Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kelly Clarkson schedules Tampa show; Pentatonix opens

  On Tuesday, pop star Kelly Clarkson dropped her latest album and also announced a national tour that will help introduce her new songs to her fans. One of the late stops on the tour will be in Tampa.
   The album and the tour are both called “Piece by Piece.” The tour begins July 11 but it doesn't come to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa until Sept. 15, only five days before the tour is scheduled to end. The great a cappella group Pentatonix opens.
   Ticket prices range from $35.25 to $125.90. They’ll go on sale at 10 a.m.  Saturday, March 14 through livenation.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Comedian Kevin Hart adds second Tampa show

Kevin Hart
   Kevin Hart's "What Now" tour has been filling huge arenas all over the country. More than a dozen cities along the tour have added second shows to accommodate demand.
   Tampa is the latest.
   Hart will now perform two shows at Tampa's Amalie Arena on May 8 -- the originally scheduled 7 p.m. show and a just-announced 10:30 p.m. show.
   Tickets for the second show go on sale at noon Friday, Feb. 27. They'll run you $56.25, $61.25, $76.25 or $127.25, plus service charge. Call 813-301-2500 or go to amaliearena.com. Tickets for the early show are already on sale.

Sarasota Opera to perform live on WSMR Thursday

   If you're thinking about seeing the upcoming Sarasota Opera production of "Don Carlos" but you're just not sure, you can get a free sample Thursday morning (Feb. 26).
   At 11 a.m., Maestro Victor DeRenzi, the Sarasota Opera's artistic director, will be in the studios of classical music station WSMR (89.1 FM) with cast members from "Don Carlos."
A scene from "Don Carlos"
(Photo by Rod Millington)

They'll chat with host Russell Gant and perform live selections from the opera.
  Selections will include such famous arias as Eboli’s “O Don Fatal” and Élisabeth’s "A Toi qui sus le néant." Artists who will sing on-air include Jonathan Burton (Don Carlos), Michelle Johnson (Élisabeth de Valois), Mary Phillips (Eboli) and Marco Nisticò (Rodrigue). They'll be accompanied on piano by John Spencer IV.
   "Don Carlos" is Giusseppi Verdi's powerful drama, set in Renaissance Spain at the time of the Inquisition, about the ill-fated attraction between Don Carlos and Élisabeth, the wife of his father, King Philip of Spain. It's considered one of opera’s masterpieces.
   The live production of "Don Carlos" opens March 7 and continues in rotation with other operas in the Sarasota Opera Winter Festival through March 24. Tickets prices range from $19 to $130. Call : 941-328-1300 or go to sarasotaopera.org.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Alanis Morissette schedules St. Petersburg concert

  Alanis Morissette is coming to St. Petersburg.
  The Grammy-winning Canadian singer-songwriter (and former child actor) first hit the big time in the mid-'90s with her ferocious hit "You Oughta Know" and her debut album "Jagged Little Pill." The album spawned several other hits and some popular videos. 
   She's kept busy as a musician and actor ever since. Among other acting roles, she played God in the Kevin Smith film "Dogma" and she had a recurring role on "Weeds." She was also a "celebrity guest mentor" on the second season of "The Voice."
   Her St. Petersburg show is slated for 7:30 p.m. April 28 at the Mahaffey Theater. Tickets are $49.50, $69.50, $79.50 and $99.50, and they go on sale at noon Friday, March 6. Call 727-892-7832 or go to themahaffey.com.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Opening night delayed for Asolo Conservatory show in Sarasota

   There's been a bit of a change to the schedule of the upcoming show from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota.   The musical "(title of show)" was supposed to open Wednesday. But one of the actors is "very ill," a conservatory spokeswoman said, so opening night has been pushed back to this Friday, Feb. 20.
The cast of "(title of show)"
 The actor is apparently quite the trouper, though, because he's going on with the show Wednesday and Thursday. But the people at Asolo Conservatory are now calling those performances "previews," because the actors won't be in top form. He expects to be fine by Friday's opening night.
   Here's what that means for the ticket-buyer: Wednesday is a "pay what you can" show, and tickets for Thursday's performance are $27. Starting Friday, tickets go to the regular price of $29.
   It runs through March 8 at the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Call 941-351-8000 or go asolorep.org.
   "(title of show)" is a quirky hit musical by Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen. They wrote it in three weeks, and the plot is all about their writing a musical in three weeks. When the show moved to Off-Broadway and Broadway, the writers added segments about the show moving to Off-Broadway and Broadway.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sarasota's Florida Studio Theatre extends 'Dancing Lessons'

   Mark St. Germain is a favorite playwright of Sarasota audiences. His plays “Freud’s Last Session,” “Becoming Dr. Ruth” and “Best of Enemies" have all been big hits with patrons of Florida Studio Theatre.
   FST has another hit on its hands with St. Germain's latest play, "Dancing Lessons."
  Vanessa Morosco and Jason Cannon
"Dancing Lessons" (Photo by Cliff Roles)

The romantic comedy-drama about two damaged loners -- an academic with Asperger's Syndrome and a dancer with a physical injury -- has been extended for a second time.

   It's now slated to run through March 14 in FST's Keating Theatre. Single tickets range from $18 to $49. Call 941-366-9000 or go to FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Opera Tampa scores with season-opener 'Rigoletto'

   The winter opera season is in full bloom, and in case Sarasota Opera's current productions of 'Tosca" and "The Marriage of Figaro" aren't enough to satisfy your cravings, Opera Tampa is offering a terrific production of "Rigoletto."
   The Verdi classic kicks off the 20th anniversary season for the company, which performs at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

   The cast for this production is stunning. On opening night, the most thrilling moments came from soprano Claire Coolen as Gilda, who wielded a gorgeous voice with impressive control and a powerful stage presence, and tenor David Guzman as the Duke of Mantua.  Guzman's rendering of the opera's most famous piece, "La Donna e Mobile," was simpy beautiful, and his duets with Coolen were highlights of the evening.
Guzman as the Duke. Photo by Will Staples
    Sarasota soprano Johanna Fincher was also impressive in a smaller role as  Countess Ceprano. (Fincher will be performing closer to home this spring, in concert with Gloria Musicae in April and the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota in May.)
   All the design work, especially the  evocative and textured lighting by Chad Jung, is a treat to look at.
   The only downside is that Opera Tampa is only presenting this lovely production twice. The remaining performance is at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 15. Tickets are $49.50-$99.50 plus service charge. If you love grand opera it's well worth the price and the drive. Call 813-229-7827 or go to strazcenter.org.