The name Jakob Karr may sound familiar to you. Karr was the runner-up on the sixth season of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The competition show bolted his career and Karr moved to New York City where he’s starred in several movies, shows and has traveled the world showcasing his unique dance talents.
The Orlando native is back home, taking the stage in his own show, ‘Ain’t Done Bad.’
“This show is a love letter for people who struggle with identity and a thank you note for those who helped them find their way,” Karr said.
Karr said he produced and choreographed ‘Ain’t Done Bad’ during the pandemic.
“Everything was shut down. The performance industry was hit so hard. We were the first people in New York to be absolutely done and none of us had been dancing. I got this opportunity to present a show at the Orlando Fringe Festival and I jumped at it,” Karr said.
Karr said he wrote and choreographed the show in just a few short weeks. The show sold out at the Orlando Fringe Festival, a two-week immersive cultural festival featuring hundreds of theatrical performances and outdoor concerts, and was also named ‘Best Show’ in the Critics’ Choice Awards.
“‘Ain’t Done Bad’ follows this tale of a young gay boy growing up in the South. It’s certainly not autobiographical but based on elements that I felt and my first boyfriends and what they went through,” Karr said.
For the show, Karr features several dancers from New York, showcasing a variety of dance styles.
“We’re all from different aspects of dancing. You’ll see a lot of ballet and acro-moments. I wanted to celebrate dance as a whole,” Karr said.
The show is currently running at a former ballet studio and one of Orlando’s newest venues, the Renaissance Theater Company.
“I’ve been doing theater for as long as I can remember. I kind of always knew one day I’d have my own company. To be honest, this building came as a surprise. When the shutdown happened for COVID, my friend was searching for a house and came across this listing,” said the Renaissance Theater Company Co-founder Donald Rupe.
Rupe and his business partner purchased the building, making renovations and opening the Renaissance Theater.
“The word renaissance is about rebirth and new fresh ideas. We only do original works that hopefully have been seen maybe once before or never,” Rupe said.
Rupe said the company provides a venue, funding and technical support for local artists like Karr, bringing his vision to life.
“Bringing the show back home is a full circle moment for me,” Karr said. “It’s a little bit of a fairy tale story. It’s empowering in a way.”
“Ain’t Done Bad” offers several showings at the Renaissance Theater through May 1. Tickets start at $30 and supports local artists and theaters.
Thursday, April 21 | 8:00 p.m. (Opening Night after-party with champagne toast)
Friday, April 22 | 7:00 & 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 23 | 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 24 | 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 27 | 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 28 | 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 29 | 7:00 & 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 30 | 7:00 & 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 1 | 3:00 p.m.