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Theater season kicks off at Stage West, Show Palace, Richey Suncoast Theatre and Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center

Each year, Stage West Community Playhouse honors its best shows and actors with HAMI Awards. Last season, the musical Chicago won nine awards in the Main Stage division, including Favorite Show. Shown in Chicago are Jessica Virginia as Velma Kelly and Morgan Reid as Mama Morton. This year’s Main Stage contenders include Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, A Little Night Music and The Producers.

Courtesy Carol Ballard

Each year, Stage West Community Playhouse honors its best shows and actors with HAMI Awards. Last season, the musical Chicago won nine awards in the Main Stage division, including Favorite Show. Shown in Chicago are Jessica Virginia as Velma Kelly and Morgan Reid as Mama Morton. This year’s Main Stage contenders include Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, A Little Night Music and The Producers.

The muggy weather may make it seem that Florida's "fall season" is very far away, but as far as area theaters go, it's time to start the show.

Indeed, September is the official kickoff for most area venues, with all four area theaters continuing or launching their seasons in the first half of September.

That means it's time for local theater lovers to get out the date book and the checkbook to squeeze in as many plays, musicals and/or operas as possible. There are more than 35 choices from September through May — six each at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre and Richey Suncoast Theatre, at least eight at Stage West Community Playhouse, and 14 at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.

Deeply discounted season tickets are still available at most venues, and the choice seats are going quickly.

Show Palace Dinner Theater 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson

Through Sept. 23: The All New Fabulous '50s and '60s Revue, a jukebox musical

Sept. 28-Nov. 17: The Sound of Music

Nov. 22-Dec. 25: A Show Palace Christmas

Jan. 4-Feb. 24: 9 to 5: The Musical (a bay area regional premiere)

March 1-April 21: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

April 26-June 16: Doo-Wop Dreams

Matinees and evenings. Dinner and show, $49.95; any three shows, $130.50; any four shows, $174, all plus tax and tips. Show only, $38.45. Call (727) 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll-free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469 or at the box office. For seating chart, special shows and group rates, see showpalace.net.

Richey Suncoast Theatre 6237 Grand Blvd. New Port Richey

Sept. 13-16, 21-23 and 28-30: She Loves Me, musical

Oct. 18-21, 26-28 and Nov. 2-4: The Sensuous Senator, a farce

Nov. 23-25, 30, and Dec. 1, 2: Pasco Christmas — the Traditional Way (auditions 7 p.m. Sept. 23 and 24)

Jan. 10-13, 18-20 and 25-27: Hot Bed Hotel, a sex farce (auditions 7 p.m. Oct. 21 and 22)

Feb. 21-24 and March 1-3 and 8-10: Thoroughly Modern Millie, musical (auditions 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3)

May 9-12, 17-19 and 24-26: A Chorus Line, dance musical (auditions 7 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25)

Shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $17, individual shows; five shows $60; five shows, plus the Christmas special, $70, reserved seating. Tickets go on sale one week before opening night and continue 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through the duration of the show and one hour before each show. Call (727) 842-6777. For seating chart, see richeysuncoasttheatre.com. All sales are final; season ticket holders may exchange tickets for the same show.

Stage West Community Playhouse 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd. Spring Hill

MAIN STAGE

Oct. 11-14 and 19-21: Sweeney Todd, musical drama

Jan. 10-13 and 18-20: Gypsy, musical

March 14-17 and 22-24: A Little Night Music, musical

May 9-12 and 17-19: The Producers, musical

FORUM STAGE

Sept. 13-16 and 21-23: Bus Stop, dramedy

Nov. 8-11 and 16-18: Beyond Therapy, comedy

Feb. 7-10 and 15-17: The Miracle Worker, a warm drama

April 11-14 and 19-21: Love, Sex, and the IRS, a farce

Shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2 p.m. Individual tickets for Main Stage shows are $15; all four shows, $50. Individual tickets for Forum shows are $12; all four shows, $40. All eight shows, $80, all reserved seating. Box office is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 2 to 8 p.m. Fridays; and one hour before each show. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Call (352) 683-5113 or online at stagewest.net.

Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs

The Performing Arts Center offers a wide variety of musical groups, dance, lectures, choral groups, musicals, plays and operas. This list is only the musicals, plays and operas. Ticket times and prices vary by show. Reserved seating tickets and a complete listing of shows are available online at tarponarts.org, or by calling the box office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at (727) 942-5605.

Sept. 14-16 and 21-23: The Iliad, The Odyssey and All Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less, a wild comedy. Shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, with a $3 discount for members and students.

Nov. 2-4: The Spoiler, or Demotic Democracy, a Comic Opera in Three Acts. At 8 p.m., except Sunday at 2 p.m. tickets $18, with a $3 discount for members, students.

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1-2, 7-9: Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!), a madcap romp. Shows at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets are $16, with a $2 discount for members and students; Nov. 30 show, all seats $10.

Dec. 7-9: Iphigenia in Aulis, an opera sung in English. At 7:30 p.m., except Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22, with a $4 discount for members and students.

Dec. 22-23: Amahl and the Night Visitors, an opera. Show at 7 p.m. Dec. 22, 3 p.m. Dec. 23. Tickets are $22, with a $4 discount for members and students.

Jan. 13: Eleanor Roosevelt, Part II: What We Are Fighting For by Susan Marie Frontczak. Show at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18, with a $2 discount for members and students.

Jan. 18-20 and 25-27: Murder at the Howard Johnson's, a suspense comedy. Shows at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16, with a $2 discount for members and students. Jan. 18 show, $10.

Jan. 23: Cyrano de Bergerac, a romance. Show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 adults, $22 members, $15 students.

Feb. 8-10: Gilbert & Sullivan Players Present two short comic operas, Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer. Shows are at 8 p.m., excepts Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18, with a $3 discount for members and students.

Feb. 24: The Life of Irene Castle, by Susan Marie Frontczak. Show at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16, with a $2 discount for members and students.

March 8-10 and 15-17: The Fourposter, a romantic comedy. Shows at 8 p.m., excepts Sundays at 2 p.m. Opening night tickets are $10.

March 22-24: Il Trovatore, an opera sung in English. Shows are at 7:30 p.m., except Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22, with a $4 discount for members and students.

April 12-14: No Sex Please, We're British, a comedy. Shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, with a $3 discount for members and students.

April 26-28 and May 3-5: Lend Me a Tenor, a comedy. Shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, with a $3 discount for members and students.

Theater season kicks off at Stage West, Show Palace, Richey Suncoast Theatre and Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center 08/30/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 2:50pm]

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