Make us your home page

Richey Suncoast Theatre announces 'Reunion Party' for June 8

Everyone had a good “Charlie story” at the memorial for Richey Suncoast Theatre managing director Charlie Skelton, who died suddenly last July. It prompted the Reunion Party plans for June 8.

Times (2007)

Everyone had a good “Charlie story” at the memorial for Richey Suncoast Theatre managing director Charlie Skelton, who died suddenly last July. It prompted the Reunion Party plans for June 8.

I'm not really comfortable saying that a memorial service for a friend who has died was "enjoyable." There's something that sounds a bit disrespectful to use such a word in connection with such a sad occasion.

But in the case of the late Charlie Skelton, whose memorial was held nine months ago at Richey Suncoast Theatre after his unexpected, sudden death on July 4, the words enjoyable, fun and funny are as apt as the ones we were all also feeling: heartbroken, melancholy, sorrowful.

The theater was jam-packed, the seats full, people standing against the walls, people sitting in the aisles, filling up the lobby and spilling out into the street. Everyone had a good "Charlie story," about how he changed their lives, saved their lives and saved the theater when it was on the cusp of going under.

It was a good, warm feeling, a gathering of kindred spirits. No wonder it lasted for more than three hours, with many not wanting it to end, even then.

Now, the theater is hoping to keep that feeling going, with what the board plans to make an annual event, a Reunion Party at 6 p.m. June 8 at the theater.

It starts with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m., a show at 7 p.m., and dessert and visiting around 8:30 p.m. Everyone is invited, especially those who have been in a show as cast and/or crew, their families, their friends, and those who have seen a show there or hope to see one someday, or who love theater anywhere. Yup, that just about covers everyone.

To cover costs, the theater is asking $5, plus a covered dish to share with others. Marie Skelton, Charlie's widow and co-rescuer of the theater, says there is a signup sheet in the box office for those who are coming to say what they plan to bring to eat. "We don't want 50 macaroni and cheese casseroles," she said.

Anyone who would like to perform can sign up, too — sing, dance, magic act, musical instrument, short scene from a favorite play — anything that will fit into the 90-minute show planned for the evening.

To sign up, call the box office at (727) 842-6777 and leave a message. Someone will call you back.

A really good bargain

You've heard of big sales events at J.C. Penney, Macy's, Beall's and Dillard's?

Now the Show Palace Dinner Theatre is having a sale, only it's for its two summer shows: Neil Simon's comedy Barefoot in the Park (July 5-28) and the off-Broadway musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Aug. 16-Sept. 15).

Instead of the usual $49.50 for dinner and show, tickets to these two are $32.95, plus tax, a savings of almost $18 a ticket, or three for the price of two (go ahead, take your mother-in-law along).

The buffet will be lighter, brunch-style food instead of the usual multi-meat, multi-vegetable, multi-dessert fare served during the "high season." The menu hasn't been set in stone yet, but it's safe to say it will be creative and satisfying — just right for the warm Florida summertime — and plentiful.

I've often wondered why the Show Palace hasn't done something like this earlier. The smaller shows cost less to produce (Barefoot has six characters; Love/Change can be done with four) than the sprawling musicals that can have up to 46 players (think Oklahoma!, Seven Brides/Seven Brothers, Showboat) and complicated set changes that require a huge crews. Only I always assumed that the theater would keep its current prices for smaller shows and increase them for the biggies.

Patrons can only celebrate that it's the other way around: a price reduction. Call (727) 863-7949 for reservations.

Richey Suncoast Theatre announces 'Reunion Party' for June 8 05/28/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 3:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Battle of the Sexes' is a fine time capsule comedy, and not really about the tennis


    In 1973, tennis champion Billie Jean King joined a two-ring circus with hustler Bobby Riggs, billed as a Battle of the Sexes amid the women's liberation movement. Fifty million Americans watched the pop spectacle on TV.

    Emma Stone and Steve Carell in the film "Battle of the Sexes." [Fox Searchlight Pictures.]
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 26


    University Lecture Series: Jackie Cruz: In part of USF's Hispanic Heritage Month activities, actress Jackie Cruz (Orange is the New Black) presents "Cruzing Through Adversity" in which she offers lessons on resilience, determination and turning life's challenges into opportunities and a better outlook. 8 …

    Jackie Cruz in a scene from Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" Season 2. Photo credit: Jessica Miglio for Netflix.
  3. Restaurant review: Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights should focus on mom-and-pop pharmacy vibe

    Food & Dining

    By Laura Reiley

    Times Food Critic


    Sometimes, the more time you have with a project, the more complicated it gets. I started hearing about Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights about 18 months ago. It was the vision of Ujwal Patel, a pharmacist;

    Mortar & Pestle opened in Seminole Heights in Tampa in August. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  4. Snap Judgment's Glynn Washington on growing up in a 'cult' and how to tell a good story


    Glynn Washington spent much of his last visit to Tampa preparing his soul for the impending apocalypse. He was assured it was coming any day.

    Glynn Washington, the creator and host of NPR's "Snap Judgment," will bring his live show to the Tampa Theatre on Sept. 29. 
Photo courtesy Snap Judgment
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Sept. 25-Oct. 1


    MegaCon Tampa: The multi-genre convention brings a lineup of celebrity guests and comic book creators to the Tampa Convention Center Friday-Sunday, including icon Stan Lee, William Shatner, above, Kevin Smith and Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin from Stranger Things. Shop hundreds of vendors selling …

    Courtesy Adultswim