Photo by Shellia Dee Bailey
Arts and Entertainment - Staff Picks
Published: July 13, 2011
Best psych experiment disguised as a vacation
Crowd control at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter
6000 Universal Blvd., 407-363-8000; universalorlando.com
The high-tech thrills and top-notch theming of Universal’s Harry Potter attractions have pushed ticket sales at Islands of Adventure to record numbers in the year since Hogwarts opened its doors to vacationing Muggles. Along with those turning turnstiles, though, came the kind of crushing crowds unseen since the exodus from Egypt. To cope, Universal implemented a mind-bending, B.F. Skinner-esque array of queues and corrals that would make Temple Grandin gag. Stand in a line to enter the park, then stand in another line for a timed entry ticket, then come back hours later to stand in yet another line to enter Potterville, before you have the privilege of standing in even more lines for the actual rides and shops. Take our advice: Unless you can afford an on-site hotel stay (with included express passes), avoid the place like the plague until after August.
Best long-form, legally binding performance art protest
Brian Feldman Marries Anybody (Parts 1, 2 and 3)
Brian Feldman Jumps Off Something. Brian Feldman Eats Something Else. Brian Feldman Hugs Someone For An Uncomfortably Long Period Of Time. We’ve scratched our heads at some of the peculiar projects perpetrated by Orlando’s most notorious performance artist, but we applaud his most ambitious undertaking for entering the realm of political protest (whether or not it was art). In a year-spanning theatrical triptych that concluded this January, Feldman and casual acquaintance Hannah Miller were engaged, wedded, then had their relationship annulled. By highlighting the absurd ease of heterosexual unions, they brought national media attention to Orlando’s marriage equality movement, a welcome change from Florida’s usual image of intolerance.
Best proof Orlando doesn’t need Faith (Prince)
Andrea Canny as Adelaide in Guys and Dolls
A cry of disappointment could be heard from Orlando’s arts aficionados when Broadway star Faith Prince dropped out of last fall’s concert staging of Guys and Dolls at the Bob Carr in order to star in the national tour of Billy Elliot. (Hey, can you blame her?) But Orlando’s own Andrea Canny didn’t merely fill Prince’s pumps as the adenoidal Adelaide in the Orlando Philharmonic and Mad Cow co-production; she and co-star Philip Nolen outshone putative leads Davis Gaines and Sarah Brown, delivering a master class on how romantic musical comedy should be done. Canny proves that, though we might not have adequate acoustics (yet), Orlando’s talent can easily stand toe-to-toe with New York City’s.
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