Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CL's Scene Breaker — Ned Averill-Snell's theater column debut

More Cuckoo, unbreakable plates and Jews everywhere: Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theater ...

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM

click to enlarge CHOSEN ONES: Justin LeVine and David Friedman star in The Chosen. -  - CHAD JACOBS
  • Chad Jacobs
  • CHOSEN ONES: Justin LeVine and David Friedman star in The Chosen.

WAITING FOR THAT BIG BREAK: The final throwdown in Eight O'Clock Theatre’s dark comedy bickerama August: Osage County, now entering its closing weekend at the Largo Cultural Center, celebrates the hallowed family tradition of smashing dishes. But in rehearsals, the tossed china churlishly violated the script by choosing to bounce rather than break. Scoring the dishes once with a tile cutter for a preview performance resulted in a plate snapping neatly, into two perfect pieces, in an actor’s hand, pre-throw. Further scoring experiments yielded projectile plates that have shattered with sufficiently satisfying drama since opening, according to director Christopher Rutherford.

SHALOM Y’ALL! In a rare local confluence of theatrical subject matter, two plays exploring the midcentury Jewish-American experience open simultaneously next week on opposite sides of the bridge: Jobsite Theater's comedy The Last Night of Ballyhoo and American Stage Company’s drama The Chosen (pictured above). Both plays run through Sept. 28.

WE’RE GETTING MORE AND MORE CUCKOO: The smash One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at freeFall Theatre has been extended through Sept. 14. The asylum-set play is already freeFall’s top-selling non-musical ever. CL critic Mark E. Leib gives the production three stars.

YOU KNEW HIM WHEN: Actor and USF alum Vincent Stalba (Stageworks’ Biloxi Blues, American Stage’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England) makes his network TV debut tonight in the Graceland episode “Home” at 10 p.m. on the USA cable network. Stalba describes his character as a “hipster-type” film company location manager, redundantly.

AND THE WINNER MIGHT BE… Awards season draws nigh! The Theatre Tampa Bay advocacy alliance announced its nominees Monday night for awards to be handed out in October, and you still have until midnight Sunday to vote in CL’s 2014 Best of the Bay reader’s poll for your favorite area theater company, production, actress, actor, director, improv troupe, playwright, lighting designer, set designer and curtain speech. (Just kidding about the curtain speech. Maybe next year.)

Got a tip for SCENE BREAKER? Email Scene Breaker in care of A&E Editor Julie Garisto,

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