Although the traditional winter tourist season ended weeks ago with the arrival of the first day of 90-degree temperatures, the area's official winter theater season has a few more shows to go, with all three major venues still in action. • Richey Suncoast Theatre is continuing to feature young people in big, high-energy musicals for its final show, with the exuberant musical Footloose. A year ago, several young performers were featured in Hello, Dolly, and in 2008, Fame — the Musical was mostly theirs.
In Spring Hill, Stage West Community Theatre continues its tradition of closing its season with something new to this area or a new spin on something familiar. This year, it's Edward Albee's 1967 dark comedy/drama Everything in the Garden. A year ago, it was the (supposed to be) short, zany Epic Proportions about a theater company marooned in the desert. In 2008, it was a campy spin on Agatha Christie's Murder on the Nile. And in 2007, it was the rarely seen Neil Simon comedy 45 Seconds to Broadway.
The Show Palace Dinner Theatre continues its tradition of winding up the season with high-energy musicals, some with stories, others just for fun. This year, it's the poignant musical Sweet Charity, with story and song. A year ago, it was the high-styled revue Viva Vegas. In 2008, it was the hilarious vaudeville show Sugar Babies; and in 2007, it was the nostalgic Swingtime Canteen.
And just because the winter tourist season is winding down doesn't mean local theaters will go dark.
Richey Suncoast has a young people's theater workshop and some theatrical specials planned for the summer.
Stage West is doing the Rudyard Kipling classic The Jungle Book in June and the thoughtful children's favorite Charlotte's Web in August.
Show Palace follows the quirky Charity with three new-to-us shows in rapid succession. First, it's the knee-slappingly funny two-man show Red, White and Tuna, starring Matthew McGee and Candler Budd (June 18 to July 18), followed by McGee and musical director Michael Ursua's original musical revue Boogie Wonderland: The Music of the 70s (July 23 to Aug. 22) and the musical comedy Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical (Aug. 27 to Sept. 26).
But for now, sit back, relax and enjoy …
Richey Suncoast Theatre continues the high-energy musical Footloose weekends through May 30 at the theater, 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey.
It's the story of high-spirited young Ren McCormack (Jeffrey Oles) and his mom, Ethel (Beverly Plummer this weekend and Deborah Oles next weekend), who move from Chicago to the small Illinois town of Bomont, where Ren runs afoul of a local ban on dancing. He makes good friends, including Willard (Micah Laird) and his pals, but raises the hackles of the Rev. Shaw Moore (Jamie McWilliams), whose personal sorrow spills onto the community.
Shows are at 8 p.m. except Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults, $8 for children. The box office is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and an hour before each performance. Call (727) 842-6777.
Show Palace Dinner Theatre continues the bittersweet musical Sweet Charity matinees and evenings through June 13 at the theater, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson.
It's the story of taxi dancer Charity Hope Valentine (Samantha McKinnon Brown), who repeatedly falls for the wrong (and wrong kind of) fellow, as she pursues romance and marriage.
Dinner and show, $46; show only, $34.95, plus tax and tip; 12 and younger, $28.45 and $23.45. Call (727) 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll-free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469.
'Everything in the Garden'
Stage West Community Playhouse continues the dark adult comedy/drama Everything in the Garden at 8 tonight and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the theater, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill.
It's the story of suburbanites Jenny and Richard, who appear to be doing well financially but want more money. They and their country club friends are willing to do anything to get it.
The one ray of hope is Jenny and Richard's son, Roger (Nick Martinez), who shows backbone and integrity in the face of rampant decadence.
Tickets are $18. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and an hour before each show. Call (352) 683-5113.