About Michael W Freeman

Michael W. Freeman is a veteran journalist, playwright and author. Born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, he has lived in Orlando since 2002. Michael has worked for some of Florida's largest newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel. His original plays have draw strong audiences at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He is the author of the novels "Bloody Rabbit" and "Koby's New Home."

Decadence on display in stage version of “Great Gatsby”

Christian Ryan is Tom Buchanan, Jacob Dresch as George Wilson, Madelyn James as Mrs. Michaelis, and Eric Eichenlaub as a cop in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of “The Great Gatsby.” (Photo by Tony Firriolo.)

ORLANDO — Legend has it that author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who died in 1940, thought he had been a failure as a writer because his 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby” had sold poorly and gotten mediocre reviews when it was first released. Turns out the book was ahead of its time, and would later become acclaimed as a literary classic.
Brought to the stage at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, courtesy of an adaptation by Simon Levy, the theater provides a handsomely mounted and wonderfully acted saga that captures the feel of the Roaring Twenties and the rise of the Jazz age. It was a decade of great prosperity when lavish parties were the norm, and even though it was the era of Prohibition, booze flowed freely.
“The Great Gatsby” has traditionally been viewed as a book about how corrupting the pursuit of the American Dream can turn out to be, and it’s true that when young Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate from the Midwest and a World War I veteran, arrives in the town of West Egg, Long Island, he has a sense of wide-eyed optimism about his future in this economically booming decade. Continue reading

Pet Adoption Weekend asks folks to put Paws Over Politics

​Charlie is a dog available for adoption this weekend at Paws over Politics. (Photo by Whitney Boylston).


LEESBURG — With President’s Day approaching on Monday, a nonfit group committed to finding homes for abandoned, abused and stray pets is asking area residents to put “Paws Over Politics.”
In an effort to boost the adoption rate in Lake County, the organization L.E.A.S.H. Inc. is inviting people to come out to the Via Port Florida Mall in Leesburg this weekend to hopefully fall in love with a pet in need of a home.
And as President’s Day gets closer, they are encouraging people to spend the weekend thinking less about today’s political climate, and more about … well, just how cute those cats and dogs can be.
“With today’s contentious political climate, residents can celebrate Presidents Day, whether a Re’pup‘lican, Demo’cat,’ or somewhere in between, by opening their home to a new friend,” the organization based in Leesburg noted in a news release. Continue reading

“Koby’s New Home” is a novel for the Trump Era

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

“Koby’s New Home.” Cover graphic by Sherrie Smith; cover designed by Michael Freeman.

“Koby’s New Home” is the story of a man, a stray kitten … and an apartment complex filled with alienated tenants, many of them now lost souls. The book, which takes a sometimes humorous, often unsettling and scary look at working class and middle class economic dislocation, was written in October 2016, just a few short weeks before the presidential election that brought Donald Trump to the presidency. It’s a book about the blue-collar white pain and seething anger that found a champion in Trump, and “Koby’s New Home” is very much about the new Trump Era this country has shifted into.

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. Continue reading

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