Review: Dead Sara live.

Dead Sara, a hard rock band from Los Angeles, performed at the Amway Center on Monday as the opening act for Muse.

ORLANDO — It was pouring on Monday night.
Standing safely inside the Amway Center, glancing out the panoramic windows on the terrace level, I watched downtown Orlando get positively soaked from the kind of torrential downpour more typical of the rainy season in June than of February. The skies seemed dark and ominous, almost threatening, as if something far worse than a mere rainstorm was on the way.
Storms like that can set a mood — dark, edgy, and moody.
I had no idea, until I got inside the arena, how perfectly Dead Sara’s performance would match that feeling. Continue reading

Review: ”Wicked.”

The Broadway musical “Wicked” is now being performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando.

ORLANDO – It says something about our continued national fascination with the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz” that not only have generations been raised on the adventures of Dorothy in the land of Oz, but that L. Frank Baum’s classic story continues to inspire artists today.
Director Sam Raimi’s new movie “Oz the Great and Powerful,” about a circus magician swept up from Kansas to Oz, opens on March 8. And locally, the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre is hosting a lively version of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked,” which, judging by the audience reaction, appears to have as much legs as the movie.
So what is it about Baum’s tale of Oz that keeps fascinating not only generation after generation of movie and theater fans, but also directors and writers? Why do we insist on going back to Oz so often?
In the case of “Wicked,” I suspect it’s more than just the first-rate songs by Stephen Schwartz, or the fact that the entire production evokes an enjoyable degree of nostalgia in all of us for the movie we were raised on – even if this one is pretty much minus Dorothy and Toto. Continue reading

Vacation home industry teaches “Property Management for Dummies.”

The vacation home industry has started teaching its members “Property Management for Dummies.” (Photo by Michael Freeman).

CELEBRATION – Since the housing market crashed in 2008 and Florida found itself in the unenviable position of leading most other states when it comes to home foreclosures, it’s been a common practice for banks to impose liens against customers who have fallen well behind on their mortgage payments.
But it isn’t just banks that have to deal with homeowners who have stopped making payments. This is also a challenge for the tourism and hospitality industry.
Dealing with the delinquent owners of homes that are rented out on a short-term basis to tourists has become such a common problem that the trade association representing managers of vacation homes recently hosted a workshop called “Property Management for Dummies,” to assist those members coping with an owner who hasn’t kept up with their payments. Continue reading

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