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Arts & Culture

Live Active Cultures

Seth recovers from the annual Best of Orlando party with a slight case of art overload

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After the performance, in which Knight and Canny reprised their roles as Snow White and Ariel, I spoke with director Fiely Matias, who (along with writer-composer Dennis T. Giacino) founded the fondly remembered “Oops Guys” comedy troupe. Matias caught me up on the journey Disenchanted! (they’ve dropped the “Bitches of the Kingdom” subtitle) has taken in the last two years. Following the Patrons’ Pick-awarded Fringe run, producers Don Frantz (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) and Jonathan Pollard (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) stepped forward to prepare the show for an off-Broadway run.

Since then, the script has been extensively reworked and workshopped in community theaters and colleges from Pennsylvania to Missouri. The show has expanded to 90 minutes with a “slight book” that puts the characters in a vaudeville setting (described as “Altar Boyz with princesses”), and features new songs, sets and costumes. “The big difference is we have a budget,” laughs Matias, “where Dennis and I had no money before.” Of course, not everything has changed: “Dennis and I are still sleeping on floors in New York because until the show is actually a hit and licensed, we’re still starving artists in a sense.”

The Abbey performances will be followed by an 11-week stand at Tampa’s Straz Center, all intended to “build momentum” toward an anticipated 2014 Manhattan mounting. But the reason behind Disenchanted!’s Orlando encore is also emotional: “We wanted to come back here because this is where it started, and we wanted to share that journey with the O-town folks.”

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