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Side Splitters Comedy Club in Tampa.EVE EDELHEIT | Times

Stage Planner: Local comics test their chops, playwrights write short

COMEDY time: show your stuff Call it summer and winter madness. The second Tampa Bay Comedy Tournament at Side Splitters Comedy Club is well under way and likely won't conclude until January or February. The 64-comic format is modeled after the NCAA basketball tournament and pits local performers against each other …

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  1. Stage Planner: A Sarasota ballet gala, yes; tickets for 'Mame,' no

    Stage

    BEST FOOT FORWARD: BALLET STUDENTS' NIGHT TO SHINE

    Francisco Serrano, son of the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School’s founders, won the International Student Ballet Competition in Havana in 2014. He will perform at Saturday’s gala.
  2. At 20, Clearwater native Vinny Ortega is running a theater company in New York

    Stage

    NEW YORK

    As directors met for the first time to kick off a theater festival in June, an organizer approached a fresh-faced teenager in their midst.

    Vinny Ortega is a 2013 Gibbs High School grad who is using theater to change the world. 

courtesy of Vinny Ortega


Clearwater native Vinny Ortega performs in No Entiendo, a play he co-wrote about a teenage immigrant from Mexico.
  3. Hold the phone: Cellphone rage on stage

    Stage

    NEW YORK

    Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway.

    Marimba ringtones!

    Rat-a-tat texting!

    The shaming "shhhhh!"

    Broadway legend Patti LuPone, left, last month snatched a phone away from a texting audience member during a performance. With theater etiquette being tested by the digital age, is it time to educate or embrace it?
  4. Comic writes a 'Dear Tampa' letter of apology in postponing Improv show

    Stage

    A last-minute cancelation means that comic Iliza Shlesinger won't be performing at the Tampa Improv this weekend, as reported in Thursday's Weekend section, which is printed in advance.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 04:  Comeidan  Iliza Shlesinger performs at KROQ Presents Kevin & Bean's April Foolishness at The Shrine Auditorium on April 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
  5. Stage Planner: Local comics test their chops, playwrights write short

    Stage

    COMEDY time: show your stuff

    Call it summer and winter madness. The second Tampa Bay Comedy Tournament at Side Splitters Comedy Club is well under way and likely won't conclude until January or February. The 64-comic format is modeled after the NCAA basketball tournament and pits local performers …

    Side Splitters Comedy Club in Tampa.
  6. Idina Menzel combines stellar pipes with down-to-earth charm

    Stage

    CLEARWATER

    Since launching her world tour a couple of months ago, Idina Menzel has turned crowded stadiums into her living room.

    Idina Menzel is adored by little girls thanks to her role as Queen Elsa in Disney’s Frozen. Here, she performs for her fans in 2014.
  7. Review: Gritty realism doesn't quite flesh out in Stageworks' 'The Motherf----- With the Hat'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Try not to be put off by the title.

    The Motherf----- With the Hat focuses on ex-convict Jackie (Jesse Carolan-Rodriguez) and his attempts to go straight while tied to a tempestuous romantic relationship with Veronica (Jessy Quinones) and neighborhood loyalties in New York’s Washington Heights.
Courtesy of Caroline Jett
  8. William Shatner, Tony Bennett among 21 new shows at Mahaffey Theater

    Stage

    William Shatner is boldly going somewhere he's never been before: The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

    Singer Tony Bennet performs at the Royal Albert Hall on April 29, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
  9. 'Pirates of Penzance' provides a summer romp

    Stage

    CLEARWATER

    Prepare for a high Cs adventure as Francis Wilson Playhouse presents the comedic operetta, The Pirates of Penzance. "It's a highly energetic, fun summer romp that was produced in the late 1800s but is still relevant today," said playhouse manager Gabrielle Snapp.

    Lee Holmes as Major-General Stanley, center, is confronted by pirates as his daughters look on. It’s all part of Francis Wilson Playhouse’s production of The Pirates of Penzance, a two-act comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan.
  10. Wendy Williams ventures into stand-up comedy in St. Petersburg

    Events

    The funniest people on TV rely on rooms full of writers to workshop jokes until they come up with enough gold to fuel memes for days.

    Wendy Williams, 50, will bring her hot topics to St. Petersburg Saturday night in the first stop of her 12-city "sit down" comedy tour at the Mahaffey Theater. [Mahaffey Theater]