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

Cross-shilling

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

Figar-d’oh!

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.