Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Stage

Stage planner: Local talent meets Moscow Ballet, plus Fortune Feimster

THE BIG DANCE: STUDENTS AND MOSCOW BALLET

At age 12, Autumn Hughes has already played multiple roles in the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. This year, she'll be one of the Party Boys in the Christmas-themed classic.

The ballet's "Dance With Us'" program gives young dancers a chance to perform with the international touring company. The company, created in 1993 around choreographer Stanislav Vlasov's adaptation of the Tchaikovsky suite, retains the charm of the 19th century tale. With a Christmas Eve party with Russian court dancers and the Moscow skyline in the background, a little girl falls asleep. Her dreams flit from toys to an army of mice, to a Nutcracker prince and a Snow Maiden.

Auditions for local students to dance in the productions were held in October, and Autumn said she was thrilled to get the email telling her she was going to be in the cast.

"It's hard at first but eventually you catch on," Autumn said.

It's also the third Nutcracker for Laele Shipley, 8, and she's loving the experience.

"It's really an excitement," said Laele, of Brooksville, who performs in the "French variation" of the internationally flavored production. She would love a chance to dance with the ballet again.

Both students are products of the Judith Lee Johnson Dance School.

The concert starts at 3 and 7 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $32 and up. (727) 892-5798. themahaffey.com.

MOUTH OF THE SOUTH: FORTUNE FEIMSTER

All comics do self-deprecation, only with varying levels of believability. Fortune Feimster puts herself down with considerable finesse.

"I want to ask y'all something," she asked a Conan audience a couple of years ago. "Have you ever been compared to the entire Honey Boo Boo family?"

She hit her weight, her slovenly couture and family as the audience laughed along, then subtly dropped the self-put-downs in a riff about being an out gay woman. It's a slick four minutes.

Variety in 2014 designated Feimster one of the year's "Top 10 comics to watch." After a debut on Last Comic Standing (she made the semis), Feimster has gone on to worldwide bookings, recurring guest roles on CBS's Life in Pieces and Mulaney, and became a regular guest for Chelsea Handler, where she got her start as a writer.

Feimster performs locally at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $20. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

BOX OFFICE: RENT, BIANCA DEL RIO

Tickets are on sale for the 20th anniversary tour of Rent. The musical, often called a game changer for its sweep and scope as it put a human face on the AIDS crisis, runs Sept. 19-24 at the Straz Center's Morsani Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $31 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

And here's another recent addition to the 2017 lineup: Bianca Del Rio, left, the alter ego of comic Roy Haylock and a winner of RuPaul's Drag Race. The show starts at 8 p.m. April 7, Ferguson Hall. $39.50 and up. 813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

   
Comments
Despite the razzle-dazzle, ‘Chicago’ is starting to feel dated

Despite the razzle-dazzle, ‘Chicago’ is starting to feel dated

TAMPA — There’s a reason Chicago has been delighting audiences since 1975, and is one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history. Jaded and funny, fast-paced and flamboyant, this sentimental journey to the tabloid culture still seems ahead o...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Find A Friend: Brooklyn the Terrier Mix

Find A Friend: Brooklyn the Terrier Mix

She’s going to make it by any means — got a pocket full of dreams — let’s hear it for Brooklyn. This 36-pound, soulful snuggler is a well-mannered maiden, past the puppy stage at age 5, and happily housebroken. She enjoys ...
Published: 09/19/18
On stage this weekend: Game of Thrones, Rocky Bleier, Florida Orchestra pops up

On stage this weekend: Game of Thrones, Rocky Bleier, Florida Orchestra pops up

PAGEANTRY AND PASSION: GAME OF THRONESThis ought to be fun for hard-core fans of Game of Thrones, which won its third best drama Emmy this week. HBO and Live Nation concert producers combined to create Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, a big b...
Published: 09/19/18
On stage this week: ‘Chicago,’ ‘The Guys,’ Ginger Minj of RuPaul fame

On stage this week: ‘Chicago,’ ‘The Guys,’ Ginger Minj of RuPaul fame

RAZZLE DAZZLE: CHICAGO Broadway returns to Tampa in Chicago, the jazzy Bob Fosse cynical celebration of corruption and longest-running American musical revival of all time. Style is substance as Velma and Roxie compete for the limelight of a jaded p...
Published: 09/12/18
Review: ‘Heisenberg’ at Tampa Rep a hopeful expression for our times

Review: ‘Heisenberg’ at Tampa Rep a hopeful expression for our times

TAMPA — With the current state of things, the unlikely union in Heisenberg provides a refreshingly tender contrast to the divisiveness trolling our lives these days.Playwright Simon Stephens even went so far to say in Oakland’s East Bay Times that "t...
Published: 09/10/18
Updated: 09/12/18
Fall Arts Preview: Your guide to museums, plays, opera and classical music in Tampa Bay

Fall Arts Preview: Your guide to museums, plays, opera and classical music in Tampa Bay

Welcome the sweet approach of fall. Despite our current heat index, we’ll soon experience milder air, shorter days and too many things flavored like pumpkin.But in Tampa Bay, the true indicator of fall is the rebirth of local art. Our professional th...
Published: 09/07/18
Fall Arts Preview: Opera Tampa will premiere new opera by Anton Coppola, 101, and more

Fall Arts Preview: Opera Tampa will premiere new opera by Anton Coppola, 101, and more

Have you decided yet which operas you’re going to compose after age 100? If the prospect seems daunting (it does), consider that there is only one Anton Coppola, and only he expects this kind of productivity. Opera Tampa’s founding maest...
Published: 09/06/18
Fall Arts Preview: In a new season, Florida Orchestra expands reach, new top soloists

Fall Arts Preview: In a new season, Florida Orchestra expands reach, new top soloists

The Florida Orchestra has prepared a 51st season with a wide range of grand masters and newer work, an increased visibility for minorities and women and more collaborations with museums and other artistic institutions. Masterworks highlights include...
Published: 09/05/18
Updated: 09/06/18
Fall Arts Preview: Light and dark, classic and groundbreaking round out Tampa Bay theater

Fall Arts Preview: Light and dark, classic and groundbreaking round out Tampa Bay theater

Theater mirrors our world and enlarges it, responds to current events, and allows us to glimpse the present by retelling the classics. Just touch this lineup of shows. In the palm of your hand you can almost feel tremors of anxiety about racial tensi...
Updated one month ago
On stage this week: Tampa Bay Theatre Festival and more 'Hedwig'

On stage this week: Tampa Bay Theatre Festival and more 'Hedwig'

BETTER THAN EVER: TAMPA BAY THEATRE FESTIVAL If you haven’t been to a Tampa Bay Theatre Festival yet, you really don’t know what you’re missing. The festival, now in its fifth year, offers a ton of original entertainment, learning ...
Updated one month ago