On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

Published June 20 2018
Updated June 20 2018

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALS

Five composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe ó thatís Freefall Theatreís recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musicals ó The Musical. This whimsical revue re-creates the same plots ("You must pay the rent;" "I canít pay the rent") as legendary Broadway shows. Composers and scenarios include Rodgers and Hammerstein (set in Kansas, in August); Stephen Sondheim (starring a tortured artistic genius with homicidal tendencies); and Andrew Lloyd Webber (a rock musical set in Chicago).

Expect every cliche in this affectionate parody of the genre, delivered by familiar cast members including Jen Byrne, Matthew McGee, Ann Morrison and Robert Teasdale. Eric Davis directs. Runs Saturday through July 15 at 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $50, $47 students, seniors, active military, $25 age 18 and younger. (727) 498-5205. freefalltheatre.com.

NEW THEATER: LIMELIGHT STAGE PRODUCTIONS

Three women and one drag performer flesh out the cast of I Enjoy Being a Girl, the debut show of Limelight Stage Productions. Co-founder Holly Weber, a St. Petersburg High and University of Tampa grad, describes the show as a "revue featuring favorite Golden Age Broadway and movie musical songs, as well as a few contemporary hits while exploring different facets of femininity in a toe-tapping cabaret." Runs through July 21 at Havana Harryís 2, 1999 Starkey Road, Largo. $18, $15 students, seniors and military. Buy tickets via credit card at limelightstage.org or cash at the door. (727) 596-5141.

SNL VETERAN: JAY PHAROAH

He brought out a chill in Ice Cube and did a better Obama than Obama. Now Jay Pharoah shares those impressions and more, including Will Smith and Kanye West. Itís the same ability that allowed him to parlay six seasons on Saturday Night Live into a Showtime special and voiceover work in animated series. Runs Thursday through Saturday at the Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

THESPIANS ON FACEBOOK: JIMMY AWARDS

Tomorrowís talent, Thursday. Thatís the Jimmy Awards, a competition livestreamed on Facebook featuring some of the best high school talent. The Broadway League sponsors the 2018 National Student Showcase at New York Cityís Minskoff Theatre, which got a boost from the cast of Dear Evan Hansen, some of whom could make an appearance. The event that started in 2009 has led to roles on Broadway, the West End and in touring shows, and earned more than $2 million in scholarships. Tony-winning actor and singer Laura Benanti hosts. Starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday. jimmyawards.com/news.

FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE: MURDER FOR TWO

Murder for Two, opening at Florida Studio Theatre, mashes up the board game Clue and a couple of versatile actors in a blazingly fast mystery-comedy.

Audiences will likely change their minds several times over 90 minutes about who might have killed famous novelist Arthur Whitney. Was it his wife, an actor who blamed him for ending her career? What about the cigar-smoking psychiatrist with an irksome knowingness, or the pushy niece eager to help with the investigation?

Young officer Marcus Moscowicz (Paul Helm) jumps at the chance to solve a murder. Kyle Branzel plays all 10 suspects. The duo also accompany each otherís songs on the piano. Murder for Two opened off-Broadway in 2013. Runs Wednesday through July 29 at the Keating Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota. $25 and up. (941) 366-9000. floridastudiotheatre.org.

   
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