Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Lion King roars with CreLo's critic

This might just sum the whole gosh darn 5-loaf review (follow the link for the full story):

If you haven't lost the capacity for wonder -- or if you're hoping to regain it -- find a ticket if you can. This musical is so special that it's possible that you'll never see anything like it again in your lifetime.

I know that sounds excessive.

And I mean every word. - Creative Loafing

The Lion King is here through June 22.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Touring shows are "going green"

If you've been around the TBPAC when a show pulls into town, you've seen the truck lined up to unload set pieces, instruments, costumes, etc. Now tours, including many Broadway shows (The Lion King, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot and Mamma Mia), are working with Clark Transfer, Inc and NativeEnergy, Inc on a new green initiative. It's appropriately called "Touring Green." It's designed to help offset the impact of carbon emissions created by transporting quality entertainment around the country. Check out this article for more information.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Broadway is a business

Want to learn a little more about Broadway as a business? Check out this article from the latest edition of Fast Company. A few Broadway producers give you their perspective and thoughts on Broadway and what it takes to bring a show to the stage.


Forever Plaid - coming soon!

Forever Plaid is on sale now, and sure to be a sell-out smash-hit. The Jaeb Theater has always been in a way "the house that Plaid built," so whether it's your first or your tenth time this show is guaranteed to be a huge amount of fun.

Trivia: Forever Plaid was the first show I saw in the Jaeb Theater and my first show as an audience member at TBPAC after I started college at USF. That production would be the first of many incarnations of Forever Plaid. This year's cast is ALL NEW!


This week at TBPAC


Disney's The Lion King - on stage now through June 22

WMNF presents Terrence Brewer - May 29

Stageworks presents Brighton Beach Memoirs - through June 1


Jobsite Theater presents A Dream Play - June 12-29

Jesus Christ Superstar - June 26-29


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lisi wins tourism award

TBPAC President and CEO Judy Lisi was named the Gonzmart Family Ambassador of the Year for her work in the hospitality industry.

Lisi was surprised with the award May 20 at the Tampa Bay and Company (formerly TBCVB) annual Tourism Week luncheon.

More than 25 percent of patrons who attended the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Jersey Boys were from outside a 50-mile radius, according to an independent survey.

"The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is a destination site for many Tampa Bay area visitors," Lisi said. "I'm so pleased that we have been recognized and included in such stellar company as Tampa International Airport, Busch Gardens and the Florida Aquarium."



The Lion King's new, local Nala on WTSP

Check out the story and video here on Dan'yelle Williams.! You can also scroll back to the TBO story and a post from our own Spencer Meyers on her.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Things that make marketers (even more) crazy

People keep telling me "Lion King" is sold out.

True, it's doing very well, but it's not sold out.

If it were sold out, we'd stop running ads and save the money.

So if you've been thinking about seeing this show, or any show, don't assume it's sold out until you try ... especially if you're still seeing ads for it. -- MichaelK


Hey, we were tweeted!

I just got this message via my Twitter feed from
Breaking News: Arts Center's 'Lion King' Features A Local Talent: TAMPA – A graduate of Blake...

It's all about the new Nala we have here in The Lion King. Check out the full story via the tinyurl above!


More on student rush offers

We've gotten a few questions recently via email about student rush offers, and so I thought I'd post this response from Nick Smith, one of your friendly neighborhood Ticket Office Managers. This response was to a question as to how someone goes about getting one of the 50% off student rush tickets to The Lion King:

Thank you for your interest in our theater!

On June 3rd the only performance we have scheduled is a 7:30pm showing of Disney’s The Lion King. If you are interested we do have a student discount that is 50% off. This discount is available 90 minutes prior to the performance, with a valid student ID at the ticket office window.

For the latest information on discounted performances you can click this link:

We look forward to seeing you at the theater!

Nicholas Smith
Ticketing - Customer Service Manager
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center


Monday, May 19, 2008

Too much free stuff!

There is still time to win the Avenue Q hand puppet eyeballs and Original Broadway Cast Recording. Text AVEQ to TBPAC (82722) NOW for your chance to win!

We also have a pair of Chris Rock tickets being given away - send the text ROCK to TBPAC (82722) for your chance to score those.

Between this blog, our SMS service and our eCenter newsletter - we hope to be making you happy with free swag at least once a week! Free! Woo hoo!



It was no surprise to me that Dan’yelle would make it this far. I’m waiting to see how long it will be before she receives her first TONY AWARD.

I too graduated H.W. Blake H.S. for the Arts in Musical Theater. Dan’yelle was one of my best friends and an amazing performer since our freshman year; only to get better over time. She is one of the most delightful, humorous, and humble performers to work with. She was probably the best singer any high school could’ve had. I was not shocked when I heard about her success in the Chicago Wicked cast. I am but beyond thrilled to see her debut in Disney’s The Lion King here in her hometown.

She is a must see performer. I can only see Patti LuPone and Stephanie Mills status in her future!

- Spencer Meyers


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Boy that hyena can sing!

The Lion King company member Jayne Trinette (she plays Shenzi the hyena) stepped out from underneath her costume and from behind her mask to belt out the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Tampa Bay Rays game on Monday, May 12. Looking glamorous in her stylish outfit (and her requisite Lion King t-shirt), Trinette marched past home plate and onto the infield at Tropicana Field to deliver a stunning rendition of our national anthem. Husband Bryan was down on the field with Jayne, camcorder in hand, beaming with pride.

The large crowd at the game (thanks to the Rays current winning ways -- and their popular opponents the Yankees) gave her a mighty cheer for a job well done. And all the way back up to her seat in the stands, game-goers shouts could be heard: “Way to go,” “What a voice,” “Great job,” “You were amazing.” And she was.

Jayne BP


By the way, the Rays trounced the Yankees 7 to 1 leaving them just a half game behind in the American League East.

They must have been inspired by that “Star-Spangled Banner!”

- Paul B.


Student rush tickets: The Lion King

If you're a student, you can get HALF OFF tickets to THE LION KING.

That's right ladies and gents - HALF OFF - but only if you're a student with a valid ID.

This is the deal:
  • 50% off any requested seats to all performances except our matinees.
  • Two tickets max per valid student I.D. (Yes, you must show a valid student I.D. to get it!)
  • At the TBPAC Ticket Office window ONLY. (No phone or internet sales)
  • No sooner than 90 minutes prior to curtain.
  • Subject to availability. Not valid on any prior sales or in conjunction with any other offer.
THE LION KING plays Carol Morsani Hall through June 22.

Take advantage!


Tony nominees announced today

This just in:

"August: Osage County," "The Seafarer," "The 39 Steps" and "Rock 'n' Roll" have been nominated for Best Play.

For Best Musical: "Cry-Baby," "In the Heights," "Xanadu," "Passing Strange"

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play: Ben Daniels, "Les Liaison Dangereuses"; Laurence Fishburne, "Thurgood"; Mark Rylance, "Boeing-Boeing," Rufus Sewell, "Rock 'n' Roll"; Patrick Stewart, "Macbeth"

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Eve Best, "The Homecoming"; Deanna Dunagan, "August: Osage County"; Kate Fleetwood, "Macbeth"; S. Epatha Merkerson, "Come Back, Little Sheba"; Amy Morton, "August: Osage County"

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical: Daniel Evans, "Sunday in the Park With George"; Lin-Manuel Miranda, "In the Heights"; Stew, "Passing Strange"; Paulo Szot, "South Pacific"; Tom Wopat, "A Catered Affair"

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Kerry Butler, "Xanadu"; Patti Lupone, "Gypsy"; Kelli O'Hara, "South Pacific"; Faith Prince, "A Catered Affair; Jenna Russell, "Sunday in the Park With George" -- MichaelK

For a full list of nominees, go to the official Tony Awards site.

The awards show will air on Sunday, June 15, on CBS.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Win Chris Rock tickets!

Win a pair of tickets to see Chris Rock by sending the text message ROCK to TBPAC (82722). Contest ends on or around May 26, 2008. A random entry will be drawn and notified by May 30, 2008, via text message.

For those not in the know, we have a whole list of commands available for your convenience. Just send any of these text messages below to TBPAC (82722) to take advantage:

INFO - gets you our hours, phone numbers, web address, how to get here etc. Handy as a resource when you're on the go!
EVENTS - tells you what is on the stages here at TBPAC any given week. Sweet!
SAVE - adds you to the list to get hot deals when they are announced.
HELP - sends you a list of available commands.
STOP - makes us quit with the text messages to you.

Good luck!


A nice note from a WTSP contest winner

Angela Lakin got this note and photos in the mail this weekend after a winner of a WTSP contest sent a photo (click it for a larger version) and a thank-you for the tickets to the show:

Edna entered her husband Al into the WTSP "Be treated like a king or queen" Lion King contest. They got tickets to the show and a two night package with dinner at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Here was the winning entry:

"I have just finished up a year of chemo and radiation and my lymphoma is in remission and my husband has taken such good care of me, he is my king and I would love to treat him to this treat we love Broadway and the Casino it would be perfect thank you"


Tampa Trib review: The Lion King

"At this point, if you have any inclination toward musical stage productions and you still haven't seen it, you are duty-bound to go." - The Tampa Tribune


Friday, May 09, 2008

TBPAC featured in Best of Tampa Bay ish of Tampa Bay Magazine

Flip over to pg. 60 of this month's issue of Tampa Bay Magazine to read how TBPAC was chosen as the Best Performing Arts Center in the area. Our listing is right next to that really scrumptious looking picture of fried soft-shelled crabs with the drawn butter boat in the middle from Crabby Bill's.

Mmmmm ... fried soft-shelled crabs with drawn butter...

Maybe it's time for lunch ...


We have a winner

Anonymous, you're the winner of our giveaway for the free CD carrying case from Passing Strange.

Trick is - who are you? And how would I know it's really you? :)

Comment to this entry to claim, and we'll work out mailing the schwag to you!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

TBPAC partners with a new program, Kidz Connect

From their new blog:
Kidz Connect is a program that connects young people in different countries via media art, performance and collaborative creation in virtual worlds. This summer, students at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa, Florida, will partner with students at the IVKO Montessori School in Amsterdam, Netherlands to create a hybrid virtual city in Teen Second Life, combining aspects of both cultures. Within that common space, they will create a show together that will be performed live and online simultaneously. This program is supported by partnerships between IVKO Montessori School, the Patel Conservatory, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the Waag Society for Old and New Media and ZoomLab.

Check it out!


Mother's Day and TBPAC

If you're looking for a last minute Mother's Day gift - let us humbly suggest:
  • You’ve caused plenty of drama in your mother’s life! This Mother’s Day say “thank you” with a gift certificate from TBPAC. Gift certificates can be redeemed for tickets, membership, merchandise, dining at Maestro’s and classes at the Patel Conservatory. Gift Certificates are available online, by visiting the TBPAC Ticket Office or by calling 813.229.STAR (7827).
  • We also have a 50% off special running on tickets to HATS! for the remaining shows (1p tomorrow, 2p Sat. and Sun.). This special was originally set up just for Mother's Day, but we decided to make a Mother's Day weekend of it. Use promo code MOM when you visit the TBPAC Ticket Office, call 813.229.STAR or buy online.


TBPAC loves Dilbert (well, at least I do)

I had the unfortunate adventure of finding a termite in my house this weekend. Turns out I don't have termites (phew), but the termite guy asked me "Where do you work?"

Now EVERY time I get this question and I answer "the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center," I get the same response.

"That sounds so cool!"

When it comes down to it, I work in an office like any other office any place in America. Therefore, I love Dilbert. I read Dilbert daily. I've subscribed to Dilbert through an RSS feed. Because I can relate to Dilbert. As can most people here I suspect. You can walk around the offices here and most likely will find Dilbert comics pasted to doors, hanging on cubicle walls, they're everywhere.

So, come read Culture Shock and get your Daily Dilbert at the same time. We're embedding a Dilbert widget for you. Have fun.

(By the way, SOMETIMES it really is cool.)


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

FREE Passing Strange CD carrier

I have a FREE Passing Strange CD carrier to give away to a randomly drawn commenter who tells me what the best thing they've seen here at TBPAC this year. It can just be the show name, or feel free to share your thoughts on why you thought the show was so great. Any genre, any hall.

Deadline to enter is tomorrow, May 8, at 4pm.



On Monday, the cutting-edge new Broadway production, Passing Strange, was honored with 7 Drama Desk Awards nominations:
  • Outstanding Musical
  • Outstanding Actor in a Musical
  • Outstanding Choreography
  • Outstanding Music
  • Outstanding Lyrics
  • Outstanding Book of a Musical
  • Outstanding Orchestrations
If you can't make it to the Big Apple but would like a sample - watch acclaimed rock musician & composer, Stew, and his buddies on ABC's The View, Monday, May 12. Check your listings!

Here are some other ways you can find out more about this innovative new musical:

See the TV Spot

See Videos and Photos

Hear the Music and download mp3

Download E-Card, Wallpaper, Buddy Icons, 2 sizes of Banners and links to MySpace and Facebook

Have a mobile moment right now: Text ROCK to 42903

“The exuberant new show Passing Strange is far richer in wit, feeling, and sheer personality than most of what is classified as musical theater these days.” – The New York Times

Out of my wife's last trip to NYC, only two shows made a major impression on her - Passing Strange and the straight play August: Osage County. She's not easily impressed, so praise as high as she was giving it is something to listen to.


THE LION KING preview, video

You can read this nifty little preview story on THE LION KING on before it even hits the streets in the print edition here. The thrust of the story is things you might not know about the show, so give it a read!

And, for your viewing pleasure I'm also including the :30 TV spot you'd have to live under a rock to not see over the next month and a half.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

HATS! ticket special just got specialer

I just got word that the 50% off ticket special that we previously offered for the final performance of HATS! (which also happens to be Mother's Day) has just been opened up for the final four performances. Those performances take place this Thu. - Sun.

must close Sun., May 11.

All you need to do to get your 50% off tickets is use the promo code MOM when you buy at the window, over the phone or online.

Keep in mind that service charges apply, that this offer is not valid on prior sales or in conjunction with any other offer and that it is subject to availability. Blahblahdisclaimercakes.

Now head on out there and treat your mom to a show the Tribune says is a "feel good experience that encourages women to celebrate life."


Friday, May 02, 2008

Florida State Thespian Festival 2008

The largest theater festival in the country is happing on the TBPAC campus this week and it has made me nostalgic. The Florida State Thespian festival attracts over 7,000 students to Tampa with events at TBPAC and the Convention Center. For four days Thespians experience workshops, performances, adjudications and a collective feeling of “we’re not alone.”

I can remember looking forward to Thespian Festival when I was a teenager. I am a Fort Myers High School graduate (District 6, Troupe #334) and participated in Thespian State from 1990 – 1993 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. It was truly the best four days of the year.

I was a drama nerd. A proud drama nerd! High school yearbook photos captured me behind light booths, up on scaffolding building sets, on stage performing, and my senior portrait depicts me proudly wearing the drama masks around my neck. I can’t say I didn’t fit in, I had friends and I think I was well-liked, I just never felt as “accepted” in my day-to-day high school life as I did at Thespian State Festival. Where all the drama nerds come to play.

As the week has gone by, I have isolated several “kinds” of Thespians. I have listed them in no particular order and they are universal archetypes, as apparent today as they were almost two decades ago (apologies to my fellow FMHS Thespians, I have named names. If you have a vanity Google alert on yourself you’re in for a surprise):
  • Skinny jeans that have been written on with sharpie (our jeans had zippers on the ankles and a question mark on our butt)
  • Leggings with a skirt (I can assure you personally the same look was worn at Thespian Festival 15 years ago)
  • A boy(ish) individual wearing an ascot or scarf (Rhett Jonke, I think you wore an ascot to opening ceremony)
  • Lots of couples who act as though if they stop holding hands they will be unable to breathe properly (I was that girl and Jeff Willis was that boy)
  • Two girls singing “Popular” from Wicked on a street corner (in my day it was “Movie in My Mind” from Miss Saigon – you go Jessica Luallen!)
  • A girl with black eye liner sobbing hysterically (Natasha Palumbo, what’s wrong?)
  • Loitering (and hopeful) thespians standing outside of the HUB with a nonchalant look in their eye (I was there and whether or not I scored booze is not relevant to this post)
  • A group of smokers with the defiant “I’m 18” look on their face (bad habit kids, don’t start, you’ll hate yourself 16 years later)
  • Impromptu stage combat in an inappropriate place (I think I still have a scar from rug burn in Carol Morsani Hall, thanks Brett Williams)
  • Old skool goth kids (we get older, they stay the same freaky, right Eric Autry?)
  • The really pretty cheerleader who is obviously slumming it with the drama nerds (Hey, at least its a few days out of school, right Tonya Campbell?)
  • Any ironic t-shirt – extra points if they celebrate someone’s Bat Mitzvah (Jenean Klein is the coolest!)
  • Anyone participating in a “death off” – just die dramatically for no reason (subversive in your hometown mall, competitive sport at Thespian State, winner – Charlie Berfield)
  • Lost chaperones (sorry, somebody’s mom, we forgot to tell you where to meet)
  • Teacher caught chain smoking by the river (Mrs. Autry we knew you couldn’t hide from us forever!)
  • Anyone writing on a napkin their Troupe # to put under the table glass at the Stage Door CafĂ© across the street (I can’t find mine anymore)
  • Thespian jackets (I still have mine – well actually my mom has it)
  • A group of 5 or more in matching T-shirts (My favorite this year? “I said THESpian!”)
  • Someone staring at a wall and talking to it (in high school we’re crazy, here we’re just running lines)
  • Overuse of the term “Super-superior” (yes, yes Randy Habovsky you always super-superior)
Times may change, but Drama Nerds have timelessness about them. I have enjoyed seeing my zeitgeists all over campus this week and will be sad to see them go tomorrow. Troupe #334 will be performing a one-act in the Ferguson tomorrow morning. I may just have to drag out of bed and go support my “Green Wave.” I am sure I will look at them and wonder: What will they become? What will they be inspired to do because they were here? What memories will they take with them?

For myself, I have embarked on a life in the arts. A theater degree from the University of Florida, a half-decade long adventure in Los Angeles, a career with The Second City and now a life at the very facility were many of my dreams began. I still have my Super-Superior ribbons, my programs from each year and a zippo I bought (in the lobby of the now Howard Johnsons nee Holiday Inn) with the comedy/tragedy masks engraved on them. Don’t smoke kids, seriously, it’s not cool.

Good luck Thespians, break legs, keep your drama in the theater and remember, no matter what you do in life – All the world’s a stage.

A wistful Kari G.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Liva is loving us from Latvia

In an blog last week, Kari offered up a pair of Tosca tickets for answering a trivia question. We got our winner, Liva, but it would been a heck of a trip for her to come all the way to us. See Liva's lovely and interesting response:

Well, I see Tampa is in Florida, USA, it's very far away. I don't have any friend there, I have a few pen-friends in New York, they are my only live connection with United States.

We have a beautiful big opera house, called LNO (Latvian National Opera) in the capital of Latvia, in Riga. Actually, since I became a fan of Pavarotti (about 3 years ago) I immediately fall in love with Puccini's operas, I started to love opera generally. I love Pavarotti's voice, this amazing tenor introduced me to opera deeper, he taught me to listen to it as something very beautiful. I graduated music school two years ago, I'm a pianist, and they taught us about opera, but at that time I didn't take any notice. So now I've really fallen for opera. Love it very much, I go to see opera about once a month.

I have the "google alert" on Luciano Pavarotti's name, and I received an google alert in which I found your blog about Florez (I receive a lot of them since Florez hit those 18 high C's), there was your question about Tosca and Pavarotti and I answered it just for a lark, I new I won't be able to go to that show, because it's a loooong flight to Florida from here, I just couldn't make it.

Honestly, it was the first time I read about you.

Tell me more!

Nifty - We have a new friend! We hope you keep coming back, Liva, we could use a few more knowledgeable opera buffs on this blog.


Commenting is now fully open

We've changed our philosophy here at CULTURE SHOCK. Well, we've not really changed it so much as accepted reality - people don't want to go through a 4-step process to leave us feedback. They may want to leave it anonymously.

So we've reacted, and now you can comment to your hearts desire! We just ask that people keep it civil and clean. We're also asking for you to do one of those little boxes where you type in the letters and numbers you see so you can prove you're a live human being and no a spambot just trying to junk up the place.

We really want more of a two-way conversation on this blog, so we hope you decide to join in!