Performing Arts Highlights: Jan. 13-20

Head to Tarpon Springs to learn about the life and words of Eleanor Roosevelt.
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Out with the old and in with the new! Many people, including our beloved editor, have made New Year resolutions to attend more live theatre productions. Maybe this is on your list, too. If not, maybe it should be. After all, if we don’t support local arts, they won’t be there when we need them. And make no mistake: we need art.

Eleanor Roosevelt: The Power of Words

Sunday, Jan. 14, 2 p.m., Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs

Hear the heartfelt story of the little girl who lost both parents before age 10, a debutante who felt trapped by society’s expectations and a young wife who raised five children before emerging as one of the 20th century’s most remarkable women. From the words of her father that gave her strength to the famous words spoken by her husband that helped lift an entire nation during the Great Depression, Eleanor Roosevelt knew how well-chosen words could highlight a topic, awaken understanding, and change the listener’s perspective. In this intimate living history gathering, a costumed Eleanor Roosevelt will deliver a powerful monologue on diverse topics such as unemployment, race, honoring servicepeople, wealth and international relations. There is also a segment addressing how words can be harmful and hurtful to individuals, groups, or an entire nation. The program culminates with a look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

$18, $22

Speak the Dream MLK Family Workshop

Monday, Jan. 15, 4 p.m., 2nd floor lobby, Downtown SPC building, American Stage, 163 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg

Families with children ages 5-12 are invited to American Stage for a free workshop about dreaming big. Participants will explore what it means to “have a dream” through simple, interactive theater games, take a backstage tour of American Stage, and meet cast members from our upcoming production of A Raisin in the Sun. This event is a fun way for families to learn about MLK and to celebrate the power of community. This project is made possible by an award from the MLK Day of Service.

Free admission until capacity is reached at 60 attendees

Tango Fire

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., Mahaffey Theatre, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg

Dancing that sizzles with sensuality is accompanied by the unforgettable music and song of great Tango masters. International Tango superstar German Cornejo’s dance troupe The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires is a global phenomenon and the world’s leading Tango company, whose extraordinary choreography has captured the world’s imagination. As one of the world’s most popular dance forms, this exhilarating show combines the rawness and sophistication, seductive and sultry side of Tango. The cast includes World Tango Champions from the greatest Tango houses in Buenos Aires. The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires formed in 2005, allowing five couples creative freedom to showcase their individual styles.

$22.50, $32.50, $42.50, $52.50

Mike Hammer: Encore for Murder

Thursday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m., Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater

Enjoy the world premiere of an all new mystery inside the new intimate Murray Theatre, featuring bullets, Broadway and babes in the cool style of the 1940s radio plays. Starring Gary Sandy as Mike Hammer, the toughest private investigator of all, who draws a seemingly routine assignment — playing bodyguard to diva Rita Vance on the eve of her big Broadway comeback. Rita is an old flame of Hammer’s and when their romance is rekindled, the detective finds the actress facing death threats and himself the target of one hit man after another. When the actress disappears, the show must go on, which with Mike Hammer means swift, violent retaliation. Hammer seeks to make a rescue before Rita’s curtain comes down. Mickey Spillane wrote pulp detective fiction and introduced Mike Hammer in his first novel I, The Jury. Hammer appeared in a series of mystery novels and film adaptations (most notably Kiss Me, Deadly). Runs through Feb. 3. 

$35, $75, $100

The Eve of Jackie featuring Chester Gregory

Saturday, Jan. 20, 8 p.m., The Palladium at SPC, 253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg

Chester Gregory is known best for his roles in Sister Act, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Tarzan, Cry Baby, and Shrek the Musical, among others. Get up close and personal with Gregory at the Palladium. The show, re-creates the final concert of late, great entertainer Jackie Wilson, and Chester Gregory stars, supported by a full band.

$28, $38, $48


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