Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TBPAC housekeeping

Please remember to friend us on MySpace here. We can do a lot better than 180 friends, Tampa Bay! We are trying to keep the calendar as up to date as possible, and we've been known to send out a special announcement or two (including the random rad special offer) via bulletins.

Also, remember you can always send us tips, ideas, feedback or just about anything! Email david DOT jenkins AT tbpac DOT org and just make sure you to type either Culture Shock or Blog in the subject line, so I know what it's about.

I had to give a report on new technology this morning, and it seemed our senior staff was a bit impressed with all the things we're trying to embrace. We know we moderate comments, and we know it's a pain to register, but we sure would like to see a bit more back and forth on the discussion here. It's not too hard to register, and I'm pretty fast on the moderation. That's a corporate thing folks, not my decision. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

TBPAC podcasts

For a performing arts center, we learn over and over again how on the cutting edge we are.

That's not really tooting a horn too loud, we know in the grand scheme of things how behind we are. It's become basically part of my job to exploit MySpace, run a blog, and a few other projects which are under wraps right now.

We've been trying to sort out doing a podcast, and finally agreed to just start getting them out, and we'd allow it to be a learning experience as we go along.

So here it is, our first real attempt on our 07-08 Broadway season (there's also a Jim Gaffigan interview from a radio station up there we used as a test file).

We hope to turn one of these out on a different topic every two weeks. Feedback is also appreciated. If you have an idea of what you'd like to listen to - let us know.



Monday, February 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Opera!

Opera celebrated its 400th birthday this past weekend. Few art forms can track their birth to an exact date and production – but on February 24, 1607, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo was performed in the medieval Italian city of Mantua, in the Palace of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga. Later Gonzaga would be the namesake of an excellent university with an even more impressive basketball team who will no doubt win the WCC title tonight against the University of San Diego.

I digress.

Knowing where you come from is integral to knowing where you are going. For perspective on the foundation of opera and ideas about keeping opera relevant in the 21 Century, read the NYT article.

Interestingly, one idea to keep opera “relevant” is to produce new operas. So, not to be left off the bandwagon, Placido Domingo will be directing the LA Opera’s production of The Fly. Yes, The Fly, as in “Heeeeeeeeelp Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”

You still don’t believe me do you? When have I ever lied to you?

- Kari G.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Catie Curtis: great seats just released!

Late yesterday, a pretty large group backed out of Monday's Club Jaeb show featuring Catie Curtis. While bad news for us, this means some really, really great seats have just opened up for public sale.

There's nothing like seeing an artist this good in such an intimate, acoustically perfect and comfortable setting.

Give yourself a present Monday night. Get a ticket to the show, come down here early (6:30) to meet other music-minded people, enjoy a drink and then see one hell of a show.

Take advantage!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bait and Switch?

Take a moment and look at this publicity shot.

Quiz time!

This photo is promoting a production of

a) Pirates of the Caribbean 7 – “None of the Original Actors Signed On”
b) The Three Faces of Steve
c) The Pirates of Penzance
d) A remake of The Music Man - the trouble in River City starts with P and ends in “Arrrrrrgh”
e) Gasparilla 2008

If you chose “c” you win!

Okay, a little creative license never hurt anybody and probably sold tickets. So, Capt. Jack in The Pirates of Penzance, why not? May I humbly propose

In my production of Carmen?

-Kari G.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Feeling "wicked" lucky?

The Wicked lottery is back starting with tomorrow's opening night performance. Interested in participating? Here's how it works …
  • A day-of-performance lottery for $25 seats will be held daily for WICKED, which will be on stage from Feb. 21 – March 11 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center’s Carol Morsani Hall.
  • People who are interested in WICKED lottery tickets can enter their name into the lottery drum at the WICKED table by the TBPAC Ticket Office beginning 2½ hours before show time. No entries will be accepted before that time.
  • Entries will be accepted until two hours before the show, when names will be drawn for 26 seats in varying locations at $25 each, cash only.
  • This lottery is available only in-person at the TBPAC Ticket Office.
  • One entry per person. Two-ticket limit per entry. Must be present for entry and drawing to win.
  • Must present ID at Ticket Office window to purchase.
  • Falsifying information or attempts to disrupt the system in place will disqualify persons from future lottery entry attempts.

Trust him… she's really dead.

This morning I was passed a New York Times story that is, well … unique. It's a story about a coroner. But not any ordinary coroner. It's a profile on Meinhardt Raabe, the actor who played the coroner for Munchkinland in The Wizard of Oz and pronounced the Wicked Witch of the East dead. You know… "As coroner, I must aver, I thoroughly examined her. And she's not only merely dead, she's really, most sincerely dead." (stuck in your head yet?)

Now 91 and living in Penney Farms, Florida, Raabe is the oldest living resident of what was known as Munchkinland. Raised in Wisconsin, Raabe visited the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 and learned that there were others with his, as he calls it, "abnormal lack of height." One thing led to another and he eventually found himself in Hollywood and in Oz. Want to learn more? Check on the article in this past Sunday's New York Times or read his autobiography titled "Memories of a Munchkin."

Cigar City Chronicles - Tampa Tribune review!

The first review for Cigar City Chronicles: A musical history of Tampa is in! And it's a good one!

Check it out by following the link below.

" ... rich with details ... the original music will alternately touch you, educate you and keep your feet tapping ..."

The show is on stage now through the end of April.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Like Great Uncle Like Great Niece?

According to news sources, Sophia Coppola denies the claim that she will make her opera directing debut with the Montpellier Opera. She was reportedly set to direct a production of Puccini's romantic tragedy Manon Lescaut for its 2009-2010 season.

Too bad, she might have called her Great Uncle, Anton Coppola for some advice. Although he’s a little busy right now working on his opera Sacco & Vanzetti which performs this Sat. in Feguson Hall.

-Kari G.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Looking for some romantic music tonight?

Nothing sets the mood like a couple of romantic arias from the opera. Here is a list of some of the most romantic:
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro - Puccini
Turandot: Nessun Dorma - Puccini
Ave Maria - Schubert
Tannhäuser: Wie Todesahnung Dämmrung Deckt Die Lande...O Du mein holder Abendstern - Wagner
Tosca: Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore - Puccini
Lucia di Lammermoor: O giusto cielo! - Il dolce suono - Donizetti
La bohème: Quando m'en vo' – Puccini

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody.

-Kari G.

Friday, February 09, 2007

And the nominees are ...

While you're catching the Grammy Awards this Sunday, make sure to pay attention to the category of Best Musical Show Album. This year's nominees include The Drowsy Chaperone, Jersey Boys, The Color Purple, The Pajama Game and Sweeney Todd. I know my pick. Who would get your vote?

And on a similar note, the 2005 Grammy Award winner in the category, Wicked, just saw their cast album go Platinum. With amazing and memorable songs like "Popular," "Defying Gravity" and "For Good" it's no wonder.

- Angela L.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Another note from Catie Curtis

Catie Curtis sends us news from time to time, so I thought I'd share again. Not to be a shill, but her show WILL sell out again this year, so get a ticket!

I just spent a week aboard the ms Zuiderdam, on an Olivia cruise to the eastern Caribbean. I played a concert one night and the rest of the time, well you know I was working very hard. I've returned to the chilly Northeast where the temperatures are hurting my head. My coping strategies: lotion in the microwave (8 seconds on high and a glob of cold Suave becomes a luxurious spa treatment), going to bed REALLY early (I refuse to admit the exact time), long underwear and lots of hot tea which brings us to FOLK MUSIC.

This week I am traveling to the mighty Pittsburgh, where my show at Club Cafe will be broadcast live on WYEP ( radio. Ingrid Graudins will be singing her gorgeous harmonies with me there. Tune in from anywhere. Then it's off to Phoenixville (near Philadelphia) PA with special guest Elana Arian, and a performance at the Osetaga Resort in Cooperstown, NY, featuring Long Night Moon producer Lorne Entress on percussion and mando.

Later in February, I head out on a 6-day tour in the southeast, with shows in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Some of these rooms are small and will sell out, so be sure to get your tickets before it's too late!

Long Night Moon would be an excellent Valentine's gift, don't you think? Pick it up now at and enjoy yourself.

Back to bed now,

Hal Sparks on YouTube and soon TBPAC

We've got Hal Sparks coming on March 22, and I just spent the last half-hour watching videos of him on YouTube. I thought I'd go ahead and share some of the gems.

Unfamiliar to Hal Sparks? You've likely seen him, even if you don't remember him. Queer as Folk, SpiderMan 2, Celebrity Duets, Premium Blend, I Love the 80s.

I actually read an interesting story positing that his cameo character in SpiderMan 2 was also a tie in to his Queer as Folks character, who was a huge comic book fan.

Here are a few more clips:

Monday, February 05, 2007

Celtic Woman visit HSN


As many of you know, the Home Shopping Network (HSN) is based here in the Tampa Bay area. I have it on good authority that Celtic Woman are scheduled to appear on HSN while they're in-town rehearsing and kicking off their 2007 U.S. Tour at the TBPAC. If you'd like to check them out on HSN talking about their upcoming tour and their recently released CD and DVD "A New Journey," here's their appearance:
HSN: Feb. 14, during the 8 a.m. hour
Also, check out the most recent edition of Billboard magazine. There's a photo of the ladies receiving recognition for platinum certification of their self-titled album.

And of course you can see them LIVE when they perform here at the TBPAC, Feb. 14 & 15.

- Angela L.

Friday, February 02, 2007

He wore a raspberry beret ...

We have Joshue Kane returning to thrill audiences in the TECO Theater in just a few short weeks with his Shakespeare's Murderers, Madmen and Kings: An evening of politics, sex and greed. Mr. Kane has been here before with a sold-out run of his show Gothic at Midnight.

One thing we'd all noticed about his PR shot for the show (below) was that between the facial hair, the red beret and the outreached arm he resembled Che Guevara.

See? He sorta does, doesn't he?

Now, I probably would have never thought of this on my own, but I watched Pacino's Merchant of Venice last night, and right at the beginning they've got a set of slates explaining the plight of Jews in the 1600s, even in a liberal city like Venice. They were kept in 'getos' which were locked and guarded by Christians at night, and when they went out into the street …

… they had to wear a red hat.

Joshua Kane is also of Jewish heritage. I will assume perhaps that photo is Shylock and not Che.

Even if, in the end, it still looks a bit ... Che-kespearean.

Check him out, he's a great performer. Even if that whole red hat thing was just coincidence, it's a good bit of trivia.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Audience Etiquette

This is a story I compiled for our CenterBill - our in-house program at all the shows. We get a lot of questions about behavior, and we frankly see more bad behavior than we'd like. It's a shame when someone may try to gently speak to someone about something they may be doing that's out of line only to be blasted with an angry "I paid for my ticket, so I can do what I want!"

In a way we wanted to put this together to show that there is an expectation of how you should behave, regardless, and to hopefully demystify some things. Hopefully this may also get through to those who still choose to act like they're on their couch watching TV to explain why certain things are rude, or how they can affect others. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to pass this on to anyone who you think may need to read it. :)

Live performance is truly magical: art created out of the energy flowing between people on both sides of the curtain. When you attend a show – you’re part of the experience. There is no rewind button at a live event. They are once-in-a-lifetime events - no single performance is like another.

Undesirable behavior as simple as taking a photograph, or having a conversation at the wrong time, can ruin that moment for everyone in the theater. Unlike TV or movies, which are the same on the screen whether you’re watching or not – live performance is directly affected by the audience.

Part of one's pact as an audience member is to care about the enjoyment of others. It’s also helpful to keep in mind where you are. Different situations require different standards of behavior. What is acceptable at a rock concert could be questionable at an opera.

In general:

  • Listen to the pre-show announcements.
  • Read the program notes and entrance signs.
  • When in doubt, ask the ushers. They’re here to help.

Obeying these general rules of the theater will ensure that everyone can enjoy the show.

The 10 commandments of theater etiquette

1. Arrive early, stay until it’s over. Yes, parking lots get busy and traffic is tricky, but arriving late or leaving while the show is in progress is discourteous. Plan to arrive no later than 15 minutes before your curtain time to avoid problems. If you’d like to avoid the rush out, ask if any of the catering operations are open, even just to have a cup of coffee while discussing the performance you just saw. That’s better than performers seeing “walking ovations instead of standing ovations.”

2. If you want to bring a child to a show, make sure it’s something that will hold their attention for the entire performance. When children get bored, they easily can become a distraction for anyone nearby. Check TBPAC’s rules regarding children age 5 and under. If you decide to bring a child, make sure that you discuss proper etiquette. Any patron interrupting a performance will be asked to leave without a refund, which we really don’t want to have to do.

3. Make sure beepers, cell phones, PDAs and watch alarms are OFF. Then check again. Do not take flash photography or – or in any way – record the show. And don't jangle your bangles!

4. Don’t talk during the performance, which includes the overture. When the lights in the auditorium begin dimming, the show is about to start and it’s time to hear from the performers not the audience.

5. Unwrap all candies and cough drops before the show begins. You’re not being sneaky by doing it slowly over the course of 10 minutes.

6. Unless instructed to do so by the performers - do not talk, hum, sing along, or beat time with a body part.

7. Go easy with the atomizer; many people are highly allergic to perfume and cologne.

8. Note to lovebirds: Save it for later. When you lean your heads together, you block the view of the person behind you. Leaning forward also blocks the view. And no one really wants to watch you make out.

9. Wait for a pause or intermission before rifling through a purse, backpack or bag.

10. The old standby: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Good manners and courtesy have not changed. Manners count everywhere.