Friday, July 31, 2009

Little House completes casting for Eastern tour!

Complete casting has been announced for the East Coast premiere of the new musical, Little House on the Prairie, starring Melissa Gilbert as Ma.
We can't wait for the show to mosey into TBPAC March 2-7, 2010.
-Kari G.

You Remember Wonderland!

Enjoy this fabulous trailer/teaser for the upcoming World Premiere of Wonderland. Tickets go on sale in 15 days!!!!

(Special thanks to Lorenzo C. and Tina B. our incredibly talented-very-helpful-holds-down-the-fort-with-a-smile-audio-video-staff for creating this fun appetizer).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Intern AP Speaks!

Intern: a person who works as an apprentice or trainee in an occupation or profession to gain practical experience, and sometimes also to satisfy legal or other requirements for being licensed or accepted professionally.

I know what your thinking – interning is the worst – you’re on the bottom of the totem pole, do work no one else wants to do, no responsibility!

Breathe! I’m the one doing it – you’re not!

I must brag a little bit because interning with the Performing Arts Center has been one of the best experiences of my life! Not only am I included in some pretty great projects, meetings, and brainstorming…but the performing arts are something I am truly interested in! Trust me – its way better to be doing something that interests you than not.

Plus think about it – sure you have to work twice as hard as everyone else, (HELLO – they’re getting a paycheck, you’re not! Why wouldn’t you want to work harder?) but hopefully, especially in that “dream job” it will all pay off in the end. So let’s keep your fingers crossed for me and turn in to see what happens!

Here’s to great perks and great times ahead!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Special deal on Grease

OK all you "hopelessly devoted" followers, here is a deal on GREASE coming to the TBPAC, Aug. 18-23. You can save 50% off tickets to the Tuesday & Wednesday night shows in the Balcony and Gallery (price level 2 & 3 only) with promo code SANDY. Offer is limited to 4 tickets and you know the drill... Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Service charges apply.

Now go. Buy your tickets b/c the seats are definitely subject to availability!
Photo by Joan Marcus

Spiderman + Bono and The Edge + Julie Taymor = Nerd Bliss

It's Wednesday. I could either mention that Broadway is turning Clueless in to a musical and let a little bit more of my artistic soul die, or I could recount Melissa Gilbert on Chelsea Lately last night (they mostly talked about coke and Rob Lowe and can you blame them?), or I could happily indulge in a few of my favorite things: Bono, The Edge, Julie Taymor and Spiderman. Did I also mention Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming are signed on to the project? Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark will make a Broadway debut in January, 2010. I simply can't wait.

Bliss. Bliss. Bliss.

-Kari G.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ways to make your meeting MEMORABLE!

Pssst - let me let you in on a secret...

Your company hates the annual meeting at (insert name of standard hotel conference room here).

Shake it up a little! Make this meeting theatrical!

From now until the end of August, we are offering a Summer Stimulus deal for meeting planners.

We'll provide the stage (literally), you just bring the Powerpoint!

If you book your meeting or event at TBPAC to take place sometime before the end of the summer, you will receive the following concessions for FREE:

Room Rental
LCD Projector
Projection Screen
Microphone and Podium
Unlimited Bottled Water

We have 18 separate rooms and theaters that can be used for meetings and Tampa Bay area events of all shapes and sizes. In-house catering (we like to call it "Theatrical Dining") is available throughout our building, so you can leave all the food and beverage planning up to us! Don't forget Maestro's Restaurant, located above the Jaeb and Shimberg Theaters. This elegant and spacious 5,000-square-foot dining room overlooks the downtown Tampa skyline. Maestro's is without question Tampa Bay dining at its finest!

To make you meeting even more memorable, consider a customized teambuilding session with our MBA (Managed By the Arts) program. Explore creative problem solving, interpersonal communication, presentation skills, customer service techniques and teamwork through theater and improvisation exercises. No theatrical training required. Improv games are explained and facilitated in a safe environment. Be prepared - to laugh! For more information call 813.222.1084.

For more information on this and other TBPAC deals, please email

-Kari G.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More members of Wonderland creative team announced

More good news for Wonderland! We are delighted to announce several additions to the creative team for Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventure. According to producer Judith Lisi, president and CEO of TBPAC, Marguerite Derricks will choreograph the production and Ron Melrose will serve as music supervisor and provide vocal and dance arrangements as well as incidental music. Susan Hilferty, Neil Patel and Paul Gallo will design the costumes, sets and lights respectively, while Jon Weston will design the sound and Sven Ortel will design video and projections.

Slated to have its world premiere in Tampa on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 in TBPAC’s Ferguson Hall, the music for Wonderland is by Frank Wildhorn, the composer of The Civil War and Jekyll & Hyde, with book and lyrics by Jack Murphy. Gregory Boyd, artistic director of Houston’s Alley Theatre, will direct.

Marguerite Derricks’ (Choreographer) remarkable choreography has enhanced hundreds of films, television programs, commercials, music videos, and stage productions. She has choreographed the new feature film, Fame – set for a Sept. 25 opening. Derricks received the prestigious Emmy® Award for three consecutive years. Her first was for the long running television series, 3rd Rock From the Sun. She won her second Emmy Award for Fame LA and a third for The 1998 Goodwill Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Her films include Little Miss Sunshine, Spiderman 3, Donnie Darko, Charlie’s Angels, the Austin Powers trilogy and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, earning her MTV Movie Awards and American Choreography Awards nominations. Her television credits include the 58th Emmy Awards, numerous MTV Awards and Fashion Rocks telecasts, That 70’s Show (American Choreography Award nominee) and CSI Miami. Also in demand for commercials, Derricks has created memorable ad campaigns include Old Navy, GAP, Pepsi and Jack in the Box. Derricks’ choreography can be seen in Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity, now in its 8th sold-out year at the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas.

Ron Melrose (Music Direction, Vocal/Dance Arrangements and Incidental Music). Music direction: Jersey Boys (Broadway and six additional companies), Imaginary Friends, Scarlet Pimpernel (Broadway), Radio City Sinatra, First Wives Club, The Wiz, Caraboo and Zelda (Broadway-bound). Broadway dance/vocal arranging: Sweet Smell of Success, Jekyll & Hyde, Perfectly Frank, The Act, Marilyn: An American Fable, Woman of the Year and Cabaret. Associate producer, Jersey Boys original cast album (certified gold). Composing: Superdimensional Microbabes (upcoming anime-based musical); Fourtune (Off-Broadway); The Silver Swan (National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship); theatrical CDs (The Missing Peace, Early One Morning, Songs I Won’t Be Singing); Harvard Hasty Pudding shows (Tots in Tinseltown, Bewitched Bayou); a gospel-based Requiem; songs for church, choir, cabaret and Saturday Night Live. Degrees from Harvard (philosophy) and Westminster (choral conducting). After thirty-two happy years as a New Yorker, he is now a resident of California.

Susan Hilferty (Costume Designer) has designed over 300 productions from Broadway to across America and internationally including Japan, London, Australia, Germany and South Africa. Recent designs include Wicked (2004 Tony®, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk awards and Olivier nomination), Spring Awakening (Tony nomination) August Wilson’s Radio Golf and Jitney, Lestat (Tony nomination) Assassins, Into the Woods (Tony and Drama Desk nominations; Hewes Award), Manon at LA opera and Berlin Staatsoper, Richard Nelson’s Conversations in Tusculum, Caryl Churchill’s Drunk Enough to Say I Love You and Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo. She works with such well-known directors as Joe Mantello, James Lapine, Michael Mayer, Walter Bobbie, Robert Falls, Tony Kushner, Robert Woodruff, JoAnne Akalaitis, the late Garland Wright, James MacDonald, Bart Sher, Mark Lamos, Frank Galati, Des McAnuff, Christopher Ashley, Emily Mann, David Jones, Marion McClinton, Rebecca Taichman, Laurie Anderson, Carole Rothman, Garry Hynes, Richard Nelson and Athol Fugard (the South African writer with whom she works as set and costume designer and often as co-director since 1980). Hilferty also designs for opera, film and dance, and chairs the Department of Design for Stage and Film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was awarded a 2000 OBIE for Sustained Excellence in Design.

Neil Patel
(Scenic Designer) is a New York based scenic designer who works in theater, opera, dance and film. He has designed Sideman, [title of show], 'Night Mother and Ring of Fire for Broadway. Off-Broadway credits include productions at prominent theaters such as Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, BAM, New York Theater Workshop, Vineyard Theater and Playwrights Horizon, having designed productions of [title of show], Living Out, Here Lies Jenny, Dinner With Friends, The Long Christmas Ride Home, Quills and The Grey Zone. His regional work has been seen at the Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theater, Arena Stage, Center Stage, Steppenwolf and Chicago Shakespeare Theater among many others. His work with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company has been seen throughout the world, including the Holland Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Exit Festival in Paris and BAM. Opera credits New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Tokyo Nikikai Opera Theater and the Minnesota Opera. In Tokyo, his credits include Candide, Bent, Torch Song Trilogy and Take Flight at Parco Theater. London credits include Sideman (West End), A Question of Mercy (Bush Theater) and Henry IV (RSC). Awards include the Helen Hayes Award, the 2000 EDDY Award, numerous Drama Desk nominations and the 1996 and 2001 Obie Awards for sustained excellence in set design.

Paul Gallo (Lighting Designer). Last fall Gallo designed his 50th Broadway show with the revival of Pal Joey at Sudio 54. In his 29 years on Broadway his designs for musicals include Pal Joey, Never Gonna
Dance, Man of LaMancha, Dreamgirls, 42nd Street, The Rocky Horror Show, The Civil War, On The Town, The Sound Of Music, Triumph Of Love, Titanic, Big, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Smokey Joe’s CafĂ©, Guys And Dolls, Crazy For You, City of Angels, Anything Goes, Smile, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and Tintypes. He has also designed many award winning plays on Broadway which include November, A Bronx Tale, Mauritius, Losing Louie, Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Three Days of Rain, The Crucible, 45 Seconds From Broadway, The Man Who Came To Dinner, Epic Proportions, Skylight, The Tempest, I Hate Hamlet, Six Degrees of Separation, Lend Me A Tenor, Spoils of War, The Comedy Of Errors, The Front Page, The House of Blue Leaves, Heartbreak House, Beyond Therapy, Come Back To The Five And Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Grown Ups, Kingdoms, Candida, The Little Foxes, John Gabriel Borkman and Passione. Gallo is the recipient of eight Tony nominations, ten Drama Desk nominations (winning one), six Outer Critics Awards, two Obie Awards and the 1986 Obie for Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and the Yale School of Drama. And after all that his proudest achievement is being married to his beautiful wife, Jody, for 22 years and of his two wonderful children, Francesca and Nicholas.

Jon Weston’s
(Sound Designer) Broadway credits include 13, Les Miserables, The Color Purple, The Glass Menagerie, Caroline, or Change (AUDELCO Award), Nine, Imaginary Friends, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Green Bird, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, On the Town, Company in concert at Lincoln Center and Man of La Mancha. His off-Broadway and regional credits include Rooms, Family Guy Sings! at Carnegie Hall, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Little Night Music (L.A. Drama Critics Award), Himself & Nora, The Thing About Men, tick, tick…BOOM! and Bright Lights, Big City. He began his audio career at T.T.G. studios in Los Angeles, recording the music for such television shows as The Love Boat and Dynasty.

Sven Ortel’s
(video and projection designer) work has been seen all over the world. His collaborators are some of the most established and celebrated artists in the industry including directors Matthias Hartman, Jonathan Kent, Robert Lepage, Trevor Nunn, Deborah Warner, and David Leveaux, choreographer Helgi Tomasson, conductor Valery Gergiev and set designer George Tsypin. His recent projects include Deuce directed by Michael Blakemore on Broadway, Complicite’s A Disappearing Number directed by Simon Mcburney, Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Broadway, directed by Francesca Zambello, Swan Lake for the San Francisco Ballet and the Theatre for a New Audience's off-Broadway production of Hamlet. His current and future projects include the re-staging of the Kirov Opera’s Ring Cycle under maestro Gergiev in St. Petersburg, Russia, and at the Royal Opera House in London. He is also working on a project in cooperation with the Guggenheim about “The Blue Rider” art movement. Since 2001, Ortel has been an associate of Mesmer, a collective of like minded people that explore and further the use of imagery and projection in the live arts. With Mesmer he conceived the video system and process that realized the technologically groundbreaking musical The Woman in White. Ortel is based in New York and London.

Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventure will play TBPAC’s Ferguson Hall Dec. 5, 2009 through Jan. 3, 2010, with preview performances scheduled Nov. 24 through Dec. 4. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public on Sunday, Aug. 16, at noon. Additionally, many ticket packages that include Wonderland are now available. For more information, log on to

Following the Tampa run, Wonderland will play a limited engagement at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, beginning Jan. 15, 2009. For more information, visit

Friday, July 24, 2009

If you care, SHARE!

We have a feature on our website and our eCenter newsletters - no matter what the information - announcements, shows, discounts, classes, dining opportunities, you name it - there is always an icon nearby that looks like the one above.

That's the ShareThis option. Click on it and you can share our information with your friends on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Blogspot, Technorati and more!

Be a Performing Arts Social Media Maven! When you see a show, event, class, or blog post you like - let everyone know. You'll be rewarded with new fans flocking to your Social Media Mecca. If nothing else, you'll look tres sophisticated and well versed in the arts scene in Tampa Bay. We all win!

-Kari G.

Walking With Dinosaurs

For 200 million years the Dinosaurs ruled the earth
Now, they’re back roaming the arenas of Americain an extraordinary theatrical production

Based on the award-winning BBC Television Series WALKING WITH DINOSAURS comes to the St. Pete Times Forum for eight performances only Oct. 14-18, presented by the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center!

In celebration of the public on sale, the St. Pete Times Forum recieved a special hello from the show's BABY T-REX. At 8 feet tall and 12 feet long - this was one BIG baby!

Baby T-Rex screamed, lunged and tore down the velvet ropes. He nuzzled, he sniffed and he brought a lot of smiles (and a few screams) to happy campers from around Hillsborough County. One of those happy campers was me - I got nuzzled.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS features 17 roaring, snarling “live” dinosaurs mesmerize the audience – and are as awe-inspiring as when they first walked on earth! Can't imagine all this on stage? Then watch this clip!

I am counting down the days to see this show. I also would like to nominate myself as president of the Baby T Rex fan club. I love you T!!!!!

- Kari G.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Friday!

In honor of the fifth day of the work week, count to five with opera diva Renee Fleming. I love muppets. I love opera. I love opera muppets. Renee Fleming comes to TBPAC on Jan. 26. Her concert will be incredible. But sorry, there will be no muppets.

-Kari G.

Jamie Foxx Blames It on TBPAC!

Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx comes to Tampa for an evening of live music!

Jamie Foxx Blame It Tour Mon., Aug. 31, 8 p.m.Regularly priced tickets start at $56.50 and go on sale to the general public Monday, July 27, at noon.

Foxx's album, Intuition, was released on Dec. 16, 2008, and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. The first single off the album, "She Got Her Own," rose to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart. The second single, "Blame It," hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart.

Intuition also features an impressive list of artists such as T.I., Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Ne-Yo.
Starring in big box office hits like Ray, Collateral and Dreamgirls , Foxx's career in front of the camera is as impressive as his success in the music industry.

Foxx won an Academy Award® for Best Actor in 2005 for his portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles in Ray, also sweeping the Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG), BAFTA and NAACP Image Awards, as well as numerous critics' awards. Foxx is also the first African-American actor to be nominated for two Oscars® in the same year, and is only the second man in history to receive two acting Oscar® nominations in the same year for two different movies, Ray and Collateral.

Don't miss the hottest show of the year. For more information, visit

Contains adult language, situations and subject matter.

After 65 million years... THEY'RE BACK!

The TBPAC will present Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular at the St. Pete Times Forum Oct. 14-18. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 24, at noon but we have your pre-sale code so you can buy tickets now. Just click here and enter code: BABYT to buy tickets before the general public.

The award-winning BBC TV series Walking with Dinosaurs comes to life in a stunning theatrical event. Internationally renowned designers have worked with scientists to create 15 life-size dinosaurs, including the terror of the ancient terrain, Tyrannosaurus Rex! It's a dazzling $20-million-dollar arena spectacle of unprecedented size and quality that will captivate young and old alike. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Visit

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pericles TV spot!

Check it out - coming to Bright House cable in August, and coming to the TBPAC stage as of Aug. 5 - PERICLES!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Remember Field Trips?

We sometimes take for granted the importance of introducing youth to the arts.

Each year, field trip programs have decreased throughout schools, due to the lack of county budgets. Many schools are only allowed a few field trips for the entire year. Others don’t plan any, due to gargantuan work loads and a multitude of tests scheduled throughout the year. Our students sometimes are overworked without a chance to ever experience the arts. Arts in schools are being wiped out due to budget cuts. It is essential that we do our part in providing an outlet for the future generations to experience the arts.

TBPAC belives in providing outlets for students to experience the performing arts! The foundation of TBPAC's educational programming is the Field Trip Performance Series. Each year students from public, private and home schools come to TBPAC during the school day to enjoy high quality, age-appropriate productions. TBPAC recognizes the challenges that FCAT testing poses to teachers in the State of Florida, and understands teachers’ reluctance to take students away from the classroom environment to attend performances during the school day. To enhance the educational connection between our shows and your curriculum, each Field Trip Performance Series presentation is coded with the applicable Sunshine State Standards that the show and its corresponding study guide helps to meet.

Last year TBPAC's Feild Trip Performance Series served 39,980 students!

Help do your part and spread the word of what we offer for schools. Help us bring the arts and together we can provide an unforgettable experience.

“I’m so happy that you have these programs. I’m a teacher at a Title 1 school. Most of my students have never seen any theater before, let alone an opera. It was so amazing to see all of their faces light up throughout the performance. We spent the entire bus ride back, talking about the performance. When we returned to school, they asked when we could come back.” – 5th grade Language Teacher.

Hey Home School Families! Do you need some ideas for what to do during Spring Break?

TBPAC is doing a special Spring Break performance of the play, The Man Who Planted Trees, on April 15th-16th.

The Man Who Planted Trees is based on the book of the same name and is a very funny and delightfully excellent way to spread knowledge of being environmentally friendly. This is a truly wonderful show for the whole family to attend.

Prices for this show are $6.50 per ticket.

For any additional information or questions, concerns or comments, please contact Spencer Meyers the Field Trip/Group Sales Coordinator at 813.222.1047.

-Spencer M.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Idols on Broadway

A lot of American Idols have found themselves on Broadway. Adam Lambert is taking a detour to pop from what looked like a path to Broadway. If Idol history is any indication, he'll be on the Great White Way soon enough.

Tamyra Gray, who Idol contestant way back in Season 1, just signed on for The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea, a new African-set version of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea," will be seen in a private workshop presentation in Manhattan July 20. Prior to this she has made a name for herself in Rent and Bombay Dreams.

The beleaguered Frenchie Davis from Season 2, still managed to pick up the pieces and star in Rent.

Season 2 runner up Clay Aiken did his turn in Spamalot. Then he came out and started a family. Broadway can be cathartic like that.

Season 3 Fantasia has performed “Celie” in The Color Purple and is reprising the role in D.C., Chicago and Atlanta this summer and fall.

Season 4 was FULL of Broadway talent – most notably the Tony® nominee Constantine Maroulis who is currently performing in Rock of Ages.

There have been others, and I encourage all of you American Idol fans to publish my omission in the comments below.

But most importantly – Taylor Hicks the Season 5 winner of American Idol is performing in Grease at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Aug. 18-23. The chicks will…

…you know the song.

-Kari G.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Season Celebration

Every year TBPAC hosts a VIP event to celebrate our upcoming season.

Tonight we are offering a free cocktail party and a backstage sneak peek of the 2009 – 2010 season by invitation only. This event is highly anticipated each year by members of the press and other VIP guests. Want to get on the invite list for next season, but the press isn’t hiring? Consider becoming one of TBPAC’s valued group leaders.

A group can be as few as 12 to 20 people attending the same performance and received many fabulous special advantages such as: discounted prices on most shows, priority seating, convenient motor coach parking, personalized service, catering advice and more. Some shows even offer complementary tickets to group leaders and TBPAC often hosts VIP events specifically for top sellers.

You'll find more information about bringing a group to upcoming TBPAC shows here. We’re taking reservations now for TBPAC’s 2009 – 2010 High-Flying Season! Book early to receive the best seats at a great discount!

-Tracey M.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Audio Description

For the visually impaired, attending the theater can be challenging.  Commonly they bring a sighted friend to "describe" the physical action occurring on stage.

Visually impaired patrons are aware that this could be disturbing to fellow guests, but what option do they have if they want to enjoy the theater?

Enter the TBPAC's Audio Description Program.  Part of our Open Doors program to ensure that all people, regardless of physical challenges, can enjoy the theater.

Our team of audio describers (7 women, 2 men, all local) will be audio describing the first Sunday matinee of every Broadway show next season!  While we were all going through training (yes, I am an audio describer as well, because I need more things to do in my life), John Flemming of the St. Petersburg Times covered our process.  His article appears in the Floridian section of today's paper.

-Kari G.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rapp n' Rays

Anthony Rapp sang the National Anthem at the Tampa Bay Rays game tonight in Tropicana Field. The Rays don't make jerseys for just anybody.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!

And in about 5 minutes he'll be performing RENT for the second time today.  Don't miss the last 2 performances tomorrow!

-Kari G.

Test Drive Your Social Networking

Today was Test Drive Your Seats - a great opportunity for the community to run around Morsani Hall and see the available seats for the Broadway Season.  It was a bit of an early morning for most of us on the marketing staff.  We all had the "best intentions" to go to bed early last night - but I think the average bedtime was between 1:30 and 2 a.m.  

Bleary eyed but eager, we opened the doors to scores of waiting patrons at 9:30. We answered questions, talked of sight lines (Is stage left better than stage right?), levels (is the Mezzanine better than the Orchestra?) and season ticket options (Silver package v. Platinum package?).  Our Development team assisted patrons who saw the benefits of becoming members and ensuring the best seats in the Broadway Circle.

There are still great seats available for all performances in the season.  If you missed Test Drive today, don't worry, your perfect seats might still be waiting for you!

As the event wore down - we realized that in our quiet time, we were all posting Tweets.  This is what happens when an account has multiple users and too many marketers with iPhones.  Ah technology!

TBPAC's social networking contributors is expanding.  It's only going to get more interesting.  In the coming weeks TBPAC will be giving you, our readers and fans, a multi-dimensional look at all aspects of the world of a Performing Arts Center.  Staff from all areas of TBPAC will share their world with you.

Social Networking channels for TBPAC will still be one of the first places to gain information on discounts, show announcements and reminders of public on-sales, but we want to add to that knowledge a glimpse into the experiences we have at TBPAC.

Follow us on Twitter @TBPAC and get the news as it happens, from all corners of our organization.  Friend us on Facebook and MySpace for photos and contests that will be exclusive to our Friends.  Subscribe to Culture Shock and find out what we're up to and comment back with your thoughts and questions.

There is a Native American proverb that "It takes a thousand voices to tell one story." We're adding more voices and we need your voice as well - come to the discussion.

Have a great weekend - and if you haven't seen RENT yet, you still have 4 performances left.  If you're going to the Tampa Bay Rays game tonight - Anthony Rapp is singing the National Anthem - then rushing back to do the evening performance.  How cool is that?

-Kari G.  

Friday, July 10, 2009

Test Drive Your Seat

You know what we love to do more than anything else in the TBPAC marketing department?


That's right! We like to wake up early and work on a Saturday morning!

Actually that's a lie. A big old lie. But we do care enough for you to have the best seat possible for the 2009-2010 Bank of America Best of Broadway season.

That's actually true. We really do care. We care so much that we are going to be in the Carol Morsani Hall tomorrow morning from 9:30 - 11 a.m. to answer your questions and help you find the perfect seat for you and your friends, loved ones and/or the people you have in your life that quietly sit with you and suffer your love of Broadway.

It's okay. We like people like you. We also like that there are people in your life that like you enough to buy another seat and suffer for you all season.

Come on by tomorrow morning - we'll be here. Hopefully we'll be standing upright, but be prepared for a couple of ponytails and baseball caps in the mix. Marketers are night owls. We only do this for you good people.

Points if you bring us coffee. Just sayin.

-Kari G.

The Running of the Bulls - RENT style

I was at the Shimberg Playhouse for the preview performance of Stagework's The Little Dog Laughed last night. As I was standing outside to congratulate local actors Julie Rowe, Matthew Lunsford, Nick Horan, and Mary Jordan, I felt a great rush of adrenaline, angst and adoration as the Running of the RENTheads went past me in a blur.

They wore sundresses with heels, jeans with Chuck Taylors, a mix of emotion and confusion and unbridled joy. They smelled of androgynous cologne and summer sweat. They giggled and shrieked as the clacking of their shoes echoed down the corridor.

There was 500 ft. between them and the Stage Door. They were quickly gaining ground towards the Stage Door. The velvet ropes were in sight. We were in their way.

We moved. Quickly.

And so the Running of RENTheads flew by us, desperately jockeying for their place in line. Hoping for the best angle to see Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp.

So if you're coming to TBPAC this weekend to see RESPECT, Little Dog Laughed or you happen to be sitting close to the ends of the aisles for RENT - be warned - the Running of the RENTheads is real and they will not be stopped by mere mortals like you.

-Kari G.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The ultimate RENThead experience

We love our summer intern AP (we'll call her AP to protect her identity). AP has suffered through our last minute freak-outs, has become well acquainted with our temperamental copy machine, stared at 10 spreadsheets and made them one coherent document, and frequently asks me (without prompting) if I need Starbucks.

In short - she's an angel.

She's also a RENThead. Bad. Almost to the point of wanting to tease her. But you can't tease somebody that just copied and cut 2,500 inserts for you.

She saw RENT last night, she's seeing it tonight. If she wasn't expected to be here in the mornings, I bet she would be hanging out in line with the other RENTheads for rush tickets (they camp out).

Working here and interning here can be a lot of hard work. "The show must go on" isn't a saying, it's a edict. We get a lot done in a little bit of time and if we do our job right, the patron never notices.

AP has learned that and she's gained experience and become a great team member. Today, we got to do something nice for her.

AP got to assist the publicist in picking up Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal today. If you're a Beatles Fan - she got to pick up John and Paul. If you're a U2 fan - she got to pick up Bono and The Edge. If you're a Jonas Brothers fan - she got to pick up 2 of the 3 of them. (They all look the same to me, sorry).

As I type this she is meeting the two men who first breathed life into Roger and Mark and made RENT the worldwide success that it is today. The only advice I could give her was, "Try not to drool."

The work here is hard, the perks are unbelievable. I doubt she will ever forget today.

-Kari G.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Renee Fleming Shines in Traviata

Our favorite diva Renee Fleming  is selling out the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in her six-performance run as Violetta in Traviata.

Anthony Tommasini of  the New York Times said of her performance, "I can report that she was at her best in this vocally alluring and dramatically insightful Violetta."

Wait until you hear her in the acoustically perfect Carol Morsani Hall on Jan. 26.

- Kari G.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

"Alice" anniversary today

On this date in 1862, Lewis Carroll first told the "Wonderland" story to his neighbor's daughter Alice and her friends. Three years later, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was published in book form.

For a modern-day take on the tale, check out "Wonderland: Alice's New Musical Adventures" in its world premiere in Tampa at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Part of the Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay series, the new musical opens on Nov. 24 and runs through Jan. 3.

Season tickets to the Broadway series are on sale now. "Wonderland" tickets in conjunction with either "Wicked" or "Mary Poppins" also are on sale. Tickets to "Wonderland" alone go on sale to the public in mid-August.

The music is by Frank Wildhorn, with book and lyrics by Jack Murphy. It will be directed by Gregory Boyd.

For more information on this production, check out -- MichaelK

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Opera Tampa Chorus Auditions!

Mark your calenders! Auditions for the Opera Tampa Chorus are Monday, July 20th. Here's the skinny:

Opera Tampa is looking for adult men and women for the Opera Tampa Chorus for the productions of Lucia di Lammermoor (Nov. 20 & 22, 2009) and La Rondine (April 23 & 25, 2010). Chorus/Choir experience is welcome, but not as necessary as a good work attitude and commitment to rehearsals and memorization.

When: Monday, July 20, 2009. By appointment only Where: The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Jaeb Theater. For questions and appointment call Marion Sassen at 813-222-1021.

Bring 16 bars of your favorite song (classical preferred) with the sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. Regular rehearsals are mostly Monday evenings 6:45 – 9:30 p.m. Intense rehearsals with Maestro Anton Coppola begin three weeks before the performance dates and may be every day – 7-10 p.m. during the week and any time on the weekend. If you enjoy singing in a foreign language, acting, dancing, watching the Maestro and chewing gum all at the same time, OPERA TAMPA is looking for YOU!

Who doesn't enjoy singing in a foreign language?!!? You should hear me at karaoke - believe me - it doesn't sound like English!

In bocca al lupo!

-Kari G.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Great deals on RENT tickets

Want to see RENT next week with Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, the original Broadway cast members, but need a little help in the money department? No problem. We've got a couple great offers!

- Save 25% off the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday performances. Use promo code ROGER. This offer is valid on price level 1 & 2 and limited to 4 discounted tickets.

- We've also partnered with Tinatapa's in Channelside for a special dinner & a show package. For $165 you receive two price level 1 tickets to RENT (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday only), plus dinner for two at Tinatapa's (which you can use anytime between now and Nov. 1). We've even thrown in free valet parking at Channelside. Call the TBPAC Ticket Office, 813.229.STAR (7827), for more details and to purchase.

Both offers are not applicable to prior sales. Subject to availability. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Service charges apply.

Photo by Joan Marcus.


Set your DVR's and Tivo's to Fox TV tomorrow, July 2nd at 9 p.m. as Complexions Contemporary Ballet makes their second appearance on So You Think You Can Dance?

They will be performing a duet featuring Desmond Richardson and Patricia Hachey, choreographed by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. (BTW - that picture is Desmond Richardson - yes I will be setting my DVR for that).
Once you've gotten hooked - wait for a very exciting announcement from TBPAC regarding Complexions...
-Kari G.