Tuesday, October 6, 2015

freeFall, Stageworks big winners in 2015 Theatre Tampa Bay awards

Five other companies were also recognized at the annual awards show.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 12:41 AM

Theatre Tampa Bay winner Karla Hartley.
  • Theatre Tampa Bay winner Karla Hartley.

"This is a play people told me I was crazy to do because it had ‘motherfucker’ in the title," said Karla Hartley, accepting Theatre Tampa Bay's Best Director award Monday night for The Motherfucker with the Hat.

"So," she added as she left the stage at St. Pete's Palladium Theatre, “fuck you.”

A little while later, when Motherfucker picked up the award for Outstanding Production, Play, Tier 2 (more on that distinction later), she said, a bit sheepishly, "I probably shouldn't have said what I said before.”

But no matter. Whoever objected to Hartley choosing Stephen Adly Guirgis's raw, funny 2011 Broadway hit for Stageworks' 2014-15 season will have to eat their motherfuckin' hat now, because the production's eight awards made the company one of the winningest theaters of the night. Their total of nine awards (the ninth was for Ain't Misbehavin') was topped only by freeFall's 13, which included Outstanding Production, Musical, for Eric Davis's reinvention of Into the Woods, and Outstanding Production, Play, Tier 1, for his reinvention of The Tempest.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Structural engineer, model, mentor — Marcia Alvarado is just being her

Marcia Alvarado is busier than you and she’s making it look stylishly easy.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 9:28 AM


Marcia Alvarado can be described as a lot of different things: driven, tireless, force-of-nature-y, but the one thing she cannot be called is typical. 

The local fashion model has taken her unique style and impeccable fashion sense all the way to the Brooklyn Museum to walk in the Verge Fashion show, which was billed as the largest exhibition of queer fashion designers during New York Fashion Week 2015. Not bad for someone who only began modeling two years ago — with zero experience. 

After attending Brandon High School, earning a college basketball scholarship and getting her Civil Engineering degree from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., Alvarado took off to New York. She was working at an architectural firm in the city when she started feeling like she had too much time on her hands. She took a job at a Banana Republic men’s store to satisfy her restlessness and her love of menswear.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Reel Gay — TIGLFF opens with "A Celebration of Queer Cinema"

Films, art and parties are all part of the 9-day film festival.

Posted By on Sun, Oct 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM

The Palladium Theatre is dressed in rainbow colors for the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • The Palladium Theatre is dressed in rainbow colors for the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Film lovers who attended the opening night of the 26th annual Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Friday at the Palladium Theater in St Petersburg also had the opportunity to see Reel Gay, an art show of 14 local artists provided 12-by-12-inch canvases to fashion works themed from a list of classic films celebrated by the LGBT community. Billed as "A Celebration of Queer Cinema Art Exhibit," the pieces hung in the lobby of the theater and were available for purchase. They will remain there throughout the film festival. Here are some examples from the exhibit.

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Do This: The Weekend Top 10

Return of the downtown markets, Molly Ringwald, Green Bench's 2-Year Anniversary, Jobsite Gala, Tabernacle of Eccentricities and much more.

Posted By on Sat, Oct 3, 2015 at 10:35 AM


The Saturday Morning Market
returns. The event should festive and packed, with the Urban Gypsies performing live. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 230 First St. S.E. (at First Avenue S. & First Street). Read more about it here. A little later, you can celebrate the Green Bench 2-Year Anniversary. The pub, brewer and beer garden will take $2 off all beers on tap, all day. There will be giveaways throughout the day, live music and food trucks onsite. GB will release its new brew, Petit Provision (a wild ale aged in wine barrels). The event also comprises the season return of the St. Pete Indie Market for its fall kick-off on Baum Avenue. Several vendors will be set-up throughout the day.

Rotten scoundrels: Nothing in local theaters quite compares to freeFall's season debut, which brings us Oscar Wilde's clever repartee, comedy of errors and period costumes with a dash of necrosis. freeFall’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest With Zombies stars Nick Lerew as John Worthing and Daniel Schwab as Algernon Moncrieff. Portraying two bachelor friends, in this version they will lead double lives slaying zombies and wooing the fair Gwendolyn Fairfax (Kelly Pekar) and Cecily Cardew (Maya Handa Naff). The theater's tagline sums it up best: "sidesplitting riff on decorum and decay." Runs through Nov. 1;

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Movie Review: Sicario depicts the wild cartel chaos at the border

There’s serious heat at the border, and it’s not just the blazing sun.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 12:08 PM

BORDER LANDED: Benicio del Toro plays a dubious Colombian consultant in Sicario.
  • BORDER LANDED: Benicio del Toro plays a dubious Colombian consultant in Sicario.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Now playing at AMC Veterans 24, AMC Regency 20, AMC Westshore 14

Portraying the non-stop violence in the big cartel drug wars, there’s an essence of realness to Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, where the spotlight is on the U.S./Mexico border. The film labels itself as action, and while it does have its moments of gun combat, there’s more tactical maneuvering than epic mano a mano fight scenes.

No-nonsense FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) takes her job seriously, to the point of it consuming her life; she has no boyfriend or family holding her back. After discovering a Mexican cartel’s “House of Death,” with corpses lined and boarded up into the walls, Kate volunteers herself for a black-ops mission to get to the source of these mass murders. The mission is led by elite task force official Matt Graver (Josh Brolin). You immediately get the impression he doesn’t play by the rules as he lounges carelessly during an official government meeting in his flip-flops (taking “Casual Friday” to a whole new level). Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), a dubious Colombian consultant, also heads this cartel mission. When asked who he works for, Alejandro mysteriously answers, “I go where I am sent.”

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Movie Review: The Martian is a frictionless space adventure

Ridley Scott's new big-budge space adventure has no room to create meaning. It talks and talks and talks but says nothing. "

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 11:54 AM

FAR FROM HOME: Matt Damon stars as a stranded astronaut in The Martian.
  • FAR FROM HOME: Matt Damon stars as a stranded astronaut in The Martian.

Ridley Scott was the first director I ever loved. Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator; even Legend and Kingdom of Heaven had their charms.

Such devotion makes The Martian particularly disappointing. The Ridley Scott who wanted to keep expository voiceover out of Blade Runner on its initial release became the Ridley Scott who insisted that Deckard is a replicant and reshaped the film to argue his thesis. That’s the guy behind The Martian: a technician, a literalist, a shadow of whatever he used to be.

Starring Matt Damon and a ton of other people, from Chiwetel Ejiofor to Jessica Chastain, The Martian is all tell and no show. Working from a script by Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield), Scott dutifully relays the tale of one astronaut stuck on Mars — until he’s not.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lea DeLaria at The Palladium on Saturday

A correction to the print version of our interview w. the OITNB star.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 3:28 PM


Mea Culpa Department:

Contrary to what my story says in this week's print edition of Creative Loafing, actor/singer/Orange Is The New Black star Lea DeLaria will be performing at The Palladium in St. Petersburg on Saturday night. In the article, an extended brain fart prompted me to state — twice — that we would be seeing her at Tampa Theatre. (The online version and the E-dition are correct, however.)

Sorry for any confusion. I guess I'm still stuck in the past: Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which is hosting DeLaria, used to hold most of its events at Tampa Theatre.

Let this be a reminder to anyone else who's similarly addled: TIGLFF will not be at Tampa Theatre this year, but at multiple venues on both sides of the bay.

Those venues include: The Palladium, freeFall Theatre, Muvico Sundial, Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, and The Hollander Hotel in St. Petersburg; Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach; Catherine A. Hickman Theater in Gulfport; and MCC Tampa, Villagio Cinemas, and Studio Movie Grille in Hillsborough.

See you at The Palladium!

Lea DeLaria at Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Oct. 3,  6 p.m., with opening act Scott & Patti. Palladium Theatre, 253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $35-$75. tiglff.com, facebook.com/tiglff.

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Movie Review: A Christmas Horror Story is no gift to the genre

Featuring multiple directors, this anthology-style scare flick comes off as incoherent.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 2:45 PM


What do a trio of ghost-hunting high schoolers, a dysfunctional family with an estranged wealthy aunt, a slightly more functional couple fearing something is wrong with their young son, and a zombie-elf viral outbreak at Santa's toy factory at the North Pole have in common?

Unfortunately, you'll have to watch this disjointed, poorly shot movie to find out, and if getting there is half the fun, that just means the destination is twice as disappointing as the journey.

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Even odder: Oddball Comedy invades Tampa on Oct. 3

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 2:09 PM


Things are about to get odd.

Last year's Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival made a stop in Tampa, and earned a thumbs-up from concert-goers who saw the likes of Louis C.K., Marc Maron and Jeff Ross, in addition to dozens of other nationally-known and local comedians.

Another year, another tour: Funny Or Die put another one together and it's coming to Tampa on Saturday.

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Theater Review: Intimate Apparel at American Stage

Intimate Apparel offers a closetful of opportunities, but doesn’t live up to its potential.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 12:18 AM

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: Eddie Ray Jackson and Nikole Williams turn in notable performances in Intimate Apparel. - CHAD JACOBS
  • chad jacobs
  • FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE: Eddie Ray Jackson and Nikole Williams turn in notable performances in Intimate Apparel.

Intimate Apparel
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 Stars
American Stage, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg, through Oct. 11. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 3 p.m. $39-$49. 727-823-PLAY, americanstage.org.

At first glance, Intimate Apparel looks like a sure thing. After all, it’s by Lynn Nottage, whose remarkable play Ruined won and deserved the Pulitzer Prize. And its subject — the life of an African-American seamstress in 1905 New York — is so far from cliché, there’s not another drama in memory that covers anywhere near the same territory. In the publicity, we learn that Nottage’s heroine, Esther, will have traffic with aristocrats and prostitutes, with a Panama Canal laborer whom she marries sight unseen, and a Jewish fabric merchant who doesn’t dare act on his feelings for her. That sounds promising enough; why shouldn’t the play be as satisfying as the blurbs say? Maybe more: maybe it’ll actually redeem some lost American history and help us know ourselves better.

Alas. Not the case.

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