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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


  1. Capable cast engrosses audience in Stage West's production of 'Twelve Angry Men'


    There is no soft underbelly of bigotry in Twelve Angry Men, the 1956 drama about a jury debating a death sentence for a 16-year-old accused of murdering his father.

    No, the bigotry, hatred, racism and xenophobia in Twelve Angry Men are hard and loud and violent — and very disturbing, especially at this particular time in U.S. history.

    The show, playing at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill, opens as the all-male jury — it wasn't until 1973 that all states allowed women to serve on juries — files into a stifling jury room with one tiny, balky buzz fan to render what looks like a slam-dunk verdict of guilty as charged. It's such an obvious decision that the level-headed Jury Foreman (Mark Dunham) doesn't even bother with a secret, written ballot. After all, everybody is eager to get out of that stuffy room and on with their lives. So the foreman asks for a vote by raised hands, and, sure enough, it looks like it's unanimous … until Juror No. 8 lifts his hand in a single "not guilty" vote....

  2. Review: Hermine delays, but fails to dampen, Richey Suncoast Theatre opener


    Hurricane Hermine may have blown opening weekend at Richey Suncoast Theatre down the road a week, but it didn't dampen the performances or the enthusiasm of the cast and crew of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the musical comedy about charming con men and the ladies they charm, playing weekends through Sept. 25.

    As performed by the amazing cast at RST in New Port Richey, it's 2 1/2 hours of laughs, surprises, singing, dancing and Mark Anthony Jelks' sweet little orchestra that keeps everything moving....

    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a musical comedy, runs through Sept. 25 at Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey.
  3. Richey Suncoast Theatre to open second venue


    NEW PORT RICHEY — For 44 years — since 1972 — Richey Suncoast Theatre has presented family friendly plays, musicals, concerts and specialty shows at the former Meighan (movie) Theatre, an Art Deco-style building built in 1925 in downtown New Port Richey.

    Now the theater is establishing its first satellite, a 68-seat theater to be housed in the defunct Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre at 5732 Main St....

    Marc Yacht, left, president of the board of directors at Richey Suncoast Theatre, and Marie Skelton, the theater’s executive director, stand outside the former Jimmy Ferraro’s Studio Theatre, which will become Richey Suncoast’s second venue.
  4. Stage West opens season with look inside a jury room in 'Twelve Angry Men'



    It's been awhile since Americans have been glued to their television sets watching nail-biting courtroom trials like that of, say, O.J. Simpson, Ted Bundy or Casey Anthony.

    Even so, fascination with the inner workings of a trial — the accused, the witnesses, the judge, the jury — remains steady, which may account for the devoted fans of Twelve Angry Men, the 1954 teleplay set inside a jury deliberation room....

    From left sitting, Thomas Garton as Juror No. 5, Chris Hubner as Juror No. 6, Jay Ingle as Juror No. 7 and Sam Petricone as Juror No. 8 listen while Dennis Duggan, standing as Juror No. 3, gets emotional during rehearsal for Twelve Angry Men, which is being presented at Stage West Community Playhouse.
  5. Hermine postpones opening at Richey Suncoast Theatre


    NEW PORT RICHEY — Among the blows by Hurricane Hermine, one struck at Richey Suncoast Theatre, destroying a crucial transformer and forcing the venue to postpone its season opener, the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, to Sept. 16.

    The show was scheduled to open Sept. 8 and continue weekends through Sept. 25. Now, it will play only two weekends: Sept. 15 to 18 and 23 to 25. Shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2:30 p.m....

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



    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.
  7. Quirky 'Urine-town,' romantic comedy big winners at Richey Suncoast Theatre



    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.
  8. Review: Show Palace's 'Route 66' stokes plenty of memories of the famous highway


    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....

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


    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.  
  10. 'Ragtime,' 'On Golden Pond' big winners in Stage West's HAMI Awards



    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.
  11. Four voices, chemistry click in Sinatra tribute at Show Palace


    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.
  12. 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....

    Aingers Molly Ross, left, and Matty Colonna take part in My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, which opens Saturday at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. 
  13. Theaters offer plenty of options on summer stages


    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...

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


    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
  15. Brothers step in for missing sisters in 'The Andrews Brothers' at Show Palace


    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.