Sunday, August 5, 2018

Music of the Night: Masquerade

Orlando Light Opera, Opera De Sol, and the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra presented Music of the Night: Masquerade at the Orlando Repertory Theater ((1001 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803) from August 2 to 4, 2018. I went on the opening night to sketch.

The show starred Michelle Knight, of Broadway’s Disenchanted, and local stars, Stephanie McCranie, mezzo soprano Sarah Purser Bojorquez, Stephanie Newman, Bryan Hayes, tenor Kit Cleto, baritone Michael John Foster and Andrew LeJeune.

This evening will embody the glamour, magic and mystery of beloved musical theater and opera repertory. Space Coast Symphony performed on stage under conductor, Aaron Collins. Opera del Sol offered an interactive performances upon arrival and throughout the evening.The visual artistry of Ashley Willsey, designer of CFC Arts Hunchback of Notre Dame, had her original projected sets inspired by the larger works from which the music was excerpted.

I was offered a seat up front and center but decided I wanted to sketch from further up, so I could take in more of the audience and so no one would be around me to see the faint glow from my tablet screen as I sketched in the dark.  The evening included many selections from musical Theater of Lloyd Webber, Sondheim, Rogers and Weill. I was excited to see Michelle Knight perform again. I had seen her perform Disenchanted in NYC and her sassy bravado had me laughing out loud that night. Sarah Purser Bojorquez performed as Evita, her voice echoing through the hall from behind the audience. Unfortunately there were more than a few mic issues that evening and it seemed like Michelle's mic cut out more that any other. Pam Schwartz really liked the timber of Bryan Hayes, voice.

Pam Schwartz and I sat behind a millennial couple in masks and I decided to include them in the sketch. Half way through the evening the guy started ripping up his program. They were slow deliberate rips that lasted an excruciatingly long time to execute. How can someone be so dense, clueless and inconsiderate about the people trying to enjoy the music around them? He was trying to make some feeble origami with his program but it was no better engineered that a primitive paper airplane. Such a person should not be allowed out for an evening on the town. They might be fine in a crowed bar where they can be lost in the crowd on their digital devices but keep them out of theaters.

I wanted to take my cell phone flashlight and shine it in this mindless beasts face. Even his date and the people to his right kept looking over at him with annoyance. I heard of an audience member that was following a soccer game from the front row seat while she was supposed to be watching a play. She even shouted out whenever there was a goal. Will live theater have to die because of such mindless dolts? Perhaps an app can be developed that sweeps a theater and uses face recognition to find these strange mindless zombies. Their credit cards should be charged 10 times the ticket price as reparations for the disturbance or they should be escorted from the theater. Though angry, I resisted confrontation because I was busy finishing my sketch. I had work to do. I just laughed to myself about how clueless some folks in Orlando can be.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. It will be performed  on August 11, 2018 at the Scott center for the Performing Arts at 7PM, and then The Community Church of Vero Beach on August 12, 2018 at 3PM.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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