Sunday, January 21, 2018
Stage

Quirky 'Urine-town,' romantic comedy big winners at Richey Suncoast Theatre

NEW PORT RICHEY

In what was, arguably, the strongest and most up-to-date season of musicals at Richey Suncoast Theatre, the quirky comedy Urinetown was the big winner at the 2015-16 Charlie Awards on Saturday, the theater's version of the Tony Awards, named in honor of the late managing director Charlie Skelton.

Winners are chosen by popular vote of audiences, and the darkly funny comedy won eight of 11 awards given in the "musical" category (there was one tie).

On the comedy side, audiences sided with the rather outdated 1962 comedy If a Man Answers, giving it six out of seven awards over the rather risqué Key for Two.

If a Man Answers has a wise French mother teaching her American daughter how to lie to and manipulate her husband by using a pseudo-lover who calls and hangs up, with the idea that the jealous husband will become more attentive. Key for Two has a clever woman juggling two married men as her lovers in order to support her upscale lifestyle.

On the musical side, all three of the season's shows hit Broadway in the 21st century, a departure from the usual inclusion of at least one classic, sometimes more, from early to mid-20th century. Urinetown opened on Broadway in 2001, while the other two musicals hit even later — The Drowsy Chaperone in 2006 and Young Frankenstein in 2007. All three musicals were well received by RST audiences.

Urinetown is a tale from the future, when water is so scarce that people aren't allowed to flush their toilets. When the stench of bodily wastes in the bushes becomes overpowering, an enterprising businessman establishes public toilets, then persuades corrupt politicians to require everyone to pay to use them. It sounds horrible, but it is hilariously funny (especially as done by Richey Suncoast) and even comes with a uproariously cynical take on human nature in the end.

The Drowsy Chaperone is subtitled A Musical Within a Comedy and has a narrator explaining the intricacies of musical theater, at some points joining the cast to demonstrate what he means. Young Frankenstein is the musical version of Mel Brooks' 1974 parody of both old-fashioned horror flicks and Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, about a monster created by a mad scientist from the body parts he steals from cemeteries.

Comments
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...
Updated: 9 hours ago
‘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
Review: Richey Suncoast’s I Hate Hamlet worth shouting about

Review: Richey Suncoast’s I Hate Hamlet worth shouting about

NEW PORT RICHEY — Many years ago I lived near New Orleans, and one of my favorite pastimes was to put my son in his stroller and saunter up and down the streets of the Vieux Carre.But Bourbon Street in the late afternoon was our favorite. Back then, ...
Published: 01/15/18
Updated: 01/18/18
A play about Miami’s Cocaine Cowboys is becoming a reality

A play about Miami’s Cocaine Cowboys is becoming a reality

MIAMI — The idea seemed outlandish, maybe even impossible at the time: a one-man play about Miami’s infamous Cocaine Cowboys of the 1980s. Some 15 years ago, the Miami-raised Billy Corben was deep into research for what would become Coca...
Published: 01/15/18
Updated: 01/16/18
With Zev Buffman at the creative end, Ruth Eckerd Hall brings Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer to the stage

With Zev Buffman at the creative end, Ruth Eckerd Hall brings Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer to the stage

An actor famous for playing a radio station manager will star this week in the world premiere of a radio play.Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder brings Gary Sandy, who played Andy Travis on WKRP in Cincinnati, to Ruth Eckerd Hall. And the star power was ...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18