Performing Arts Highlights |
Sept. 20-30

See the Tampa Bay premiere of The Royale by Florida native Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy, Fear the Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black). starring Aygemang Clay. Photo: Joey Clay Photography
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Hurricane Irma wreaked varying degrees of havoc across the state, but now electricity has been restored to Tampa Bay and a little razzle dazzle could provide a welcome distraction. Although several performances had to be postponed, Tampa Bay is resilient and—as they say—the show must go on. So here’s what’s on deck for the rest of September.

The Royale

Wednesday at 7 p.m. Thurs,-Sat. evenings at 8.  Matinees at 3 p.m., American Stage Theatre Company, Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg

From an award-winning writer on the hit TV series Orange Is the New Black comes one of America’s hottest new plays. Jay “The Sport” Jackson wants nothing more than to prove he’s the best boxer in the world. However in the Jim Crow era, his chances are as good as knocked out. When a boxing promoter hatches a plan for “the fight of the century,” The Sport just might land a place in the ring with the reigning white heavyweight champion. But is the country ready for this face off? Through the sights and sounds of the early 20th century boxing circuit, The Royale packs a punch that will leave you breathless. Runs through Oct. 15.  Lisa Tricomi directs, featuring  Aygemang Clay, Rokia L Shearin and Rich Lowe, making their American Stage debut, with award-winning veteran performers  Kim Sullivan (Seen in all 10 of American Stage’s August Wilson Productions) and Richard B. Watson (Informed Consent and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) making their return to AS’s Mainstage.

Pay what you can at the door Wednesday; $20 in advance. Other performance date prices vary.


Scare Actor Auditions

Thursday, Sept. 21, 4 p.m., The Raw Studios, 2338 Emerson Ave. S., St. Petersburg

The Blood District is the scariest event to hit St. Petersburg. Be a part of this horrifying creative event set in a decade when zombies roamed the railways and terrifying creatures lurked in the Warehouse Arts District’s historical industrial buildings.


Lend Me a Tenor

Thursday, Sept. 21, Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Arts is kicking off its much anticipated new 2017-18 season with three-time Tony Award-winning Lend Me a Tenor. This musical comedy by Ken Ludwig takes places in 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio. It is opening night of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company and the world-famous tenor Tito Mirelli is set to perform. The Company’s manager is a nervous wreck that something is going to go wrong and insists that his assistant watch over Tito’s every move. From one catastrophe to the next – an angry wife, a presumed death, crazy costumes, slamming doors, and mistaken identities – the night unfolds in perfect comedic disaster.

This Tarpon Arts production is directed by Jamie Bierchen and includes a cast of talented local community theatre thespians. Get tickets at Runs through Sept. 24.

$27 nonmembers, $23 members.


Preview Performances and Opening Night: Take Me Out (Rescheduled Due to Hurricane Irma)

Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m., The Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg

Opening Night: Saturday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m., The Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg

This was slated for Sept. 14 and appeared in the previous column but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma. Catch a preview performance of Richard Greenberg’s Tony Award-winning Take Me Out, a play that focuses on a baseball star who comes out of the closet and his teammates’ reactions. The drama unfolds over the course of a season and themes of homophobia, racism, class and masculinity are explored. At the time of the play’s writing, no Major League Baseball player had come out publicly during their career. Take Me Out imaginatively explores how such an event would unfold. Directed by Bob Devin Jones, featuring Philip Rankin and Drew Smith. Runs through Oct. 1.

Preview Performances: $25

Regular Admission: $35, $30 for students and seniors


The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Friday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m., West Coast Players Theatre, 21905 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater

Young lovers Brad and Janet get a flat tire while driving in a storm and take refuge in a nearby castle, the home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, during a wild night of murder and mayhem. The stage production, containing mature language and themes, is a musical rendition of the 1975 movie and a spoof of B-movie horror flicks. Audience participation on Saturdays only. Props will be provided; no outside props allowed. Runs through Oct. 8.

$25, $21 for students.


Celebrate Community Theatre: Get in the Game

Sunday, Sept. 24, 1:30 p.m., Catherine Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Ave. S., Gulfport

Watch this comedic romp; meet and greet with fellow theater lovers, actors, directors, and playwrights; and learn the past, present, and future of community theater.



Mama Won’t Fly

Friday, Sept. 29, 4 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m and 4 p.m., Early Bird Dinner Theater, 13355 49th St. N., Clearwater

An outrageously hilarious race against the clock begins when Savannah Sprunt Fairchild Honeycutt agrees to get her feisty mother all the way from Alabama to California in time for her brother’s wedding. Savannah’s problem: Mama won’t fly. With only four days to make it to the ceremony, this determined daughter has no choice but to drive cross-country with her equally willful mother, Norleen Sprunt, in Mama’s vintage sedan. This ferociously funny, family-friendly Jones-Hope-Wooten comedy will have you laughing your way across the country and all the way down the aisle. Runs through Oct. 22.

$36 includes pre show entertainment, buffet style dinner, tax, and show.

Have Irma, Will Travel
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