Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some Broadway with your turkey

If you've been following this blog for a couple years, you know by now that one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. What can I say. Some people like to watch football. I like to watch the parade. This year there are scheduled Broadway performances on CBS by West Side Story, Dreamgirls and Ragtime. NBC's broadcast will feature Bye, Bye Birdie with John Stamos and the cast of Shrek. I also understand there will be an appearance by the cast of HAIR and Billy Elliot. And, of course, a performance by the Radio City Rockettes (love them!).

As a side note for the opera lovers, there's also suppose to be an appearance by Renee Fleming.

The parade starts at 9 a.m. Just pick your network and enjoy.

From the staff & volunteers at the Straz Center, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Elon Gold - One Night Only!

The hit of the Toronto and Montreal Comedy Festivals Elon Gold's Half Jewish, Half Very Jewish is coming for one night only to the intimate Jaeb Theater!Thurs., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.Regularly priced tickets start at $29.50.Buy Elon Gold tickets.Watch a video clip!

With his clever wit, his thoughtful observations and his warning that "some material may not be suitable for Gentiles," Gold tears apart cultural stereotypes while reinforcing others. Half Jewish, Half Very Jewish establishes Gold as one of the top comedians in the country, having appeared on numerous television shows, including four recent appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno . Gold's comedy takes every day life and turns it on its head. His point of view of the world is uniquely delivered through absurd observations and by mocking conventions. Beneath much of the absurdity, lies a sharp, acerbic social commentary. But wait, that's not all ... he'll also regale you with his hilarious original characters and offbeat impressions ... at no extra charge! For more information, visit

Monday, November 16, 2009

TBPAC becomes the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

Celebrating the largest individual philanthropic gift made to a cultural institution in the Tampa Bay area, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center President and CEO Judith Lisi today announced a major institutional gift from the David A. Straz, Jr. Foundation.

In recognition of that gift, Lisi said that TBPAC will be renamed:

David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

The donation will be dedicated in perpetuity to benefit the performing arts center and its programs.

“My wife, Catherine, my daughter, Keebler, and I are happy to invest in the performing arts in Tampa and to help guarantee a wonderful experience for generations to come," Straz said.

As part of a confidentiality request in the donation agreement, the amount will not be disclosed.

“David is a national philanthropist, a managing director of the Metropolitan Opera, and a wonderful supporter of the arts," Lisi said. “We are ecstatic that he believes so strongly in our mission and our organization. This generous gift will change lives not only now, but also for future generations.

“This also is a significant step toward our institutional goal of a $100 million endowment.”

Mayor Pam Iorio attended the announcement at Monday’s performing arts center board of trustees meeting.

“This is a significant milestone for our community – the largest charitable contribution to a cultural institution in Tampa by one of Tampa’s most philanthropic leaders,” Mayor Iorio said. “I thank David Straz and his wife Catherine for their generosity. They are creating an outstanding legacy of a stronger performing arts center that will continue to grow and thrive for generations to come.”

The David A. Straz Foundation was founded in 1993 for the primary purpose of supporting organizations in higher education, visual arts, civic advancement and performing arts.

A resident of Tampa, Straz is married to Catherine Louisa Lowry. Upon his graduation from Marquette University in 1965, he quickly moved into a leadership position in banking management. He built banking organizations in Wisconsin and Florida, which he sold to U.S. Bank, Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank.

There will be a transition to the new name for the new Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Collateral materials are being developed now and will be unveiled gradually.

Opening in 1987, the performing arts center consists of five theaters, three restaurants and the Patel Conservatory. the 335,000 square-foot TBPAC provides an environment for a wide variety of world-class events. It boasts one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is nationally respected for producing grand opera, as well as presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances and events.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - MwhahahahaHappy Talk!

Nothing says Friday the 13th like washing that man right out of your hair!

We didn't pick a scary movie for the Free Movie Series - we did that last month with Coraline. Its weird, last year 2 of our movies landed on Friday the 13th. Lucky.

This month's offering is the Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic South Pacific. Written in 1949, just four years after the war ended, South Pacific is the love story of a plucky American, a passionate French plantation owner, a lot of sailors, an unfortunate local woman named Bloody Mary and all sorts of good-natured sterotypes that you could get away with in 1949.

Seriously, South Pacific is considered one of the greatest muscials of all time. You know the songs - you probably know ALL the songs. South Pacific has become a part of our popular culture.

Considere yourself A Cockeyed Optimist and share Some Enchanted Evening with us! Sorry you can't bring a Bloody Mary, but there might be someone special there and There is Nothing Like a Dame.

The weather is as good as Bali Ha'i and if you've had a bad week you can Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair, and of course because we all like a happy ending, forgive him, enjoy your night and conclude that I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy! How's that for some Happy Talk?

(Told you you knew all the songs! You've Got to Be Carefully Taught).

Also, those who attend the movie tonight will be givne a special 20% Pre-Sale promo code for The Lincoln Center Theater Production of South Pacific coming to TBPAC Jan. 12-17!

See you tonight.

-Kari "It's too cold for my coconut bra" G.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

If you follow Culture Shock from out of the area, you may not know that Tampa is the location of the MacDill AFB and the proud home of the 6th Air Mobility Wing, the Air Force Reserve Command's 927th Air Refueling Wing, CENTCOM, SOCOM, USSOCCENT, USMARCENT and USAFRICOM, MacDill also has the NOAA aircraft unit.

We share our town with heroes from all over the world. Living in Tampa we see our share of uniforms and we do our best to support and thank our fellow citizens and our protectors as much as possible.

TBPAC offers military discounts for many of our shows. Military tickets are 50% off of normal ticket price and are offered 30 - 90 minutes before curtain on the day of performance.

Thank you men and women of the armed forces, those that serve and those that have served. We are grateful for all that you do and have done to keep this Nation free.

- Kari Goetz
Born Fort Polk, LA to Capt. James L. Goetz, US Army

Monday, November 02, 2009

Mary Poppins pre-sale

Tampa's premiere engagement of Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins is coming to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, May 20-June 6, 2010. Starting today Culture Shock readers have priority access to some of the best seats before they go on sale to the public! And if you order by Nov. 5 you can save more than $15 on select performances and locations. Use promo code SHOCK when ordering. For discount details and to purchase tickets, click here

*Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply.