legendary Performers with Frankie Valli, Carole King, Cat Stevens & more!

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.

2017 Season Schedule 3/14/2017


Classical Concert

Wednesday 3/15/2017


Classical Concert




Opera Celebration

Wednesday 4/5/2017


Opera Celebration


Classical Concert Program

Francesca Leonardi, a Deustshe gramophone recording artist, is our guest pianist for this concert. More information about his career can be found on Francesca will play the Ludwig Van Beethoven Piano concerto N r in C minor Op 37 along with the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart symphony n40 in C major K.551

Series prices available at box office windows or call 352-750-5411

MARCH 14TH & 15TH • 7PM • $21-$39

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


MARCH 7TH • 7PM • $17-$35 St. Patty’s day is coming, Are you Feeling Lucky? 9

An Interview with Derek Richards of The Irish Comedy Tour What can our audience expect when they come to your show?

Our show is like an Irish pub and a comedy show in a food processor. Unlike any other comedy show, it's a unique blend of music along with stand up comedy. We joke about our Irish-American upbringing, but you don't have to be Irish to enjoy or 'get' the jokes. We've had people come up and say, 'My German/Italian/Greek/Polish parents and grandparents were like that!' The comedy is PG-13 and leans to the politically incorrect side or as I like to say, 'just the right amount of wrong'. Imagine yourself at a bar joking with friends, that's the atmosphere we like to create.

How did the group come together?

A friend of mine who ran a theatre in Jupiter, FL in 2005 said he was looking for an 'Irish themed' show around St. Patrick's Day. I was booking comedy shows for him at the time and said I'd round up some other Irish-American comics. At the time, we had 4 straight stand up comedians, myself, Mike McCarthy and two other acts for that night. The show was a huge success, but I wanted a twist outside of the traditional stand up show, so I came up with the idea of adding the musical component. It took a few years, but we got the exact lineup that I wanted. The Chicago Cubs took a while to get their championship team...I'm just glad it didn't take me 80+ years to find the right personnel.

Who came up with the name?

Guinness, Jameson, and bad decisions.

You guys tour all over, which city has been the most memorable so far?

We've had enormous success in the Boston area and New England in general because of the obvious Irish-American ties, but our tour started in Florida, so we always have a fondness for a Florida market that gets behind us and it sounds like The Villages is quickly finding it's way into the top ranked cities on our tour.

Do you guys have an equal ratio of comedy to music or is it more one over the other?

The show leans a little more to the comedy side, but we rely on the musical end to be the glue of the show and keep the flow going.

What about the rest of the crew ?

Damon Leibert's unique and energetic style of fiddle playing lies somewhere between the driving dance beat of Cape Breton, and the lyrical music of Ireland. He has performed innumerable concerts and festivals across North America & Europe and has worked in various theater, film, and recording projects.

Originally from Inchicore, Derrick Keane first distinguished himself musically when the duo in which he sang and played swept the All Ireland Talent Competition.

Mike McCarthy is called, 'The Comedy Barbarian' for a reason. His explosive style of comedy that he honed in his hometown of Boston will have you doubled over the whole time. He's oh so very wrong, but so very funny. You've seen him on NBC as well as the Showtime Comedy Club Networks.


MARCH 10TH • 7:30 PM | MARCH 11TH • 2 PM & 7:30 PM | $35-$85 11

ANNIE is based on Harold Gray's popular comic strip Little Orphan Annie. The comic strip premiered in the 1920s in the New York Daily News, and became one of the most widely read strips in the 30s and 40s. Lyricistdirector Martin Charnin bought a coffee table book called “The Life and Hard Times of Little Orphan Annie” as a Christmas gift for a friend in 1970. The clerk at the bookstore was too busy to wrap the book, so Charnin took the book home to wrap it. Instead, he read it and fell in love with the strip, and set out to secure the rights, Christmas week of 1970. The friend never got the book. Charnin championed the idea to colleagues Charles Strouse, a two-time Tony-winning composer, and Thomas Meehan, a short story writer for The New Yorker. It took a great deal of campaigning to get them interested, but the team was finally formed in 1971, when they began to write the musical.


1972-1976 – DEVELOPMENT & GOODSPEED OPERA HOUSE PRODUCTION After being completed, the musical was auditioned for 23 producers, all of whom turned it down. Finally, in the summer of 1976, Michael Price agreed to present it at the Goodspeed Opera House, where it underwent numerous changes, until Lewis Allen and Mike Nichols decided to produce it as their first Broadway venture. 1977 – ORIGINAL BROADWAY PRODUCTION The original 1977 production ran at the Alvin Theatre (now renamed the Neil Simon Theatre) for 2,377 performances and won 7 Tony Awards®, including: Best Musical Best Book of a Musical Best Original Score Best Choreography. the production starred Reid Shelton (Oliver Warbucks), Dorothy Loudon (Miss Hannigan), Sandy Faison (Grace Farrell) and Andrea McArdle (Annie). Sarah Jessica Parker and Allison Smith also starred in the title role during the original Broadway run. Trained by Tony Award® Honoree Animal Trainer William Berloni, the original dog that portrayed Sandy became the “longest running dog on Broadway,” never missing a performance. ANNIE has been revived twice on Broadway (1997 & 2012). In 2007, ANNIE played Madison Square Garden in New York for 5 weeks, and grossed $8 million - a record for the Garden. As of now, it is the 13th longest running American musical in Broadway history. ANNIE has been translated into 28 languages the world over and has played in 34 different countries.

1982 – COLUMBIA PICTURES FILM ANNIE was first made into a movie in 1982. It was sold to Columbia pictures for $9.5 million, which represented the biggest sale in theatre history, exceeding the $6 million price-tag on A Chorus Line. The 1982 movie starred Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Tim Curry, Ann Reinking, Geoffrey Holder, and Aileen Quinn as Annie. 1999 – WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY TV MOVIE A made-for-TV version, produced by The Walt Disney Company, was broadcast in 1999 and starred Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Audra McDonald, Kristen Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, and Alicia Morton as Annie. 2014 – SONY/COLUMBIA PICTURES REMAKE (www. A second movie version, produced by Jay-Z and Will Smith, opens December 2014, starring Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz, Bobby Cannavale, and Quvenzhané Wallis (Academy Award nominee for Beasts of the Southern Wild) as Annie. Many of the little girls in ANNIE went on to extremely successful show business careers: Andrea McArdle, Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald, Alyssa Milano, Allison Smith, Jamie Lynn Seigler, Debbie Gibson, and Catherine Zeta Jones (who played Molly in London). Some of actresses to play Miss Hannigan have been: Dorothy Loudon, Alice Ghostly, Kathleen Freeman, Jane Connell, Betty Hutton, June Havoc, Ruth Kobart, Aline Robertson, Carol Burnett, Nell Carter, Kaye Ballard, Sally Struthers, Martha Raye, Faith Prince, Katie Finneran, Cameron Diaz, and Glee's Jane Lynch.


MARCH 13TH • 7PM • $75-$250 13

PAUL ANKA The legend behind "Diana," "Lonely Boy," "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," and "(You're) Having My Baby," Paul Anka is not one to rest on his laurels. Anka’s two most recent albums – Rock Swings and now Classic Songs, My Way – ingeniously featured songs originally created by some of the biggest rock performers of the day – as well as other established artists across several genres. The twist: Paul Anka did the songs ‘his way.’ His goal: “taking great songs and rework them so they’re natural for me.” With the help of his five daughters, Anka spent months researching music from the ‘80s and ‘90s, trying to find the songs that would work in the radical new context he proposed. The songs that made the cut included Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life,” Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven.” Even more dramatic were his transformations of “Wonderwall” by Oasis, “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Rock Swings went Top 10 in the UK, and was certified gold in the UK, France, and Canada, hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart and went on to sell half a million units worldwide. Join Paul for hits old, and new, as he takes the stage and puts on a show like very few others can.

MARCH 18 & 19 • 7PM • $30-$80


MARCH 30TH • 7PM • $20-$60 15

Back by popular demand, Rick Thomas is coming back to The Villages with a revamped performance including new tricks! Without doubt, Rick Thomas is one of the greatest and most successful illusionists in the world today. He has completed five world tours covering over 50 countries. From sold out performances at Caesars Colosseum to headlining the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Rick Thomas continues to entertain millions of people across the world with his breathtaking magic both on stage and television today! High honors include the coveted “Magician of the Year” by the Academy of Magical Arts and Magic’s highest recognition "Illusionist of the World" by the World Magic Awards. Thomas has also been featured on numerous national television specials including the NBC series "The World’s Greatest Magic", Masters of Illusion on the CW, MTV, FOX, TLC, Animal Planet, the History Channel and his own special on ABC. Rick Thomas performs the most intriguing, innovative and mind-blowing grand illusions in the world with a style unlike any other magical entertainer. His stage presence is unmatched as he weaves magic, music, comedy and dance into a seamless spectacle. The slick showmanship of Rick Thomas is a riveting visual delight and he is a triumph of personality and presentation.

Billy Gilman From The Voice 2016

Now 28, Gilman is eager to come back and share his new music and his new sound with his fans on NBC's THE VOICE: SEASON 11. “It took me a good while to figure out exactly who I was, musically speaking. As a little kid, sometimes I was just told what to sing. But now I have enjoyed coming into my own and discovering what it really is that I want to sing. And I think that my fans will be pleasantly surprised with what they hear." Gilman instantly became a fan favorite week after week with his soaring vocals and amazing song choices and went right to the finale of Season 11’s finale. His coach Adam Levine of Maroon 5 himself said “You can emote so well. You can draw people in so easily,” Levine added. “What you do — you have a very special gift, and I’m just really proud and honored to have you on my team.” Nabbing runner up and winning over the hearts of millions. Speaking of millions, Gilman scored over 31 million views on YouTube in four short months during his sensational run on the show. The closest competitor was 7 million views behind!!

APRIL 7TH • 7:30 PM • $25-$200

Gilman burst onto the national stage in 2000 releasing the hit single “One Voice.” His debut album was certified double platinum in the United States, and he was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest singer to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts. He has sold five million albums worldwide and garnered awards and nods from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, Billboard Magazine, and the American Music Association.

Gilman is also mindful of the need to be patient with his career. “Music is my life, and it is always what I will be doing with my life. But I understand, given my unusual history, that the road back is not going to be short and easy. I will have to earn my way back into this business—one fan at a time. And that’s exactly how it should be. So far so good!!”



Abby Bobb Stage Manager What is your role at The Studio Theatre™? I’m the Stage Manager! Other than run on coffee and chocolate, I work side by side with the director. I record all of the blocking, keep track of logistical and scheduling details, and communicate what goes on in rehearsals to the rest of the team through a report that I send each night after rehearsals and performances. I become the director’s representative of the show once it opens, and make sure that the integrity of their vision is being upheld. I call the show, which means I run the technical elements and make sure the designer’s vision is also being upheld. My prompt book is a binder filled with what, to the average eye, could look like nonsense, but it tells me where someone goes, who they are and when a light or sound cue should happen. It also has information like contact sheets, production calendars, tracking sheets (where things go on stage), information from designers such as ground plans and cue sheets. Being a stage manager is amazing; we’re kind of the unseen superheroes of the theatre. We’re the safety patrol, schedule keeper, and usually have a magic box filled with almost everything you need: office supplies, chocolate, pens, pencils, highlighters, black sharpies, cough drops, etc. just your average essentials. I do a lot more, but the best description I can give is “a good stage manager is never noticed, if you’re noticed it means something is wrong.”


What got you started in Theatre? I actually started in dance. I’ve been dancing since I was four years old. I danced in a school under a professional company and then went to college for dance. But I learned that I really loved the backstage work and became really passionate about it, especially stage managing. I added stage management to my degree my sophomore year and the rest is history. I do have to credit my professor Bonnie Brady whose passion for teaching stage management really made me realize I had to do this as my profession. She took a chance on a random dance major who showed up to her class, asked hundreds of questions (some of which were dumb), and pushed me harder than anyone I know. She still does. I wouldn’t have made it this far without her especially. Though I had some knowledge and have a huge love for musicals, I’m still learning about the non-dance theatre world, in particular non-musicals.

What has been your favorite moment so far at The Studio? Definitely the champagne toast on opening night of Next to Normal. It was the moment I realized “wow, we did this, we opened a theatre and it’s about to become HUGE.” It’s so rewarding to know that we’ve basically sold out every single show this season and being here I had an important role in the opening of The Studio. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I also met my best friend, Emily Chelsea who played Natalie in Next to Normal, the cast deemed us the WonderTwins!

What musical do you hope see performed at The Studio? I would LOVE if we did Bright Star (currently my favorite show) which is a musical written by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, but, it just came off Broadway so the more realistic one is The Addams Family, A New Musical.

Any extra scoop about your role? I’ll leave you with this, I was taught “The 5 C’s of Stage Management” but they’re applicable to life:

1. Clear

2. Complete

3. Concise

4. Correct

5. Consistent Bonus: Chocolate

Abby Bobb (Left) & Emily Chelsea (Right)




Come Sail Away Harmony. Chemistry. Balance. Grit. Dexterity. Determination. These are words that define the core essence of Styx, the rock band that has forged an indelible legacy both on record and onstage. From the moment Styx took The Sharon stage until the end of their encore, the house was rocking! From the majestic spiritual love for a special “Lady” to the regal reach-for-the-stars bravado of “Come Sail Away” to the grainy all-in gallop of that rugged “Renegade,” the band draws on an unlimited cache of ways to immerse one’s mind and body in their signature sound. And did we mention the sea of cell phone lights floating inside the theatre? Styx was a magical night. One that most Villagers and guests from surrounding cities will surely not soon forget.


Photo by Jason Powell


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

Look for the photographer at your next show.

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© 2017 The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. All Rights Reserved.

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 - March 2017  
THE SCOOP - March 2017