For most people Orlando is synonymous with theme parks. The first thing that most people think of are Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. When I first applied to Rollins, the first thing I thought of was that I would be down the street from Mickey Mouse.
Although the theme parks are a prevalent part of Orlando, I had the opportunity last weekend to experience an entirely different side of entertainment in Orlando. Saturday, I attended the Red Chair Affair, the official kickoff to Central Florida’s 2010-2011 Arts and Cultural Season.
For two hours, I sat immersed, sampling a variety of Central Florida entertainment, ranging from Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba” to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. This was an entirely new experience for me, and I loved every minute of it.
One of my favorite pieces was presented by the SAK Comedy Lab. Their performance was absolutely hysterical; I was laughing the entire time. While one of the players went off stage, the audience was asked to develop the crime he had committed, where he had committed the crime, and with whom. When the man returned, he had to not only attempt to figure out what he had done but did so whilst singing that confession. After some funny mishaps, he finally discovered that he was being arrested for cleaning up the kitty litter on Mount Rushmore with Paris Hilton. The SAK Comedy Lab offers weekly shows, including $5 shows for students at 7:30 and 9:30 Thursday nights.
I was pleasantly surprised more than once with material presented during the evening. First, by an outstanding performance from members of the Orlando Gay Chorus. Four talented men sang a variety of songs representing the ensemble. After a previous encounter with ballet, I was not expecting to enjoy the Orlando Ballet. However, I also loved the Orlando Ballet, which took me aback with the ferocity of the dance and the emotions that played across the stage. The dancers had amazing precision and worked together seamlessly.
I discovered a wide range of possibilities and opportunities in Orlando that I had never expected to experience. I am hoping to have the opportunity to witness many of these groups’ entire performances throughout the year as well. I am thrilled that I had this chance, and I hope that more people in the Rollins’ community will take advantage of these types of cultural events in the future. All the groups who appeared deserve your patronage, and I urge you to support local theatre and artistic events.