Sunday, April 22, 2018
Stage

Brothers step in for missing sisters in 'The Andrews Brothers' at Show Palace

HUDSON — It's 1945 on a small Pacific island, and hundreds of GIs are getting ready to ship out for a major battle the following morning. But before they do, they're going to get a bang-up send-off by a big USO show, starring pinup girl Peggy Jones and the world famous singing Andrews Sisters.

Only one thing: The Andrews Sisters are nowhere to be seen, and it's only a couple of hours before the show is supposed to start. That means no rehearsal and perhaps no show.

That's the setup for The Andrews Brothers, a musical playing June 4 through July 3 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

Perhaps as disappointed as the GIs is Peggy (Andrea Wright, Norwegian Cruise Lines), who was looking forward to making her big stage debut with the Andrews Sisters. That's when the three Andrews brothers, stagehands who have been traveling with and doing setups for the famous sisters, volunteer to rehearse with Peggy so she'll be ready when her big chance comes. The boys are all 4F, so they're doing their part helping with shows, and they know all the Andrews Sisters' songs.

There's flat-footed Max (Christoff Marse, Zach in A Chorus Line), who can sing the parts usually sung by Maxene; asthmatic Patrick (Matty Colonna, Lucas in The Addams Family), who can sing Patty's parts, and nearsighted Lawrence (Marc Ciemiewicz, Show Palace debut), who can fill in as LaVerne.

Peggy rehearses her opening act numbers (Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet), and the guys join her for some warm-up numbers. As often happens in stage musicals, Peggy quickly falls madly in love with Patrick and plots to get the other two brothers out of the picture so she can have him all alone (Slow Boat to China). Moments later, Lawrence and Max return with the bad news The real Andrews Sisters have been quarantined because of an outbreak of chickenpox. Will that mean no show?

Of course not, especially after Peggy catches the guys gussied up in the Andrews Sisters' costumes, singing the Andrews Sisters' songs. Why not be the Andrews Sisters for just one night — after all, it's to cheer up the boys who are going off to war.

That's when the high jinks start. Will the GIs get wise to the imposters? And what about Patrick's wheezing and sneezing? And will sight-challenged Lawrence fall off the stage? What about flat-footed Max's ability to swing and sway?

The Los Angeles Times said the show is "Pleasingly silly! No-holds-barred goofiness." It's likely to bring back good memories for veterans once entertained by USO performers.

For this special show, the Show Palace is bringing in a three-piece live band to accompany the 25 tunes in the show, said Jennifer Mara, business manager of the theater. The director/choreographer is Jared E. Walker, who played Gomez in The Addams Family and Vince Fontaine in Grease at the Show Palace. The music director is William Coleman, who just relocated to the Tampa Bay area from Oklahoma City, where he was co-director of a children's theater program for 15 years.

Comments
The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took on a new layer of signif...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

ST. PETERSBURG — In the coming season, Freefall Theatre is rolling out a world premiere, a different take on Christmas, a sharp comedy and a recent work by Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The theme for the 2018-2019 season, "A Brighter Tomorrow," color...
Published: 04/19/18
Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

HEAD WAITRESS: DESI OAKLEYThe blue collar mother who drives the plot of Waitress never thought she could win a pie-making contest, let alone start a business."She doesn’t even have the capacity to understand that she could do this," said Desi Oakley,...
Published: 04/18/18
American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

ST. PETERSBURG ­— Think early evening, daylight saving version. The earth turning away, light fading in Demens Landing Park — everywhere except the stage, which is trying its best to resurrect midday. "It looks like New York City at nigh...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

BROOKSVILLE — How about a story about two knights who gain their knighthood, lose it, then gain it back, only to lose it again?That was the concept Kyle Marra pitched nearly three years ago to Randi Olsen, founder and creative director for the Live O...
Published: 04/17/18
Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

TAMPA — Tampa made its cigars with indispensable help from Cuban immigrants. Today, 22 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, as defined by the U.S. Census. The Tampa Bay area has increasingly and proudly defined itself as a thriving perfor...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Review: ‘I’ll Be Back’ at Stage West mixes creepy with shocking

Review: ‘I’ll Be Back’ at Stage West mixes creepy with shocking

The murder mystery/thriller I’ll Be Back Before Midnight is loaded with potential. Playwright Peter Colley’s spooky, sometimes creepy, script has lots of surprises, scary moments and a few jokes to break the tension.And the production at Stage West C...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Review: ‘Menopause the Musical’ brings the heat to Show Palace in Hudson

For years, Show Palace Dinner Theatre patrons have begged owners Vicki and Tommy Marasciullo to bring Menopause the Musical to their Hudson venue. To be sure, the longtime showbiz couple wanted to, and the 400+ sold-out crowd opening night, followed ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Monthly dessert theatre opens at CARES

Monthly dessert theatre opens at CARES

NEW PORT RICHEY — A collaborative agreement between CARES (Community Aging and Retirement Services) and local entertainer Jimmy Ferraro will bring Jimmy Ferraro’s Dessert Theatre, a series of monthly variety shows, to the CARES Elfers Center stage, 4...
Published: 04/16/18
New opera by Anton Coppola, 101, highlights Opera Tampa’s 2018-2019 season

New opera by Anton Coppola, 101, highlights Opera Tampa’s 2018-2019 season

TAMPA — Last year’s lavish 100th birthday party for composer and conductor Anton Coppola might have seemed like the capstone of a long career in opera. Turns out that Opera Tampa’s co-founder was not finished. The maestro’s latest opera, Lady Swanwhi...
Published: 04/14/18