Keep Calm and Candy on

Knock knock…
Who’s there?
Phillip who?
Phillip my bag with Halloween candy please!

Start stocking up for The Villages Entertainment 2022 Candy Drive!

We are collecting candy for the Hometown Halloween Trunk N Treat so ghouls and goblins ages 12 years old and under can have a safe and fun environment to trick or treat this year in Brownwood Paddock Square.

How do programmers like their candy corn? Byte-sized!

We will be collecting candy September 19th through October 21st. You can visit us at:

When you donate 3 bags of wrapped, unopened candy at October Market Nights, you will be entered in a drawing for a Spooky Basket including free drinks from our Town Square Bar Huts, front row tickets to Haunted Illusions at Savannah Center and more sweet surprises!

Where do ghosts get their candy? At the ghost-ery store!

Hometown Halloween will take place at Brownwood Paddock Square for our first ever two-day Halloween celebration, 4pm – 9pm with acts like The Rundown Band, Blue Stone Circle, Resident Performer Groups, and more!

Two days of fun means double the candy will be needed at this event. We appreciate any donations that can be made. To make sure you are entered into the drawing for a Spooky Basket make sure to attend the Market Nights:

Oct 4th | Spanish Springs
Oct 5th | Lake Sumter Landing
Oct 6th | Brownwood Paddock Square

Oct 18th | Spanish Springs
Oct 19th | Lake Sumter Landing
Oct 20th | Brownwood Paddock Square

Meet Linda Romanello

They say it takes a Village, and that sure is an understatement. Victory Productions is one of the arts outreach organization responsible for bringing some of the exciting and innovative entertainment offerings to The Savannah Center. They are adept at delivering memorable performances and just as skilled at developing a team behind the scenes making it all work seamlessly.

Victory’s mission is to build a team full of the best and brightest: those who exemplify professionalism and those brimming with passion for live entertainment. Simply put, we want to round out our team with individuals who, if they weren’t working a live performance, they’d be sitting front row. After all, we are fans first!

Victory Productions is proud to introduce to The Villages our newest team member, Linda Romanello.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a theatrical Stage Manager?

I’m from El Paso, Texas, and I started college pursuing a degree in performing arts. I was always involved in choir in Middle School and Theatre in High School, and my goal was to have a career in theater. While studying at the University of Texas at El Paso, I accepted a position in Orlando with the Disney College Program. Leave it to Disney to lead to romance. I met and fell in love with my husband. Quickly after that, we were married and got pregnant. My degree program required students to complete a semester in scene building or working backstage. These tasks, however, weren’t ideal while pregnant. So my Director and Advisor suggested that I take the semester and focus on Stage management, and I truly fell in love with Stage Management. I transferred to UCF, where I entered the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage Managing program. Ever since graduation, I’ve been working as a freelance stage manager.

Since joining Victory Productions as a Stage Manager, what shows have you stage managed at The Savannah Center? 

Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings in December of 2020, Guys and Dolls in the fall of 2021, and Always…Patsy Cline earlier this year.  

From Stage Managing, and for about a year now, youve been working as part of Victorys backstage management team. What are some of the most significant differences between working backstage on theatrical performances versus concert performances?

On the theatrical team, I’m part of the process of bringing a show from concept to fruition. On the concert side, because I’m not part of creating the show, I am just part of managing and facilitating the day of the show. I’m also sort of a spectator. I’m often seeing the show for the first time. It’s exhilarating to be backstage and have a front-row seat to these performances. It’s also fascinating learning how shows are booked, how they’re promoted, and how they’re marketed.  

What is the most surprising thing youve learned about the concert side of the entertainment business?

The delicate nature of the relationships. Victory Productions often welcomes return performers and shows built on solid foundational relationships. With Theatricals, the actors, directors, and stage management have a strong respect and relationship needed for collaboration. With concerts, I was shocked at how similar of a bond. Returning acts know us and trust Victory and The Villages with their products. 

What has been your favorite show youve worked on at The Savannah Center since you began in this new position?

One Night in Memphis has been my favorite show so far. It makes sense that it would be my favorite because, at its core, it’s a theatrical production married with a concert. 

What new shows are you most excited about coming to the Savannah center? 

Tonights the Night: The Tribute to Rod Stewart (October 11th) and In the Air Tonight: Celebrating the Music of Phil Collins & Genesis (October 22nd) because I’m confident those will become Villages’ fan-favorites. I’m also very excited about Constantine Maroulis Performing the Hits of Journey & Foreigner (October 26th) because I grew up with American Idol. I fondly remember watching him during his season on the show. I’m excited to see where his journey has brought him and that The Villages residents will get to see him live on stage. 

We have some of Villages Fan Favorites returning, as well. Absolute Queen, The Rocketman Show, and Almost ABBA. Can you tell us about your experiences working those shows during previous visits to the Savannah Center?

Absolute Queen (October 19th) is always so fun! They are full-out, the show has so much heart, and it’s unbelievably authentic when they perform. Almost ABBA (October 20th) is pure nostalgia. They have the looks and movements down, and it’s so much fun with the other staff backstage. They are dancing along with them backstage, mirroring all the moves. And they share stories of the songs, invoking memories of people and places that transport them back to the days of disco. And, The Rocketman Show (October 25th) is a giant sing-along. Residents know every word to every song, and the energy in the Savannah Center is tangible. 

Is there anything youd like to add?

It warms my heart to sit in the audience, watching the residents, and see how much joy and excitement entertainment brings to The Villages—feeling the energy and seeing the smiles. I think that makes me feel we are doing something important. 

Something’s Coming

“Something’s coming, something good…”

These lines from the musical West Side Story are a great preface to the upcoming Savannah Center show.

With iconic lyrics and sweeping melodies from songs like Tonight and I Feel Pretty to songs with exciting dances and a Latin beat like Mambo and The Rumble, this Romeo and Juliet retelling has been a staple in the musical theatre circles since its stage debut in the 50s. After experiencing a release of the movie last year, Village Resident Group leaders Alex Santoriello of Pro-Am Performing Arts and Joan Knapton of KC Productions are thrilled to team up and unveil their very own production of West Side Story.

Joan Knapton, leader of KC Productions, shared her enthusiasm for the upcoming show. “The music is gripping and enchanting and along with the dance, this show is a classic. I was so fortunate to get it from the house in New York in order to produce it here in The Villages.”

Throughout the rehearsal process, members of KC Productions and Pro-am Performing Arts have been putting in the work to make this classic their own. “Our cast loves the challenge this magnificent show brings. They are so proud of themselves and they are surprised that they can do so much more than they ever thought they could.”

Kicking off rehearsals with a workshop in June, Joan credits choreographer Diane Vargas for her efforts in leading a workshop where performers could build on their dance skill. “That workshop set the stage for the real stuff.” With so much choreography and a tight knit group, the cast was bound to share a few laughs. When asked about the intensity of the choreography, Joan said, “With the leaps and jumps you can imagine once in a while someone falls on their behind and that is a hoot.”

One of the larger group numbers, Mambo, or the dance at the gym, is a selection of the cast’s favorite moments. “Sassy, fast, and a challenge,” we can expect to feel the friction between the Sharks and the Jets introducing some great tension on the stage!

KC Productions and Pro-Am Performing Arts have paired up and are offering 10% off when you purchase the bundle for West Side Story this Fall and Man of La Mancha in Spring. Right now, Man of La Mancha is only available through the bundle—so make sure not to miss out!

Check out a Villages Box Office Location near you or get your tickets online here.

West Side Story will be at Savannah Center October 29, 30, and 31st at 3pm and 7pm. Come see this delightful cast and keep up with upcoming information on Man of La Mancha coming this March!