Showbiz NoFLO Social Scene: “BROADWAY & BEYOND” Dr. Phillips Center For The Performance Arts Opening Gala

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The Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts officially raised the curtain on the state of the art Walt Disney Theatre with BROADWAY & BEYOND, a thrilling evening of musical theatre, dance, opera and comedy triumphantly staged by our friend Richard Jay Alexander with music direction by Next to Normal’s Mary-Mitchell Campbell conducting the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Casey Gulledge and Gian A. Perez Vaccarro opened things up with a ode to Orlando via The Book of Mormon. Broadway’s current Phantom of the Opera and Orlando native Norm Lewis got things under way with a stirring rendition of “The Music of the Night” which earned an instant standing ovation (yes, that was the first number) followed by his former Christine Daae and original Broadway Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Sierra Boggess, singing her signature tune “Part of this World”.

The Voice’s Chris Mann, who just took over the role of the Phantom in the new U.S. tour (coming to DPAC Dec. 3-14th) sang a sexy “Luck Be A Lady” while the Lombard Twins brought down the house with some free style dancing and Well Strung magnificently “Let It Go”, creating my favorite version of Ms. Idina Menzel’s hit.  Puerto Rican heartthrob, singer Ektor Rivera heated up the theatre while jazz singer, Jane Monheit’s sultry voice sounded even more glorious in the Walt Disney Theatre.

Buyer & Cellar’s Michael Urie tested the theatre’s acoustics while opera diva Deborah Voigt shook the rafters singing “With One Look” from Sunset Blvd and the influence of the Wizard of Oz and Wicked were dynamically shown with some of Orlando’s best young adults, Kristen Brock, Naomi Gomez, Casey Gulledge, Abigail Marotta, Sarah Mills and Gian A. Perez Vaccarro.  The production came to a “Happy” close with YouTube sensation, Jeremy Green.

For more information on upcoming performances visit www.DrPhillipsCenter.org