Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2009

A Night With the Girls | Program

The programs for A Night With the Girls are printed (Mama's Sauce) and folded & assembled (Dan Ginader and myself). Take a look. They're 11 by 17, folded in half and contain a cute booklet about the show's performers. My goals were to promote the blog, all the activities we've done this summer, the September 4th panel, and, well, me.

A Night With the Girls is tonight (Monday, August 31, 2009), 8pm, at Orlando Shakes, and benefits the 2010 Orlando Improv Festival I'm producing. $20 donation. An hour and a half of casual cabaret with some of the most entertaining personalities in Central Florida.

Kissimmee: Monument of States

Monument of States
300 East Monument Avenue, Kissimmee, FL
Lakefront Park, corner of Johnston St. at East Monument Ave.
MAP | Admission: Free.
Hours: Open anytime, but call to verify: 407-847-2821

About | "Begun in 1942 after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Monument of States was the vision of Dr. Charles Bressler-Pettis, a local tourism booster, who wanted a physical symbol of American unity in the dark days of early World War II. He wrote letters to every governor and to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to send him local rocks. (No clue where the President got his rock.) The donations arrived in a variety of formats -- blocks of native granite, chunks of quartz, small boulders, fossils, hunks of old buildings. One contributor even sent a human skull." -Roadside America

There's no place like Wanzie's home

Godfather of Downtown Theatre Michael Wanzie has grouped three self-penned one-act plays (one-act means "short") into an evening called "Theres No Place Like Home" as part of his 2009-10 Wanzie Presents Season. Buy tickets here

This production features some big names in Orlando Fringe and theatre circles. The names might mean nothing to you now, but after you see the shows, you'll have them memorized in time for Fringe, where they gather annually to share their talents with Orlando in original works.The short/one-act play line-up:

A Krig Brews in Brooklyn
Directed by David Lee | Starring Janine Klein and her momma

Not in My Father's House
Directed by Kenny Howard
Starring Michael Marinaccio and Michael Wanzie

There's No Place Like Home
Directed by Frank McClain
Starring Elizabeth judith and Janine KleinOpening Night is Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 8pm. Tickets are $12. Opening night tickets include post-show reception with cast & crew, birthday cake w…

4th Annual Entrepreneur Fair | Disney Entrepreneur Center

The 4th Annual Entrepreneur Fair (photos) was Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM at the Disney Entrepreneur Center in Downtown Orlando. I mentioned it here August 10. It was free to attend and featured lectures, information booths and schmoozing. I went to cover it for this blog, but then I learned about SCORE which offers "face-to-face consultation with a business professional who can answer your questions" among other offerings. I got partnered with Maresh who sat down one-on-one with me, right there at the event, and spoke to me about my ideas for The Daily City. I recommend using SCORE if you have even the slightest twinge of desire to start a small business. I had to leave the fair early and miss the 5:30pm-7:30pm meet and greet. So, if anyone wants my two drink tickets for next year, lemme know.

Celebrate Central Florida | the record

I bought this record called "Celebrate Central Florida" in a Kissimmee antique store today for two dollars. A record about Central Florida? Yes, please.

It appears to be put together by Channel 9 WFTV and Star 101 FM and Impact Broadcast Marketing. It was recorded in Nashville. If you can transfer the tracks to mp3 so I can share them with the readers of this blog for fun (not profit), send me an email. (Its listed on the "contact" page).

Track listing:Side One
Celebrate Central Florida
In the Beginning
This Town
We've Got a Dream

Side Two
Taking Pride in Central Florida
Love Your Lady (???)
Hometown Skyline
We'll Be Here Tomorrow

Opening Night: Grease National Tour

On August 25, 2009, the National Tour of "Grease" opened its week-long Orlando, Florida run. We sent Amanda Chadwick and Janessa Gursky to see the show and attend the opening night party, held at WildSide BBQ in Thornton Park.

Photo Credit: Amanda Chadwick and Janessa Gursky

Panel | Producing Large Events in Central Florida

Help Mark Put on a Festival:
A Panel on Producing Events in Central Florida
Friday September 4, 2009 | 7pm-9pm
Fred Stone Theatre, Rollins College
Tickets: $5 donation to the Orlando Improv Festival

Confirmed panel:
Chris Blanc | Florida Film Festival
Carole Moreland | Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
Kristine Iverson | Mills 50 District, Program Director
John Carter | Nerdapalooza (500 attended in 2009)
Greg Pollack | BarCamp Orlando

What to Expect
The panelists will speak briefly about their events and experiences. Then with the 2010 Orlando Improv Festival as their "project," they'll guide the audience through "producing 101," revealing the basic first steps one must take to produce a sizeable event. Their shared knowledge base and experience will provide for interesting listening. They'll start at the beginning and end up wherever they do by the end of the night. Audience questions and participation are welcome, of course!

In 2010, I am going to produce the …

Newsy tidbits

Woofer is gigantic-size Twitter | Mashable
Animation rendering of Amway Center | Orlando Sentinel
$800/mo storefronts in Lake Mary | Orlando Sentinel
International Cat Association coming and more | Orlando Sentinel

Fringe Vintage is closing, so you get to hit their closing sale Aug 26-Sept 4. Vintage items $10 or 2 for $15; all else is $3. Jewelry display cases, cash register, clothing racks, etc all for SALE! Tell your family and friends. Spread the word and love. Get your Halloween Costumes or that FAV dress or blouse you've been wanting. Also, great for theater departments or photographers & models building their wardrobes!

303 E. 1st Street
Sanford, FL 32771

Everything MUST GO by Fri, Sep 4th!

Tiana | First Black Disney Princess (finally!!!)

You're looking at Tiana, the first black Disney Princess. Ever. What took so long? Are black people suddenly "in" and "hot" right now? Some "new" market to tap? Anyways, TeeTee (as I shall call her because I know her like that) made her first public appearance Aug. 6, 2009 at the 2009 National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Tampa, Fla. The voice of the character is Anika Noni Rose, that third girl in DreamGirls you probably don't remember, but who had an amazing singing voice. Go TeeTee! (Photo Credit: Disney)

Orlando Florida business ad

What do you think? I like it. And I like how when the announcer is listing off what Orlando has to offer, and the ballerina pops on the screen to probably represent "the arts," she is announced as "and more."

A Night With the Girls #3 | Aug 31, 2009

The third incarnation of the popular "A Night With the Girls" all-female cabaret to-do will be 8pm, August 31, 2009, at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center at 812 East Rollins Street, Orlando, Florida 32803. Produced by Mark Baratelli, the show includes Robyn Pedretti-Kelly (Star of Orlando Fringe's hit "Well of Horniness"), Laura Hodos (Mrs Lovett in Mad Cow's production of Sweeny Todd), Andrea Canny (she sings good), Luerne Herrera (she sings good too), Summer Aiello (she sings and just had a baby) and pianist John DeHaas (he can't sing, has had no baby, but did compose "Halloween, the Musical" premiering this October) All proceeds go to the 2010 Orlando Improv Festival being produced by Baratelli. Tickets are $20 by donation, available at the door, and cash only.

A Night With the Girls #3
August 31, 2009 | 8pm
John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center
812 East Rollins Street, Orlando, Florida 32803
$20 donation, Proceeds benefit the Or…

International Drive going local?

Is International Drive hopping on the "local" bandwagon?

1. Local Funky Monkey restaurant and wine bar is opening its second location in the Pointe Orlando shopping center on International Drive, which will be the VERY FIRST locally-owned business at the shopping center.

2. Festival Bay Farmers Market will begin with over 35 vendors and will build rapidly to between 75 and 100. At least one third of these product and service vendors will be agricultural. The market will carry Florida Grown vegetables and other merch.

Simone gets concert-goers to recycle

"Every $100,000 spent on commercial software reproduction creates the global warming potential of approximately 29 metric tons of carbon dioxide," according to a recent study from researchers at Carnegie-Mellon university. "as well as 38 kilograms of toxic waste."

So, New Hampshire-based industry giant CD Recycling Center Of America has teamed up with Melbourne Florida band Simone to assist with a recycling effort September 4th. The band is asking oncert-goers to their 9pm show that night at AKA Lounge ($7 tix | 68 E Pine Street, Orlando, FL 32801) to bring at least one compact disc to be recycled. Their mission is to recycle two-thousand pounds of unused compact disc materials throughout the remainder of the year.

Since June, the band has placed a green recycling bin on stage at concerts and asks fans to fill it with old CDs, CD-ROMS,DVDs and video games they do not use anymore.

PlayDate Orlando | Board Game night for charity

PlayDate Orlando is a board game night with booze, friends and friggin' Joey Fatone, all for $20 ($25 at the door). Its billed as an alternative to the typical club scene and will feature games "from Scrabble to Chess, Twister to Uno, Monopoly to Taboo, Hungry Hungry Hippos to Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots." Wonder what the History Center has to say about this. Friday, August 28th, 2009
Rix Lounge at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
8pm - 2am / 21 & up only
Who: Singles, couples, groups
What: Board games, food, drink, music
Cost: $20 in advance ($25 at the door)
Benefitting: The August 28th PlayDate Orlando event will benefit the Fatone Family Foundation Music Therapy Program at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Community Theatre does The Wiz

Theatre Downtown, a community theatre in Orlando, is tackling "The Wiz" September 4 – October 3, 2009. Steve MacKinnon is directing, with choreography by Jonathan Guise. MacKinnon played piano for A Night With the Girls #2 in 2007 (which is coming back August 31, 2009, at 8pm at Orlando Shakes as a fundraise for the Orlando Improv Festival!)

But back to The Wiz.

Performances are Thursday, Friday at 8 PM. Sunday Matinees are September 13, 20 & 27. Tickets are $18.00/$15.00 Seniors & Students. Reservations suggested: 407-841-0083. 2113 N. Orange Av., Orlando 32804

I've never seen a show at Theatre Downtown. Maybe a reader can chime in here. Do they do good work? For $18, they better!"Oz gets fun and funky: Dorothy’s adventures are set to music in a dazzling and lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul. A carnival of fun with soaring songs and driving rhythms guaranteed to radiate so much energy you will have a hard time staying in your seat!"

Vino | 9-26-09 | $65 tix in advance

"Come celebrate with the Central Florida Region as we bring you our Tenth Annual Vino! This year’s event will take place Saturday, September 26th, 2009 at the beautiful Ballroom at Church Street, in the heart of downtown Orlando. Guests will certainly enjoy the great music, fine wines and culinary creations that they’ve come to look forward to year after year."

ZombieToberFest | Audubon Park

Zombietoberfest | Friday September 25, 2009, 6:30 - 10:00 p.m. Live music, Zombie Film Festival, Zombie Walk, Costume Contest, dancing and beer. Corner of Corrine Drive and East Winter Park Road in Audubon Park. Make up artists will be available prior to the event to help zombify | $10 for walk and beer | $5 to enter costume contest

Urban Deli inside Urban Think

Thursday August 20th, Urban Deli opened as part of Third Thursday Gallery Hop in Thornton Park right inside Urban Think bookstore. This dining/tea space used to be occupied by Infusion Tea. (625 East Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32801 | Tel: 407-650-8004)

19 hours of music in Winter Garden

The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation presents the fourth annual MusicFest 2009, October 2-4 in historic downtown Winter Garden.

MusicFest is a free three-day outdoor music celebration, showcasing some of Central Florida’s finest musicians and exposing the community to different music styles, from classical to zydeco, bluegrass to jazz, and much more. Over 30 musical artists will be performing over 19 hours of music on three stages; two outdoor stages at either end of Plant Street, and one inside the newly restored Garden Theatre.

The kids will have a blast at the KidzFest, enjoying family friendly entertainment and activities. Music seminars will also be offered free to the public at the Garden Music School (a full listing will be available at the event). And of course, there will be plenty of shopping to do and food to taste. All proceeds generated from Winter Garden MusicFest will benefit the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation.

Additionally, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundati…

Vote for the person who has the best memory

FAIRWINDS Broadway Across America – Orlando will be giving away season tickets to one lucky Broadway Enthusiast. Woo! They’ve solicited ‘Favorite Orlando Broadway Memories’ from hundreds of Orlandoans and have chosen the top ten. I am not in the top ten, so do not vote. The memory I submitted was when I walked out of "Jersey Boys" to pee and knocked over a wheelchair in the third row and got asked to leave the building when I called one of the volunteer ushers "a community theatre has-been" after being shushed by said has-been.**

Go here to vote for one emotionally-connected human win two tickets and cast party invitations to the opening night of each of this season's touring shows: The Phantom of The Opera, Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol, The Color Purple, In the Heights, Xanadu, and Spring Awakening.

**Not true

Blackmore's Night packs mad garb

Blackmore's Night is a band that dresses in Robin Hood attire and charges $30 a ticket for their shows. Sounds like the Pirates Dinner Show on I-Drive, minus the moat. The band is coming to Orlando in November and not to poke fun at themselves, but to actually perform their music.

"To celebrate the fantasy of the Halloween season, and the Renaissance spirit of the music of Blackmore's Night-- we welcome all fans to join the festivity of the concerts by wearing Garb, or any costume of the season. A 10 % discount will be given for any merchandise items to fans wearing Garb or costumes for the concerts. We look forward to many fun filled evenings"

The show: Tuesday, November 3rd @ 8:00 pm at the Plaza Theatre (the one on Bumby, not the one downtown) Tickets are $30 (plus tax & service).

Red Chair Affair | Sept 19 | $22

The Red Chair Affair is this gigantic undertaking that last year SOLD OUT the Bob Carr Performing Arts Barn. General admission is only $22. Go. The Red Chair Affair roster of performers include:A MAGI Dance Entertainment, Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, COMMA Gallery, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Mad Cow Theatre, Members of USA Dance of Central Florida, Museum of Florida Art, Nritya India Dance Academy, Orange County Regional History Center, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Gay Chorus, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando School of Cultural Dance, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, SAK Comedy Lab, VarieTEASE and Winter Park Playhouse.Red Chair AffairWhen: September 19th, 2009 @ 8:00pm, doors open at 7pm.
Where: Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
General Admission: $22
Students/Seniors: $15
Advanced Parking: $8 in advance for Orange Lot #1
VIP tickets: $225 each. Corporate packages are available.
VIP Reception begins at 6:00pm
Tickets are onl…

Moomers needs a temporary home

My cat needs a temporary home in Orlando Sept-Dec 2009 while I am in NYC for audition season. She is obese, loveable and does nothing but lay around and purr. You must be sane, not have 40 other cats and you must like cats. She is part of SAK royalty, having first been owned by former SAK Artistic Director James Newport before coming to live with me.

A cat requires maintenance of a litter box, daily changing of a water bowl, twice-daily feedings and monthly flea medicine administering. If you have a space for her in your home and the time and desire to care for Moomers while I am gone, contact me.

Nutrisoda taste test at Mediterranean Cafe

The site of the second Nutrisoda Taste Test was the Mediterranean Deli (981 W. Fairbanks Ave. | Winter Park, FL 32804 | 407-539-2650). Black berry was the flavor and it was yummy. The can was dented upon arrival in the mail, and the can was half-empty, but it still tasted good.

Mediterranean Deli was good too. The man behind the counter calls everyone "my friend" and I saw him greet three customers by first name. There's a neighborhood vibe to the place. I had the three-salad plate and my friend Marcus had a gigantic sammich. Good prices, too.

Ok, here's my review of Nutrisoda Black berry

Mediterranean Deli:

The three-salad plate:

My friend's giant sammich (and peace sign)

Nutrisoda taste test at Bold Hype Gallery

Back in June, a PR company sent one sample of each of four not-yet-released flavors of a drink called "NutriSoda" so that I could film a taste test of each in my wonderfully quirky and horribly charming manner.

Well I got creative and chose to make it complicated. I set out to sample each flavor at a different location in Orlando, thus highighting the four flavors of the soda AND four Orlando locations. Synergy. Magic. And, it ties in with the theme of the blog.

The first location was inside Bold Hype, an awesome gallery in Audubon Park that allowed me to film inside it. I filmed that video and one other and when I went to watch them, it turned out the mic was not working properly. Since I only had the four cans they'd sent me, and I used two, I could not go back and re-film the taste tests. And then new projects fell in my lap. The videos never saw the light of day.

Until now.

I didn't release the videos because the sound sucked, but since the NutriSoda's PR comp…

Photos | Taco Truck Taste Test #3

Aug 22, 2009 | A light shower fell while orders were placed at the third Taco Truck Taste Test (what is this?), but by the time everyone was seated (this Taco Truck provided a table under a tent! Nice!) the rain had stopped and cooled the air. The Authentic Mexican dollar tacos and quesadillas were itty-bitty but delicious. Several people got seconds.

Vampire Car Wash at Peacock Room

Aug 22, 2009 | A "Vampire Car Wash" was held behind Peacock Room on Mills to raise money for a charity that rescues pugs. They very much want you to spay/neuter your pets. Take a look at the fantastic t-shirt a few photos down.