“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

Fringe Review: “Molly’s Comedy Cabaret”

Molly's Comedy Cabaret Orlando Fringe

“Molly’s Comedy Cabaret” is a hilarious show by Canadian singer and entertainer Molly Wilson.

ORLANDO – Watching singer and entertainer Molly Wilson perform her cabaret show at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, I thought for a moment about what it takes to create a really first-rate solo act.
I had already seen quite a few solo shows at Fringe this month, ranging from singers to dramatic readings to intense dramas.
Molly Wilson’s show has a fairly simple and straightforward concept: Molly’s stunningly beautiful voice is used to great effect on some well-chosen songs, and she has great comedic timing. By the end of the hour, as Molly joked with the audience and thanked them for coming, I couldn’t help think about how much work she must have done creating this show; because while it can be summed up as songs and comedy, Molly Wilson is wonderfully entertaining, and truly knows how to reach an audience.
In the beginning of the show, Molly does a particularly effective job of not only introducing herself, but also touching something heartfelt in so many of us: the idea of the small town kid with big dreams. A native of the small town of Chilliwack, British Columbia, Molly noted that the locals often asked her why she couldn’t pursue a practical profession, like being a dentist, rather than aiming to become an actress and singer.

Her response: to turn to her mom and say no, singing is her true goal in life. Continue reading

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