NEW PORT RICHEY — If there's one thing Richey Suncoast Theatre audiences seem to like, it's a good, old-fashioned sex farce. That's one big reason every season has at least one, sometimes more.
This year, it's British playwright John Chapman's Key for Two, complete with door slamming, mistaken identities, a zany plot with twists and turns — and plenty of fibbing, some scantily clad women and lots of innuendo and double entendres....
SPRING HILL — This must be nostalgia season, as two area theaters present plays from the 1960s by last-half 20th century playwriting icons.
At Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre in New Port Richey, it's Neil Simon's 1969 comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers.
At the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse, it's Woody Allen's 1966 farce Don't Drink the Water.
Don't Drink is a return engagement for Stage West. It was first presented during the 2004-05 season, when lead actor Dalton Benson won a HAMI award as Walter Hollander, the bumbling American who has to take refuge in a foreign embassy to save his own hide — the same role he is doing in the current production....
It's the late 1960s, the sexual revolution is cresting, and 51-year-old, faithfully married, charming-but-naive Manhattan restaurateur Barney Cashman feels that life is passing him by. And he's just not going to let that happen.
That's the setup for Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Neil Simon's sometimes poignant 1969 comedy about life, love, sex and, yes, death — or the dread of death — playing weekends through Oct. 18 at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre in New Port Richey....
Pick a number, any number (as in Broadway tune), and it's likely you'll hear it during the musical revue Give Our Regards to Broadway, playing through Nov. 8 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.
Whether it's the get-up-and-dance sound of You Can't Stop the Beat from Hairspray, or the tenderly sweet Memory from Cats, the super-talented 13 singers and dancers do them up right. Indeed, director/choreographer Jill Godfrey capitalizes on the talents of each carefully chosen performer to showcase Broadway's best songs and to tell Broadway's story....
NEW PORT RICHEY — Neil Simon's 1969 Tony-nominated comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers opens the 2015-16 season at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre, a seven-show series that includes four musicals, two comedies and a screwball mystery.
"It's gonna be a fuuuun season," owner Jimmy Ferraro said. "I am very excited about it."
For the opening show, which runs from Sept. 25 to Oct. 18, director Ferraro cast in-demand actor Greg Thompson as Barney Cashman, a middle-aged seafood restaurateur faithfully and not unhappily married to his high school sweetheart but determined to become a part of the swinging 1960s sex scene before it passes him by....
Review: Perfectly suited cast delivers sheer fun in Richey Suncoast Theatre's production of 'Young Frankenstein'09/12/15Stage
Let me confess at the start that I'm a foaming-at-the-mouth rabid fan of writer/composer/comedian Mel Brooks.
Yes, I know his humor can be crude (Blazing Saddles), crass (The Producers), vulgar (High Anxiety), coarse (Robin Hood: Men in Tights) and lowbrow (almost everything). But most of it is quite clever, and, besides, sometimes a person just needs a big dose of all that....
09/10/15 Human Interest
Back in 1999, John Vincent Leggio was living the dream. He was in his early 30s, based in New York City and dancing six different roles in the record-setting Broadway show Cats, with a resume that included major Broadway and Broadway touring company shows, television shows, cruise line shows and European tours.
Then he got sidetracked — for a while (more on that later).
"My goal when I left NYC in 1999 was to live in Orlando, make a name for myself as a director/choreographer with Disney and other venues while continuing to go back and forth to NYC to audition and keep my connections," Leggio said. "My hope was that I could do both … have the best of both worlds."...
NEW PORT RICHEY — Fans of Mel Brooks (The Producers, Blazing Saddles) will get a chance to see the musical version of what Brooks himself described as his best film, Young Frankenstein, at Richey Suncoast Theatre. It opens Sept. 10 and continues weekends through Sept. 27.
The show is based on Brooks' 1974 film spoof of the 1931 movie version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff. It has the same characters and general story as Brooks' film, with some surprising plot differences and the addition of Broadway-style musical numbers....
NEW PORT RICHEY — The musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie was the big winner at the 2015 Charlie Awards ceremony Saturday at Richey Suncoast Theatre, picking up six awards in the musicals division. In the plays division, the farce Whose Wives Are They Anyway? won four awards.
Named in honor of the late Charlie Skelton, winners are chosen by a numerically weighted vote of those who attend the shows. Awards are given in 13 categories, seven in musicals and six in plays....
Poor Cindy, she just can't get a break. She has a dead-end job in a laundromat, her pen-pal boyfriend has dumped her because of her poor penmanship, her aunt and uncle have just been wiped out in a car wreck and left her with a $10,000 bill from the IRS, and someone just ran over her beloved cat … all this on her birthday, which everyone seems to have forgotten.
That's the setup in Suds, the Rockin' '60s Musical Soap Opera, a cute and lively jukebox musical. Writers Melinda Gilb, Bryan Scott and Steve Gunderson strung together everybody's favorite tunes from the late 1950s and late into the 1960s and added a lighthearted story to make a show that had everybody on opening night at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre tapping their toes and singing along....
HUDSON — Suds, The Rockin' '60s Musical Soap Opera made its off-Broadway debut in 1988, and it's a mystery why it hasn't played every theater in the Tampa Bay area at least once, if not more, since then.
The show appears to have everything local audiences like (no, not beer): music from the 1950s and '60s, dancing and a light plot that seems just right for summer entertainment....
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical classic Oklahoma! and the play based on the literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird were the big winners of the annual HAMI Awards given by Stage West Community Playhouse on Saturday.
Eight productions from the 2014-15 season were in the running — four musicals on the Main Stage and four plays in the Forum at Stage West. Awards were presented in 23 categories, plus the prestigious Founders Award. Nominations are made by the director of each show; winners are chosen by members of Stage West....
HUDSON — Fans of Alfred Hitchcock will get a chance to see a spoof of one of the famed director's best-known movies, the mystery-thriller The 39 Steps, when the Show Palace Dinner Theatre presents the award-winning Broadway show July 3 to Aug. 2.
Set in 1930s Scotland and England, The 39 Steps is a tale of intrigue, murder and mayhem, with beautiful women and rugged men battling the forces of evil. It started out as a 1915 book by Patrick Barlow and was made into a film four different times, the most famous being the 1935 Hitchcock version....
NEW PORT RICHEY
As summer arrives and community theaters end their regular seasons, the area's two professional theaters — Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre and the Show Palace Dinner Theatre — are continuing or launching full-scale musicals and specials from now through Labor Day and beyond, all providing a way to escape the heat or entertain summer visitors.
Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre...
HUDSON — Over the years, John Leggio's Center for the Performing Arts has gained a reputation for putting on shows equal to — and sometimes better than — many full-time professionals. His youthful Xcel dance troupe has performed twice on Royal Caribbean cruise ships and recently took master classes from Broadway's Kissy Simmons, the longtime female lead in The Lion King....