Tampa Spring Theater Preview
“Everything old is new again,” this spring in Tampa Bay theaters. These words, song lyrics nostalgic for Broadway style past by Peter Allen, can’t just be said, they are sung. Songs on soundtracks of classic Broadway shows are so beloved, they are old friends. We miss them when they are gone, and are always glad to see them when they stop back into town. A new generation appreciates these stories told and retold as they take hold of sentimental hearts. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing while looking forward to these upcoming theatrical productions.
Old Broadway favorites are new at two major area venues, Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater and the Straz Center in Tampa.
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Ruth Eckerd Hall is a favorite area venue for both audiences and performers.The great acoustics and clear views from over 2,000 red seats keeps the theater filled with returning fans. Classic rockers like the Moody Blues kick off their concert tours with first shows at this comfortable house in the balmy winter months, as it’s a tropical paradise here when the weather is cold and miserable further up the road.
Show: Fiddler on the Roof 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, 2012
Dubbed “the world’s favorite family musical,” this time honored tradition on its North American tour has won the hearts of people the world over. “Fiddler on the Roof” is astory about family, love and loss.
Show: South Pacific 2 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2012, 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2012
Price: $74 to $118
Set in romantic, tropical Pacific Islands,”South Pacific” is about two couples finding love in World War II, torn apart by circumstance and prejudice. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic lyrics are sung by audiences watching this memorable show, now touring the U.S.
David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, Florida 33602
The Straz Center has a dazzling array of entertainment choices with comedy, dance and musical concerts, dramatic and musical plays, opera, Broadway and kids’ shows. It also hosts a National Geographic Live speaker series, an Art of Living Speaker Series, and Florida Orchestra symphonies, all live performing arts for everyone to enjoy.
Show: Come Fly Away March 27 through April 1, 2012
Price: Tickets start at $38.50
Fall in love with 14 lovers as they meet, touch, linger, kiss and say good-bye in a romantic musical that pairs the music of icon Frank Sinatra wirh fabulous, Tony Award winning choreographer Twyla Tharp. Sinatra classics include “Fly Me to the Moon,” “My Way” and “New York, New York.”
Show: Burn the Floor April 24 through April 29, 2012
Price: Tickets start at $38.50
Sexy, sizzling, passionate and dramatic, these 20 gorgeous champion dancers illustrate the history of dance. Coming to Tampa directly from it’s record-breaking Broadway run, this international dance sensation is now touring the U.S. and seven other countries in 2012.
1208 E Kennedy
Tampa, FL 33602
Single Ticket Price: $26, Student, Senior & Military: $11.50 Group discounts
In August 2011, after 28 years of wandering, the oldest professional theater company in Tampa cut the ribbon on the newest stage in the Channel Disrict of Tampa and moved into their new permanent home. Settle into one of the theater’s purple chairs and be entertained, stirred, amused and inspired.
Show: To Kill A Mockingbird, based on the book by Harper Lee, March 8 through March 25, 2012
In this story set in 1930s Alabama, Scout Finch and her brother Jem learn about life and honor through the example set by their beloved father, and the effects of prejudice in the mysterious actions of their neighbors in the Southern town.
Show: Biloxi Blues by Neil Simon May 4 through May 20, 2012
This autobiographical work about the author’s youth shows Eugene as he is drafted to serve in WWII and sent to an army training camp in Biloxi, Mississippi. He is forced to confront difficult issues, which are sometimes humorous and at other times, dramatic.
American Stage Theatre Company at the Raymond James Theatre
163 3rd Street North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
Ticket Prices and Performance Times vary, so check the web site for details.
American Stage in the Park is performed outdoors at Demens Landing Park, located on the corner of 1st Avenue South and Bayshore Boulevard SE in downtown St. Petersburg. American Stage presents these two plays in the Mainstage Series at the brand new, 182-seat Raymond James Theatre, located at 163 Third Street North in St. Petersburg.
Show: 2.5 Minute Ride by Lisa Kron March 16 through May 6, 2012
“2.5 Minute Ride” is a dramatic story told with wit and compassion about a daughter and the roller coaster journey she takes to understand her father’s history and the love in his heart.
Show: Vanishing Point June 1 through July 1, 2012
“Vanishing Point” is a musical fantasy that brings historical women Agatha Christie, Amelia Earhart and Aimee Semple McPherson together on a road trip through time and space, as they recall their vanishing pasts and explore their futures.
Show: The Rocky Horror Show – 27th Annual American Stage in the Park April 11 through May 13, 2012
This time warped rock musical camp classic has kept theaters open late since the 1970s.”The Rocky Horror Show” started gaining fans slowly, and over time became a beloved underground crowd favorite. Party in the park and sing along with the great songs; most of the audience will probably know all the lines, too.
Show Palace Dinner Theatre
16128 US Hwy 19,
Hudson, FL 34667
727-863-7949 – reservations & information
Ticket for Dinner and Show or Show Only, Tickets for Children under 12, Group rates
Prices and Times – Matinee / Evening performances
Enjoy a variety of Broadway hits and Show Palace Premiers at the theater with over 15 years of good service, great food and the best theatrical dining experiences in the Tampa Bay area.
Show: Jackpot! The All New Las Vegas Musical Revue March 2 through April 22, 2012
Beautiful showgirls, dancing, and high rolling style is a great bet for a sizzling show when you catch this Las Vegas musical revue.
Show: Swing! April 27 through June 3, 2012
Grab your partner and make plans to celebrate swing dance in the pre-war Harlem style that swept the world. Breaking barriers of race and culture, the Jive, Swing, Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, and Hip-Hop Swing illustrate this enthralling song-and-dance show, never about a time or place — only a state of mind.
Show: New York Nights June 8 through July 15, 2012
In the New York City “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” a struggling pop singer makes his way through the city that never sleeps. Classic pop hits, songs, sights and sounds take us all the way up to the Manhattan skyline for the view from the top.
Largo Cultural Center
105 Central Park Drive
Largo FL 33771
The Largo Cultural Center offers spectacular performances in music, dance and theater in the unique facilities owned by the City of Largo.
Show: Yesterday and Today – The Interactive Beatles Experience 8 p.m. on Friday, March 30, 2012
Price: $27 Advance, $32 Day of show, Cabaret Seating
This Beatles show brings everyone together to celebrate the powerful music, in a way new and different from all other tributes. The band forgoes wigs and accents to concentrate on the songs and stories about the music. The audience members write their favorite Beatles song on a note card prior to the show. The band then builds a set list based upon the requests in this interactive event.
Bits N Pieces Puppet Theatre
12904 Tom Gallagher Road
Dover, FL 33527
Price: $8.50 General Admission (Children under 2 years old free)
Hours: Bits N Pieces Puppet Theatre Mon to Fri -10:30 a.m., Sat -11 a.m
Jack and the Beanstalk March 15 to March 17, 2012
Little Red Riding Hood April 12 to April 14, 2012
Rumpelstiltskin May 24 to May 26, 2012
Marionettes and puppets perform together on stage in these enchanting live theater experiences brought to you by Director-Master Puppeteer Jerry Bickel. These delightful fairy tales are fun and also educational, accompanied by a customized Teacher Guide to help students focus on lessons learned. After every show, the audience members make souvenir puppets to take home with them in the Make-and-Take a Puppet Workshop. Performances at PuppetWorld Playhouse include a behind-the-scenes tour of the puppet-building studio.
Sarah Dees is an accomplished artist, writer, educator, and entrepreneur, with over twenty-five years of professional experience. Sarah attended Eckerd College for two years, and graduated with a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City. She is a freelance writer in Tampa Bay. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.