Two titles from the upcoming seasons of two Tampa companies, for your theatergoing consideration:
The Motherf----- with the Hat and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.
Yes, the attention grabbers are there. But the 2014-15 lineups at Stageworks Theatre and Jobsite Theater are also packed with classics, subtle choices with small casts and even a beloved musical. Let's start with Stageworks, which announced its new lineup Tuesday night.
Superior Doughnuts (Oct. 9-26) by Tracy Letts tells of an old anti-war activist who hires a troubled African-American kid at his Chicago doughnut shop. That's followed by Handle With Care (Dec. 4-21) by Jason Odell Williams, in which a young Israeli woman comes to America with her grandmother and meets a man. Romance!
In Birds of a Feather (Jan. 29-Feb. 15) by writer and NPR commentator Marc Acito, the story of two families of birds living in New York City wraps psychology, zoology and family dynamics into one play.
Some well-known shows made the lineup, including Neil Simon's comedy The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (March 13-29), with its middle-aged restaurant owner trying to join the sexual revolution, and Ain't Misbehavin' (May 1-17, 2015), with music by Fats Waller.
And then, The Motherf----- with the Hat (July 9-26, 2015). The play by Stephen Adly Guirgis centers around a hat in a living room that threatens a former drug dealer's sobriety and relationships. This one has language, adult content, nudity and obviously drug stuff.
Jobsite Theater, the resident theater company at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, is welcoming award-winning playwright (and father to Beastie Boy Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz) Israel Horovitz for a week in February, ending his visit in a staged reading of one of his new plays.
Before that, the season kicks off with Tony Award-winning play The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Sept. 3-28), which features a Jewish family preparing for the lavish ball at their country club in 1939 Atlanta.
Appropriately, Jobsite rings in Halloween with Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (Oct. 29-Nov. 23), the enduringly campy satire by Charles Busch that turns 30 this year. It tells of two vampiresses locked in a bitter rivalry that spans thousands of years.
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (Jan. 7-Feb. 1) gets a makeover, with the Bard's famous gender-bender set in prohibition-era Ybor City. And the bending continues with Virginia Woolf's Orlando (March 4-29), adapted for the stage by MacArthur Fellowship-winner Sarah Ruhl. Woolf's novel is about an English nobleman who falls asleep and wakes up as a woman.
In Annapurna (April 29-May 24, 2015) by Sharr White, Emma tracks her ex-husband to a trailer park in the middle of nowhere. In Los Angeles in 2013, the play stared real-life couple Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation).
And finally, there's Ken Ferrigni's satire Occupation (July 8-Aug. 2, 2015). Amid an American economic disaster in 2017, China agrees to buy Florida for $5 trillion. Maybe we Floridians should pay extra attention to that one.
For more information on the seasons and tickets, visit stageworkstheatre.org or jobsitetheater.org.