Jim Helsinger as Don Adriano de Armado, Jacob Dresch as Costard, and Maxel Garcia as Moth star in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” (Photo by Tony Firriolo.)
ORLANDO — Were the 1920s one of the last truly great decades, a time of economic prosperity when the nation was not at war, when Jazz was born and the parties never stopped? Was it the last moment of wide-eyed optimism before the Great Depression, World War II and other upheavals brought everything crashing back to Earth?
Hard to say. But it’s worth noting that if anyone books a ticket to see the Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s
production of William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” they should also catch the ongoing production of “The Great Gatsby”
Both plays are set in the 1920s — “Gatsby” in New York and “Love’s” in Navarre, Spain, and the production values in both are first rate — from the music of the era to one of the true stars of both shows, the fine work of the Shakespeare’s Swingin’ Sewin’ Society and Costume Shop Volunteers, who made those elegant outfits that evoke the 1920s. Try to see both productions, if you can, because they most definitely work together in this evocation of a bygone era. Continue reading
Freeline Media will be covering the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in May. (Photo by Michael Freeman.)
ORLANDO — Artists, producers and directors who have a show in the upcoming Orlando Fringe, take note: Freeline Media will be covering the festival in May, so get your press releases and contact information ready. The curtains are gearing up to rise!
The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival was created in 1991 by Terry Olson (who is now the director of the Orange County Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs), Andy Anthony and Rick Kunst, and held in 1992 in downtown Orlando. The concept was simple: a festival featuring multiple theatrical shows, most in venues in empty storefronts. In 2004, the festival started to relocate to Loch Haven Park, and from 2005 on, the festival has been held entirely in that park and in nearby Ivanhoe Village. It’s the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States.
This 14-day festival is held in May, leading up to Memorial Day Weekend. Continue reading
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