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  1. 'A Christmas Cabaret' aims to put audiences in the holiday spirit


    NEW PORT RICHEY — If you're a theater buff and been in the area a decade or more, you may have seen one of singer/theater owner Jimmy Ferraro's Christmas shows, either at his Angel Cabaret Theatre, Angel "garden cafe" Theatre or the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

    The cast is the largest that’s been on stage at Jimmy Ferraro’s Studio Theatre and includes Elicia Nystrom, Dee Etta Rowe, Debra Snyder, Jackie Snyder, Pete Clapsis, Dakota Ruiz, Lindsey Ruiz and Janine Paradiso. Ferraro promises “a dazzling array of new songs and dances to delight all ages.”
  2. 3 picks: Neil Simon play, Florida Orchestra galore, 'So You Think You Can Dance' tour


    Laughter on the 23rd Floor

    American Stage's season was already in place when Sid Caesar died in February, but one play on the lineup unknowingly sat waiting in tribute. The St. Petersburg theater presents Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor, inspired by Simon's time as a writer on Caesar's …

    American Stage’s show harkens back to Neil Simon’s time writing for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows.
  3. Doug Benson brings 'Doug Loves Movies' podcast to Improv


    Two days after a solo show at the Improv, stoner comic Doug Benson brings his popular film-fan podcast Doug Loves Movies to the club at 4:20 p.m. Saturday. The podcast features a row of comic guests — which can range from local radio DJs to touring comics to movie stars like Seth Rogen, Simon Pegg and John …

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Actor Doug Benson arrives at the Premiere Of HBO’s Final Season Of “Eastbound And Down” at Avalon on September 27, 2013 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
  4. Review: Onstage and off, Stage West clicks with 'Greater Tuna'


    Review | Greater Tuna

    There may have been only two actors on the Forum stage at Stage West Community Playhouse (and a few brief appearances by a stagehand or two), but there was an army of behind­-the-­scenes people who were, arguably, just as important to the delightfully successful …

  5. Damon Wayans — Jr. and Sr. — to perform standup comedy at Tampa Hard Rock


    Not one but two Damon Wayanses — Sr. and Jr. — will bring their standup comedy in December to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa as part of a grand opening celebration for the casino's high-limit slots room, blackjack pit and rock spa. Wayans Sr. first broke out in the '90s on the Wayans-filled …

    Actors Damon Wayans Jr. and Damon Wayans Sr. Getty Images
  6. Shrek the Musical comes to Largo Cultural Center



    The grouchy green giant is back to burping, passing gas and falling in love as Shrek the Musical takes the stage at the Largo Cultural Center tonight through Sunday.

    Shrek, played by Ben Taylor, finds Fiona, played by Rachel Crissman, as he climbs through her tower window in the show.
  7. 'Evil Dead the Musical' brings chainsaw splatter to the Straz


    The Evil Dead movies just have so much to offer. There's a cabin in the woods. There's a mysterious force turning people into demons. There's a guy with a chainsaw for a hand. But you know what the films don't have? Musical numbers! Problem solved with Evil Dead the Musical, coming to the Straz …

    Handouts for Evil Dead the Musical, coming to the Straz Center in Tampa. David Sajewich (left) and Callie Johnson.   photographer is Peter Coombs.
  8. Ruth Eckerd Hall's Murray Studio Theater gets major overhaul


    Ruth Eckerd Hall has built a solid reputation staging big Broadway-level productions, but finding the right home for smaller, quality shows has been a quandary.

    A rendering shows the new Murray Studio Theater, which is funded with a $500,000 state grant and private donations.
  9. Three picks: Playwriting festival, one-woman play and whales set to music


    Ocean Voyagers

    By now you've heard about the Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit continuing through this weekend in St. Petersburg. Count the Florida Orchestra among the collaborators. Audiences can see a screening of the 2007 humpback whale documentary Ocean Voyagers at the Mahaffey …

  10. 'One Drop of Love' star Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni talks race, family and more


    It's been an interesting year in race relations for America. In just over 10 months, there have been communities violently protesting loss of due process, NBA owners losing their teams over racist remarks and anti-immigration zealots blockading school buses full of brown children because they were presumed to be …

    “Race is like a religion to us.”