Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Broadway on Turkey-day

Some people look forward to Thanksgiving football. I, on the other hand, grab a cup of coffee and turn on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It seriously doesn't feel like Thanksgiving until I've listened to Matt Lauer describe a giant balloon or two. (Is it wrong that I secretly find it thrilling to watch what happens when a gust of wind comes by? ... but I digress.)

Now to the good stuff... Broadway performances during the parade. Depending on what network you watch, there will be different shows highlighted. CBS will feature performances by the cast of Mary Poppins (who will be flying in for the 2009-2010 Tampa season), Grease and Clay Aiken in Monty Python's Spamalot (coming to Tampa in March 09). NBC will show performances by The Little Mermaid, South Pacific, In the Heights and Irving Berlin's White Christmas.

If you happen to miss any of these special performances, keep an eye out for the floats. There will be performances by the cast of the new revival of Hair as well as a songs from Broadway favorites Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel.

From all the bloggers of Culture Shock and the TBPAC... Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Opera Lover seeks advice from Dear Abby

From Nov. 21’s column:


Because I arrived late to an opera performance, I was forced to sit in the designated section for latecomers. Seated next to me was an attractive young lady with whom I had a pleasant conversation as we watched the televised first act. Afterward, of course, we took our assigned seats.

It is difficult for some of us art and opera lovers to find compatible friends with shared interests. My question is, do genteel younger women consider it foolishly ill-mannered, disturbing or offensive to be impetuously invited by an older, single gentleman (age 47) for an after-performance dinner or cocktail?



Heck, no! And stop calling yourself old. It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.

You heard it from the expert Gil! Do you have a “special someone” you’d like to take to the opera? Opera Tampa’s The Barber of Seville is just around the corner on Dec. 5 and 7. Think of it as one of the “first romantic comedies.” Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!

- Kari G.

See a show this weekend!

Phantom of the Opera closes Sunday, but we're more than just Broadway! Here are two other shows gracing our stages this weekend:

Trent Armand Kendall in Picture Incomplete - a one man musical

Steve Solomon's My Sisters an Only Child

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MetMin Phantom food drive update

MetMin weighs all of their donations, and guess what ... ?

With all of our efforts, and the generosity of the Phantom folks, we provided Met Min with a TON of food -- literally -- more than a ton, actually -- 2400 pounds! That's almost a ton and a half!



Sir David Frost on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Sir David Frost was the special guest last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, promoting the DVD of the original interviews between him and Richard Nixon.

There is also a national tour out of the play based on those 28 hours of interviews that spanned 12 days, Frost/Nixon, which stars Stacey Keach and is coming to Tampa Feb. 17-22. A Ron Howard film is also coming out soon starring Frank Langella and Martin Sheen - the original cast of both the London and Broadway productions.

Get a $5 ticket with a food donation this Wed. or Thu.!

If you were here last night, or were leaving Downtown between 5:30 and 6:30, you probably saw the line wrapped around TBPAC. All of those folks brought non-perishable items to benefit Metropolitan Ministries food bank, and in return they could purchase a ticket to Phantom for $10.

The drive was a rousing success -- we filled two 55 gallon barrels and three 20 bushel stage hampers! 1,000 people came down, each bringing at least one item and many bringing cases or multiple bags of food.

Since it was so successful, in the spirit of the season of giving, we're gonna do it again!

Tomorrow night and Thursday night, if a patron brings a non-perishable food item to the TBPAC Ticket Office, they will receive a voucher to purchase a ticket to Steve Solomon's My Sister's an Only Child, for just $5. This hilarious follow-up to his previously sold-out engagements of My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy plays in the Jaeb Theater Nov. 19-23.
The show will have you in stitches and you'll feel great because you'll be helping poor and homeless families receive a holiday meal, or perhaps just help them to have dinner one night this week.

In their 2008 fiscal year Metropolitan Ministries:
  • Sheltered 101 families
  • Sheltered 38 single women
  • Served over 20,000 Outreach families with 61,500 children
  • Provided over 21,000 families with holiday assistance

Help them continue to bring a little holiday cheer to those in our community who need it most.

SPREAD THE WORD! Send this on to colleagues, friends and family.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Picture Incomplete opens this year's Off Center Series - this weekend!

I have a special attachment to the Shimberg Playhouse. Of all five halls at TBPAC, I likely spend the second-most amount of my time in the building in that room (the first of course being my office).

The Shimberg hosts a lot of events, but my attachment is mostly to my own Jobsite Play Series as well as the Off Center Series.

Before Jobsite ever began working in the Shimberg, I watched shows in the Shimberg Playhouse (then the Off Center Theater) that I couldn't have seen anywhere else in the region.

In the 10 years I've been in Tampa I've seen gripping solo work like Danny Hoch's Jails, Hospitals and Hip Hop (my first Off Center show). I've been delighted by the female clown troupe Gams on the Lam (twice). I've had the opportunity to take workshops from the Gams and from Shawn McConneloug and Her Orchestra. There have been puppets, gay Jewish jugglers and a one man play about an artist who cut his ear off as written by Spock and performed by a USF alum. Karla Hartley has done an outstanding job bringing quality, innovative work to TBPAC year in and year out.

The importance of work like this can't be overstated. Truly, this sort of work exists no where else in the region. Like much of what we do at TBPAC, you simply won't find it anywhere else.

It's often difficult to attract an audience to unknown plays even by known local or national companies. It can be far more challenging to attract an audience to unknown work by unknown players.

To be blunt, in these difficult financial times work like this is often among the first to be put on the cutting block - despite how mission-oriented it might be. It's economics, plain and simple. It's why we're trying to make such a push for this year's series, so that's not even an option.

The first of this year's Off Center Series is this weekend. It's Picture Incomplete - a one man musical. I spoke to Karla last night, and she tells me how great the show sounds from the rehearsals they've already had in the building. Some TBPAC patrons may even remember Trent Armand Kendall from his performance in Diva Diaries a few years back. He's a driven performer who is taking time from his other gig - part of the national tour for The Color Purple - to bring his show to us in Tampa this weekend.

Not to hard sell or anything, but there is a special offer on this year's series for just $49 for all four shows available through this weekend. It's a great deal, check it out if you're interested. Trent is also offering a free workshop on Friday on the subject of creating a musical.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chitty auditions are FULL

The child auditions for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are now FULL. We cannot accept any more applications. Thanks for your interest, and we hope you can see the show!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Phantom has a heart ...

Check this out, from The Phantom of the Opera - what a mensch!

The Phantom of the Opera wants to make it a happy Thanksgiving for all of Tampa Bay. Just bring a non-perishable food item, to benefit Metropolitan Ministries, to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Ticket Office beginning at 5:30 on Monday, Nov. 17, and you'll receive a $10 ticket to the 7:30 performance of Phantom that same night! Subject to availability. Capacity is limited. Limit one $10 ticket per person.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Join Tampa's Guilty Ones

TBPAC and the national tour of SPRING AWAKENING are looking for eager, energetic theater fanatics to join THE GUILTY ONES, the official street team for Broadway's groundbreaking new musical, SPRING AWAKENING.

What is Spring Awakening?
Broadway’s most talked about new musical and the biggest Tony Award®-winner in years, Spring Awakening, the 8-time Tony Award® winning Broadway musical, will make its premiere at TBPAC on Dec. 30, 2008, and run through Jan. 4, 2009.

Based on the infamous 1891 Frank Wedekind play, Spring Awakening features an electrifying score by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, direction by Michael Mayer, choreography by award-winning Bill T. Jones and Book by Mr. Sater. Set against the backdrop of a repressive and provincial late 19th century Germany, Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, Spring Awakening celebrates an unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood.

Who are the Guilty Ones?
The Guilty Ones started as a group of fans in New York who loved SPRING AWAKENING so much, they decided to organize and spread the word on their own. As SPRING AWAKENING prepares to launch its first national tour, TBPAC will be following in the original Guilty Ones’ footsteps by establishing the Guilty Ones as our official street team of guerilla marketers.

What do I have to do to become a Guilty One?
Your involvement with The Guilty Ones can include as little or as much as you want to do. We’ll be operating everything on a point system which means the more "deeds" you do to help us promote the show, the more awesome “junk” you’ll receive.

"Deeds" include using MySpace, Twitter, Facebook or your personal blogs to get the word out, putting up flyers and posters in places you hang out, recruiting more members and a lot more.

"Junk" includes free t-shirts, free autographed tour merchandise, the ability to buy special on-stage seats, meet and greets with the cast and possibly even a FREE opening night package which includes all the stuff listed above.

To Join the The Guilty Ones
Copy and paste the questionnaire below into an email, answer the questions and email it to We will contact you with more information as soon as possible.

Guilty Ones Questionnaire
Date of Birth:
Phone Number:
School attending (if any):
How much time can you devote to the group?
Do you have your driver’s license?
Do you have any special talents?
What’s your favorite musical?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Why do you want to be a Guilty One?