Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taylor Hicks returns to Idol

Catch American Idol winner Taylor Hicks tonight on Idol performing his new song, "Seven Mile Breakdown." And then catch him live performing the role of "Teen Angel" in the tour of Grease when it comes to the TBPAC in August!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free stuff is awesome! Win tickets and a CD!

Text PATTY to 24453 for a chance to win 2 tix to the Patty Larkin Club Jaeb show on 5/18 plus her CD "Watch the Sky" - this is an album she plays every single instrument on: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, baritone guitar, lap steel, national steel, bass, banjo, bazouki, loops, toy organ and door chimes.

She was a huge hit last season during the Club Jaeb series and we hope she has the same kind of turnout this year!

Here's Patty singing Wolf at the Door at a live show (the video isn't great, but the audio is good)

And here's a totally acapella/scat/hip-hop number from a concert in 2007.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thespians - get a $5 ticket to see WAISTWATCHERS!

In town for the Florida State Thespian Festival? You can get a ticket to see any performance of WAISTWATCHERS: The Calorie Free Musical this week for just $5 with your conference badge at the TBPAC Ticket Office window as of 90 minutes to curtain.

Take advantage!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Welcome, Thespians!

Today they start trickling in, tomorrow that trickle will be a solid stream. By tomorrow night it will be a full-on river as some 7,000+ theatrical invaders will descend upon Downtown Tampa as part of the Florida State Thespian Festival.

You can check out these other posts on the festival, and I'm sure we'll add more this week.

Also, if you're a conference attendee and you're looking for something extra - you can get a $5 ticket to see Waistwatchers: The Calorie-Free Musical for ANY show this week. A $1.50 service charge applies, and those tickets will be made available as of 90 minutes to curtain by showing your conference badge at the TBPAC Ticket Office window.

Welcome to Tampa!

You can also follow us on Twitter or Myspace (tbpac), become a fan of Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center or join the TBPAC group on Facebook.

Opera Tampa Tweets for #OperaPlot

If you don’t follow Opera Tampa on Twitter ( – here’s the reason to start.

The Omniscient Mussel will be reviving the #OperaPlot contest and there are great tickets to the opera to be won!

The rules seem pretty simple – create an opera plot in 140 characters (or less) and #OperaPlot must be included – so 130 characters.

Opera Tampa will be doing our collective best and trying to tie it in to our 0910 season. Let’s see:

#operaplot Nice Scottish girl gets in knife fight with Bridezilla, battle ensues for 15 years with Coppola at the helm, stars Renee Fleming.

That is exactly 140 characters!

Good luck!

P.S. I just got word from The Omniscient Mussel – Opera Tampa will be providing tickets to our season as prizes! Sign up to Twitter and the fun starts on Monday, April 27!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Outer Critics Circle Nominations are out!

Kind of like the Golden Globes are to the Oscars – so the Outer Critics Circle should give us a great idea of what’s to come at Tony announcements on May 5. Billy Elliot and Shrek tie for 10 nominations each.

My fingers are crossed for a certain nominee of the Outstanding Featured Actress in a play. Susan Louise O’Connor has my vote (if they let me vote) for her performance in Blithe Spirit. I will be seeing the show at the end of the month and supporting not only one of the brightest new stars of Broadway (though she has been a staple in the Off-Bway scene), but also the best roommate I could have asked for in college!

Go Susan!

- Kari G.

TONIGHT - Old School Freight Train - check these vids out!

A short civil war re-enactment video using a OSFT covering Blondie's Heart of Glass:

OSFT and a live cover of Stevie Wonder's Superstition:

Finally, a cover of Randy Newman's Mr. President:

Yes, OSFT plays plenty more than covers, but I figure these are quicker hooks to get you into them.

This band is extremely talented and equally as diverse in their influences and offerings. Check them out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the Heights launches tour in Tampa

It was just announced that the eagerly anticipated tour of In the Heights is scheduled to launch here in Tampa in October. Full story is at

Though tickets aren't on sale for the Tampa engagement just yet, you can secure a great seat now by becoming a season ticket holder. Packages start at $85!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beatles bits

In anticipation of the highly-tauted stage spectacle RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles, here are four fab stories in the news on our favorite lads from Liverpool:

Now, the $69,000 question remains, what's the story on why The Beatles tribute show is called RAIN? Anyone know? First person to answer correctly wins a free pair of tickets to the show on May 16!

Q&A with Midori

Check out this Q&A with violinist, Midori, performing tonight at 8 p.m.

TBPAC: Your program presents a broad chronological scope (Beethoven to Cage). How did you craft it?

MIDORI: The recital programs are constructed with pieces of balancing styles and sounds that would create a cohesive flow to the program. The musical sequence should be appealing, with smooth transition from one piece to the next, as well as being interesting to the listener. Examining the works' similarities and differences is an essential part of the selection process, and a fascinating one as well.

TBPAC: Cage’s Six Melodies are not very well known. Tell us what we can expect from them.

MIDORI: John Cage wrote the Six Melodies in 1950. The middle of the 20th century was a very interesting time in America, both in music composition and in history, post-World War II and on the cusp of the cultural revolution to come in the next decade. The Six Melodies are extremely simple in how they sound, yet very intriguing and attractive for their unimposing, almost laconic feel.

TBPAC: Your accompanist Robert MacDonald is a highly respected artist in his own right. How long have the two of you been performing together? Can you sketch for us an outline of your typical rehearsal?

MIDORI: Bob and I have been performing together for over twenty years. Over the years, we have developed a solid and comfortable working relationship as well as a trusting friendship.

The process of rehearsing is very natural, and we can accomplish a great deal in our somewhat limited formal rehearsal times.

TBPAC: It has been amazing to watch your career and your development as a very public artist. Will you tell us about some of the priorities in your private life?

MIDORI: Teaching is at the forefront of my private and public life's priorities right now, to be engaged with students in this capacity is entirely humbling and inspiring. Each day holds new discoveries, challenges and rewards, and nothing makes me happier than seeing a student coming closer to his or her aspirations.

TBPAC: There is a general concern about the future of classical music, especially in America. As a widely travelled musician, do you see a decline in the consumption and enjoyment of classical music around the world? If so, what can be done to reverse this trend?

MIDORI: There is a lot of talk nowadays about classical music being a 'dying' genre, and this notion is far from the truth. Financial problems do exist in the classical field like in other fields, but artistically, classical music is as vibrant and exciting as ever.

The experience of great music is not limited to concert halls or big cities, nor is it only for those who can afford to purchase tickets. Music should be heard wherever it can be heard, from concert venues and churches to schools and hospitals, to public parks and coffee shops. These days, presenters are leaning towards offering various informal music events in addition to their regular concerts, efforts which will hopefully broaden the affordability of concert attendance and re-engage the general public with the classical genre.

TBPAC: Has the “new technology” (computers, I-Pods, blogs and the like) had an impact of you personally? Has it changed the way your fans listen to and buy your performances?

MIDORI: I do see that people increasingly obtain their information online. And of course email is a big part of my professional career - such as in interviews, and communicating with my managers and publicists, who are scattered from California and New York to London and Germany. However, it is also important to mention that there is no replacement for a direct, face-to-face encounters.

I like to think that the Internet adds to the classical music audience, as websites provide greater accessibility and a wealth of information. Fewer and fewer people buy music on LPs or tapes or CDs anymore in favor of downloading MP3s; the recording industry is required adjust accordingly to those demands. Performance videos are widely available on the web (with and without the proper permissions, but still there). Technology is a wonderful means of sharing music on a very broad level, but again, I have to say that it is no substitute for a live musical experience.

- Bill F.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Check out the New York cast of STOMP performing on Good Morning America tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14. They are scheduled to be on between 8:30 and 9 a.m. with a few short teases starting around 8 a.m. They will be performing their new piece, "donuts".

And don't miss the newly revamped show coming to the TBPAC in June!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Even Gwen Stefani groves to "Fiddler"

A fellow staff member (to remain nameless) was watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua last night and noticed the Gwen Stefani song "Rich Girl." You know the one... "If I was a rich girl, nahnahnah etc." (now you can have that stuck in your head too). The song actually originates from the show Fiddler on the Roof. Kinda an interesting back story from Wikipedia...

After playing some of the songs on which she had been working, Dr. Dre told her, "You don't want to go back there." Instead of using one of the tracks, Dr. Dre instead suggested using reggae duo Louchie Lou & Michie One's 1993 song "Rich Girl", which itself interpolated "If I Were a Rich Man" from the 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof. Stefani and Eve helped each other with their parts, but when they presented Dr. Dre with the demo, he told them to rewrite the song, suggesting that Stefani play a character in the song.

Since she had not seen the musical since she was a child, Stefani went to Broadway to better understand the theme that "even if you're poor and you have love, you're rich." The idea which became the final version came to Stefani while brainstorming on her treadmill. She commented that the troubles in writing the song came because "Dre was really pushing me to write in a new way," but when she presented him with the song, "he just totally tricked the track out."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sedaris reads his books to you

If he had written nothing more than "The Santaland Diaries," David Sedaris would have claimed a spot in the Humorist Hall of Fame.

His recounting of working as a woefully miscast department store elf still cracks me up.

Of course, he's written much more since then in books about learning to speak French and stopping smoking ("Me Talk Pretty One Day," "When You Are Engulfed in Flames") plus New Yorker and Esquire essays that provide an exquisitely twisted take on things.

For example, Esquire asked him to contribute to its Valentine's Day issue and he submitted a story about a particularly nasty boil on his butt, his lover and things you do for love. Let him tell you about it.

He still doesn't quite understand why people pay to hear him read books they've already read for themselves, but he's not going to stop showing up.

He'll be here at TBPAC on April 18. For more information:

-- MichaelK/TBPAC

Friday, April 03, 2009

A few deals

Don't forget we have two pretty cool offers right now for those on a budget:

Get a $40 ticket to Taste the Best of Tampa Bay (Sat., April 4) with promo code FACE. Taste the Best of Tampa Bay features a ton of food and drinks as well as entertainment, all inclusive for the $40 ticket. Taste the Best of Tampa Bay is a fundraiser for TBPAC, ensuring we're able to keep bringing the best to you year after year.

Get a half-off ticket to see the final performance of The Lieutenant of Inishmore on Sun., April 12 at 4pm. That's just $12.25 per person! Use promo code THOMAS when you buy.

These offers are not good on prior sales or in conjunction with any other offer and are subject to availability.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Lieutenant of Inishmore - a bloody good hit in the Shimberg Playhouse

The Lieutenant of Inishmore has been getting great reviews for the past two weeks from critics, bloggers and patrons alike. Check out what they're saying:

"I was warned ... violence, gunshots, blood, gore, loud music, cat murder(s) ... Part satire, part farce, part murder mystery, Jobsite delivered on the promise. Yet heed the warning: "This play is not for the easily offended ... It's funny, it's sexy, it's a bloodbath -- it's like a Tarantino movie, but not as pretty. Blood isn't just spattered here and there -- it's smeared and splashed on walls, windows, floors and bodies, alive and dead, human and feline." - Creative Loafing (this week's cover story, to boot)

“Full serving of gore, horror and hilarity.... Gruesomely violent as it is, Inishmore is almost slapstick.... David Jenkins and his cast (almost all Jobsite regulars) amp up the violence and humor... and blood flows profusely (in extremely effective special effects by Chris Holcom).... The entire cast does fine work.... Lots of people like blood, guts and mayhem, and they're the ones this production aims to please.” – St. Petersburg Times

“In this comedy of devastating errors, with enough extreme carnage to make Quentin Tarantino queasy, bumbling characters shoot, maim, slice and dice one another with abandon and little remorse.... At the play's end, the stage is drenched, eliciting sickening sounds as the actors left standing tread the saturated floorboards.... The easily offended might not appreciate the absurd overkill and outrageously misplaced values. But for everyone else, it's hilarious.” – The Tampa Tribune

“The production was very well acted, especially the parts of Padraic and Mairead. There's real chemistry between the characters and they develop an almost Mickey and Mallory Knox-like bond.... This play is also not for the squeamish, as the blood continues to pile up through the final act.” –

“All of the acting is superb. Irish accents are spot-on, and the cast works well as an ensemble.... Martin McDonagh’s plotting is immaculate.... Even though I usually don’t like violence at all, it was humorous in the context of the play.... I would definitely recommend this play.” – ARTS NET, Tampa Bay

You can read all the feedback Jobsite's received on the show at their website.

This play only has eight more performances before it is gone for good! It must close April 12.

Full disclosure: I am also Jobsite Theater's producing artistic director as well as the director of the production. I might be shilling a tiny bit here.