Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dacal to sing Anthem for 25th Anniversary Outback Bowl


Broadway singer/actress Janet Dacal will perform the National Anthem at this years Outback Bowl. Dacal is currently playing the role of Alice in Frank Wildhorn's WONDERLAND, coming to Broadway in the Spring of 2011. WONDERLAND will hold its pre-Broadway engagement at the Straz Center Jan. 5-16, 2011.

Dacal just recently finished her run with IN THE HEIGHTS as the lead, Nina Rosario, after having originated the role of Carla in the original Off-Broadway and Broadway productions. She also performed on Broadway in Good Vibrations in addition to the off-Broadway production of Byzantium. Other productions include Señor Discretion Himself (Arena Stage); Five Course Love (Carbonell nomination); Four Guys Named Jose; Annie and others (Actors' Playhouse). Janet has also been a part of recordings and tours for various Grammy-winning artists, including Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada and Luis Enrique.

The Outback Bowl celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year and will be played on January 1st at 1:00 PM at Raymond James Stadium. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and can be purchased online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/. Tickets can also be purchased at any Ticketmaster outlet in the state of Florida.

A limited amount of priority seating as part of a bowl membership package are still available by calling the Outback Bowl office directly at (813) 874-BOWL or go to the bowl web site at www.outbackbowl.com for details.

New Years resolution: See more theater!


Counting down to a new year of shows...
So many great shows are coming in January to the Straz Center! Let's ring in the New Year!




Christine Lavin - Jan. 10







We have a little something for everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2nd Movie on the Lawn is FRIDAY!


A Christmas Story marks our second Free Movie on the Lawn this season!

This year marks our fourth anniversary of screening A Christmas Story. That's officially a holiday tradition!

This "little" 1983 film gets funnier, more heart-warming and more beloved with each passing year. All 9-year-old Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun despite the adults who tell him, "You'll shoot your eye out!"

Movie starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17th on the Straz Center Riverwalk.

Concessions will be available for purchase. Stadium chairs and blankets welcome. No coolers, please. In the event of rain or inclement weather, the film will be cancelled and possibly rescheduled.

Run-time: Approx. 93 minutes

About the Free Movie Series: Come to the Straz Center for FREE films and more outside on the Riverwalk! See films that will enhance your enjoyment of live performances coming to the Straz Center, in addition to other fun and funny holiday films for the whole family!

For more information click HERE.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wonderland: A New Alice. A New Musical.



WONDERLAND: A New Alice. A New Musical. returns to Tampa for TWO WEEKS ONLY, Jan. 4-16!

The WONDERLAND Tampa engagement is a new musical featuring a new score.

WONDERLAND is a story about a new Alice who has lost her joy in life. Estranged from her husband, alienated from her daughter and in danger of losing her career, Alice finds herself in Wonderland where she encounters strange though familiar characters that help her rediscover the wonder in her life.

WONDERLAND is the first production of the Broadway Genesis Project, an initiative by the Straz Center for the Performing Arts to develop and prepare new musical theater for Broadway. From a show’s inception to final staging, the Project provides a safe and nourishing environment in a state-of-the-art complex with artistic, technical and administrative resources.

Wonderland is opening on Broadway in the Marquis Theatre!

Don't miss your chance to see it in Tampa before it moves to Broadway!

Reviews:
"One insanely catchy pop song after another. A visual feast ... a triumph. (Janet Dacal is) a star in the making." - St. Petersburg Times

"Musical 'Wonderland' excites, delights." - The Tampa Tribune

"... pleasures from an engaging cast, top Broadway designers and a catchy score." - Variety

"Dazzling musical numbers that get audience members of all ages out of their seats and cheering." - Miami Herald

"Catchy songs by Frank Wildhorn, inventive costumes by Tony-winner Susan Hilferty, varied chroeography by Marguerite Derricks, lively performances and a clever set and video projections provide fun in this new musical." - Sarasota Herald Tribune

"Four Stars ... Inspired, dazzling ... spectacular." - Creative Loafing


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hyde Park Village Tree Lighting brings Holidaze


Each year over 4,000 people across the Bay area unite for the tree lighting ceremony that takes place in Hyde Park Village. This family-friendly celebration has become one of the most anticipated events to kick off the holiday season.

Children of all ages will enjoy a delightful evening filled with free cookies, hot cocoa, live entertainment, a special appearance by jolly Old St. Nicholas. Plus, the highlight of the evening when attendees gather around the fountain in the heart of Hyde Park Village for the magical lighting of the 30-foot Christmas tree.

The Entertainment schedule includes the Gulf Coast Girl’s Choir, America’s Ballet performing The Nutcracker, Cirque Dreams Holidaze and many more holiday favorites. The enjoyable evening will end with Santa’s special appearance as he sings the last song.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cyber Monday 2010


We have Cyber Monday Savings on Nov. 29, 2010! One-day-only ticket offers!

Happy Holidays from the Straz Center!

Enjoy these one-day-only special ticket offers on holiday performances and some of the great shows coming up in the new year!

Use promo code CYBER on Monday, Nov. 29, from midnight to 11:59 p.m. to take advantage of any of the offers noted below.

Offers are valid online, by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) (outside Tampa Bay 800.955.1045) or by visiting the Straz Center Ticket Office. All offers are limited to 4 tickets per show title per household. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Service charges apply.

White Christmas Nov. 30 – Dec. 5 Save 25% off the Tuesday and Wednesday performances in price levels 2 and 3.

Forbidden Broadway ON STAGE NOW! 50% off all December performances.

The God of Isaac Dec. 2-19 Save 25% off all Thursday and Friday evening performances.

Fiddler on the Roof Dec 11 & 12 Save 25% off all performances in price levels 1, 2 and 3.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze Dec. 17-19 Save 25% off the Friday performance in price levels 2 and 3.

Straight No Chaser Christmas Cheers Dec. 21 Save 25% off all price levels.

The Nutcracker Dec. 22 & 23 $15 off all performances in price levels 2, 3 and 4.

Wonderland Jan. 4-16 Save 25% off Tuesday and Wednesday performances, excludes VIP and price level 1.

The Color Purple Jan. 8 Save 25% off all performances in price levels 1, 2 and 3.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company Jan 14 & 15 Save 25% off all performances and price levels.

Los Vivancos Jan. 26 Save 25% off all price levels.

Billy Elliot The Musical Feb. 2-20 Save 25% off Feb. 2, 3 and 6 evening performances in price levels 1, 2 and 3.

West Side Story March 1-6 Save 10% off Tuesday and Wednesday performances in price levels 2 and 3.

Jobsite Theater 30% off a mini-season ticket package ($68.60 + one $10 handling fee per order) which includes The Odd Couple, Yellowman, reasons to be pretty and The Taming of the Shrew. This ticket special is only available by phone or in person.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2010

The 84th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will kick off the holidays in New York City and on NBC on Thursday, November 25th! Every year, Macy’s exciting holiday tradition is seen by more than 3.5 million people who line the streets in New York and another 50 million people who tune into NBC to watch the giant balloons, one-of-a-kind floats, the nation’s best matching bands, hundreds of cheering clowns and a host of celebrities!

Something WE look forward to every year is the Broadway performances. Word on the street is that this year there will be performances from Billy Elliot, Memphis, American Idiot, Elf, Million Dollar Quartet and the Radio City Rockettes. Also look out for RAIN, A Tribute to the Beatles.

Other fun things include a giant balloon of Shrek, a float of Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure from Nickelodeon, clowns and talent.
For a full list of line-up click HERE.

National TV Exposure for RAIN


The RAIN band will be performing on the following two national programs:

Thursday, November 25 – CBS Thanksgiving Day Parade (CBS)
Friday, December 3 – Today Show II with Kathy Lee and Hoda (NBC, 10 am hour ET)

Experience what beatlemania was all about. From Ed Sullivan to abbey road – RAIN looks and sounds just like the Beatles.

RAIN's Tampa engagement covers the Fab Four from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late ’60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days.

Tune in and see what is coming to the Straz Center next year, June 2, 2011!

Purchase tickets HERE.

“The next best thing to seeing The Beatles.” – Denver Post

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Les Misérables In Concert - The 25th Anniversary


Les Misérables In Concert - The 25th Anniversary


One Night Only - TOMORROW, Wednesday, Nov. 17

This October, the legendary musical Les Misérables celebrated its 25th birthday with a 25th anniversary concert at the O2 Arena in London. Don't miss your chance to experience this historical event broadcast to local movie theaters at Woodland Square 20 with IMAX, Regency 20, Lakeside 18 Cinemas, Cobb Grand 10 Cinemas, Hyde Park Cinebistro, Grove 16 Cinemas, Hollywood Stadium 20-Sarasota, Citrus Stadium Park Mall 20 and Park Place Stadium 16!


The 25th anniversary concert event in movie theaters includes a company of more than 500 actors and musicians, including Alfie Boe as "Jean Valjean," Nick Jonas as "Marius," Norm Lewis as "Javert," Matt Lucas as "Thenardier," Lea Salonga as "Fantine," Jenny Galloway as "Madame Thenardier," Ramin Karimloo as "Enjolras," Katie Hall as "Cosette," Samantha Barks as "Eponine," the casts of the original production at the Queen's Theatre, the new 25th anniversary production at the Barbican, London and members of the original 1985 London cast.


The magnificent score includes the songs, "I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "Stars," "Bring Him Home," "Do You Hear the People Sing?," "One Day More," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "Master Of The House" and many more.


Tickets are on sale now! Enter your zip code to find your closest participating theater location and to purchase tickets online. Limited seats available. Please check back if tickets are not yet available for your selected theater.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Maestro’s Restaurant & Tours of the Great Wine Regions


A Wine Dinner in the French Countryside
The First in a Series of Tours of the Great Wine Regions of the World
Maestro’s Restaurant at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts will host A Wine Dinner in the French Countryside on Thursday, Nov. 11 starting at 5:30 p.m.

This special culinary dinner at Maestro’s Restaurant will feature a four-course meal with wines from the best French vineyards. Click HERE to see a menu!

Hors d’oeuvres reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m.

This event will be $75 per person, including tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org.

A Wine Dinner in the French Countryside is the first in a series of special culinary dinners at Maestro’s Restaurant that will feature scrumptious meals with wines from around the world.

Other dinners in the series include:
The Wines and Cuisine of Chile on Jan. 12
An Italian Bacchanalian Wine Dinner on March 9
The Fine Wines and Cuisine of Spain on May 18

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Movies on the Lawn are back!


Friday, Nov. 5th will be the first free movie on the lawn of this new season! Come by the Straz Center Riverwalk at 8 p.m. and enjoy the free movie on the lawn, West Side Story.

West Side Story is a Romeo and Juliet-inspired love story brings star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony together on the streets of New York City while the rival Jets and Sharks fight for turf. This timeless film features Hollywood legends Natalie Wood as Maria and Rita Moreno.

The Broadway revival of West Side Story will be in Carol Morsani Hall March 1-6, 2011. We will be raffling off 2 tickets for the Tuesday, March 1, 2011 performance of the Broadway show so don’t forget to pick up raffle tickets on your way in!

Concessions will be available for purchase. Stadium chairs and blankets welcome. No coolers, please. In the event of rain or inclement weather, the film will be cancelled and possibly rescheduled.

Run-time: Approx. 152 minutes
For more information on the free movie series click HERE!

Monday, October 25, 2010

$15 rush tickets to 9 to 5, The Musical!


9 to 5, The Musical is teaming up with Metropolitan Ministries to offer a $15 rush ticket to the Tuesday and Wednesday performances of 9 to 5, The Musical (Oct. 26 & 27) when you donate a non-perishable food item. All donations benefit Metropolitan Ministries.


This offer is only available 2 hours prior to show time (5:30-7:30 p.m.) and only at the Straz Center Ticket Office. Tickets are best available of those that remain. One discounted ticket per donation.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Chelsea Handler listed at #33 on Forbes Most Powerful Women of 2010


Chelsea Handler listed at #33 on Forbes Most Powerful Women of 2010!

Handler, 35, heads up the only late-night show for which half the staffers are women, and is the second woman in television history to host a late-night talk show.

Thanks to the popularity of her three New York Times bestsellers based on her raunchy adventures, she recently got her own book imprint.

Her production company, Borderline Amazing Productions, produces Chelsea Lately, and she's currently shooting a pilot about her staff's post-work antics.

Handler comes to Tampa TOMORROW, Saturday, Oct. 23rd at 8 p.m. (SOLD OUT) and 11 p.m. for her Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang Tour at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets click HERE.

To read more about Chelsea Handler read these articles:
Chelsea Handler bringing her national tour to town
Chelsea Handler dishes about sex, comedy, hating Russians and not "dating" 50 Cent

Thursday, October 14, 2010

9 to 5: The Musical teams up with Moffitt Cancer Center for National Breast Cancer Awareness month!

Save 50% off select seats* to see 9 to 5: The Musical on Oct. 26-31 plus $5 of each ticket will go back to support breast cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center. (Regularly priced tickets to 9 to 5: The Musical start at $38.50.)

Hurry! This offer is only available this weekend: Fri., Oct. 15, at 9 a.m. through Mon., Oct. 18, at 5 p.m.

Use promo code MOFFITT to purchase reduced price tickets and help a great cause!

Groups of 10 or more receive a discount: Contact Group Services at 813.222.1018 or groups@strazcenter.org.

*Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances in price levels 1, 2 and 3 only. Offer is restricted to online purchases Fri., Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon. Orders can also be processed via phone and window after noon on Fri., Oct. 15. Limit 4 tickets. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chelsea gets another comedy show on E


E! is hoping you can handle more Chelsea Handler, and so are we! The network has given the late-night talk show host her very own comedy series.

Variety reports that Handler will star in "After Lately," a 30-minute program that will focus on the backstage goings-on at her popular talk show, "Chelsea Lately."

Storylines will be outlined rather than completely scripted, which will give Handler and crew – including Guy Branum, Sarah Colonna, Heather McDonald, Chris Franjola and Brad Wollack – plenty of room to play around and improv.

"The show is a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at our office when the cameras are off… A perfect platform for people who have no business being on camera," comedienne Handler, who is currently filming "This Means War" with Reese Witherspoon, told Variety.

Production on "After Lately" – which will run for eight episodes - is expected to begin in a few weeks, though no premiere date has been set as of yet.

Want to see Chelsea Handler LIVE? You can! She comes to the Straz Center on her "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" tour this month on October 23. Click HERE for tickets and more information.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WONDERLAND cast is announced!

WONDERLAND
A New Alice. A New Musical.

JANET DACAL, DARREN RITCHIE,
TITUSS BURGESS, JOSE LLANA, KAREN MASON, KATE SHINDLE, EDWARD STAUDENMAYER

TO OPEN ON BROADWAY
AT THE MARQUIS THEATRE
APRIL 17, 2011
PREVIEWS BEGIN MARCH 21

The cast of WONDERLAND - A New Alice. A New Musical will star Janet Dacal (In The Heights), Darren Ritchie (Little Shop of Horrors, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, Little Mermaid), Jose Llana (Spelling Bee, Flower Drum Song), Karen Mason (Hairspray, Mamma Mia!), Kate Shindle (Legally Blonde, Cabaret, Jekyll and Hyde) and Edward Staudenmayer (Spamalot, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me).

Directed by Gregory Boyd, with a book by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy, lyrics by Jack Murphy, music by Frank Wildhorn and choreography by Marguerite Derricks, WONDERLAND will open at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre on Sunday, April 17, 2011, and performances will begin Monday, March 21.

WONDERLAND - A New Alice. A New Musical will play a pre-Broadway engagement at the Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO) in Tampa, Florida January 4 through January 16, 2011.

The ensemble includes April Berry, Sae La Chin, Dan Domenech, Mallauri Esquibel, Derek Ferguson, Lauren Lim Jackson, Morgan James, Stefan Raulston, Julius Anthony Rubio and Danny Stiles.

The design team is comprised of Neil Patel (set), Susan Hilferty (costume), Paul Gallo (lighting) and Sven Ortel (video and projection).

WONDERLAND is the first production of the Broadway Genesis Project, an initiative by the Straz Center for the Performing Arts to develop and prepare new musical theater for Broadway. From a show’s inception to final staging, the Project provides a safe and nourishing environment in a state-of-the-art complex with artistic, technical and administrative resources.

WONDERLAND was optioned by Judy Lisi, CEO of the Straz Center, and was subsequently produced as its world premiere at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL this past December. In association with the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX, in January of 2010, the show was transferred for further development, becoming one of the highest grossing shows in that theater’s history.

A new spin on the classic story of Alice and her Looking-Glass world, WONDERLAND is about a modern-day woman who goes on a life-changing adventure far below the streets of New York City, where a colorful cast of strange but familiar characters help her rediscover what’s really important. Featuring a fresh, contemporary pop score from the creator of Jekyll and Hyde, WONDERLAND arrives on Broadway this spring following two sold-out national stage premieres.

WONDERLAND will be produced on Broadway by the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO), William Franzblau and Nederlander Presentations, Inc.

Broadway ticket information will be announced soon.

Tampa Ticket Information:
Tickets for WONDERLAND - A New Alice. A New Musical may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at http://www.strazcenter.org/Events/1011-Broadway/Wonderland--A-New-Alice--A-New-Musical-Adventure-.aspx

For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit http://www.strazcenter.org/

The WONDERLAND Concept CD is available through ITUNES from SONY Masterworks.

For more information, log on to http://www.wonderlandonbroadway.com/


BIOGRAPHIES:

JANET DACAL (Alice) is overjoyed and grateful to create the role of Alice in Frank Wildhorn's Wonderland. She just recently finished her run with In The Heights, playing the lead as Nina Rosario, after having originated the role of Carla in the original Off-Broadway and Broadway productions. Broadway: Good Vibrations. Off-Broadway: Byzantium. Regional: Señor Discretion Himself (Arena Stage); Five Course Love (Carbonell nomination); Four Guys Named Jose; Annie and others (Actors' Playhouse). Recordings and tours for various Grammy-winning artists, including Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada and Luis Enrique.

DARREN RITCHIE (White Knight, Jack/Lewis Carroll) is thrilled to continue down the rabbit hole in Wonderland, his sixth Broadway show. Other credits: Bells Are Ringing, Les Miserables, Dracula, Little Shop of Horrors and Thoroughly Modern Millie. National Tours: Fame The Musical and Little Shop of Horrors. Original workshops: The 60's Project, Altar Boyz, Me and Mrs. Jones and Ghost the Musical, opening on the West End this Spring. Television: Law& Order SVU, Fox News Half -Hour News Hour, Days of Our Lives, Guiding Light, and starred in the CBS pilot Stroller Wars, opposite Tiffani Amber Thiessan. Numerous regional theatre credits, TV commercials and voiceovers. Vocal recordings for award-winning composers Glen Ballard, Dave Stewart and Alan Silvestri. He is represented by Barry McPhearson of APA and Danielle Dell of D2 Management.

TITUSS BURGESS (Caterpillar) recently starred as Nicely-Nicely in the Broadway revival of Guys & Dolls. Original Broadway casts: Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Hal Miller in Jersey Boys, Eddie in Good Vibrations. Regional: The Wiz (La Jolla), Songs for a New World (Music Center at Strathmore), Jesus Christ Superstar (Kansas City Starlight). Television: “The View,” “The Today Show,” “Late Night With David Letterman.” BA in music from the University of Georgia. Solo CD: Here’s to You available on iTunes.

JOSE LLANA (El Gato) most recently appeared as Adam in the World Premiere of Joe diPietro's Falling For Eve at the York. Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, original Chip Tolentino (Drama Desk Award); Wang Ta in Flower Drum Song; Angel in RENT; Jessie-Lee in Streetcorner Symphony; and Lun Tha in The King and I. Off-Broadway: Gabey in On the Town and Adam Guettel’s Saturn Returns, both at The Public Theater. Regional: Martin Guerre (Guillaume, Guthrie Theater), Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theater, Jefferson Nom.), Candide (Prince Theater, Barrymore Nom.) and as El Gato in the World Premiere of Wonderland (Straz & Alley Theater). Workshops: Frank Wildhorn’s Havana, Melchior in Spring Awakening (Sundance Lab) and Honor (Prospect), among others. TV/film: Sex and the City and Hitch. Cast albums and solo album, VIVA Philippines label. http://www.josellana.com/

KAREN MASON (Queen of Hearts). Broadway: Hairspray, Mamma Mia!(Drama Desk nom), Sunset Boulevard (NY, LA),Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Torch Song Trilogy. Off-Broadway: Kander and Ebb’s And the World Goes Round, Carnival (Drama Desk nom), Karen Mason Sings Broadway, Beatles and Brian. Regional: Wonderland (David A.Straz PAC, The Alley-Houston), White Christmas (St. Louis Muni Opera, world premiere), Side by Side… (Coconut Grove Playhouse), Gypsy (Sundance Theatre). Awards: 10 MACs, 3 Bistros, 1 Nightlife Award. CDs: Right Here, Right Now (MAC 2009 CD of the Year), Sweetest of Nights, When The Sun Comes Out, Better Days (1998 Emmy Award), Not So Simply Broadway, Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!. TV: L&O, L&O SVU

KATE SHINDLE (Mad Hatter) Broadway: Legally Blonde (Vivienne), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Jekyll and Hyde (Lucy). Elsewhere: After the Fall (Maggie) at The Alley, Restoration at La Jolla, Himself and Nora at The Old Globe, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena), First Lady Suite (Amelia Earhart), The Last Five Years, Gypsy, Into the Woods, The Mousetrap. She has sung everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Birdland to a dive bar in Portland, Oregon. Film/TV: Gossip Girl, White Collar, Capote, The Stepford Wives. Her writing has been published by Newsweek, salon.com, and The Advocate, and she has three different books in the works. http://www.kateshindle.com/

EDWARD STAUDENMAYER (White Rabbit) starred in Monty Python’s Spamalot in Las Vegas and played opposite Martin Short for many performances in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me on Broadway. He's had an over 17 year association with Forbidden Broadway taking him Off-Broadway, around the world, and onto three cast recordings. He has toured in Beauty and the Beast (National Theater Award Nomination) Joseph..., and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Other credits: Cats Hamburg, The Great Ostrovsky (Barrymore Nomination), Newsical, On The Twentieth Century, and Noises Off. He was a Soloist with the Baltimore, Syracuse, Bartlesville, and Adelaide, Australia Symphonies, and provided voices for MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch.

http://www.wonderlandonbroadway.com/

Follow WONDERLAND
On Twitter: http://Twitter.com@WonderlandBway
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wonderland-A-New-Alice-A-New-Musical


Thursday, September 30, 2010

White Christmas Tour

John Scherer will croon to Amy Bodnar, and Denis Lambert will dance with Shannon M. O'Bryan, in the new regional touring production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, launching Nov. 2-7 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Theater of the Stars in Atlanta is producing this new production of the popular title inspired by the movie musical. Scherer (Broadway's By Jeeves and Lovemusik) and Lambert (Off-Broadway's Yank! and Broadway's A Chorus Line) play Bob and Phil, respectively, a showbiz partnership that meets the sister act of Betty (Bodnar, of Broadway's Oklahoma! and Ragtime) and Judy (O'Bryan, who appeared in the Walter Bobbie-directed White Christmas on Broadway). The four work to create a show that honors Bob and Phil's retired commanding officer at the New England inn that he runs.

The show (seen on Broadway for two seasons in 2009 and 2008, but not returning in 2010) features classic Irving Berlin hits such as "Blue Skies," "Sisters," "Happy Holiday," "Count Your Blessings," "I Love a Piano" and the title tune.

The company also includes Broadway's Ruth Williamson as the nosy inn manager Martha; Erick Devine as Gen. Waverly; Tony Lawson as producer Ralph Sheldrake; and 11-year-old actress Mary Peeples as granddaughter Susan Waverly; Don Rey as the neurotic stage manager, Mike Nulty; and James Young as the delightful Ezekiel Foster.Ensemble members are Adinah Alexander, Andrew Black, Scott Brateng, Melinda Cowan, Con O'Shea-Creal, Brandon Davidson, Jenny Florkowski, Megan Jimenz, Matthew Kirk, Janelle Neal, Amanda Paulson, Ashley Peacock, Kristyn Pope, Kelly Sheehan, Haley Swindal, Merrill West and Richard Riaz Yoder.
The creative team includes director Norb Joerder; choreographer Randy Skinner; scenic designer Anna Louizos; scenic supervisor and adaptor Kenneth Foy; lighting designer Ken Billington; and sound designers Peter Fitzgerald and Erich Bechtel.

White Christmas features music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, with book by David Ives and Paul Blake.

The tour is produced by agreement with R&H Theatricals, an Imagem Company.

The tour is coming to the Straz Center Nov. 30 - Dec. 5, 2010. Click HERE for tickets. For more information visit the tour website.

Hair National Tour Cast Announced

Hair National Tour Will Welcome Broadway Revival Cast Members and Fresh Faces...

Members from the Broadway revival cast of Hair, some of whom began with the production in a 2007 concert in Central Park, will reunite for the national tour of the 1967 musical, which will debut in New Haven, CT, Oct. 22.
Tony Award-nominated director Diane Paulus will re-create her work on the tour, which will also feature the work of the Broadway revival creative team. The tour will play New Haven through Oct. 24, prior to officially launching at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26.
Broadway standbys Steel Burkhardt and Paris Remillard will lead the cast as Berger and Claude, respectively. The company will also feature London cast member Phyre Hawkins as Dionne and Caren Lyn Tackett as Sheila.
Original revival cast member Darius Nichols will play Hud and Kacie Sheik will be Jeanie.
The cast will also feature Matt DeAngelis as Woof, Kaitlin Kiyan as Crissy, Nicholas Belton, Larkin Bogan, Allison Guinn, Josh Lamon, John Moauro, Kate Rockwell, Cailan Rose, Jen Sese, Lawrence Stallings, Lee Zarrett, Shaleah Adkisson, Emily Afton, Corey Bradley, Marshal Kennedy Carolan, Laura Dreyfuss, Mike Evariste, Lulu Fall, Tripp Fountain, Nkrumah Gatling, Christine Nolan, Emmy Raver-Lampman and Tanesha Ross.
Hair has book and lyrics by the late Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot. The Hair creative team includes set designer Scott Pask, costume designer Michael McDonald, lighting designer Kevin Adams, sound designer Acme Sound Partners and choreographer Karole Armitage.
Get your tickets now! Hair is coming to the Straz Center May 24-29, 2011. Click HERE for tickets. For more information visit HairOnTour.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9 to 5: The Musical Sneak Peak!


The National Tour of 9 to 5: The Musical opened last night in Nashville at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center! Check out what's been going on since the cast and creatives have been in Nashville!


SNEAK PEAK - Music City Beat WZTV FOX17 NashvilleIn just a few days the curtain will open here in Nashville for 9 to 5 the musical featuring American Idol's Diana DeGarmo. WZTV FOX 17's entertainment reporter Stacy McCloud was at rehearsals and talked to the lady behind it all .. Dolly Parton!


Dolly Parton "Thrilled" About Nashville Premiere of 9 to 5: The Musical - CMTDecked out in sky-high stilettos and a sequined blazer complemented by form-fitting black leather capris, Dolly Parton took center stage Friday afternoon (Sept. 17) at Nashville's Tennessee Performing Arts Center -- but not to perform. Instead, she was saving this task for the dozens of Broadway actresses and actors fervently practicing their lines and dance steps on an elaborately decorated set.


Dolly Parton In Town For '9 To 5, The Musical' - Nashville News Channel 5"9 to 5, The Musical" is finishing-up rehearsals at TPAC in Nashville. The film that made Dolly Parton a movie star is now transforming her into a Broadway music composer. Dolly wrote every song in "9 to 5, The Musical," which opened on Broadway about a one and a half years ago. The cast will play in Nashville for 8 days, and then hit the road as a touring group. Dolly's been very hands-on with her creation. On Friday, she talked about hearing the cast bring her songs to life. Playing the part of "Doralee," the role Dolly made famous, is former American Idol standout Diana DeGarmo.


When Dolly Parton refers to her experience writing the score for 9 to 5: The Musical as "liberating," she means more than just putting herself in the role of a lying womanizer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Test Drive Your Seats



COME VISIT US. TOUR OUR 5-THEATER COMPLEX.

Take some seats for a spin and find the perfect one to enjoy all of the magic live theater has to offer.

WHILE YOU'RE HERE, SUBSCRIBE to the Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay Series, Opera Tampa's season, Club Jaeb Series presented by Merchants Association of Florida or to the Jobsite Theater Play Series. Introduce your family to live theater through our Kid Time or Wee Folk series.

From Billy Elliot or The Merry Widow, from Mindgame or singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault – there's a season ticket package, and a price point, that will fit your budget and your busy schedule.

Use your season tickets as a family outing, or that much needed date night! Come to the theater to be swept away to another world – worlds of imagination, intrigue, laughter, learning and passion.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jersey Boys Celebrates Fifth Anniversary By Saving the Music

The Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical Jersey Boys will celebrate its fifth anniversary on Broadway with a month-long benefit supporting the VH1 Save the Music Foundation.


The production will donate one dollar for every ticket sold to performances in the month of October to the foundation, which advocates instrumental music education programs for children.
The story of the rise of the acclaimed pop singing group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. The production is directed by Des McAnuff and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.


Jersey Boys is currently playing on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre. The Jersey Boys tour will be coming to the Straz Center in March! Tickets are already on sale at www.strazcenter.org.


For more information on the Save the Music Foundation, visit vh1savethemusic.com.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Straz gets $5,000 grant for education

The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts is one of 10 arts organizations nationwide to receive a $5,000 grant to be used toward education, it was announced today.


The Broadway League's grants support programs that enable students to experience touring Broadway shows as a form of artistic expression and as an educational tool.


At the Straz Center, the money will fund the "Shrek Broadway Education Project," that will allow 75 kindergarten through eighth-grade students to learn how a book evolves into a movie and then into a Broadway production. As part of the curriculum, students will create an original character that will be used in a final classroom project.


The group also will see "Shrek, The Musical" when it is performed at the Straz Center in May.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

9 to 5 Gets a New Director-Choreographer for National Tour


When Dolly Parton's Broadway musical 9 to 5 is launched Sept. 21 on its national tour, the work of the original director and choreographer won't be seen. Jeff Calhoun (seen above) has been enlisted to direct and choreograph.

Joe Mantello directed the Broadway staging in 2009, and Andy Blankenbuehler was Tony-nominated for the choreography.

The tour will star DEE HOTY, MAMIE PARRIS, JOSEPH MAHOWALD, KRISTINE ZBORNIK and DIANA DEGARMO. Rounding out the cast is Jane Blass, Patrick Boyd, Paul Castree, Holly Davis, Janet Dickinson Madeleine Doherty, Marjorie Failoni, Gregg Goodbrod, K.J. Hippensteel, Jesse J.P. Johnson, Michelle Marmolejo, April Nixon, Ryah Nixon, Rick Pessagno, Wayne Schroder, Micah Shepard and Travis Waldschmidt.

Need more information? 9 to 5: The Musical is a hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era. This is the story of three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of their company and learn there's nothing they can't do -- even in a man's world. Outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, 9 to 5: The Musical is about teaming up and taking care of business... it's about getting credit and getting even.

This new musical comedy, direct from Broadway, is based on the hit movie and features Dolly Parton's original hit title song along with her new Tony Award® and Grammy-nominated score.

9 to 5 is kicking off the Broadway Season at the Straz October 26-31 with a talkback with the artists on Wednesday, October 27.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chelsea Handler To Host MTV Video Music Awards


Sassy tell-it-like-it-is comedian Chelsea Handler and MTV has announced that Handler is going to host the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards — airing live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 12, at 9 p.m. ET — and judging from her late-night show, "Chelsea Lately", things are probably gonna get crazy.

Handler is best known for her show and her three best-selling, brutally honest (and brutally funny) books. She'll also be making a little history, becoming only the second woman to fly solo as VMA host and the first since 1994, back when Roseanne Barr hosted for the night.

Performers for the VMAs include Kanye West, Florence and the Machine, B.o.B and Justin Bieber and presenters include Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Ashley Greene and Ne-Yo. And more names are being added daily.

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET. Be there!

You can also catch Chealsea Handler in her wildly successful comedy tour, "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang Tour" coming to the Straz Center Saturday, October 23, 2010 - Tickets are available for the 11 p.m. show!

For more information - CLICK

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hamburger Mary's Bingo Night Supports the Straz!


We hope you will join us for Hamburger Mary’s Bingo Night on Aug. 25th!
Join the Straz Center's Producers Group for a fantastic evening of everybody's favorite game of chance!
Every Wednesday, Hamburger Mary’s raises money for a local non-profit organization. Next weeks Bingo Night proceeds will go to the Straz Center. The more people we invite, the more money we will raise!

Some highlights for the evening:
* Bingo players can win tickets to several of our upcoming shows
* The cast of Respect will be performing
* One of the Straz Center employees, Rick Criswell, will be dressing up as Edna from Hairspray and will help call the bingo games
* Hamburger Mary’s will have $5 Texas sized Margaritas
* Games begin at 7:30ish, get there early to get a good spot!

Check out the event on Facebook!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Save on The Sound of Music!

The Sound of Music is extending a special 50% off* discount for remaining seats to the Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening shows. Simply use promo code SOCIAL when purchasing your tickets.

*Offer valid on all price levels. Limit 4 tickets. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Donate to Backpacks for Hope and save!

Cats and The Sound of Music are delighted to partner with Metropolitan Ministries to help with the Backpacks for Hope drive. Simply stop by the Straz Center Ticket Office during regular hours between now and Aug. 18 and donate a new backpack. When you do, you'll receive $20 off tickets to either Cats (Aug. 13-15) or The Sound of Music (Aug. 20-22) for select performances*. If you already have your tickets, you're still welcome to donate a new backpack or any other back-to-school supplies that you'd like.


*Offers are valid on the Friday and Sunday evening performances only in price levels 1 and 2. Limit 4 tickets per donation. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Offer valid at the ticket office window only during regular hours (Mon-Sat. noon-8 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m.).

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

WONDERLAND Broadway Opening April 17

WONDERLAND: A New Alice. A New Musical Adventure will open on Broadway Sunday, April 17, 2011 and performances will begin Monday, March 21, at a Nederlander theatre to be announced. The musical will be directed by Gregory Boyd, the artistic director of the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, with a book by Gregory Boyd and Jack Murphy (The Civil War –Tony nomination) and lyrics by Jack Murphy, music by Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde – Grammy nomination, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War – Tony nomination, Dracula, Victor/Victoria) and choreography by Marguerite Derricks (Fame, Emmy Awards for “3rd Rock From The Sun” and “Fame LA”).

WONDERLAND: A New Alice. A New Musical Adventure will play a pre-Broadway engagement at the Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO) in Tampa, Florida January 4 through January 16, 2011.

WONDERLAND is the first production of the Broadway Genesis Project, an initiative by the Straz Center for the Performing Arts to develop and prepare new musical theater for Broadway. From a show’s inception to final staging, the Project provides a safe and nourishing environment in a state-of-the-art complex with artistic, technical and administrative resources.

After Frank Wildhorn conceived WONDERLAND, it was optioned by the Judy Lisi, CEO of the Straz Center, and was subsequently produced as its world premiere at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL this past December. In association with the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX, in January of 2010, the show was transferred for further development, becoming one of the highest grossing shows in that theater’s history.

In this new musical featuring a new score, WONDERLAND is a story about a new Alice who has lost her joy in life. Estranged from her husband, alienated from her daughter and in danger of losing her career, Alice finds herself in Wonderland where she encounters strange though familiar characters that help her rediscover the wonder in her life while searching for her daughter.

WONDERLAND will be produced on Broadway by the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (Judy Lisi, President and CEO), William Franzblau and Nederlander Presentations, Inc.

“I am at a point in my life where I want to stay in love with the things I fell in love with. The process of creating WONDERLAND with my extraordinary producers and collaborators has shown me the magic of fun is not just for the young. Being part of the Straz Center’s invaluable Broadway Genesis Project was an exciting and rewarding experience,” said composer Frank Wildhorn.

Producers Judy Lisi, President and CEO of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center and William Franzblau said “Alice’s story is one that has always resonated with us - whether reading it when we were children or now as adults. With WONDERLAND, our creative team has developed a Broadway musical that tells the story of a contemporary woman attempting to maintain her career as well as keeping her family together and not doing well with either. At her breaking point she escapes into the world of Wonderland where she finds out who she really is and what's important in life."

The cast, design team and Broadway ticket information will be announced soon.

Tampa Ticket Information:
Tickets for WONDERLAND: A New Alice. A New Musical Adventure may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org

For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit www.strazcenter.org

The WONDERLAND Concept CD is available through ITUNES from SONY Masterworks.

For more information, log on to www.WonderlandOnBroadway.com

Friday, July 30, 2010

audition notice: THE SOUND OF MUSIC

WHO: David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
(formerly the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center)

WHAT: Teenage children’s auditions for The Sound of Music

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Those auditioning must RSVP at 813.222.6453 for an audition time.

WHERE: Ferguson Hall
David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

DETAILS: The Straz Center is holding auditions for local teenagers, ages 14-17, to perform on stage with the touring cast of The Sound of Music, which will play Carol Morsani Hall, Aug. 20-22.

Boys and girls should be prepared to sing “Do Re Mi” and girls should also be prepared to sing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

Teenagers selected will appear in 2-3 scenes and will need to be available for rehearsals Aug. 18-20.

Those selected will perform in multiple supernumerary roles; not as the Von Trapp children. This is a non-paid performance opportunity.

Auditions will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Straz Center. Those interested in auditioning should call 813.222.6453 to secure an audition time.

Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Don't miss this summer's Broadway Family Nights!

Broadway Family Nights are an affordable & fun way to bring the whole family to the Straz Center! Be sure to join us this summer for these upcoming events...

Join us for CATS' Broadway Family Night on Friday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m. When you purchase a regularly priced adult ticket you may receive a free child's ticket (12 and under). Offer limited to the first 200 children. Valid in all price levels. Not available online. Come early for free pre-show activities.



Join us for The Sound of Music's Broadway Family Night on Friday, Aug. 20, at 8 p.m. When you purchase a regularly priced adult ticket you may receive a free child's ticket (12 and under). Valid in all price levels. Not available online. Come early for free pre-show activities.



The Broadway Family Night ticket offer is available by calling the Straz Center Ticket Office at 813.229.STAR (7827). All offers are not applicable to prior sales, subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offer.


A special thank you to our Broadway Family Night media sponsors, Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine and The New Magic 94-9.




(The Sound of Music photo is from the 2003 Theater of the Stars production.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meet Dora the Explorer!


Dora the Explorer will be in Tampa this Saturday, July 17th!

Meet Dora the Explorer, one of the stars of Nickelodeon's newest, biggest and most exciting live shows ever - Storytime Live! There will also be crafts, prizes and more!

Storytime Live! is playing at the Straz Center July 31 - August 1. Come play along with your favorite preschool pals live on stage. Leap into Fairytale Land with “Dora the Explorer,” journey through Filthingham with “The Backyardigans,” hop into Wonderland with “Wonder Pets!,” and join the Monkey King’s celebration with “Ni Hao, Kai-lan.” Hosted by Moose and Zee, Nickelodeon’s musical adventure, STORYTIME LIVE! features four of the top-rated preschool shows on television today and is sure to be the hit live show you and your family have been waiting for! For more information, visit nicklivetour.com.


Meet Dora on Saturday, July 17th at:
Westshore Plaza, 11a-1p, M&G and storytime.

Platt Regional Library, 2p, storytime. For more information please visit: http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/happenings/dora/index.html

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

audition notice: FORBIDDEN BROADWAY in the Jaeb Theater

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts will be holding auditions for its production of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY on Monday, July 26 beginning at 10 a.m. The auditions are by appointment only and will be non-Equity. Callbacks will be scheduled for Tuesday, July 27.

Rehearsals for FORBIDDEN BROADWAY begin Oct. 11. The show opens Nov. 2, 2010 and runs in the Jaeb Theater through Feb. 27, 2011. The week of Dec. 20-26 will be dark. There will be 8 shows a week. All rehearsals and shows paid weekly salaries.

Seeking 2 men and 2 women who have strong musical theater and comedic skills. Should have strong belts. Prepare 2 songs 16 bars each. Bring headshot/resume and sheet music in appropriate key.

Call or email Rick Criswell for an appointment.
Rick.criswell@strazcenter.org or 813.222.1064

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Arts Council of Hillsborough County Grants Program

Help us save the Arts Council of Hillsborough County Grants program!

The Arts Council of Hillsborough County’s grant program provides essential annual support to local cultural organizations that add $292 million to the local economy and employ more than 8,000 people.

The Hillsborough County Administration has proposed to eliminate funding for this critical grant program for the coming year.

You can help us save this valuable grant program by participating in this petition. It will be presented to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners in July to urge their continued support for the Arts Council Grants Program.

If you’d like to help, simply click here http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveartscouncil2010funding/and add your signature to the petition. In the "comments" box, please type your zip code i.e. Hillsborough 33601.

Also, the site randomly asks for donations to "IPetitions." This is not necessary since it counts your signature if you simply "X" out of the site from the donation window. We need as many signatures as possible from Hillsborough County by JULY 14, 2010.

To learn more about the importance of supporting this petition, please read on…A strong cultural community is a vital economic engine in Hillsborough County.More than 4.2 million residents and visitors attend arts and cultural events year-round in Hillsborough County.

Thousands upon thousands of Hillsborough County school children benefit from arts education programs provided at little or no charge by local arts and cultural organizations.The arts are an important policy asset and prosperity generator for local government. In addition to their inherent value to society, our local cultural organizations are:

  • ECONOMIC DRIVERS: The arts create jobs and produce tax revenue. The arts sector stimulates business activity, attracts tourism revenue, retains a high quality work force and stabilizes property values. The arts have been shown to be a successful and sustainable strategy for revitalizing rural areas, inner cities and populations struggling with poverty.
  • EDUCATIONAL ASSETS: The arts foster young imaginations and facilitate children’s success in school. They provide the critical thinking, communications and innovation skills essential to a productive 21st‐century work force.
  • CIVIC CATALYSTS: The arts create a welcoming sense of place and a desirable quality of life. The arts also support a strong democracy, engaging citizens in civic discourse, dramatizing important issues and encouraging collective problem solving.
  • CULTURAL LEGACIES: The arts preserve unique culture and heritage, passing precious cultural character and traditions along to future generations.
Hard times require public officials to make the most of every asset and to adopt policies that maximize recovery potential. The arts are a proven part of that mix. The arts are a recovery asset that supports jobs, stimulates commerce, stabilizes property values and provides many other economic benefits.

In addition to their many economic advantages, the arts offer timely assistance with educational and civic challenges that tend to escalate during tough times. The arts are also central to community resiliency. Whether facing economic distress, natural disasters or other adversity, the arts are a powerful force for recovery and healing, a benefit that few other industries offer.

We hope you will join us by supporting the arts in Hillsborough County by participating in this petition.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tony Wrap Up

Well the spinning disks have been distributed, the jewels have been returned to Harry Winston and the marketing groups are furiously tagging ads with "Winner of ____ Tonys."

What did you think?

Or did you watch the Celtics romp the Lakers?

Or did you watch True Blood?

Be honest.

If you need a Tony wrap up, you can check out the run down from the NYT. Congrats to Red and Memphis for their big wins. Lots of Hollywood stars took home Tonys including Scarlett Johansson, Denzel Washington and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

We posted frequently on www.twitter.com/strazcenter and www.twitter.com/whobroadway so we hope you followed along.

What were your favorite (or least favorite moments)? How did Sean do as host? What shows do you want to see come to the Straz Center? Share your thoughts and let us know what you thought.

- Kari G.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wonderland Meets SYTYCD! TONIGHT!



Get your DVRs ready for tonight's SYTYCD on Fox! You may see someone you know - from down the rabbit hole...

Two of our talented Wonderland cast members will be on So You Think You Can Dance TONIGHT!

Ashley Galvan, one of the Fembot dancers and Melinda Sullivan who was a versatile and talented swing. Melinda went on for almost all the roles she covered and did a phenomenal job!

Please cheer them on and support them with your votes!

-Kari G.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Miss Abigail's World Premiere!

Gather your girlfriends, your boyfriends, your best friends or even your frenemies (especially if they are known for dating your exes!) and come down to the hilarious world premier of Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage!

Miss Abigail will teach you how to find and keep your perfect mate and gives you classic romance advice from yesteryear!

It’s like Late Nite Catechism, but about love!

Let Miss Abigail take you back to a simpler time ... when the divorce rate wasn’t 50% and when fidelity was more than an investment firm! During this 90-minute comedy, Miss A will teach you how to have the perfect kiss, what you should (and should not) talk about on a date, and how to let a man think he wears the pants.And who knows? Maybe during the show, Miss Abigail will learn a thing or two about love herself from her sexy, young assistant, Paco.

You can get 50% off the June 9-13 performances with the promo code SOCIAL.* Don't miss this great event!

-Kari G.

*Limit 4 tickets. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

MAMMA MIA! to Become First Major Western Musical to Recieve Chinese Production

MAMMA MIA! will be come the first major western musical to be produced in Chinese for a run in China. The website reports: "[China Arts and Entertainment Group] CAEG, which promotes Chinese-language productions of musical theatre masterpieces, signed the licensing agreement [with European music company Littlestar] at a ceremony in Beijing on Wednesday (June 2, 2010), and is now set to produce "Mamma Mia!" 13th foreign-language version, following its original English...Zhang Yu, president of CAEG, said "Mamma Mia!" will be the first worldwide musical masterpiece to be produced in Chinese..."

Can't wait to see Mamma Mia in Chinese (which according to Google Translate is Māmā mī ya)? Well get a healthy dose of ABBA when Bjorn Again The ABBA Experience comes to the Straz on June 26!

-Kari G.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

London/Broadway, 'Red'/Pink

NYC – Two shows that seemingly had little in common joined forces at one of the Broadway League’s Creative Conversations during a recent conference.

Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne from “Red” (the story of artist Mark Rothko) sat with Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge from “La Cage aux Folles” (a revival of the musical that resulted in the movie, “The Birdcage”).

One common element – and the one that prompted the joint setting – is that they both started as smaller London productions before moving to Broadway. Grammer joined the cast in NYC, co-starring with Hodge, who had been in the London production.

“Red” began at the Donmar Warehouse and “La Cage” at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Here’s what the stars said about their shows, and about differences between London and NYC.

La Cage

"Certain lines in London that got enormous laughs there that get nothing here. Certain lines here that get enormous laughs got nothing here." – Douglas

"I knew George Hearn years ago. We used to get drunk together after the show, but I never saw it." – Kelsey

“People seem surprised that I’m English. I must have slowly shifted into ‘American.’ ” – Douglas

"There was a traffic pattern that had been laid out [in London]. There was a luxury to having it blocked already … freedom to find the heart, to find the laughs. The piece resonates so much on an emotional level." – Kelsey

"I secretly play the first scene a little bit slower to give people a chance to dip in …" – Douglas

"There's no greater place in the world than Broadway. It is the pinnacle in my own life. It's a great place to do the work." – Kelsey

"The musical is sort of the hallmark of what you think of as Broadway … I've never been in any situation in the theater where there's so much light and joy and love … I'm not sure I'm ever leaving. It is an amazing experience for me. I couldn't be happier." – Kelsey

Red

"It's the most exciting and rewarding and fulfilling experience I've ever had working as a stage actor – working on Broadway." – Alfred

“It was one step removed in London because of all the cultural, geographical references. … it is a quintessentially New York play.” – Alfred

"He [Alfred] was talking about the Broadway community – not so much a club … a grouping of people. The way he was describing it sounded almost too good to be true … just a sense of being a part of a very specific and welcoming and supportive tribe. … It means a great deal." – Eddie

“Everyone you meet seems to know what you're in and what you're up to. … they feel a common ownership, very positive sense of pride." – Alfred

"When it's good, it's great. When it's not so great, it can be awful. Some of those who didn't like me before now are so far up my bum they could have a weekend place …” –- Alfred

"In England, if you're enjoying the work it's almost unseemly to celebrate that." – Eddie

Answering “What is that red paint made of”:
"Blood, mad desire and passion …” – Eddie
“Broken marriages, phone calls you never get replies to." – Alfred

“Red” is at the Golden Theatre on 45th Street. “La Cage” is at the Longacre Theatre on 48th Street. – MKilgore

Star Shine Brings Money, Talent

All those TV and movie stars on Broadway this season helped gross a total of $1.02 billion during the 09-10 season, according to The New York Times.

The revenues are up despite a slight decrease in attendance, perhaps attributable to the non-reporting of numbers for “Young Frankenstein” because of that show’s policies.

But the stars are bring in more than box office revenues; they’ve got talent, too.

Consider that all five of the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play nominees are better known for their movie work:

Jude Law, “Hamlet
Alfred Molina, “Red”
Liev Schreiber, “A View From the Bridge:
Christopher Walken, “A Behanding in Spokane”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

In the Best Actress in a Play category, sit-com vets Valerie Harper and Linda Lavin were both nominated for “Looped” and “Collected Stories.” (Laura Linney, nominated for “Time Stands Still,” is equally at home in TV/film and on stage.)

In the Best Actor in a Musical category, Kelsey Grammer for “La Cage aux Folles” and Sean Hayes for “Promises, Promises” successfully made the switch from sit-coms to Broadway.

Add Catherine Zeta-Jones, Leading Actress in a Musical nominee, and Scarlett Johansson, Leading Actress in a Drama nominee, and you can see the tremendous impact these double- and triple-threat performers had.

See the Tony Awards on June 13 at 8 p.m on CBS. – MKilgore

Bending 'Fences'

"Fences," the play by August Wilson at the Cort Theatre, is attracting some of the biggest buzz on Broadway and not just because Denzel Washington is in it (although that doesn't hurt).


Wilson, who died in 2005, won the Pulitzer Prize for "Fences" in 1987. (He won again for "The Piano Lesson" in 1990.)


Cast members Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Mykelti Williamson and director Kenny Leon, who has Tampa Bay area roots, were among those who participated in a recent Creative Conversation about the work at a conference.


Washington and Davis are both nominated for Leading Role Tony Awards and Henderson has been nominated for his Featured Role. Leon was nominated for Best Director of a Play and the entire work has been nominated for Best Revival of a Play.

Here are their thoughts about "Fences," their roles and August Wilson:

"What's fantastic … is that he writes just about people, in relationships with their wives, with their sons. It's something that's going to touch you, something that's going to move you. Just ordinary people, people going through their lives who are just like us." -- Viola

"I think our play looks more llke America than any other play on Broadway. And I'm proud of that." -- Kenny

"I thought I was too young until I read it and found out i was almost too old. I had never read it. I had seen it, but i had never read it." -- Denzel

"It's [always] a different river, because August really examines relationships …" -- Stephen

"There are no specific physical movements that I had to stick to. Like any great play, it's open to interpretation. The greatest compliment is that they've seen this play before but they're never seen it like this before. That's the testament to a great play." -- Denzel

"Everybody in this room is the truth. And everybody is their version of the truth." -- Stephen

"I'm digging deeply to find out what he meant … the farther you fall, the higher you bounce. " -- Mykelti Williamson

"This was an earlier work. And now that he's completed the cycle, you look back and have a keener focus and a keener eye toward what he was trying to say. My approach to the work is different … how can you inform the work differently." -- Stephen

"Last night, some man screamed out, 'Man, don't do it, Denzel!' When I see those heads go down, I know it's the men in the audience." -- Denzel

"They [the audience] are coming to see this and they're hoping it will shed some light on their lives." -- Kenny

"Don't try to get it right, get it true. August has laid some serious track. " -- Stephen

"Fences" runs through July 11 with limited ticket availability.


-- MKilgore

Expanding Broadway's boundaries

As recent innovative shows such as "Fela!", "Spring Awakening" and "American Idiot" join a relatively small set of risk-taking, more-niche-than-rich shows that actually made it to Broadway, a group consisting of a producer, a presenter and an artist paused during a recent conference to discuss what new types of content mean to both Broadway and the road market for Broadway.



The cast for the session was:



Bill T. Jones, Tony Award-winning choreographer for "Spring Awakening" and Tony-nominated for Fela!"



Kevin McCollum, Tony Award-winning producer of "In the Heights," "Avenue Q" and "Rent"



Michael Reed, senior director of Cultural Participation and Programming, ASU Gammage



Culled from a lengthy and fast-moving session, here are their comments:



"We do ourselves a disservice when we talk about these new productions like they're different from 'traditional Broadway.' When I think about 'traditional Broadway,' I think about 'The Music Man.' No, it's just a beautiful evening in the theater." -- Kevin



"Great art isn't necessarily for everyone." -- Bill



"People come to your shows because they trust you. And people know when they come to our building, they know that whatever on that stage will be respectful, will be worthwhile. The relationship is there." -- Michael



"For people who have never bought a ticket to Broadway to realize that a show reflects their own cultural experience … that to me is a hit. It's not about dollars." -- Kevin



" 'Rent' has permeated the consciousness of America. And I'm very proud of that. And we had to give the Hispanic community their own musical vocabulary through 'In the Heights')." -- Kevin



"We live in an era of diminished curiosity." -- Bill



"It's alchemy. You never know what will work." -- Kevin



"I was struck by the musical vocabulary [in 'Fela!']. We can't afford to react to the ordinary. We're a lifestyle choice. Profit is about making sure you're about exceeding the expectation." -- Jones


"I'm in the musical storytelling business. Storytelling is about surprises. Listen to what you hear when you're walking down the street and think how can I tell a story with that ..." -- Kevin


"All of my shows that have been hits started off-Broadway. You need to be able to able to watch your shows without hemorrhaging $250,000 You need to be able to watch it while hemorrhaging $30,000 to $40,000." -- Kevin


"We sang before we spoke. There's something in our DNA that makes us respond to music." --Kevin




* This was a free-flowing conversation and I confess to having done a bit of a mash-up rather than a chronological account.


-- MKilgore

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MACY’S AT WIREGRASS COMMONS PRESENTS A SPECIAL EVENT WITH A PERFORMANCE FROM MARY POPPINS


Macy’s shoppers invited to a free performance from the Tony Award-winning Broadway show during the local engagement

WHAT: Macy’s at Wiregrass Commons is hosting an event for the whole family, with a special performance by cast members from Mary Poppins, playing at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts May 20 – June 6. Cast members will perform a medley of Mary Poppins favorites including “Jolly Holiday,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “Feed the Birds,” plus a song specially written for the stage production, “Practically Perfect.” Additionally, customers will have the opportunity to receive two tickets to the Wednesday, June 2 performance at the Straz Center with a $100 purchase store-wide at Macy’s during the event.*

Additionally, Macy’s, the Tony Awards and CBS will be giving customers the opportunity to win a chance to go to the Tony Awards on June 13th. The Macy’s Ticket to the Tony’s nationwide contest will give two lucky fans the opportunity to walk the red carpet, attend and be featured on live television at the Tony Awards. Visit www.CBS.com/tonys for more details. The Tony Awards will air on CBS on June 13th.

* Only valid on purchase made at Macy’s at Wiregrass Commons on May 29, 2010. While supplies last. Gift with purchase. No refunds on qualifying purchase, exchanges only.

WHEN/
WHERE: Performance by the cast of Mary Poppins
Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:00 PM
Macy’s at Wiregrass Commons – Women’s Dress Department
28233 Paseo Drive
Wesley Chapel, FL 33543


MORE: The Macy’s Ticket to the Tony’s contest is available at www.CBS.com/tonys. Contestants, ages 13 and over, can upload video content of themselves singing one of the following Broadway tunes:

· 96,000, In the Heights
· Gimme, Gimme, Thoroughly Modern Millie
· Good Morning, Baltimore, Hairspray
· I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outa my Hair, South Pacific
· The Lonely Goatherd, The Sound of Music
· Maybe, Annie
· One, A Chorus Line
· Stars, Les Misérables
· Ya Got Trouble, The Music Man


Entries can be uploaded on www.cbs.com/tonys starting on April 27 at 3:00 PM, ET and ending on May 27 at 3:00 PM, ET, at which point public voting for selection of the five finalists commences, closing on June 1 at 12:00 AM, ET. On June 3, the five semi-finalists will be announced. The five finalists will be flown to New York City to participate in a live sing-off in Macy’s Herald Square on Friday, June 11 – where a panel of Broadway stars and experts, along with the online votes, will choose two finalists who will win the opportunity to walk the red carpet at THE 64TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 13. The two finalists will be red carpet ready with a $1,000.00 gift card from Macy’s.

Finalists will be featured on The 64th Annual Tony Awards, Sunday, June 13 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET) on the CBS Television Network. Semi-finalists will win the opportunity to attend the full Tony Awards Dress Rehearsal.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. For complete rules, go to www.cbs.com/tonys.