Friday, September 21, 2018
Stage

Tops this week: ‘Marjorie Prime’ opens at American Stage, solo virtuoso Deb Margolin

CO-PRODUCTION: MARJORIE PRIME

Facts are stubborn things, except when they’re not. In Jordan Harrison’s 2015 Pulitzer finalist, Marjorie Prime, set in 2050, a widow in her mid-80s gets a new companion. Walter Prime, a holographic creation that looks and speaks like her late husband, Walter. He helps Marjorie cope, in part by gradually erasing some details of her past and adding more pleasant memories.

"We all have histories that we replay," said director Stephanie Gularte of American Stage. "And wouldn’t it be nice if we could make that history a little more interesting?"

The show is a co-production with Capital Stage of Sacramento, Calif., which Gularte co-founded. The producing artistic director of American Stage said she finds collaboration energizing. It will also save costs, since one cast will perform the show opening this weekend, then do it at Capital Stage on May 2 through June 3. Two cast members, Brock D. Vickers and Steven Sean Garland, hail from Florida or Georgia while Janis Stevens and Jamie Jones are based in California. (Locals may remember Stevens, however, from her performance in 4000 Miles and as the director of last season’s Sex With Strangers.) Runs Friday through April 1 at Raymond James Theatre, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $39. A preview starts at 8 p.m. Thursday and costs $29. (727) 823-7529. americanstage.org.

SOLO STANDOUT: 8 STOPS

Playwright and performance artist Deb Margolin will be on stage for just one night, but those two hours could change your life. That’s how magnetic she is. Margolin, who teaches playwriting and performance at Yale University, won an Obie Award for sustained excellence in performance. Her one-woman show, 8 Stops, is about "the interstitial moments in life where nothing happens in the Aristotelian sense of the word, a comedy about the grief of endless compassion."

Margolin told the Tampa Bay Times she feels most alive on the stage. "I get instantly aware of the wide waste of privilege," she said. "Who gets to do that, who is more lucky than I?"

Her mantra, she tells students, "is to say, ‘What can I not die without having talked about?’?"

7:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of South Florida’s Theatre 2, 3829 USF Holly Drive, Tampa. Free. theatreanddance.arts.usf.edu.

Cho TIME: MARGARET CHO

Margaret Cho was born in San Francisco in 1968, the peak of the counterculture. The daughter of Korean immigrants grew up in the Haight-Ashbury district among "old hippies, ex-druggies, burnouts, drag queens and Chinese people," Cho has said. "To say it was a melting pot — that’s the least of it."

Cho has starred in ABC and Lifetime sitcoms, a solo Broadway show, been nominated for multiple Emmys and Grammys, and won an LA Pride lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the LGBTQ community. Cho described her second comedy music album, American Myth, as a "glamorous and glittering tribute to family, comedy, anger, fame, gayness, grief, fat pride, love and hate." 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, and 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday, at Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

HAT TRICK: WHAT THE BELLHOP SAW

Hat Trick Theatre has already extended the scheduled run of What the Bellhop Saw by a week. Georgie Leach is splurging on a pricey New York hotel for a romantic getaway, which turns out to be the site of a potential terrorist attack. Characters in the farce include a bumbling FBI agent, a writer, an ambitious hotel maid and a bellhop with tricks up his sleeve. Opens today and runs through March 25 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $24. (727) 791-7400. For showtimes, go to rutheckerdhall.com.

 
Comments
Despite the razzle-dazzle, ‘Chicago’ is starting to feel dated

Despite the razzle-dazzle, ‘Chicago’ is starting to feel dated

TAMPA — There’s a reason Chicago has been delighting audiences since 1975, and is one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history. Jaded and funny, fast-paced and flamboyant, this sentimental journey to the tabloid culture still seems ahead o...
Published: 09/19/18
Find A Friend: Brooklyn the Terrier Mix

Find A Friend: Brooklyn the Terrier Mix

She’s going to make it by any means — got a pocket full of dreams — let’s hear it for Brooklyn. This 36-pound, soulful snuggler is a well-mannered maiden, past the puppy stage at age 5, and happily housebroken. She enjoys ...
Published: 09/19/18
On stage this weekend: Game of Thrones, Rocky Bleier, Florida Orchestra pops up

On stage this weekend: Game of Thrones, Rocky Bleier, Florida Orchestra pops up

PAGEANTRY AND PASSION: GAME OF THRONESThis ought to be fun for hard-core fans of Game of Thrones, which won its third best drama Emmy this week. HBO and Live Nation concert producers combined to create Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, a big b...
Published: 09/19/18
On stage this week: ‘Chicago,’ ‘The Guys,’ Ginger Minj of RuPaul fame

On stage this week: ‘Chicago,’ ‘The Guys,’ Ginger Minj of RuPaul fame

RAZZLE DAZZLE: CHICAGO Broadway returns to Tampa in Chicago, the jazzy Bob Fosse cynical celebration of corruption and longest-running American musical revival of all time. Style is substance as Velma and Roxie compete for the limelight of a jaded p...
Published: 09/12/18
Review: ‘Heisenberg’ at Tampa Rep a hopeful expression for our times

Review: ‘Heisenberg’ at Tampa Rep a hopeful expression for our times

TAMPA — With the current state of things, the unlikely union in Heisenberg provides a refreshingly tender contrast to the divisiveness trolling our lives these days.Playwright Simon Stephens even went so far to say in Oakland’s East Bay Times that "t...
Published: 09/10/18
Updated: 09/12/18
Fall Arts Preview: Your guide to museums, plays, opera and classical music in Tampa Bay

Fall Arts Preview: Your guide to museums, plays, opera and classical music in Tampa Bay

Welcome the sweet approach of fall. Despite our current heat index, we’ll soon experience milder air, shorter days and too many things flavored like pumpkin.But in Tampa Bay, the true indicator of fall is the rebirth of local art. Our professional th...
Published: 09/07/18
Fall Arts Preview: Opera Tampa will premiere new opera by Anton Coppola, 101, and more

Fall Arts Preview: Opera Tampa will premiere new opera by Anton Coppola, 101, and more

Have you decided yet which operas you’re going to compose after age 100? If the prospect seems daunting (it does), consider that there is only one Anton Coppola, and only he expects this kind of productivity. Opera Tampa’s founding maest...
Updated one month ago
Fall Arts Preview: In a new season, Florida Orchestra expands reach, new top soloists

Fall Arts Preview: In a new season, Florida Orchestra expands reach, new top soloists

The Florida Orchestra has prepared a 51st season with a wide range of grand masters and newer work, an increased visibility for minorities and women and more collaborations with museums and other artistic institutions. Masterworks highlights include...
Published: 09/05/18
Updated: 09/06/18
Fall Arts Preview: Light and dark, classic and groundbreaking round out Tampa Bay theater

Fall Arts Preview: Light and dark, classic and groundbreaking round out Tampa Bay theater

Theater mirrors our world and enlarges it, responds to current events, and allows us to glimpse the present by retelling the classics. Just touch this lineup of shows. In the palm of your hand you can almost feel tremors of anxiety about racial tensi...
Updated one month ago
On stage this week: Tampa Bay Theatre Festival and more 'Hedwig'

On stage this week: Tampa Bay Theatre Festival and more 'Hedwig'

BETTER THAN EVER: TAMPA BAY THEATRE FESTIVAL If you haven’t been to a Tampa Bay Theatre Festival yet, you really don’t know what you’re missing. The festival, now in its fifth year, offers a ton of original entertainment, learning ...
Updated one month ago