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Gospel, pop, country-ish: Stage West show in Spring Hill has it all

See ‘Songs for a New World’ and other shows in the north Suncoast
The cast performs 'On The Deck Of A Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492' in the Stage West production of 'Songs for a New World', which will be presented Oct. 17-27. Pictured at top, from left: Paris Seaver, Anthony Agnelli and Nicki Poulis. Standing in front: Jay Garcia. [Timothy Rooney]
The cast performs 'On The Deck Of A Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492' in the Stage West production of 'Songs for a New World', which will be presented Oct. 17-27. Pictured at top, from left: Paris Seaver, Anthony Agnelli and Nicki Poulis. Standing in front: Jay Garcia. [Timothy Rooney]
Published Oct. 10, 2019

It is a transition from the old to the new. When he was 25, songwriter Jason Robert Brown pulled together a series of 16 of his songs and joined forces with director Daisy Prince to create a musical show. The result is neither a musical play nor revue, but more of a “theatrical song cycle”.

Brown’s first show, Songs for a New World, opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill.

The show is directed by Raymond “Brady” Lay, and the music director is Carly Rafferty. It features a cast of four: Paris Seaver, Nicki Pouis, Jay Garcia and Anthony Agnelli.

Brown’s songs are intensely personal and highly dramatic, ranging from country-ish to gospel, with a sprinkle of pop and off-beat comedy. The show has snippets of stories, such as a pregnant woman’s expression of wonder at creation, the story of a would-be basketball star aching to escape failure and the lament of a couple who broke up, only to find their separate ways led to nowhere.

Songs for a New World will continue with weekend evening shows and matinees through Oct. 27. Tickets are $25 adults, $15 students. Call the box office at (352) 683-5113 or visit stagewestflorida.com.

Other shows available in the north Suncoast include:

Lost Art and Other Tales: Wiregrass High Drama presents Lost Art and Other Tales at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel, 30651 Wells Blvd., Wesley Chapel. The cost is $5 in advance; $5 for students with ID at the door; or $8 general admission at the door. For advance tickets, visit gofan.co/app/events/68730.

The Amish Project: The Royal Knight Stage Company of River Ridge High presents The Amish Project at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-19 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students at the door.

In the Heights: Gulf Middle Theatre Department presents In the Heights at 7 p.m. Oct. 25, and 2 and 7 p.m. Oct. 26, at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. The cost is $5 at the door.

Always ... Patsy Cline: More than a tribute to the legendary country singer, the show is based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with a fan and features 27 songs, including the unforgettable hits Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight. Evening shows and matinees continue through Oct. 27 at the Show Palace Dinner Theater, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Tickets are $29-$59. Visit showpalace.net, call (727) 863-7949 or email to info@ShowPalaceDinnerTheatre.com.

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