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Barbara L. Fredricksen, Times Staff Writer

Barbara L. Fredricksen

Barbara L. Fredricksen writes about the fine arts and performing arts in Pasco, Hernando and upper Pinellas counties. She joined the Times in 1986.

Phone: (727) 869-6262

Email: fredricksen@tampabay.com

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  1. Richey Suncoast Theatre opens 2016-17 season with musical comedy 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'

    Stage

    NEW PORT RICHEY

    Don't plan to take a snooze during the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a comedy about two charming con artists fleecing unsuspecting victims on the French Riviera.

    It's so full of twists and turns and surprises that you may miss the best ones if you even blink your eyes. And just as you think you've figured it all out, something new happens, and the plot takes off in an all new direction....

    Janine Paradiso is Christine Colgate and Michael McGuigan is Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which kicks off Richey Suncoast Theatre’s 2016-17 Broadway series season.
  2. Quirky 'Urine-town,' romantic comedy big winners at Richey Suncoast Theatre

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    NEW PORT RICHEY

    In what was, arguably, the strongest and most up-to-date season of musicals at Richey Suncoast Theatre, the quirky comedy Urinetown was the big winner at the 2015-16 Charlie Awards on Saturday, the theater's version of the Tony Awards, named in honor of the late managing director Charlie Skelton.

    Winners are chosen by popular vote of audiences, and the darkly funny comedy won eight of 11 awards given in the "musical" category (there was one tie)....

    Two favorites were Mike McGugan as Officer Lockstock and Liz Onley as Little Sally in Urinetown.
  3. Review: Show Palace's 'Route 66' stokes plenty of memories of the famous highway

    Stage

    People who fondly remember Nash Ramblers, the man with the Texaco star, eight-cylinder engines and little GTOs will likely enjoy the songs in and the memories revived by Route 66, a jukebox musical recalling all things good and fine with that strip of highway running straight through from Chicago to Los Angeles and carrying trucks and vacationers for the first half of the 20th century — or until the Interstate Highway System almost killed it....

  4. Musical revue at Show Palace will bring back memories of famous highway

    Stage

    HUDSON — Looking for some lighthearted, nostalgia-filled entertainment? Take Route 66, a musical revue playing Saturday to Oct. 2 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

    There's no story — just 34 tunes from the 1950s and '60s, the heyday of the legendary road many called the Main Street of America, a strip of highway that stretched 2,400-plus miles from Chicago, down through Oklahoma and across to Santa Monica, Calif....

    Route 66, a musical revue, features 34 songs from the 1950s and ’60s, which are tied together by a musical journey across the country on the titular highway.  
  5. 'Ragtime,' 'On Golden Pond' big winners in Stage West's HAMI Awards

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    SPRING HILL

    The beautiful and difficult musical Ragtime and the heartwarming dramedy On Golden Pond were the big winners in their respective divisions at Saturday's annual HAMI Awards, the Stage West Community Playhouse's version of Broadway's Tonys.

    Ragtime, with its syncopated, early 20th-century rhythms and sometimes heartbreaking, sometime uplifting themes of racial prejudice, violence and dreams fulfilled, went away with 10 of 13 awards presented in the Main Stage (musical) division, including Favorite Show. The poignant On Golden Pond won seven of 10 possible awards in the Forum division, including Favorite Show....

    Brian Beach, left  as Tateh, won the lead male HAMI for his performance in Stage West’s Ragtime.
  6. Four voices, chemistry click in Sinatra tribute at Show Palace

    Stage

    The jackpot for a theater casting director is finding a triple threat —a performer who can act, sing and dance.

    So it must feel like a Powerball win when the director gets a quadruple threat — a performer who can act, sing, dance, and play a cool piano.

    That's what director Michael Mathews hit when he snared Matty Colonna, a smooth crooner and dancer who can tickle the ivories and (if you've seen him in previous shows like The Andrews Brother, West Side Story, The Addams Family and, most of all, as Paul in A Chorus Line) act — and is good looking to boot. Quintuple threat perhaps?...

    My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, featuring Mike, left, and Jessica Mathews, will run matinees and weekends through 
Aug. 14 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.
  7. Show Palace set to open musical tribute to Frank Sinatra

    Music & Concerts

    HUDSON — The Show Palace Dinner Theatre brings to stage the songs of what many have called "the top entertainer of the 20th century" in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, playing Saturday through Aug. 14.

    Unlike all too many other Sinatra tributes, My Way doesn't try to replicate the sound of Sinatra, but instead presents the sounds of Sinatra, with two men and two women singing and sometimes dancing to more than 50 songs made famous by Ol' Blue Eyes....

    Cast members Matty Colonna, left, and Mike Mathews are two of the four singers and dancers who bring out the sounds of Frank Sinatra’s music.
  8. Theaters offer plenty of options on summer stages

    Features

    School is out and vacations are in, but several local theaters are as busy as they are during the traditional season, with plays, musicals, comedies and specials throughout the long, hot summer. With careful planning, local theater lovers can see a different show almost every week without driving very far.

    Stage West Community Playhouse

    8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill (352) 683-5113...

  9. Review: Despite some glitches, 'Andrews Brothers' is a pleasant summer diversion

    Stage

    The most touching moment at opening night of the musical comedy The Andrews Brothers at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson happened before the curtain ever went up. Master of ceremonies Troy LaFon asked for the house lights to be turned up; he then asked all military veterans in the house to stand up.

    As silence fell over the room, men in their 70s, 80s and 90s (I didn't spot anyone younger) rose to their feet — about one-third of all the men in the room and at least one woman — some with canes, others with help from nearby friends or spouses, most with no assistance. The applause for them was long and loud. These were people from the Greatest Generation, when every able-bodied man, and more than a few women, joined the fight to defend this country....

    The Andrews Brothers at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson stars, from left, Marc Ciemiewicz, Matty Colonna, Christoff Marse and Andrea Wright
  10. Brothers step in for missing sisters in 'The Andrews Brothers' at Show Palace

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    HUDSON — It's 1945 on a small Pacific island, and hundreds of GIs are getting ready to ship out for a major battle the following morning. But before they do, they're going to get a bang-up send-off by a big USO show, starring pinup girl Peggy Jones and the world famous singing Andrews Sisters.

    Only one thing: The Andrews Sisters are nowhere to be seen, and it's only a couple of hours before the show is supposed to start. That means no rehearsal and perhaps no show....

    From left, Marc Ciemiewicz plays Lawrence, Matty Colonna is Patrick, Christoff Marse is Max and Andrea Wright plays Peggy in the musical comedy The Andrews Brothers, which opens June 4 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.
  11. Show Palace 'specials' to bolster entertainment offerings

    Music & Concerts

    In March, the Mara family, owners of the Show Palace Dinner Theatre, acquired Richard Nader Entertainment, a legendary producer of rock 'n' roll, classic rock and golden oldies shows. It launched in 1969 with a series of sold-out shows in Madison Square Garden — the first ever done there — and immortalized in the movie Let the Good Times Roll, two 90-minute television specials, an 80-city tour, and formats for scores of radio stations....

  12. Ferraro's Studio Theatre closes, seeks new location

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    NEW PORT RICHEY — Almost two years to the day after opening, Jimmy Ferraro is shutting down his 68-seat Studio Theatre on Main Street and canceling the four summer shows scheduled from June 10 to Sept. 25.

    But he is far from giving up theater or theater ownership.

    "It is no secret that we have outgrown our intimate Studio Theatre," he said. "We decided that the summertime would be (the) best time to reorganize and find a new location that would better accommodate our guests. And so we will be closing for the summer."...

    Jimmy Ferraro says the lack of seats and parking problems hampered the theater.
  13. Funny, clever 'Urinetown' provides a royal flush at Richey Suncoast

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    Please, please, please don't let the icky title of Urinetown, The Musical, put you off. If you do, you'll be depriving yourself of one of the funniest, cleverest, and, as done by Richey Suncoast Theatre, best-performed shows you will see in ages.

    It takes satirical punches at the legal system, corporations, greedy capitalists, heartless business titans, irresponsible people who don't think of anything but themselves and their immediate needs — the heck with the future — and, of course, corrupt politicians on the take....

    Mike McGuigan plays Officer Lockstock and Liz Onley is Little Sally in Urinetown at Richey Suncoast Theatre.
  14. Review: Stage West cast brilliant in production of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

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    The musical Jesus Christ Superstar is very loosely based on the Bible stories of the last days of Jesus Christ. But the message in the musical is quite different from that of redemption and salvation, the bedrock of modern Christianity, instead being about the price of fame and the mind-boggling vicissitudes of human behavior.

    For that reason, some may find Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 1970 sung-through rock opera disturbing, even offensive. For others, the parallels to the dangers of mob psychology and to current politics, set to a hard-driving rock score, will be inspirational. That appeared to be the reaction of the great majority of the opening-night audience at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill, where the musical plays through May 22....

    Jesus Christ Superstar plays through Sunday at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. Shown are Kristen Ballard as Mary Magdalene, left, Keith Surplus as Jesus and Victoria Primosch as Judas.
  15. Musical 'Urinetown' makes North Suncoast debut at Richey Suncoast Theatre

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    NEW PORT RICHEY — Drought in California. Hailstones the size of baseballs in the Midwest. Floods in Texas. Outrageous medical costs. And an election where half the candidates are climate change deniers.

    What better time for Urine­town, a dark, quirky musical satire on the ugly ramifications of climate change and how greedy corporate titans move in to exploit a natural bodily function as it happens. The Tony Award-winning show debuted in 2001 — two days after 9/11 — and has become even more timely in the years since....

    The popular satirical musical Urinetown opens Thursday at the Richey Suncoast Theatre.