Thursday, February 26, 2009

Need a little economic (and comic) relief?

Get $10 off your ticket to WAISTWATCHERS: The Calorie-Free Musical by using promo code TENOFF. Act fast though, this discount expires on March 20!

Also - don't forget about the offers made this week for SPAMALOT!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sweet deals on select Spamalot performances!

Funnier than the plague!

More musical than a wandering band of merry minstrels!





$25 tickets are available for all remaining seats for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances. Hurry! Offer ends Monday, March 2.

Promo code: RABBIT


Come early and dine with us at Maestro’s Restaurant or CafĂ© for only

$19.95 (plus tax).


Take a break from the madness and join SPAMALOT, Thursday, March 5, at 2 p.m.!

All seats are just $20!

(plus applicable fees)

All discounts are subject to availability. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Limit 6 discounted tickets per order.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some good news in the opera world

Since things in the opera world have been a little sad lately and LA Opera’s less-than-stellar Ring Cycle review doesn’t add to that good news, I went on a quest today for something happy to report in the opera world!

Thank you Renee Fleming! I didn’t have to look very long before I found this wonderful story. Ms. Fleming performed to a sell out crowd and helped raise over 2.4 million for Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

It doesn’t hurt that her younger brother, Geordie Alexander, is a first-year master’s student in the school’s opera program.

I found Geordie on Facebook. I wonder if he’ll get a lot of friend requests today.

-Kari G.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi

Feb. 27 and March 1 Opera Tampa will present two Puccini one-acts and a whole mess of talent! Our very own Opera Tampa Apprentices will be performing and they sound amazing!

For the uninitiated or for those who have only been to maybe one or two operas, Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi is a great show for beginners.

First of all, it’s short. Not to be disrespectful to the art form, but I know that it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around a 3+ hour opera. This isn’t that show! Each title is only an hour (roughly) long.

It’s a peanut butter cup! (Two great tastes that taste great together!) Suor Angelica is everything cathartic about opera. You’ll cry your eyes out. On the flip side Gianni Schicchi is a comedy! As Truvy said in Steel Magnolias, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

It has an amazing projected set. If you’re a Broadway buff, its similar technology to what was used for the recent revival of Sunday in the Park with George. It is some very cool technology and blends wonderfully with the shows.

It’s Puccini. Puccini is great for beginners. English subtitles are projected above the stage so you’ll understand every word. You might even recognize an aria or two (or three).

Plus on Friday night, renowned opera diva Renata Scotto will receive the inaugural Anton Coppola Excellence in the Arts Award.

See you there!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nixon, again

Despite his famous speech after losing one election, apparently we do have Richard Nixon to kick around some more.

Nixon, who was a brilliant politician, wouldn't settle for easily winning the presidential election against George McGovern. He had to crush him (and he did).

But those illegal campaign tactics and dirty tricks led to Watergate, and -- ultimately -- to Nixon's resignation.

Back then, I was a Watergate junkie. I read the transcripts. I read the stories and then the books by Woodward and Bernstein. I remember that Time basically defended Nixon and Newsweek basically accused him.

Some years later, I read a book called "From the President," which included many of his memos ... including cringe-inducing formal instructions to his long-suffering wife Pat.

I watched the original Frost/Nixon interviews on DVD recently. What struck me is how prepared Frost was, how ill-at-ease Nixon was (he must have really needed the money) and in some ways what a sad figure he had become. If you watch it, just focus on Nixon's eyes. He looks like a trapped animal.

During the TV interviews, he challenged, argued, speechified but in the end he admitted that he had let down the country, his family and himself.

It made startling television.

So, I'm anxious to see tonight's opening of "Frost/Nixon," the prize-winning play at TBPAC. I missed it on Broadway and deliberately skipped the movie version until after tonight.

Nixon is a tragic figure, and his story provides a cautionary tale about hubris, ego and ambition run rampant. But from those ashes, I also expect great entertainment. -- MichaelK

Monday, February 16, 2009

Interested in Interning? Got time to spare?

The TBPAC Marketing Dept. is in need of an intern (or interns) to help us better our presence in the community in the form of a street team.

Street team members will be assigned distribution routes where we need our flyers, brochures, posters and/or other materials dropped off and to also help us at fetivals, special events and the like. In return, we will be able to reimburse you for your gas and a bit of your time and also hook you up with cool stuff from time to time, like free tickets to shows.

You just need to have your own transportation, a friendly outgoing personality and the time to commit.

Interested? Email David Jenkins for more information.

Coming soon to Britain's citadel of high culture: Anna Nicole Smith, the opera

I’m just going to post the link and go sit quietly and rock back and forth until the madness stops.

-Kari G.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

RED HOT V-Day special through Sunday night

We've got a quiver full of great deals for you through Sunday night at 11:59p for shows like Lily Tomlin, The Pink Floyd Experience and Spamalot - over a dozen shows in all - but you need to act quickly before the deal expires!

Take advantage!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Art wins!

Just moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives approved their final version of the Economic Recovery bill by a vote of 246-183. The package DOES include $50 million in direct support for arts jobs through National Endowment for the Arts grants. The exclusionary Coburn Amendment language banning certain arts groups from receiving any other economic recovery funds has also been successfully removed. Tonight the Senate is scheduled to have their final vote, and President Obama plans to sign the bill on Monday - President's Day.

- a very happy Kari G.

Is an artist a real person?

In the ongoing saga of artists being treated just above gum on the bottom of your shoe and just below chickens in Ybor City – I give you this quote regarding the money earmarked for the NEA in the stimulus package, take it away Georgia's Republican Congressman Jack Kingston:

"We have real people out of work right now and putting $50 million in the NEA and pretending that’s going to save jobs as opposed to putting $50 million in a road project is disingenuous."

I’m going to let News Corpse take care of my rant on this one.

-Kari G.

BE OURS! $14 tickets to many shows!

We've got some heart-stopping discounts this weekend and this weekend only on a slew of great shows - 15 in all - which all expire at 11:59p on Sunday night. Some of the discounts are for shows this weekend like Lily Tomlin and The Pink Floyd Experience, so check them out now!

These discounts go live at noon today when the ticket office opens!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thanks Dad! That’s great – way to support my dreams by killing relevant legislation!

Oh wow. This one is really just too delicious not to share. I tweeted this on Opera Tampa and I am beside myself with the anger that comes when families and politics collide and common sense is thrown out the window. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney and his lesbian daughter come to mind. Now – the arts version:

Sen. Tom Coburn(R) Oklahoma is responsible for writing the amendment that essentially killed arts funding. The amendment stated that is was created, "to ensure that taxpayer money is not lost on wasteful and non-stimulative projects," such as funding museums, theaters and arts centers.

It passed.

Where does this amendment go from ignorant to downright offensive?

His daughter, Sarah Coburn is one of the rising stars of opera. Her performance at Washington National Opera last year was so divine it was said to be "... so lovely it stopped time."

Sen. Coburn just killed funding for the kinds of organizations that feed his extremely talented daughter.

Cultural institutions in trouble have been the headlines for months. The Met had to lay off staff and force a 10% pay cut in its current staff. Baltimore Opera is shuttered after 50+ years as a cultural mainstay. That’s just two examples from the opera world. If we were to relay the struggles of cultural institutions from ballet companies to museums this blog would be too long to read.

The small percentage of funding dedicated to the arts has been demonized in the current stimulus package as “pork” and “unnecessary spending.”

Yet, the arts are a revenue generator for cities across the nation. The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center alone is responsible for over 100 million dollars in economic impact for the region. Arts institutions in this area are better attended than all professional sporting events in Tampa Bay – combined!

The arts not only give back strong economic dividends, they are the one of the top reasons why people move to a city or region. The Cultural Creatives crave artistic venues and make up one of the most promising sectors of the economy. The arts stimulate more revenue for small business and urban cores than they require for operation.

Arts institutions are not a haven of bad spending and poor financial planning. When was the last time you heard about a “golden parachute” for a member of the arts community? We run on shoestring budgets, we put our artistic creativity to work to make silk purses out of pig’s ears, and we do it all for the “greater good” of our society. Trust me, there is nothing “wasteful” in the arts. We can’t afford to waste. One man’s trash is another man’s set design, or costume, or office furniture. And we will take anything we can and find beauty and usefulness in it.

I know I’m biased, but I can’t think of a better way to ensure the cultural integrity of our great nation (one of the only industrialized nations to NOT have a national theater, btw ... ) than to ensure that arts are protected and maintained. Creative industries employ over 5.1 million people in the United States. To put that in perspective – the AFL-CIO only claims 2.1 million members in America. Think about that for a moment. Close down an automotive plant? The government will say you’ve killed the American dream. But destroy the funding for an arts organization to provide after-school programs designed to give at-risk youths the opportunity to creatively and peaceful express themselves, while gaining self-esteem, innovation and the tools to succeed? Then you’re just making “tough decisions.”

Oh I could go on and on.

Shame on you Sen. Coburn. Shame on you. For all the opera recitals you sat through, the dedication you watched your talented artist display, the work ethic I’m sure she has, her passion, her pain, her fear and her moments of triumph – probably too few for all the moments of her heartbreak – shame on you. You know the face of the artist, you know it better than you know your own face. How could you do such a thing? How do you explain this to your daughter? And while you’re at it, why don’t you explain it to me?

- Kari G.

The missing 18 1/2 minutes means you can buy tickets for $18.50!

Watergate. Haldeman and Ehrlichman. Twisting slowing, slowing in the wind. Watergate. Modified limited hangout. Stonewall. I’m not a crook. Watergate. The Plumbers. Watergate. Chuck Colson. John Mitchell. Woodward and Bernstein. Watergate. John Dean. Spiro Agnew. 18 and ½ minutes. June, 17, 1972. Aug. 9, 1974. Watergate. Hush money. The Smoking Gun. Deep Throat. Watergate. Dirty tricks. Judge Sirica. Watergate. Committee To Re-elect The President. Sen. Sam Ervin. Mark Felt. Rose Mary Woods. Watergate. Impeachment. Gerald Ford. L. Patrick Gray. Watergate. High crimes and misdemeanors. David Frost. Richard M. Nixon. Watergate.

The names and phrases echo across time. Now relive history with the Tony-nominated play, “FROST/NIXON.” FROST/NIXON, starring Stacy Keach, tackles the question: How did David Frost, a famous British talk-show host with a playboy reputation, elicit the apology that the rest of the world was waiting to hear from former President Richard Nixon? This fast-paced drama shows the determination, conviction and cunning of two men as they square off in one of the most monumental television interviews of all time.

I'd get your tickets before this offer is, um, erased.

A selected number of tickets are now available for $18.50 (plus applicable fees). Use promo code: ERASED

Offer valid for Balcony and Gallery level tickets. Excludes Saturday evening. Subject to availability. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

What the press says about Idris Ackamoor and Rhodessa Jones!

The Love Project is here this weekend, Feb. 13-15 in the TECO Theater. Here are some great quotes on the work of Ackamoor and Jones, which you have the chance to see for yourself!


“Cultural Odyssey’s performances combine bawdy humor, smooth jazz, athletic tap-dancing, hilarious role-playing and sharp political commentary into hardhitting and side-splitting vignettes." - StreetScene, Karl Lydersen

"Ackamoor and Jones never pound their points of view home. Instead they
draw us in with their acting, enthrall us with their music, and then allow us to draw
our own conclusions."
Chicago Reader, Jack Helbig

“The material shimmered with intelligence, wit and humanity.” - The New York Times, Jennifer Dunning

"...Jones enters characters with a physical bang, crash and boom!" - The Village Voice, Voice Choices

"Powerful performances... giving a gritty, exciting immediacy to a story that’s both true and larger than life." - The Tampa Tribune, Joanne Milani

"The schizophrenic elan of a Lily Tomlin..."- Winston-Salem Journal, Gordon Sparber

“Cultural Odyssey Dazzles! Jones and Ackamoor make sense of life by making beautiful music of the human experience.” - San Diego Union-Tribune, Jennifer Poyen

“Jones works the house like the pro she is, cajoling, seducing and demanding attention. She doesn’t just talk about heat, she embodies it.” - San Francisco Examiner, Robert Hurwitt

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A blog review of WAISTWATCHERS

One of the directors of WAISTWATCHERS: The Calorie-Free Musical wrote me to share this link from a blogger who really enjoyed the show. Check out here review here.

This weekend: The Love Project (discount inside!)

Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor triumphantly return to TBPAC with their new show - The Love Project. Part TV talk show, part musical and part hour party - The Love Project examines the role of love in a violent world.

The Love Project runs Feb. 13-15 in the TECO Theater at TBPAC.

As a valentine's day gift to the community we're also offering a special on tickets this weekend! Get a ticket for just $14 when you use promo code HEART for any show this weekend starting at 10am on Fri., Feb. 13 and ending at 4pm on Sun., Feb. 15. Keep in mind - the promo code doesn't work untill Friday morning!*

This performance is part of the Off Center Series (formerly expanding horizons), TBPAC's mission-oriented series to bring important new work to the area that no one else brings in across the entire southeast.

Hope you can make it!

TRIVIA: Rhodessa Jones is the sister of Bill T. Jone, Tony Award winning choreographer for Spring Awakening, who is also coming to TBPAC with his dance troupe on Feb. 18!

*This discount is not valid on prior sales or in conjunction with any other offer. Subject to availability.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Red Molly newsletter

Check out the current newsletter from our next Club Jaeb artists, Red Molly (appearing Feb. 16):

Hi Everybody:

2009 started out nicely for Red Molly, with lots of great shows in January. The highlight was our first appearance at The Birchmere in VA on Jan 18, opening for Eddie From Ohio (and our buddy, Jake Armerding). We played for about 500 crazy EFO fans, and then sat back to enjoy EFO's fabulous show. We were happy to have a Red Molly contingent in the house, including our friends Meg Braun, Jim Christie and Jodi Greico. Click here for a backstage photo:

February brings more fun, including our first trip to FLORIDA, and another VA appearance (at Jammin' Java on Feb 27). See below for all February shows.

See you soon,
Laurie, Abbie and Carolann

Official website:
Fan website:

Friday, February 6th, 2009 7:00 PM
Fundraiser for WFDU
Wilson Auditorium
Dickinson Hall
Fairleigh Dickinson University

140 University Plaza Drive
Hackensack, NJ 07601
One 45-minute set
Price: $25 (or $20 in advance)
Help support this great radio station! Four acts on the bill:
1) Wayne Fugate, Carol Beaugard and the Wayne All-Stars
2) Out to Lunch
3) Red
4) Silk

RESERVATIONS: Call the number listed and leave your name, phone number, and number of seats.

Saturday, February 7th, 2009 8:00 PM
Sounding Board
Universalist Church
433 Fern St.
West Hartford, CT 06107
Two 40-minute sets
Price: $17 (or $15 for members)
Our 4th annual concert at this wonderful coffeehouse. RESERVATIONS: Make them by calling the number listed, or write to: Steve Kirkman opens the show.

Friday, February 13th, 2009 9:00 AM
Tampa, FL
One 60-minute radio broadcast
We are guests on the Live Music Showcase. Listen online at

Friday, February 13th, 2009 7:30 PM
Fodor's Grove House Concert
2218 Vincent Rd.
Orlando, FL 32817
Two 45-minute sets
Price: $15
Potluck dinner at 6:00 pm. RESERVATIONS: Call the number listed, or write to Mark at:

Saturday, February 14th, 2009 9:00 PM
Down Home Cookin' Concert Series
23241 Bayshore Dr.
Port Charlotte, FL 33980
One 90-minute set
Price: $10
Outdoors, on a deck, overlooking the ocean! Ticket price benefits the American Red Cross.

Sunday, February 15th, 2009 7:00 PM
Glades' Edge House Concert
Sunrise, FL 33323
Two 45-minute sets
Price: $15
Potluck dinner at 6:00 pm. INFO and RESERVATIONS: Write to

Monday, February 16th, 2009 7:30 PM
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
Jaeb Theater
1010 NWC MacInnes Place
Tampa, FL 33602
Two 45-minute sets
800.955.1045 or 813.229.7827
Price: $25.50
TICKETS: Available in advance online or by phone.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 - Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Folk Alliance conference
Memphis, TN
This is a music conference.

Friday, February 27th, 2009 7:00 PM
Jammin' Java
227 Maple Ave. East
Vienna, VA 22180
Two 40-minute sets
703.255.1566 x8
Price: $15 (or $12 in advance)
Our first time at this great listening room. TICKETS: Available in advance online or by phone.

Saturday, February 28th, 2009 8:00 PM
Turtle Dove Folk Club
West Grove Friends Meetinghouse
153 E. Harmony Rd.
West Grove, PA 19390
Two 45-minute sets
Price: $17 (or $15 in advance)
TICKETS: Available in advance online.

Spamalot's March Midday Madness $20 ticket

Spamalot has a Thursday, 2 p.m., performance on March 5. In honor of March Madness, we're naming this performance March Midday Madness and offering up a $20 ticket (applicable service charges apply)... on ALL seats for that performance. That means you can get fantastic seats for a family of 4 for UNDER $100. So take a long lunch, skip class or find a baby sitter and take advantage of the deal!

Not applicable to prior sales. Subject to availability. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus