Friday, May 22, 2015

MOSI premieres an out-of-this-world IMAX film

Journey to Space is far out.

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 12:17 AM


With the conclusion of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, the question of “what’s next?” has been on everyone’s mind.

As astronaut Chris Ferguson so famously put it, “we're not ending the journey today, we're completing a chapter of a journey that will never end.” Journey to Space — a fine new documentary premiering Friday (11 a.m. and 3 p.m. most days) at MOSI’s Florida Hospital IMAX DOME theatre – offers a look at the next generation of star trekking, appropriately narrated by none other than Patrick Stewart himself.

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A Tampa Filmmaker went to North Dakota to meditate on the meaning of love, the results are gorgeous

“Crosby Rail” takes an objective look at untouched, rural America, and unveils a little about ourselves in the process

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 12:00 AM


“It’s hard to tell when love really starts, you know.” That’s what Lloyd Johnson tells his grandson, Dylan Melcher, in the short film, “Crosby Rail.”

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bard-inspired and art smart: freeFall and American Stage's new plays

freeFall's The Tempest: La Isla Es Mia opens this weekend; previews of Red begin midweek.

Posted By and on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 11:17 PM

PROSPERO NUEVO: Eric Davis in The Tempest: La Isla Es Mia. - ALLISON DAVIS
  • Allison Davis
  • PROSPERO NUEVO: Eric Davis in The Tempest: La Isla Es Mia.

Actor and freeFall Theatre artistic/executive director Eric Davis imagined what Shakespeare’s Tempest would be like if it were set in Florida, and came up with the one-man play The Tempest: La Isla Es Mia. Davis’ all-new adaptation grafts a second storyline that appropriates events in Cuban history with shout-outs to Jose Marti and prominent Cuban writers. In Davis’ play, Prospero is a Havana professor facing arrest for his production of The Tempest and flees to Florida alone in a rickety boat. The story is at once personal and an homage to Cuba’s cultural contributions and the history of revolution and dissent across Latin America. In addition to a new script, we get a newly commissioned score, live musicians, a brand-new seating configuration, a set design with 18,000 pounds of sand and some special effects — including a rainstorm! James Oliver directs.  

Following her success with In the Heights at American Stage in the Park, director-about-town Karla Hartley has moved indoors for the engrossing two-character play Red at American Stage.

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Theater Review: Chapatti

Splendid performances in a touching play about a cat lover, a dog owner and an awkward courtship.

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 3:12 PM

TO LOVE AGAIN: Susan Greenhill and Colin Lane.
  • TO LOVE AGAIN: Susan Greenhill and Colin Lane.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, through May 30. Tues.-Sun., 8 p.m.; Wed., Sat. and Sun., 3 p.m. $36-$39 941-366-9000,

A friend of mine, a man in his 70s, once told me of the only mystical experience he’d ever had. He said that when he was much younger, a woman’s voice came to him out of nowhere and remarked, “You know you’re on earth for only two reasons, Larry: to love and to grow.” Then the voice disappeared, and in the decades that followed, he never heard it again. But he remembered the message.

I thought of this story after seeing the lovely, luminous Chapatti at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. This warmly humane play, written by Christian O’Reilly, is about a man who’s reluctant to love and to grow, and about the efforts that a woman makes to shake him out of his torpor.

When Chapatti begins, Dan, an elderly Irishman, is committed to nothing more than looking after his dog (whose name gives us the play’s title), mourning the deceased woman he spent 30 years with, and preparing for death.

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A variety of things to do this Memorial Day Weekend

From traditional to offbeat fun stuff, we've got you covered this holiday weekend.

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:59 PM


It's a time of remembrance, but it's also a time to have fun and kick off the summer season with outdoor activities or indoor fun, if it's too hot you (if that's the case, we don't blame you!). Here are some events to help you make your plans: 

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16 events to look forward to this summer

Dade City's new zipline park, Chris Hardwick, Sheryl Underwood and more.

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:42 PM


Here’s a look at comedy shows, visual art events, performances and movies defying the season’s usual slump.

Just announced this week, TreeHoppers, a new aerial adventure park, is set to open in Dade City in August.  Indiana-based White River Zip Lines purchased a 60-acre wooded tract in Dade City that will feature dozens of zip lines, rope bridges and aerial climbing elements. The attraction will have eight unique courses and nearly 100 aerial features catering to adults and children ages 5 and older. The property features several acres of scenic, hilly forest and a  five-acre lake in the back of the property. Opening date is still to be determined, TreeHoppers will be open year-round, seven days a week at 27839 Saint Joe Road Dade City (35 minutes north of Tampa). For more information, visit

Here are some more events to look forward to ...

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Summer Guide 2015: ReVIEW - Indie film alternatives to summer's blockbusters

Beyond the multimillion-dollar summer tentpole flicks.

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Shameik Moore in Dope.
  • Shameik Moore in Dope.

Everybody knows that summer is the season of the big-budget mega-event movie, and this year is no different. Jurassic World. Ant-Man. Terminator: Genysis. The latest entry in the Mission:Impossible franchise, and many more.

If you’re not into the whole tentpole thing, however, there’s still plenty to check out as far as indie, documentary and classic fare.

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Summer Guide 2015: ReANIMATE - An education in digital animation

Spend the summer learning how to create your own animated superstars.

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 3:20 AM

  • matthew cruz

Schools (and school boards) are increasingly emphasizing science and math at the expense of the arts, so when Elite Animation Academy opened in Orlando in 2012, its fate was unclear. Would there be enough students to sustain it? Three years later, Elite has become a well-known name around Orlando and regularly sells out its classes. Now the Academy is spreading its wings and reaching out to students in Tampa, just in time for summer camp season.

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Summer Guide 2015: ReCON - Get your geek on

A look at the highest-profile niche conventions the region has to offer.

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:14 AM

  • drunkcameraguy

Geek culture — first spawned in the late 1960s by Star Trek, the multicultural standard-bearer and progenitor of conventions, aka cons — may be the first world’s biggest equalizer. Forget black, white and Asian. Cons have green, blue and purple people, too. They’re multifaceted multiverses of both family and grown-up-oriented activities. You can wear anything you want (preferably not your street clothes), perform, compete, dance, rock out and even see some skin.

Tampa Bay ComicCon. The most anticipated con of the summer. Expect to see wall-to-wall folks of all ages in all manner of getups threading through the Tampa Convention Center to attend workshops, procure autographs and compete in contests. CL contributor and resident all-things-geek consultant Brian Frederick says to expect “a variety of elaborate costumes, from tiny to gargantuan, each in possession of fantastic props, brutal play weapons and cleavage for miles.” This summer the 15-year-old con will be blessed by sci-fi royalty: Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. Other celebs include Jena Malone (Hunger Games), Iain Glen (Game Of Thrones), Freema Agyeman (Dr. Who, Torchwood) and Matt Ryan (Constantine), plus the recognizable cartoon voices Of Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants), George Lowe (Space Ghost) and Billy West (various voices from Futurama, Ren, Woody Woodpecker). Guests of honor include comic book writers Neil Adams and Mark Waid (Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, X-Men). Oh, and don’t forget to look for those after-parties in Ybor at the Castle and the Social.

The event takes place July 30-Aug. 2. Hours are noon to midnight Friday, 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at and cost $60 for thee-day admission; $30 for Friday only; $35 for Saturday and $30 for Sunday. The Tampa Convention Center is at 333 S. Franklin St., Tampa,

Here’s the lowdown on some other Florida cons this summer:

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Summer Guide 2015: ReTHINK - The performing arts rundown

Opera and literature and big band (and more), oh my!

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:37 AM

freeFall's unique update of The Tempest.
  • freeFall's unique update of The Tempest.

So you don’t think you can make it to Stratford or Spoleto or the Berkshires this summer. Never fear: You can make your own arts festival right here in Tampa Bay (with maybe a side trip to Orlando). Whatever kinda culchah you’re craving — theater, opera, readings, classical or unclassifiable (we see you coming, Todrick!), it’s all right around the corner, geographically and seasonally speaking.

Last Chance
Sure it’s a holiday weekend, but you better get busy: You’ve only got a few more days to enjoy the following:
May 21-22 and 24: Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Murray Studio Theatre. What? You missed Stageworks’ production of the ebullient Fats Waller musical revue — the one that CL’s Keven Renken called “joyous” — during its run in Tampa? Never fear, you get three more opps this weekend to see it on the other side of the bay at Ruth Eckerd’s newly renovated studio theater.
May 21-24: Annapurna at Jobsite. An inspired pairing of two of our most accomplished local actors, Paul Potenza and Angela Bond, in a two-person comedy/drama about an estranged couple reconnecting after decades apart. CL’s Julie Garisto called the show “a thoroughly rewarding theatrical experience on all counts,” so you’d better try and get tickets if there are any left.
May 21-24: Betrayal at Tampa Rep. Harold Pinter’s backwards-in-time portrait of a seven-year extra-marital affair, with acclaimed performances by Emilia Sargent, Greg Thompson and Ned Averill-Snell.
May 21-25: Orlando International Fringe Festival. The festival’s closing weekend is its busiest, so there’s still plenty of comedy, drama, music and general outrageousness to choose from.

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