Go 'Over the Rainbow' with Theater at the J


You may know the names Gershwin, Porter, Lennon and McCartney, but do you know the name Arlen?

That’s what motivated Kerry Giese, director of The Roth Family JCC of Greater Orlando’s Theater at the J to stage The Wonderful Wizard of Song: An Evening with Harold Arlen in their Harriett & Hymen Lake Cultural Center Auditorium from December 17-20.

Harold Arlen is best-known for classics like Over the Rainbow, Stormy Weather, It’s Only a Paper Moon, Get Happy, Blues in the Night, and Come Rain or Come Shine—all of which will be performed in the upcoming cabaret-style performance.

“When I was first introduced to Harold Arlen, I was the stage manager of a theater in Virginia,” Giese said.  “Two very talented men came to that theater and performed a revue of Mr. Arlen’s music, and I was hooked.”

Unlike other shows, The Wizard of Song has no storyline other than the music. It’s not about characters, costumes, props, plots, or anything, except the music.

Directed by Giese, the show features Amanda Hudson Giese, Chris McCabe, Desiree Perez and Frank Siano.

“All four of these performers could be stars on Broadway, if they had just chosen to live in New York instead of Florida,” Giese said. “Adding David Foust on piano and arrangement by Ned Wilkinson just made the circle complete. The quality of this production could easily rival anything offered on any stage, anywhere.”

The JCC welcomes all ages to attend, including families with children. Tickets are $20, $25 or $30, depending on section. Readers of the Heritage can take $5 off each ticket with the discount code WIZARDHERITAGE.

There are only three performances—Thursday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 20, 1 p.m. Tickets are available at orlandojcc.org/theater. For more information or to buy tickets over the phone, call 407-621-4044.


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