"I have concerns about Britney's face," I told Hilary.
"IT'S CONTOURING," Hilary replied angrily, the way she always replies when it comes to matters of instantly aquiline noses, of any magazine title that boasts, "YOU WON'T BELIEVE HER TRANSFORMATION!". While I tend to be suspicious of celebrities who show up with faces that look drastically new, as Britney Spears did on the cover of Women's Health not too long ago, my friend Hilary is a staunch believer that a different demon is on the loose....
Lookie loo who showed up to the Tampa Bay Rays game Tuesday night. Times photog James Borchuck got the photo, and Times movie critic Steve Persall has the scoop. Be sure to follow Steve through the week at @StevePersall for coverage of the filming of The Infiltrator in Tampa Bay....
John Stamos is such a prize for America, because he's so secure in who he is. He is a raven-haired stud, a faithful Oikos representative, an honest tippler, someone with a terrifying belly button. And above all, he is and will always be Uncle Jesse Katsopolis....
Calling all fans of overpriced yoga pants: Lululemon Athletica is coming to International Plaza.
Sean Daly reports the brand is joining Athleta and jeweler David Yurman, as well as an expanded Michael Kors store in the mall. Lululemon already has a location in Tampa's Hyde Park Village, and it always intimidates me. Anyone a fan of these brands? All my workout clothes come from Target. ...
Safe to say, members of the Florida Orchestra don't typically shop for their instruments at Pier 1 Imports. But for the next masterworks concert, orchestra librarian Ella Fredrickson went shopping with her tuner in hand to find the perfect set of eight wine glasses, which the brass musicians will play for contemporary composer Jennifer Higdon's ethereal Blue Cathedral. In addition to glasses filled with water, listen for musicians rolling Chinese meditation balls to create a shimmering sound. Next, hear Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3, full of Hungarian dance rhythms and optimism with solo work from 2013 MacArthur Fellowship winner Jeremy Denk. And the main event for the night is the lush, symphonic poetry of Rimsky-Korsakov's most popular work, Scheherazade, which recalls the tale of Arabian Nights: the wife who warded off execution by telling her husband interesting stories night after night. See the program conducted by Mei-Ann Chen at 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org. ...
Ever feel like standing in front of a room full of middle and high school girls, and asking them to point out what's wrong with your outfit? Probably not.
And yet, Kameel bravely did this over the weekend, and for that, she gets eternal props. She also gets eternal props for getting Deal Divas involved with the YWCA Tampa Bay Women's Economic Empowerment program, which hosted a WEE Girls Rock day camp for girls at All Children's Hospital Saturday. The goal was to get the girls talking and learning about their futures, what jobs they might want, how to make them a reality and what skills they might need to get there....
From the grand tradition of Gershwin to the intimacy of chamber music, the music scene is alive with upcoming performances.
The Florida Orchestra presents a tribute to George and Ira Gershwin featuring Funny Face, Lullaby, Cuban Overture and more in the first half, and selections from the seminal American opera Porgy and Bess in the second, including I Loves You Porgy and Summertime. See the program conducted by Jeff Tyzik featuring the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay at 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org....
Theater fans have a couple of big-ticket upcoming shows to choose from, wildly different options that don't have anything in common.
Or do they?
There's the Broadway revival of Pippin at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson's 1972 musical is a play within a play full of fire and magic and circus antics, following a young prince as he tries to find meaning in life. Bob Fosse directed the original, laden with his signature style and twisted tone....
Do you like fashion? Do you like glittering runway shows in Paris? Do you like designers being super passive-aggressive to each other in a totally entertaining way?
Then, you'll LOVE Robin Givhan's book, The Battle of Versailles. I had the chance to review the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion writer's latest work for the Tampa Bay Times, and it was a blast. The book tells of a fashion showdown in France in 1973, pitting established French couture designers against spunky Americans. A bunch of new black models never before seen on the stodgy French runways made the event not only a fashion touchstone, but a moment of cultural significance....
It's difficult to tell people who don't care about fashion why fashion is worth caring about. Why it's more than pretty clothes and shallow vanity. Why it speaks to an ever-shifting tableau of social strata, race, international politics and so on.
As a result, some fashion books exist vaguely on the surface, skating a stiletto around any meaningful semblance of depth.
Good news. Robin Givhan, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for her Washington Post fashion criticism, has done the hard work. In The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into the Spotlight and Made History, Givhan distills cogent points about fashion against a backdrop of one real-life glittering showdown in Paris....
You might know of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics, which playwright Nilo Cruz set in Ybor City. Expand your repertoire with Sotto Voce, Cruz's tale of love playing at Sarasota's Asolo Theatre through April 26. The show examines the life of a German-born novelist who lost her love during World War II, and the young Jewish-Cuban writer who wants to tell the story years later. (941) 351-8000. asolorep.org. ...
Isn't it lovely to see a teacher and his former student working together as pros? It will happen when Thomas Hooten, principal trumpet for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, plays alongside one of his former teachers, Robert Smith, principal trumpet for the Florida Orchestra. Pianist Rebecca Wilt joins the musicians on a program of Vivaldi, Bohme, Honegger and Rachmaninoff to benefit MAD Theatre of Tampa. Hooten, a Tampa native and University of South Florida graduate, is the son of MAD's president, Cathy Hooten. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 509 E Twiggs St. in Tampa. $20. (813) 624-2003. madtheatre.com....
It can be easy to get a little overly mired in winter clothes this time of year, because all the stores are unloading their stock to make way for spring. The sales are too good to pass up, and I can tell you all about this having just bought several boots and a velvet romper on deep seasonal discounts.
That said, it's always great to see a sale on things that are brand new, like the fine flowers sprouting from the willing ground below (TAKE THAT, POETS). LOFT is on it, offering $25 off new arrivals, including this cute scalloped pink dress (especially love the back detail), regularly $89.50, and this "pleated lady skirt," (they said it, not me), regularly $69.50. No code needed for this sale, only the optimism that spring brings....
To Quiet the Quiet
I toured the new Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall recently, and, as promised when the $1.3 million project began in the fall, it's a vast improvement from the old space. The box office is in a more obvious place. The doors now open in the back, not next to the stage. The seats (no more squeaks!) can be configured in the black-box theater any which way, including cabaret-style. And there are lots of nice interactive elements for the students at the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts. The theater, named for late supporter Ray Murray and his wife, Nancy, will give Ruth Eckerd a chance to experiment with all kinds of programming, including a resident theater and a rotating slate of regional productions. ...
A cancellation is never fun news for the Florida Orchestra. But in this case, there's a pretty fun reason.
Damon Gupton has canceled jobs guest-conducting next week's coffee concerts with the Florida Orchestra because he landed a role in the upcoming NBC pilot Endgame, a Las Vegas drama starring Wesley Snipes.
How's this for a full resume? In addition to conducting for orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and Florida Orchestra, Gupton is an actor who plays Detective Calvin Walker on the hit Fox show Empire and played district attorney Adam Page on WE TV's The Divide. Maybe you also saw Gupton in movies including 2014's Whiplash, 2007's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and 2002's Unfaithful....