Archikulture Digest

Summertime

Summertime Produced and Directed by Jacquelyn Bell

Musical Direction by Kelly DeWayne Richards

Choreography by Christin Carlow and Alex Jones

Puppetry by Ibex Puppetry

Stages Theatre in Conjunction with Theatre Downtown, Orlando FL</strong>

It gets cold and rainy in Orlando, although not to the point that people in Michigan won’t stop visiting. And on this particularity drizzly night, the promise of songs about “Summertime” was overwhelmingly attractive so I pulled on my lightweight parka and headed over to Theatre Downtown. They’re hosting Stages Theatre, the latest in the crop of new production companies that are popping up around town. Tonight they assembled a stellar cast of voices aided and abetted by Yow Dance and a few creatures from Ibex Puppetry. The source material ranges wildly but always comes back to the warmer tunes, Highlights include Natasha Ticotin covering “Waiting for Life” from the relatively obscure “Once Upon This Island”, Victor Souffrant blasted “Lost in the Wilderness” from “Children of Eden” and all the girls (Kendra Lynn Lucas, Heather McCraw, Crystal Ortiz and Mr. Ticotin) united to belt out “I’m A Woman” from “Smokey Joe’s Café”

The Yow Dance folks gave us two numbers, the involved “Etoile Polaire” featuring the entire company, and in the second act Alex Jones choreographed and soloed with his intriguing “Running….Blank.” The dance numbers stood apart from the singing, but the two Ibex creatures (a gawky crane and an intriguing bamboo tiger) enhanced the singing even if the performers had to dodge the puppeteers. One of the best voices here was Jamal Solomon, his rendition of “Old Man River” belies his young age, and he lead us out with the stirring “Make Them Hear You” from “Ragtime.” Everything in stage was moving and technically wonderful, I’m not sure if Stages will stick with musical material or if they will move toward more traditional theater, but they have made a grand entrance.

For more information on Stages Theatre, check out https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stages-Theatre-Company/235004079853191

For more information on Theatre Downtown, please visit http://www.theatredowntown.net</em>


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