Sunday, January 21, 2018
Events

Gulfport artist Peter Suarez channels his psyche in a new work

Living with a bevy of characters is nothing new to Peter Suarez. • Up until this year, Suarez hosted Gulfport's weekly "Family Dinner" at his home, an open house potluck attended by artists, writers, lawyers and random bohemians. Guests filtered in and out of the house, lounging in the backyard, playing music in the living room. Some even crashed for months at a time.

When not spending his down time in Gulfport, Suarez is a busy performer, touring and working in Manhattan.

He's danced and choreographed for the Cincinnati Ballet, performed eight years with the Metropolitan Opera and shared a stage with the Gipsy Kings at Radio City Music Hall. He has served as style coach/adjunct choreographer for Cirque du Soleil and Olympic athletes. Suarez also juggles fire balls on sticks at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, plays guitar at Chattaway and other local haunts and shares tales during Gulfport's monthly storytelling nights, Wednesday2.

The 57-year-old Ohio native grew up in New York. He sold his house this year to live in his boat. Suarez says he's decided to kick up his career and will start performing a new one-man show, then take it on tour. On Saturday, Suarez will premiere My Life and How I Pretend to Live It (A Work in Progress) at the [email protected] in St. Petersburg. He also plans to reprise it locally.

"I'm not prone to hero worship," he said. "But I got a lot of inspiration from Tim Minchin, an Australian comedian, actor, writer, musician and director."

In the hour-and-a-half performance, Suarez reveals fragments of his psyche and personality through five distinctive characters — in turn, showing off his acting range, musical chops and knack for foreign accents.

Here are all the characters he channels:

Theo, a stagehand and "half-wit savant" who wears thick-framed glasses and pants hiked up over his belly button, resembles a cross between Martin Short's Ed Grimley and Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. Theo, for all his bumbling, is kind and often wiser than the others. Most of all, he loves his wife, Edna, dearly. When he speaks about her, he gets choked up and teary-eyed.

Brother Soiree, is a scarf-swirling, ambiguously gay bon vivant. He's married to Tori, who may or may not be a woman, lives in Seattle and is "tres glamorous and a great shopper."

There's Colin From Galway not Dublin, a point he gets across with salty vehemence. The Irish troubadour wields a guitar and performs the deeply touching No Right at All, a farewell to Suarez's father that he performed with violinist Rebecca Zapen when casting his father's ashes on the Atlantic Ocean. Colin has a son of whom he speaks winsomely.

Travaylin West is a patriotic, Republican country singer and ladies' man who upholds all the bravado and stereotypes of a red-blooded American man. During the show, Travaylin performs an amusing protest song called Spin Around.

The Spanish Guy is a gaucho/flamenco dancer and juggler from Galicia on the northwest coast of Spain, where he claims the first bagpipes were played.

"Flamenco has both the joys and pains of living, like the American blues," he said in character. "There's never a moment the audience will not be filled with both."

Comments
At end of the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, excitement builds

At end of the Gasparilla Children’s Parade, excitement builds

TAMPALife’s quite different at the tail end of the Gasparilla Children’s Parade than at the launching point.The funnel cakes and corn dogs are a bit less omnipresent. When the first cars and floats begin to journey down Bayshore Boulevard, you’re onl...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Gasparilla may be a raucous party to you, but it’s art to Charles Hessemer

Gasparilla may be a raucous party to you, but it’s art to Charles Hessemer

SOUTH TAMPA Charles P. Hessemer, 90 years young and about as sharp as the palette knives he paints with, finds artistic inspiration in the costumed-clad revelers of Tampa’s favorite annual event. The details in Hessemer’s oil painting s...
Published: 01/19/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 20

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 20

Tweed Ride: This popular leisurely bike ride around downtown St. Petersburg brings out ladies and gents in derby hats, vests, petticoats, lace-up boots and other fashionable vintage choices. Tea and scones served before the ride. After the ride, gath...
Published: 01/19/18
Banksy’s Haight Street Rat coming to Winter Haven gallery

Banksy’s Haight Street Rat coming to Winter Haven gallery

Fans of notorious street artist and activist Banksy won’t have to travel too far to see one of his original pieces, thanks to an exhibit opening on Jan. 27 at the Outer Space Gallery in Winter Haven. The "Haight Street Rat" will be on display, on the...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18
‘Year in Provence’ author Peter Mayle dies at 78

‘Year in Provence’ author Peter Mayle dies at 78

Peter Mayle, whose international bestseller A Year in Provence sent countless tourists to the vineyards and lavender fields of Southern France, has died.In an email, Mr. Mayle’s publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, reported that he died Thursday in a hospital...
Published: 01/18/18

Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Jan. 19

FestivalsFlorida Agriculture and Wildlife Expo and Rodeo: The three-day event will be from 4 to 10 p.m. Jan. 19, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 20 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 21 at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Airport, 2495 Broad St., south of Brooksville. Features ...
Published: 01/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 19

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 19

Steve Martin and Martin Short: The longtime actor-comedians and frequent collaborators present, An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life, featuring Martin’s bluegrass band, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko. 7 p.m., Mahaffey Theater...
Published: 01/18/18
Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

ST. PETERSBURG An air compressor did most of the talking as the small crew stapled down flooring to the stage. A master carpenter kept unskilled but eager workers on track, telling them where to line up edges. An astringent smell of glue permeated t...
Published: 01/18/18
2018 Children’s Gasparilla Parade: Guide and insider tips

2018 Children’s Gasparilla Parade: Guide and insider tips

On Saturday, the kids get first crack at the booty from the pirates at the Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza, the annual alcohol-free party on Bayshore Boulevard. To kick off the season of Jose Gaspar, the fictitious marauder whose legend has...
Published: 01/18/18
‘Piratically speaking,’ NHL thrilled to don Gasparilla garb for All-Star Game

‘Piratically speaking,’ NHL thrilled to don Gasparilla garb for All-Star Game

TAMPA — Jose Gaspar, mythical pirate, meet Lord Stanley of Preston. Hang out, get to know one another, have as much fun as possible during the wrinkle in time that makes possible what will likely be a one-time-only encounter. Next weekend, th...
Published: 01/18/18