Back in the day, it was called a "double feature" — two movies for the price of one (plus cartoons and newsreels).
That's sort of what Stage West Community Playhouse is offering in its holiday show — a "twofer," namely The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, based on Barbara Robinson's 1972 book of the same name, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip, Peanuts. Both short plays are suitable for all ages....
A big challenge in doing a stage show based on the 1954 movie classic White Christmas — especially for a crowd of a certain age — is making it fresh and new. After all, most, if not all, of the people in the audience have seen the Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye film version at least once, if not a dozen times or more. Who could make them forget buh-buh-buh Bing singing what Guinness World Records says is the best-selling single of all time?...
Please don't fret if you fail to pick up every plot detail or character nuance in Stage West Community Playhouse's splendid production of Les Miserables, playing weekends through Nov. 24. After all, the musical has more than 40 characters and two (or more) major plot lines spread out over nearly two decades and told in three hours of non-stop songs of love, death, war, despair and redemption.
What has made this tale of political unrest, social inequality, and personal loves and struggles in early nineteenth-century France an award-winning, world-wide phenomenon for nearly 30 years are its universal and timeless themes, composer Claude-Michel Schonberg's haunting musical refrains, Herbert Kretzmer's touching (and sometimes comedic) lyrics and Alain Boublil's book, based on Victor Hugo's 1862 masterpiece of the same name, itself based on an actual event....
The audience was settling in for the second act of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Mikado at Springstead High School that January night in 2002, when, suddenly, they all grew still and hushed, listening in awe to a clear, soaring, strong, soprano voice as beautiful as many had ever heard — "The sun whose rays are all ablaze …"
It was coming from a wisp of a 14-year-old girl, Gabrielle Mirabella, whose ambition at the time was to become a professional opera singer. In succeeding years, she seemed headed straight to that dream, first performing at arts-heavy Marymount Manhattan College, then at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music for a degree in classical music....
Stage West Community Playhouse has tackled some big, complicated and difficult shows — Chicago, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music and Into the Woods, to name a few — but now this ambitious theater company is taking on one of the biggest and most difficult ever, the majestic epic Les Misérables, opening Nov. 7 and continuing weekends through Nov. 24....
10/18/13 Food & Dining
If you've gone past the former Saint Sebastiaan Belgian Microbrewery on U.S. 19 south of Spring Hill Drive or dropped by the Silverthorn County Club off Barclay Avenue in Spring Hill in recent weeks, you may be wondering what in the world is going on. Both are jumping with delivery trucks, painters, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, and a whole raft of other workers scurrying about....
The cardinal rule of business is: Give the customers what they want.
And show biz is no different, whether it's Shakespeare, Ibsen or the Marx Brothers.
That could explain why the current offering at the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse, Sex Please, We're Sixty, quickly sold every seat for every show and is just as quickly selling out the added performance at 2 p.m. Saturday....
Whew! For a few months there, I was truly concerned that the Show Palace Dinner Theatre had lost its bearings.
Three weak shows in a row — good actors, cast and crew, but unappealing productions — and a couple of mediocre buffet dinners (to be fair, the price was slashed nearly 30 percent for the last two) had me wondering if this big ol' ship could right itself.
Well, I'm here to say that opening night of the beloved musical Hello, Dolly! forecasts blue skies and smooth sailing for the 15-year-old venue....
Two of the highest-profile, most-coveted and most-exciting lead roles for a young (under 30) male performer in Broadway musicals today are the characters Drew Boley in Rock of Ages and Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.
And only one young man has been chosen to play both of these celebrated roles: Justin Matthew Sargent.
Yup, the same Justin Sargent who lived in Trinity with his mom and dad, Lyn and Jim, graduated from Mitchell High School and made his stage debut at Richey Suncoast Theatre, when, at the age of 14, he played the Artful Dodger in Oliver! in 1999....
Richey Suncoast Theatre opened its 2013-14 season Thursday with a thoroughly delightful rendition of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim's engaging musical Company, a series of vignettes centered on 35-year-old bachelor Bobby (Rob Tilley), whose friends are determined to get him married — though no one is exactly sure why, most of all Bobby himself.
It's a show for grown-ups, who will best appreciate the subject matter as well as director Peter Nason's really terrific 14-member cast that includes many of Tampa Bay's top-flight performers....
Longtime patrons of Richey Suncoast Theatre will see a big difference in the lobby area when they go to shows this year, but the biggest changes will be what they hear.
"We've put in a new and bigger sound board with room enough for 19 body mikes," said Marie Skelton, executive director. A new state-of-the-art looping system for the hearing impaired includes a tiny wire around the perimeter of the downstairs auditorium that will pick up sounds from the body mikes and send them directly to hearing aids and other sound-catching devices in the audience. The latter can be borrowed from the box office at no charge; just leave a credit card or driver's license for security....
The witty, sophisticated, multi-Tony Award-winning musical Company makes a return to Richey Suncoast Theatre on Thursday, showcasing some of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim's best work — Marry Me a Little, The Ladies Who Lunch, Another Hundred People — and George Furth's cleverest dialogue. It played to large audiences when the theater produced it in 2000 and has already sold out the opening night performance....
09/02/13 Music & Concerts
Richey Suncoast Theatre is launching a series of musical shows Oct. 5 through Nov. 16 that is altogether different from any series the theater has done before — and at prices not seen there before either.
The six shows feature nationally known recording artists doing a wide range of musical styles, from soul to blues, Broadway, pop, big band, jazz and even one award-winning country music artist....
The 1996 off-Broadway musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change offers two and a half hours of songs and skits about the stages and vicissitudes of being men and women together and apart. It's inoffensive to the point of bland, filled with stereotypes and cliches, very few really fresh laugh lines. But, as done at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre through Sept. 15, it has a couple of memorable moments created through the sheer force of will by the four very talented and charming singer/actors — Amanda Downey, Lucas Alifano, Georgia Guy and Robby May....
Review | 'Barefoot in the Park'
If you go see the Neil Simon comedy Barefoot in the Park at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre — and it is worth going to see, especially for first-timers — you might want to cruise by Burger King or Sonny's Barbecue for a bite before the show and pop into the theater just in time for the curtain to rise.
The summer special show-only ticket is $25, the dinner another $8 (plus tax), but $8 can buy better grub at many nearby eateries....