Freelining with Mike Freeman: Happily forgetting Charlie.

Jeff Guinn's book "Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson" makes no effort to glamorize the notorious serial killer.

Jeff Guinn’s book “Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson” makes no effort to glamorize the notorious serial killer.


Driving through the busy streets of Orlando on a recent afternoon, dressed in long-sleeve business attire, I could feel the August heat and humidity in all of its punishing oppression, and was reminded once again of just how slowly the air conditioning works when you first start up a boiling hot car. Alas, my mood was decidedly sour.
But as I navigated the urban streets, occasionally dealing with impatient and rude motorists, what really irritated me wasn’t the temperature, the slow pace of my a.c. system, or my fellow drivers. It was the sounds emanating from my car’s compact disc player.
I had known for some time that the story of mass murderer Charles Manson intricately involved music. Manson had believed that the Beatles spoke to him through their “White Album,” and that the songs on it – particularly “Helter Skelter” – were predicting a coming race war in America. Read more »

Freeline Media Review: “The Letters”

The Mad Cow Theatre is now producing John W. Lowell's suspenseful play "The Letters," starring Brian Brightman and Jennifer Christa Palmer.

The Mad Cow Theatre is now producing John W. Lowell’s suspenseful play “The Letters,” starring Brian Brightman and Jennifer Christa Palmer.


ORLANDO — At the opening of John W. Lowell’s suspenseful play “The Letters,” a young woman we later learn is named Anna walks into a small office, then sits down — and waits.
And, for several more minutes, waits some more.
She is tense, and nervous. She pulls out a cigarette and borrows a lighter from the office desk, but it doesn’t work. She begins to fidget and pace around the room. There’s no question that Anna doesn’t want to be there.
Then the man identified only as the director walks in. Is Anna in trouble, maybe about to be fired? The director seems very by-the-book, but not without an occasional flash of humor, even charm. Anna is respectful, business-like – and, in those first few minutes, quite apparently on edge. We keep waiting for the bad news to fall in her lap. Read more »

Bringing together a GOAT, a Theatre Downtown, and Lady Day

The Broadway hit "Lady Day," about the last days of singer Billie Holiday, is making its Orlando debut in September.

The Broadway hit “Lady Day,” about the last days of singer Billie Holiday, is making its Orlando debut in September.


ORLANDO — Paul Castaneda has a message for theater audiences in Central Florida: the GOAT is back, and in a big way, this fall.
It starts in September, when the group known as the Greater Orlando Actors Theatre will produce an ambitious production that reintroduces audiences to one of the great legends of Jazz music – a project that also serves to take Castaneda on a very nostalgic journey, virtually to the start of his theatrical roots in Central Florida.
In other words, expect to be hearing a lot from GOAT this fall, said Castaneda, their artistic director.
“GOAT, as many people know, went in kind of a different direction this year, and created an ensemble of actors who have been quietly meeting once a week to work on our craft,” Castaneda said. Read more »

“Bloody Rabbit” now available on Kindle

"Bloody Rabbit" takes readers on a terrifying journey into one man's plunge into darkness.

“Bloody Rabbit” takes a sometimes darkly comic look at one man’s plunge into darkness.


ORLANDO — Freeline Productions’ novel “Bloody Rabbit” has been released on Kindle and is available to download in eBook form.
The book by author Michael W. Freeman takes a disturbing, sometimes surreal, often hilarious look at how people cope following an economic crash, one that wipes away everything they own.
Some people blame society and vent their anger against those around them.
But others, like R.T. Robeson, direct their pain inward. Robeson, a man in his mid-40s who becomes a victim to the Great Recession, losing his job, house, and car, also loses something else that is vital to his daily existence: his badly-needed sense of self-worth.
In “Bloody Rabbit,” those losses lead Robeson to a gripping, and then very scary, series of consequences. Read more »

Freeline Media review: “Backwards in High Heels”

The Winter Park Playhouse is showing the Ginger Rogers musical "Backward in High Heels" through next weekend.

The Winter Park Playhouse is showing the Ginger Rogers musical “Backward in High Heels” through next weekend.


WINTER PARK — If you had shown up to see the musical “Backwards in High Heels” at the Winter Park Playhouse recently, and otherwise had no clue what it was about, you might very well have settled in and assumed it was a stage version of an old Hollywood rags-to-riches story.
Even if you had noticed that the young girl who loves to dance — and sneaks off to a Charleston dance contest in Texas and wins — was named Virginia Rogers (which name she shortens to Ginger Rogers), you still might have made the assumption that this was an updating of one of those old movies from the 1930s that Rogers and her legendary dance and screen partner, Fred Astaire, made to help audiences during the Great Depression forget about their troubles. Read more »

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