“Life Could Be a Dream” takes a harmonious trip back to a more innocent era

Life Could Be a Dream

Andrew LeJeune, Zach Nadoiski, and Michael Scott Ross (rear) join Bert Rodriguez and Tay Anderson in the musical-comedy “Life Could Be a Dream” at The Winter park Playhouse.

WINTER PARK — When someone mentions the 1960s, most people are likely to recall a highly turbulent era, especially in the latter years.

Political assassinations, anti-war protests, and the flower child movement all rocked the nation from 1967 until the 1970s arrived, and it was a time when it felt like the nation was being torn apart.

What might no longer be remembered is that the decade didn’t start that way, and the early 1960s still felt a lot more like the 1950s. The spirit of youthful rebellion, social change and rejection of traditional norms was still years away. That was reflected in the music as well. If by the late 1960s The Rolling Stones were singing “Sympathy For The Devil,” in the early 1960s teens were still listening to Paul Anka singing “Puppy Love” and Mark Dinning crooning “Teen Angel.”

That era is captured in Roger Bean’s jukebox musical “Life Could Be a Dream,” which is set in the year 1960, in the basement of Denny Harney, a teen with ambitions to become a hit doo wop singer. Continue reading

From stage to page: the artistic journey of “Blood Sisters: The Musical”

Blood Sisters the novel

The novel “Generational Curses” was based on the stage musical that was performed in Orlando in 2012.


HAMPTON ROADS, VA — Stage productions have the ability to reach out, grab your heart, and deeply move audiences. Malikah R. Harris found that out in 2012 when she brought her production “Blood Sisters: The Musical” to the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, and won rave reviews.

Today, Harris, who lives in Virginia, has created a different format for “Blood Sisters,” the story about a typical American single parent family where Joanna Karen Smith — or simply “Momma” — has relied on her deep sense of faith as she raised her children. Now, after more than 32 years of self-sacrifice, Momma is fed up and is giving her grown daughters 5 months to put their lives together.

Harris has taken the story, and put it into novel form. For audiences who did not see the theatrical version of “Blood Sisters,” they can visit Amazon and get the book, and follow the story of Momma and her daughters there. Continue reading

Wonder Woman movie inspires social gathering in Polk County

save the day wonder woman

The new “Wonder Woman” movie opening on Friday has inspired a special social gathering for women in Lakeland this weekend.

LAKELAND — Friday marks the opening of the new Warner Bros. movie “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot as Diana, princess of the Amazons, who is trained to be a warrior that can’t be conquered. Her life is dramatically altered when she meets an American pilot who tells her about the terrible war going on in the outside world.
The movie, based on the DC comic book created by William Moulton Marston, has inspired more than 50 women in Polk County to gather on Saturday for a special event marking the film’s opening.
It’s all a celebration of the talent in Polk County’s world of successful business women.
The plan is to watch the movie at the Lakeside Village open air shopping mall. The women plan to gather at the mall around 1 p.m. for a celebration lunch at Grillsmith’s on Saturday, then catching a 3:45 p.m. IMAX 3D showing of the film at the Cobb Theater.

Local Wonder Women

The event was organized by Merissa Green, a former news reporter at The Lakeland Ledger. Green said during the lunch, the women plan to talk about their own unique Wonder Woman experiences, as well as doing some networking.
At least one of them will win a Funko Pop Wonder Woman in an invisible jet, courtesy of the Arcade 80s, a video game store in Winter Haven. Continue reading

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