Around Osceola
Osceola News-Gazette

Follow Us On:

Beat the heat with a show, new and classic shows coming to Central Florida

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 11:32 am









By Peter Covino
A&E Editor
The world is a stage this summer, with productions like Rent coming to the Osceola Center for the Arts and an original comedy show about a historic Orlando neighborhood coming to The Abbey in downtown Orlando.
Artful Events presents the Florida Theatrical Association’s production of Wanzie’s Ladies of Eola Heghts at The Abbey, July 10-28.
Director Kenny Howard, who also directed the premiere production starring Michael Wanzie, Doug Ba’aser and Tommy Wooten as the Locksdale Sisters, has cast female actresses in the lead roles, as well as returning original cast member Sam “Miss Sammy” Singhaus reprising her role as cross-dressing brother, Jackson. Singhaus is now joined by his new “real women” sisters: Central Florida favorites Beth Marshall as Pearl; Peg O’Keef as Opal and Blue Star as Ruby.
“I was looking for a site-specific piece to present in the unique configuration of our venue when I recalled Ladies of Eola Heights and knew this was the ideal summer offering for The Abbey,” said Howard in a press release. Howard is also the new artistic director for The Abbey.
“Ladies takes place in the neighborhood immediately adjacent to The Abbey and is punctuated with fond references to surrounding locales that are within walking distance of our theater marquee. Those considerations made it the perfect choice for my first theatrical undertaking in my new position with The Abbey,” he said.
Ladies of Eola Heights tells the story of three Southern ladies – the estranged Locksdale sisters – who reunite at their family home, located in the historical Eola Heights neighborhood of Orlando, to plan their daddy’s funeral. In the midst’s of discussing funeral arrangements, old grudges, family secrets, and deep wounds surface amid the mayhem which ensues when the sisters discover their only brother, Jackson, hasn’t spoken a word in over two years, believes himself to be June Cleaver, and is living his life as a woman.
Insults are hurled, knives are twisted, and salt is poured freely into open wounds all to hilarious and sympathetic ends, according to the press release.  The siblings eventually find closure in letting loose of the ghosts of the past and coming to the realization that despite their many differences, it is their shared experiences that make them a family.
Tickets to Ladies of Eola Heights are on sale now and can be purchased at or call 866-468-7630. General admission tickets are $30 and VIP tickets, which include reserved table seating are $45. Groups of 6 or more receive a 20% discount by using the online code “GROUP” at For additional group information, contact or 407-704-6116. For more information, visit
Meanwhile, The Osceola Center for the Arts also has something for the adults this summer with a production of the Broadway hit musical, Rent.
From the show description: Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, Jonathan Larson’s Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom, and Angel. Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble. Benny has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends. Mark, an aspiring  filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves, and conflicts provides the narrative thread.
Rent is at the center, weekends, July 11-27. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now through the ticket website, vendini at For more information call 407-846-6257.
There is something for the youngsters as well this August as the center stages the musical Peter Pan, Aug. 15-31.
This is the classic Broadway version you might remember from when you were a child, featuring songs such as “I’m Flying” and “I won’t Grow Up.”
Based on J.M. Barrie’s tale and featuring a score by Morris “Moose” Charlap and Jule Styne with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Peter Pan is one of the most beloved and frequently performed family favorites of all time.
It is a story most adults remember and one that is great to pass on to the youngest members of the family.
Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick Tinkerbell visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and with a sprinkle of pixie dust begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure of a lifetime the travelers come face to face with a ticking crocodile, a fierce Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates, and of course the villainous Captain Hook.
Tickets for the show are available now for $15 at
Also for the youngsters at the Osceola Center for the Arts is summer camp 2014.
This summer’s camps include:
Villains of Broadway, a popular camp from past seasons, this camp (July 7-14) features the not-so-popular villains of Broadway, featuring the bad guys from shows such as Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors and The Lion King. Tuition is $225. Age level: 7-14.
Contemporary Art Camp features pop, folk, mixed media and more (July 21-25). Tuition is $115. Age level: 7-14.
Once Upon a Time nn Broadway explores the pages of literary favorites adapted for the stage, bringing characters to life. It runs July 28-Aug. 8. Tuition is $225. Age level: 7-14.
Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass is music, no experience necessary. Camp is July 14-25. Tuition is $225. Age level: 7-14.
For more information on the camps call the center at 407-846-6257.
For a limited time, Orlando Science Center will remain open late on Friday and Saturday nights this summer. Guests will have more time to immerse in a laser light show; see moons and planets in the Crosby Observatory; explore their athletic abilities in “Sportsology”; choose from one of two Hollywood feature-length films; and explore four floors of exhibits. Through Aug. 16, the Science Center will be open until 9 p.m. while the captivating lights and sounds of laser light shows in the Dr. Phillips CineDome can be experienced at 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Also returning, after a two-year hiataus, are the laser light shows in the Dr. Phillips CineDome.
Experience extended hours with admission to Orlando Science Center which is $19 for adults and $13 for youth (ages 3 – 11).
For more information, call 407-51-2000 or visit