Monday, July 21, 2014

Boston Pops to perform in Tampa

   They're called "America's Orchestra."
   The Boston Pops Orchestra is by far the best-known pops orchestra in the country, and perhaps the most famous orchestra of any kin.
   Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops will perform in Tampa on Tuesday, Feb. 3. Lockhart has been at the helm of the orchestra for nearly 20 years.
 They'll be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, performing a program titled "The Very Best of the Boston Pops."  It includes symphonic selections by Dvorak and Copland, 20th-century works by Ellington and Gershwin, rock by Queen and film music by former Boston Pops conductor John Williams. Pianist Michael Chertock joins the orchestra for a performance of George Gershwin’s "I Got Rhythm Variations." 
   Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1. They'll set you back  $25, $35, $55 and $75. Floor table seating is available for $100. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $125 which includes premium floor table seating and a meet and greet with Lockhart. Go to or call 813-301-6926 for more information

Monday, July 14, 2014

Macy Gray, Interpol play in St. Petersburg

   Macy Gray and Interpol are coming to the Jannus Live in St. Petersburg. Not on the same night, of course, because that'd be just about the weirdest concert combination ever.
Macy Gray
   Gray -- who's still best-known for her first hit, "I Try," even though she's had a huge career since then -- is slated to perform on Oct. 18.
   Interpol emerged from the New York City post-punk scene in the mid-'90s with a moody sound that's been compared to Joy Division. The trio has gone on hiatus a time or two, but its current lineup has remained intact since 2000. They have a new album due out in September. They'll be at Jannus on Nov. 6.
   Tickets for both shows go on sale at noon this Friday, July 18. Macy Gray is $27 in advance, $30 day of show; Interpol is $28/$30. You can get tickets at
   Jannus Live is at 200 First Ave. N. in downtown St. Petersburg. The venue's number is 727-565-0550.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Garfunkel and Oates play Tampa's Straz Center

    Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, who are collectively known as Garfunkel and Oates, are coming to Tampa.
   The comedy-folk duo will be at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 21. Tickets go sale at noon Friday, July 18.
   There's a good chance you've already caught them on TV, or at
Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Micucci (Oates)
least heard their songs. (One, "Screw You," was featured in an episode of "Scrubs.") They've had their own special on Comedy Central and a couple of hit albums. Micucci plays Lucy, Raj's girlfriend on "The Big Bang Theory."
   In August, they'll debut their new series, aptly titled "Garfunkel and Oates," on IFC.
   Regularly priced tickets are $29.50 plus service charge. Call 813-229-7827 or go to

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tampa's Stageworks presents play by Manatee writer

   Acclaimed Manatee County playwright Philip Hall's recent work "Garageworks" is being staged in Tampa this weekend.
   It's part of "Tampaworks 2014," this year's edition of Stageworks showcase of short plays by local playwrights.
   Hall has built a national reputation for his short plays, and he's created some full-length musicals as well. His show "Children of the Day" (which he co-wrte with Tampa's Lee Ahlin) has been staged all over the country, and Hall's "Life on the Mississippi" got some great reviews in its New York City run last year.

Philip Hall
    Hall's piece in this weekend's show has a man trying to pay his fee at a parking garage, but encountering automated and very judgmental female voice. The Stageworks people say it's "funny, wise, with a charming, unexpected ending." Slake Counts, whose work is always impressive, plays the man.
   If you follow area theater you'll probably know a lot of the other playwrights who have plays in the show too, including longtime area playwright, actor and educator James Rayfield. Here's the lineup: “Duck” by Sheila Cowley; “Another Day in Paradise” by Matt Cowley; “Sinking” by Lil Barcaski; “The Manatees’ Tale of Extinction” by Dewey Davis-Thompson; “Tampa Love Bugs” by Mike Matteo; “A Dale Mabry Romance” by Rayfield; “Tampa: Built on Pennies” by Jaime O’Brien; and “Fireball” by Jeanne Adams.
   There are only three performance of "Tampaworks 2014," at 8 p.m Thursday, Friday and Saturday (July 10-12). Tickets are $20. 

    Stageworks is at 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. Call 813-374-2416 or go to

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Stephen Pearcy cancels Saturday's Bradenton-area appearance

   If you were planning on going to Hairaplooza in Pinellas Park on Saturday, you might want to know that Stephen Pearcy will not be there.
   The former Ratt singer posted this notice on his official Facebook page:
   "Note: As for the show July 5, 2014 Florida show, I will NOT be there. A press release from my manager will explain why, it was out of our hands. Only the fans lose out and that pisses me off. More shows TBA, see you out there soon."
   There's still plenty of reason to go to Hairapalooza, though, including Slaughter, Great White (without original singer Jack Russell), Winger and free tickets. (You can also pay $30 for seat near the stage if you prefer, or $200 for a VIP pass.)
   Gates open at noon Sunday at England Brothers Park 5010 81st Ave. N., Pinellas Park. Call  813-531- 4051 or go to

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Return to the Forbidden Planet" adds a performance

   Tampa’s Jobsite Theatre has scored by far the biggest hit in its history with “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” and it has added an extra performance for this weekend.

The company could probably sell out several more shows, but this will probably be the last added performance. Jobsite has another show, “Inventing Van Gogh,” opening next week.

   A couple of Bradenton-area actors, Jonathan Harrison of Parrish and Owen Robertson of Sarasota, are the male leads in “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” and they’re both standouts in a large and excellent cast.

   If you’ve been following local theater or music for any length of time, you’ll probably know Harrison’s work. He fronts the band Vodkanauts and he’s done tons of theater in the Tampa and St. Petersburg area, including American Stage’s Shakespeare in the Park series.

Jonathan Harrison and Amy Elizabeth Gray
   His charismatic performance and great singing in this show are no surprise, but Robertson, who seldom performs in musicals, is a revelation. He has a powerful voice and an even more powerful stage presence.
    The show itself is a slight but very fun jukebox musical that takes pop and rock sings from the late '50s and early '60s and interjects them into a story vaguely based on “The Tempest.”
    The whole cast in the Jobsite production is strong, and so is the onstage band. (The show, which dates back to the 1970s, was originally staged with the actors playing their own instruments.)
    Director David M. Jenkins turns the show into a bit of a “Star Trek” spoof, with help from a nicely done set by Brian Smallheer.
  The only real weakness is the choreography, which ranges from mediocre to embarrassing.

   It’s not a well-known show outside of theater circles, and it’s a difficult one to do. But it’s done often around here (this is at least the third production just in Tampa) and it’s always been a crowd-pleaser. Jobsite,which usually performs in the Shimberg Playhouse at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, has moved next door into the much larger Jaeb Theatre for this show, and has been selling out most performances.

   The added performance is at 7:30 p.m Sunday, July 6. The other remaining shows are at 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.
     Tickets are $29.50 plus service charge. If you’re going to that show at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and if you order online, you an save $10 by using the promo code ASTEROID. Go to or call 813-229-7827.

   The Straz Center is at 1010 N. MacInnes Place inTampa.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sarasota's Asolo Rep adds new Nilo Cruz play

   Asolo Repertory Theatre has added a new play by Nilo Cruz, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for "Anna in the Tropics," to its 2014-15 season. Cruz, who won a Pulitzer Prize for "Anna in the Tropics," will co-direct with Asolo Rep's producing artistic director, Michael Donald Edwards.
   The play is called "Sotto Voce" and it'll run April 2-26 in the Historic Asolo Theater.
   "Sotto Voce" had its world premiere in New York in February and garnered great
Nilo Cruz
reviews there. The New York production moved to Miami in March, and the Miami Herald called Cruz' writing "poetic."
    The story concerns a German-born novelist named Bernadette who lost the love of her life when she fled Nazi Germany aboard a ship carrying Jewish refugees to North America. After the ship is turned away by Cuba and the United States, the ship returns to Europe, and many of its  passengers die in concentration camps. Sixty years later,aA young  Jewish-Cuban writer contacts the reclusive Bemadette to research the ship's tragic voyage. Their relationship deepens into a romance.
   For more information, call 941-351-8000 or go to