July 2011: It could be successfully argued that Orlando is theater, from the theme park workers to the rides and shows. Given that creativity, it’s only natural that employees and children of employees have a high interest in acting, directing, and the jobs that go with it. If looking for a night out – dinner and a show – consider the following:
Cirque du Soleil
Located at Downtown Disney, Cirque du Soleil is a unique blend of circus acts and performance art. People who don’t like circus acts find they love it, and people who don’t like theater are mesmerized. It takes place in a building dedicated to the production, and it’s a Broadway-quality show. Adult tickets cost from $60 to $135.
Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group has a permanent home at Universal Studios’ CityWalk. It’s tough to explain, but “weird” comes to mind – “weird” in a good way. With nine Blue Man shows internationally, the show’s popularity is unquestioned; however, words don’t adequately describe the bizarre situations, visual images, and humor. Few guests are disappointed. Adult tickets cost from $64 and higher; children $25.
A traveling Broadway series brings the touring productions of current New York shows to Orlando. Each production visits for about two weeks, and one may be in town during your stay. All run at the Carr Performing Arts Center (known as “the Bob Carr” or just “the Bob” locally), which is close to Interstate 4 in downtown Orlando. Check the website for show schedules and tickets.
Downtown Disney’s House of Blues is a dedicated venue for concerts, as is the Hard Rock at Universal Studios’ CityWalk. Otherwise, The Orlando Sentinel keeps an updated list of concert performers and schedules.
For some Orlando shows, “small” is a misnomer because it includes the Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and small-but-good Mad Cow Theater. For a complete list of current offerings, check The Orlando Sentinel.
Disney guests can enjoy free older movies at the campground and near the Boardwalk Resort. At Disney World, the official movie theater is at Downtown Disney. At Universal, it’s part of CityWalk. A complete list of current movies near the tourist areas can be found through a number of websites and via iPhone and other apps.