Advice From A Pro
Your article on the local arts scene in Orlando was fascinating `“The fat lady sings?,” June 19`. I was just a visitor to Orlando recently, picked up a copy, and sank down in a plush couch in one of your city’s coffee shops and read on.
As a Broadway veteran, Los Angeles producer, Broadway conductor, musical director and now one who steers artistic educational settings, your cover story was a thought-provoking start-up conversation piece for me! Was I the only reader to raise eyebrows many times over staggering costs in the millions to build such a grand facility? Stunning I’m sure!
And as I read on, over opera productions suffering and classical music series climbing uphill, I thought, “Why isn’t there a company holding the sure-fire hit Broadway series to this future venue?” They’ll find, to quote Andrew Lloyd Webber, “The money would keep rollin’ in.”
Trading in my Broadway tour scene, I now lead the arts for an educational organization, and while the numerical figure to build this new facility was staggering, I was rather shocked by the thin ligature – and giant gap – that ties one seemingly limping venue, namely the Bob Carr (where I have toured), to this new shiny one. Opera, chamber music, orchestral, ballet – all are approached, but where is the nuts and bolts of what rang truer? Those Lion King types of productions. Where is the local theater company in Orlando that makes the next MTV Legally Blonde hits happen? There seems to be a giant void of what people really come to see, as opposed to what these organizations are trying to present successfully, such as this Lion King tour that tossed some local Nutcracker production aside for sheer butts in seats.
Orlando might want to find a cheaper architect, or build something a little more accessible, as it is certain that those arts organizations and those colorful characters who lead them, their own mortgages aside, have a lot to pursue already in their own arts organizations such as their own programming and endowments and keeping their own curtains raised on productions.
Are they collectively ready to tackle millions more in steel rafters, cables and high-tech lighting that someone is going to have to install and maintain? Certainly, we don’t want even want to venture into the air conditioning bill for such a place in your humid city! Or maybe HGTV should come in, build an eco-friendly “green theater” or makeover a designer-friendly green room at the Bob Carr.
As for me, I have seen enough bad Nutcrackers to last me for a while. Give me In the Heights or Spring Awakening on tour instead.
Don Hite, via the Internet
F Is For Bingo
I had a gay bingo experience quite similar to Karen’s `Blister, June 19`. I was attending the Fringe volunteer appreciation party and playing Beach Blanket Bingo at the P-House a couple of weeks ago and panicked because they were using “F” for Bingo. Wanzie ignored me and Miss Sammy started laughing and saying, “There’s no ‘F’?” Then I noticed the video screen that showed that the holes you punched in your card had to form the letter “F” instead of just going diagonal or straight!
I am filled with gratitude for all the coverage Orlando Weekly gives local everything. Always professional, always fair and always supportive of the community. Thanks, Seth `Kubersky`, for putting it all together with such class.
What Wes Looks Like
The other day I watched a movie called Factotum, which stars Matt Dillon and is based on the writing of Charles Bukowski, an alcoholic writer. In the movie, Matt Dillon looks like me, talks like me, walks like me and is built like me. He even dresses like me and he gets fired from a lot of crappy jobs, like me.
The only difference is that I’m not an alcoholic. I thought the red makeup on Matt Dillon’s face, which was put there to show the burst capillaries in his face, a side effect of alcoholism, was a nice touch.
Wes Pierce, Orlandoletters@orlandoweekly.com