Stressed on the Stage 😱

That’s the name of this newsletter, right?

A hyperlocal arts and entertainment writer’s take on Panic! At the Disco. (Too soon?)

But let me tell you, I have been STRESSED. Why? No real reason. Because brains are fun that way. It’s like there are words in my head that I can’t say and words that I say that I should probably keep in my head. Everything’s all turned around.

In addition to being stressed, I’ve also been Sam, full-time ClickOrlando writer and human woman. That last gig I’ve actually been at for a while now (and I didn’t even ask for it). I think I’m getting pretty good, though.

The writer part can be a bit more bumpy sometimes. Like this intro, right? Get to the good stuff already!

Point taken, reader. Point taken. I do actually have a lot of arts news to share with you. Like a sneak preview of the newest show hitting the Winter Garden stage, an upcoming festival centered on a local literary great and the latest project undertaken by a Broadway legend.

Find out who/what I’m talking about below. ⤵️

Here they go again 🤘

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The Garden Theatre is officially back with live performances after a six-month hiatus. And I’d say its grand reentrance played out like the inverse of a T.S. Eliot quote: Not with a whimper, but a bang.

After facing backlash from the theatre community following a public feud between its board and employees this summer, the Winter Garden establishment returned to form in “Rock of Ages.”

The jukebox musical is full of 80s rock anthems and power ballads, sung by some famous “Voice”s and “American Idol”s you may have heard of.

“Rock of Ages” runs at the Garden Theatre through Feb. 26. Click another link in the jukebox, baby, to find out more.

Zora! Fest ✍🏿

Zora Neale Hurston.

Their eyes were watching Zora.

At least, that’s what’s happening in Eatonville this weekend as the town celebrates one of its own, literary luminary Zora Neale Hurston.

She’s the mind behind such classics as “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” “Mules and Men,” “Spunk” and “Dust Tracks on a Road” and in honor of her life and legacy, Eatonville’s holding its 34th Zora! Fest.

Enjoy museum exhibits, special performances, arts and crafts and more this Saturday and Sunday. Check out what to expect here.

Closer Look Q&A: See the Stars ✨

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This Broadway legend’s achievement in theatre is another one for the books. Literally. Director-writer-actor enter other artistic talent here, Sheldon Epps wrote a book to share what he’s learned in his decades in the entertainment industry on and off stage.

From the Big Apple to Hollywood, he’s a name you might not have heard, but one whose work you would instantly know. He directed everyone from Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett to the cast of “Friends.”

His leadership in diversity at the national level has trickled down into local theatres and artistic organizations, including ones based in Central Florida.

To hear more of his story and how it relates to the Central Florida arts scene, click here.

More Music, Movies and Mayhem Near You 🎶📽️🤯

(Atlantic Center for the Arts)

🎤 What do Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Billy Idol and Brooks & Dunn have in common? They’re all artists featured on my Spotify? … Yes… how did you know that?! But that’s not what I was gonna say. These legends are also all coming to Orlando this year! Find out when these award-winning icons and artists will grace the stage in the City Beautiful by clicking the respective links.

📸 The perfect Kodak moment is coming to New Smyrna Beach this weekend at the IMAGES art festival. Guests can peruse and purchase the work of over 200 artists from Friday to Sunday. Picture it all here.

🪕 There won’t be much to sing the blues about when this up-and-coming musician debuts his album next month in Daytona Beach. News 6′s Riff On This host Samara Cokinos sat down with Dyer Davis about his upcoming album, “Dog Bites Back,” which he plans on performing at The Bank & Blues. It even features some Grammy-nominated artists. To find out who, where, what, when, why and how, click here.

📖 Once upon a time, writers from all over gathered at Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora for the four-day Florida Storytelling Festival. And that time is NOW. Want a SparkNotes version of what to expect? Find out more about the beginning, middle and end (spoilers ahead) of this weekend’s event here.

End Credits 🎬

Thanks for sticking around to hear about the latest arts endeavors bringing Central Florida to life!

If you have anything you would like to hear more about or if you’re an artist or know an artist that has an upcoming project you want to see shimmer in the spotlight, please email me, Sam Dunne, at [email protected]

Don’t worry, I don’t bite. Only sing and dance.

Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.