Make us your home page

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

  1. Cast delivers comedic treat at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre


    Studio Theatre founder/owner Jimmy Ferraro was beaming about 9:30 p.m. Friday as still-chuckling patrons filed past him for hugs and handshakes on their way out the door. Ferraro knew he had just opened a blockbuster hit at his small theater, and he was basking in the glow.

    Indeed, the two-act comedy Murder at the Howard Johnson's is, arguably, the best executed and most enjoyable show that Ferraro's almost 2-year-old boutique theater in New Port Richey has presented, and the tiny theater has done some good ones. (I was in Cuba and missed the Christmas show, which at least one patron said was the best until this one.)...

  2. Familiar story of 'On Golden Pond' comes to Stage West's Forum


    SPRING HILL — By now, the drama On Golden Pond is probably familiar to most people. But the sometimes warm, sometimes prickly relationships in the play can bring as much joy, if not more, as the story itself, so watching it again and again can be satisfying and heartwarming every time.

    It opens Feb. 11 and continues weekends through Feb. 21 at Stage West Community Playhouse, and publicist Kathy Cappelle says ticket sales have been so brisk the theater has added a performance....

    Betsy Glasson stars as Ethel Thayer and Ernie Rowland as Norman Thayer in Stage West’s production of On Golden Pond. 
  3. Murder mystery at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre is full of laughs


    NEW PORT RICHEY — Someone in the upcoming comedy at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre's Murder at the Howard Johnson's is indeed going to be eliminated, but who it will be and how it comes about remains a mystery until the very last moment.

    "You'll laugh every minute of this screwball comedy as the tangled triangle careens on its roller-coaster plot," Ferraro said of the show that starts next Friday....

  4. Review: Richey Suncoast Theatre's 'If a Man Answers' is fun, entertaining


    Sure, sure, the comedy If a Man Answers is a bit frothy. But sometimes froth can be fun (think light and airy, like the top of a root beer float tickling your nose).

    Based on the 1962 movie starring Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin, the show is playing weekends through Jan. 31 at Richey Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richey. Its premise may be dated and sexist — the only goal of woman is to snare a husband, then mislead and manipulate him to keep him in line — but as done by the RST cast and crew, it's also funny and entertaining....

    Diane Sloan-Ramos, left, and Paige Buffy Cetnor play mother and daughter Germaine Stacy and Chantal Stacy in If a Man Answers.
  5. Review: 'Bits of Broadway' brings back plenty of Stage West memories


    For longtime Stage West Community Playhouse patrons, Bits of Broadway is a walk down memory lane. In a little more than two hours, a score of Stage West players re-enact bits from 26 of the theater's favorite shows from the past 35 years.

    For new patrons, it's a chance to see many of Stage West's best players, plus some stage newcomers who may grow to that status in years to come.

    Though a few of the bits were a tad shaky in both song and movement on opening night, and the oversized folders the ensemble sometimes held and consulted as they sang could be distracting, the energy, enthusiasm and sheer talent of the other numbers more than made up for all that. (Bits replaced the originally scheduled book musical High Society.)...

  6. Perfectly chosen cast delivers stunning production of 'West Side Story' at Show Palace


    Here is one thing you need to know about the musical West Side Story, playing through Feb. 14 at Show Palace Dinner Theatre: If you intend to go see it, buy your ticket soon. This production is so beautiful, so moving, so incredibly well executed that once word gets out, there won't be a ticket left to buy.

    West Side Story starts with some impressive advantages — Leonard Bernstein's music, Stephen Sondheim's lyrics and Arthur Laurents' book. Add Jerome Robbins' ground-breaking choreography — which the Show Palace uses in this productions, thanks to director Jill Godfrey's connections to a former Robbins assistant — and, of course, a story inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet....

    Show Palace Dinner Theatre’s production of West Side Story features a perfectly chosen cast, deft direction and good music.
  7. Broadway solos and dance numbers highlight replacement show at Stage West


    SPRING HILL — The musical Bits of Broadway may turn out to be a bigger show than the one it replaced at Stage West Community Playhouse.

    It has a cast of 24 doing 28 songs from shows that Stage West has produced since it started in the late 1980s. It replaces the book musical High Society in the Main Stage season.

    "It was difficult to make the selections, as there were so many wonderful shows to choose from," said Lynda Dilts-Benson, the show's director, who co-wrote the script for the show with Paul Wade and Lena Burrows. Wade and Burrows will also be the narrators....

    Brian Beach sings The Impossible Dream as he rehearses for Bits of Broadway, set for Stage West Community Playhouse. 
  8. 'West Side Story,' still relevant decades later, opens at Show Palace Dinner Theatre


    HUDSON — The musical West Side Story was written in 1957, but it is as relevant today as it was then — as is the basis for the musical, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, written in the late 1500s.

    It's about racism, hatred of recent immigrants, violence, love, tragedy and, ultimately, hope.

    The show runs Saturday through Feb. 14 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre....

    West Side Story at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre is directed and choreographed by Jill Godfrey.
  9. Plenty of romantic advice, and comedy, in Richey Suncoast Theater's 'If a Man Answers'


    NEW PORT RICHEY — What's the old saying? "Where were you in '62?"

    If you were like most American teens, you were at the movies watching American sweethearts Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin in the romantic comedy If a Man Answers, the tale of how sophisticated French mother Germaine teaches her American daughter Chantal how to catch a man, train him how to behave, then keep him true and faithful by good, old-fashioned fibbing and manipulation....

    Things go a little awry in the second act of If a Man Answers for newlyweds Chantal Stacey, played by Paige Cetnor, and Eugene Wright, played by Jason Hoolihan. Chantal’s mom, Germaine, played by Diane Ramos, looks on.
  10. Spring season announced for Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre


    NEW PORT RICHEY — Two comedies, a musical tribute to Broadway and a two-show special are on tap for the 2016 spring season at Jimmy Ferraro's Studio Theatre in downtown New Port Richey.

    The special, Shimmy Showcase of Stars, is an "all singing, dancing, comedy revue," according to theater owner Jimmy Ferraro. It's to benefit the Angels of Gratitude scholarship fund, which provides lessons for performing arts students in financial need, Ferraro said. There are only two performances: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 and 2 p.m. Jan. 24....

  11. Show Palace announces 2016-17 season shows


    HUDSON — As 2015 comes to a close, the Show Palace Dinner Theatre is announcing its summer 2016 through spring 2017 season of shows: seven new-to-the-area book musicals, musical revues and tributes, plus one show to be revealed later when performance rights are signed, sealed and delivered.

    Each show will run from four to eight weeks.

    Current season ticket holders had until Dec. 15 to renew their seats. Tickets are now on sale to the public, first-come, first-served, said Vicki Marasciullo, Show Palace owner....

  12. Family comedy 'Cheaper by the Dozen' to open Thursday at Stage West


    SPRING HILL — As holiday chaos reigns in many households, it seems a good time to produce the warm, family comedy Cheaper by the Dozen. It runs Thursday to Dec. 20 at the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse.

    Based on a true story, the play is about the Gilbreth family, a large one — a dozen children, plus parents — even by 1920s standards, when the events take place....

    Players in the Cheaper by the Dozen production include, from left, Chay Nott as Frank, Chris Hubner as Dad, Jennifer Vilardi as Mom, Lorenzo Guarino as Fred and Kathrine Hines as Lillian. 
  13. Spectacular solos bring holiday cheer to Show Palace Christmas show


    The opening moments of A Show Palace Christmas Spectacular, playing through Dec. 25 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson, seem more like a Christmas cantata than Christmas spectacular.

    Yes, Todd Everest's set is gorgeous — oversized toys, running lights framing the stage, Christmas tree, shimmering red curtain, even a couple of discreet Stars of David topping the stage arches and a menorah perched on a theater side rail to suggest a little religious diversity. And Pat Werner's costumes are colorful and bright, ranging from traditional dance outfits to Victorian bonnets, top hats and hoop skirts as lovely as a Currier and Ives greeting card....

    A Show Palace Christmas Spectacular continues matinees and evenings through Dec. 25 at the Hudson theater.
  14. Infighting at Stage West leads to cancellation of January musical; revue will take its place


    SPRING HILL — From time to time over the years, discord has simmered at Stage West Community Playhouse, something not all that unusual in theater, where feelings and emotions are often close to the surface and volunteers sometimes misunderstand, or overestimate, the limits of their authority.

    It flared up 15 years ago, when two Stage West stalwarts left the theater and started raising money to build a $10 million performing arts center in Hernando County that could have been direct competition for Stage West customers. The project fell apart, but not until after the group dropped $220,000 in donations on public relations and architect fees, an amount that many at Stage West wistfully say could have gone far in wiping out the theater's debts....

  15. Show Palace's Christmas production carries religious theme


    HUDSON — Unlike the whimsical, funny, religiously diverse or semineutral holiday shows presented at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in years past, this year's show, "A Show Palace Christmas Spectacular," which opens Saturday, is largely religious and will likely warm the hearts of those who prefer a Christ-centered show.

    The first act sets the mood and is called "That Magical Feeling of Christmas." About half of its numbers are secular — Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells, (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays, Frosty the Snowman, among others — and the Santa-dominated 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, with a couple of rap breaks. But the rest of Act 1 and all of the second act, "The Nativity," could have come straight out of the Broadman Hymnal....