Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP), in partnership with UCF, is proud to announce its 2016 – 2017 Season! The REP is Orlando’s premiere and Florida’s only professional theatre for families and young audiences, and has staged recent box-office hits such as Rudolph The Red-Nosed The Musical and Junie B. Jones The Musical!
Rock The Presidents (October 10 – November 13, 2016) is a high-octane musical revue spanning the entire history of the American presidency – from George Washington to Barack Obama, while looking ahead to the future! The men who rose to the highest office in the land are brought to life through all-new original songs in a variety of genres: rock, hip-hop, blues, pop, jazz, reggae, country, and more! Audiences young and old alike will learn something new about our Presidents, while perhaps seeing something of themselves reflected in the stories on stage with a book and lyrics by Dwayne Hartford and music by Sarah Roberts.
Harry Connick, Jr.’s The Happy Elf (November 7 – December 18, 2016), from the Grammy-winning musician, this joyous new jazz musical sure to become a holiday favorite! Eubie is the happiest elf in the North Pole, whose constant energy and exuberance wears others out. Eubie believes if he can restore joy to the forlorn town of Bluesville, full of children on the naughty list, he will win a spot on Santa’s sleigh team -his ultimate dream! Positive thinking, teamwork, and faith are wonderful gifts to give and to receive. In this story of elfin magic, we find that these gifts are never in short supply. Harry Connick, Jr. has written a wonderful complete score with a book by Lauren Gunderson and Andrew Fishman.
The New Year begins with Geronimo Stilton: Mouse in Space (January 30 – March 5, 2017) adapted for the stage by John Maclay. Villains are threatening New Mouse City, and the only hope is our reluctant hero, Geronimo Stilton! In this high-flying adventure, Geronimo is launched into space on a top-secret mission, but can he overcome his fears of heights, the dark, and confined spaces, and use his intelligence to save the day!? Based on the wildly popular book series, this story takes Geronimo and his pals Thea, Trap, and Benjamin on the adventure of their rodent lives!
Prepare yourselves as Curious George: The Golden Meatball (February 27 – April 9, 2017) takes over Orlando! Join Curious George, the inquisitive, lovable monkey-star of books, movies, and the award-winning PBS television show in a delightful new musical. All-You-Can-Eat Meatball Day comes just once a year, and George could not be more excited. With George involved, things always get a bit interesting, and on this day, all roads lead to Rome for the Golden Meatball Contest! Along the way, George discovers the secret ingredient known by all the best chefs and shares it with all his friends! Music is by John Kavanaugh with book and lyrics by Jeremy Desmon, based on the books of Margret and H.A. Rey and the play owned by Universal Stage Productions.
In the small town of River Heights, Nancy Drew faces her greatest challenge as she seeks to solve the biggest mystery of her young career in Nancy Drew and Her Biggest Case Ever, (April 10 – May 14, 2017). A friend’s heirlooms are stolen, a mysterious stranger brings news of a missing fortune, and only Nancy can save the day. Clues are found, motives are revealed, but will Nancy solve the mystery in time? Adapted for the stage by John Maclay and based on the classic mystery series by Carolyn Keene, the original super sleuth Nancy Drew and all her friends are ready to find all the answers and not let anything ruin their fun. Missing this show would be a crime!
But that’s not all… The REP’s 2016 – 2017 season also includes several limited engagements! Bach To School on September 23, 2016 has The REP teaming up with one of the region’s cornerstones in classical music, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, to introduce classical music through the choir and orchestra to our young audiences. Orlando’s favorite rock band for children and families stops by for A Mr. Richard & The Pound Hounds Halloween Concert on October 28 & 29, 2016. With sing-along tunes about fish, skunks, cool snakes, and Halloween fun, Mr. Richard & The Pound Hounds play great music for hip kids, who can preview their costumes by wearing them to the concert before the big night! Award-winning magician and comedian Tony Brent returns with Pip-Squeak: An Anti-Bullying Magic Show (January 9 – 14, 2017). Because of his small size as a child, Tony was bullied in the cafeteria, in the gymnasium, on the playground, and generally anywhere there were no adults present. Now using comedy, amazing magic tricks, juggling, and a coat-rack loaded with costumes, Tony gently and humorously teaches children how to cope with being bullied. In addition, children learn to recognize the signs of bullying and whether or not they themselves might be guilty of bullying. Tony portrays various people from his childhood and role-plays with children about various ways they could respond if they or a friend are bullied. The REP Power Chords present an evening of high-energy song and dance at The Abbey in downtown Orlando on May 12, 2017.
The season also includes productions by students of The REP Youth Academy, including Disney’s The Little Mermaid on July 22 – August 7, 2016, James and the Giant Peach Jr. in December 9 – 11, 2016, and Disney’s Camp Rock The Musical in April 28 – 30, 2017, as well as the 14th Annual Writes of Spring production, comprised of winning entries from Central Florida’s school children. This year’s show is called Writes of Spring 2017: Voice Your Choice and takes place on February 3, 2017. The REP continues its successful community engagement programs with such groups as Edgewood Children’s Ranch, Girl Scouts of America, and the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. The REP also continues its ELTA program, in partnership with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Orange County Public Schools, focused on training teaching artists for school residencies.
There are also a few special events this season as well! The REP will participate in the 3rd Annual UCF Celebrates The Arts at The Dr. Phillips Center from April 7-15, 2017. Racial tensions at a high school are explored in The Drama Club, a staged reading, taking place at The REP on March 10, 2017.
A VIP Benefit performance of Disney’s The Little Mermaid features an exclusive catered reception and a chance drawing for baskets of fabulous goodies before watching a private of performance of the show on July 28. Afterwards, mingle with the cast during a dessert meet-and-greet.
The REP’s 4th Annual Holiday Family Gala is the only holiday gala created specifically for families and features a private holiday dinner, themed photo booth, visits with Santa, and opportunities to win gift baskets before an exclusive performance of Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf in December. Detailed ticketing information is forthcoming.
The REP also provides ASL-interpreted shows and Sensory-Friendly performances, specially designed for children with autism, Asperger’s, or other sensory processing disorders and special needs. Backstage tours are held on select dates, for which tickets will soon be available.
Public performances of The REP’s season productions are Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm and 5:30pm, with tickets starting at $14. School matinee performances are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. For more information about Season Subscriptions, Field Trip Reservations, or The REP’s 2016 – 2017 season, please call 407.896.7365 or visit www.orlandorep.com.