Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Show Palace Dinner Theatre revue is a mixed bag of more misses than hits

The newly formed Show Palace Entertainment company's first production, The All New Fabulous 50's & 60's Revue, opened Friday at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre for a five-week run, and it was a mixed bag of several individual hits and all too many missed opportunities.

In the past, the Show Palace has produced its shows in-house, most recently under the guidance of artistic director Matthew McGee. Since McGee's departure, the venue is buying shows independently put together, with in-house employees taking care of sets, lights, sounds, wigs and other details. Longtime designer Tom Hansen is in charge of those in-house elements, and, as always, he does a fine job, providing colorful backdrops for the first act's 50s music and a colorful, psychedelic setting for act two's 60s sounds.

It's director Jason Tucker's concept, casting and direction and Lacey Vazquez's choreography for the new production company that are disappointingly uneven.

The mature Dale Badway creates a Fred Willard-type emcee who seems out of place with the very youthful cast (Badway's Tony Award, by the way, was for producing, not acting or singing). Badway is most comfortable when he's singing, but his patter between segments of the show feels awkward and forced, and he connects with the audience only a couple of brief times during the two and half hour show.

Ms. Vasquez is herself a marvelous dancer (Swing!, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers), but her choreography is more pulled-in movement than dance, and she never really challenges her relatively inexperienced young charges.

It's the individual cast members who provide the moments of delight, particularly Nick Orfanella, who sings a lovely Maria from West Side Story and accompanies himself and the cast on guitar for the most enjoyable segments of the show — the Kingston Trio's The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) and Bob Dylan's Blowing in the Wind, for example. Edwin Watson is an appealing singer, doing a neat falsetto on Wimoweh and a smooth delivery on The Great Pretender and the poignant Abraham, Martin and John. His duet with Jillian Prefach on Love Me Tender was indeed tender.

Justin Lore (he was Tommy in New York Nights) does several delightful comedy bits, mugging it up in Good Golly, Miss Molly, When I'm 64 and Hound Dog. Show Palace newcomer Bela Aquino has a most pleasing voice and is a charmer doing blues and rock.

Often the whole is better than its parts, as when the five female players harmonize in Sincerely and Teach Me Tonight and the five fellows zip through See Ya Later, Alligator, or when the entire ensemble whirls through Rockin' Robin, Rock 'n' Roll Is Here to Stay, Shout and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.

Overall, act two is much stronger than act one, mainly because the 60s were more interesting creatively than the 50s. Show creator Tucker provides a wide-ranging list of songs (this is strictly songs, with no story thread except the changing times shown through costumes and backdrops). Still, the show is rife with missed opportunities, such as dance sequences in the background during the many solos, or some high-energy jitterbugging to go with the dance songs.

The potential is touched during the beach scene, when the kids do the Monkey and a little Mashed Potato. The 50s and 60s songs are all about dance, but this show remains distressingly static, despite the obvious talent that the cast displays during the brief dance sequences.

Comments
Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays made a small deal Monday in acquiring INF Joey Wendle from Oakland while continuing to discuss bigger ones that seem likely to eventually lead to the trade of closer Alex Colome and then others.The Rockies and Mets joined ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., Dec. 11, midday:32 251 1266e_SRit91903Mon., Dec. 11, evening:52 400 7181e_SRit23090Fantasy 5Mon., Dec. 11...
Updated: 1 hour ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot ShotsEmily Joseph, NortheastJoseph, a senior, has been a deadly shooter since her sophomore year. But this season she has added to her game. "She’s gotten physically stronger and has gained confidence," coach Will White said. "She used t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida A&M names Willie Simmons football coach

Florida A&M names Willie Simmons football coach

TALLAHASSEE — Willie Simmons was named football coach at Florida A&M on Monday. The Tallahassee native will be introduced today. Simmons, 37, has been the coach at Prairie View A&M the past three seasons (21-11, including 6-5 this season). He played ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton may hasten Rays’ dismantling

Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton may hasten Rays’ dismantling

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The latest obstacle keeping the Rays from contending in the American League East loomed even larger Monday afternoon in pinstripes.The Yankees’ formal introduction of Giancarlo Stanton also could be an accelerant to the departure o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

TAMPA — When her apartment complex caught fire Monday afternoon, Peaches McIntyre grabbed her four children and baby stroller and ran outside.Hours later, she looked at the smoldering building with her 5-year-old autistic son, Choice Underwood, huggi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
3 Trump accusers call for congressional inquiry; Pentagon to allow transgender people to enlist; 18 win anti-Trump climate grants; more in U.S., world news

3 Trump accusers call for congressional inquiry; Pentagon to allow transgender people to enlist; 18 win anti-Trump climate grants; more in U.S., world news

United States3 Trump accusers speak, hoping to be heard nowThree women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories Monday on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today. Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Judge denies former Clearwater fire chief’s motion for a new trial

Judge denies former Clearwater fire chief’s motion for a new trial

A Pinellas circuit judge denied a bid for a new trial in the case of Jamie Geer, the former Clearwater fire chief serving a life sentence for sexually abusing a girl throughout her childhood.Geer, now 63, was in court in October seeking the new trial...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago