Friday, September 21, 2018
Stage

What’s on stage this week: Florida Orchestra does ‘Messiah,’ ballerina Sara Mearns at the Straz

EVERY VALLEY: HANDEL’S MESSIAH

After Carmina Burana, the superstar Sting and an ongoing appetizer of three-minute fanfares by Florida composers, what will the Florida Orchestra do next to mark its 50th anniversary season? The answer is a mega round of Handel’s Messiah in three large halls for a record possible 10,000 patrons. Handel composed his most famous masterpiece in less than a month, often writing from dawn to dusk. Messiah debuted April 13, 1742, in Dublin, with a chorus of 26 hand-picked boys and five men from two local cathedrals. Music director Michael Francis will lead the orchestra, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and the audience in the Hallelujah chorus. 8 p.m. Thursday, Idlewild Baptist Church, 18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd., Lutz. $30. 8 p.m. Friday, Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $15-$45. 8 p.m. Saturday, First Baptist Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. $30. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

A PLUM ENGAGEMENT: SARA MEARNS

Next Generation Ballet performs Nutcracker this weekend, a demanding production by serious young dancers. This year it’s extra special as New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns is dancing the role of the Sugarplum Fairy. At 31, Mearns has been called "very probably the most talked-of ballerina in America and quite possibly the most argued-about ballerina anywhere." The same story in the New York Times compared the Columbia, S.C., native to Maria Callas for her mold-breaking style and diversity, from her athletic body type and movie star looks to her romantic and bold interpretations of Swan Lake and almost every other piece she’s performed. A principal since 2008, she has worked with the best, starred in a national broadcast (A Dancer’s Dream) with the New York Philharmonic and won plaudits for her debuts in two of NYCB founder George Balanchine’s most difficult ballerina roles, Chaconne and Mozartiana. Mearns will perform Friday and Saturday alongside NYCB principal dancer Amar Ramasar as the Cavalier. Former Miami City Ballet principal Patricia Delgado will dance the Sugarplum Fairy role Thursday. Former Next Generation artistic director Peter Stark choreographed the piece, with additions by current artistic director Philip Neal. 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $30. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

REINDEER GAMES: RUDOLPH RETURNS

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his bullying, fair-weather friends are back. Characters adapted from the animated television classic now inhabit the stage, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Rudolph himself. 3 and 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35 and up, dinner packages available. A pre-show Santa Party with games, treats and a Tel-an-Elf phone booth starts 90 minutes before each show and costs $15. (727) 791-7400. 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...
Updated one month ago
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...
Updated one month ago
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