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  1. Three picks: 'Orlando,' Peking Acrobats, 'The Sing-Off Live'


    By Stephanie Hayes

    Times Performing Arts Critic


    What if you swapped genders, literally overnight, and were forced to live in a new skin for hundreds of years? Orlando, Virginia Woolf's novel about an English nobleman who wakes up as a woman, gets the Jobsite Theater …

    The Peking Acrobats bring their balancing act to the Straz Center.
  2. Review: 'Bright Lights, Big City' at Freefall a whirl of '80s indulgence



    In the first half hour of Bright Lights, Big City at Freefall Theatre, you feel like you're in a heavy, plodding rat race in New York City. The characters are so close to you, so crowded and raucous on the small stage, you start to feel claustrophobic, like you might not like this very …

    The rock musical adaptation of the novel Bright Lights, Big City runs at Freefall Theatre through March 22. Pictured are Amy Marie Stewart, Sarita Amani Nash, Nick Lerew, Kara Konken, Lucas Wells, Heather Cleveland Krueger, Scott Daniel and Clinton Harris.
  3. Specialty shows come to Show Palace, Palace Grand


    The Show Palace Dinner Theatre and Palace Grand managers found themselves with a few nights not filled with Broadway shows, banquets, weddings, fundraisers or award dinners and decided it was the perfect time to make those "specialty show" nights.

  4. Sweet, sentimental 'State Fair' opens March 5 at Richey Suncoast Theatre


    NEW PORT RICHEY — In the mood for a folksy, homespun story with some hummable Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II tunes?

    The midway is alive with carnival barkers. It’s no different in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair, at the Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey.
  5. For comedian Wanda Sykes, it's all about being funny


    Wanda Sykes doesn't give a damn what Kanye West thinks after bum-rushing Beck at the Grammys. • "He's crazy. He's just an egomaniac. He's nuts," Sykes said by telephone from Los Angeles, just getting warmed up about what occurred the night before. • "I wanted someone to ask him, when he's going off about …

    “I have opinions, but the first thing I want to do is make people laugh,” Wanda Sykes says.
  6. Three Picks: 'Bright Lights, Big City'; Megan Hilty and Marcello Giordani


    Bright Lights, Big City

    If anything could make the nightclub and cocaine whirl of Jay McInerney's 1984 novel Bright Lights, Big City feel more stimulating, it's music. The story of one man's spiral into the excesses of New York City takes the stage at Freefall Theatre with artistic director Eric …

    From left, Amy Marie Stewart, Sarita Amani Nash, Nick Lerew, Kara Konken, Lucas Wells, Heather Cleveland Krueger, Scott Daniel and Clinton Harris star in the rock musical Bright Lights, Big City.
  7. Margaret Cho brings comedy with a political edge


    Margaret Cho has been everywhere lately — playing a North Korean military official on the Golden Globes awards show and being interviewed about images of Asians on TV with the debut of Fresh Off the Boat. Now she'll be in Tampa, returning to her roots in no-holds-barred standup comedy that critiques social …

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Actress Margaret Cho attends The Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences 2012 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
  8. 'Six Dance Lessons' has St. Pete Beach setting — sort of


    Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks spent six days filming locally in 2013, mostly exterior shots to disguise the fact that the "St. Pete Beach" where it's set is really Budapest, Hungary, where principal filming occurred.

    Gena Rowlands stars as Lily, a widow, and Cheyenne Jackson plays her instructor.
  9. Dancer Savion Glover talks TV dance shows and his tour coming to Straz Center (w/video)


    In his latest tour, tap master Savion Glover takes his flying feet to sets of staircases, slamming the bass line and surfing the melodies of everyone from funkmaster Prince to Russian composer Shostakovich.

    Tap dancer Savion Glover’s show StePz features melodies of everyone from Prince to Russian composer Shostakovich. The show gives “people a chance to hear the musicality through tap,” he says.
  10. 'Birdman' soars at 87th Academy Awards (w/video)


    Oscar sprouted wings Sunday when Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was named 2014's best picture at the 87th Academy Awards.

    Best Picture   |   Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance):  Alejandro G. Inarritu, center, and the cast and crew of Birdman accept the award for the best picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.