Thursday, October 16, 2008


MurderWatch Mystery Shutters

The long-running Orlando dinner attraction, MurderWatch Mystery Theatre, will give its last performance on Saturday, December 27. That may seems a ways off, but since the show only performs on weekends, there are just six performances left.

If you never saw this fun show, try to grab one of the these performnces and savor a bit of Orlando history as it fades into memory.

From the Dreamland Productions announcement:
After 20 years in the Dinner Theatre business, the end of an era is here. Yesterday, we were informed by both of our Orlando area locations that our Dinner Shows have been cancelled. My Big Fat Grease Wedding is cancelled immediately. It tried to defy the odds as a new dinner show, opening just a few months ago, but the odds won. MurderWatch Mystery Theatre, which has been running continuously for 20 years, 19 of those years at the Regal Sun Resort (formerly the Grosvenor Resort) will perform its last public show on Saturday, December 27, 2008. The economy really is bad. We just can't overcome it.

Here are the remaining dates of 6pm performances at the Regal Sun Resort, 1850 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL: All remaining Saturdays in October and November PLUS Friday December 5, Saturday December 13, Saturday December 20, and Saturday December 27. All dinner shows start at 6pm; we suggest arrival by 5:30pm. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED - 407-828-4444 ext.4. Our web site has Two-For-One coupons available. Print out a coupon and bring it with you when you check in at the restaurant. Shows are held inside the hotel on the Fifth Floor (Mezzanine Level) in the Lakeview Restaurant.

We thank you in advance for attending MurderWatch Mystery dinner show, a show where YOU get caught in the act! We greatly appreciate your support over the last two decades.

Dreamland Productions will continue to do ALL shows as convention entertainment. So, agents, please continue to hire us. We are a fully equipped touring theatrical company and we will continue this portion of our business. We already have convention shows booked through next summer, and hope to get additional convention show bookings. Please recommend us to your convention clients. After this December, please remove any advertisements/reviews for the dinner show at the Regal Sun Resort.

The end of an era, indeed.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Change Is Good at Mad Cow

Orlando's Mad Cow Theater has had a run of bad luck, with plays they had planned becoming unavailable But artistic director Alan Bruun is making the best of it.

Here's the letter I got from him:
Dear Friends and Patrons of Mad Cow Theatre:

Years ago I worked with a choreographer who always wore a T-shirt that said on the front “This is a Change”, and on the back, “Change is Good”. I use that phrase a lot in rehearsal, and now I am using it again as I write to you: This is a Change - Change is Good.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, two of our previously announced productions have become unavailable: Jane Wagner’s The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe has been restricted in our area, and Mary Chase’s Harvey has become unavailable pending resolution of a legal dispute between the author’s estate and the licensing company.

Needless to say we are unhappy to have to postpone these two fine plays, but as the saying goes - Change is Good. We have been able to replace both plays with exciting new offerings that we believe will please and excite you, our patrons:

First, the Stage Right Season will open with Irish playwright Brian Friel’s remarkable Molly Sweeney, featuring Mad Cow favorites Katrina Ploof (The Cherry Orchard) and Sam Hazell (Galileo). This haunting and hypnotic work tells the story of a blind woman who is given a chance to regain her vision, and the consequences to her, her husband, and the doctor who treats her. Molly Sweeney will open November 14 and play for 4 weeks.

The final play in our Stage Left season brings back one of my all-time favorite playwrights - Thornton Wilder. His hilarious comedy The Matchmaker (the play that inspired Hello, Dolly!) will take over the dates originally held by Harvey. This turn-of-the-century romance features the quick-witted Dolly Levi manipulating love-matches with everyone she meets, including herself.

I am sorry to have to make these changes after we had announced our season to you, and rest assured we will be producing both The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe and Harvey once they become available to us. However, I feel sure you will enjoy Molly Sweeney and The Matchmaker, and we are proud to be adding them to our 2008-2009 season.

If you have any questions or concerns about these changes please feel free to contact me. I look forward to seeing you soon at Mad Cow Theatre.

He's sure right about one thing. Molly Sweeney is "remarkable." I saw the original New York production with Jason Robards and Alfred Molina. It still haunts me.

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Manta Construction Pics

And speaking of changes at SeaWorld, Johnny Upsidedown has some neat pics of the ongoing construction of the new Manta "flying" roller coaster.

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A'Lure Replaces Odyssea at SeaWorld

A new show, called "A'Lure: The Call of the Ocean," has replaced Odyssea at SeaWorld's Nautilus Theater.

From what I can tell, it looks like it remains close in spirit to the old show, which is to say it's vaguely reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil. Some acts appear to have been rretained with some new ones added.

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IOA's Dueling Dragons Duel No More

Not the coaster!! As of now it's still roaring right along in Lost Continent at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

But the Blue and red dragons that graced the entrance to the ride are gone in preparation for their replacement, which will be .... well, I wish I knew.

Ah well, no pain, no gain.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008


New SeaWorld Book Is On The Way

SeaWorld, Discovery Cove & Aquatica
My latest guidebook to the Orlando area, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove & Aquatica: Orlando's Salute to the Seas, is at the printer. It won't be released officially until early 2009 (that's the book business for you!)

But I figured, "Why wait?"

So I set up a page to offer the new book -- plus the new 2009 edition of my Universal Orlando guide -- at special "pre-publication" prices. You'll find it here:

It's a pretty sweet deal, so click on through.

Just so's you'll know, the new book contains in-depth chapters on all five Anheuser Busch (a.k.a. Worlds of Discovery) theme parks in central Florida. In addition to the ones in the title, I cover Busch Gardens Africa and Adventure Island, both in Tampa.

I've also included a chapter on a bunch of luxury resort hotels close to SeaWorld, much as I covered the three luxury hotels at Universal Orlando Resort in the Universal guide. So you can treat yourself to an all-in-one themed vacation, if that's your thing.

Enjoy! (Because these low prices won't last forever.)

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