Broadway star headlines Ocala Civic Theatre fundraising gala

Broadway star headlines Ocala Civic Theatre fundraising gala
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 11:56 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -From Broadway to center stage at the Ocala Civic Theatre, actor Grant Norman was the feature performer at a fundraising gala.

“Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone,” said Norman. He traveled from Broadway to not only perform for an audience but also mentor students with similar aspirations.

Hundreds were at the theatre for a fundraising gala where Norman recalled his time in Beauty and the Beast and the Phantom of the Opera. He’s played the role of “Phantom” longer than anyone in Broadway history.

“So your job is to continue to explore and open up your heart and soul and your mind within the character to be however you want to be in this sort of dream,” added Norman. “This movie in your mind when you’re playing that role.”

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Proceeds and donations from the fundraiser directly benefit the Ocala Civic Theatre, specifically the last show of the season, Beauty and the Beast that debuts next month.

“You have to wear your belle dress and I was like…oh it is a beauty and the beast themed party,” said attendee, Annabelle Zedler.

The soon-to-be college Freshman showed up as Disney Princess Belle to support her younger sister who was set to perform for the crowd. Zedler calls her sister ‘best friend’, then shared her pre-show encouragement speech.

“Just act like there’s nobody in the room,” said Zedler. “Just you know, it’s just me and we’re playing like a little game, like we used to when we were kids, where we dress up in dresses and give performances to each other.”

And some never stop performing like Zedler’s sister and more aspiring performers at the Ocala Civic Theatre.

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