Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Stage

Richey Suncoast Theatre announces 'Reunion Party' for June 8

RECOMMENDED READING


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.

Comments
It’s a Doo Wop holiday at the Show Palace

It’s a Doo Wop holiday at the Show Palace

HUDSON — Music brings the Rudolph family together in A Doo Wop Christmas, which opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 25 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.This new production, directed by Peter Clapsis (The Great American Trailer Park Musical) with m...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/18/17
What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

KIKI OR BUST: BENJI BROWNWherever Benji Brown goes, Kiki follows. The comic, known for his work on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, created the fast-talking female character on the fly when he called a girl’s house in high school and her boyfriend pic...
Published: 11/15/17
American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

ST. PETERSBURG — A centuries-old template for the rom-com as we know it and one of Shakespeare’s most produced comedies, Much Ado About Nothing comes to us at a time when we can really use some love conquering all. Just what the love doctor ordered, ...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Okay, I’ll admit I went into the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill on opening night of the comedy Baggage expecting another June/moon/spoon romance-comedy. And sure enough, that’s just the way it started.A man and a woman grab ea...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/16/17
From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

TAMPA — He had dreamed about returning to comedy in odd moments, between meetings with the lawyer, the lonely trip to the correctional institute, picking up trash on state roads while a guard stood by with a rifle. This nightmare would make him...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/12/17
Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

The Red Rocker calls on time, and he is all kinds of fired up."Hey, Jay, Sammy Hagar here. Are you ready for me?"Is anyone ever truly ready for a phone call from Hagar, the flame-haired, motor-mouthed ex-Van Halen singer who once dubbed himself the C...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/12/17
What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

AMERICAN STAGE: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGTwo couples nearly come apart at the seams for different reasons, the premise for Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, opening at American Stage. This version is set in Key West in the 1940s, the end of World Wa...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

At the beginning of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion acknowledges that the audience might not want to hear her story because we don’t think it could happen to us."It will happen to you," Didion says with a rueful smile, and of course she’s r...
Published: 11/06/17
Updated: 11/07/17
What's on stage this week: 'The Year of Magical Thinking,' Florida Orchestra milestone concert, John Cleese

What's on stage this week: 'The Year of Magical Thinking,' Florida Orchestra milestone concert, John Cleese

STAGEWORKS: MINING GRIEF FOR HEALING The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s no-frills memoir of loss and recovery, opens at Stageworks Theatre this weekend. The essayist and screenwriter adapted the one-woman stage play herself. Didion w...
Published: 11/01/17
Updated: 11/08/17
Romantic comedy ‘Baggage’ opens Nov. 9 at Stage West

Romantic comedy ‘Baggage’ opens Nov. 9 at Stage West

The romantic comedy Baggage opens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. Shows will continue at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 19. Phyllis Novack and Bradley Naught...
Updated one month ago