Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rehearsing The Quest, Choose your adventure, a musical.


Central Florida Vocal Arts presents "The Quest" at The Venue, 511 Virginia Drive Orlando FL. I went to the first dress rehearsal on November 9th. In a nutshell the show is about star crossed lovers with a mother in law from Hell. The show's producer, Theresa Smith-Levin welcomed me warmly to the rehearsal. It has to be nerve wracking to share a production still in rehearsals. The director for the evening was Keith Newhouse. Keith had an Ichibod Cranish enthusiasm that was infectious. Singer and actor Erik Branch had told me about the production several nights earlier at FAVO. When I arrived at the Venue, stage hands were still assembling the simple set.

The Quest Combines Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute with Musical Theatre classics such as Steven Sondheim's Into the Woods and Idle and John Du Prez and Eric Idle's Spamalot, The Quest allows the audience to decide the fate of the characters on stage. Find your grail, rescue a bird catcher with his dream girl or escape the clutches of the Queen of the Night, it's up to you. This engaging and interactive show isn't your grandmother's opera!

The sweet young Pamina, McKenzie Frazier, always looked a bit bewildered when her prince Tamino, Kevin Romero, treated her  coldly, but when she sang, her soprano voice demand attention. I have to say that all the singers could sing operatic and also belt out the Broadway tunes.  This show is a rare case of a truly comic opera with modern flair. Erik Branch played the part of Sorastro, who at first seemed like a villain when he demanded that Pamina be imprisoned,  but as it turns out he was trying to protect Pamina from her evil mother, The Queen of the Night, Nissha Carson. Papageno, David Bracamonte, a baritone was often the comic relief of the show. He wore a  head dress with large pointy feathers and though he longed for love, he had to be content with making people laugh and the attentions of a much older woman.

The intimate nature of the Venue means that the audience will sometimes be surrounded by the cast. There are some stellar voices to be heard. I found myself humming along to the many familiar tunes, and smiling at the relaxed fun many of the actors had performing with comedic fervor. I had a blast, it is a fun night of musical theater. The rehearsal ended before I found out what happens to the lovers, but their fate is in the hands of each audience. Voting changes the plot multiple times so no two shows are the same.

Tickets are on sale now for ONLY FIVE SHOWS!
Show dates are November 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 PM and
November 15 & 22 at 3:00 PM at
The Venue, 511 Virginia Dr. Orlando 32803.

1 comment:

Nishaa Carson said...

Thank you for these lovely sketches! I am so glad you enjoyed yourself! :)