Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sarasota Opera hosts screening of 'Mefistofele'

   The Sarasota Opera season is still seven weeks away, but you don't have to wait that long to get your opera fix.
   This season the opera is featuring a film series called "HD at the Opera House" that features great opera performances from around there world.
   Coming up this week is the San Francisco Opera production of Arrigo Boito's "Mefitstofele." before the screening is a 15-minute discussion. 
   Screenings are set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept, 11 and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept, 14. Tickets are $20 and $25. (Season subscribers get a discount.) 
   Next up in the series is the Opera de Paris's staging of Giacomo Puccini's "The Girl of the Golden West" at 7:30 Oct. 2 and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5.
   The Sarasota Opera's 2014 fall season gets going Oct. 31 with Ruggero Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci."
   For information and tickets, call 941-328-1300 or go to

Friday, September 5, 2014

St. Petersburg's Mahaffey adds four new shows.

   If you missed the Indigo Girls when they came to Sarasota a few months  back, fret not: They're coming back to the area, with a recently announced performance at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
   The Indigo's Feb. 27 concert is one of four shows that have just been added to the Mahaffey season schedule. The others are "Cirque Dreams Holidaze" (Nov. 28), "Girls Night: The Musical" (presented by the Mahaffey a few blocks away at the Palladium Theatre, Feb. 27) and "The Price Is Right Live" (April 26).
   The Indigo Girls will perform with an orchestra, as they did at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in March. Tickets are $45.50-$65.50.
   Tickets for "Cirque Dreams Hoildaze" is a holiday show with 20 acts from 12 countries. Previous Cirque Dreams shows have been very cool, so it's reasonable to expect this to be a lot better than the standard Christmas entertainment. Tickets are $29.50-$59.50.
   "Girls Night" is jukebox musical that revolves around  five girlfriends who re-live their past, celebrate their present and look to the future on a wild night out.
   "The Price Is Right Live" is a stage version of the TV game show, very similar in format, but with reduced prize amounts and lots of giveaways -- restaurant gift cards and the like -- for the audience. Sarasota's Jerry Springer hosts the show sometimes, but there's no word yet on whether he'll host this one.  Tickets are $38.50.
   For information and tickets, call  727-892-5767 or go to    

Thursday, September 4, 2014

'Disenchanted' heads Off-Broadway after Tampa Bay previews

Michelle Knight in "Disenchanted"
   “Disenchanted" the hilarious and whimsically subversive musical that had preview runs in Sarasota and Tampa, is going to open Off-Broadway.
   Some local people will be involved in the show. Tampa’s Alison Burns will reprise her roles as Belle, the Little Mermaid and Rapunzel, and Michael Raabe, who’s best known for his work with St. Peterburg's freeFall Theatre, will be the musical director. Both Burns and Raabe worked in the “Disenchanted” production at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts earlier this year. The show had previously played at the old Golden Apple in Sarasota. 
Also heading to New York from the Tampa cast is Lulu Picart, who has appeared in lots of shows for freeFall and American Stage in St. Petersburg, and Michelle Knight.
   “Disenchanted!” is set for a nine-week run at the Theatre at St. Clement's, on 46th Street at Eight Avenue. Previews start Nov. 6 and opening night is Dec. 4.
   The show revolves around princesses from Disney movies – women such as Pocahontas, Mulan and Cinderella – who are angry about the way they’re portrayed on screen as weaklings who need to be saved by men.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Lone Bellow adds Tampa concert

The Lone Bellow
   The Lone Bellow has only released one album, and it wasn't a huge hit. But among people who pay attention to what's going on in music, the trio is one of the most respected current bands in the country. People magazine called the band's debut record the album of the year, and Bob Boilen of NPR's "All Songs Considered" said, “The world of acoustic music is about to get a new household name. The music of the Lone Bellow is born from tragedy and told with heart and simplicity.”
   Their music is gorgeous and their live show, which lot of people caught when they toured the country opening for the Civil Wars, has been just as well-reviewed as their album.
   They're coming to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Nov. 11. They'll be in the Jaeb Theater, which seats a little more than 250 people and should be a great venue for this kind of show.
   The Lone Bellow is based is Brooklyn, but their music has Southern roots, with jazz, folk and gospel influences.
    Foreign Fields and Kristin Diable open.
   Tickets are $24.50 plus service charge. Call 813-229-7827 or go to Handling fees will apply.

Sarasota's Asolo Rep adds two musicals

   Asolo Repertory Theatre has added has added a couple of musicals to its 2014-15 season. They both celebrate central figures of American music, but that's pretty much where the similarity ends.
   "Luck Be a Lady: The Iconic Music of Frank Loesser" is a new show about one of the best musical theater composers and lyricists. He's best known for "How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying" and "Guys and Dolls," and tons of hit songs you'd know well even if you'd never been to a musical in your life. He won several Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize.
Woody Guthrie
   The show was conceived and will be directed by Gordon Greenberg, who directed "Yentl" at Asolo a couple of years ago. It's set to run May 1-14. (It replaces "It Only Takes a Moment," which had been previously announced for that slot.)
   The final show of the season will be "Woody Sez: The Life and music of Woody Guthrie." It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007, and has been performed all over the United States, as well as in Germany, China and New Zealand. It's directed by Nick Corley, who is one of the people who devised the show. It scheduled for May 30-June 21.
   The Asolo Rep season gets going Nov. 14 with a production of "South Pacific."
   For tickets and information, call 941-351-8000 or go to

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maroon 5 announces Tampa concert date

   Maroon 5 is everywhere. Though they're probably most widely known these days because of singer Adam Levine's regular gig as a judge on "The Voice," the band is touring steadily, making new music and doing a lot of TV. (They'll be on "The Tonight Show" tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 2), on "America's Got Talent" tomorrow and "The Ellen Degeneres Show" on Sept. 28.
Maroon 5's Adam Levine
   Today the band announced it was coming to the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The concert, in support of Maroon 5's latest album "V," is set for Feb. 25. The album was just released today.
   Tickets for the concert will go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 13. Call 813-301-2500 or go to

   A Canadian reggae fusion band called Magic! will be the "special guest" and singer-songwriter Rozzi Crane will be the opening act.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Emmylou Harris is coming to Tampa Theatre

    Emmylou Harris, a progenitor of Americana music whose gorgeous voice and impeccable songwriting have made her one of biggest stars in all of music for more than 40 years, is coming to Tampa.
   She's set to play at Tampa Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12. 
   Tickets go on sale on Friday, Sept. 5. They're $59, $80 and $101 if you order online from If you get
Emmylou Harris
someone in Tampa to buy them for you at the box office, you'll save $6.50 per ticket.
   Harris' great 1995 album "Wrecking Ball" has recently been reissued, and earlier this year she was playing dates with Daniel Lanois, the album's producer who's also an amazing musician. There's no indication at this point that Lanois will be joining her of the tampa gig, and the show is simply titled "An Evening With Emmylou Harris, with no mention of other artists on the bull, but we can always hope.
   Tampa Theatre is at  711 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa. Call 813-274-8981.