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Valentina Lisitsa will play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Florida Orchestra.Courtesy The Florida Orchestra

Stage Planner: Florida Orchestra opens with Rachmaninoff, Amy Schumer at Oddball, zombies at Freefall

NEW FACES: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA RETURNS The Florida Orchestra starts its 2015-16 season this weekend. The performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 is about more than the Russian composer, or even the piece considered so demanding it drove Australian pianist David Helfgott crazy in the biographical movie, Shi …


  1. Stage West's reprise of 'Don't Drink the Water' promises hijinks and satire


    SPRING HILL — This must be nostalgia season, as two area theaters present plays from the 1960s by last-half 20th century playwriting icons.

    Rehearsing for the Stage West production of Don’t Drink the Water are, from left, Dave Stenger as Chef, Jennifer Bryant as Susan Hollander and Jim Hansen as Father Drobney.
  2. Freefall promises an undead evening with 'The Importance of Being Earnest with Zombies'



    The witty dialogue and plot entanglements are still there. Oscar Wilde's satirical depiction of Victorian society is still funny. It's just that this particular version of The Importance of Being Earnest, adapted by Freefall Theatre artistic director Eric Davis, includes the walking dead.

    Kelly Pekar plays a zombie-fighting Gwendolen Fairfax in Freefall Theatre’s zombie apocalypse adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest.
  3. Stage Planner: Florida Orchestra opens with Rachmaninoff, Amy Schumer at Oddball, zombies at Freefall



    Valentina Lisitsa will play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Florida Orchestra.
  4. Ani DiFranco, unstoppable as ever despite life's speed bumps

    Music & Concerts

    Sometimes Ani DiFranco thinks back to the time she shaved her head.

    Singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco will perform in Clearwater on Oct. 7.
  5. Florida Orchestra opens season with controversial pianist


    This weekend is an important one for the Florida Orchestra, with the debut Friday of Michael Francis as music director. Francis will conduct Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3.

    Valentina Lisitsa will play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with The Florida Orchestra. Courtesy The Florida Orchestra.
  6. Review: Tampa Rep's 'The Children's Hour' remains a timely drama


    TAMPA — The Children's Hour, Lillian Hellman's groundbreaking play about a rumored lesbian relationship, debuted on Broadway in 1934. It returned in 1952, and the playwright was brought before Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee.

    In The Children’s Hour, Mary Tilford (Olivia Sargent, 15, left) accuses girls school founder Martha Dobie (Katie Castonguay) of a lesbian relationship, beginning a public scandal. Both give strong perfor-mances that help Tampa Repertory’s production deliver when it counts.
  7. Review: Stellar cast creates believable characters in Jimmy Ferraro's 'Red Hot Lovers'


    It's the late 1960s, the sexual revolution is cresting, and 51-year-old, faithfully married, charming-but-naive Manhattan restaurateur Barney Cashman feels that life is passing him by. And he's just not going to let that happen.

  8. Review: Talented voices, with lots of glitz, tell Broadway's story at Show Palace


    Pick a number, any number (as in Broadway tune), and it's likely you'll hear it during the musical revue Give Our Regards to Broadway, playing through Nov. 8 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.

  9. Review: In 'Once' at the Straz, it's always about the music


    TAMPA — The proprietors of Once, the musical, really want the audience to feel comfortable. So they put a bar on stage at the David A. Straz Jr. Performing Arts Center. You're welcome to buy a beer, even stick around as multi-talented cast members wander out and play some of those rousing Irish drinking …

    Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the ONCE Tour Company ???? Joan Marcus
  10. Highlights of the Florida Orchestra's 2015-16 season


    The Florida Orchestra's 2015-16 season contains a mix of crowd pleasers and challenging works, all with a golden thread of Americana tying them together. Here are highlights:

     Musician Michael Feinstein will be the special guest at this year’s orchestra gala.
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