Friday, December 15, 2017
Stage

3 top picks for bay area stages

'QUESTIONS MY MOTHER CAN'T ANSWER' .

Andrea Caban is a Tampa native (though she commuted across the bay to attend the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School) and USF theater grad who has been living in New York and California for the past 14 years, working as an actor and a dialect coach. Now she is back home with her one-woman show, Questions My Mother Can't Answer. "The play is about my healing journey after being hit by a NYC cab," Caban writes. "I interview women all around my mother's age (60s/70s), a group SEVERELY underrepresented in plays, including two women from Tampa, an ex-prostitute turned healer and a Moroccan ballroom dancer, all who happened to be friends of mine while I was going through this tailspin in my life." Caban, who turns 36 next week, has performed her play widely since its 2010 premiere at the New York City International Fringe Festival, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a residency in South Africa. Questions opens tonight and runs through March 3 at the Shimberg Playhouse of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. Shows are 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. $28. (813) 229-7827 or (800) 955-1045; strazcenter.org.

n KORESH DANCE COMPANY

Philadelphia's Koresh Dance Company is in residence at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Founded 20 years ago by Israel-born choreographer Ronen (Roni) Koresh, the company will give workshops Friday and Saturday and perform a program of contemporary dance, including Koresh's setting of Ravel's Bolero. "Roni's choreography reflects the repetitive and insistent quality of the music," a synopsis says. "The dancers never stop as movement is continuously layered, creating energy that intensifies to the piece's final climax." The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; $10-$25. At a lunch-and-learn event at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Heritage Museum, Koresh will give a talk about Israeli influences on his work, his decision to leave the country and the current state of the arts there; $12, $15. (727) 942-5605; tarponarts.org.

, 'BON APPETIT'

Fresh off her performance in the title role of Puccini's Tosca for St. Petersburg Opera, Stella Zambalis plays a very different character, Julia Child, in Bon Appetit, Lee Hoiby's one-woman opera with a libretto transcribed from a classic episode by the PBS chef. She makes a French chocolate cake and shares it with the audience in the one-act work, written in the 1980s for Jean Stapleton. "All of Child's lovable foibles and self-deprecating humor come through," critic Joseph Dalton writes. "She puts egg yolks into a pan and then drops it on the kitchen floor and carries on undaunted. She also sets up a race between an electric mixer and a hand-cranked one. Hoiby wisely doesn't interfere with the chef's magic. There's no additional jokes or layers of irony in the tuneful score, which includes a light and colorful orchestration." Presented as part of the Florida Opera Festival and directed by Frank McClain, Bon Appetit is staged at 8 p.m. Friday at the TECO Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $25. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045; strazcenter.org.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

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