Richey Suncoast cancels Black Box shows, adds 13 specials

Bertie Higgins will perform at Richey Suncoast Theatre on Feb. 17.
Bertie Higgins will perform at Richey Suncoast Theatre on Feb. 17.
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NEW PORT RICHEY — The highly anticipated second season of Richey Suncoast Theatre’s Black Box Cabaret has been canceled. The series of shows was set to start Nov. 10 and conclude June 17 in the space formerly occupied by Jimmy Ferraro’s Studio Theater.

"We couldn’t work out the construction" of the theater’s Main Street space, said Marie Skelton, executive director at the parent theater. Converting the former venue into a space for theater in the round and other configurations turned out to be much more complicated — and much more expensive — than the theater’s board of directors anticipated, she said.

The Black Box venue was supposed to open in the fall of 2016, but construction problems prevented that. Instead, the shows were presented on the Richey Suncoast stage, with audience members seated in rows of folding chairs. It was cramped. But even more, it conflicted with the theater’s regular season rehearsals, as well as specials, Skelton said.

Now the board has expanded the number of specials in the main theater and terminated the contract with the owner of the proposed Black Box venue.

Discounts for most of the shows are available to those with season tickets to the Broadway Series. Remaining in the specials season are:

• Steve Roman, a tribute to Sammy Davis Jr., with Justin Roman & Gimme Shimmy Showgirls, 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12. Tickets are $24. Discount price, $22.

• Jimmy Mazz, a singer/impressionist, does "Break Out the Jingle Bells," 2 p.m. Nov. 26. Tickets are $24. Discount price, $21.

• Anclote Symphonic Winds, classical and pops, at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 ("A Christmas Celebration") and 7 p.m. April 12 (British and American classics). Tickets are $10. Discount price, $8.

• The J.R. Farley Orchestra series of four shows at 2 p.m. Wednesdays: Jan. 24, "Theme Songs of the Big Bands;" Feb. 28, "The Duke, the Count and Other Royalty;" March 28, "Miller, Dorsey and the Boys;" April 25, "Tribute to the Big Band Singers.: Tickets are $10. Discount price, $8.

• William Cintron, "A Tribute to Englebert Humperdinck & Friends," 2:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Tickets are $24. Discount price, $22.

• Bertie Higgins, Son of a Beach, singing Key Largo, Just Another Day in Paradise and other songs. 8 p.m. Feb. 17. Tickets are $35. Discount price, $30.

• Second annual Dance Project, students of acting, dance and voice classes, 8 p.m. March 1 and 2. Tickets are $8. Discount price, $5.

• Thomas Meighan Film Festival 2018 and 37th annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival, a collection of short films, 7:30 p.m. April 27. Tickets are $10. Discount price, $8.

In addition, the theater is offering classes in acting, led by Mitchell Gonzalez; dance, led by theater resident choreographer Melissa Smith, and voice classes, led by Dee Lynch. Call (727) 842-6777 for details on all of these events and classes.

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