ORLANDO — What do you get when you mix Orlando Light Opera (a Central Florida Vocal Arts company), Space Coast Symphony, Opera del Sol and eight of the most talented performers you will find in Florida and beyond?
Well, this weekend you will get Music of the Night Masquerade, taking place at the Orlando Repertory Theatre for three nights (Aug. 2-4). I was lucky enough to attend a dress rehearsal this week featuring the performers working through their staging and accompanied by piano.
And I can tell you this is one you won’t want to miss.
The cast of 8 are each incredibly gifted performers who have worked to fine tune their interpretations of classic musical theatre staples, primarily works from legend Andrew Lloyd Webber.
What Can You Expect From the Performers?
Under the watchful and incisive talent of Space Coast Symphony Maestro and Founder Aaron Collins (who will be leading the 20+ member orchestra this weekend), I was able to take in these powerhouse talents add nuance and levels to every one of the evenings songs.
The spirit of collaboration and willingness to make changes on the fly led to an effusive energy that made the hours seem to fly by in seconds.
There is not a weak number in the bunch. The songs flow from one to another, the baton effortlessly passed from one incredible talent to the next. While the group numbers are sufficiently strong and the duets appropriately engaging, it is in the solos where this evening of song really takes off.
Each one of the 8 gets their chance to wow us and never disappoint, but there are a few show stoppers worthy of being singled out. Michelle Knight (Broadway veteran from Jersey Boys and star of Disenchanted off Broadway) delivers a knockout interpretation of I Could Have Danced All Night (My Fair Lady). Local talent Kit Cleto finds all the well known moments in King Herod’s Song (Jesus Christ Superstar), but then adds several layers I had yet to see in any performance of the work without crossing the line to campy.
And North Carolina native Andrew Lejeune literally took my breath away with his remarkably powerful rendition of It All Fades Away (Bridges of Madison County); I would not be surprised if it brings a long and well deserved ovation.
Where Do I get Tickets?
We are blessed with many options every weekend here in Orlando. When making plans for this weekend, I can assure you this show belongs on your “can’t miss” list!
Showtimes are 7:30-9:30 P.M. on August 2nd, 3rd and 4th at the Orlando Repertory Theatre, 100 W. Princeton St. in Loch Haven Park.
Tickets for purchase at Ticketleap
Paul Castaneda is an Orlando actor, stage director, playwright and sales professional, and the co-founder of the Greater Orlando Actors Theatre (GOAT).