Make us your home page
Instagram

Stage planner: Late-blooming comic Steve Miller, Mark Chambers does Truman Capote, improv classes

LOCAL TALENT: STEVE MILLER

Just before social media took off, Steve Miller was giving up on the sketch comedy group he had organized with friends. What seemed like a good idea in theory was harder to pull off week to week.

"I came to the realization that if I wanted to do something, I had better do it on my own," said Miller, 40, a Gaither High graduate who appears at Side Splitters this weekend.

In 2007, he started participating in open mic nights at comedy clubs. He has since shared the stage with the likes of Jim Jefferies, Amy Schumer, Brian Posehn and Ralphie May. Earlier this year, Miller made the final four in Side Splitter's yearlong comedy contest. He ranted about the way people behave on the Internet, including a commenter on Yelp who panned a national park because of fog.

"I am obsessed with watching us as a culture, the entitlement we feel," Miller said.

Catch him at 6 p.m. Saturday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $10. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.

ON A CLOUD: LES MISÉRABLES

The Patel Conservatory is heading into the final weekend of Les Misérables. Kevin Lisske, 18, who plays Marius, finds the musical inspirational.

"All of the characters, whatever they do, they just keep on living and they try to survive," he said. "These days, when most people are like, 'Yeah, I could do this or that but I'm too tired,' it really shows that people have to survive, that there are still people on this planet who have to survive and to fight for it."

Lisske, a native of the Lucerne area of Switzerland, hopes to train next in London.

Les Misérables starts at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Patel Conservatory's TECO Theater, at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $20. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

Patel students are also putting on a abridged workshop production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. It's the culmination of the conservatory's eight-day summer camp for theater students. That show starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Straz Center's Jaeb Theater, and is free.

OTHER VOICES: TRU@620

Truman Capote probably did more to invent narrative journalism than any other writer. He was a superbly gifted writer, a gadfly who seemed to know everyone and an alcoholic who eventually alienated as many friends as he had made.

Throw in a penchant for gossip, the fedora and a distinctive speaking voice and you have a ready-made subject for a one-character play. Mark Chambers, right, who recently played all of the roles in Everett Quinton's A Tale of Two Cities at American Stage, takes on that challenge in Jay Presson Allen's Tru, at the Studio@620. The show starts at 7 p.m.Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. It runs through July 24 at the Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $25, $20 students and seniors. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.

A DEEPER DIVE: SUNDAY TALKBACKS

Jobsite Theater is opening its PTSD-themed show Time Stands Still to talkbacks following matinees this week and next. On Sunday, "Seeing the Other" features guests Laila Abdelaziz, Muaaz Hassan and Katherine Heffner from CAIR Florida. Questions include cultural representations of the "Arab-Islamic world, as well as all non-Anglo Americans," the theater said, and how we might see past stereotypes.

On July 24, a discussion will tackle challenges facing journalists. "News, Art and Ethics" will address "how we represent and digest unimaginable events, whether in photography, in writing or in popular culture." Guests are former WFTS-Ch. 28 news anchor Brendan McLaughlin and the Times' Susan Taylor Martin and Ben Montgomery. Both discussions are led by David Jenkins, Jobsite's producing artistic director, and include the show's cast and artistic team.

Time Stands Still starts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. Talkback sessions start at the conclusion of the Sunday matinee (after 5:45 p.m.) this week and next. The show runs through July 31 at the Straz Center's Shimberg Playhouse, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $28. Admission to talkbacks is included with a show ticket. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

TRY IT YOURSELF: IMPROV 101

Improv is hot. The high-stakes art of not just thinking, but creating on your feet has inspired a cottage industry from comics to business consultants.

American Stage Theatre Company runs a series of improv classes, and now is a good time to jump in. Intro to Improv is an eight-week course led by professionally trained performers with roots in improv and sketch comedy groups such as Second City and the Groundlings. The theater assures life-changing results from the training, on stage or off. Classes culminate with a showcase performance for family and friends. There are two class times opening soon: 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. on Saturdays at American Stage Theatre Company, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $180. (727) 823-7529. americanstage.org.

Stage planner: Late-blooming comic Steve Miller, Mark Chambers does Truman Capote, improv classes 07/13/16 [Last modified: Friday, July 15, 2016 11:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Tuesday May 30

    Events

    Finding Neverland: The hit Broadway show follows the story behind playwright J.M. Barrie as he struggles to find inspiration to create Peter Pan, until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, …

    Mitchell Wray, Jordan Cole, Finn Faulconer and Ben Krieger as the Llewelyn Davies Boys in the National Tour of Finding Neverland. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  2. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  3. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the cinema is precisely what it was a generation …

    Soft pretzels are displayed with a beer at the Features Gastropub in the Riverview 14 GDX  theater in Gibsonton, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.   The 5,900-square-foot Features Gastropub open in the . This element of the project is the brainchild of Philadelphia chef Brian Duffy, who appears frequently on NBC's The Today Show and the Spike TV show Bar Rescue
  4. From the food editor: I love that food is a huge part of Master of None's transcendent second season

    Cooking

    Deep into a late-night binge of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's Netflix series that returned for its second season May 12, I realized I was laying as far back on my couch as possible, blanket clutched up to my chin, eyebrows permanently raised.

    Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) eat lunch in Modena, Italy, in the second season of "Master of None."
  5. Three 'MasterChef' contestants from the Tampa Bay area talk cooking inspiration and more

    Cooking

    When Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef begins its eighth season tonight, the Tampa Bay area will have three contestants to root for. A marketing director from Tampa, a dentist and Palm Harbor native, and an employee for a steel supply company are all trying to impress a trio of judges with their home-cooking skills.

    Jeff Philbin, from Tampa, left, Palm Harbor native Paola Annoni Patel, and Danny Flores, of Land 'O Lakes, will be competing on the season premiere of "Masterchef."