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  1. Stage Planner: Get tickets now for seasons at the Straz, Stageworks and more

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    Theater might be coasting a bit for the summer, but the new season lineups offer something for everybody. We've got musicals and experimental plays, Broadway legends and Shakespeare coming. Advance tickets are available for many, so if you want to be sure to catch the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker Dec. …

    Ashley Danewitz plays Anninna, left, and Elizabeth de Trejo is Violette in La Traviata.
  2. Misty Copeland promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theater

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    NEW YORK — Misty Copeland, whose openness about race in ballet helped to make her one of the most famous ballerinas in the United States, was promoted Tuesday by American Ballet Theater, becoming the first African-American female principal dancer in the company's 75-year history.

    Misty Copeland and James Whiteside appear in "Swan Lake" at the Metropolitan Opera House on Wednesday. It was Copeland's New York debut in the lead role, a key moment for her fans who hope she'll soon be named American Ballet Theater's first black principal dancer. [Gene Schiavone of American Ballet Theater via AP]
  3. Opera company closes out the season on a lighter note

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — Putting It Together, a revue of Stephen Sondheim songs loosely arranged around a Manhattan couple's cocktail party, aims to please devotees of the composer.

    Putting It Together’s five-member cast includes, from left, Paula Broadwater, Peter Kendall Clark, Clayton Brown, Kaitlyn Costello and Tripp Fountain.
  4. Twerk like it's 1820: OED says the word is older than you think

    Stage

    The first time Miley Cyrus acquainted us all with the sight of her twerking behind more than two years ago, people could barely contain their hysteria. Half of her critics considered the dance scandalous and hyper-sexual; the other half were frustrated she had claimed ownership of a dance that had existed in black …

    Miley Cyrus put the word “twerking” on the map at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in New York, but twerking as a word originated in the 1800s.
  5. Big and bold, Mamma Mia! delivers on its promise at Straz in Tampa

    Stage

    TAMPA — At this point, you don't go to Mamma Mia!, the touring Broadway show playing at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, without some idea of what to expect.

    Mamma Mia!,the hit Broadway musical, runs through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa. A capable cast milks both corny and the occasional X-rated joke for all they are worth.
  6. Play looks to raise Alzheimer's awareness among African-Americans

    Stage

    Performing in a theatrical production was just something young Garrett Davis wanted to check off his to-do list.

    Daren McGill and Samantha McSwain perform in Forget Me Not, a play about Alzheimer’s disease that will be staged Saturday.
  7. Cheers and bouquets for Misty Copeland at her American Ballet Theater 'Swan Lake' debut

    Stage

    NEW YORK — Swan Lake is always one of the most popular ballets for dance fans. But the whoops and cheers from a packed crowd at the Metropolitan Opera House signaled something more this time.

    Misty Copeland and James Whiteside appear in "Swan Lake" at the Metropolitan Opera House on Wednesday. It was Copeland's New York debut in the lead role, a key moment for her fans who hope she'll soon be named American Ballet Theater's first black principal dancer. [Gene Schiavone of American Ballet Theater via AP]
  8. Spoof of Hitchcock mystery-thriller coming to Show Palace stage

    Stage

    HUDSON — Fans of Alfred Hitchcock will get a chance to see a spoof of one of the famed director's best-known movies, the mystery-thriller The 39 Steps, when the Show Palace Dinner Theatre presents the award-winning Broadway show July 3 to Aug. 2.

  9. Billy Gardell of 'Mike & Molly' on comedy, the road and battling weight

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    When Mike & Molly hit its 100th episode in January, Billy Gardell wasn't gifted with a fancy Ferrari or a brand new beach house in Cabo.

    Billy Gardell, whose family moved to Florida when he was a kid, spent years on the Florida standup circuit.
  10. How will ABBA's songs translate to Tampa's Straz Center stage in 'Mamma Mia!'? (w/videos)

    Stage

    I spent several hours this week watching dozens of clips of stage performances from Mamma Mia!, the hit Broadway musical opening Tuesday at the Straz Center in Tampa. The show centers on a young woman's search to learn the identity of her father.

    Mamma Mia!,the hit Broadway musical, opens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and runs through June 28 at the Straz Center. [Joan Marcus for the Straz Center]