Here are three recent stories of homegrown shows heading for the big time:
Disenchanted! officially debuted off-Broadway Dec. 4, after beginning preview performances at NYC's Theatre at St. Clement's on Nov. 26. Dennis T. Giacino's musical satire on Snow White and her fellow disgruntled Disney princesses began life under the title Bitches of the Kingdom at the 2011 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, and was last seen locally at the Abbey in 2013. Then, as now, the show was directed by Fiely Matias and stars Orlando favorites Michelle Knight and Lulu Picart. The show has been getting positive buzz on sites like Broadway.com; look for the massive billboard if you're in Times Square this Christmas.
Michael Wanzie and Rich Charron's long-gestating Lizzie Borden musical just got an infusion of new blood in the form of talented composer Tod Kimbro. The show, which was last staged in 2013 at Theatre Downtown, attracted the attention of New York producers who provided plenty of notes to maximize its Broadway potential. Kimbro is collaborating with Wanzie to implement those changes, amicably taking over for Charron, who is pursuing a technical career. I got a sneak preview of Kimbro's first new song (a suggestive saloon sing-along) and can't wait to hear more.
Elizabeth Judith and Lyndol Michael held a staged reading at Orlando Shakes last month of their new historical screenplay, The Inventor, featuring an all-star local cast including Brian Brightman as Thomas Edison, Mark Lainer and Stephen DeWoody as George and Herman Westinghouse, and Jay Becker as Nikola Tesla. The drama of the war over AC versus DC electricity is riveting, and recalls Erik Larson's books Devil in the White City and Thunderstruck (minus the murders). The Inventor was short-listed for the 2015 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, a prestigious springboard for feature films.
Isn't It Romantic?, through Dec. 13 at Winter Park Playhouse ... Christmas by Committee, through Dec. 21 at Garden Theatre ... A Christmas Carol, through Dec. 22 at Theatre Downtown ... Dickens by Candlelight, through Dec. 22 at Orlando Shakes ... A Christmas Story, through Dec. 28 at Orlando Rep ... James Joyce's The Dead, through Jan. 4 at Mad Cow.
PB&J Theatre Factory's Sleigh, Dec. 17-22 at Fred Stone Theatre, Rollins College ... David McElroy's One Man Christmas Carol, Dec. 19-20 at the Venue ... Orlando Ballet in The Nutcracker, Dec. 19-21 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Fringe Year-Round presents Martin Dockery's Wanderlust, The Surprise and The Holy Land Experience, Jan. 2-4 at the Venue.
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