Originally published by By Leah Shewmaker of The Villages Daily Sun
If you missed previous live performances of “More Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber … An Encore,” “Menopause The Musical” or “The World of Musicals,” you’re in luck. These popular musical shows are returning to The Villages in January, at Savannah Center or The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, and tickets can be found at thevillagesentertainment.com or any Villages Box Office location.
To kick off the new year, members of the Central Florida Lyric Opera will present “More Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber … An Encore” at 4 and 7 p.m. Jan. 2 at Savannah Center. The show features Kayla Tassone, Sara Delbeato, Ashley Thunder, Victoria Sexton, Scotty Tomas, Justin Scarlat, Miguel Salas and a six-piece orchestra ensemble with Bill Doherty on piano.
Doherty, general director of Central Florida Lyric Opera, said he and Angie Rose, a former Broadway orchestra-pit keyboard player and conductor, compiled some of Webber’s best pieces for the musical tribute.
He said Central Florida Lyric Opera performed the show at Savannah Center in 2019 and audiences loved it.
“Villagers flocked to see that show, so I thought it would be nice to perform an expanded version,” he said. “Webber is such a prolific musical theater composer and is probably one of the most loved composers alive today. He wrote so many hit shows and there is a wealth of music to draw from.”
Doherty said he kept some of the biggest numbers from the first show, but also included other songs audiences didn’t hear last time.
Performers will sing hits from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Cats” and more.
The musical motif of “Cats” winds itself throughout the show, he said.
“The main theme of this tribute show is love,” Doherty said. “It tells all the different love stories taking place within these shows, as well as the different kinds of love that exist. At the end, we close with ‘Love Changes Everything,’ which turns the focus away from romantic love and toward the love of humanity.”
Next on the roster is “Menopause The Musical,” which comes to Savannah Center at 4 and 7 p.m. Jan. 6-7.
“This show was a popular hit,” said Sarah DeCapua, marketing manager for The Villages Entertainment. “We’re excited to bring it back.”
This well-known production has toured the world and follows four women who meet at a lingerie sale and bond over memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats and more. The musical parody is set to songs from the 1960s to the ’80s.
DeCapua said the musical played in The Villages in 2019, and got such great reviews they scheduled multiple performances this time.
“It’s a hilarious musical,” DeCapua said. “It takes something that can be a difficult topic and turns it into something they can laugh about.”
Audiences also have the chance to attend another show chock-full of musical favorites.
An international cast of hand-picked talent from the UK, Ireland and Australia will present “The World of Musicals” at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at The Sharon.
The performance includes fan favorites from “Evita,” “Les Miserables,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia” and “Rock of Ages.”
The performers also will highlight newer musicals like “Sister Act II,” as well as classics by Rogers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and others.
Taylor Adkins, senior marketing coordinator for The Sharon and The Studio Theatre Tierra del Sol, said “The World of Musicals” stopped at The Sharon last year.
She expects the show will bring in a big crowd.
“I think people will hear some favorite classic songs,” Adkins said. “They do a lot of the hits from the golden age of American musicals, but also shows like ‘Dirty Dancing.’”
Adkins said this performance includes a lot of songs residents know and love.
“One of the highlights of this show is it’s for the entire family,” she said. “This one you can bring the grandkids to. They might not know the songs as well, but they’ll enjoy it.”