Sunday, May 27, 2018
Stage

Stage Planner: 'Cinderella' at Opera Tampa, Steve Martin and Martin Short, 'The Aliens' opens at Stageworks

THE RIGHTER STUFF: CINDERELLA

When she's not touring Europe or the United States, Emily Righter, right, gives concerts to support the homeless.

So it's fitting the mezzo-soprano is singing the lead in Gioachino Rossini's Cinderella (or La Cenerentola, the Italian title), which turns on her treatment of a beggar in the opening scene. It's Opera Tampa's first production of the season. Angelina (the character name in Rossini's version) serves bread and coffee to the visitor, who is actually an envoy to the prince. Based on her current trajectory, Righter could wind up in some pretty elite circles of her own. She has consistently earned kudos for her vocal control and delivery, plus an attention to detail in embodying her roles, a result of talent and high standards.

"There's a fine line between excellent — like, 'Wow, she's a fantastic singer' — and extraordinary, where you can't even put words to it, and that is what gives you chills because it's something you can't explain," said Righter, 32. "But you have to study your craft."

8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Ferguson Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $83.50. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

TWO AMIGOS: MARTIN AND SHORT

Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short have been friends since meeting more than 30 years ago while filming Three Amigos. Now the comedians are bringing their variety show to town. "An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life" will feature lots of jokes, songs and stories, plus the Steep Canyon Rangers, a Grammy-winning bluegrass band.

"Steve and I have many things we share that are very beneficial for this show," Short said in a phone interview with the pair. "We have very similar comedic instincts. Our approach to the construction of comedy is similar."

Asked how they contrast, Short said, "Steve is much, much older — not decades, but close to it." (Martin is 71, Short is 66.)

"And Marty is actually happy," Martin chimed in. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $100.25 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

THE EMPTY SPACE: THE ALIENS

Two artistic types in their 30s meet in an alley behind a Vermont coffee shop, where they discuss art and music. A high school student wanders onto the scene, and finds himself the focus of a wide-ranging exchange of ideas and perspective of everything of importance. The Aliens, which opens this weekend at Stageworks Theatre, allows audiences to relate to the dialogue in their own ways rather than by following a didactic plot line, said Chris Jackson, above, who plays Jasper, one of the two older men. Playwright Annie Baker won a 2013 Obie Award, which honors off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway work, for playwriting, and a 2014 Pulitzer for The Flick, also set in Vermont. David Jenkins directs. 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. The show runs through Feb. 26 at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $30 (opening night $40). A preview starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, $15. (813) 374-2416. stageworkstheatre.org.

AWAKENINGS: TAMPA BAY SYMPHONY

The first of three winter concerts by the Tampa Bay Symphony, Spring Awakens," opens with Rossini's Guillaume Tell (the William Tell Overture) and moves to Schumann's Spring Symphony No. 1. It features the winner of the symphony's 30th Young Artist Competition, pianist Chance Israel, above, who will play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. Israel graduated cum laude with a music degree from Lynn University in Boca Raton, and is working on a master's degree at the university's Conservatory of Music. 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Petersburg College's Clearwater campus, Music Center, 2465 Drew St., Clearwater; 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg; and 4 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Straz Center. $20, students with ID free. (813) 229-7827. tampabaysymphony.com.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: HANGMEN

One of the cheapest ways to see a good show is through National Theatre Live, a cinematic experience beamed from London-area stages. Next up is the Royal Court Theatre's production of Hangmen, by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. Cameras placed throughout the theater allow viewers anywhere in the world an intimate experience, sometimes through live-streaming. Hangmen follows Harry, England's "second-best hangman" and a celebrity at his pub in northern England, where the play is set. Now the state has outlawed hanging, and Harry (played by The Walking Dead's David Morrissey) is out of a job. 1:30 p.m. Friday at Eckerd College, Miller Auditorium, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $25, $22 OLLI pass holders, ASPEC members, via Eventbrite. (727) 867-1166.

     
Comments
Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

TAMPA — The Ballet Nacional de Cuba performed Giselle, its signature ballet, on Wednesday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Fifty-four dancers charmed a packed house, culminating in about two hours an effort that took more tha...
Published: 05/24/18
Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

IF YOU SAY SO: PORN STARS ARE COMEDIANSWell, it’s different. Porn Stars Are Comedians extends the concept of the podcast Porn Stars Are People ("the only podcast with porn stars where we don’t discuss porn or the business of porn"), hosted by Dan Fri...
Published: 05/23/18
Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

CLEARWATER — Hat Trick Theatre, the resident company of Ruth Eckerd Hall, closes out its season with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. I must say it’s a stark choice, mainly because I can’t get two sentences into this without using the word "stark....
Published: 05/23/18
Despite hurdles, Ballet Nacional de Cuba returns to Tampa after 15 years

Despite hurdles, Ballet Nacional de Cuba returns to Tampa after 15 years

For decades, the reputation of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba has never dropped below excellent. In a country that prides itself on art, the company represents the best of the best, with a colorful style all its own, a blend of Russian precision and an ...
Published: 05/23/18

Local production of "Ain’t Retirement Grand!" promises lots of laughs

HUDSON — What to do in the golden years? Early bird specials, doctor’s appointments, figuring out who to leave what in your will? Or maybe just take some time out for a few laughs about the situation.A local production of Ain’t Retirement Grand! migh...
Published: 05/22/18
Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

Florida Orchestra closes 50th masterworks season with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra wraps up its final masterworks concert of the season with a masterfully complex Johannes Brahms piano concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s warmly accessible Symphony No. 6, commonly known as the "Pastoral."Friday’s sold-o...
Published: 05/19/18
Florida Orchestra to offer violin lessons for at-risk Tampa youth

Florida Orchestra to offer violin lessons for at-risk Tampa youth

TAMPA — The Florida Orchestra will begin tutoring at-risk children free of charge, thanks to a Hillsborough County grant.The $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. pays for six weeks of violin instruction at select recreatio...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Orchestra performs last masterworks of the season, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

Orchestra performs last masterworks of the season, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

GRAND MASTERS: BEETHOVEN AND BRAHMSIt’s last call for the Florida Orchestra’s masterworks season. And why not close out the 50th season with two passionate cannon blasts, Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, better known as th...
Published: 05/16/18
Review: ‘Addams Family’ cast, choreography, costumes worth seeing at Richey Suncoast

Review: ‘Addams Family’ cast, choreography, costumes worth seeing at Richey Suncoast

NEW PORT RICHEY — DO. NOT. MISS. THIS. SHOW.I’m talking about The Addams Family, the musical comedy based on the Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons, several television series and two feature films, but with updated cultural references for current au...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Review: ‘Calendar Girls’ stage show needs a touch-up

Oh, how I wish this could be a glowing review of the dramedy Calendar Girls, playing weekends through May 20 at Stage West Community Playhouse.The show about longtime friends semi-baring their bosoms to make a calendar to raise money to buy a sofa fo...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18