The Orlando Phil, Garden Theatre and Winter Park Playhouse all announce new season schedules, plus more in local performing arts news

Dr. Mauricio Cespedes Rivero
Principal Viola, Orlando Philharmonic
Dr. Mauricio Cespedes Rivero Principal Viola, Orlando Philharmonic Photo courtesy of the artist

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, which appointed Paul Helfrich as its new executive director late last year and recently received a $250,000 endowment from June and Dr. Jefferson Flowers for the principal viola chair, will perform 10 programs at the new Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, opening the venue in September with Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring." During the season's Fairwinds Classics series, music director Eric Jacobsen will conduct headlining soloists including bassist Edgar Meyer, pianist Yuja Wang and violinist Colin Jacobsen, while Anna Clyne will be featured as the season's composer-in-residence. The Pops Series will include a new holiday concert, a Gershwin celebration in January and John Williams' blockbuster film scores in March, ending in May with a world premiere of songs by Grammy Award-winner singer-songwriter Aoife O'Donovan. The Plaza Live remains home to the Philharmonic's Focus series, which will feature Beethoven, Mozart and Schumann, along with a Symphony Storytime series for children age 3 to 7. New subscription sales start later in February; visit for more information.

Out in Winter Garden, the Garden Theatre's new artistic director, Joseph C. Walsh, has announced his first full season since assuming his role last summer. The Broadway classic Hello, Dolly! kicks off the season in August, followed in October by Ugly Lies the Bone, a play about veterans and virtual reality therapy. It's a Wonderful Life returns for Christmas and 2021 will begin with Parade, the Tony Award-winning musical about anti-Semitism in Atlanta. Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun comes to the stage in February, followed by a "reimagined" version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast in April and a musical version of the Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard next July.

Winter Park Playhouse will begin their 2020-2021 mainstage series of professional musicals in July with the Rodgers and Hammerstein tribute A Grand Night for Singing, followed by the Florida premiere of the off-Broadway comedy Book of Merman in September. Christmas My Way will celebrate the season Sinatra-style, and the hit Broadway musical Five Guys Named Moe kicks off the new year. March will bring Dorothy Marcic's Respect: A Musical Journey of Women, with Gregg Coffin's Five Course Love closing out the slate. New annual subscriptions go on sale Feb. 18; visit for more information.

Finally, in the world of grant funding, the Orlando Repertory Theatre recently received $50,000 from the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation for their Engaged Learning Through the Arts program, which trains local teachers to implement arts integration techniques in their classrooms. And local nonprofit art groups can now apply through United Arts for up to $50,000 to subsidize the rental of an Orange County venue; this year's first round of funding has ended, but grant applications for the second cycle are open now through June 2 at

Now Playing: Talk Radio, through Feb. 16 at Theater on the Edge ... Beehive: The '60s Musical, through Feb. 22 at Winter Park Playhouse ... Anne of Green Gables, through Feb. 23 at Orlando Rep ... The Three Musketeers, through March 22 at Orlando Shakes ... Last Train to Nibroc, through March 8 at Mad Cow.

Upcoming: The Good Person of Setzuan, Feb. 14-22 at Rollins College ... Orlando Ballet presents Cinderella, Feb. 14-16 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Mary Houlihan: Me & Jack, Feb. 16 at Savoy ... Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Feb. 18 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Henry IV, Part 1, Feb. 19-March 21 at Orlando Shakes ... Almost, Maine, Feb. 21-23 at Penguin Point ... Spamilton, Feb. 25-March 5 at Dr. Phillips Center ... 9 to 5 the Musical, Feb. 21-March 15 at Athens Theatre ... Mean Girls, Feb. 25-March 1 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Jack Kerouac: End of the Road, Feb. 28-29 at Penguin Point ... How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Feb. 28-March 15 at Osceola Arts ... Mamma Mia!, March 6-15 at Wayne Densch ... Mother of the Maid, March 6-16 at Penguin Point.

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