Theater

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Theater review: Hamlet

New Stage’s abbreviated production of Hamlet is solid but not revelatory.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 7:57 PM

***
FAMILY TIES: The agonized confrontation between Hamlet (Chris Jackson) and his mother, Gertrude (Antonia Krueger). - RYAN FINZELBER
  • Ryan Finzelber
  • FAMILY TIES: The agonized confrontation between Hamlet (Chris Jackson) and his mother, Gertrude (Antonia Krueger).


Hamlet Runs through Nov. 2 at New Stage Theatre and Conservatory, 11650 131st St. N., Largo; 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; $30. 727-301-3001; newstagelargo.org.

It’s not often that I begin a review by talking about a play’s set and costumes, but in the case of New Stage Theatre’s Hamlet, I’ll have to make an exception. This very interesting production takes place on a black stage, on and around a mostly black set, and with characters mostly dressed in contemporary black clothes. I suppose the point was to suggest the spooky, ever-present existentialism of Shakespeare’s classic, but the real effect is otherwise: the stage seems too small, the set feels incomplete, and the costumes look like they came from the actors’ closets. So even at its best, this Hamlet reads like a last dress rehearsal, the one just before the transfer of all the performers (who tomorrow will be issued costumes) to the more attractive real stage, where the famous tragedy, in all its colors, will triumphantly unfold. Note that I’m not (yet) commenting on the acting or directing; I’m just saying that this production is constantly undercut by its look. That’s not a minor criticism.

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SCENE BREAKER: Theaters rise from the dead, the dead rise from a theater and 5 x 5 = arts $

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 2:46 PM

COME HERE OFTEN? David Barrow in A Haunting at the Meteor.
  • COME HERE OFTEN? David Barrow in A Haunting at the Meteor.


Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theatre...

MAYBE THEY SHOULD CHANGE THE NAME TO “PHOENIX”:  As CL theater critic Mark Leib reported last April, Pinellas Park’s venerable Venue Theatre closed up shop last spring, a victim of the recession, a rent hike and other maladies. But founder and Lee Strasberg survivor Corinne Broskette has announced the hard-to-kill company’s resurrection this month in a new location at 4989 72nd Ave North. Broskette says the reborn Venue will open with adult acting classes, and soon add a new intro to acting workshop, teen acting classes, private coaching and more.

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Theater review: Superior Donuts

Stageworks serves up a tasty production of a Tracy Letts comedy.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM

***1/2
SUPERIOR CAST: Michael Mekus, Richard Coppinger, Dawn Truax, Roxanne Fay, Jim Wicker, Travis Brown, Josh Goff, Tim Guerrieri and Peter Konowicz of Superior Donuts. -  - DESIREE FANTAL
  • DESIREE FANTAL
  • SUPERIOR CAST: Michael Mekus, Richard Coppinger, Dawn Truax, Roxanne Fay, Jim Wicker, Travis Brown, Josh Goff, Tim Guerrieri and Peter Konowicz of Superior Donuts.


Runs through Oct. 26 at Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., Channel District, Tampa; show times Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. $30. 813-374-2416, stageworkstheatre.org

Langston Hughes’s defiant vow — “America will be!” — is a clarion call for Franco Wicks. The aspiring young writer, a key character in Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, has borrowed it for the title of his own novel, a bundle of manuscripts tied together with string that he hopes will be his ticket out of inner-city poverty in Chicago. His boss at the donut shop where he works, a morose 60-year-old Polish-American named Arthur Przybyszewski (Arthur P for short), recognizes his writing talent but discourages him from trying to do anything with it — because, in Arthur’s lifetime of missed opportunities and failed connections, hope is not to be trusted. “The core of the Polish character,” he says at one point,
“is hopelessness.”

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Theater review: Rhinoceros at USF

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 10:47 PM

**1/2
THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE: (L to R) Paul Pullen, Carlos Garcia, Vanessa Watson, and Christine Masone in Rhinoceros. -
  • THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE: (L to R) Paul Pullen, Carlos Garcia, Vanessa Watson, and Christine Masone in Rhinoceros.
Rhinoceros TheatreUSF at University of South Florida, TheatreTwo, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. Sun., 3 p.m. $12. 913-974-2323, theatreanddance.arts.usf.edu
Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros is far from being the great absurdist’s best play — that honor might be claimed by Exit the King, The Killer, The Chairs, or the seminal Bald Soprano — but it remains one of his most famous, for reasons that are perhaps not entirely theatrical. After all, this two-act parable about people turning into stampeding, brute animals is usually seen as a protest against conformism, and who doesn’t think of him- or herself as a non-conformist?

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Theatre Tampa Bay Awards highlighted by drinking games and freeFall windfall

The nominees, the winners, the jokes and big smiles as local actors and other stage professionals receive honors.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 9:18 AM

SOME CHORUS LINE: Matthew McGee leads the fun and crowded opening number. Actors Chris Rutherford, Meg Heimstead, Brian Shea and Jim Sorensen join in. - DANIEL VEINTIMILLA
  • DANIEL VEINTIMILLA
  • SOME CHORUS LINE: Matthew McGee leads the fun and crowded opening number. Actors Chris Rutherford, Meg Heimstead, Brian Shea and Jim Sorensen join in.


ON WITH THE SHOW! Scott Daniel and award-winner Matthew McGee pose with dancers from the University of Tampa's Dance Program at the Theatre Tampa Bay Awards. - MATTHEW MCGEE VIA INSTAGRAM
  • MATTHEW MCGEE VIA INSTAGRAM
  • ON WITH THE SHOW! Scott Daniel and award-winner Matthew McGee pose with dancers from the University of Tampa's Dance Program at the Theatre Tampa Bay Awards.
Attended mainly by theater scene regulars, the 4th Annual Theatre Tampa Bay Awards offered more comedy, fewer musical numbers — a snappy opener with several nominees plus solos from Lulu Picart (Disenchanted!) and Kelly Pekar (Into the Woods) — and a slew of awards for freeFall Theatre. The St. Petersburg-based company swept the honors, with The Burnt Part Boys (Outstanding Production, Musical; Outstanding Ensemble, Musical) and the CL 5 star-reviewed The Normal Heart (Outstanding Production, Play; Outstanding Ensemble, Play) receiving the majority of plaques — a record seven awards, including awards in two of four musical acting categories, and for set and lighting design and Outstanding Director (Musical) for Eric Davis. freeFall’s productions of The Mikado and The Normal Heart brought home three awards each, including an Outstanding Lead Actor, Musical, for co-host Matthew McGee.

GORILLA GALS: Former Artistic Director Bridget Bean accepts a smooch from her successor, award-winner Ami Sallee. - DANIEL VEINTIMILLA
  • DANIEL VEINTIMILLA
  • GORILLA GALS: Former Artistic Director Bridget Bean accepts a smooch from her successor, award-winner Ami Sallee.
Nine different productions were honored for excellence with the 20 categories spread among six member theaters of the alliance. One of the biggest awards of the night went to one of the smallest companies in its only show of the season. Ami Sallee earned the Outstanding Director, Play honors for Gorilla Theatre’s stirring and CL-five-star-reviewed one-person show, An Iliad. In the highly competitive Outstanding Lead Actress, Play category, Cassandra Small was tapped for her powerful turn as the matriarch of Stageworks’ A Raisin in the Sun. Michael Nichols received the Outstanding Actor, Play, for his performance as the Chief in freeFall’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Hosts — comedic favorites McGee and Jonelle Meyer — got hearty laughs in what was definitely the bawdiest Theatre Tampa Bay Awards show to date. From Meyer mimicking a retiree theater patron with a Jersey accent to McGee's saucy ad-libs to onstage drinking games in which enlisted actors and directors — such as Stageworks Artistic Director Karla Hartley — took a swig whenever a name of someone they had carnal history with was read aloud. The crowd roared when Hartley slung one back upon hearing "Roxanne Fay."

The crowd roared even louder when the perpetually casual, slacks-wearing Hartley emerged in a lavish silver gown designed by actor Scott Daniel. She even showed some leg in a chorus line number.

Vets Rene Gonzalez of Spanish Lyric Theatre company and Anna Brennen (retired Artistic Director of Stageworks) won honorary awards for their lifetime achievements. Gonzalez wistfully said he wished he had another 55 years and Brennen got some guffaws with her off-the-cuff admission about not knowing whether to say "blacks" or "African-Americans."

No longer chosen by popular vote, the plays and personnel that were honored had undergone a competitive review by a panel of experts selected by the artistic directors of the eligible professional theaters. Some categories weren't represented. Husband-wife playwrights Jack Gilhooley and Jo Morello lamented that TTBA didn't honor new plays, and while at the podium actor Jim Sorensen asked Theatre Tampa Bay why it didn't honor stage managers. Whether those categories have enough public exposure is up for debate.

A complete list of nominees and recipients follows:

Recipients are marked with an asterisk (*).

Outstanding Featured Actor, Play
Larry Alexander, The Normal Heart, freefall Theatre
Alan Bomar Jones, Two Trains Running, American Stage Theatre Company
Greyson Lewis, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre
Alex Perez, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory
* ranney, Two Trains Running, American Stage Theatre Company
Jim Sorensen, The Normal Heart, freefall Theatre

Outstanding Featured Actor, Musical
Robert Aronson, The Mikado, freefall Theatre
Scott Daniel, The Wiz, American Stage Theatre Company
* Jim Sorensen, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
Patrick Ryan Sullivan, The Mikado, freefall Theatre
Chris Vaughn, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre

Outstanding Featured Actress, Play
* Roxanne Fay, The Normal Heart, freefall Theatre
Elizabeth Fendrick, All New People, Jobsite Theater
Georgia Mallory Guy, The Divine Sister, Stageworks Theatre
Dana Kovar, A Thousand Clowns, Hat Trick Theatre Productions
Nicole Jeannine Smith, The Divine Sister, Stageworks Theatre
Gi Young Sung, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory

Outstanding Featured Actress, Musical
Colette Boudreaux, West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera
* Whitney Drake, Little Shop of Horrors, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory
Jaime Giangrande-Holcom, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Jobsite Theater
Eileen Sanders, Little Shop of Horrors, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory
Ericka Womack-Brown, Little Shop of Horrors, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory 

Outstanding Sound Design
* Eric Davis, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre
Karla Hartley, Two Trains Running, American Stage Theatre Company
Karla Hartley, The Divine Sister, Stageworks Theatre
Todd Olson, Around the World in 80 Days, American Stage Theatre Company
Todd Olson, The Birds, American Stage Theatre Company

Outstanding Costume/Wig/Makeup Design
Mike & Kathy Buck Designs, Around the World in 80 Days, American Stage Theatre Eric Davis, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
* Eric Davis/Scott Daniel,The Mikado, freefall Theatre
Melinda Kajando, The Sugarbean Sisters, Stageworks Theatre
Trish Kelley, God of Carnage, American Stage Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design
Keith Arsenault, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tampa Repertory Theatre
Ian Beck, Miracle on South Division Street, A Simple Theatre
Kaylin Guess, Inventing Van Gogh, Jobsite Theater
Joseph P. Oshry, Around the World in 80 Days, American Stage Theatre Company
Joseph P. Oshry, The Birds, American Stage Theatre Company
* Mike Wood, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
Mike Wood, The Divine Sister, Stageworks Theatre
Mike Wood, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre

Outstanding Set Design

Scott Cooper, Miracle on South Division Street, A Simple Theatre
* Matt Davis, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
Jeffrey Dean,The Birds, American Stage Theatre Company
Jerid Fox, Around the World in 80 Days, American Stage Theatre Company
Steven K. Mitchell, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre

Outstanding Choreography/Fight Direction
Scott Daniel, Little Shop of Horrors, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory
Eric Davis, The Mikado, freefall Theatre
Jack Holloway, Land of the Dead, Hat Trick Theatre Productions
Jack Holloway, Unnecessary Farce, Hat Trick Theatre Productions
* Cheryl Lee, West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera

Outstanding Lead Actor, Play
Bryant Bentley,Two Trains Running, American Stage Theatre Company
Eric Davis, The Normal Heart, freefall Theatre
Jack Holloway, All New People, Jobsite Theater
Matthew McGee, The Divine Sister, Stageworks Theatre
* Michael Nichols, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre
Jim Wicker, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tampa Repertory Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor, Musical
Larry Alexander, The Mikado, freefall Theatre
Dick Baker, The Mikado, freefall Theatre
Glenn Glove, The Mikado, freefall Theatre
Nick Lerew, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
* Matthew McGee, The Mikado, freefall Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress, Play
Roxanne Fay, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre
Perri Gaffney, Steel Magnolias, American Stage Theatre Company
Fanni Green, Steel Magnolias, American Stage Theatre Company
Caroline Jett, The Sugarbean Sisters, Stageworks Theatre
Georgina McKee, Venus in Fur, Stageworks Theatre
Rosemary Orlando, The Sugarbean Sisters, Stageworks Theatre
* Cassandra Small, A Raisin in the Sun, Stageworks Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress, Musical
* Katie Berger, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
Kaitlyn Costello, West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera
Stefanie Izzo, West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera
Meghan Colleen Moroney, A Fiddler on the Roof, freefall Theatre
Sharon E. Scott, The Wiz, American Stage Theatre Company

Outstanding Musical Director
Jana Jones, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Jobsite Theater
Michael Raabe, A Fiddler on the Roof, freefall Theatre
Michael Raabe, The Wiz, American Stage Theatre Company
Mark Sforzini, West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera
* Emi P. Stefanov, The Mikado, freefall Theatre

Outstanding Director, Musical
* Eric Davis, The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
Eric Davis, A Fiddler on the Roof, freefall Theatre
Eric Davis, The Mikado, freefall Theatre
William Leavengood, West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera

Outstanding Director, Play
Eric Davis, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre
Karla Hartley, The Divine Sister, Stageworks Theatre
Bob Devin Jones, Two Trains Running, American Stage Theatre Company
Todd Olson, Around the World in 80 Days, American Stage Theatre Company
* Ami Sallee, An Iliad, Gorilla Theatre
Larry Silverberg, The Normal Heart, freefall Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble, Musical
* The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
A Fiddler on the Roof, freefall Theatre
Little Shop of Horrors, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory
A Marvelous Party, American Stage Theatre Company
The Mikado, freefall Theatre
West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera

Outstanding Ensemble, Play
Around the World in 80 Days, American Stage Theatre Company
The Divine Sister, Stageworks Theatre
Hound of the Baskervilles, Jobsite Theater
* The Normal Heart, freefall Theatre
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre
Two Trains Running, American Stage Theatre Company

Outstanding Production, Musical
* The Burnt Part Boys, freefall Theatre
A Fiddler on the Roof, freefall Theatre
Little Shop of Horrors, New Stage Theatre & Conservatory
The Mikado, freefall Theatre
West Side Story, The St. Petersburg Opera

Outstanding Production, Play
Around the World in 80 Days, American Stage Theatre Company
An Iliad, Gorilla Theatre
Inventing Van Gogh, Jobsite Theater
* The Normal Heart, freefall Theatre
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, freefall Theatre
Two Trains Running, American Stage Theatre Company

JUDGES’ SPECIAL CITATIONS:
Brendan Ragan: Solo Performance
An Iliad requires a single actor of tremendous power and versatility. Ragan, lean and agile, is convincing in every role he plays, from the fearsome warrior Achilles to the mischievous, slightly fey god Hermes. His storytelling benefits from a mercurial, I-just-thought-of-this-other-thing delivery and a graceful economy of gesture. The performance hits home with force and raises haunting questions about the persistence of war.

Eric Davis, Matthew McGee: Revised Lyrics for freeFall Theatre’s The Mikado
For precise, varied, nuanced and perfectly accented lyrics that skillfully update KoKo’s “Little List” with contemporary political and cultural insights — including zingers that would make W.S. Gilbert proud.

Garry Allan Breul: Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project
The ebullient founder has kept the project alive for 12 years co-writing plays and directing over 35 fun, whirlwind productions and concerts raising thousands for cash-strapped HIV/AIDS charities — all this despite his own serious health issues. But SATP is not just about good deeds. It’s about good theater. Very good theater.

TTB BOARD OF DIRECTORS SPECIAL CITATIONS:
Anna Brennen: Visionary Leadership
In a field dominated by men, the creatively combative, combatively creative producing artistic director led Stageworks for 30 years and produced “dangerous” plays and educational outreach championing themes for audiences often underserved — women, LGBT, religious minorities, people of color and youth at risk.

Rene Gonzalez: Visionary Leadership
After founding Spanish Lyric Theatre in 1959, Rene presided over its growth and expansion for 55 years, producing shows in both Spanish and English and touring from Miami to Alabama. SLT is, proudly, the longest-running Hispanic theater company in the United States.

Jon Palmer Claridge, president of the Theatre Tampa Bay Awards, contributed to this report.



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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Star-power broker: Kathy Laughlin

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 3:52 PM

.
DURANG, DURANG! The cast of Beyond Therapy features, from lower left, clockwise, Jose Lucena Jr., Gianni Boromei, Zach Coppola, Mick McNabb, Tamara Austin and Kristin Wollett.  - MICK MCNABB PHOTOGRAPHY
  • MICK MCNABB PHOTOGRAPHY
  • DURANG, DURANG! The cast of Beyond Therapy features, from lower left, clockwise, Jose Lucena Jr., Gianni Boromei, Zach Coppola, Mick McNabb, Tamara Austin and Kristin Wollett.



Beyond Therapy
Runs through Oct. 11, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 8313 W. Hillsborough Ave., Suite 250, Tampa, $15, beyondtherapyplay.bpt.me.

Derek Roberts certainly had no Hollywood dreams when he moved south from Delaware nearly a decade ago. But in the past three years, he’s racked up appearances on Burn Notice, Under the Dome, Graceland, Army Wives, and several other TV series and feature films. Looking back on how Tampa has transformed his life, he can hardly believe it himself. “Surprise is an understatement.”


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SCENE BREAKER: Love in the library, Ophelia’s goat and vampire lesbians like the accordion

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Julia Rudgers (standing) and Jessica Jacobs as Lydia and Edith in the Dorothy L. Sayers comedy Love All.
  • Julia Rudgers (standing) and Jessica Jacobs as Lydia and Edith in the Dorothy L. Sayers comedy Love All.

Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theatre...


FREE LOVE: Improbable Athenaeum (pronounce it “ath-en-eee-uhm”) will present a free, script-in-hand staging of Dorothy L. Sayers’ 1940 comedy Love All this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the new Seminole Heights Branch Library in Tampa. Better known for her Lord Peter Wimsey mystery novels, Sayers wrote nine plays including Love All, a romp about a romance writer, his mistress and his playwright wife that manages to squeeze a career-versus-family angle into a story about a literary love triangle.


SKIT-CHO-PHRENIA: Composing original music for Jobsite Theater’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (now rehearsing), polymathic local artist J. Elijah Cho is teaching himself the accordion in order to integrate the instrument’s dulcet tones into his eclectic score. Actor/songsmith/writer/producer/blogger Cho also authors the Local Stages cornucopia of theater events and archives, and is a leader of the Some Sort of Show sketch comedy troupe, for which he is teasing a “big announcement” soon (check back).


Q: HOW IS THE WESTERN BLACK RHINO LIKE EUGENE IONESCO? A: Both are extinct. The rhino outlived the Romanian playwright, perhaps only to prove the absurdist’s point about the meaninglessness of human existence. Tampa theatergoers have a rare opportunity to see one of Ionesco’s best, funniest works this weekend and next in a USF student production of 1959’s Rhinoceros, a politically subversive story about villagers transforming into rhinoceri. Seriously.


SKIRT 0, GOAT 1: During rehearsals for New Stage Theatre & Conservatory’s seven-actor Hamlet (opening next week), a fugitive goat who had sprung itself from a menagerie kept at Country Day World School in Largo, where the company is in residence, snacked on the skirt of the actress who plays Ophelia. A minor problem, except for the fact that the actress was still wearing it. The goat’s parole has been revoked indefinitely and the skirt remains at large.


Got a tip for SCENE BREAKER? Email Scene Breaker in care of A&E Editor Julie Garisto, julie.garisto@creativeloafing.com.


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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Theater profile: Actor Nathan Jokela

A look at local actor on the fast track.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM

BALLYHOOED ACTOR: Nathan Jokela with Katie Castonguay in Jobsite’s Last Night of Ballyhoo. -  - CRAWFORD LONG
  • CRAWFORD LONG
  • BALLYHOOED ACTOR: Nathan Jokela with Katie Castonguay in Jobsite’s Last Night of Ballyhoo.

Nathan Jokela has rapidly become the Tampa Bay area’s favorite leading man. It started just over a year ago, when he played George in Stageworks’ Of Mice and Men, continued last May, when he portrayed Brick in Tampa Rep’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and is going on this very weekend, when he’ll be acting as Joe Farkas in Jobsite Theater’s continuing The Last Night of Ballyhoo.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SCENE BREAKER: USF playwright makes the grade, Nurse Ratched solos and Blake students put career before graduation

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Zo Vallejo-Bryant in Gorilla Theatre's The Whipping Man in 2012. - MEGAN BYRNE/GORILLA THEATRE
  • MEGAN BYRNE/GORILLA THEATRE
  • Zo Vallejo-Bryant in Gorilla Theatre's The Whipping Man in 2012.


Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theatre...


USF PLAYWRITING MAKES TOP 5, NATIONWIDE: Class of 2000 USF Theatre grad Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man is the fifth-most-produced play (in a four-way tie) nationwide this season, according to an article in this month’s American Theatre magazine. The play about race, family and war has made the top 10 three years running, and was produced in Tampa by the Gorilla Theatre in 2012 (photo). Not one to rest on debut laurels, Lopez already has three more plays in production around the country.


MAYBE IT’S NOT JUST THE DONUTS THAT ARE SUPERIOR: Just as two high school students from the Howard W. Blake School of the Arts in Tampa are about to close in American Stage Company’s drama The Chosen after this weekend’s performances, Blake senior Travis Brown is already in rehearsals for his professional debut as “Franco” in the Tracy Letts comedy Superior Donuts at Stageworks Theatre. Somebody oughta see what’s in the water fountain at Blake, and bottle it.


HOME FIRES ABROAD: Area Renaissance woman Roxanne Fay, seen most recently as conformity enthusiast Nurse Ratched in freeFall Theatre’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, will perform her anthology Home Fires Burning in New York City this Sunday at United Solo, the world’s largest solo theatre festival.


SHE DIDN’T TAKE “NEXT” FOR AN ANSWER: Brianna Larson auditioned for a role in a production of David Auburn’s Proof not long ago, and lost the part to another actress. So she picked herself up and pitched the same play to Gypsy Stage Repertory, who will produce Proof at Studio@620 this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starring Larson in the role she lost… and won. It’s been a good year for Larson, who also recently landed a $500 grant from Theatre Tampa Bay to help fund a 24-Hour Short Play Festival (stay tuned).


YESSIR, DANCE CAN DO ALL THAT: The Dance Program at HCC Ybor will present The History House by Niurca Marquez this Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre on campus. The piece “pushes the limits of dance and flamenco aesthetics into an experimental space that shatters stereotypes and takes us on a journey of cultural memory,” according to publicity materials. Top that without singin’.


Got a tip for SCENE BREAKER? Email Scene Breaker in care of A&E Editor Julie Garisto, julie.garisto@creativeloafing.com.


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