Friday, October 19, 2018
Stage

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

OPENING: DANCING AT LUGHNASA

Irish 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, religion, disease, economic anxiety, family dynamics, war and media.

All of that merely just sets up the primary plot, following the romances of five sisters in 1936 Ireland. The ability of audiences to decide what to focus on is one thing that makes the play great, said producing artistic director David Jenkins, who is directing this show.

"Lughnasa is for sure loaded," Jenkins said. "We were led to it mostly because of its ability to show off the strengths of our ensemble, particularly our women (Nicole Jeannine Smith, Katrina Stevenson, Jonelle Meyer, Caitlin Eason and Emily Belvo), and because we’ve historically had a sweet spot for Irish plays and so felt audiences would be on board for it."

Opens Friday and runs through July 8 at the Shimberg Playhouse, David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50 and up. Previes at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday cost $18. (813) 229-7827. jobsitetheater.org.

LIVE FROM BROADWAY: THE ILLUSIONISTS

Look away from the Illusionists for even a few seconds and there’s a chance you’ll miss something incredible. They nearly drown each other, upside down in a claustrophobic glass tank. They saw each other in half. For materials, they draw on their own fears and phobias, Kevin James ("The Inventor"), right, told the Times.

"I have a routine that explores childhood nightmares and another one that is about death," James said. "They are not in this version of the Illusionists, but I do like to choose topics that will hopefully resonate with the human condition."

Starts at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Carol Morsani Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

THE GODFATHER: G. DAVID HOWARD

The Tampa Bay area has a vibrant comedy scene. But no matter how big it gets, no one will ever threaten the position occupied by G. David Howard, at least for as long as he is performing, which is 40 years and counting. The man who once told jokes for 16 hours straight, setting a Guinness world record, headlines a Ward Smith and Friends event.

"He’s our comedy godfather," local comic, actor and director Smith said of Howard. "When I was starting out 30-odd years ago, we’d go see his long shows and he would let us do guest sets while he took a break. We’re lucky to get him."

Smith has been hosting comedy events the last couple of years at the Palladium, thanks to the support of executive director Paul Wilborn.

"The crowds are always fantastic," Smith said. "For the performers, it’s always great to get a break from the club environment and work a first-class room like the (Palladium’s) Side Door."

8 p.m. Saturday at the Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $15 in advance, $20 day of show, $30 reserved. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.

MAESTRO SERIES: THE MUSIC MAN

As the St. Petersburg Opera Co. prepares its season-ending musical, maestro Mark Sforzini, right, makes the rounds in a series of lectures on The Music Man, which runs June 29 to July 8 at the Palladium. The opera’s artistic director will talk about what makes the show special, with singers on hand for selected songs. Set in 1912, the story about small-town America cleaned up in the Tony Awards for 1957, beating out West Side Story for best musical and in three out of four acting categories. This show stars Peter Kendall Clark (as Professor Harold Hill), Molly Mustonen, Lucas Levy and Paula Broadwater. The lecture titled "Trouble With a Capital T" starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Music Gallery, 5990 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater; 11 a.m. Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; and 3 p.m. Sunday at Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, 110 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater. $20, $17 seniors, $10 students. (727) 823-2040. stpeteopera.org.

 
Comments
Singer Seal to headline February’s Florida Orchestra gala

Singer Seal to headline February’s Florida Orchestra gala

ST. PETERSBURG — The Florida Orchestra has landed Seal, a four-time Grammy winner, to headline its fundraising gala at the Mahaffey Theater Feb. 9.The London-born star, who has sold more than 30 million albums on the strength of his versatile, smooth...
Updated: 11 hours ago
So much to like about ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

So much to like about ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

TAMPA — The latest touring Broadway show in town fails spectacularly. It’s supposed to.The Play That Goes Wrong had a full house at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts laughing almost the entire time, in a way I have never heard bef...
Published: 10/17/18
Last year, the arts got little state money. This year, arts groups are watching.

Last year, the arts got little state money. This year, arts groups are watching.

In March, the state slashed funding for hundreds of Florida’s arts and cultural programs by 90 percent. The dropoff came as a blow to the gut, like downsizing from two loaves of bread to one piece.After three straight years of cuts, arts nonprofit or...
Published: 10/17/18
What’s on stage this week: Aziz Ansari, Florida Orchestra fetes Queen, Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’

What’s on stage this week: Aziz Ansari, Florida Orchestra fetes Queen, Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’

After months of lying low, Aziz Ansari is back in the spotlight. The St. Petersburg Opera, Hat Trick Theatre and Radio Theatre Project open their seasons.
Published: 10/17/18
Realignment at Big Bend intersection promises safer traffic flow after construction headaches

Realignment at Big Bend intersection promises safer traffic flow after construction headaches

GIBSONTON – A new north-south road is coming to relieve traffic along U.S. 301, but making way for it promises some short-term traffic headaches for a South Shore region already stymied by congestion.The new road would run more than four miles...
Published: 10/16/18
Updated: 10/17/18
‘Edgar & Emily’ imagines literary legends sharing verses and souls

‘Edgar & Emily’ imagines literary legends sharing verses and souls

TAMPA — Pale candlelight and a comforter on the king-sized bed sets a ghostly mood for Edgar & Emily, which Jobsite Theater has scheduled to run beyond Halloween. David Jenkins directs Joseph McDonough’s comedy, which premiered six months ago in sout...
Published: 10/15/18
Updated: 10/18/18
Where to find Tampa Bay Halloween parties, pumpkin patches and events

Where to find Tampa Bay Halloween parties, pumpkin patches and events

Experience everything from kid-friendly events to horrifying haunted houses to spooky art projects this weekend in Tampa Bay.
Published: 10/11/18
Ernest Hooper: Tampa Bay Food Fight brings chefs, foodies together for good cause

Ernest Hooper: Tampa Bay Food Fight brings chefs, foodies together for good cause

The participants will fight for bragging rights, and the chance to help aspiring culinary artists.
Published: 10/10/18
What’s on stage this week: 'The Play That Goes Wrong,' Florida Orchestra does Harry Potter

What’s on stage this week: 'The Play That Goes Wrong,' Florida Orchestra does Harry Potter

In one play, everything goes wrong on purpose. Plus, the Florida Orchestra tackles Harry Potter, and Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickinson meet, defying the odds.
Published: 10/10/18
Zev Buffman retires as Ruth Eckerd Hall president and CEO

Zev Buffman retires as Ruth Eckerd Hall president and CEO

After seven years as the CEO and president of Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Zev Buffman has announced his retirement. The veteran theater impresario, who turns 88 next week, made the announcement on Thursday, but said he and his wife had reached t...
Published: 10/04/18
Updated: 10/05/18