The Sharon to Showcase Local Talent In Upcoming Shows

Heather Ard is set to perform in Still Singing! One-woman cabaret on Nov. 20-21. Ard is a longtime entertainment professional and performs at venues around The Villages.

The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center will offer five new opportunities for live entertainment in November and December. Featuring stand-up comedy, cabarets and classical concerts, The Sharon staff are excited to showcase talent which has been cooped up in the past several months, said Elizabeth Constant, booking coordinator at The Sharon.

Some of that talent comes from Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

“Local talent is preferred so that we aren’t forcing an artist to travel or put themselves or our backstage crew at risk,” Constant said. “And to be honest, we’re really lucky we have so much talent in The Villages already — I could fill every night with different acts and not run out.”

The Sharon will follow COVID-19 safety procedures including 20% capacity, socially-distanced seating, hand sanitizer stations, self ticket scanning, digital programs and a closed lobby with no concessions sold.

Doors will open 30 minutes prior to shows, and patrons will go straight to their seats upon arrival. Tickets can be purchased online at thevillagesentertainment.com or at any Villages Box Office location.

Norm Stulz, Stand-up Comedy – 7 p.m. Nov. 19: Comedian Norm Stulz has performed professionally since 1981 and made appearances on Comedy Central, Showtime, NBC, CBS and A&E’s “Evening at the Improv.” He has shared stages with the likes of Tim Allen, Sinbad, Ellen DeGeneres and others and was the regional winner of the Johnnie Walker Comedy Competition as well as a National Lampoon-sponsored contest. Known as “Michigan’s Premier Storyteller,” his anecdotes include plenty of punchlines. “His performance will be classic stand-up comedy that our community can relate to,” Constant said. Fellow stand-ups Al Aprill and Matt McClowry will open the show, which will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 19.

Still Singing! One-woman cabaret starring Heather Ard, featuring Bill Doherty – 7 p.m. Nov. 20-21: Having worked in entertainment as a singer, performer, stage manager, choreographer and director, Ard has performed in productions including “The Sound of Music” and “Beauty and the Beast” and can still be found performing locally at venues like St. Timothy’s Catholic Church. She previously appeared in The Sharon lobby for her cabaret performance “My Life is a Musical” in Dec. 2018. Similar to that show, “Still Singing!” will include stories about Ard’s life in The Villages, raising her three children and being an avid Catholic in the music world, Constant said. Bill Doherty will accompany her on piano for the shows at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20 and 21.

A Quiet Christmas – 7 p.m. Dec. 2-5: Longtime friends and colleagues Angie Rose and Ryan Loeckel have been performing together for nearly 30 years and came up with the concept for “A Quiet Christmas” a few years ago. With Angie Rose on piano, Loeckel on violin and both on vocals, they will perform holiday favorites including “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Carol of the Bells.” They will also perform an original and favorite of Angie Rose’s, “A Quiet Christmas,” which was inspired by the concept. “I think people will leave (‘A Quiet Christmas’) with a feeling of holiday hope and peace,” Angie Rose said. “It’s what we all truly need right now.”

Bach to Broadway – 7 p.m.

Dec. 8-9: Studio Theatre Tierra del Sol family David Paul Rowan, Ryan Loeckel and music director Gary Powell will return to The Sharon for Bach to Broadway at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9. With Rowan and Loeckel on violin and vocals and Powell on piano, they will perform popular pieces spanning 300 years of music from classical Baroque and Romantic opera to folk and musical theater. The trio performed a similar concert in The Sharon lobby to a sold-out crowd in April 2019, Constant said. “We are excited to host them in the auditorium,” she said.

Happy Times! A tribute to Danny Kaye starring Wesley Slade – 7 p.m. Dec. 11: Award-winning performer Wesley Slade has appeared on many Florida stages including Mad Cow Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre and Palm Beach Dramaworks and can still be found onstage at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World. Previously held in The Sharon lobby in Sept. 2019, Slade will return to perform the cabaret at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 in the theater. Originally premiering at The Winter Park Playhouse, it has since been performed in venues throughout Florida. Slade will perform songs by Kaye like “Anatole of Paris,” “Minnie the Moocher,” “Tchaikovsky” and “Happy Times” and include insight into Kaye’s life and career. “Wesley Slade embodies Danny Kaye and really shows the stage a true star,” Consant said.

Staff writer Liz Coughlin can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5304, or liz.coughlin@thevillagesmedia.com.