What’s on stage: ‘The Roommate’, ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),’ ‘The Pearl Fishers’

Local stages are alive with new offerings this weekend.
Published March 13

PERFECT STRANGERS: The Roommate

Just in time for Women’s History Month, American Stage opens The Roommate, written, directed by and starring women. Jen Silverman’s dark comedy is a classic mismatched personalities setup, with a twist. Divorced, middle-aged Sharon seeks a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, a woman with a mysterious past, needs a place to start over. A friendship builds despite their differences, and awakens the desire in Sharon to change her life. Opening performances Thursday and Friday are sold out. Runs through April 7. Arrive 30 minutes before each performance for a prologue with American Stage apprentice Kaylie Horowitz and stick around after the show for cafe conversations on March 21, 24 and 31. 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529. americanstage.org.

AMBITIOUS: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

A month after Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, Jobsite Theater could use a good laugh. Enter The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), which opens Thursday with a preview performance and opening night Friday. It has been 14 years since the company attempted to perform all 37 of Shakespeare’s works in less than two hours, so the original “bad boys of abridgement” are back to pratfall and pun their way through the Bard. Through April 7. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. jobsitetheater.org.

DIVE IN: The Pearl Fishers

Carmen, you know. Everyone knows Georges Bizet’s final and most famous opera. But the French composer was still in his early 20s when he wrote The Pearl Fishers, a lesser-performed work that nevertheless has endured. (Among its fans: Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, who has performed one of its arias in concert.) The story of a veiled priestess (Susan Hellman Spatafora) and the pearl diver who loves her (Samuel Hall) is filled with lush South Pacific costumes and imagery and will make its Opera Tampa debut at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $22.50 and up. Straz Center. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

ON THE BOARDS: Broadway Tonight

Believe it or not, musical theater existed before Hamilton. Get a taste of it when the Florida Orchestra and a series of vocalists perform Broadway Tonight, a showcase of Broadway favorites old and new, including Circle of Life from The Lion King, Defying Gravity from Wicked and Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita. William Waldrop conducts. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $18 and up. floridaorchestra.org.

TRICK DADDY: Adam Trent

You can get a pretty good taste of Adam Trent’s magical stylings from the comfort of your couch, via 10 streaming-on-Netflix episodes of his series The Road Trick. But there’s nothing like seeing it in person, courtesy of a high-tech stage show produced by some of the creative minds behind hit tour The Illusionists (with whom Trent has toured). Trent will bring his Broadway-honed act to the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St. in Clearwater, at 8 p.m. Friday. $39.50 and up. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.

BOTTOMS UP: And That’s Why We Drink

Crime. Booze. Ghosts. Sounds like a fun night out, huh? It is if you’re a fan of Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz, the hosts of hit podcast And That’s Why We Drink. A slight divergence from the tried-and-true true crime podcast format (because it has hard to classify a podcast about demonic possession and haunted bowling alleys as “true crime”), it has been hailed by publications like Newsweek and the New York Times as the perfect mix of horrifying and hilarious. 8 p.m. Saturday. Straz Center. $25 and up.

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