Wednesday, July 18, 2018
News Roundup

Review: 'The Realish Housewives of South Tampa' send up our local socialites

TAMPA

Ditzy Desiree launched her career as a neck model after being discovered south of Gandy Boulevard. Dirty politician Gwen abducted Mayor Bob Buckhorn. And who knows which social climber sold Gawker a Hulk Hogan sex tape?

The Realish Housewives of South Tampa, written and performed by mostly Second City theater troupe-trained improvisers, plays through Sunday at the Jaeb Theater at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Local tweaks at each stop on the "glam-bitious" parody tour indulge some pretty broad generalizations of some pretty broads.

Why did the Times send me, and not our performing arts critic? Because I cover the social scene in Tampa, and know our real-life society characters pretty well. It was a test. How did this reality show spoof stack up to South Tampa's reality?

Lori McClain as Ravonka, Lindsey Pearlman as Brooke, Katy Carolina Collins as CL, Katie Caussin as Gwen and Emjoy Gavino as Desiree capitalize on the fearless style of Bravo channel's franchise, Real Housewives of you-name-it, Beverly Hills to New York, Athens to Auckland.

Stereotypes? Sure. Catty? Not overly, and there's nothing to exclude North of Kennedy ladies from snarking as a team sport. Everyone can have fun fitting friends' faces to these self-promoting personalities.

Jackson Evans referees as Randy Bowen, "rhymes with Cohen," a wink-wink to Bravo host Andy. He opens with five frenemies unfurling a Gasparilla pirate flag and ends the episode with a farcical cat fight involving a dog named Pinot Grigio and a slew of pillow feathers.

Each character owns her ego in this partly-scripted, partly-improvised Peyton Place. The audience especially enjoyed Doug, the good sport in the front row twice prompted to mad-lib the blanks as CL's philandering, fourth husband.

Baroness Ravonka's estranged daughter Prosecco, this time a guest plucked from the back of the crowd, left a taste for even more improv.

Cluelessness about a charity event hit the mark with each mispronunciation of Ravonka's fundraiser's beneficiaries. Were they victims of a hurricane? A serial killer or a brutal dictator? Didn't matter as long as there was a signature drink named for the cause. Talk of a Luau for Melanoma and the annual Black & White Lupus Ball felt familiar to me.

No soap opera is complete without an addiction. Seems Desiree craves FroYo so much that she ate it off the men's room floor at the Mons Venus. A quick intervention led to an exclusive rehab center under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Girls night out audiences laughed at the localized attitude, like when self-made, luxury sweat pants "buttwear" designer Brooke claims, "I wasn't born with a tiara on my head. I'm from Ybor City."

Did the show capture Tampa's socialites perfectly? It nailed about a dozen Tampa references, things that could be easily swapped out for performances in other cities. That's likely the intention, but at least the producers are doing their homework.

The show did confirm one thing: We're ready for our own show, Bravo.

Comments
Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

Rays place Wilson Ramos on DL for potential extended absence, seek replacement

ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays made the inevitable move Wednesday of placing catcher Wilson Ramos on the disabled list while still looking for a replacement.Ramos, 30, strained his left hamstring Saturday in Minnesota, which forced him out of Tuesda...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Must-see golf history with Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome

Must-see golf history with Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome

Thursday is history.There is no way around it, even for Brittany Lincicome, who loves finding her way around it. That's just her. She played with boys growing up, neighborhood football and basketball, baseball — and golf. I remember when she wa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

ST. PETERSBURG — Linda and Jack Miller braved the humidity at Demens Landing on Wednesday night for a simple reason:"Treason," said Linda Miller, 66.The St. Petersburg couple joined more than 100 protesters toting signs, pins and megaphones at the "T...
Updated: 4 hours ago
An all-or-nothing All-Star Game

An all-or-nothing All-Star Game

WASHINGTON — Tuesday's All-Star Game was exciting, dramatic, historic — and perfectly representative of the 2018 season, what with the unprecedented power show, display of blazing arms creating a fan club (25 strikeouts), and the emotion ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Deputies: Masked shooter wounds Dunedin woman in home invasion

DUNEDIN — Deputies are searching for a black-clad gunman who shot and wounded an 18-year-old woman during a home invasion attack Wednesday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.The shooting was reported at about 1:03 p.m. at 1144 New Yor...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

WEEKI WACHEE — A diver exploring the Eagle’s Nest, a notoriously dangerous underwater cave, failed to resurface from a Wednesday night dive, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.The person was free diving, according to the Sheriff’s Offi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches spacecraft higher than ever

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket company shot a capsule higher into space Wednesday than it’s ever done before. The New Shepard rocket blasted off from West Texas on the company’s latest test flight. Once the booster separated, t...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Wed., July 18, midday:308730160e_SRit11605Wed., July 18, evening:227903781e_SRit60091LottoWed., July 18:...
Updated: 5 hours ago
SEC media days: No answers on Alabama quarterback battle

SEC media days: No answers on Alabama quarterback battle

ATLANTA — Alabama coach Nick Saban had little to say Wednesday about the biggest topic of the offseason.Who will be the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts?"I think the number one thing that you will want to ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
New board members at CareerSource Pinellas press for answers

New board members at CareerSource Pinellas press for answers

CLEARWATER— New board members at a troubled job placement center received a call for oversight Wednesday — something all but absent in recent years at the agency."Question, question, question," said CareerSource Pinellas board chair Jack Geller durin...
Updated: 6 hours ago