Saturday, June 23, 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
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

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

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

TAMPA — The virtues of Dancing at Lughnasa, with which Jobsite Theater closes its season, are many. This drama by the celebrated Brian Friel opened in 1990 to much acclaim. It captures a family’s joys and sadnesses, and the quickness with which one s...
Published: 06/19/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/15/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

GULFPORT — Brianna Melton is as serious a ballet student as they come.By her junior year at St. Petersburg High’s International Baccalaureate program, she had already spent four summers training with ballet companies across the country and had narrow...
Published: 06/14/18
What’s on stage: The Illusionists, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa,’ G. David Howard

What’s on stage: The Illusionists, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa,’ G. David Howard

OPENING: DANCING AT LUGHNASAIrish playwright Brian Friel, who died in 2015 at 86, won’t be traveling anymore. But I’ll bet he packed a tidy suitcase. Dancing at Lughnasa, Jobsite Theater’s season closer, manages to address a lot of issues: race, reli...
Published: 06/13/18
Ruth Eckerd Hall tees up comedy, romance and Kristin Chenoweth for 2018-19 Broadway season

Ruth Eckerd Hall tees up comedy, romance and Kristin Chenoweth for 2018-19 Broadway season

Ruth Eckerd Hall rolls out a new lineup of musicals for its 2018-19 season, a mix of comedy, favorite musicals and romance."For the last 35 years, Broadway has always been a staple at Ruth Eckerd Hall," chief executive officer Zev Buffman said in a p...
Published: 06/12/18
A tense night at the Tony Awards ends in euphoria for Largo doctor Jeffrey Grove

A tense night at the Tony Awards ends in euphoria for Largo doctor Jeffrey Grove

Dr. Jeffrey Grove sat three-quarters of the way back from the stage at Radio City Music Hall, waiting for his moment. The Largo physician made the trip with family to New York for Sunday’s Tony Awards, where he hoped to see his investment in O...
Published: 06/11/18
Neal Boyd, ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner, dies at 42

Neal Boyd, ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner, dies at 42

SIKESTON, Mo. — Neal Boyd, an opera singer who won America’s Got Talent and dabbled in Missouri politics, has died. Scott County Coroner Scott Amick says Boyd died around 6 p.m. Sunday at his mother’s house in Sikeston. He was 42. Amick says Boyd had...
Published: 06/11/18
Parkland drama teens bring down the house with stirring performance at Tony Awards

Parkland drama teens bring down the house with stirring performance at Tony Awards

Members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s drama team stole the show at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards Sunday night.The performance brought the crowd— many of whom were wiping tears from their eyes— to its collective feet at the Radio City Music ...
Published: 06/11/18