A potpourri of theater, classical music and opera singers on both sides of Tampa Bay

U.K. sensation the Choir of Man serves up bromance and free beer. ‘The Revolutionists’ examines sexism through a comedic lens.
Published October 31 2018


In jeans and boots, T-shirts or sport shirts, these singers exude a regular-guy approachability. The casual vibe of the Choir of Man stems from their natural chemistry, as does that honeyed sound.

“We don’t have any major dramas among us,” said Peter Hughes, 25, of Wales. “We are genuinely having the time of their lives.”

His eight buddies hail from England, Ireland and Scotland, and have brought a bit of home to their set — a neighborhood pub. They’re big on audience participation, even pouring free beer on stage before the show. The group was barely a year old in August 2017 when its blend of delicious vocals, musicianship and Irish dancing became a runaway hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A mix of pop, soul and Broadway includes the likes of Hello, Teenage Dream, The Impossible Dream and The Tracks of My Tears. A common question they get: Why haven’t we seen anything like you guys before?

“We feel privileged to kind of smack into this very wide open gap in the industry,” Hughes said.

Starts at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29 and up. (813) 229-7827. For showtimes, go to strazcenter.org.



Charlotte Corday, one of the women in Stageworks Theatre’s The Revolutionists, wants to assassinate Jean-Paul Marat. Another, Marie Antoinette, doesn’t see what all this Reign of Terror fuss is about. Marianne Angelle, a Caribbean woman, confronts her ideological friends with the dimensions of race and slavery. And playwright Olympe de Gouges finds the discussion fascinating grist for “a sociopolitical comedy about women’s rights.”

Of the four, only Marianne is fictional. The others died on the guillotine, casualties of the French Revolution and its aftermath. Death hangs over them all as they focus on the only remaining power they have, the ability to influence others.

“The play is feminist and should be intersectional,” playwright Lauren Gunderson wrote in a note to a previous cast. The playwright said she wanted to depict women who are “all flawed and struggling and tough.” Also “funny as hell,” Gunderson said.

Karla Hartley directs Isabel Bertram, India Davison, Georgia Mallory Guy and Katie Calahan. Runs Friday through Nov. 18 at 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Suite 151, Tampa. $30-$35. (813) 374-2416. For showtimes, go to stageworkstheatre.org.


The Florida Orchestra resumes its coffee concert series with Broadway, with Stuart Malina conducting selections from The Phantom of the Opera, Fiddler on the Roof and more. Free coffee and doughnuts. 11 a.m. Thursday (preconcert conversation at 10). Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $24 and up. (727) 893-7832. themahaffey.com.

The rest of the weekend combines singers with film sequences and music from a deep well of Disney orchestrations. Selections include Frozen, Cinderella, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Starts at 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg (costumes are encouraged) and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $18-$48. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.


Kai-Young Chan, left, won finalist honors in the Tampa Bay Symphony’s composition contest last year. Now his Seeking, Searching is on the playbill for the symphony’s winter concert.

Chan, who teaches music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has described the piece as a gradually increasing emotional charge, containing “word-paintings of bird songs, rain and flying remnant petals.” Grigorios Zamparas, right, who leads the University of Tampa’s piano faculty, headlines with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Music director Mark Sforzini conducts. Concerts start at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium in St. Petersburg, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Straz Center in Tampa. $20. (727) 827-8087. tampabaysymphony.com.