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A look at 2008-09 season of plays, concerts

School will soon be back in session, and there's hint of a cool breeze in the early mornings, so it follows that local theaters will soon launch their 2008-09 seasons. • With three full-fledged theaters — Show Palace Dinner Theatre, Richey Suncoast Theatre and Stage West Community Playhouse — and a season of shows at the Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center and Aripeka Elks, plus many other shows and festivals (more on this next week), it takes some juggling to see and do everything. • So, to help with planning, Diversions offers Season 1 today and Season 2 on Aug. 22. Get out your datebooks (and checkbooks or credit cards) and start juggling.

Show Palace Dinner Theatre

16128 U.S. 19, Hudson

(727) 863-7949 or 1-888-655-7469

Show Palace owners Nick and Sal Sessa decided this year to push back the opening day of shows, from Friday to the following Wednesday, starting in September 2009, to give more rehearsal and set installation time.

But protests from longtime patrons, who apparently love those big Friday night openings, convinced the owners to change their minds (with two exceptions). This means that, as always, one show closes on Sunday afternoon, and the new show opens the following Friday night.

The exceptions are the 2009 Show Palace Christmas, which will, as always, open on Thanksgiving, and the other is the first show of 2010, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which opens Jan. 6 to give a break after New Year's Day.

Through Sept. 21: Smokey Joe's Cafe, the Songs of Leiber and Stoller

Oct. 3 to Nov. 22: The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Nov. 27 to Dec. 25: A Show Palace Christmas


Jan. 3 to Feb. 22: The Producers

Feb. 27 to April 19: Thoroughly Modern Millie

April 24 to May 31: Viva Vegas! The Sequel

June 5 to July 26: The Fabulous 50s and 60s Revue

July 31 to Sept. 13: Nunsense A-Men

Sept. 18 to Nov. 15: Fiddler on the Roof

Nov. 26 to Dec. 27: A Show Palace Christmas


Jan. 6 to Feb. 21: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Feb. 26 to April 18: A Show Palace surprise (now on Broadway; will be announced in January)

April 23 to June 20: Sweet Charity

Shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays (doors open two hours earlier for buffet and cash bar); and at 1:15 p.m. some Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (doors open at 11 a.m. for buffet and cash bar). Tickets are $44 for dinner and show; $34.95 for show only; for children 12 and younger, $28.45 and $23.45. Three shows, $120; four shows, $160, all plus tax and tip. Call (727) 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll-free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469.

Richey Suncoast Theatre

6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey

(727) 842-6777

Richey Suncoast's 2008-09 season could be called the year of the female. It starts with Sweet Charity, the story of a good-hearted taxi dancer named Charity Hope Valentine, and closes with Hello, Dolly, the story of a mature, practical matchmaker.

Regular season shows open at 8 p.m. Thursdays and continue for the following three weekends at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. The special Christmas show runs for the two weekends after Thanksgiving.


Sept. 4-21: Sweet Charity

Oct. 16 to Nov. 2: Lost in Yonkers

Nov. 28 to Dec. 7: Pasco Christmas Memories (special show)

Jan. 15 to Feb. 1: My Husband's Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad

Feb. 26 to March 15: Pajama Game

May 14-31: Hello, Dolly

Season ticket prices are $60 for the five regular shows, $70 to add the Christmas show. Individual shows are $16 for adults, $8 for children.

The box office is open the week before and during the run of any show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and an hour before each show. Call (727) 842-6777.

Stage West Community Playhouse

8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill

(352) 683-5113

Stage West will present 10 shows in its Main Stage and Forum Stage seasons, three of them new to this area and one of them an original script by a Stage West actor making its stage debut.

Main Stage shows open at 8 p.m. Thursdays and continue the following three weekends, with shows at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Forum productions run for two consecutive weekends at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays.

The specials are presented for one weekend.


Sept. 4-21: The Odd Couple

Nov. 6-23: 1776

Jan. 8-25: The Man Who Came to Dinner

March 5-22: The King and I

May 7-24: Epic Proportions

All five shows are $75; individual shows are $18, all reserved seating.


Oct. 17-19: The Uninvited

Feb. 6-15: The Foreigner

April 17-26: Driving Miss Daisy

All three shows are $25; individual tickets are $10.


Dec. 5-7: Becket, in the Forum. Tickets are $10.

Dec. 12, 13, 15: Golden Revue holiday show on the Main Stage. Tickets are $10.

Pasco-Hernando Community College Performing Arts Center

10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey

Bookstore ticket window opens in October; now on sale online at (must disable pop-up blocker)

The PHCC series of shows is scheduled to start in January with the wildly popular Irish group Gaelic Storm, followed by four nostalgic tributes to a variety of celebrities and the 1960s group the Vogues (You're the One, Five O'Clock World).

Tickets are $23, $27 and $30.


Jan. 24: Gaelic Storm, 8 p.m.

Feb. 7: Let's Hang On, a tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, 8 p.m.

Feb. 14: A tribute to Harry James and the Andrews Sisters, 2 p.m.

Feb. 21: The Vogues, 8 p.m.

March 21: A tribute to Patsy Cline by Leanne Williams, 4 p.m. (note special time)

March 28: Elvis Meets Tom, a tribute to Elvis Presley and Tom Jones, 7:30 p.m. (note time)

Aripeka Elks Lodge 2520

9135 Denton Ave., Hudson

(727) 868-2994, ext. 14 (Judy)

The 500-seat Aripeka Elks Lodge presents professional guest performers with dinner. Dinner is at 6 p.m., followed by the show at 7:30 p.m.

2008-09 season

Oct. 11: Leanne Williams, "A Tribute to Patsy Cline"

Nov. 8: Pianist Mark Friedman, singer Rodi Alexander

Dec. 13: The Three Divas do tributes to Aretha Franklin, Reba McEntire and Patsy Cline

Jan. 17: The Hubcaps go "Down Memory Lane" with hits from the 1950s and '60s

Feb. 21: YESTERDAY, A Tribute to the Beatles, others

March 14: Flamenco guitarist/actor/singer Charo

Dinner and show, $28 prime seating, $26 regular seating; six shows for $162 and $150. Call Judy at (727) 868-2994, ext. 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

A look at 2008-09 season of plays, concerts 08/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:30pm]
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