Thursday, May 17, 2012
0n May 10th and 11th, Central Florida Community Arts presented, "The HeART of Theater, An Evening on Broadway." The event featured the Central Florida Community Choir, orchestra and Dance Team, at the Northland Church (530 Dog Track Road). When I pulled into the church parking lot, I saw a mini van unloading seniors in front of the venue. My NYC snobbery kicked in and I expected to experience an amateurish production. Most folks waiting in the lobby did have grey hair but I had to do a reality check, so do I. The worship center was huge and the large crowd in the lobby filled maybe a third of the available seats. I sat midway back so I could capture the immensity of the space.
Joshua Vickery, the founder and Executive Director introduced the evening. He stressed that Central Florida Community Arts positively influenced the community by connecting, serving and performing. The group has a vision to make the performing arts more accessible and to help local charities achieve their missions. This volunteer singing group has performed for the Coalition of the Homeless, Runway to Hope, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Hope for the Nations, Florida Hospital and many other great local organizations.
The ongoing theme to the Broadway Musical numbers performed, was how the arts inspire and enrich the artists who perform. Staged scenes, and dance numbers punctuated the evening between choral performances. I was swept along by the shear power and enthusiasm of the performances. This was an energetic evening of music that far exceeded my expectations. The last piece called "You Can't Stop the Beat", had everyone standing, clapping and singing along. Beach balls floated down from the catwalks high over head and the audience batted them about. This was an energetic, wild evening, with CFCA splashing on the Orlando Arts scene like a tidal wave reaffirming the creative spirit. I'm indebted to Sharon Hegedus, who first introduced me to this amazing group.
Upcoming performances include, American Pops on May 19th, The Classical Music of John Rutter on August 11th and a choral concert version of the musical, Titanic on September 7th to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking. On August 4th there is The Heart of the Arts Gala, held at the Gaylord Palms, which will raise funds to help CFCA impact the community where we work and live.