NO ONE SPARED: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY
How can you not love Robert Goulet? Or Kristin Chenoweth? Or Dustin Hoffman, Stephen Sondheim, Harvey Fierstein or Carol Channing? The people behind Forbidden Broadway, the longest-running musical around, love these stars so much they have to trash them.
The show, which lampoons Broadway conventions and dozens of its biggest names, is back at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts starting Tuesday, this time for a two-month run. Gerard Alessandrini, who conceived, wrote and directed the revue, has stayed abreast of the times, steadily adding material to keep up with a slew of technological changes since 1982, when the show debuted.
"It's quite an honor to be spoofed by him; some of the biggest stars on Broadway have been," said Edward Staudenmayer, right, who is part of the four-person cast.
Heavyweight producer Cameron Mackintosh reportedly complained the portrayal of him was "not mean enough." Theater royalty Patti LuPone was so taken with hers, she sent flowers backstage.
Staudenmayer, who has played Monsieur André in numerous national tours of The Phantom of the Opera and has been associated with Forbidden Broadway for 19 years (he directed a previous run of the show at the Straz in 2010), impersonates Hugh Jackman, Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, the Irish street musician in Once, Goulet and many more.
"It's crazy, the different people we have to cover and the different sounds we have to make," Staudenmayer said. "So the people who do Forbidden Broadway for a long time, they're pretty tough when it comes to being able to do eight shows a week, and do all these different styles and different impersonations and keep your voice in shape." The show runs through March 12 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Jaeb Theater, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $40. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
FRENCH TWIST: SAINT-SAENS
The next Florida Orchestra Masterworks event lasts two nights instead of the customary three, bringing Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich, below, to St. Petersburg and Clearwater. The title piece, Camille Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony, is one of three by French composers. Hadelich, 32, was born in Italy to German parents, and has been playing on the world stage for nearly a decade.
This weekend he will play Symphonie Espagnole by Édouard-Victoire-Antoine Lalo. It is the composer's best known work, and one that inspired Tchaikovsky to write his own violin concerto. Hadelich played Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto recently with the London Symphony Orchestra. A recording of that performance, along with Symphonie Espagnole (also with the London Symphony Orchestra), is scheduled to be released early this year. Hadelich won his first Grammy in 2016, for best classical instrumental solo. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.
OPENING AT TAMPA REP: GROUNDED
First she was flying F-16s in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then she was flying a desk.
Grounded, George Brant's solo play, opens next week at Tampa Repertory Theatre. Emilia Sargent plays the unnamed Air Force pilot who is reassigned after getting pregnant. She learns that controlling drones from a computer is at least as taxing as dropping bombs from a jet. The play ran in 2015 at the off-Broadway Public Theatre, starring Anne Hathaway and directed by Tony-winning theater and film director Julie Taymor. Originally scheduled to open this weekend, the rescheduled show runs Jan. 12-22 at the University of South Florida, Studio 120, 3837 USF Holly Drive, Tampa. $25, $20 students, seniors and military. tamparep.org/grounded.
THEIR SHOT: YAGP GALA
More than 8,000 dancers, ages 9 to 19, audition every year for a chance to participate in workshops with international ballet stars, part of the Youth America Grand Prix's "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala. Many have gone on to join the likes of the Boston Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet. Featured stars this year include St. Petersburg native Daniel Ulbricht of the New York City Ballet, Jeraldine Mendoza and Dylan Gutierrez of the Joffrey Ballet, and principal guest artists Adiarys Almeida and Joseph Gatti. 8 p.m. Saturday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Ferguson Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.