Make us your home page

'Book of Mormon,' 'Once' headline Straz Center's 2013-14 Broadway series

For the first time in a few years, the Broadway series at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has some legitimate buzz for the 2013-14 season, which is released today.

Not only is the lineup topped by The Book of Mormon, which opens the season in November and was previously announced, it also includes the current Tony Award winner for best new musical, Once, and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which won the Tony for best revival of a musical. Another high-profile show is the revival of Evita, the musical about Argentine political icon Eva Perón by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Two more musicals fill out the season: Ghost the Musical, based on the 1990 movie with music by Dave Stewart (one half, with Annie Lennox, of the Eurythmics) and lyrics by Glenn Ballard, co-writer and producer of the Alanis Morissette album Jagged Little Pill; and We Will Rock You, with a score featuring Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are the Champions and other rock hits by Queen.

With a two-week run, The Book of Mormon is the new blockbuster for theaters around the country. In the past decade or so, the trio of The Lion King, Wicked (now at the Straz) and Jersey Boys have been the economic foundation of touring Broadway, though they are growing pretty long in the tooth. Almost two years after opening, the Broadway production of Mormon remains wildly popular, playing to 103 percent capacity in a recent week. Its bawdy fare hasn't seemed to present problems on the road.

Once also continues to do well in New York — recently drawing 102 percent capacity and posting a weekly gross of $1,446,088 — and its tour will begin in the summer. Based on an Irish movie, it's a bittersweet love story between a Dublin street singer and a Czech immigrant, with a folkish score by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

For Porgy and Bess, director Diane Paulus cut down the four-hour Gershwin opera to a two-and-a-half-hour musical, with a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog). The Broadway production, which closed in September, starred Norm Lewis as Porgy and Audra McDonald as Bess. Producers of the tour have not announced casting.

The Evita revival, due to close Jan. 26 on Broadway, featured Ricky Martin as Che and was directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford.

Straz programming chief

Georgiana Young is the new chief programming officer at the Straz Center. She replaces Judy Joseph, who held the position since 2002. In November, Joseph was named vice president of programming and education for Orlando's new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, scheduled to open its first phase in fall 2014.

Young, 53, is a former executive vice president of presenting and director of marketing and business development for Clear Channel Entertainment as well as former executive director of Houston's Society for the Performing Arts, the largest cultural presenter in the Southwest. Most recently, she was executive director of the Paiz Foundation, which supports arts and education in Guatemala. She begins at the Straz on Feb. 1.

'Gramophone' review

The all-Delius CD by the Florida Orchestra, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and baritone soloist Leon Williams under Stefan Sanderling, released on the Naxos label in September, has undoubtedly received its share of reviews, but perhaps the most significant internationally appeared in the December issue of Gramophone magazine. Published in London, the venerable (founded in 1923) monthly is the leading English-language publication devoted to classical recordings.

Reviewer Jeremy Dibble noted the aptness of a Delius recording from Florida, where the British composer found his musical voice on an orange plantation near Jacksonville in the 19th century. Dibble gave good marks to Appalachia ("Sanderling's interpretation of this imaginative score is sympathetic"), less good to Sea Drift ("the balance of soloist, chorus and orchestra . . . lacks that delicate range of color essential to Delius' personal brand of polyphony").

John Fleming can be reached at or (727) 893-8716.

Broadway series

Here's the schedule for the 2013-14 Broadway series at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa:

Nov. 12-24: The Book of Mormon; Nov. 14-19: The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess; Feb. 11-16: Once; March 18-23: Evita; April 22-27: Ghost the Musical; May 13-18: We Will Rock You.

Current season ticket holders will receive renewal notices this week. New subscriptions go on sale at the end of January. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045;

'Book of Mormon,' 'Once' headline Straz Center's 2013-14 Broadway series 01/13/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 10:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High turns 35: Learn it. Know it. Live it


    Fast Times at Ridgemont High not only is the perfect time capsule of pop culture in the early ‘80s - all it needed was some tasty waves and cool buds = it’s also high art. How so? Leave it to me. I'm the full hot orator today. Did you know the cast actually featured three future Academy Award …

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 23: Of tiny towns, wonderful naps and dreamlike ice cream bars


    Day 23: Murias de Rechivaldo to Foncebadon: 20.8 km, 6 hours. Total for Days 1-23 = 541 km (336 miles)

  3. Forgotten '80s classic: The Kinks' 'The Road'


    While the '70s has classic songs about rock 'n' roll on the road like Jackson Browne's The Load-Out and Bob Seger's Turn The Page, the '80s also lamented about the long tours including songs that might have escaped your attention like the Kinks and their travel song simply titled The Road.

  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 28


    Lady Antebellum: The Grammy-winning trio take the stage with openers Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $26.75-$60.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 02:  (L-R) Recording artists Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform during the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
  5. Opera legend Sherrill Milnes keeps a quieter profile in Palm Harbor


    TARPON SPRINGS — The soprano sang an aria from The Marriage of Figaro about lost love, but she could have been asking the devil not to steal her soul. A couple dozen opera fans watched, including a silver-haired man with leonine features leaning back in his chair.

    American operatic baritone Sherrill Milnes, right, critiques a performance by Mariana Carnovali, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the Opera Voice competition on Monday  at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times