Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Persistence brings Broadway stars to Carrollwood Cultural Center

CARROLLWOOD — Saturday night brings the biggest show yet to the 2-year-old Carrollwood Cultural Center, but the person who worked to bring two Broadway legends to the stage won't be there to see it.

On the piano will be Donald Pippin, the longtime musical director of Radio City Music Hall, the winner of a Tony for Oliver! and a legendary Broadway composer, arranger, musical supervisor and conductor.

At the microphone will be Ron Raines, known for playing villain Alan Spaulding on the CBS soap opera the Guiding Light and for his starring roles in Broadway productions of Chicago and Showboat.

Their concert consists of songs from composers such as Frank Loesser, Jerry Herman, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. In between songs, they'll chat about their lives in the business.

"It's a very personal show," Pippin said from his home in Brewster, N.Y., about 50 miles from Manhattan. "We're not stuffy formal guys up there on stage at all."

But they are famous in a way the Carrollwood Cultural Center has not seen before.

"This is the biggest star power we've had," executive director Paul Berg said. "Both Donald Pippin and Ron Raines are names in New York. For us to be able to get them here in Carrollwood is quite a coup."

How the center managed to book these two stars leads, like so many other stories at the center, to the late Mary Ann Scialdo.

Scialdo, who died July 1 at 67, was the center's artistic director. A child prodigy in New York, she studied piano at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division and spent a lifetime teaching, performing, recording and touring.

In 1999, she moved from New York to Northdale, where, although she was Catholic, she became the pianist and organist at Keystone United Methodist Church for about a decade. It was there that she met Jean Stillwell, who sang in the choir.

After hearing that Stillwell and Pippin are first cousins, Scialdo suggested bringing him to the cultural center.

"I thought, 'Holy cow. Don's never going to do anything like that,' " Stillwell said. "I just didn't feel like imposing."

About a year ago, however, she put the two in touch. What ensued, Pippin said, was a series of friendly calls, maybe one a week, where the two talked about music, Juilliard, show business — and the idea of a concert at the cultural center.

From the start, Pippin said he was impressed by Scialdo's knowledge and energy. He didn't even learn that she was sick until after she had died of cancer.

"I never would have guessed that she was dying of cancer," said Pippin, who last spoke to Scialdo about two weeks before her death. "It never showed in her voice. She never sounded tired. She never seemed down."

Scialdo, who was putting together a local production of The Music Man in the last months of her life, was determined to pull off an ambitious show that would help raise the center's profile.

"Mary Ann worked this for months," said her sister, Vicki Cuccia. When it came together, "she was elated. She wanted Tampa people to see New York talent."

Scialdo especially wanted members of the Broadway Kids, the local musical theater group she led, to see Pippin, who was musical director for the 1963 Broadway production of Oliver!

They'll get that, and not only on Saturday. At 4 p.m. today, Pippin will hold a master class for serious vocalists at the cultural center. The class is limited to 10, but Pippin said anyone is welcome to watch. Students in the class will perform better with an audience, and aspiring singers in the audience will benefit from watching the class even if they're not ready to take it.

"Just for us to be able to have artists of their caliber is pretty exciting," Berg said. "And for them to agree to do a master class, it's just something that doesn't come along every day."

Richard Danielson can be reached at or (813) 226-3403.

Fast facts

If you go

What: "Legends of Broadway" featuring Donald Pippin and Ron Raines in concert.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, at Lowell and Casey roads in Carrollwood Village

Tickets: $100, $75 for center members

Information: Visit or call (813) 269-1310.

Persistence brings Broadway stars to Carrollwood Cultural Center 09/09/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  2. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  3. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  4. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile


    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.
  5. Rays blow lead, rally, blow lead, rally again to beat Twins in 15 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010990