Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Stage

Children bring story of 'Pippi Longstocking' to life at Stage West

SPRING HILL

She is strong, high-spirited and unconventional. She can beat up robbers with her unimaginable strength, has unlimited wealth and is a rebel who refuses to conform to society. With her outlandish clothing and legendary orange pigtails, the story of the infamous Swedish tween Pippi Longstocking has lasted generations.

Pippi's adventures have been in movies and animation, and on television and the stage. Local audiences will experience the freckled-face rebel's story when it comes to life next weekend in the Stage West Community Playhouse children's production of Pippi Longstocking.

In this story, Pippi moves back to her house, Villa Villekulla. She is alone, as her mother has died and her father, a pirate, has been shipwrecked. Along with her next-door neighbors, Tommy and Annika, she becomes involved in funny adventures — and misadventures — that will have people of all ages giggling.

"It is the classic Pippi story," said director Misty Hornsby. "Raised by pirates, she really doesn't know how to behave proper in public."

The role of Pippi has been double-cast with two local 9-year-olds, Elizabeth Kessel and Laney Windlan.

Hornsby said that when Elizabeth first auditioned, she was the image of Pippi, with red hair and freckles. "And Elizabeth just knew who Pippi was."

A day later, when Laney auditioned, her look struck Hornsby to be more like Annika. But despite the blond hair, Laney proved to be a perfect Pippi. "There was something spunky about Laney," Hornsby said. "She had the Pippi attitude."

Other cast members include: Alexandra Allocco as the teacher, Antonia Matos as Annika Settergren, Lorenzo Guarino as Tommy Settergren, Liarisah Luiz-Baxter as Mrs. Settergren, Ella Windlan Thunder as Mrs. Prysselius, Rylie Nelson as Victoria Rooney Bloom, Rhea Rose Whitaker as the carnival manager, Emma Chenoweth as the toy vendor, Emily Gembicki-Martins as the candy vendor, Wyatt Washington as the Mighty Adolph, Anthony Aulicino as Officer Klang, McKinnley Nelson as Officer Larsson, Reed Washington as Capt. Ephraim Longstocking, Stephanie Bishop as Angel Mama, Abigail Barron as Mrs. Granberg, Savannah Smith as a sailor, Alannah Allocco as Nicole and Isabel Huddleson and Christa Luiz-Baxter as school girls.

The audience will be treated to musical numbers such as You Never Know Where You Might Be Tomorrow and Who Can Sail Without the Wind? as well as one song sung entirely in Swedish, Janta a Ja.

"None of the songs are familiar," said Myndee Washington, musical director. "It was a bit daunting, as most songs were written in Swedish, in four-part harmony. There was a lot of stripping and translating."

But Washington said the youth were up to the challenge. "These kids are incredibly capable," she said. "They are just as professional as adults, if not more."

Comments
Pasco Schools arts centers host Always ... Patsy Cline

Pasco Schools arts centers host Always ... Patsy Cline

The Pasco Schools Centers for the Arts open their doors to the community this weekend with three performances of Always ... Patsy Cline on the Wesley Chapel High and River Ridge High school campuses.The musical play features several of Cline’s hits, ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
The Diary of Anne Frank opens at Stage West

The Diary of Anne Frank opens at Stage West

Anne Frank became one of the most notable victims of the Holocaust after the publishing of her diary, which chronicled more than two years of the Jewish teen’s life in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam during World War II. Her story will come to life...
Published: 01/23/18
Jobsite’s ‘The Tempest’ balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

Jobsite’s ‘The Tempest’ balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

TAMPA — The Tempest begins with shadow play, a ship tossed on high seas. Projected onto a backdrop, the shadow of that ship looks proportionate to the waves that rock it. You see this, even as a daemonic spirit holds a toy replica in her hand, the ac...
Published: 01/22/18
Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Published: 01/20/18
‘Mike Hammer - Encore for Murder’ serves up hard-boiled 1950s fare with a healthy side of wit

‘Mike Hammer - Encore for Murder’ serves up hard-boiled 1950s fare with a healthy side of wit

CLEARWATER — From the moment the title character takes center stage, Mike Hammer — Encore for Murder is sold. Rarely does one actor own an entire production the way Gary Sandy owns this world premiere, and it’s a pleasure at watch, in large measure t...
Published: 01/19/18
Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

ST. PETERSBURG An air compressor did most of the talking as the small crew stapled down flooring to the stage. A master carpenter kept unskilled but eager workers on track, telling them where to line up edges. An astringent smell of glue permeated t...
Published: 01/18/18
What’s on stage this week: Riverdance, ‘Mike Hammer,’ ‘The Tempest’

What’s on stage this week: Riverdance, ‘Mike Hammer,’ ‘The Tempest’

RIVERDANCE AT 20: CIARA SEXTONShe’s a former world champion in Irish dance, and now Ciara Sexton, center, is leading Riverdance in Tampa. A lead dancer and soloist with the troupe, Sexton said she has felt comfortable touring the states."What really ...
Published: 01/17/18
Steve Martin and Martin Short talk touring together and ‘newfangled old-fashioned’ variety show

Steve Martin and Martin Short talk touring together and ‘newfangled old-fashioned’ variety show

It’s barely been a year since Steve Martin and Martin Short last brought their roadshow to town. But there was never a doubt in their minds they’d be back."We thought — and I seriously mean this — we’ve got to play Florida more." Martin said in a pho...
Published: 01/17/18
Tampa Rep’s ‘Gnit’ is a sharp commentary on narcissism in the age of selfies

Tampa Rep’s ‘Gnit’ is a sharp commentary on narcissism in the age of selfies

By JULIE GARISTOTimes CorrespondentTAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre’s Gnit strikes gold for theatergoers who appreciate deadpan wit, clever wordplay and incisive commentary on the human condition.First produced in 2013, the retread of a Scandinavian c...
Published: 01/16/18
Review: Show Palace’s Pippin daring and dangerous

Review: Show Palace’s Pippin daring and dangerous

HUDSON —If you saw the musical Pippin when it first hit Broadway in 1972, or a high school drama club version, or even a touring company rendition a decade ago, it’s not exactly the Pippin you’ll see if you’re wise enough to go see the spectacular mo...
Published: 01/15/18
Updated: 01/18/18