Friday, June 29, 2007

Spike Lee set to direct Stalag 17

Film director Spike Lee is set for his theatrical debut with a revival of Stalag 17 (a 1950s play-come-film that earned William Holden a 1953 Oscar). Even more fascinating, the play will be produced by Michael Abbot, who produced the original production as a 21-year old.

The NYTimes story notes Lee met with Public Theater director George C. Wolfe to get some pointers, and Clive Owens' name has been tossed around for the casting mix.

Fun fact:
many believe that the TV show Hogan's Heroes looted the premise of Stalag 17 for their show. HH took place at a Stalag 13 and featured a daffy and incompetent Sgt. Schultz, Stalag 17 featured a Sgt. Schultz also - who was in league with a spy planted among the prisoners.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Get your Q on

If you just can't wait til Avenue Q hits the Big Guava, you can head over to their website and download all manner of widgets - including wallpaper, screEn savers and banners to show your love for the furry ones.

Who says the internet is just for porn?

-dj

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Opera Warm Fuzzy

I’ve been following this story for the last week and the results are in: Paul Potts, 36, a mobile phone salesman from Wales has won the new Simon Cowell vehicle, “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Special thanks to fellow co-worker Christen P., who alerted me to this “diamond in the rough” and sent me this clip. Singing Nessum Dorma from Puccini’s Turnadot, Potts demonstrates the passion and beauty of opera. Then there is the clip where he really gets to show off – and gets a rock star’s reception!

Enjoy the clips, enjoy watching someone being “discovered,” and if you need more – Opera Tampa will be performing two beloved Puccini opera’s in our 2007-2008 season; La Bohème and Tosca.

Congratulations Paul Potts – and watch out American Idol - opera singers rock!

-Kari G.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Broadway musical chairs

For those of you who don't keep track, here's a little update of the shows closing in New York and those highly anticipated Broadway additions coming soon. There's a great reason to see any, and all, of these shows so if you have the opportunity make sure you take advantage!

Closing
  • June 24: LoveMusik (the love story of German composer Kurt Weill and his muse)
  • June 24: Talk Radio (the classic Bogosian play starring Liev Schreiber)
  • July 1: Company (2007 Tony Award-winning Best Revival)
  • July 1: Radio Golf (a classic August Wilson play)
  • July 8: Inherit the Wind (1925 Scopes "monkey trial" starring Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer)
  • July 29: 110 in the Shade (Four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald... that's enough of a reason)
  • July 29: Beauty and the Beast (a classic Disney love story for the whole family)
  • July 29: Gypsy (a limited engagement performance opening July 9 starring Patti Lupone... You gotta love Ms. Lupone!)

Opening

  • July 9: Gypsy (Did I mention Ms. Lupone?)
  • July 10: Xanadu (yes... it's an adaptation of the movie that stars Olivia Newton-John)
  • August 16: Grease (It's the word... and America voted for "Sandy" and "Danny")
  • Nov. 8: Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks new musical comedy)
  • Nov. 9: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (It's a holiday classic!)
  • Dec. 6: The Little Mermaid (Disney's new addition to their Broadway line up)

For a complete description of all the on & off Broadway shows, visit Broadway.com or the Internet Broadway Database.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ayckbourne back in the Big Apple

Sir Alan Ayckbourne, considered to be England's "comic poet of middle-class life" has a revival that opened this weekend Off Broadway. Or is it eight plays? Actually, I guess it's really 16.

The play is called Intimate Exchanges, and it's actually 8 shorts with two alternate endings each. Ayckbourne also directs (Fun Fact: Harold Pinter claims that Ayckbourne directed the defining production of his The Birthday Party) Fans of Coast of Utopia have already gotten a warm-up for spending that much time in the theater.

For those of you who can't hack the travel right now, TBPAC is still hosting an Ayckbourne play through June 24. Woman in Mind, as presented by Jobsite Theater. The show has drawn exceedingly good reviews and full house after full house. As with Intimate Exchanges, the play also deals with an English suburb, the roles people create for themselves or are forced into and the comedy often found in moment to moment human interaction.

(Disclosure: I am also the producing artistic director for Jobsite and the director of Woman in Mind.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Auditions: cabarets, operas and plays - oh my!

Head over to the employment page over at TBPAC.ORG to learn more about audition opportunities during the 07-08 season. Opera Tampa is looking for singers, Jobsite is looking for all sorts of artists, and TBPAC is looking for actors and cabaret performers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Journey: back on top!

Well, sort of.

After Sunday night's controversial ending to The Sopranos (c'mon people, did you really expect a pretty little bow?) featuring Don't Stop Believin', it appears Journey's stock has really risen.

I'm a bit of a technorati junkie, as happens when you do a lot of blogging, and I notice today that Journey's Greatest Hits album has shot straight from the grave all the way up to the Top 8 most blogged about albums. Amazing.

And is it just me, or does that album art look more like an Earth, Wind & Fire cover?

Ahh, good old Journey. Sappy enough to have made mixed tapes from when I was in junior high (I may have even cried in the dark once or twice over some girl while listening to Open Arms, Faithfully or After the Fall. Don't act like you didn't.), and now just kitschy enough to actually admit a taste for that some could ignore as that whole musical-irony thing. I actually listened to several of my parents Journey records (them's the big black things with the tiny holes in the middle, kids) back in the day and had a Journey 8-track or two bequeathed to me by my parents who seem to have lasted with the 8-track phase for an even shorter time than the rest of the American public - which is saying something. (Other favorite 8-tracks: Blizzard of Ozz and Journey to the Center of the Earth)

I'm sure it won't last, but it's gotta be a good week for these guys. I mean, when was the last time they were on CNN?

If you were one of the many people tweaked (or even pleased) by the series' end, you can read my brief commentary on the show over here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Celebrating arts and attractions

Each year the Tampa Bay CVB plans the National Tourism Week luncheon as a showcase for all that we offer as a destination.

This year’s luncheon celebrated arts and attractions, two of this area’s key hospitality industries, and was staged at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Lowry Park, Busch Gardens, the Plant Museum, TBPAC and the Florida Aquarium each were featured, including a duet by two stars of “Disney’s The Lion King,” which is returning to TBPAC May 8-June 22, 2008. Check out the photos from the event here.

CVB President and CEO Paul Catoe praised the location, a slightly different venue but perfect for the “un-luncheon” envisioned by the event planning committee.

“But what better place to hold a luncheon than at one of the signature cultural hot spots in the Tampa Bay Area, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center,” Catoe said. “This spectacular venue is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is a perfect reason why Tampa Bay is becoming a hub for tourism through Florida and the United States.”

CVB chairman Greg Yadley echoed those sentiments.

“Tampa Bay is proud to be home to cultural and historic hot spots like the Tampa Bay performing Arts Center,” he said. “The value of the arts in Tampa Bay can be seen throughout the area. From dance and music to theater and the visual art, the arts give the community and its members a unique means of expression, capturing its passion and emotion. Your commitment to supporting the Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau and cultural tourism in the Tampa Bay area serves as proof of your commitment to helping your community become a thriving cultural tourism destination.” – MichaelK/TBPAC

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"The Pirate Queen" says goodbye

Even with a creative team that is legendary for Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, it was announced that The Pirate Queen will close June 17 after only 85 performances (insert "sinking ship" joke here). Those who invested in the show are going to take a pretty big hit as the show cost $16 million to bring to Broadway. The show stars Stephanie J. Block (she performed the role of "Elphaba" in Tampa during the first national tour of Wicked a couple years ago) as "Grace O'Malley."

It is also being reported that with the closing of The Pirate Queen, the Hilton Theatre might be the home of the new Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein. The show is scheduled to open in the fall after a brief pre-Broadway engagement in Seattle.

Tony Award ballots online!

TonyAwards.com has a printable ballot.

You may not be able to vote yourself, but you can have fun pretending or at least "play the home game" on the big night.

-dj

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Time change for Hot Flash Happy Hours

It's come to my attention that the Hot Flash Happy Hours happening on Wednesday nights in the Jaeb prior to Menopause the Musical begins at 6pm, not 6:30 as I'd previously said.

Come on down!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Clay Aiken - Tampa

Here's my attempt to dispel rumors and put out a few fires re: our upcoming Clay Aiken date. I've been checking out various fan message boards, several of which I can't register for:
  • The Clay Aiken show in Tampa on Aug. 17 is NOT sold out.
  • The fan club and TBPAC presale periods are over. All seats are open for sale to the public.
  • There IS still a 4-ticket limit on any order.
  • We are NOT hiding a bunch of tickets from anyone. When folks call and ask for best available, that's what they'll get.
  • The show is currently a little less than half sold out.
  • We DO anticipate that it will sell.
  • Not to shill, but tickets will only get harder to come by the longer people wait. We are only a 2,500 seat venue.

Opens this week: Woman in Mind

Jobsite Theater, resident theater company of TBPAC, presents their latest offering later this week in Sir Alan Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind.

Check out Blogsite Theater for interviews, inside scoops, soundtrack listings and more.



Full disclosure: I am the producing artistic director for Jobsite, as well as the director of the show.