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

  1. Sarasota's Asolo Rep to visit Smithsonian to talk 'The Grapes of Wrath'

    Stage

    To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath, Sarasota's Asolo Repertory Theatre will be featured at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., on a panel April 24 called "Steinbeck on Stage." The panel at the Hirshhorn Museum in the Ring Auditorium will include Asolo's producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards and Tony Award-winning Grapes of Wrath adapter and Sarasota resident Frank Galati. Asolo Rep actors will perform select scenes from The Grapes of Wrath, now playing at Asolo. You can still catch a performance of the play at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at Asolo, 5555 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Call (941) 351-8000 or visit asolorep.org. —Stephanie Hayes, Times performing arts critic...

  2. Stephanie's Desert Island Product: M.A.C. eyebrow pencil

    Blog

    I feel like we keep doing this for Desert Island Week: "I WAS going to tell you about this, but instead..."

    Here I go, too. We just love so many products, it's hard to choose! I was going to tell you how Retin A changed my life, freed me from having acne in my 30s, rebuilt my skin from the ground up leaving it clear and smooth. However, it's prescription and not readily available to everyone. And then I thought, "Maybe we can have a skincare week and I'll ramble on then!"...

    Just say no.
  3. Jenny McCarthy gets engaged to New Kid Donnie Wahlberg

    Blog

    Today, two incandescent masses of blondness collapsed and formed a black hole of 1990s proportions, leaving trails of stunned 30 and 40-somethings across America dead in the wake.

    In other words, Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg got engaged.

    You remember them. Jenny ran around screaming on Singled Out. Donnie ran around bro-ing with the New Kids on the Block. For the past year, they've been a thing, and today on The View, where McCarthy is a co-host, she pulled her hand from under the table and flashed a giant yellow sapphire engagement ring. It's the second marriage for McCarthy and Wahlberg, who is also on the CBS show Blue Bloods....

    Jenny and Donny after the news.
  4. Jobsite's 'A Brief History of Beer' teaches hoppy history at New World Brewery

    Stage

    You know how sometimes you can't take your delicious alcoholic beverage inside a theater to sip during the show? This is not one of those times. In fact, Jobsite Theater's A Brief History of Beer takes place in a bar, New World Brewery in Ybor City. A Brief History of Beer, performed by Will Glenn and Trish Parry, is part theater, part lecture, part drinking game. The heroes ride their Quantum Pint Machine through space and time from ancient Sumeria to today to learn and teach all about beer. Performances are at 8 p.m. Sunday and April 27 at the bar, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7, free for Jobsite season ticket holders. To make reservations, visit jobsitetheater.org/beer or call (813) 229-7827....

  5. Review: Glitter, polish make 'Wizard of Oz' gleam on stage

    Stage

    CLEARWATER — About the time Dorothy found herself in the precarious situation of having a pair of fine red pumps soldered to her feet, enraging an unstable green witch who wanted them for herself, my friend Lisa leaned in and whispered:

    "I never realized until now that The Wizard of Oz is about women fighting over shoes."

    This is what happens when you see something familiar out of context. You realize new things. You think about it differently. You make insights....

    Danielle Wade as Dorothy, Jamie McKnight as Scarecrow, Lee MacDougall as Lion, Mike Jackson as Tin Man. 
  6. Florida Orchestra to geek out with rePlay: A Symphony of Heroes video game show

    Stage

    Back in the 1980s, the notion of an orchestra playing music from video games would have been laughable. A flute flourish when the duck bites it on Duck Hunt? A violin crescendo when Frogger rides a crocodile off screen?

    But not anymore. Modern video game music is getting a sophisticated treatment Saturday with rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes, a concert from the Florida Orchestra and the University of South Florida chamber singers. It's produced by Jason Michael Paul, whose show credits range from Luciano Pavarotti and the Three Tenors to the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda....

    The concert will feature music from God of War.
  7. 'Flashdance the Musical,' 'Jekyll & Hyde' top Ruth Eckerd Hall's Broadway season

    Stage

    On the count of three, everyone run to the closet and grab a sweatshirt from the 1980s. Now, cut off the neck. Now, drape it flirtatiously over one shoulder. You're obviously ready for Flashdance the Musical.

    It joins the Broadway lineup at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall for the 2014-15 season, announced Tuesday. Flashdance the Musical (Jan. 24), tells the story of Alex Owens, Pittsburgh welder and risque nighttime dancer who dreams of making it big and being legit. You already know the Jennifer Beals movie from 1983, but rest assured the stage adaptation has all the song staples, including What a Feeling, Maniac and Gloria....

  8. Our Outfit Monday: All Business at Birchwood

    Blog

    Happy My Outfit Monday!

    Last week, the Divas got together for a very intense, high-stakes business meeting at the Canopy at the Birchwood, the rooftop bar overlooking the water in St. Petersburg. Over elderflower cocktails, we discussed ways to make the blog better, more engaged, and threw around some new features we hope to introduce, including more themed weeks. More on that in a minute....

    All of us on the rooftop at Birchwood, photo by a nice lady whose name we do not know. Thanks, miss!
  9. Review: American Stage's 'The Wiz' finds a groove in the park

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's fitting that this year's play in the park kicks off with a big tornado. American Stage's outdoor performance always has a certain rough-hewn charm, with actors and techs braving the elements in an unpredictable setting.

    The cast of The Wiz powered through it on opening night Friday. It rained briefly, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival was blaring down the street, and the audio quality was spotty at the start....

    Darryl Reuben Hall as The Wiz with Whitney Drake’s Dorothy.
  10. 'Ghost the Musical' goes from screen to stage at the Straz

    Features

    Here's an alternative to curling up with a glass of wine and watching Ghost on cable for the 39th time. Pull on a dress or a jacket and head to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, where the tour of Ghost the Musical opens Tuesday. The story is the one you know from the 1990 movie — Sam and Molly are young and in love, except Sam is dead and caught in the ether. The musical has an original pop score from Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and Glen Ballard, who co-wrote Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. The show runs through April 27 at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $46.50-$81.50, (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org....

    Steven Grant Douglas and Katie Postotnik star in “Ghost the Musical” at the Straz Center in Tampa.
  11. 'Million Dollar Quartet' brings Elvis, Johnny, Jerry and Carl

    Stage

    This story is set on Dec. 4, 1956, when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley got together at the Sun Records storefront studio in Memphis for one of the best jam sessions ever. And that's why they call it the Million Dollar Quartet, the Tony-winning musical that comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater at 8 Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Songs include Blue Suede Shoes, Ring of Fire, Hound Dog and Great Balls of Fire. $35-$75. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com. ...

  12. Review: 'Jersey Boys' at the Straz is a rocking good time

    Stage

    TAMPA — Handshake on it. You'll have a good time at Jersey Boys.

    The audience clapped from the start Tuesday, and not at those carefully crafted slivers when an audience is supposed to clap. They clapped at the first few notes of songs, the punch lines, anything that harkened to New Jersey (which was, you know, everything).

    "Let's face it," said the Four Seasons' troublemaking Tommy DeVito (Nicolas Dromard). "We put Jersey on the map."...

    From left, Quinn VanAntwerp, Hayden Milanes, Nicolas Dromard and Adam Zelasko.
  13. Kate Moss for Topshop for Nordstrom debuts this month

    Blog

    I'm an avid oggler of 1990s supermodels (in a fashion way, not in a creepy way). I love the glamour, the devil-may-care attitude of Naomi Campbell throwing cell phones at people, the unashamed lips of Christy Turlington, the snobby snootery of Linda Evangelista. It all spoke to a very gold chain, Versace time in our sartorial history. Kate Moss was always there on the fringes being alt, but I was never a huge fan in the same way. She was not a glamazon, but rather, a waif, a dressed-down girl in jeans and Converse. But lately, when I scan through Pinterest, I am totally drawn to her rumpled aesthetic. Maybe I'm just older, but there's something cool and accessible about Miss Moss, and she's landed on my People pin board more than once....

    Kate Moss for Topshop for Nordstrom
  14. American Stage's 'The Wiz' finds Dorothy in an unlikely place

    Stage

    Whitney Drake was working on the Oasis of the Seas last summer, singing the part of Little Inez in the ship's production of Hairspray as well-fed tourists cruised to Mexico and Jamaica. • By coincidence, Karla Hartley was also on board. She had just been hired to direct American Stage's production of The Wiz for the theater's annual outdoor musical that draws thousands every spring. The show required the perfect Dorothy. • Drake's picture came up on a screen. Hartley paused. Was that Whitney? They had worked together on a play years before when Drake was 19, and she remembered the young woman's raw talent. • Hartley knew the allure cruise ships held for a performer. You work often, make good money and go places. But cruise ship life can also hook you, and before you know it, years have passed on the water. • She pulled Drake aside. You've got to get off the ship, she said. Drake had never had a star's role in a big production, but Hartley thought she should still audition for The Wiz. • If she believed, maybe she could be Dorothy....

    Jesse Rodriguez plays one of the flying monkeys.
  15. Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Wizard of Oz' comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall

    Stage

    The Emerald City continues to take over Tampa Bay this week at Ruth Eckerd Hall, where The Wizard of Oz opens Tuesday. This time, it's Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production, an adaptation from the classic movie reconceived for the stage. It has all the songs you know and love, including Somewhere Over the Rainbow and We're Off to See the Wizard, as well as some new songs by Tim Rice and Lloyd Webber. In Ruth Eckerd Hall's show, the part of Toto is played by Nigel, a dog rescued from the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society by his dad and trainer, William Berloni. In 2009, Nigel was in The Wiz opposite singer Ashanti in New York City, so he knows what he's doing. The Wizard of Oz runs Tuesday through April 19 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$100. On Wednesday, if you buy one adult ticket, you get a child's ticket free with the promo code FAMILY. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com....

    Another stage adaptation of the classic movie, produced by and featuring new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, runs Tuesday through April 19 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.