Freeline Media Review: “War Horse”

"War Horse" is now being performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando.

“War Horse” is now being performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando.

ORLANDO — “War Horse” is a heartbreaking and deeply moving indictment of war, an accomplishment that’s all the more surprising in that the gentle, very sentimental opening leads you to believe the play will hold your hand throughout the entire length of the show — when it doesn’t. You don’t expect the full force and raw intensity of the play’s image of war as a tragic waste of lives and human potential.
But it’s that sadness throughout the play, and unflinching, horrific images of the European battlefield, that make it a more profoundly moving experience by the end. The Touring Broadway production, now playing at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando, is a superb piece of theater that will haunt you long after the lights have come up.
“War Horse,” in fact, is almost like the anti-Broadway event, in that so many of today’s large scale musicals are simply content to make you scream happiness. “War Horse” is also, in many ways, the animal story that offers the exact opposite approach that Disney applied to its beloved feature length animated films like “Bambi” or “The Lion King.” Read more »

Freeline Media Review: “The Mountaintop”

"The Mountaintop" is a riveting fantasy/drama now being performed at The Mad Cow Theatre.

“The Mountaintop” is a riveting fantasy/drama now being performed at The Mad Cow Theatre.


ORLANDO — “The Mountaintop” begins in a deceptively quiet way. It’s set in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, on a night when pouring rains simply will not stop.
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. rushes into his motel room to get out of the rain, and he seems tired, even a bit weary. There are a host of small frustrations for him to deal with: his wife forgot to pack his toothbrush, he has run out of cigarettes, and he may be getting a cold. For several minutes at the opening of the play, King is alone in the room, where he tries reading and testing out his famous speech, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.” He is interrupted only when a maid knocks on the door, bringing him a fresh pot of coffee. Read more »

Freeline Media Review: “Once”

"Once" is a very different kind of movie-to-stage Broadway show.

“Once” is a very different kind of movie-to-stage Broadway show.


ORLANDO — Broadway musicals have a tendency, not to mention a great eagerness, to demonstrate that they can be big, splashy, and filled with extravagant special effects – perhaps no more so than when adapting a movie to the stage. Minus all the cinematic tricks at a film director’s disposal, the stage musical needs to rely a bit more on the audience’s imagination, although there’s no question stage directors like as many visual and sound effects as possible, and as many elaborate sets as can be hoisted onstage.
At the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in downtown Orlando, this trend has given us the likes of “Mary Poppins” with statues that come to life in a park, “Priscilla Queen Of The Dessert” with a bus driven across the Australian desert, and even “Wicked” with its variation on “The Wizard of Oz.” If fantasy is all about the imagination, stage productions seem quite determined to transport us to genuinely magical places once the lights go down. Read more »

Freelining with Mike Freeman: Revisiting Rosemary’s Baby

NBC TV Network is now filming a new version of Ira Levin's 1967 novel "Rosemary's Baby" as a four-part miniseries, even though the 1968 movie by Roman Polanski is considered a classic of the horror genre, and a 1976 TV movie sequel, "Look What's Happened To Rosemary's Baby" was a bomb. (Photo by Michael W. Freeman).

NBC TV Network is now filming a new version of Ira Levin’s 1967 novel “Rosemary’s Baby” as a four-part miniseries, even though the 1968 movie by Roman Polanski is considered a classic of the horror genre, and a 1976 TV movie sequel, “Look What’s Happened To Rosemary’s Baby” was a bomb. (Photo by Michael W. Freeman).


So, what are we to make of the NBC TV Network decision to commit to a remake of the 1968 Roman Polanski movie “Rosemary’s Baby”? Should we follow the quick example many fans of the original had when NBC unveiled these plans — and simply roll our eyes?
It’s true that Polanski’s film is considered a genuine cinematic classic. When The Criterion Collection re-released the movie on DVD in 2012, it drew rave reviews from critics who said it had aged remarkably well, and remained one of the greatest and most influential horror movies ever made – one that not only appears to have inspired 1970s devil movie hits like “The Exorcist” and “The Omen,” but continues to inspire filmmakers today, including the newly released “Devil’s Due,” which the site Fearnet.com called “Virtually a remake (perhaps even a ‘literalization’) of Roman Polanski’s classic Rosemary’s Baby.” Read more »

Champagne lounge coming to downtown Orlando in February

Pagne Champagne Lounge will have its grand opening in Thornton Park next month.

Pagne Champagne Lounge will have its grand opening in Thornton Park next month.

ORLANDO — Downtown Orlando, already known for hosting a wide variety of specialized restaurants and nightclubs, is about to get even more diverse when it becomes the home to this region’s first champagne lounge.
Within a month, the champagne corks are expected to be popping at Pagne Champagne Lounge, an establishment that plans to offer patrons a wide selection of champagne, wine and spirits to go along with a menu of light appetizers and to serenade those customers with an evening of live piano entertainment. Read more »

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