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Sound advice on performing arts


Booking Broadway shows into the Carr Performing Arts Centre is an inexact science. What sells elsewhere (the gay- and AIDS-themed "Angels in America," for instance) may not sell here. And what might sell here may not be available right away, as promoters steer the newest tours to major cities first.

Then there is the burden of packaging a season to sell as a whole. The Orlando Broadway Series relies on season-ticket buyers for a huge chunk of its audience. But that audience hardly craves the cutting edge. Thus, while next season's lineup boasts the youthful and electrifying "Rent," which long ago lit up New York and arrives here in January, it can't claim to satisfy the demographic that will thrill to see Toni Tenille in "Victor/Victoria."

It's true as well in Tampa, where the national tour of "Rent" just closed and where patrons encountered this sign taped to the performing arts center door: "‘Rent' is a rock opera. Due to the nature of this genre the music is very loud. If you would like ear plugs please see the manager at the Ambassador Station."