Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I went to the rehearsal for the Red Chair Affair at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center (401 W Livingston St, Orlando, FL) on August 23rd. John DiDonna directs this showcase of over a dozen performing arts organizations that kicks off the 2013 and 2014 seasons. With so many performers back stage, you might think there was chaos, but the rehearsal ticked along on schedule while I sketched.
The first group onstage to rehearse were the Power Chords from the Orlando Repertory Theater. Every one of these teens had personal mics hidden in their costumes, so there was a long series of sound checks. On the evening of the performance they sang "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel. It was a bit odd seeing this reflective song choreographed with flash and glitter. These kids do know how to belt out a tune however. The next group up was ME Dance performing "Journey". I've seen them perform this high energy dance before in their loose 80's "Flash Dance" attire. The large black wing curtains obstructed much of my view of their performance.
The performing group that took me most by surprise were the NuLook School of Performing Arts. They danced to a piece called "Okamoto High Fashion". The dancers wore black and white checkered tights and French berets worn at roguish angles. The dance was angular and hip with crisp staccato movements. It was unexpected and inspired being performed by kids who must still be in high school. The Brass Band of Central Florida was loud and energetic. The band master apologized to me when all the band equipment was piled up in front of me. I told him it didn't matter since I was just adding color to the sketch at that point. I considered sketching in the drums and other instruments then decided against it.
The Enzian Theater screened a short documentary called "A Brief History of John Baldessari". One of this artist's pieces is now hanging at the Orlando Museum of art. The ladies of Disenchanted sang several of their Disney princess inspired songs. This show, with music and lyrics by Dennis Giacino is likely headed to Broadway in NYC.
Autumn Schaefer Ames who was the Executive Director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida just recently had a baby and she is stepping down. Rae Ward has filled the position. Regardless, Amanda was back stage as the assistant stage manager helping Brittany Wine control the chaos. Once you get a taste for live theater, it is hard to let it go.