Make us your home page
Instagram

'The Great Gatsby' and 'Avenue Q' highlight Stageworks' 2016-2017 lineup

TAMPA — Stageworks Theatre will offer a blend of suspense and camp, probing discontent and a throwback to Tampa's wrestling past in its 2016-2017 season.

The theater, tucked into an intimate space above Powerhouse Gym on Kennedy Boulevard and Meridian Avenue, opens with Psycho Beach Party (Oct. 6-23), by Charles Busch. This campy throwback to 1962, billed as "Beach Blanket Bingo meets Sybil," casts a Malibu surf set as unwitting victims of "Chicklet Forrest," the tomboy who wants to fit in with them. Unfortunately for them, she suffers from multiple personality disorder. Her alters include a checkout girl, a radio talk show host, a male model, an accounting firm, and a "sexually voracious vixen" who wants to take over the world.

Things take a more traditional turn with The Great Gatsby (Dec. 1-18), Simon Levy's adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald book. The novelist's tale of romantic obsession, greed and glamour transcends the Jazz Age with the novelist's language intact.

The Aliens (Feb. 9-26), by Annie Baker, features two young men philosophizing behind a Vermont coffee shop. A high-school student stumbles upon them, enters into their world, and finds himself drawn into a discussion about art, life, love and death.

The theater follows with a musical, Avenue Q (May 4-21, 2017). Based on a book by Jeff Whitty, with lyrics and music by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, Avenue Q is an empathetic nod to a generation raised on feel-good messages in shows like Sesame Street that told them they were special. Life in the workplace, with adult challenges and disappointments, can hardly compete. Puppets, manipulated by undisguised puppeteers, are the characters.

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (June 1-18, 2017), an Obie winner for best new American play and a Pulitzer finalist, turns the theater into a professional wrestling arena. Life imitates art in this play by Kristoffer Diaz, as Macedonia "Mace" Guerra longs for the championship belt, but knows his storyline and charisma can't match that of the champ, Chad Deity. Mace discovers a young Indian-American he thinks can generate enough buzz to knock off his rival. The producers agree, but with a twist— they want to exploit the racial differences between the wrestlers as a way to hook viewers in a story about race, class and power.

Contact Andrew Meacham at ameacham@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2248. Follow @torch437.

'The Great Gatsby' and 'Avenue Q' highlight Stageworks' 2016-2017 lineup 05/09/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 9, 2016 1:46pm]
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 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)

  2. 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]
  3. Until this song, Alan Parsons Project stood on much higher ground

    Blogs

    Listening to yesterday's Keats song made me pine for more Alan Parsons Project music and today we dig deeper into their catalogue with Standing On Higher Ground.

  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 23

    Events

    Marie Antoinette: Freefall 411: A contemporary look at the historic pariah looks at Marie Antoinette through the lens of society's obsession with celebrity. Through August 13. A brief talk prior to the performance provides insight to the production. 1 p.m., show starts at 2 p.m., Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central …

    Lucas Wells as King Louis XVI, left, and Megan Rippey as Marie Antoinette in Freefall Theatre's "Marie Antoinette."
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 22

    Events

    Snooty the Manatee's 69th Birthday Bash: Snooty, documented by Guinness World Records as the oldest known manatee in captivity, turns 69 and celebrates with children's games, art activities, cookies, drinks , interaction with Snooty the mascot and reduced price museum admission. 10 a.m., South Florida Museum, 201 …

    Snooty the manatee poses for a photo Thursday morning while three young manatees are unloaded from Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa Thursday morning at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.
PAUL VIDELA/pvidela@bradenton.com 12/20/07