Friday, January 30, 2009

Renee Fleming on Spectacle: Elvis Costello with ...

I recently got a HD flat screen and find that my love affair with television is new and bright. My new favorite show? Spectacle: Elvis Costello with ... on the Sundance channel. (You can also get it On Demand with Bright House Networks). I caught the episode with The Police and it was amazing!

This weekend his featured guest is Renee Fleming! If she’s good enough to be on Barack Obama’s iPod, and good enough to sing at the Inauguration Concert (AND good enough to grace the Carol Morsani Hall stage a few years back) – then she’s obviously good enough to hang with Elvis Costello. You don’t want to miss his one-on-one with this amazing opera diva. Show times are Sun., Feb 01st at 2am and Sun., Feb 01 at Noon.

Also, are you following Opera Tampa on Twitter? Why not? It’s cool!

- Kari G.

WAISTWATCHERS: The Calorie-Free Musical opens next week!

Head over to TBPAC.ORG for more information on tickets!

NFL Players party at TBPAC

Reggie Bush, Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks joined about 600 guests at the NFL Players Super Bowl party at TBPAC last night. TBPAC was transformed, and our Executive Chef Rusty Evers rocked their world. More fun awaits. -- MichaelK

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Staged Reading: Yellowman - MON. 2/2!

We hope you can make an effort to make it out Monday night to the next Job-side Project in our Staged Reading Series being put together by Lori Shannon. This night's work is directed by Ensemble member Karla Hartley and features the talents of the amazing Fanni Green. Don't miss it!

by Dael Orlandersmith
Directed by Karla Hartley
Featuring Fanni Green
Mon., Feb. 2 at 7pm
$5 at the door, free to Jobsite season ticket holders

Yellowman, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, opened at the Manhattan Theater Club in October 2001. It is a two-actor piece in which each actor plays multiple roles. Orlandersmith examines intraracial racism and its effect on friends and eventual lovers Alma and Eugene, chronicling their relationship from childhood to adulthood in spare, uncommonly beautiful language with a South Carolinian/Gullah inflection. Their families and "friends," fueled by alcohol and incomprehensible rage, bend this relationship to the breaking point.

"A landmark in theater history.... Enthralling.... Mind-altering." ?The New York Times

"One of the most gripping, instructive, transforming hours in contemporary theater." The Times (Trenton, NJ) -- Review

Can you help us out by spreading the word? We'd appreciate it! Let's get these guys some love - it's the only reason they're doing it - that and have to have this great piece spoken out loud.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remembering John Updike

"That we age and leave behind this litter of dead, unrecoverable selves is both unbearable and the commonest thing in the world -- it happens to everybody." -- John Updike

Updike is dead at 76. Who among our current literary heroes will have that kind of lengthy and varied career? Our best writers today seem more like flares than Updike's punctual comet of novels, essays, criticism.

At the Miami Book Fair International in 1990, Updike appeared to promote "Rabbit at Rest," the fourth and final installment of his novels about Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom.

I watched his literary groupies approach, and later described the scene in a newspaper article.

"Feigning casualness, they are erratically pulled to him as if he's exerting some unseen force. 
He's not moving, though. Just standing there. The gaggle of fans walks, stalls, pulls close. Unfailingly polite, he holds himself in, preparing for a public display he doesn't much enjoy. He stutters slightly.

"He stands still, a sort of parade rest without the ramrod straightness. That's it -- he's all angles: elbows and knees and nose, and hair combed forward on one side like a wing. Like some mussed clergyman. Or a willowy basketball player from the '50s when height mattered and width didn't."

In "Rabbit at Rest," Harry retires to Florida. Updike, who was famous for his research, spent a lot of time around Ft. Myers to get his locale straight.

That's why it was so jarring to see the familiar drug store chain repeatedly spelled as Ekerd. I mentioned that to an unfamiliar reporter waiting with me for an interview.

When we were ushered in, my new best friend promptly tells Updike that "this guy" (meaning me) says there's a mistake in his new book.

Updike looked over his glasses and down his nose from a ridiculous height. I meekly explained it is actually spelled Eckerd.

He took out a notepad. 

"That will be corrected (significant pause) in the paperback edition," he said with great seriousness.

And that -- as I too often tell this story -- is how I once edited the amazing, brilliant, prolific, trailblazing John Updike.

RIP. -- MichaelK

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Frost/Nixon" nominated for Oscars

And the winner is... well, maybe not just yet, but it's in the running.

This morning the movie "Frost/Nixon" was nominated for the Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay (Peter Morgan who also wrote the original Broadway play) Oscars. For Best Picture, Frost/Nixon is up against "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Milk," "The Reader" and "Slumdog Millionaire."

Want to see the play (written by Peter Morgan) that started all the Hollywood buzz? Of course you do! Frost/Nixon will be performed live at the TBPAC Feb. 17-22 and stars Stacy Keach as "President Nixon."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spot the irony

It’s a fun game and everybody’s playing it! Patti Lupone, Broadway great and supplier of “spot-the-Patti” in guest starring roles in shows like Ugly Betty and Oz (bet that’s one of the few times you put those to shows together in the same sentence), lost her mind the other day. A very rude patron attending Gypsy (Lupone won the 2008 Best Leading Actress in a Musical Tony Award for this role) was taking photos during the show.

During. The. Show.

I’m a performer and I can’t tell you how incredibly inconsiderate flash photographs are to performers and the patrons.

But don’t let me tell you – let Patti:

Now of course there is irony in this whole story – but we’ll let you figure it out for yourselves.

- Kari G.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Red Molly plays Joe's Pub (and TBPAC!)

The trio plays Joe's Pub in January, and the pub bookers apparently are big fans of the eclectic trio.

They said: Since 2004, Red Molly has been bringing audiences to their feet with stunning three-part harmonies, crisp musicianship, and their warm, engaging stage presence. The ladies have a lot of fun on stage, and it’s contagious. In 2008, Red Molly released their first full-length studio album, called LOVE AND OTHER TRAGEDIES. It rose quickly into the Top 20 on the Radio & Records Americana chart, and stayed there for 10 full weeks in Summer 2008.

Of course, you don't have to go to NYC to see them. They're playing TBPAC's Club Jaeb next month on Feb. 16. -- MichaelK

Spamalot celebrates the inauguration with $44 tickets!

In honor of the Inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, you can buy Monty Python's Spamalot tickets for $44 to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances. Go here and use promo code: PRESIDENT

This is only a one-day only sale on Tuesday, Jan. 20, so don't miss it!

SPAM is a registered trademark of Hormel Foods, LLC, used with permission here. Limit 4 discounted tickets per order. Subject to availability. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Riverdance rush ticket discounts

Still don't have tickets to the Farewell Performances of Riverdance?

Then how about this... You can purchase $20 tickets to the Wednesday and Thursday performances when you bring a non-perishable food item to the TBPAC Ticket Office no sooner than 90 minutes to curtain. One food item per discounted ticket. Limit 4 discounted tickets.

All donations will benefit Metropolitan Ministries so we can help them restock their shelves after the holidays.

Student/Military rush: 50% off Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sun evening performances no sooner than 90 minutes to curtain at the TBPAC Ticket Office with valid ID. Limit 4 tickets.

All offers... Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Fees apply.

Now you REALLY don't have a reason not to see the show. There's a reason it's an International Phenomenon!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Open & close: Magic of the theater

In the annual rite of January closings, more than a dozen Broadway plays and musicals are either dark or getting dimmer this month in NYC.

Rather than mourn their passing (for there are others on the horizon to fill their stages and their seats), let The New York Times celebrate not that they are leaving, but that they were alive in the first place.

"Live theater has a built-in bittersweetness born of its ephemeral nature. The magic is here and now, it's gone forever ... or at least until its next revival. ... That's why being present when a work of achieved art passes into history (or even earlier during its run -- MK) can be inordinately moving, a reminder that beauty itself is mostly an evanescent thing in life."

Here at TBPAC, we just waved good-bye to the last of the energetic cast of "Spring Awakening," who jump-started our 2009. Now we look ahead to "Riverdance," "Spamalot" and "Rent" over the next months, along with a host of smaller, more intimate, productions in our other four theaters.

If your new year's resolution is to have more memories than regrets, consider starting here. -- MichaelK