American Stage Theatre Company, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, freeFall Theatre, Jobsite Theater, Silver Meteor Gallery, Spanish Lyric Theatre, Stageworks Theatre and Tampa Repertory Theatre. All headshots, resumes and registration forms due at 5 p.m. today. Around 40 slots remain.
Heading into "The Streisand Songbook" last night at the Mahaffey with the Boston Pops and Ann Hampton Callaway, I was admittedly more excited about the singer than the orchestra. I'm a longtime fan of Callaway, and had enjoyed talking with her in a phone interview before the show. So when I looked at the playbill and saw that she wouldn't be coming on till after intermission, I was a little dismayed.
Shouldn't have been. Turns out hearing a full-on orchestra dig into Broadway overtures and, gasp, Marvin Hamlisch, was a hell of a lot of fun — and an experience you don't get when you see a show on Broadway or at the Straz, where the orchestra is often out of sight in the pit, not front and center in all its glory. Suave young Pops conductor Keith Lockhart led the white dinner-jacketed ensemble with grace and even a bit of nimble soft-shoe, leading his musicians through the urban bedlam of a Bernstein suite from Wonderful Town and West Side Story; the sly lilt of Jule Styne's overture to Gypsy; and the irresistible hooks in Hamlisch's Chorus Line overture, including the unmistakable opening piano chords of "One."
The ostensible connecting thread between these selections was that they all bore some connection to Streisand. That thread got stretched pretty thin at times: the theme from Ice Castles? Turns out that's another one by Hamlisch, a great pal of Streisand's. And Hello, Dolly? OK, right — as Lockhart reminded us, Streisand played Dolly in the flop film version of the Jerry Herman musical. The orchestra's rendition of the all-too-familiar song was my least favorite number in the program — you need a Carol Channing or a Louis Armstrong as the astringent to Herman's sugary melodics, and the Pops version bore dangerously close to elevator music.
At first, I worried that Ann Hampton Callaway, armored in a Kate Smith-y blue gown and Michelle Obama bangs, was going to do her segment in full emcee mode; the intro was a little too rah-rah, kind of like a PBS pledge break ("if you love Streisand as we do …"). But once she settled in, all doubts faded.
"Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth" is described as an autobiographical monologue performed by the former champ in which he reflects upon his tough childhood in Brooklyn, the absence of his father, and his self-described "reckless and destructive" behavior. It premiered in Las Vegas in April and had a run on Broadway. Now it's coming to a host of U.S. cities, with its first-stop in Indianapolis, the site where he spent three years in jail after being convicted for rape in 1992.
"It's not like these people aren't aware of these issues," he said on a national conference call set up on Monday afternoon to promote the upcoming shows, which begin in mid-February. "They've seen them in the press, and they just don't know the underlying factor of the issue that I'm expressing."
Tyson, 46, has had a tumultuous career in the public spotlight, but it seems to have taken a more positive and lighter touch since his performance in the 2009 U.S. comedy smash The Hangover, where he played himself.
Hawk and Wayne — known individually for their starring roles in local professional theater productions, and as teachers, professional actors and all-around leaders in their craft — have been producing original and long-form improv for the past few years. Past shows include The Dumb Show and 321. They’re back for their fourth season at American Stage’s After Hour series with their latest and possibly greatest concept.
UPDATE: American Stage Artistic Director Todd Olson announced on Facebook today that there will be a performance tonight, Saturday Sept. 22, of Hysteria. Said Olson: "HYSTERIA, the amazing story that plays over and over...plays tonight!"
In his curtain speech before Thursday night's performance of Hysteria at American Stage, board member Matt Conigliaro told the audience that the play would be "surreal." That wasn't much of a surprise, considering the plot involves an encounter between Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalì. But the description would turn out to be much more accurate than Conigliaro could have known.
As a Norton judge, I wouldn't ordinarily be able to talk about what I saw, but this was not a reviewable performance. The first act began well, but somewhere in the middle it became clear something was wrong — either that or the script had some serious redundancy issues.
As it turned out, there was indeed a problem, but it wasn't the script. Production Stage Manager Karla Hartley stepped onto the stage before the second act to announce that one of the actors was unable to continue, and that the show could not go on.
This afternoon, American Stage explained what happened in a statement cancelling tonight's performance: