The arts are built on community — and community includes everyone, whether you’re young or young at heart! UCF Celebrates the Arts 2021 will feature several events that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy together, from a children’s opera that puts a unique spin on Cinderella to a play about the grumpiest seven-year-old boy in the world.
Kicking off the festival will be a performance of the children’s opera Carmenella. In this zany retelling of Cinderella, the stepsisters are gang members, the ball is a bullfight, the prince is a toreador and the Fairy Godmother is the Hairy Godmother. “It features elements from the original opera, Carmen, and a different version of the very well-known piece ‘Habanera,’” explains Zoemar Lebron, a junior majoring in music performance and playing the titular role of Carmenella. “I think those who are familiar with the original version will find it entertaining to see a new version,” she adds.
The show includes family-friendly rock and roll parodies — the Hairy Godmother sings “Why Be That Way?” and the Village People’s hit “YMCA,” while the bull sings George Thoroughgood’s “Bad to the Bone.” In the end, the stepsisters realize that violence is a no-win proposition, and everyone learns that being yourself and trying to make a positive difference for others makes for a happy ending.
“I think that after the year we’ve had, this performance is a perfect way to conclude the year,” says Lebron. “Carmenella is a funny and lighthearted family opera with a very positive message for audiences, and especially kids. So, I think it’s a wonderful way to introduce opera to the younger audiences while also entertaining them and the adults.”
Carmenella will be performed as part of A Knight of Opera on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, or $10 with a UCF ID. You can reserve your tickets here.
The Grumpiest Boy in the World is a Theatre for Young Audiences show about Zachary, a grumpy seven-year-old boy who longs to be more than average. Trying to find a way to stand out, he sets off on an adventure to a land of giants, flying things and hairy creatures to discover that anyone is special, no matter how plain or ordinary they think they are. The performance incorporates whimsical costumes and sets made from ordinary objects — even the grumpiest little ones in the audience will find their imaginations running wild during this performance!
“In The Grumpiest Boy in the World, we use puppetry, movement, and recorded sound to bring Zachary’s imagination to life,” share Sage Tokach, a second-year graduate student in the Theatre for Young Audiences MFA program and director of the show. “This is a show about expressing and validating our emotions, forming unexpected friendships, and finding the small things that make us special.”
Don’t miss The Grumpiest Boy in the World at UCF Celebrates the Arts on April 10 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $10, or $5 with a UCF ID. You can reserve your tickets here.