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Stage Planner: Florida Lyric Opera returns, kids take a bow, Dancing Dolls


After a couple of years dark, the Florida Lyric Opera has reopened. The company, which traces its roots to some of the state's oldest efforts to establish opera, returns with Gaetano Donizetti's farce Viva la Mamma.

It stars Katy Lindhart, who debuted earlier this year with Boston's Odyssey Opera, as a soprano in rehearsals for a serious opera. Baritone Stefanos Koroneos, an international performer, plays her stage-managing mother.

Some have pegged the beginnings of opera locally to the 1940s, when Norma Tina Russo ran a string of companies until her death in 1977. Rosalia Maresca, a former opera star who got her start singing in one of Russo's productions in the 1960s in Tampa, succeeded Russo with the Florida Lyric Opera. The company enjoyed a period of prominence, bringing in some of opera's biggest names, then dwindled. In 2014, Maresca passed the company on to one of its former singers, Linda Switzer, who has since run a musical theater school in Tampa and now teaches voice at St. Petersburg College.

The opera starts at 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday at The Space at 2106 Main, 2106 W Main St., Tampa. $30. (813) 390-6835.


There's a new comedy venue in town. The Covadonga Comedy Show, a creation of EDiaz Studios, opens Friday at Centro Asturiano. Local talent Emilio Diaz, who has landed a few small movie roles and produced original plays, is behind the event. Comics at the inaugural show include Jeff Lluis, Luke McDermott, Rio Paris and Diaz himself. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at 1913 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. $10 advance, $12 door. (813) 229-2214.


In the weeks when most theaters are either wrapping up seasons or will be soon, kids' productions are going strong. The New Tampa Players are putting on Beauty and the Beast, with proceeds going to the University Area Community Development Corp. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. The show runs through Aug. 7 at the UACDC Community Center, 14013 N 22nd St., Tampa. $20, $17 students and seniors. A "pay what you can" performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. (813) 558-5212.

Opening at the Patel Conservatory is Disney's Cinderella Kids, the culmination of a three-week training camp in dance, theater and music for third- through seventh-graders. 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Patel Conservatory, David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $20. (813) 229-7827.

Another glimpse of tomorrow's talent could well be through Summer Fantasy, also at the Patel. Around 200 ballet students from across the country will perform classical and contemporary pieces, under the direction of Next Generation Ballet artistic director Philip Neal. 7 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center's Ferguson Hall. $15-$27.

Finally, summer students at the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts perform The Little Mermaid this weekend. 7 p.m. Thursday at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $15, $10 students and military. A 2 p.m. show Saturday costs $10, $5 students and military. (727) 791-7400.


If you've disagreed with the judges in those televised talent contests — and who hasn't? — Thursday is your night to make your voice heard.

Miss D and her Dancing Dolls, who leapt to fame on the Lifetime hit, Bring It!, will perform new routines in a show all about audience participation. You can get an earful of backstage gossip and ask the cast members questions. You even take part in voting on the performances. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Straz Center's Carol Morsani Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.75 and up. (813) 229-7827.

Stage Planner: Florida Lyric Opera returns, kids take a bow, Dancing Dolls 07/27/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 3:28pm]
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