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Stephanie Hayes, Times Performing Arts Critic

Stephanie Hayes

Stephanie Hayes is the performing arts critic for the Tampa Bay Times, covering plays, musicals, classical music, dance, comedy and more. She also blogs about fashion for the Times' style blog, Deal Divas. She started writing for the Times in 2003, covering everything from suburban politics to zoning to snack foods to Britney Spears. She wrote the Times' feature obituary column, Epilogue, and went on to work as a general assignment reporter, entertainment reporter and higher education reporter. She grew up near Cleveland and graduated from St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida.

Phone: (813) 226-3394

Email: shayes@tampabay.com

Twitter: @StephHayes

Blog: Deal Divas

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  1. MOMS AND DADS: Get half off diapers when you join Amazon Mom

    Blog

    I think it's the natural result of being in the 30s, but I am experiencing a wave of friends with babies, friends having babies, friends thinking of having babies, babies being babies. My first nephew was born this year, too. He looks like Winston Churchill and is rad. 

    I digress. The influx of babies has made me take more notice of useful shopping deals like today's, even when they depart a little from our realm of fashion and beauty. So, moms and dads, check it:...

    Because I am drunk with power, to illustrate parenthood you get this photo of John Travolta and Kirstie Alley from Look Who's Talking Too, the one where Roseanne voiced the baby girl and we all didn't know what to believe in anymore.
  2. Three picks: 'Birds of a Feather,' 'The Barber of Seville,' 'First Date'

    Stage

    Birds of a Feather

    In Marc Acito's Birds of a Feather, two gay penguins named Silo and Roy adopt an egg together in the Central Park Zoo, hatch it and raise the baby. Four actors including Scott Daniel and Robert Richards Jr. play 25 characters in the play, based on a true story, opening at Stageworks Theatre on Friday. The cast went into rehearsals on the same day that same-sex marriage became legal in Florida, and Stageworks is seizing the opportunity to encourage discourse. After Sunday's matinee, a panel of parents and adoption experts will discuss blended families, and on Feb. 8, Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner and Tampa Bay Parenting magazine's Angela Ardolino will stay to talk LGBT parenting. Shows are 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. $15-$30, $40 for opening night. 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., #151, Tampa. (813) 374-2416. stageworkstheatre.org....

    Valerie Witherspoon and Michael Mahany star in First Date at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
  3. Review: 'Radio Golf' brings August Wilson pros to American Stage

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Everyone in Radio Golf is good, quite good. But Anthony Chisholm, in his delivery, tone, posture and on and on, is astounding.

    And no wonder. Elder Joseph Barlow is Chisholm's role, through and through. He received a Tony nomination for playing the character on Broadway. And fans of HBO's Oz will recognize him as prisoner Burr Redding.

    It's a joy to have talent like his visit American Stage for the theater's eighth installment of August Wilson's Century Cycle. He's not alone in his impressive credentials. Radio Golf is packed with veterans of Wilson plays, making this long but meaningful work resonate with impact....

    Radio Golf is the latest in playwright August Wilson’s 10-play Century Cycle at American Stage. It stars Kim Sullivan (front), Anthony Chisholm, Chrystal Bates, Alan Bomar Jones and “ranney.”
  4. Review: Florida Orchestra finds a match in 'Romeo And Juliet'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Well, hey. Even a world-class orchestra can suffer the perils of the dreaded "technical difficulties."

    And so it came to pass Friday for the Florida Orchestra. While in the midst of Prokofiev's luscious suite from the ballet Romeo and Juliet, the lights went out. A set of blue Christmas bells and a gigantic red candy cane illuminated the stage walls.

    There was mumbling from the crowd in Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Christmas was clearly past and this was probably not a cool concert effect....

  5. 'The Book of Mormon' leaves no doubt at Straz

    Stage

    TAMPA — Imagine this planet: Thousands of people in pressed theater clothes buy their Merlot and cappuccino from concessions, politely excuse themselves down the row and settle in to grin gaily while a village of Ugandans simulate how dysentery works out the back end.

    Somewhere, Trey Parker and Matt Stone count their money. The Book of Mormon, the South Park creators' genius musical tale of a Mormon mission gone awry, is back at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts for the second year in a row....

    Elder Price (David Larsen), center, and Elder Cunningham (Cody Jamison Strand) meets a new friend (Monica L. Patton) in The Book of Mormon.
  6. Florida Orchestra members recall unexpected moments with Yo-Yo Ma

    Stage

    How to explain the magnitude of a Yo-Yo Ma performance? Playing with the superstar cellist is like riffing on stage with Bruce Springsteen. Like sparring with Muhammad Ali. Like foxtrotting with Fred Astaire.

    But ask anyone, and they'll explain: He's also a really nice guy.

    Ma makes his debut with the Florida Orchestra in a sold-out gala concert at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Jan. 31, performing Dvorak's Cello Concerto in a program led by Tito Muñoz with Dvorak's Carnival Overture and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol. The affair benefits the orchestra's Music for Life fundraising campaign....

    Yo-Yo Ma makes his debut with the Florida Orchestra at a sold-out gala on Jan. 31, and the excitement is palpable. But although the in-demand cellist could be a diva, he has a reputation as a really nice guy.
  7. Florida Orchestra romances score from 'Romeo and Juliet'

    Music & Concerts

    Romeo? Romeo? Wherefore art thou, and all that? Tap into your inner Shakespeare at the next Florida Orchestra masterworks. The concert tackles Prokofiev's bold and lush score for the ballet Romeo and Juliet — not to be confused with Tchaikovsky's famous score of the same name. Also on the program are Barber's Mutations from Bach, followed by Copland's Piano Concerto featuring soloist William Wolfram and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride Overture. Gerard Schwarz conducts. Shows are 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 or floridaorchestra.org....

    Gerard Schwarz will conduct three Florida Orchestra concerts.
  8. American Stage's 'Radio Golf' the latest in August Wilson's Century Cycle

    Stage

    Some say Radio Golf has the lightest tone in August Wilson's famed Century Cycle. But it was the last play Wilson wrote before he died, and he was certainly not light on things to say. • In his 10-play cycle, Wilson illuminates the experiences of everyday African-American people. But in Radio Golf, he branches into new and significant territory. • "For the first time, he really taps into not the common man, but now he also deals with the so-called upper echelon of black life, with Ivy League developers and all that," said Mark Clayton Southers, directing Radio Golf at American Stage in St. Petersburg. "It's a different language."...

    Radio Golf, the latest in playwright August Wilson’s 10-play Century Cycle at American Stage, stars, from left front, Kim Sullivan, Anthony Chisholm, Chrystal Bates, Alan Bomar Jones and “ranney.”
  9. My Outfit Tuesday: Making four eyes fashionable

    Blog

    It's My Outfit Tuesday!

    Yes, I know that's all wrong. But we figured you were probably enjoying a day off yesterday, spending time with friends and family or taking in a MLK parade. And let's be honest: We all know you read this blog at work. It's our escape, too.

    Anyway, since we're breaking tradition anyway, today's post is less about clothes and more about facial accessories -- facessories? Glasses, I mean. I'm having an ongoing bout of uveitis which is a thing you can Google if you really like looking at pictures of gross eyes. Yeah, I didn't think so. Anyway, it has mostly healed, but the medicine for it has forced me out of my contacts and into my glasses for the next six weeks....

    Handy-dandy labeling with finger numbers. 1 or 2? Photo brought to you by selfie (no stick).
  10. Review: 'Buffalo Kings' charms with dark comedy, rich drama

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — Family-based stories are so effective because there are so many emotional rings to grab. Pick your character, pick your moment, pick your headspace.

    Natalie Symons' new play, The Buffalo Kings, offers the smorgasbord. There's the gay teen recovering from being beaten with hockey sticks in a hate crime. There's the old grandfather, slipping into the grips of Alzheimer's. There's the neurotic mother, barely hanging on as she tries to help her son. There's the 40-something brother who can't seem to get anything right, from his career to his marriage....

    The heart of The Buffalo Kings is in the family dynamics, like the nervos mother (Katherine Michelle Tanner, left) and the battered gay teen (Joseph Flynn).
  11. American Stage finds a new leader in Stephanie Gularte

    Stage

    Days after American Stage fans celebrated a new slate of plays and musicals for next season (Spamalot in the park!), there is more news to cheer: a new leader.

    The St. Petersburg theater company named Stephanie Gularte its new producing artistic director Tuesday, after a nationwide search that brought in some 75 applications. She starts the job Feb. 24.

    Gularte comes from the nonprofit Capital Stage Company in Sacramento, Calif., where she was founding artistic director for more than a decade. She led the theater from infancy to a professional level, producing more than 80 plays from Anna Karenina to Enron. In 2014 she received a proclamation from the city for her artistic contributions....

    Stephanie Gularte will take on the role of producing artistic director at American Stage in St. Petersburg on Feb. 24.
Courtesy of American Stage
  12. Cocktails X Couture slips out of Fashion Week, back Saturday

    Blog

    More on Cocktails X Couture, which Kameel mentioned in her roundup of events this week:

    If you're a fan of Tampa Bay Fashion Week and noticed the event missing from the most recent lineup, you're not crazy. The annual fashion show and fancy drink party at the Ritz Ybor was moved from Fashion Week in order to spread the fashion love through the months, reports tbt*'s Robbyn Mitchell. But good news -- the event is back Saturday. This year's event plays with notions of gender identity, and features drinks including the Gin Kardashian (not even Bruce Jenner could resist)....

    A model walks the runway at 2013's Cocktails X Couture. It's baaaaack.
  13. Patel Conservatory at the Straz marks 10 years of teaching arts

    Stage

    Gabrielle Beach was 11 when her ballet teacher left for law school. The move left the young ballerina searching for a new dance home.

    When her family discovered the Dr. Pallavi Patel Performing Arts Conservatory, Beach was entranced. Her last studio didn't even have air conditioning, and here was a world-class venue visited by all sorts of famous dancers.

    "I automatically thought, 'This is a great place,' " said Beach, now 16 and training at the Royal Ballet School in London. "All the teachers were so caring and they really gave personal correction, and just generally wanted the best."...

    Ballet dancer Gabrielle Beach came to the Dr. Pallavi Patel Performing Arts Conservatory when she was 11 years old. Today the 16-year-old is training at the Royal Ballet School in London.
  14. Natalie Symons' 'The Buffalo Kings' brings family dramedy to Freefall

    Stage

    In The Buffalo Kings, a 15-year-old hate crime victim finds healing with his grandfather, who is slipping slowly into Alzheimer's. • So when Natalie Symons describes her new play for Freefall Theatre as being partly a comedy, she gets the inevitable question: How? • "That's so interesting to me," Symons said. "It's about such dark subject matter. How can it be funny? But my philosophy is we can't know darkness without light. We can't know light without darkness. A lot of the comedy comes out of the pain."...

    Playwright Natalie Symons also wrote Lark Eden, which was also produced at Freefall.
  15. Get a sneak peek at Opera Tampa's season with New Voices

    Stage

    Opera Tampa's season is fast approaching, but a preview of some of this year's talents comes Sunday. Four singers with roles in February's Rigoletto and March's Madama Butterfly will perform in New Voices in Concert, led by Opera Tampa maestro Daniel Lipton. See soprano Claire Coolen, (shown here) last seen in Opera Tampa's The Magic Flute, plus mezzo-soprano Lauren Segal, tenor Cody Austin and baritone Chad Armstrong. The concert is 2 p.m. at Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. $30. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org....

    Soprano Claire Coolen is one of the opera singers spotlighted in Opera Tampa’s New Voices concert at the Straz Center.