Friday, July 20, 2018
Stage

Top shows on stage this week: 321 Improv Festival, Andrew Dice Clay

JUST POPPED UP: 321 IMPROV FESTIVAL

Justin Peters and Kelly Buttermore know how to live in the moment. The improv duo From Justin to Kelly specializes in "radical simplicity," spending 25 to 30 minutes in a location suggested by the audience.

"Unlike most improv shows, which are very talkative, we spend most of the show in silence; this forces us to make emotional choices rather than strictly cerebral choices," said Peters, who co-founded New York's Countdown Theatre with Buttermore.

This weekend's 321 Improv Festival, produced by Countdown, took a lot of cerebral planning. Besides From Justin to Kelly, the nearly two dozen one- to three-person acts (hence the festival's name) include Underhanded Improv (Chicago), LimboLand (New York), Side Pickle (Minneapolis) and Christopher Walken's Adventure Through Time (Miami) as well as eight groups from St. Petersburg, Tampa and Sarasota.

"A few years ago in Tampa we did a show that was literally just us trying to find seats on a subway car for 30 minutes," Peters said. "This spring, when we were on tour in Wisconsin, we did a show where we spent 30 minutes trying to order tacos from a food truck."

Workshops include "Big Screen Characters," "Citizens of Crazytown," "Emotional Puppets," "Creating Successful Solo Shows," and "Silence and Emotion." Events run from 7 p.m. Thursday through 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor campus Studio Theatre, 2204 N 15th St., Tampa. $20-$30. 321improvfestival.com or bit.ly/2fyRVDR.

Correction: An earlier online version of this report misspelled the last name of Kelly Buttermore.

HE'S BACK: ANDREW DICE CLAY

Andrew Dice Clay made his name by taking on women and minority groups, the elderly and the disabled. In three minutes at the 1989 Video Music Awards, Clay managed to get himself banned "for life." (MTV rescinded the ban in 2011.)

At his peak, Clay was the first comic to sell out Madison Square Garden twice. Then his career suffered. All along, the Diceman insisted his flamboyantly offensive character was simply an act. Yet a gradual resurgence has shown him performing credibly in a variety of acting roles, including Entourage and the Scorsese-directed Vinyl, both on HBO, and Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

His scripted, semiautobiographical series Dice on Showtime begins its second season on Sunday at 10:30 p.m.

"Now I'm at least getting to do the things I wanted to do my whole career," Clay told Esquire in 2016.

7:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $59.50 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

COLLABORATING: SARASOTA OPERA, BALLET SCHOOL

Four students from the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School will dance with the Sarasota Opera in the 2017-18 season. Tania Vergara, a master teacher and choreographer at the school, will choreograph Verdi's La Traviata (Nov. 3-21). Students Elias Re, Evita Re, Zachary Bennett and Camila Serrano will alternate performances.

Vergara, who taught at Cuba's National Ballet School from 1986 to 2013 and founded Endedans, a Cuban contemporary dance company, will also choreograph the second act of Bizet's Carmen (Feb. 17-March 24) and Eugen d'Albert's Tiefland (March 10-25). This the first such collaboration between the opera and the school, which has produced numerous professional ballet dancers across the country.

Sarasota Opera Company, 61 N Pineapple Ave. $19 and up. (941) 328-1300. sarasotaopera.org.

   
Comments
Paul Reiser, coming to Clearwater, talks about returning to standup and never winning an Emmy

Paul Reiser, coming to Clearwater, talks about returning to standup and never winning an Emmy

When Paul Reiser returned to standup comedy a few years ago, younger comics couldn’t figure him out. "All the younger comics would say, ‘Are you doing a special?’ I’d go no," said Reiser, 62. "‘What, are you getting rea...
Published: 07/19/18
What’s on stage this week: Hawk & Wayne does politics, Opera Tampa toasts Gilbert & Sullivan

What’s on stage this week: Hawk & Wayne does politics, Opera Tampa toasts Gilbert & Sullivan

OPEN SEASON: TRUST METwo candidates will square off Friday to debate one of the hottest topics of the political season: immigration. You can see them in action at the First Unity Spiritual Campus, where you also may spot campaign staffers, managers a...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/19/18
You won’t have to pay hundreds to see Springsteen on Broadway thanks to Netflix

You won’t have to pay hundreds to see Springsteen on Broadway thanks to Netflix

NEW YORK — Put away your wallet — you won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to see Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show. Netflix announced Wednesday that it will broadcast the Boss’ one-man show on Dec. 15, his last performance. Springsteen on Broadway ...
Published: 07/18/18
Grief and wit, heritage and family dynamics collide in ‘Bad Jews’ at American Stage

Grief and wit, heritage and family dynamics collide in ‘Bad Jews’ at American Stage

ST. PETERSBURG — Whatever else he learned at Cornell University and the Juilliard School, playwright Joshua Harmon surely learned family dynamics. His play, Bad Jews, bristles with wit and malevolence dished out by people for whom familiarity breeds ...
Published: 07/17/18
‘Honky Tonk Laundry’ starts a summer run at Show Palace in Hudson

‘Honky Tonk Laundry’ starts a summer run at Show Palace in Hudson

HUDSON — If you’re into country, Honky Tonk Laundry, which opens July 21 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, might be the ticket. Written by Roger Bean (The Marvelous Wonderettes/Life Could Be a Dream?), this comedy musical features a two-woman cast ...
Published: 07/16/18
What’s on stage this week: ‘Bad Jews,’ ‘Red,’ ‘It Shoulda Been You’

What’s on stage this week: ‘Bad Jews,’ ‘Red,’ ‘It Shoulda Been You’

AMERICAN STAGE: BAD JEWSWe know that death draws family members closer together. Except when it drives them further apart. A grandfather’s valuable heirloom shifts relatives from grief to competition, questions about who was closer to the deceased an...
Published: 07/11/18
Paul Reiser on 'Mad About You' revival: 'My guess is it won't happen'

Paul Reiser on 'Mad About You' revival: 'My guess is it won't happen'

Paul Reiser has some bad news for Mad About You fans hoping for a series revival. "It’s kind of stuck in the business end of it now," the comic, actor and co-creator of NBC’s Emmy-winning sitcom said by phone Monday. "Sony is trying to f...
Published: 07/10/18
Review: Confident brush strokes paint an eminently watchable ‘Red’ at Heather Theatre

Review: Confident brush strokes paint an eminently watchable ‘Red’ at Heather Theatre

TAMPA — You can always count on the Heather Theatre to do one thing. And that is to produce meaningful plays, and find within each the burning ember that gives off heat and light.So it is again with Red, John Logan’s deconstruction of a brilliant art...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/10/18
This week on stage: ‘Cinderella,’ ‘So Long Life,’ American Stage previews ‘Bad Jews’

This week on stage: ‘Cinderella,’ ‘So Long Life,’ American Stage previews ‘Bad Jews’

THE BALL IS BACK: CINDERELLAThe national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella comes with flamboyant colors, ebullient music and lavish costumes."My favorite song is a huge ball scene at the end of Act 1, when Ella and the prince fall in love ...
Published: 07/05/18
St. Petersburg Opera finishes season with an energetic ‘The Music Man’

St. Petersburg Opera finishes season with an energetic ‘The Music Man’

ST. PETERSBURG — Musically, the creative team behind the St. Petersburg Opera’s season-ending musical, The Music Man, were clearly going all out. Meredith Willson’s paean to small-town Americana outdid West Side Story in the 1958 To...
Updated one month ago