Make us your home page
Instagram

Stage planner: 'Rocket Science' launches, Adam Ferrara, 'The 39 Steps'

LIFTOFF FOR NEW PLAY: ROCKET SCIENCE

A NASA scientist prepares himself a dream trip into space, but life gets the way.

The premise of Rocket Science, a Lab Theater Project show opening this weekend, sounds Twilight Zone-ish but without the mothballs, even fresh. Maybe that's because Lab Theater Project, which held its first production in March, puts on only new plays.

Shows are held at Tampa's Silver Meteor Gallery, but have no connection to the gallery itself.

"We really are working on developing new artists in this community," said Owen Robertson, 48, an actor and director.

Some of Lab Theater Project's new plays could become films, thanks to Robertson's partnership with Stephen Ashworth, whom he met while both were pursuing master's degrees at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Robertson opened a comic book store and has worked in numerous plays in Tampa and Orlando. Ashworth, who lives in Edmonton, Alberta, founded a film production company. Now Ashworth Productions and Lab Theater Project are partners, cross-pollinating new works for the best fit.

"If (a screenplay) looks worthwhile, we'll pull it from film to theater, develop characters and see how it looks on stage," Robertson said. "Or (Ashworth) might say, 'I'm going to adapt this play to the screen and look at it as a low-budget film.' "

Ashworth is also the playwright behind Rocket Science, in which a professor readies himself for space.

"He has prepared for this trip, he's ready to go," Robertson said. "But something happens that leads him to a different calling of teaching."

The show starts at 8 p.m. today through Sunday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It runs through July 3 at the Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E Sixth Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 238-1756.

STAYING LOOSE: ADAM FERRARA

Like a lot of successful comedians who have landed acting roles, Adam Ferrara likes to keep his connection with the art form that made him famous.

The likable comic has played Chief Needles Nelson in the Emmy-nominated Rescue Me, Sgt. Frank Verelli in NYPD and other roles in Nurse Jackie, The King of Queens and Ugly Betty. But he never tires of regaling audiences with his observations of everyday life, informed by his Italian heritage growing up in New York. He'll perform this weekend in Ybor City. Shows start at 8 p.m. today, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $22-$25. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

A HITCH IN TIME: THE 39 STEPS

Carrollwood Players Theatre's The 39 Steps, a comedic sendup of the original spy thriller and film, keeps rolling on the community theater scene this weekend.

Among the show's distinguishing traits is the absurd burden it places on its four actors, who somehow divide more than 150 roles between them. Let's not forget that Jim Moss plays only the paranoid Richard Hannay, and Joie Marsh plays Hannay's three romantic interests.

That leaves the rest to Jeff Roush and Trish Farber. Their characters include a suspicious Scottish farmer, a stage performer with a photographic memory and a professor determined to crack the code buried somewhere in the "39 steps."

The basic story of a 1915 novel by John Buchan has stuck around more than a century, most famously for a 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film. The play by Patrick Barlow, which opened on Broadway in 2008, drops sly shoutouts for Hitchcock fans, allusions to the likes of Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window and North by Northwest. Marc S. Sanders directs the Carrollwood Players production.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. It runs through July 2 at Carrollwood Players Theatre, 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. $20, $17 seniors, students and military. (813) 265-4000. carrollwoodplayers.org.

YOUR TABLE'S WAITING: CABARET

Another community theater production, Mad Theatre's Cabaret, closes this weekend. The acid-tongued musical set in pre-war Berlin offers a handful of onstage seats at the Kit Kat Klub, with opportunities to take photos with cast members. Onstage customers must be in their seats 10 minutes early. Cabaret starts at 8 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts' Shimberg Playhouse, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $25-$35. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

Stage planner: 'Rocket Science' launches, Adam Ferrara, 'The 39 Steps' 06/22/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 10:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table

    Travel

    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers

    Nap

    Walk 6.2 kilometers

    Nap

    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot

    Travel

    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  3. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  4. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Think 11 miles of nothing but straight trail and open, flat fields sounds easy? Think again.

    Travel

    Day 17: Villarmentero de Campos to Lédigos: 33.5 km, 10.25 hours. Total for Days 1-17 = 394 km (245 miles)

  5. Tom Sawyer with a revolver? Twain house has live 'Clue' game

    Attractions

    HARTFORD, Conn. — Was it Tom Sawyer in Samuel Clemens' billiard room with a revolver?

    In this July 14 photo, actor Dan Russell, left, portraying the character Arkansas from Mark Twain's book Roughing it, responds to a question from 10-year-old Emma Connell, center, of Arizona during a "Clue" tour at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. The tour allows visitors to interact with Twain characters while playing a live-action version of the board game. [AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb]