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What's on stage this week: 'The Sound of Music,' 'La Traviata,' 'A View From the Bridge'

Mike McLean plays Capt. von Trapp in The Sound of Music, running June 5-10, 2018, at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Mike McLean plays Capt. von Trapp in The Sound of Music, running June 5-10, 2018, at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Published May 30, 2018

THE SOUND OF MUSIC: MIKE MCLEAN

Mike McLean's mother, a lounge singer in Costa Mesa, Calif., lulled him to sleep as a child with My Favorite Things. He watched the movie many times, so playing Capt. Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music is a "dream come true."

The musical directed by Tony winner Jack O'Brien last came through town in 2015. Matt Lenz, who backed up O'Brien as associate director on Broadway's Hairspray, stays true to his vision, which heightens the tension of pre-war Austria. Three huge Nazi banners, dropping from the top of the curtain at the concert hall scene, certainly accomplish that.

"This was real," said McLean, 31. "It can get lost in the fun of the show, there's this wonderful music, there are the kids. But yeah, we put it right in front of you. This is what we're dealing with, we're dealing with this very dark force." Runs Tuesday through June 10 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $31 and up. (813) 229-7827. For showtimes, go to strazcenter.org.

EVER POPULAR: LA TRAVIATA

The St. Petersburg Opera still has a musical on tap (The Music Man, June 29-July 8), but La Traviata marks the last opera of the season. One of Giuseppe Verdi's most popular, it's full of instantly recognizable arias and was performed 736 times in 2017. Fun fact: "Consumption," a 19th century euphemism for tuberculosis, which killed real-life courtesan Marie Duplessis — on whom Alexander Dumas based his first novel, on which La Traviata is based — was at the time regarded as a glamorous or "pure" way to die. That was before folks realized it was contagious. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20-$75. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.

ARTHUR MILLER: A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE

Producing artistic director C. David Frankel directs Tampa Repertory Theatre's season closer, A View From the Bridge, Arthur Miller's examination of lust and jealousy set around the Brooklyn docks. Ned Averill-Snell plays longshoreman Eddie Carbone, who fears obsessively for the safety of his niece, Catherine, played by Hannah Anton, at the expense of his marriage to Beatrice (Emilia Sargent, left). Runs Friday through June 17 at Tampa Repertory Theatre, 3837 USF Holly Drive, Studio 120, Tampa. $25, $20 students, seniors and military. A preview Thursday costs $20. For showtimes, go to tamparep.org.

STAGEWORKS FARCE: BLITHE SPIRIT

Stageworks Theatre ends its season with the Noel Coward farce Blithe Spirit. The show stars Scott Swenson as a novelist who hosts a seance with his wife (Betty-Jane Parks), led by a medium (Rosemary Orlando), which unfortunately conjures up the novelist's deceased first wife (Lauren Buglioli). Runs Friday through June 17 at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $30 and up. A preview Thursday costs $15. (813) 374-2416. stageworkstheatre.org.

OPEN HOUSE: L'ACADEMIE OF DANCE

The school of the St. Petersburg Institute of Dance, L'Academie of Dance, presents a lecture and demonstration of its training by faculty and students. Artistic director Sean Musselman, who has danced in Edward Villella's Eglevsky Ballet, the Chicago City Ballet and with legends including Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolph Nureyev, said the goal is to train ballet dancers worthy of sister city St. Petersburg, Russia. The school also offers instruction for students of all ages in jazz, hip-hop, belly dancing and choreography. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. 4853 Park St. N. (727) 826-0004. lacademieofdance.com.

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