Thursday, December 20, 2007

Carol Morsani Hall - again one of top-ranked venues in the world!

Billboard Magazine ranked our own Carol Morsani Hall (2,610 seats) 5th in the world for venues 5,000 seats and under, for 2007.

According to the Top Stops report from the year-end Venues Today magazine, the top three venues in the 2,001-5,000 seat capacity were the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center's Carol Morsani Hall.

Pollstar's numbers should be released sometime soon, but we have a good feeling we'll be ranked high there as well.

Thank you for making TBPAC so strong! Without good, regular folks like you buying tickets we wouldn't even need to be here, much less rank so high on these lists!

The Lion King on "The View"

The Lion King is scheduled to appear on ABC's "The View" Friday, Dec. 21. In celebration of the show's 10th year on Broadway, members of the Broadway cast will perform "He Lives in You." What a great way to get a taste of the show before it heads back to Tampa in May!

As a bit of trivia, Broadway's "Nala" is Tampa Bay's own Kissy Simmons. She appear here at the TBPAC in many of our cabaret productions before landing the role of "Nala" in the first national tour of The Lion King and shortly thereafter being cast in the role on Broadway.

The Drowsy Chaperone closes on Broadway

It was annouced yesterday that the Tony-award winner, The Drowsy Chaperone, will play its last performance on Broadway, Dec. 30. In total the show will have played 674 performances and 32 previews. It also picked up five 2006 Tony Awards, the most of any show in 2006; seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical; four Outer Critic's Circle Awards including Outstanding Score; and the Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical.

BTW, the well received national tour is still headed to Tampa in January as planned. The tour includes original Broadway cast members Georgia Engel as "Mrs. Tottendale" and Andrea Chamberlain as "Janet Van De Graaff" (who was the understudy for the role on Broadway).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Next Club Jaeb show: Bethany & Rufus

"There's some Cowboy Junkies here, a dash of Tuck & Patti there and an overall otherworldliness more akin to a David Lynch movie." - Editorial Review

Bethany Yarrow is the daughter of Peter Yarrow (who you might remember from his days of making music with Paul and Mary) who sings in a haunting style you might liken to Nina Simone or Cassandra Wilson, and Rufus Capadoccia plays the cello with a sick skill that will keep you guessing if he's in fact playing a classical cello, an upright bass or possibly even an electric bass. Together their music pushes standard American folk far past the edge into the territory of hypnotic groove, jazz and psychedelic soul.

You can take a listen to some of their music at their MySpace page.

Or watch this video:

I know it's almost a hackneyed expression, but watch this clip and you may even say yourself that Rufus rocks it like a Hendrix on the cello:

Need more convincing? Watch this solo video of his:

Bethany & Rufus play the Jaeb Theater on Jan. 28.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New show: Taylor Swift

Country superstar Taylor Swift will play Carol Morsani Hall on Jan. 26, 2008. Tickets went on sale today at noon to TBPAC donors, and will go on public sale Friday at noon. Call 813.229.STAR or log on to TBPAC.ORG to nab those tickets while they last.

Want to get them now? Check out how over here.

The Roches with a holiday twist!

Check out this Talk of the Nation program on regarding the Roche sisters' holiday show currently touring the country. You can listen to the 47-minute program that originally aired on NPR radio, or sample song clips in the menu to the left.

We at TBPAC are really looking forward to hosting The Roches on Dec. 21 in Ferguson Hall. I think it will provide a nice alternative or even compliment to more traditional holiday fare like The Nutcracker or Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Check it out!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

De/ReConstructing Mata Hari

“Looks like Cleopatra, but when she moves it is with the muscle of a Mark Anthony” – Dance Magazine.

De/ReConstructing Mata Hari is here this weekend in the TECO Theater as part of our Expanding Horizons series. You've likely seen the TV spot we've been circulating online and that's been running locally on Bright House Networks, but to get a much better idea of how visually stunning this show is you should take a look at these two sections of the actual show as teasers.

Here is also a review of the original incarnation of the show in the NYTimes.

The show is only here for this one single weekend - hope you can make it out or pass this on to a friend! You can also learn all about the FREE MASTER CLASS here! Space is limited for that, so sitgn up quickly!

YouTubesday at TBPAC

Check out some of these videos on upcoming artists:

Follow this link to check out a clip of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

Defending the Caveman - Dec. 12-16

De/ReConstructing Mata Hari - 12/14-16

African Children's Choir - Feb. 13 (this clip is of their appearance on American Idol)

Hubbard Street Dance Theater - Feb. 16

Monday, December 10, 2007

Photo op! Here's an Avenue Q tip for you!

TBPAC wants you to come down to see how we look after 20 years – then take a picture of it! The winner will get a pair of tickets to the opening night of Avenue Q.

Bring your gear down to TBPAC anytime between Dec. 10 and March 7 and take photos of the whole building, a detail or anything in between and submit it to our photography contest. We’re hoping to find a variety of entries – from the classical to the avant-garde. Want inside access to a backstage area? Check our website for scheduled backstage tours. As long as you stay with your group in the designated areas, you can take pictures of the inside of the halls or the backstage areas. Keep in mind – as always we do not allow anyone to take photographs inside the theater during any performance.

Photos should be high resolution (300 dpi) and submitted to us on CD mailed to:
TBPAC Photo Contest
1010 NWC MacInnes Pl.
Tampa, FL 33602
One winner will be chosen by a panel of three impartial judges and will receive a pair of opening night tickets (April 1, 2008) to the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Avenue Q in Carol Morsani Hall (Intended for mature audiences).

TBPAC retains the right to use any entered photographs for, but not excluded to, publicity releases, marketing materials and web site displays. Every attempt will be made to credit the original photographer, but it is not guaranteed. All entered photographs will be made available in an online gallery accessible through the TBPAC website and blog after the contest has concluded. None of the photos will be returned.

The fine print:

Prize to be redeemed at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center at 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL 33602. No purchase necessary. Participants and winner(s) must be legal U.S. residents, at least 18 years old and residents of Florida. Employees of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, their subsidiaries and affiliated companies, participating sponsors and their advertising agencies and members of their immediate family are not eligible to participate. Not valid where prohibited by law. Contest begins on or around Dec. 10, 2007, at noon. Deadline for submissions is noon on or around March 7, 2008. Winner will be chosen by a panel of three impartial professional judges on or around 48 hours from the deadline. Prize will be awarded on or around March 14, 2008. Decision of the judges is final. The winner will be notified by telephone and/or e-mail. Odds of winning vary greatly depending on number of entrants. The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center assumes no liability or responsibility for any prize once it is awarded, or any damage, loss or liability arising from the award, acceptance or use of the prize, and Contest winner agrees to release and hold harmless the Released Parties against any and all claims of liability arising directly or indirectly from the Contest or the prizes and the use of such Contest winner's name, voice and photo. The Released Parties assume no liability for lost, illegible, incomplete, misdirected or late entries or prize claims, or for typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of this Contest including, without limitation, errors in the printing of the offer and official rules, selection, notification and announcement of the winner, or distribution of prizes. The Contest is subject to applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, and is void where prohibited or otherwise restricted. The prizes offered in this contest have no cash value and may not be returned for cash. Seats are good for the opening night show of Avenue Q only, and may not be renewed or exchanged. By entering a photograph into the contest, participants give TBPAC full authorization to use, reprint or distribute the work at TBPAC’s discretion with or without proper credit to the photographer.

This week at TBPAC

Club Jaeb Series: Jennifer O'Connor - 12/10

Radio City Christmas Spectacular - on stage now through 12/30

Defending the Caveman
- 12/12-16

De/ReConstructing Mata Hari - 12/14-16

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

He’s no Kiri Te Kanawa

I had no idea that Dr. Drew, the dreamy therapist who is well known for his syndicated radio show “Lovelines,” sings opera. Maybe not on par with Placido or our own Sherrill Milnes, but considering he’s going a capalla and he’s actually a licensed sex therapist, I’ve heard worse. And his serenade of “The Street Where you Live” to the macaw is really, um, touching?

- Kari G.

This week at TBPAC!

Week of Dec. 3, 2007:

A Musical for Kids by Kids Youth Theater Company - Guys and Dolls Jr. - Dec. 6-9

Radio City Christmas Spectacular - Dec. 6-30

Jennifer O'Connor - Dec. 10

Keep in mind if you're looking for an awesome gift - we sell gift certificates that are good for tickets, dining, in the shops or for tuition at the Patel Conservatory!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More on Jennifer O'Connor

This is from former CreLo music critic (and current Nessie frontman) Scott Harrell's column from a year ago, when O'Connor played with Candy Bars

Former Tampa homegirl and current Brooklyn hipster heroine Jennifer O'Connor has a unique take on singer-songwriterdom that splits the difference between tradition and a personal, indie-scene-derived aesthetic. Yeah, yeah, I know that can be said about a lot of great underground talents these days. But where most of them have far more in common with classic folk than they'd care to admit to their all-ages fanbase, O'Connor's genuinely edgy style has at least as much to do with original college-rock influences as it does the little strummer boy archetype. Her debut for the über-cool imprint Matador Records -- this year's Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back to the Stars -- is a marvel.

Here's a review of her latest album in Hybrid Magazine.

Here's her page on Matador records.

And finally her personal webpage.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Jennifer O'Connor - Dec. 10

In a very short week from today, Jennifer O'Connor will be playing as the December artist in our Club Jaeb series. Here are some clips of Jennifer I found on YouTube:

Some locals might know Jennifer from when she worked at Vinyl Fever once upon a time, and she played last December here at our own New World Brewery. Get out and see some live music!

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Ruby" the popular cover?

I'm a big fan of The Killers so of course I picked up their newest release, Sawdust. It's an album of B-sides and other rare recordings.

At one time or another most bands cover another artist's song. The Killers are no exception. On Sawdust they cover the song "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town." You're thinking... oh, yeah, that Kenny Rogers' song. That's what I thought too. Turns out Kenny Rogers also covered the song. It was written by Mel Tillis and was originally recorded in 1967 by Johnny Darrell. Kenny Rogers made the song famous.

The Killers aren't the only ones who have done a recent cover of the song. In 2004 the band Cake also recorded the song and it was released on the B-sides album in 2007 too.

Have a favorite cover? Or maybe you had a favorite song until someone covered it?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Philly loves Drowsy!

Check out this great review just in from the Philadelphia Inquirer for the national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone.

The strike is over!

For those of you keeping track, the 19-day Local One Broadway stagehand strike is over (hear the sigh of relief?). A tentative agreement was reached yesterday. The New York shows affected by the strike will be back on stage starting tonight. You can read more about the strike and resolution here.

Now if we could only end the writer strike... I'm missing good (aka non-reality) TV and I don't like it!

Rockettes on NBC Saturday night

Check out the Radio City Christmas Spectacular TV special this Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m. on NBC. Here are the details:

"This December NBC brings more holiday cheer into viewers homes with 'The Radio City Christmas Spectacular' special - For the first time ever, NBC will televise the 75th celebration of the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" in a one-hour exclusive special from the great stages at Radio City Music Hall. Hosted by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira ("Today"), the show will feature brand new glamorous costumes, state-of-the-art special effects and new eye-popping numbers performed by the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, as well as traditional favorites including the famed "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers." This year's brand new and re-imagined production will be executive produced by legendary and veteran news producer Don Hewitt."

And for those of you who haven't gotten your Radio City Christmas Spectacular tickets for the Tampa engagement... what are you waiting for?

Monday, November 26, 2007

This week at TBPAC!

Youth Theater Company Jr.'s School House Rock Live Jr. - 11/29 - 12/1

Orlando Ballet's The Nutcracker - 11/30 - 12/2

Joe Bonamassa - 12/2

The Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra Fall Concert - 12/2

Still no deal with Broadway negotiations

Just the financial impact alone:

The (New York) city comptroller’s office has said that the strike, which began Nov. 10, costs the city $2 million a day, but officials from the League of American Theaters and Producers place the cost much higher. Last year, Broadway pulled in around $42 million in grosses over Thanksgiving week and the week before.

Check out the full story here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Caetano Veloso

Check out this review of his concert at the Nokia Theater that appeared in today's New York Times.

He plays Tampa on Friday!

Steve Martin takes a lesson from Jersey Boys

Steve Martin just came out with a new memoirs book called "Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life." It's a book about his early years, before all the blockbuster movies (did you know he plays the banjo?).

In a recent USA Today interview the writer opens with an interesting quote from Martin:

"At 62, Martin says, "that's what I learned from watching Jersey Boys," the Broadway musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. "It's before you make it — that's the most interesting part. After that, it's just, 'Then I made this movie. Then I met this person …' "

Well put.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A little Broadway on turkey-day

There are two things that I love about Thanksgiving... my mom's gravy (you can pour it on everything) and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sorry guys, football didn't make the cut.

Even though there is an ongoing stagehand strike, it has been confirmed that the shows originally scheduled will still be able to perform. Those Broadway shows are Legally Blonde, Xanadu, Mary Poppins and Young Frankenstein. Plus there will be the traditional performance by the Radio City Rockettes!

Other Broadway stars will also make appearances. Included in the line up are Bob Saget currently staring in The Drowsy Chaperone, Sarah Brightman will perform as the Pirate Queen and Spring Awakening's Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff perform "Give My Regards to Broadway."

For more information, check out this story on The parade starts at 9 a.m. on your NBC station.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Conversations with Cash: Rosanne talks about life, death and ‘what remains’

Rosanne Cash, who will play the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center on March 2, recently made headlines because of her impending brain surgery to address a rare but benign condition. As she told us in a recent NYC interview, she canceled her remaining 2007 concert dates, but will resume her live performance schedule in the spring – starting with her TBPAC concert.

According to manager Danny Kahn, Cash was diagnosed with chiari I malformation, a congenital deformation of the skull affecting the brain and spinal cord.

"She does want everyone to know it's a benign condition and it's not life-threatening," Kahn told UPI. "It's nothing like a tumor or hemorrhage or anything. It's elective surgery."

Earlier this month, and just before the official announcement, Cash talked about life, death, her favorite songs, her famous father and her daughter who’s following in the family business.

Despite recent personal tragedies, including the death of Johnny and June Carter Cash, as well as Rosanne’s mom and Johnny’s first wife Vivian, Rosanne has produced some of the best work of her career – including the Grammy-nominated “Black Cadillac.”

Check out our conversation. (By the way, the heater in our interview room was working overtime to combat the NYC chill that day, so the sound mix is a little more muddy than we’d like. However, Rosanne’s words of quiet wisdom cut through the ambient noise just fine.)

- Michael K.

TBPAC: Get a weekly schedule on your cell phone!

This is a more of a plain-speak entry on the new SMS (text-messaging) service we're offering to people. I'd previously posted at the launch and how you could enter to win tickets to Avenue Q, but I wanted to appeal a bit more directly as to why exactly I think this is a cool thing.

We're an industry leader in a lot of ways when it comes to new technology. We've been one of the first or the very first in so many online endeavors and endeavors that just generally use technology. I very clearly remember when I was told the web was a fad, and when I was told no one would ever buy tickets online and so on and so forth. We're also talking about an industry that didn't believe radio or TV would last, either.

First thing's first - we don't want to bug you with a bazillion text messages about every single little thing going on here, we're not going to sell/share your number and by and large the whole idea here is to just send you want YOU ask for.

When I brainstormed on how exactly this whole SMS thing could really benefit a general customer, I of course put myself into a consumer's shoes. The first two ideas I had are now in place.

INFO is the first command we agreed on. If you text INFO to the phone number 82722 (It's a short code which spells TBPAC - sweet!), you will get back a text message that gives you the most critical information people are usually looking for. Where we are off the interstate, our Ticket Office and admin phone numbers, the hours of the ticket windows, our web address, all the critical info for the Patel Conservatory. This is a handy thing to actually save on your phone if you make a habit of coming here. It's a handy quick-reference.

The second idea was for essentially an events line. Just like you might check a website or phone line for what's going on, you can also text EVENTS to the phone number 82722 and you will get back a listing of the shows going on that week. I think this is another super-handy tool. Say you're sitting around right after work on a Friday night with a few friends having drinks looking for something to do. Viola!

We don't charge you to use any of these services, though your phone provider might - depending on how your plan is set up (for instance, I don't have a texting package on my phone, so I pay a few cents for every message I send and receive). Hey, and don't forget you'll be entered to win a pair of tickets to the opening night of Avenue Q for every time you use the service between now and Dec. 28.

Down the line, we hope to be able to use this service to offer last-minute deals, possibly for promotions in the lobby before a show where we may offer a backstage pass or a meet and greet or something. There really is a lot of potential here. Now the trick is to get people using it and make sure it's something useful and not a nuisance.

In today's world, even the arts has to stay on the cutting-edge and make an effort to get information to people in the way they want it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ticket brokers on WTSP

This story stars our own VP of Marketing, Michael Kilgore.

"Secondary ticketing" (was: scalping then ticket brokering) is a pretty big hot-button issue in our industry right now.

What's your take on all this? Should Florida get tougher on these operations?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TBPAC staff talks Joe Bonamassa

A few staff members have written in with a bit of love for Joe Bonamassa, who'll be here in Dec.:

"(The first Bonamassa concert I attended) had to have been in the late 80’s . . . Rochester, NY used to have a festival tent downtown . . . held around 2,000 people. Lots of good music all summer long. Very personal venue. A bunch of us went to see B.B.  King, and Joe Bonamassa opened for him. We didn'’t realize at the time that he was from Utica which was just 2 hours down the road from Rochester. Bonamassa couldn'’t have been any more than 12 or 13. You could see his dad standing next to the stage watching him. The blues that kid could play would have made any number of blues guitarists proud. I think his guitar looked bigger than he was. That was before he had started to sing along with playing. Toward the end of the show, B.B. King came on stage and played with him.

There were a few other times in the next couple of years we saw him open for George Thorogood and even for Robert Cray. Each time we heard him play, he was better and better on that guitar." - Dona H.

"This is Joe’s second performance this year at TBPAC and I personally am very excited about this one. Joe has been playing guitar since he was four years old and even opened for B.B. King at the tender age of twelve. All of Joe’s albums have hit the top ten albums of the year on Billboard's Blues charts. His last two (You & Me and Sloe Gin) have debuted at #1. This man is phenomenal and should not be missed if you are into Blues/Rock or have a guitar player fetish; you are going to love Joe. This is only the third time he’s played Tampa and the acoustics in the Ferguson Hall are great -so do yourself a favor and come support the Blues @ TBPAC!" - Jeff C.

Joe Bonamassa will be performing in the Ferguson Hall on December 3, 2007.

Check out more on Joe Bonamassa.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kiri Te Kanawa - Staying Warm this Winter/Summer

After opera legend Dame Kiri Te Kanawa visits sunny Florida in Feb. (she performs for Tampa in the Carol Morsani Hall on Feb. 9), she’s going to make sure that her creamy voice doesn’t feel any harsh winter winds. On Feb. 16 she will be performing in her homeland of New Zealand for their summer program “Opera in the Park.”

Other side of the world – its summer there. Might be obvious to you – but it’s Monday morning and that one took me a second.

But, just like her concert here tickets are going to move fast for the Opera in the Park engagement and promoters there are saying, “Buy fast!”

You can do the same when Dame Kiri tickets go on sale Dec. 2.

- Kari G.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Caetano Veloso brings home two Latin Grammy Awards!

Best Brazilian Song (Portuguese Language)

Não Me Arrependo
Caetano Veloso, songwriter (Caetano Veloso)
Track from: Cê
[Mercury/Universal Music]

Best Singer-Songwriter Album

Caetano Veloso
[Mercury/Universal Music]

Caetano Veloso plays TBPAC on Nov. 23.

Article about Caetano and his nominations prior to the awards posted by the NY Daily News.

List of 2007’s Latin Grammy winners posted by the Associated Press.

- Pablo Aviles

First the writers – now the stage hands

Every role in a show is critical, from the actor to the caterer to the lighting designer to the wardrobe hand. As Hollywood writers went on strike this week we learned just how critical the written word is to the survival of our favorite shows. If I don’t get some The Daily Show soon – my withdrawals are going to get violent.

Now Broadway is going to face a similar crisis. Just as Young Frankenstein celebrated a star studded opening night last night – tonight – they may be dark. New York Post is reporting that Local One has walked away from the negotiating table and could strike as early as this evening.

If you aren’t familiar – Local One represents the stage hands of Broadway, they are camera operators, they are set builders, they are the lifeline of Broadway.

The Post reported the negotiations as follows:

There were "a lot of 'f--- yous' " flying back and forth, a source close to the talks said.

I don’t know that much about good communication skills – but I know that’s not going to get them very far.

Here’s hoping they work things out – Union Now! Union Forever!

- Norma Rae

- aka Kari G.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dame Kiri to perform for the Queen – again

Like singing at the wedding of Charles and Diana, and becoming a Dame and performing for the Queen countless times wasn’t enough – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will perform for royalty again this December at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance gala evening.
She’ll be keeping company on stage with (by request of Queen Elizabeth II) Bon Jovi, Enrique Inglesias, James Blunt and Katherine Jenkins.

Dame Kiri will be keeping us company on Feb. 9, when she performs for one night only in Carol Morsani Hall. Sorry, no corgis allowed.

-Kari G.

Happy Birthday to The Lion King

Disney's THE LION KING will celebrate it's 10th anniversary on Broadway. The show debuted on Nov. 13, 1997 and since then has delighted over 45 million people world-wide.

Some other interesting stats:
  • The show has grossed $3 billion world-wide.
  • THE LION KING has performed in 63 cities throughout the world in 11 countries.
  • The show has been translated into 5 different languages.
  • It is the 9th longest running Broadway show in history.
  • THE LION KING has won over 70 major awards worldwide.

And in case you didn't know (here comes my shameless plug) THE LION KING will return to Tampa this May!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Is This Thing On?

Come see the latest group of developing comedians at Is This Thing On?, a showcase by the Stand-up Comedy students of the Patel Conservatory. This is the sixth term of successful comedians to 'walk the plank' at Patel.

Performing under the name “The Patel Standup Comics,” the students perform on Monday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. at The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center's Shimberg Playhouse.

After eight weeks of analyzing, writing, creating, destroying and reworking material, these students will meet the challenge of eliciting chuckles in a 90-minute performance hosted by local comedy vet and instructor "ranney."

Instructor "ranney" is the stand-up comedy, spoken word and scene-study instructor for the Patel Conservatory. "ranney" is an international comedian/poet who has headlined London's The Comedy Store, Dublin's The Comedy Cellar, and various venues at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. "ranney" was the premier comedian at Laff Tuesdays at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. As a spoken word artist, "ranney" won the Universal Poets competition in 2000 and was nominated Best International Poet 2003 by the Farrago Poetry Group of London. "ranney" has developed and performed nine one man shows, with the last one, "Cufflinks and Jolly Ranchers for Dummies" performed nightly at the Underbelly at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The tenth, "The Black Plague" will premiere soon.
Is This Thing On? will contain explicit language and themes. Tickets can be purchased at the door or through The Center Ticket Office at 813.229.STAR.

Church choir on a whole different level

I love a good choir! Have you ever heard a choir perform Handel's Messiah (the Master Chorale will be doing highlights Nov. 30 & Dec. 1) Mendelssohn's Elijah or Mozart's Requiem (my favorite movement is "Lacrimosa")? There's truly nothing that can compare.

I've spent a good portion of my life performing in choirs. Some were small ensembles, some were course requirements and some required an extensive audition process. But that's what you do when you love music. Just ask the members of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In a recent article it was noted that around 300 Mormons responded to the choir's recent invitation to audition for the choir. At the time they were looking to fill only 32 slots in a 360 member choir. But being able to sing is only the basic requirement. Auditioners must be between the ages of 25 and 55, Mormon, recommended by their bishop, live within 100 miles of Temple Square and pass a written test for musical aptitude. Whew!

Friday, November 02, 2007

TBPAC launces SMS/texting service (win tickets to Avenue Q!)

We're officially launching an SMS/text-messaging service as one more way patrons can stay up to date with what's going on at TBPAC.

We've officially nabbed up the short code TBPAC (82722) and have entered a partnership with Agile Communications, who are providing the texting software and system.

We hope to primarily offer this on an in-bound basis, meaning we want people to text us when they want information.

The first two commands we've created are INFO and EVENTS. If you text INFO to TBPAC (82722) you will be sent back a text message that has all of TBPAC's critical phone numbers: the ticket office, admin, catering, group sales. You'll also get the street address for the building, the exit information from the interstate, hours of ticket office windows. All that good stuff. It's a handy reference to keep in your phone, and a very convenient way to get it if you're out and about.

If you text EVENTS to TBPAC (82722), you will be sent back a message giving you all the shows that are playing that week at TBPAC. This message updates weekly. Again, we think that's pretty handy.

The command HELP gives you a list of commands, and STOP of course removes you from getting future messages from us.

For the time being we're not planning on sending unsolicited advertisements. We'd rather just get people what they want, not what we want them to get. There's a lot of potentially exciting things we can do with a system like this including discounts, offering meet and greet contests at a show in the lobby, sending out urgent traffic advisories or closures etc.

So, we get started officially today. For every time that you text either INFO or EVENTS to TBPAC (82722) between now and Dec. 28, you will be entered to win the pair of opening night tickets to see Avenue Q here at TBPAC. Winners will be drawn at random. No purchase necessary. Your fee structure from your wireless provider may vary, but if you are charged to send or receive texts, this would be no different.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Defending the Caveman TV spot

This show will be here at TBPAC 12/12-16.

Obit: Tom Murphy, Irish actor, won Tony for 'Beauty Queen'

Tom Murphy, the Irish actor who won the Tony Award in 1998 for his portrayal of Ray Dooley in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane died Oct. 6 in Dublin from complications of Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was 39.

I played that part in Jobsite Theater's 2003 production of Beauty Queen. Jobsite also went on to produce Mr. McDonagh's The Pillowman in 2006.

The obit on the NYTimes site also references my favorite line in the show:
“Who wants to see Ireland on telly?” Mr. Murphy’s character asks. “All you have to do is look out your window and see Ireland. And it’s bored you’d be.” He mimes looking out a window. “There goes a calf."
Tom Murphy made quite a mark on stage and screen, above and beyond his Tony for Best Featured Actor in 1998 (where he shared the stage with current Broadway stalwart Brian O'Byrne), starring in Connor McPherson's Shining City as well as the acclaimed films Michael Collins and Adam and Paul.

A Yiddish guide to ‘Jewtopia’

A new book has arrived just in time to supplement the comedy in Jewtopia, now playing in TBPAC’s Jaeb Theater through Nov. 11.

Billed as a goy meets girl love story, Jewtopia traces the misadventures of two guys looking for love in all the wrong places.

The Tribune’s review today says you’ll laugh in spite of yourself (and it’s OK).

The book is “Just Say Nu,” by Michael Wex. The subtitle is “Yiddish for Every Occasion (When English Just Won’t Do).”

The New York Times review says “The book is packaged as a primer, with a mild pretense of being an instruction manual. … Most readers will skip over the grammar and syntax and head right to Mr. Wex’s comic explanation of Yiddish phrases, and how to get maximum impact out of a language strong on aggression, contempt and abuse.”

That much I could gather from the Jewtopia script, which offers sort of a Yiddish 101 for those not of the Tribe.

Plus, the helpful Jaeb folks put together a helpful vocabulary sheet passed out with the program.

Of course, you can get your M.A. in Yiddish with Wex’s book.

For example, when you hear someone spouting nonsense, like, say that there’s nothing to do downtown, you could say “Vays ikh voos,” which apparently means “I know what” in a literal translation, but so much more with the proper intonation.

The Times’ critic says, delivered properly, that it’s “not so much spoken as spat, or sneezed out. … It consists of equal parts disbelief, contempt and impatience – practically a Yiddish trifecta.”

– MichaelK

Young Frankenstein on the Today Show

Did you miss Broadway's new Mel Brooks musical "Young Frankenstein" yesterday morning on the Today Show? No worries, you can recover from your candy hang-over and check out the clips from the lively new musical comedy. It looks like an outstanding cast including Megan Mullally of Will and Grace fame and Sutton Foster who most recently starred on Broadway in The Drowsy Chaperone.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

No trick, just treats

The first five people to comment on this post will be the proud winners of a pair of tickets each to see tonight's 7:30pm performance of Jewtopia in the Jaeb Theater.

Can't come to tonight's 7:30 show? Don't leave a comment!

Wearing a costume today? Let us know what it is in your comment!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

12th Night of the Living Dead

Check out this very interesting concept for an adaptation: William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night meets George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, using only Shakespeare's text (with a healthy doze of grunts and groans, natch.)

If you happen to be in New York between now and Nov. 10, this may be worth a trip to the Lower East Side.

Monday, October 29, 2007

This week at TBPAC!

Gorey Stories, Jobsite Theater Play Series - through Nov. 11. Follow the link for days/times. Watch the TV spot here!

Jewtopia: A Goy Meets Girl Love Story - though Nov. 11. Follow the link for days/times. Watch the TV spot here!

D. L. Hughley - 11/4 at 8pm

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Merchants Association of Florida Kid Time Series - 11/4 at 2 and 4pm

Jonatha Brooke, Club Jaeb Series - Nov. 5. Listen to a track here!

Friday, October 26, 2007

On MySpace? Facebook? We are too!

If you have a profile set up on MySpace, why not friend us? Check us out here!

What about Facebook? We have a group set up over there which you can also join!

Aaaand ... we'll be launching a new texting SMS system in the next few weeks. I'm trying to learn the system right now to get it going on or around 11/1.

We try to stay on top of new technology over here at TBPAC. If there's any other great ways to stay in touch with you - let us know by leaving a comment!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

FREE master class with Jonatha Brooke!

Join singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke for a class in songwriting. Brooke’s songs have been featured in numerous television programs including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek and Charmed. She wrote “I’ll Try” for Disney’s Peter Pan's Return to Neverland. The class is geared toward those Grade 9 to adult. RSVP to 813.222.6453.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jewtopia :30 TV spot online!

This spot started airing Monday on WTSP and Bright House Networks. The show opens Friday, and it looks to be a very funny one. I sat in on a rehearsal Sunday. Check here for more info.

Monday, October 22, 2007

This week at TBPAC!

Gorey Stories continues a successful run this Thursday. The show has been extended through Nov. 11 due to sales. As a matter of fact, 10/27 is already sold out this weekend with other shows well on their way.

Jewtopia opens in the Jaeb on Friday night! I may be a little partial since so many of the folks working on that one are friends of mine - but the show is looking to be very, very funny and certainly a departure from the typical cabaret performances in the space. It should certainly have a much better appeal to the 20 and 30somethings that may not normally look to that space for entertainment. This one is intended for mature audiences due to some language and subject matter. Don't miss it! It's only here through Nov. 11 as well!

Solid Gold Soul plays on Saturday night and features some of the best in old school soul - Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Billy Paul and the Impressions performing such hits as "Only the Strong Survive," "Me and Mrs. Jones" and "People Get Ready."

As always - there's a lot going on here at TBPAC! Hope to see you out!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sure, USF is #2 in the BCS, but can they sing?

Noah Van Niel plays fullback for Harvard. I know its Harvard, but it’s still NCAA football! Noah Van Niel also sings opera. In fact, he has apprenticed in Florence and New York. When he graduates this year, he intends to pursue opera full time.

For all the times that sportscasters who color-commentary tight-scoring football games with “It’s not over until the fat lady sings” you think I would be able to come up with a clever joke here. I’m open to suggestions.

-Kari G.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sir Aiken?

No... Clay Aiken is not getting knighted. Um, well not like you think. He's actually signed on to play "Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot" in Broadway's Spamalot. He'll appear in the show Jan. 18-May 4.

Lost track of how many American Idol winners & finalist have made their way to Broadway? Check out this article on E!.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


As I've stated before, in addition to my duties here at TBPAC in the marketing department, I have a whole separate other job I'm holding down as the producing artistic director for Jobsite Theater, TBPAC's resident theater company.

Jobsite opens their 9th season on Thursday with Gorey Stories, a collection of 18 short stories, poems and groups of limericks from the weird and wild world of the inimitable Edward Gorey. Head over to Jobsite's blog to see entries on this production. In fact, this link will take you directly to all entries tagged with 'gorey stories.'

Monday, October 15, 2007

Amid the despair, John Gorka's very funny

Singer-songwriter John Gorka kicked off the 2007-2008 Club Jaeb series earlier tonight with two sets of the best material from his 20-year-plus career. We expected heartbreaking lyrics from the lovesick poet. What we didn't expect was for him to unleash his inner stand-up comic.

Looking up lyrics in a folder of loose sheets, he said, "the search engine is working."

(When he knocked the same folder over, scattering the lyric sheets to the stage, someone responded, "Your hard drive crashed.")

Gorka also claimed to have gone through a blues singer phase, embracing the sound of the "Pennsylvania delta," and being billed as Slow Blind Driveway.

We loved having Gorka play our tiny little corner of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and from his comments on stage and off, he loved it too.

You can get the remaining four Club Jaeb concerts, plus the Roches' holiday concert in the Ferguson next door for just $80. Call the Ticket Office at 229.STAR after noon Tuesday and tell 'em "Michael sent me."

Next up is Jonatha Brooke on Nov. 5. We also have Jennifer O'Connor, Bethany and Rufus and Amy Speace scheduled in the Jaeb.

If you're not familiar with some of these artists, that's your fault, but you can fix it easily by going to their show pages on this very site, where you'll find links to their own sites. Thanks also to WMNF for playing so much of this music.

And don't forget the wonderful Rosanne Cash, playing the Ferguson on March 2. She's not part of the series, but if you like Club Jaeb, you won't want to miss Rosanne in concert.

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight.

See you next time. -- Michael K/TBPAC

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Frankie Valli on The Today Show

Follow this link to check out a clip of Frankie Valli's appearance on The Today Show from this morning. You'll need to wait out a commercial first, but it's there.

Don't forget, JERSEY BOYS - the red-hot musical based on the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Season - goes on sale to the public on Oct. 14. This is the EXCLUSIVE Florida engagement of this four-time Tony Award winner.

12 Angry Men all over the place!

Richard Thomas on WTSP's Studio 10.

“The verdict is in: Twelve Angry Men is still gripping ... Once you enter the jury room with those men, you don’t want to leave.” – The Tampa Tribune

“A fine cast. It’s a treat to enjoy such consummate character actors in a rare straight play on tour” Richard Thomas as Juror Eight is “surprisingly funny…his acting has touches of comic pantomime worthy of Buster Keaton.” - St. Petersburg Times

It's only here through Sunday, so don't deliberate too long on if you're interested.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gorka opens third season of Club Jaeb series at TBPAC

I’m really excited about the Club Jaeb season opener, John Gorka, next Monday night. Remember, we started this series two years ago with an eye toward bringing in the best singer-songwriters as well as other kinds of musicians that would work great in an intimate space. Plus, we wanted a Monday night series that would help us extend our weekends.

I’ve personally been a fan of Gorka since his “Land of the Bottom Line” blast at bottom-line living and his “Armed with a Broken Heart” break-up song. (When I do custom CDs, I frequently pair “Land of the Bottom Line” with James McMurtry’s “Painting by Numbers.”)

We’ve had absolutely great artists over the last two years, and some fabulous performances. This season’s lineup, though, has to be the strongest overall.

After Gorka, we have Jonatha Brooke, Jennifer O’Connor, Bethany and Rufus and Amy Speace. Plus, we have the Roche Sisters in a holiday show next door in the Ferguson.

People have been clamoring for Brooke since we started this series. Jennifer O’Connor’s new release has been called “record of the year” by the Village Voice and Amy Speace knocked out both a Nashville club of music insiders and a NYC club in a period of months.

All that for just $99. Check each of these artists out on their shows pages on this website, and follow links to their own sites.

Also, there’s an iMix sampler of the season that I posted recently.

Don’t forget the Monday Music Mingle at 6:30, where you can purchase food and drinks, sit inside or out, and listen to music from upcoming artists in the series – and other favorites.

Come say hello on Monday night.

– Michael Kilgore/TBPAC

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bob Saget joins the cast of Drowsy Chaperone

This is almost News of the Weird, yet it all somehow actually makes sense.

Bob Saget, who has had such an insanely diverse career that's taken him from super-safe family-fare like Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos to the super-raunchy The Aristocrats and guest appearances on Entourage, will now be taking over the role of Man in Chair.

And now Broadway? Wow. This guy never seems to have a problem at being able to reinvent himself. Too bad he won't be coming to Tampa with the national tour ...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Star is Born

The understudy comes out from the wings to save the show and then is skyrocketed to stardom. It’s the stuff of dreams, of movies, of The Phantom of the Opera. As audience members we root for the underdog – and if you’ve never been an understudy – it is the ultimate underdog role.

So when the storied Lyric Theater in Chicago canned their Mimi last week for failing to attend rehearsals (just a minor thing – really), newcomer Elaine Alvarez was asked to step in and play the consumptive seamstress in La Boheme. Can you imagine making your very first debut with a major opera company at THE LYRIC???

Not an opera fan? Okay, let’s see if I can put it in broader terms: Imagine you’re a third string quarterback and suddenly you get to make your NFL debut at the Superbowl. You with me? It’s a lot like that.

So how did she do? Did she go 3 for 24 with 2 INT? According to Chicago Tribune critic John Von Rhein, “… even audience members who have seen hundreds of "Bohemes" got misty-eyed. Alvarez saved the day, and then some. After her smooth, confident Lyric debut, the opera world surely will be taking notice.”

I would call that a touchdown.

And by the way, Opera Tampa’s Mimi will be played by Darryn Zimmer. (I bet she’ll make some folks misty eyed, she certainly is easy on the eyes).

-Kari G.

Shakespeare (banned)!

Check out this story on how a school district pulled the plug on a performance of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) that was being used as a class field trip.

TBPAC's own resident theater company, Jobsite Theater, has become very well-known for tackling these (abridged) plays - Shakespeare in particular, which we have performed since 2001. The audience? Largely high school and college kids - every time.

The big biz of Broadway

Checking out the NYTimes today online, I found two stories almost back to back about the current state of how "big business" more or less is dictating the movements on the Great White Way.

It's unfortunate to me in a lot of ways that it's all become big business. "Legally Blonde will be the new Wicked!" "How do we get more shows up that appeal to tweens?", "Let's produce a new works festival as a gold-panning sifter to maybe find the new RENT!"

I suppose it's just an illustration of how when you actually do a decent job turning something into a successful business, you become even more dependent on selling a ticket.

Does quality suffer, or do we possibly slow actual artistic advancement by first deciding what's hot and what will appeal to the lowest common denominator? Is it somehow backwards to establish an audience to exploit over having a good idea?

The idea that tweens are driving any Broadway market is astonishing to me, considering the cost of a Broadway ticket. Where are these kids getting the money?

They do establish that a show can't appeal to tweens exclusively, because a show would never last in New York on that alone due to the sheet volume needed in ticket sales from not only locals but tourists.
In other words, by appealing not directly to the ticket buyers but to the people who exert major influence on them — their daughters — “Legally Blonde” brings adults into the theater. Ideally, they then have a good time and tell their adult friends. “If we go after the tweens, we’ll get the adults,” Mr. Luftig said.
For years, the knock was that Neil Simon, Edward Albee and Arthur Miller couldn't get produced on Broadway. Today I read that now Sondheim can't get a break as producers and audiences alike dig around for something more bubblegum.

The long and short of our current cycle?
The news would appear to be that the American (and English, and Australian) musical is still alive and kicking, often literally. You want great art? Get over it.

Monday, October 01, 2007


In marketing there is a term, it’s used when a product you will be launching receives a great deal of press for something unrelated to your release date. It’s called “softening the market.” Thank you Simpsons for softening the Opera Tampa market in your season premiere!

If you missed it – the season premiere entitled “The Homer of Seville” featured special guest star Placido Domingo as himself. In the highly plausible plot, Homer found yet another of his hidden talents, this time as an opera singer. After giving Placido a few voice lessons, he asks the opera great for advice on the hordes of middle-aged female fans that follow him everywhere.

Oh, and Homer’s stage debut? La Boheme. Opera Tampa’s first show of the season? La Boheme. I’m telling you – we’re geniuses over here!

Actually, I had no idea Placido Domingo was guest starring. He is the first opera singer to guest star in the show’s 18 year history. Pretty cool. Here’s a short article from Playbill.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

First Time at the Opera Boys?

Not to worry, Opera Tampa at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center has a full service bar that refrains from using glass containers.

-Kari G.

TBPAC 0708 season podcast

In all the excitement over the My Fair Lady podcasts, I neglected to pitch the general podcast on the 0708 TBPAC season. This is a 4 or so minute overview on the 0708 season coming up here at TBPAC, hosted by Michael Kilgore and myself. Give it a listen here. It's roughly in the middle of the archive there.

As always, you may sign up for an RSS feed there, and get future podcasts automatically.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Green Goblin wants Spiderman to go to the opera

Okay, maybe not exactly, but at the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night of the season, this guy was there:

And Mr. Dafoe was not the only celebrity to be cited, other guests included Jane Fonda, David Schwimmer, Anthony Minghella, John McEnroe, Bianca Jagger, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Walter Cronkite and the beautiful and stylish grandmother of Apple and Moses, Blythe Danner.

All of the schmoozing and fun can be found here.

Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” continues General Manager Peter Gelb’s vision of opening night showcasing an opulent opera. Once again simulcast to the adoring public, “Lucia di Lammermoor” was seen by over 8,000 opera lovers (or people wandering by the Lincoln Center). For full details on the performance read the NYT review.

Tonight the Met offers Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet” with Placido Domingo conducting and the dead-sexy Anna Netrebko as Juliet. Standing room tickets are still available – just in case you were planning a last minute trip to NYC tonight.

-Kari G.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Best of the Bay at TBPAC!

There was a lot at TBPAC that ended up being chosen as Best of the Bay by Creative Loafing. Take a look!

Best Artistic Director: Judith Lisi

Best Theater Company: Jobsite Theater (TBPAC's resident theater company, Shimberg Playhouse. Also a finalist for the Reader's Poll award, the winner of which will be announced at the awards ceremony on 9/24. Jobsite has now been named Best Theater Company in '04, '06 and '07.)
Best Actor: Steve Garland (The Pillowman, Jobsite Theater)
Best Actress: Ami Sallee Corley (Woman in Mind, Jobsite Theater)
Best Costume Designer: Katrina Stevenson (Jobsite Theater)

Best Play: Frozen (Stageworks in the Shimberg Playhouse)
Best Director: Anna Brennen, Stageworks (The Sisters Rosensweig and Frozen in the Shimberg Playhouse)
Best Set Designer: R. T. Williams, Stageworks (The Sisters Rosensweig, The Mystery of Irma Vep in the Shimberg Playhouse)

Between the body of work contributed by both Jobsite Theater and Stageworks, our very own Shimberg Playhouse had the work of seven Best of the Bay Award winners!

Other Reader's Poll finalists include Ryan McCarthy, Larry Buzzeo and Richard Coppinger for Best Actor; Ami Sallee Corley and Eileen Koteles for Best Actress and Patel Conservatory Instructor and Jobsite Theater performer "ranney" as Best Local Comedian


(Disclosure: I am also the producing artistic director of Jobsite Theater, but am genuinely exceedingly proud of all that TBPAC has to offer, expecially the most mightiest of mites in the building in our own beloved Shimberg Playhouse.)


From Ashley the Intern:

In honor of the amazing original cast members, Adam Pascal (Roger Davis) and Anthony Rapp (Mark Cohen) reprising their roles in Broadway’s production of RENT through October, we are going to be hosting the film adaptation as our movie-on-the-lawn! The movie is FREE and you can bring your own blanket and chairs (no coolers though, sorry!) and enjoy the movie that starred these two prolific original stars!

Even better, we will be offering special ticket discounts to the Opera La Boheme which, by the way, is what RENT is based on. Since La Boheme is coming to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in November what better way to celebrate Adam and Anthony’s return than to see them in RENT the movie and then watch the award-winning musical’s inspiration on stage?

Anyway, here’s a character comparison between RENT and La Boheme so you can see the similarities in both productions!

See you at the movie!

Character in La Boheme

Character in RENT

Mimi, a seamstress with tuberculosis

Mimi Marquez, an exotic dancer with HIV

Rodolfo, a poet

Roger Davis, a musician with HIV

Marcello, a painter

Mark Cohen, a filmmaker

Musetta, a singer

Maureen Johnson, a bisexual performance artist

Schaunard, a musician

Angel Dumott Schunard, a gay cross-dressing drummer with AIDS

Colline, a philosopher

Tom Collins, a gay philosophy professor and Anarchist philosopher with AIDS

Alcindoro, a state councillor

Joanne Jefferson, a lesbian lawyer

Benoit, a landlord

Benjamin 'Benny' Coffin III, also a landlord

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

DL on HBO Saturday night!

D.L. Hughley will be premiering a new comedy special on HBO this Saturday night (check your local listings for details) - his fourth special for HBO, which is within itself an accomplishment. The special will also be released on video (including Netflix) on 9/25.

Once you've watched the special, you may be so inclined to pick up a ticket for his Nov. 4 appearance at TBPAC. I think this is DL's 3rd trip through TBPAC since I started working here in 1999. As a matter of fact, we've had all of the Kings of Comedy here on more than once occasion.

I've never heard a comedian take down hecklers the way I saw DL do it that first time. I can't even repeat any of them here, being a corporate blog an everything, but his act is well worth the price of admission!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jewtopia PR photos

I got to the office this morning to find these fantastic PR shots for the upcoming production of Jewtopia (opens Oct. 26 in the Jaeb) sitting in my inbox.

Take a peek! Click any of these to view the larger images. All photos are courtesy Rob Harris.

Chris JDate ©Rob Harris3953

Firetushy ©Rob Harris3869

Chris W Candles ©Rob Harris3929

Chris & Firetushy ©Rob Harris3864

Chris & Firetushy ©Rob Harris3842

The Witnesses - download page to help the show

We have the new musical The Witnesses is premiering at TBPAC Oct. 13-14. It's from the same highly successful collaboration that's brought shows like David and Rock and the Rabbi to TBPAC again and again.

It looks like they've set up a pretty nifty (and smart) downloads page where folks can go in and print out flyers or posters for distribution at churches, workplaces, community centers etc. as well as PR photos and logo banners for online use.

It's good to good see more local producers latching on to this marketing tool. A lot of the larger Broadway/touring shows as well as our own resident theater company have been using this tool for a few years.

Of course all the good marketing in the world won't make a bad show good, so it's a good thing the creative team of Danny Hamilton and Gary Richardson always seem to turn out a very high quality project.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Henry Rollins has been Provoked

Henry Rollins is just one of those guys. A cult icon. One that you either love or hate with a passion, or you have no idea at all who he is.

I've enjoyed his live recordings and show - sometimes called "talking shows," or spoken word or even stand-up - for close to 15 years now I think.

I'm always excited when he comes to TBPAC, and he certainly gives you a show well worth the price of admission. Just Hank, a mic, a stool and a bottle of water. He's alternately hilarious and fierce and simply a master showman.

Here's a blog post from Java Joe, who is equally as stoked about Rollins' tour-opening show in Flagstaff. Here is also a link to an interview our own local REAX Magazine did with Henry.

I keep looking for a blog review of one of his shows, but no dice so far. He's only had two shows, so I guess I need to hold my horses.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"The rain in Spain ..."

I did those interviews that David mentioned. I wanted to add that it's been quite an experience having the "My Fair Lady" creative team here for the last few weeks.

They've worked incredibly hard, with 10- and 12-hour days.

In the interviews, they're appropriately proud of the result.

A review in today's St. Petersburg Times calls it "A charming Lady. "

And the Times' review also says, "My Fair Lady at the TBPAC features a sparkling star, a wonderfully complex set and splendid choreography."

Check out the four interviews on our podcast. The final two should be posted a little later on today.

You'll learn which of producer Cameron Mackintosh's dozens of hit musicals are his favorites.

And what classic songs for "The Phantom of the Opera," "Les Miserables" and "Cats" were written literally at the last minute.

And the differences Lisa O'Hare found in playing Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady" vs. Mary Poppins.

And the challenges this mostly American cast had in playing British swells and toughs.

"My Fair Lady" has three more performances at TBPAC, one tonight and two on Saturday. Then it heads off to Pittsburgh for the beginning of the national tour.

That means you have three more chances to see this new hit musical before anyone else in the country. -- MichaelK/TBPAC

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Fair Lady podcasts

Head over to our podcasts page to check out interviews with Cameron Mackintosh, director Fergus Logan and actors Christopher Cazenove and Sally Ann Howes - with more to come!

As always, you can subscribe to our feed from that page, or search the archives for old podcasts!

Brian Regan on going to the doctor

My eyesight starting going all wonky yesterday around 4 in the afternoon. Real bright white spots, everything within 3 to 5 feet looked blurry while everything far away still looked fine. It was ultimately resolved by putting my sunglasses on for half an hour.

I was again reminded how freaked out I get anytime I think something is wrong with me, how distrustful I am of the medical field, and how I hate doctors. This, in turn, reminded me of this bit of Brian Regan's stand-up. It's ok to watch at work, he's about as family-friendly as a comedian gets.

Legally Blonde on MTV

According to MTV will air the Broadway show in its entirety on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m. including backstage interviews, etc. "We are creating a one-of-a-kind special weekend event - done in a way only MTV can," Tony DiSanto, MTV vice president, said.

Set those DVRs!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Tale of Two Cities

It’s a long way from London to Tampa. But for a theatrical young Brit, the distance between the two cities didn’t seem all that far.

Shaun Kerrison, who is currently hanging out and working at TBPAC as the director of the new production of My Fair Lady, is glad to be back in Tampa – although it’s not exactly the same city he remembers. Some things come back (a building, a restaurant) some things don’t (was it always this hot in September?).

Kerrison has been leading the My Fair Lady company through the rehearsal process here in town for the last few weeks. They’ll give five performances of the show here in Morsani Hall before heading off on a national tour.

As a kid growing up in England, his family became close with a Tampa family living in London. The family friendship allowed Kerrison to spend a couple of his formative summer holidays in Tampa. He even stayed around long enough to attend fall semesters at Horace Mann and Greco Junior High Schools.

All told Kerrison thinks he spent a couple of years in Tampa and he grew to love Florida. And although he’s not exactly sure what, he thinks there is something important he should remember about Sligh Ave., or was if Bearss Ave.? He’s got a few more days in the Florida sun before the company heads off to Pittsburgh … he’ll figure it out.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Jersey Boys on the Emmy Awards

From an email from the tour:
The San Francisco Company of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning hit musical JERSEY BOYS will perform on the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 16 at 8:00pm (7:00pm Central) on Fox.

JERSEY BOYS is currently playing to sold-out houses on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre and in San Francisco at the Curran Theatre. JERSEY BOYS just completed a sold out, record-breaking engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on August 30 and will begin performances in Chicago at the LaSalle Bank Theatre on October 5. Productions have been announced for Las Vegas, London, Toronto and a US National Tour will visit a host of cities across the country.

JERSEY BOYS, winner of four 2006 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, is written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, and is directed by two-time Tony® Award-winner Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.

JERSEY BOYS is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, about a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks who became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty.

The cast of the San Francisco Company includes Drew Gehling (Bob Gaudio), Michael Ingersoll (Nick Massi), Jeremy Kushnier (Tommy DeVito), Jarrod Spector (Frankie Valli), Dominic Bogart, Lyndsey Cole, John Michael Coppola, John Michael Dias, Mike Erickson, Steven M. Goldsmith, John Hickman, Lauren Marshall, Rashad Naylor, Jenny Lee Ramos, Brad Russell, Kevin Russell, Jake Speck, Kara Tremel, Ryan Quinn West with Craig Laurie and Jonathan Weir.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

0708 Club Jaeb series podcast

Michael Kilgore's podcast on the upcoming 0708 Club Jaeb series is now up, including some clips of the artists coming! Keep in mind that you can RSS that feed and get new ones when they go live or also search the podcast archives.

Thoughts from the marketing intern

Ashley Thomas has been with us for a few weeks now, though she still doesn't have a proper name tag (unless her parents were cruel enough to dub her VISITOR), and so she's gained some insight into arts marketing and our good ol' TBPAC. Here are some of her thoughts:

Honestly, I came into this internship as a series of unrelated coincidences.

Ultimately, I stumbled across in on their website while I was dutifully verifying that the tickets for the Lion King had not gone on sale yet. I ended up with the best internship that I have had to date.

I have never been more eager to go to work (especially since it’s unpaid) and I learn something new every day. I can hardly believe that I get to walk by pieces of the My Fair Lady set or stand on Carol Morsani Hall. Most days, I can not believe that I am so fortunate that I have an internship in such an interesting place. So, for the sake of making this less of an ode to my internship, I have developed a list of the Top 20 Things I’ve Learned While Interning at the TBPAC:

  • The Rehearsal Hall is the same dimensions as Carol Morsani Hall’s stage to allow the performers to mark.
  • The cardboard cutouts in Ferguson Hall and Carol Morsani Hall windows may seem innocuous but they make very poor and space-consuming cubicle-fellows. (Sorry Brian Regan.)
  • Advertising a show is extremely expensive.
  • If you read the show descriptions, there are things that are interesting outside of the Broadway series. (Crazy, I know.)
  • The appeal of the Radio City Rockettes draws more of a crowd than the legal drama of Twelve Angry Men
  • Radio commercials are harder to write than TV commercials because they are longer and there is no visual to help—you’re on your own.
  • People are crazy about Menopause The Musical. Maybe that’s just odd to a college student.
  • The Lion King will require Carol Morsani Hall to be temporarily remodeled.
  • Sometimes the small shows are the most fun (Rest In Peace, Hurlyburly)
  • Everything is in constant flux.
  • Opera is the new cool thing in Tampa.
  • They still do fire drills.
  • Excel is life and the copy machine is your friend.
  • Marketing uses an ungodly amount of paper
  • The Marketing Department is small so everyone works really hard to get a show advertised and they are all really good at what they do.
  • The electronic marquee is run by Tampa’s most ancient computer (just kidding, but it really is the thing of legends.)
  • Patel Conservatory’s “Make Your Own Musical” program is such a cool idea (I’d never heard of it).
  • Ferguson Hall is the size of a Broadway Hall.
  • Velcro signage, while a great theoretical design idea, loses its practicality in the Florida heat.
  • TBPAC employs the nicest and most fun people I have ever worked with and it is truly a wonderful place to intern.
So, unbeknownst to me, I have stumbled across the best learning experiences that I have had. I have learned so much about Marketing and the processes behind a Broadway show that I can hardly believe it has only been just over a month.

I never considered working in the marketing department of a theater, but now that I am doing it and loving every minute of it I may reconsider. At any rate, I am totally sold on the idea of Event/Entertainment marketing.

This internship has helped reiterate why I love my major and generated more of passion for what I want to do than I had before. It’s amazing (and I’m not just saying that because I want tickets to The Lion King).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

0708 Play Series podcast

Check out the latest podcast, voiced by yours truly, on the upcoming 0708 Jobsite Theater Play Series. While you're there you can also sign up to get these podcasts automatically, which we hope to make available every other week through the season.

Got an idea for a podcast? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Disclosure: I am also the Producing Artistic Director of Jobsite Theater. Blahblahcakes.