Saturday, April 21, 2018


Andrew Meacham, Times Performing Arts Critic

Andrew Meacham, Times Performing Arts Critic

Andrew Meacham is the performing arts critic for the Tampa Bay Times, covering the growing local venues for theater, orchestra, opera and dance. Andrew previously served as the Epilogue obituaries writer for the Times. He grew up in St. Petersburg, graduated from Eckerd College and holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme and three other singers will solo with the Florida Orchestra and Master Chorale of Tampa Bay in Verdi's Requiem, April 20 to 22, 2018. Courtesy of the Florida Orchestra.

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Two-time Pulitzer winning playwright Lynn Nottage wrote Crumbs From the Table of Joy, which will run at Freefall Theatre from Jan. 26 through Feb. 24, 2019. Photo by Bryan Derballa, New York Times, 2017.

Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

ST. PETERSBURG — In the coming season, Freefall Theatre is rolling out a world premiere, a different take on Christmas, a sharp comedy and a recent work by Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The theme for the 2018-2019 season, "A Brighter Tomorrow," colors...
Published: 04/19/18
Desi Oakley stars as Jenna in the national tour of the musical Waitress, coming the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts April 24 to 29, 2018. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

HEAD WAITRESS: DESI OAKLEYThe blue collar mother who drives the plot of Waitress never thought she could win a pie-making contest, let alone start a business."She doesn’t even have the capacity to...
Published: 04/18/18
American Stage in the Park will present The Producers, with a gala performance, 4/20/18, and shows from 4/21/18 through 5/13/18 at Demens Landing Park, St. Petersburg. Left to Right: Alex Ringler plays Carmen Ghia and Scott Daniel plays Roger DeBris. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

American Stage sets table for splashy musical in the park, ‘The Producers'

ST. PETERSBURG ­— Think early evening, daylight saving version. The earth turning away, light fading in Demens Landing Park — everywhere except the stage, which is trying its best to resurrect midday.
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Marlene Peralta plays Minerva Miribal, one of four sisters who rebelled against the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic, in the bi-lingual play, En el Tiempo de las Mariposas, or In the Time of the Butterflies. The show runs April 15-29 at Stageworks Theatre in Tampa. Photo by Chris Jackson.

Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

TAMPA — Tampa made its cigars with indispensable help from Cuban immigrants. Today, 22 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, as defined by the U.S. Census. The Tampa Bay area has increasingly and proudly defined itself as a thriving...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Anton Coppola, shown here in 2002, now at age 101 will premiere an opera he composed. Lady Swanwhite will debut Feb. 9, 2019, with Opera Tampa at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Staff Photo David Kadlubowski

New opera by Anton Coppola, 101, highlights Opera Tampa’s 2018-2019 season

TAMPA — Last year’s lavish 100th birthday party for composer and conductor Anton Coppola might have seemed like the capstone of a long career in opera. Turns out that Opera Tampa’s co-founder was not finished. The maestro’s latest opera,...
Published: 04/14/18
Mark Rucker and Jill Gardner play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in Opera Tampa's 'Macbeth,' at the Straz Center on April 13 and 15, 2018. Courtesy of the Straz Center.

Opera Tampa wraps up season with a brooding, richly sung ‘Macbeth’

TAMPA — Opera Tampa brings its season to an end with a darkly sensuous Macbeth, Giuseppe Verdi’s take on Shakespeare’s play. It’s a job well done.Companies do not perform Macbeth nearly as often as established warhorses. Since...
Published: 04/14/18
Baritone Mark Rucker sings the title role in Opera Tampa's

What’s on stage: Macbeth at Opera Tampa, conductor Elim Chan debuts with Florida Orchestra

BOIL AND BUBBLE: MACBETHOne thing you can say for Macbeth, Shakespeare’s murderous Scottish army commander who would be king: At least he has a conscience. Mark Rucker sings the title role in Giuseppe Verdi’s...
Published: 04/12/18
Seth Goodfellow and Margaret Murphy play strangers who meet by accidentally switching luggage at the airport in Baggage, by Sam Bobrick. The show runs April 13-28 at the Heather Theatre in Tampa. Photo by Taylor Girard.

Heather Theatre handles ‘Baggage,’ a romantic comedy, with a light touch

TAMPA — It’s an absurd premise that could almost happen.Two airline passengers get identical bags mixed up after a flight. They track each other down, and wouldn’t you know it, each is single and carrying fresh emotional scars. So begins...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18
Baritone Mark Rucker sings the title role in Opera Tampa's Macbeth, coming to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, April 13 through 15, 2018. Courtesy of Mark Rucker.

Mark Rucker, the title player in Opera Tampa’s Macbeth, talks acting

TAMPA — As a teenager, Mark Rucker neither expected or even wanted to sing opera. Colleges were recruiting the star halfback to play football. He didn’t want anyone throwing cold water on his dream, even for international stardom doing something...
Published: 04/10/18
Updated: 04/11/18