Make us your home page

Stage planner: 'Into the Woods,' Havana Cuba All-Stars, an AIDS memorial


As a singer in the chorus at Tampa's Blake High, Bonne Kramer performed at what is now the Straz Center. Kramer went on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Tampa's musical theater program in 2003 and has been a working actor ever since. She returns to the Straz as a performer Tuesday, where she'll play two roles in Into the Woods, the James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim musical.

She plays Cinderella's stepmother and mother of Jack (of beanstalk fame) in Into the Woods, a whimsical yet deeply psychological look at fairy tales. In another first, Kramer, an accomplished bassoon player, plays her instrument on stage. (Other actors play the piano and cello.)

In between, Kramer has played the role she was born into, a natural ham who imitated all of her teachers since elementary school and lists a pot-bellied pig named Bagel and Craigslist shopping among her interests. A recent music video on her website, Ungrateful Cat, parodies Ungrateful Heart and laments the one-way devotion known by cat lovers.

The daughter of a colonel who retired as "a Jewish Christmas tree farmer" in Dover, she always gravitated to the funny.

"Ever since I was a kid, I've been imitating movies and impersonating, trying to mimic people," Kramer said. "My mom was really good at it, and as a kid she would tell us stories and do the accents. I think I kind of just got it from her. So growing up I was always trying out different characters and the accents and working on different types of characters. Then as I started working professionally in the theater, I kind of just getting cast a lot in comedic roles, which I was all about."

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Dec. 1; 8 p.m. Dec. 2; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 3; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Morsani Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29-$93. (813) 229-7827.


Cuba has been producing highly original music for years, but that knowledge is generally limited, known mostly by aficionados and the Cuban people. Those opaque days might be ending.

The Havana Cuba All-Stars, an explosive 11-piece ensemble, is touring the United States for the first time. Its program, Cuban Nights, runs Sunday only at the Straz Center. They play son cubano music, the elemental Afro-Cuban form that gave birth to many other styles, including salsa. Son often uses at least two vocalists in a call-and-response pattern, backed up by congas, cajons, guitars, trombones, trumpets, maracas, claves, bongos and other percussion instruments. The show starts at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Straz Center's Ferguson Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35-$50. (813) 229-7827.


With more than 48,000 panels weighing 54 tons, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is the world's largest community art project. But most of the 3-by-6-foot panels only list a few names each. That's how the quilt works, linking more than 94,000 lives. To commemorate World AIDS Day, the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project on Monday performs Tales of the Quilt: An Evening of Songs and Stories.

Local performers will remember people who died of HIV/AIDS, including some whose names are on the quilt. Storytellers include Eve Caballero, Sara DelBeato, Steve Garland, Katherine Michelle Tanner, Matthew McGee, Becca McCoy, Joey Panek and more.

The NAMES Project Memorial Quilt was founded in 1987, a time when there was no cure in sight for HIV/AIDS. Tales of the Quilt is directed by Larry Alexander and music director Emi Stefanov. Its proceeds benefit Metro Wellness and Community Centers. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Monday at Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 498-5205.

Stage planner: 'Into the Woods,' Havana Cuba All-Stars, an AIDS memorial 11/23/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 11:05am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28


    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  3. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach



    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  4. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires


    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 27


    Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: The Barenaked Ladies will headline this festival with opener Cowboy Mouth. Enjoy more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks including a Sriracha strawberry, a bacon rita and even a jalapeno Cabo rita. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. Noon, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N …