Ella & The Bossa Beat is a Brazilian jazz and pop band. Bossa nova is a style of samba music that was developed in Brazil in the late 1950s. Add that sound to jazz and you get the unique sound of this band. Ella’s soulful voice and smooth piano playing sound great accompanied by her father’s rhythmic drumming and the talented bass playing by Marco Boroquez.
Ella was born in Miami, raised in Brazil, and now resides in Orlando. She performs in both English and Portuguese.
This performance took place at The Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. It is a great independent performance venue with a distinctive art gallery in the lobby.
Cost of a ticket: $20 PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It + Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother
Josephine is a musical about the life of Josephine Baker, the first African American international superstar. The show covers her life from being born in St. Louis, to moving to Paris, to returning to the states. Along the way she stars in many films, has many interracial marriages and relationships, spies for the French Resistance, fights for civil rights, and adopts 12 children. She lived a very full life!
Tymisha Harris is fantastic as Josephine Baker. She beams with confidence and swagger as she glides from song to song while changing costumes, acting out the story, and dancing all over the stage. So much fits into the 75 minutes, but still the audience is left wanting more. She has been performing this musical for a while before this engagement at Orlando Shakes.
Songs for a New World is a song cycle musical. This means that it doesn’t follow a narrative, but rather it is a series of songs with the same theme, which in this case is love, life, and a new world. Thus, it is more like a concert than a musical.
The cast are all wearing masks for the entire show. Clear face shields would be a better choice so that the audience can see the emotions on their faces as they sing.
The entire cast (Aladdin “A.J.” Demps, Sarah Anne Mae, Jared Sierra, and Megan K. Hill) is very talented. They all have great powerful voices that make it feel like a big Broadway show. They sing with such passion. Also, the piano playing by Heather Langs is fantastic. It all goes together very well.