Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Stage

Stage Planner: 'Murder for Two,' Kristin Chenoweth, Florida Orchestra and St. Pete Shakespeare Festival

DOUBLE DEAL: MURDER FOR TWO

A famous writer has been murdered. The town's only police officer has dreams of becoming a detective. But where will he start?

That is the premise of Murder for Two, a zippy suspense musical mystery with comic overtones opening at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday. One actor (Noel Carey) plays Officer Marcus Moscowicz while the other (Jeremiah Ginn) plays more than a dozen suspects, including a prima ballerina, an unctuous psychiatrist and the author's wife. Carey and Ginn also each play the piano.

The off-Broadway hit by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair premiered in 2011 at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. The show runs Tuesday through May 1 (shows nightly Tuesday-Sundays at 7:30 p.m., with additional 2 p.m. performances Saturday and Sunday) at the Jaeb Theater at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Most seats $40. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

MAJOR TALENT: KRISTIN CHENOWETH

She has won a slew of awards, wowed audiences with some amazing vocals and has a chameleon's ability to slip into a wide range of roles. Now Kristin Chenoweth performs Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. A product of Broken Arrow, Okla., Chenoweth had operatic training (she has performed alongside close friend Placido Domingo) before she ventured into musical theater. She is best known for roles in Wicked (a Tony-nominated performance as Glinda the Good Witch), as teacher April Rhodes in Glee, and her Tony-winning role as Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $45 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

To read our interview with Chenoweth, click here.

JAZZY RAVEL, COMPLEX BRAHMS: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

Johannes Brahms, Maurice Ravel and Andrew Norman started with different frames of reference, but each in their own way have challenged molds and pushed boundaries. The Florida Orchestra presents Ravel and Brahms this weekend, conducted by music director Michael Francis. The concert will open with a premiere for the orchestra of Norman's fast-paced contemporary piece Unstuck. Ravel's Piano Concerto is noted for its jazzy rhythms, unusual for classical music in 1929. Pianist Javier Perianes is the soloist. The concert closes with Brahms' Symphony No. 1, a complex piece the composer spent years revising. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

SIGNIFYING SOMETHING: SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

With any opening-year jitters behind, the St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival comes into the second season with a pair of plays, starting with A Midsummer Night's Dream this weekend. The production, directed by Veronica Matthews (who is also the festival's artistic director), draws from a casting pool that includes University of South Florida St. Petersburg students, members of the USFSP Shakespeare society and professional actors.

The festival was conceived by USFSP associate English professor Lisa Starks-Estes. A Midsummer Night's Dream starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the USF St. Petersburg's Williams House courtyard, 511 Second St. S, St. Petersburg. A second play, Cymbeline, runs March 3-6 at the same times and location. Pay what you can (suggested donation $10), bring your own blankets and cushions. Visit St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival on Facebook.

IF THE SHOE FITS: CINDERELLA

Like fairy tales, ballets can be magical. The Moscow Festival Ballet on Saturday will bring Cinderella to life. With rich scenery and costumes and a score composed in the 1940s by Sergei Prokofiev, the ballet promises to make every effort to enchant. The ballet starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $35. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

JOBSITE: SENDING UP CHEKOV

In Jobsite Theater's latest production, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia complain and fight a lot in the Pennsylvania home they share. Then their movie-star sister, Masha, and her boyfriend, Spike, show up, making matters more interesting. The play is derived from the works of Anton Chekhov. It opens Friday and runs through March 20 at the Straz Center's Shimberg Playhouse. $28. jobsitetheater.org.

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