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. WEDDING WEEK STARTS MONDAY. We want your questions!

    Blog

    Remember how Katie tried to slip the exciting news of her engagement into her run-of-the-mill blog post about gel nail polish this week? She was like, "la la la nail polish la la la cough cough I got a huge rock and soon I will be wed cough gel manis ler ler ler."

    Yeah, we're not having that....

    Who here has ever crashed a wedding? Because I just feel like I would know something was amiss if I looked up and saw Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn pounding Jack and Cokes and trying to seduce my Nana. Sure, strangers go to weddings as dates all the time, but they usually don't dance on the bar from hour one. That said, if I noticed Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in the back of my wedding, I'd probably just issue them a sly wink and join them at the bar. Because your life, and your wedding, is short.
  2. Pregnant Midori cancels Florida Orchestra performances

    Music & Concerts

    Midori is having her first baby! While that's delightful news for her, it's bad news for the Florida Orchestra.

    The renowned violinist, one of the biggest names the orchestra has ever booked to perform, was scheduled to perform as a soloist in the 2014-15 season. But on the advice of her doctor, Midori, 42, has canceled several upcoming concerts including Masterworks performances with the Florida Orchestra Jan. 16, 17 and 18, the orchestra announced Thursday....

    Classical violinist Midori. [Handout Photo/ Special to the Times]
  3. Next Generation Ballet brings 'Summer Fantasy' to the Straz

    Stage

    Want to give ballet a twirl? Check out the Patel Conservatory's Next Generation Ballet on Friday when it presents Summer Fantasy, featuring more than 200 ballet students from around the world led by siblings Jeffrey and Lia Cirio from the Boston Ballet. The dancers, chosen from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants, will perform in suites from Don Quixote, Coppelia and the world premiere of a contemporary work by Susan Downey and Kelly King in Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $15-$27. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org....

    Jeffrey Cirio and Hannah Beach practice Next Generation Ballet’s Summer Fantasy, which opens Friday at the Straz with more than 200 dancers.
  4. Catch off-color laughs at Jobsite's 'A Night of Inappropriately Funny Moments'

    Stage

    The funniest stuff is usually the stuff you know you shouldn't be laughing at. That's the promise of April Bender's collection of comic scenes called A Night of Inappropriately Funny Moments, the latest side project from Jobsite Theater. Topics including hot dogs, boobs, drunken conversations, cat obsessions, birthday parties and phone sex. Shows are at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Written by April Bender and co-directed by Molly Healy, the show stars David Barrow, Emily Belvo, Selena Frey, Johnny Garde, Robb Lee, Soolaf Rasheid and Nicole Jeannine Smith. Tickets are $5 at the door, or free for Jobsite season ticket holders. The production is in the Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org....

    A Night of Inappro-priately Funny Moments will feature a range of topics from hot dogs to phone sex. Tickets are $5 at the door, or free for Jobsite season ticket holders.
  5. Review: 'God of Carnage' at American Stage is fast, funny and revealing

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — Somewhere in the thorny crevices of the soul, people know their own truths. The best art brings that self-awareness to the surface.

    To wit: If you're a mid-to-upper class parent, if you've ever displayed a book about less fortunate civilizations near a vase of tulips, if you've ever offered guests a pastry from a middle region of France, God of Carnage may prove illuminating and/or horrifying....

    Katherine Michelle Tanner, left, Billy Edwards, Cathy Schenkelberg and Brian Shea.
  6. FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Scrunchies are back in style?

    Blog

    Let me guess. You woke up in a cold sweat last night after suffering a terrible nightmare that scrunchies had come back in style. And then you rolled over, grasping for a glass of water and catching your breath, relieved it was all a figment of your somnambulatory imagination.

    WELL, KIDS, IT WASN'T A DREAM. IT'S TRUE.

    The New York Times, eagle-eyed observer of all trends ever, has informed us that indeed, scrunchies are back. Keep in mind that not everything that's in style in New York is in style in Tampa Bay. Remember that Elaine from Seinfeld New York dress fad? My extenstive scientific research proved that people thought it was freaking weird. Nonethless, scrunchie-makers are hot on the case. I got a frenzied press release the same day from scünci, that CVS mutlipack scrunchie staple, letting me know that they they were special and gosh darnit, people liked them....

    THE DREADED (or beloved?) SCRUNCHIE
  7. Thor is a woman now, says Marvel comics

    Play

    Here's one for all the women out there ready to drop some hammers.

    Marvel comics announced Tuesday that come October, superhero Thor will be a woman in a brand new series. That's not a girl version of Thor, that's just straight-up Thor.

    What's the deal? Said Marvel editor Wil Moss in a press release:

    "The inscription on Thor's hammer reads 'Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.' Well it's time to update that inscription. The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute - she's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!"...

  8. 5 things to know about 'God of Carnage' at American Stage

    Stage

    The setup: A couple of kids have just gotten into a playground skirmish involving the extraction of teeth. Now their parents must get together and try to work it out like mature, civilized adults with jobs and manners and common sense. What could possibly go wrong? � Enter God of Carnage, Yasmina Reza's play about parenthood, and what happens when the people in charge are pulled evermore to childlike destruction, opening Friday at American Stage in St. Petersburg. This contained, four-person play just might surprise you in a handful of ways. � Intrigued? Here are five things to know about God of Carnage before you go....

    God of Carnage stars, from left, Katherine Michelle Tanner, Billy Edwards, Cathy Schenkelberg and Brian Shea.
  9. Director Karla Hartley talks juggling two plays on opposite sides of bay

    Stage

    Take a look at the roster of plays going on in Tampa Bay right now, and one name inevitably keeps popping up: Karla Hartley.

    The producing artistic director of Stageworks Theatre in Tampa has been one busy woman, recently directing Stageworks' production of The Sugar Bean Sisters, then heading into simultaneous jobs directing God of Carnage at American Stage in St. Petersburg and Inventing Van Gogh at Jobsite Theater in Tampa, open now through Aug. 3 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts....

    Karla Hartley is directing God of Carnage at American Stage in St. Petersburg and Inventing Van Gogh at Jobsite Theater in Tampa.
  10. Thor is a woman now, says Marvel comics

    Blog

    Here's one for all the women out there ready to drop some hammers.

    Marvel comics announced Tuesday that come October, superhero Thor will be a woman in a brand new series. That's not a girl version of Thor, that's just straight-up Thor.

    What's the deal? Said Marvel editor Wil Moss in a press release:

    “The inscription on Thor's hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it's time to update that inscription. The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute - she's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”...

    Here SHE is. It's Thor!
  11. Boot the heat: Rainy day shoe alternatives

    Blog

    Happy rainy Tuesday!

    Was lingering in Katie's pod today after a lunch (I can't even talk about how much we ate, or what we ate, can't talk, too ashamed). She noticed my safety yellow jelly platforms with delight, which I pointed out were a stylish option for visibility and water resistance on a rainy day. She snapped a pic so I could bring them to you, readers. It's up there in the slide show....

    Oh, hey, Kate Spade jelly sandal. You're cute and on sale for $70.99.
  12. Review: Jobsite's 'Inventing Van Gogh' a thoughtful work of art

    Stage

    TAMPA — The first thing you see in the playhouse is the lighting, soft yellows streaming through faux windows of a fairly barren set. Couple that with the classical music overhead, and everything feels cozy as a blanket, small, intimate, contained.

    But Inventing Van Gogh, the final production of the season from Jobsite Theater, is not small. It is big and ambitious, so much so that the story leaps from a modern-day art studio to 19th century France, sometimes back and forth within mere minutes. Living people interact with dead people, actors play multiple characters, time and place is fluid....

     Jordan Foote as Vincent van Gogh and Steve Fisher as Patrick Stone in "Inventing Van Gogh."
  13. Stageworks presents nine short plays with local flavor

    Stage

    Catch a slate of fresh local plays when Stageworks and Tucker Hall present Tampaworks 2014: Play Local. This year's collection of nine short plays include one about a couple trying to clear the memories from their South Tampa home and another about a backstage tour of the Palladium that turns macabre. Shows are at 8 p.m. today through Saturday at Stageworks Theater, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $20. Call (813)374-2416 or visit stageworkstheatre.org....

    Masks; Comedy; Drama; Tragedy; Jupiterimages
  14. Jobsite Theater gets artsy with 'Inventing Van Gogh'

    Stage

    Vincent van Gogh's final self-portrait, painted right before he died, has never been seen before now. At least, that's the premise of Inventing Van Gogh, the latest production from Jobsite Theater. The drama tells the story of contemporary painter Patrick Stone and his dealings with van Gogh, a story set in the converging universes of a modern-day art studio and 19th century France. The play, directed by Karla Hartley and starring Steve Fisher and Jordan Foote, opens Friday and runs through Aug. 3 in the Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $28. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org....

    Steve Fisher, left, and Jordan Foote, right, star in Jobsite Theater’s production of Inventing Van Gogh, which opens Friday in Tampa.
  15. Upright Citizens Brigade headlines Sarasota Improv Festival

    Stage

    It's summer, everyone is sweaty and cranky. Time for a laugh, right? Get it when Florida Studio Theatre presents the Sarasota Improv Festival on Friday and Saturday, headlined by the award-winning Upright Citizens Brigade. Sixteen national improv comedy groups will perform, from ImprovBoston to Miami's Improv Against Humanity to Tampa Bay's own Post Dinner Conversation, Dear Aunt Gertrude, Hawk & Wayne and more. Tickets range from $10 to $59. The theater's at 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota. Call (941) 366-9000 or visit floridastudiotheatre.org. — Stephanie Hayes, Times performing arts critic...

     Patrick Parhiala is in front from ImprovBoston and Chris Dinger from SAK Comedy Lab is behind Patrick.  . Florida Studio Theatre presents the Sarasota Improv Festival Friday and Saturday, headlined by the award-winning Upright Citizens Brigade. Sixteen national improv comedy groups will perform, from ImprovBoston to Miami‚€™s Improv Against Humanity to Tampa Bay‚€™s own Post Dinner Conversation, Dear Aunt Gertrude, Hawk & Wayne and more.