If there is one part of Orlando that I really don’t visit all that often, it would be Downtown Orlando. Although I have very fond memories of certain places within the towering shadows the downtown skyline, over the years I have somehow overlooked it. Perhaps it was the lure of the attractions area that grew stronger in my college years or now the desire to hideaway in the calm of my hometown, Seminole County. Because of the return of the musical comedy, Disenchanted, I had the opportunity to become enchanted with a new Downtown Orlando theater and venue, The Abbey.
Don’t take my avoidance of the Downtown Orlando area as dislike for the area. Over the years, this metropolis has blossomed and become abundantly artistic. I suppose because it has become unfamiliar territory I have been nervous to return. However, if The Abbey is any indication of the plethora of treasures to behold in the revitalized Downtown Orlando area, then count me in.
Now, before I move on, I must share more about what drew me to The Abbey in the first place, Disenchanted. This sassy, anti-fairy tale musical comedy got its start here in Orlando. I heard about this little production because of some pals from Walt Disney World Entertainment. Just one year ago, this all girl show was the hit of the Fringe festival and then gained popularity doing a few shows at the Shakespeare Theater in Loch Haven Park. Since then the show has toured and made it to New York City.
It is currently having a homecoming at The Abbey until October 27th. It is wonderful to see how the production has grown and improved. Just one year ago the show barely had any costumes, props, or sets. Now, after a return from the Big Apple these bad ass princesses have gotten a little help from their fairy godmother (or in this case godfather, considering the show was created by two men). Although I am a Disney fan and will always be a true romantic at heart, the show lets any Disney fan let their hair down. Of course those that are sick of the sugary illusion that Disney princess movies “Sell” will love all the jabs at the corporate powerhouse. Plus, each of the performers are marvelously talented, each one is a joy to watch!
The venue itself is very enchanting, a great concept. Billed as a mixed use venue (learn more here), The Abbey can host a multitude of events. Armed with a beautiful bar and some impressive decor elements, it is a unique setting for weddings and other private events. And when The Abbey isn’t hosting a private event or a live show, they crank up the music and turn into a nightclub. With all these different types of events it can be a little confusing to know what is happening when, so be sure to visit their website or like them on Facebook so you know what’s going down at The Abbey.
(Tip: Valet parking is $5 – be sure to tip – and to me it is so worth it! I hate trying to find parking in Downtown Orlando)
Be sure to catch Disenchanted while you can. These princesses have their eye on the Big Apple yet again, seems Snow White still has a thing for tempting fruit. As for me, I will definitely visit The Abbey again and think there are many more return trips to Downtown Orlando in my future.
- True Enchantment To Be Found In “Disenchanted!” (mix1051.cbslocal.com)
- Dripping with Artistry: Orlando’s live show “DRIP” (thisfloridalife.com)