Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Party @ The Plaza


The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra has officially bought and moved into the Plaza Live Theater (425 N. Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL). The Plaza Live Theater has a long standing reputation of bringing world renowned musical talent to Orlando. Terry and I have gone here in the past to hear Michelle Shocked, Beau Soleil, The Mummies, and Gordon Lightfoot. The Philharmonic intends to maintain the traditional high standards. Since the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts doesn't have a hall acoustically appropriate for an orchestra, the Plaza will give the Philharmonic a place to rehearse and perform.

The Party @ The Plaza on January 25th was a sort of housewarming and fundraiser for the Orchestra and the Plaza Live. The front parking lot was surrounded by metal barricades to discourage party crashers.  Catering was supplied by Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ.  Terry got me a pork and coleslaw "Sunday" that was delicious that I ate while I sketched. The Flat Mountain Band kicked off the evening at 6:30pm on the outdoor stage. There were four other stages inside the Plaza Live and even in the former Russian Ballet School. That ballet school is now in the Mills 50 District. The Dance space was converted into a piano lounge. I went in to listen to Dottie Clendenin perform light classical music. Unfortunately any time the door was opened, the Flat Mountain Bands music would waft in. On top of that, people would stand in the doorway talking while keeping the door ajar. The two musical forms didn't play well together.

Brian T. Wilson kept Terry company while I sketched. He kept us company throughout the evening. It made us feel like we were the "cool kids" for once. The Jackson Creek String Band performed in the lobby of the Plaza Live. I'm almost certain I've heard them perform their lively blend of folk music before. From there, we went into the main stage area where Michael Andrew was performing with his Atomic Big Band. We sat next to Alyson Innes and Jose Fajardo.  Alyson is on the Fringe board with Terry so they always have plenty to gossip about.

Michael introduced David Shillhammer with so much musical gusto that was absolutely hilarious. David pulled raffle tickets for some amazing prizes. Winners ran up onto the stage with as much enthusiasm as you would see on "The Price is Right!" Terry and I mixed it up on the dance floor and then got our photo taken by a Photo Mingle which is a large screen TV that allows people to draw on and manipulate the photo. Photo Mingle was invented by local resident Mike Underwood in his garage.


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