Thursday, February 22, 2018
Stage

What’s hot on stage this week: ‘Avenue Q,’ ‘The Book of Mormon’

IT’S MAIN STREET NOW: AVENUE Q

Avenue Q is back at Stageworks. The disarming, Sesame Street-style musical, with actors handling puppets continues to pack ’em in 13 years after taking top honors at the Tony Awards for best musical. The script by Jeff Whitey and songs by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx incorporates the range of characters in a rundown multicultural neighborhood with irreverence for political correctness, as demonstrated in songs like Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist and The Internet Is for Porn.

Stageworks spokeswoman Ana Diaz-Diez said local audiences couldn’t get enough of Avenue Q last year. "Even with additional performances, people wanted to go see it," Diaz-Diez said. "It’s been selling really well, and we wanted to give them something for the holidays." Opens Friday and runs through Dec. 23 at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $30-$35. (813) 374-2416. For show times, to go stageworkstheatre.org.

SWEARING BY IT: The Book Of Mormon

The truth about The Book of Mormon its creators don’t want you to know until you see it: Despite the profanity and sacrilege, it’s actually pretty wholesome show. Its quirkily upbeat message, which has resounded as one of Broadway’s most popular musicals in recent decades, is that you can be redeemed, no matter how badly you screwed up or how much even your church condemns you. Runs Tuesday-Dec. 6 at Tampa’s Straz Center Tampa. $63.75 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

FEEL THE BEAT: PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE

Since the wildly diversified compositions of John Cage in the mid-20th century, percussion has emerged as its own solo art form. Composers such as Bob Becker, who mixed military and Hindu idioms; George Hamilton Green, a ragtime pioneer who reinvented the xylophone; and Nathan Daughtrey, a contemporary artist who performed and given master classes across the United States and three continents, factor prominently into a concert by the St. Petersburg College Percussion Ensemble. It’s a blend of musical cultures, with new and established pieces. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at St. Petersburg College’s Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 341-7984. spcollege.edu/artscalendar

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