Monday, January 22, 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.

Roxanne Fay plays Prospero in Jobsite Theater's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest running Jan. 19-Feb. 11. Pritchard Photography.

Jobsite’s ‘The Tempest’ balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

TAMPA — The Tempest begins with shadow play, a ship tossed on high seas. Projected onto a backdrop, the shadow of that ship looks proportionate to the waves that rock it. You see this, even as a daemonic spirit holds a toy replica in her hand, the...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Cellist Maximilian Hornung plays Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B minor with the Florida Orchestra through Sunday. [Courtesy of Maximilian Hornung.]

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say...
Published: 01/20/18
Gary Sandy, playing Mike Hammer, left, Bob Heitman, playing D.A. Clarence Spencer, and Jim Wicker, playing Pat Chambers, work through their lines under the direction of Richard Rice, right, during a dress rehearsal for Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder at Ruth Eckerd Hall's Murray Theatre in Clearwater.  DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

‘Mike Hammer - Encore for Murder’ serves up hard-boiled 1950s fare with a healthy side of wit

CLEARWATER — From the moment the title character takes center stage, Mike Hammer — Encore for Murder is sold. Rarely does one actor own an entire production the way Gary Sandy owns this world premiere, and it’s a pleasure at watch, in large measure...
Published: 01/19/18
DIRK SHADD   |   Times  
Courtney Anne McLaren, American Stage apprentice, performs one of her two monologues during a session working with Benjamin T. Ismail, artist-in-residence, along with four other apprentice (not pictured) at American Stage Theatre Co, Raymond James Theatre, 163 Third St. N., in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon (01/08/18). American Stage has a new apprenticeship program for aspiring theater professionals. American Stage also has a new program for young theater goers including lower prices through passes, just starting this year.

Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

Published: 01/18/18
Lead dancer Ciara Sexton (center) comes with the Riverdance 20th anniversary tour to the Straz Center Jan. 19-21, 2018. Courtesy of the Straz Center.

What’s on stage this week: Riverdance, ‘Mike Hammer,’ ‘The Tempest’

RIVERDANCE AT 20: CIARA SEXTONShe’s a former world champion in Irish dance, and now Ciara Sexton, center, is leading Riverdance in Tampa. A lead dancer and soloist with the troupe, Sexton said she has felt comfortable touring the...
Published: 01/17/18
Gary Sandy, playing Mike Hammer, left, and Marie Rachel Dudley, playing Rita Vance, work through their lines during a dress rehearsal for Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder at Ruth Eckerd Hall's Murray Theatre in Clearwater. The all-new mystery play stars Sandy (WKRP in Cincinnati) and is a bold choice for REH's Murray and is being being performed live on stage January 18-28, only weeks from the 100th anniversary of Mickey Spillane's birth. It represents the venue's bigger plans for the theater, which will do two more Spillane adaptations in 2018, and the biggest thing they've done in this refurbished Murray Theatre to date. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

With Zev Buffman at the creative end, Ruth Eckerd Hall brings Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer to the stage

An actor famous for playing a radio station manager will star this week in the world premiere of a radio play.Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder brings Gary Sandy, who played Andy Travis on WKRP in Cincinnati, to Ruth Eckerd Hall. And the star...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18
CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
 Co producer Lauren Slone of Columbus, Ohio works out choreography during a dance rehearsal at the Mirror Lake Dance Center on December 18, 2017 for  BEACON 2018,  a contemporary dance performance at the Palladium at St. Petersburg College, Friday, January 12, 2018.   This is a yearly collaborative by professional dancers and choreographers produced by Slone and Helen Hansen French of St. Petersburg.

Beacon 2018 brings professional dancers and choreographers to the Palladium

ST. PETERSBURGThe dancers kept moving, spinning, pausing for arabesques or stretches. Over most of a December afternoon at the Mirror Lake Studios, they rarely stopped, whether rehearsing specific routines or not.Choreographer Lauren Ree...
Published: 01/11/18
Daniel Lipton, shown conducting Anhaltische Philharmonie. CREDIT: KATHLEEN FRIEDRICH

Canadian cops hunt former Opera Tampa maestro Daniel Lipton in connection with sexual assault

Daniel Lipton, Opera Tampa’s most recent artistic director, is being sought by Canadian authorities in connection with a sexual assault.The alleged assault took place in the late 1980s, a woman the Times is not naming told the Hamilton Police...
Published: 01/10/18
Updated: 01/11/18
Doreen Rao has resigned as visiting artistic director for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. Photo by Enid Bloch.

Master chorale and visiting artistic director Doreen Rao part ways

TAMPA — The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay has ended its relationship with visiting artistic director Doreen Rao. The announcement on Tuesday continues an ongoing uncertainty about leadership for the chorale, which has not had a permanent artistic...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/10/18
Former Florida Orchestra music director Jahja Ling returns to conduct Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 Jan. 5-7, 2017. Florida Orchestra.

Jahja Ling and his pianist wife, Jessie Chang, delight with Sibelius and Beethoven

TAMPA — With a genial wave and a smile, the Florida Orchestra’s second music director greeted a Tampa Bay audience, the kind he used to see over 14 seasons. By the time Jahja Ling left the area in 2002, the orchestra had more than found its footing.
Updated one month ago