Check out this free sample chapter of “Koby’s New Home”

Freeline Productions has released the novel "Koby's New Home" by author Michael W. Freeman.

Freeline Productions has released the novel “Koby’s New Home” by author Michael W. Freeman.


Freeline Productions has released the mysterious fiction novel “Koby’s New Home,” the story of a man, a stray kitten … and an eerie apartment complex. Check out this free sample chapter from the book.

There were mysteries in the apartment.
One morning Grabinski went over to the small desk in his bedroom where he kept his laptop and papers. He turned the laptop on and was about to sit down to start working, when he noticed it.
On the corner of his desk, at all times, was a sentimental item, one of his favorite ornaments, a snow globe. Inside were mountains and a sign that read “Welcome to Colorado.” Grabinski had purchased it in a gift shop during a vacation in the Centennial State, and in addition to bringing back plenty of happy memories, on blistering hot summer days, he liked to pick it up and shake it and watch the snow scatter everywhere inside the watery globe – letting him imagine for a second that he was someplace delightfully cold, rather than in the oven known as July.
On this afternoon, the snow globe was gone.
And in its place was something else entirely: a green sponge. Read more »

Freeline Media Review: “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)”

Christopher Patrick Mullen, Timothy Williams, and Michael Daly star in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of "Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)." (Photo by Tony Firriolo.)

Christopher Patrick Mullen, Timothy Williams, and Michael Daly star in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!).” (Photo by Tony Firriolo.)


ORLANDO — If there’s one thing that the holiday production at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater amply proves, it’s that the Christmas season has, for centuries, inspired writers, filmmakers, animators and other storytellers to create their own holiday epic, aimed at happily entrancing audiences into the spirit of the season.
If there’s one thing that guides so many of these creative efforts — Charles Dickens’ short story “A Christmas Story,” Frank Capra’s 1946 movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” or the 1964 children’s TV movie “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” among many others — it’s heavy doses of sentimentality and exquisitely warm and fuzzy happy endings. Put your troubles aside, these sagas seem to say, and revel in the joyous spirit of Christmas time.
Orlando Shakes has done its share of sentimental holiday productions in the past, from an elaborate version of “A Christmas Carol” to a radio version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where skillful dramatic actors did their best to wring a nostalgic and tender tear from the eyes of audience members. Read more »

Freeline Productions releases chilling novel “Koby’s New Home”

Freeline Productions has released the novel "Koby's New Home" by author Michael W. Freeman.

Freeline Productions has released the novel “Koby’s New Home” by author Michael W. Freeman.


Freeline Productions has released the mysterious fiction novel “Koby’s New Home,” the story of a man, a stray kitten … and an apartment complex filled with alienated tenants, many of them now lost souls.
The book takes a sometimes humorous, often unsettling and scary look at economic dislocation.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT:
Having lost his job and now struggling to find a new one, William Grabinski has no choice but to rent a small, dirt cheap unit in an old, decrepit building. Feeling lonely and isolated there, he can’t resist adopting a kitten that cries at him from the building’s courtyard on a cold December day.
The kitten, which Grabinski names Koby, is shivering and starving. He stares up at the man who stops and speaks to him, wondering if he’s a threat or not. The kitten allows Grabinski to pick him up ….
The purring machine quickly goes off. Now tiny Koby has a home.
It starts out very much like a heartwarming and sentimental story of a depressed man who finds comfort and happiness in caring for this sweet, adorable kitten. But it isn’t long before the book heads off in a much darker direction. Read more »

Orlando Philharmonic brings audiences Home for the Holidays

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra held their annual Home for the Holidays concert on Saturday.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra held their annual Home for the Holidays concert on Saturday.


ORLANDO — Tradition is a key word this time of year, when late November is filled with events that have been held around this time for decades, meant to usher area residents and visitors into the Christmas spirit.
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra did just that on Saturday, when they used the final weekend in November to bring audiences Home for the Holidays.
The OPO’s annual holiday concert, held at the Bob Carr Theater, attracted a large crowd, many of them festively dressed, for a concert that ranged from holiday favorites (“Jingle Bells,” “O, Holy Night”) to some new songs to the OPO’s holiday repertoire, including “Cradle Hymn” by Kim Andre Arneson.
Albert George Schram, the conductor of the program, said he thought this was a beautiful hymn that their audience would appreciate.
“Sit back,” he told the audience, “and let us touch your heart.” Read more »

Central Florida Vocal Arts opening “Grimmly Ever After” tonight

Fabiola Rivera and Jonatan Rodriguez perform in "Grimmly Ever After," which opens tonight.

Fabiola Rivera and Jonatan Rodriguez perform in “Grimmly Ever After,” which opens tonight.


ORLANDO — Central Florida Vocal Arts was born in 2012 at a kitchen table in a Baldwin Park apartment, according to founder and current Chief Executive Director Theresa Leigh Smith-Levin.
It’s focus is “to provide paid performance opportunities for professional and pre professional young artists and to train and nurture the artists of tomorrow,” according to their website. They have produced several local productions, including Soap Opera at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival and The Quest: Choose Your Adventure.
The group, in many of its productions, employs a focus on mixing opera and other genres, as well as using a technique where audiences literally choose the path of the show in the style of those old “choose your adventure” books of the past.
This Friday, they open Grimmly Ever After at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. in Loch Haven Park. Read more »

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