Make us your home page

Shakespeare rocks: Tampa artists turn 'Richard III,' 'Pericles' into wild fun




You don't normally think of Shakespeare as a major inspiration to the Tampa music scene. But two productions being staged in Tampa Bay this weekend are proving the Bard has more pull in the Bay than you might think.

Secret Theatre's Richard III: A Rock 'n’ Roll Theatre Hybrid Show (above) is a highly stylized interpretation of Shakespeare's bloody drama, featuring fierce fight scenes, modern dance and the Zephyrhills rock band Sobriety. It debuted last weekend at Studio@620, but this weekend it turns into a full-fledged concert

Saturday's staging at the State Theatre will feature live rock bands and six original songs. It takes place at 8 p.m. at the State, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Then on Aug. 13-16, the production moves to Arts on 9th in Ybor City. Tickets are $15-$20. Get more info on Saturday's show at

Meanwhile, over in Tampa, Jobsite Theater is staging one of Shakespeare's more obscure plays, Pericles, with a little help from an old Tampa Bay scene vet: Joe Popp.

Popp, a former luminary of Tampa’s pop-punk scene, is now based in New York and creates a lot of edgy, original musical theater. He has done several projects with Jobsite, and is perhaps best known to local theatergoers for his punk treatment of Macbeth for American Stage’s Shakespeare in the Park in 1997. 

This "modernization" of Pericles keeps the violence and incest that make the original so arresting, but infuses it with modern language and humor.

Pericles: A New Rock Musical runs through Aug. 23 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center’s Shimberg Playhouse. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. $24.50 plus service charge. (813) 229-7827 or

-- tbt* staff/correspondents

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:12pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours