Archikulture Digest

The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!

The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!

By Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart

Jester Theater Company

The Garden Theater, Winter Park, FL</strong>

Orlando’s Jester Theater continues its program of theatrical Manifest Destiny by spreading the highly successful “The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!” across the state. They’ve abandoned the basketball-friendly Studio Garage Theater and captured the shiny new Garden Theater in Winter Garden. Perhaps you saw this wonderful parody of the American Musical Theater by Eric Rockwell and JoAnne Bogart recently. If not, it’s worth the drive up the turnpike to witness every significant American Musical rolled up into one big production. The plot is basic – “I can’t pay the rent” is the mantra of Natalie Cordone (as June, Jeune, Junie Fay, Junita, and Juny), and “You must pay the rent” is the unfettered capitalistic cry from the lonely but evil Kevin Kelly (as Jidder, Jitter, Mr Jitters, and the mysterious Phantom Jitter.) Ms J gets advice from Kate O’Neil’s (as 5 variants on Abbey) and romantic rescue from Todd Allen Long as five charming leading men.

It helps if you’re familiar with the lesser known works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Steven Sondheim, and the duos of Kander and Ebb or Rogers and Hammerstein. That’s a lot of names, but a lot of song snippets and in jokes pepper the evening, all leading up the big “Show ‘Em the Hat” finale. Backed with Jim Rhinehart’s rollicking piano playing, this show is consistently good, and consistently entertaining. Best of all, the setting is a joy; this new theater has classic acoustics, clear sightlines, and still smells of paint and carpet cement. It also has the most powerful hand driers in the southeast, and adds new meaning to the term “hypersonic flutter.”

For more information on Jester Theater Company, please visit http://www.jestertheater.com

Information on The Garden Theater may be found at http://www.wgtheatre.org</a</em>>


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