This is what can be said about the Show Palace Dinner Theatre's production of Cole Porter's musical Kiss Me, Kate: What. A. Show.
Incredible voices, sensational dancing, gorgeous costumes, backdrops and sets, perfect sound and music, simply marvelous character actors — this show has it all, and then some.
Granted, what with today's headlines, you may cringe a bit when the lead male takes his ex-wife over his knee and spanks her so hard she can't sit down for days. But then, Kiss Me, Kate revolves around William Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, written at a time when even the courts allowed a husband to give his wife "moderate correction," whatever that meant....
Richey Suncoast Theatre waited seven long years to get performance rights to the 1954 Tony Award-winning musical Pajama Game, and co-directors/choreorgraphers Marie Skelton and Linda Hougland have gone all out to see that this beloved period piece, playing weekends through Sept. 28, gets proper treatment.
Pajama Game was written at the height of labor union power and also the Cold War's communist scare, and the passing of time has lessened the power of both institutions, so the show doesn't evoke the strong emotions it did when it hit Broadway the first time around and seems dated. Even so, the familiar score and the Richey Suncoast cast's joyful rendition of it will likely have audiences humming as they leave the theater....
For seven years, Richey Suncoast Theatre has tried to obtain performance rights for the Tony Award-winning musical The Pajama Game.
"But it's either already promised to someone else (in the area), or there's a national tour, or something," making it unavailable to the theater, said Marie Skelton, executive director of the venue, who takes the lead in choosing plays and musicals every season....
The Jimmy Ferraro Studio Theatre in downtown New Port Richey is gearing up for the 2014-15 season with five shows from Oct. 17 to May 3.
The season reflects what theater founder and owner Ferraro knows his audiences will like — light-hearted, funny, quick-paced shows suitable for grown-ups and kids alike. And each show offers something altogether different from the other.
"I keep my patrons in the forefront of my mind when I am selecting shows," Ferraro said....
NEW PORT RICHEY — The musical Spamalot and the comedy/farce The Amorous Ambassador were the big winners at the annual Charlie Awards celebration of the 2013-14 season at Richey Suncoast Theatre on Saturday. The awards are named in honor of the late Charlie Skelton, who, along with his wife Marie, is credited with reviving the theater over the past 15 years. Winners are chosen by a vote of the people who attended each show....
The new Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre winds up its inaugural summer season with the musical The Singing Divas of Broadway and Hollywood, starring Broadway's Dee Etta Rowe and opera singer Mary Anne Edwards, with Debbie Snyder and Elicia Nystrom adding color and dancing as backup.
"I'm calling it a musical cabaret," said Ferraro, not because the venue is indeed a restaurant or nightclub, but because the songs evoke the feel of a cabaret's floor show....
SPRING HILL — The musical drama Les Miserables took home all the marbles in the Main Stage (musicals) division of the annual HAMI Awards presentations for Stage West Community Playhouse's 2013-14 season, winning 11 out of 11 of the coveted statues at a ceremony on Saturday evening at the Palace Grand in Spring Hill.
The season's blockbuster made it an even dozen by winning still another award in the overall category of Rising Star, given to Maxwell Brazier for his role as young Gavorche in the production....
Review | Forever Plaid
If you've never seen the musical comedy Forever Plaid, you might want to see the production playing through Aug. 24 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.
The players are adequate, the story simple and cute, and the music — songs like Moments to Remember, Heart and Soul and Perfidia from the 1950s and '60s, with their tight harmonies, pleasant melodies and sweet lyrics — is hard to beat....
For years, singer-actor Diana Rogers played Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables on Broadway and did that role and others in national touring companies. A few years ago, however, family circumstances brought her to Florida, where she became head of the award-winning drama department at River Ridge High School and directed and wrote plays and musicals for her students.
Now she's writing for grownups and will launch her first musical comedy at 7:30 p.m. today (July 18) at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre in downtown New Port Richey, where it will continue matinees and evenings through Aug. 10. She named the show Coupled, about three couples who have been together for a while....
HUDSON — In an era when staggering zombies and aspiring rock stars dominate movies and TV, the 1990 musical Forever Plaid should fit right in. After all, the four main characters have been dead for decades, killed in a car wreck on the way to their first big professional gig back in the 1950s, and they are back for a second chance to show their singing prowess.
But it's definitely not creepy, nor a copycat. Composer/lyricist/playwright Stuart Ross' four singing Plaids wear Ralph Lauren-style dinner jackets, neat 1950s haircuts and display excellent posture — not rags, rotting skin and hunch-shouldered staggers. And they sing songs with real words that the audience can understand and wouldn't offend either great-grandma or a convention of conservative ministers....
06/18/14 Human Interest
If you love dancing…
If you love Broadway musicals…
If you love singing…
Then Epic Broadway is your show.
The creation of former Broadway performer John Leggio, now owner of John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts in Spring Hill, the show features 120 singers and dancers performing numbers from a wide variety of Broadway hits, including The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and American Idiot....
Really, has it been 10 years since Jimmy Ferraro and his wife, Dee Etta Rowe, quietly shuttered their Angel Cabaret Theatre in Port Richey and returned to the thing that first brought them to theater: acting and singing on stage?
Indeed it has. But now they're back, living in Weeki Wachee, and opening their own theater again, this time called Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre, in the former Tri Arts Printing shop on Main Street in downtown New Port Richey....
Review | The Wizard of Oz
An unusual thing happened during Saturday's opening night of The Wizard of Oz at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, something I've never before witnessed myself.
The first act ended with enthusiastic, sustained applause, followed by an intermission. Twenty minutes later, when the house lights went down signaling the second act was going to start soon, wild applause broke out again — and the curtain hadn't even gone up yet or a musical note played....
SPRING HILL — The kindest thing that can be said of the Stage West Community Playhouse production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is that it is, well, uneven — some really good, some best left unsaid.
To be sure, the musical itself is terrific. Larry L. King and Peter Masterson's book tells a good tale, filled with off-color Texanisms that would be the envy of newscaster Dan Rather. Carol Hall's music and lyrics go from gusto to serene to sad and move the story along at a nice clip....
Please don't go see Spamalot at Richey Suncoast Theatre unless you're ready to laugh 'til your sides hurt, roll your eyes at the outrageous non sequiturs and jokes, hear some crude language, watch some rude antics and see some of the best performances of the season.
It's Monty Python, for cryin' out loud — you gotta expect anything, and director Marie Skelton's truly wonderful cast and crew give it to you for two laugh-out-loud hours....