Monday, July 16, 2018
Stage

Stage planner: Soaring opera, sizzling tango at the Straz, Lewis Black at Ruth Eckerd

OPERA TAMPA: DON GIOVANNI

Opera Tampa wraps up its season this weekend with Don Giovanni, which pairs Mozart and one of opera's great villains. It should be a fitting finale, with baritone Carlos Alvarez in the title role.

Alvarez, who is from Spain, has had a major international career. He debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1996 with Placido Domingo directing and has returned to the Met several times. Alvarez won a Latin Grammy Award in 2001 and Spain's Premio Nacional de Musica in 2003.

"If you are able to sing Mozart properly, then you can almost do everything else," Alvarez told me in a recent interview.

Based on the legend of serial philanderer Don Juan, Don Giovanni stars a brash nobleman who pursues his own pleasure at the expense of others and, ultimately, himself. The show features bass-baritone David Cushing as Leporello and soprano Miriam Khalil as Donna Elvira, as well as 2016 Opera Tampa stars Cecilia Violetta López, Cody Austin and Gabriel Preisser.

The opera starts at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Morsani Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $49.50-$109.50. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

For more of our interview with Alvarez, click here.

PASSION PLAY: FOREVER TANGO

It's tango time when Luis Bravo's Forever Tango comes to town, featuring a cadre of dancers mixing music with movement to channel the sexy art form.

Bravo, a cellist and composer, is a native of Argentina who came to this country 35 years ago. He has played with "all the major composers and directors," he said.

He explained tango's surge in popularity in Argentina after World War II.

"We have to consider the social atmosphere in the country because (Juan) Perón was not in power and Argentina was not in the Second World War," he said. "We were isolated, we did not get information, so we were forced to create our own art in every way."

The tango itself has distinctively sensuous, sizzling qualities.

"It's a living art," Bravo said. "Tango is its own contradiction. It's a changing of moods. It's unstable emotionally in every way."

Catch Forever Tango at 7 p.m. Friday in Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $44-$55. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

SMART ALECKS: Joel McHale and Lewis Black

Two of the smartest comics working these days will be performing in Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Joel McHale, shown right, is the funny man behind influential clip show The Soup that skewered absurd pop culture moments and starred in the cult favorite sitcom Community. He remains one of TV's busiest comic presences, but he'll take time out for an 8 p.m. show Saturday at Ferguson Hall in Tampa's Straz Center. Next up: He's the lead in a CBS pilot The Great Indoors, playing an adventure reporter forced to take a desk job in his publication's digital and social media department, surrounded by millennials. Tickets are $45.50 at strazcenter.org.

Lewis Black, shown left, the voice of Anger in Pixar's Inside Out, is so known for his rants, the filmmakers' pitch was literally, "Imagine Lewis Black playing Anger," the comedian told the Tampa Bay Times in a recent interview. The Grammy-winning standup comedian, actor and author, who performs Saturday at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, said of the movie, "I wish I'd seen this when I was 10 and I wouldn't have had to spend the last 20 years paying a psychiatrist." Tickets are $59.50-$79.50 for the 8 p.m. Saturday show at rutheckerdhall.com.

For more of our interview with Lewis Black, click here.. Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer



   
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