Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014

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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014 THE NOT SO NEWLYWED GAME LIVE WITH BOB EUBANKS
Ruth Eckerd Hall
3/16-3/16/2014
Hosted by Bob Eubanks, the live Not So Newlywed Gamefeatures four married couples who will be chosen at random to a live, on-stage version of the game for a chance to win prizes! Eubanks will also narrate hilarious clips from his television career.
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014Georges Bizet's Carmen in Broadway" border="0" height="100" width="100" align="right"> GEORGES BIZET'S CARMEN
Straz Center for the Performing Arts - Carol Morsani Hall
3/14-3/16/2014
ACT I. Corporal Morales and the soldiers while away the time watching the passers-by, among whom is Micaela, a peasant girl from Navarre. She asks Morales if he knows Don Jose, and is told that he is a corporal in another platoon expected shortly to relieve the present guard. Avoiding their invitation to step inside the guardroom, Micaela escapes. A trumpet call heralds the approach not only of the relief guard but also of a gang of street urchins imitating their drill. As the guards are changed, Morales tells Jose that a girl is looking for him. Zuniga, the lieutenant in command of the new guard, questions Corporal Jose about the tobacco factory. A stranger in Seville, Zuniga is apprehensive of the dangerous atmosphere of the locale. The factory bell rings and the men of Seville gather round the female workers as they return after their lunch break. The gypsy Carmen is awaited with anticipation. When the men gather round her, she tells them love obeys no known laws (Habañera: "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle"). Only one man pays no attention to her -- Don Jose. Carmen throws a flower at him. The women go back into the factory and the crowd disperses. Micaela returns, bringing news of Jose's mother. She has sent Micaela, who lives with her, to give him a letter ("Parle-moi de ma mere"). Jose feels that his mother is protecting him from afar. When he starts to read her letter, Micaela runs off in embarrassment since it suggests that he marry her. At the moment that he decides to obey, a fight is heard from within the factory. The girls stream out with sharply conflicting accounts of what has occurred, but it is certain that Carmen and one of her fellow workers quarreled and that the other girl was wounded. Carmen, led out by Jose, refuses to answer any of Zuniga's questions. Jose is ordered to tie her up and take her to prison. Carmen entices him to go dancing at Lillas Pastia's tavern outside the walls of Seville (Seguedille: "Pres des remparts de Seville"). Mesmerized, Jose agrees to help her escape. He unties the rope and, as they leave for prison, Carmen slips away. Don Jose is arrested. ACT II. Carmen and her friends Frasquita and Mercedes entertain Zuniga and other officers ("Les tringles des sistres tintaient"). Zuniga tells Carmen that Jose has been released this very day. A torchlight procession in honor of the bullfighter Escamillo is heard, and the officers invite him in. He describes the excitements of his profession, in particular the amorous rewards that follow a successful bullfight (Toreador's Song: "Votre toast"). Escamillo then propositions Carmen, but she replies that she is engaged for the moment. He says he will wait. Carmen refuses to leave with Zuniga, who threatens to return later. When the company has departed, the smugglers Dancaire and Remendado enter. They have business in hand for which their regular female accomplices are essential ("Nous avons en tete une affaire"). Frasquita and Mercedes are game, but Carmen refuses to leave Seville: she is in love. Her friends are incredulous. Jose's song is heard in the distance. ("Dragon d'Alcala"). The smugglers withdraw. Carmen tells Jose that she has been dancing for his officers. When he reacts jealously, she agrees to entertain him alone (Finale: "Je vais danser en votre honneur"). Bugles are heard sounding the retreat. Jose says that he must return to barracks. Stupefied, Carmen mocks him, but he answers by producing the flower she threw and telling her how its faded scent sustained his love during the long weeks in prison (Flower Song: "La fleur que tu m'avais jetee"). But she replies that he doesn't love her; if he did he would desert and join her in a life of freedom in the mountains. When, torn with doubts, he finally refuses, she dismisses him contemptuously. As he leaves, Zuniga bursts in. In jealous rage Jose attacks him. The smugglers return, separate them, and put Zuniga under temporary constraint ("Bel officier"). Jose now has no choice but to desert and join the smugglers. ACT III. The gang enters with contraband and pauses for a brief rest while Dancaire and Remendado go on a reconnaissance mission. Carmen and Jose quarrel, and Jose gazes regretfully down to the valley where his mother is living. Carmen advises him to join her. The women turn the cards to tell their fortunes: Frasquita and Mercedes foresee rich and gallant lovers, but Carmen's cards spell death, for her and for Jose. She accepts the prophecy (Card Song: "En vain pour eviter les reponses ameres"). Remendado and Dancaire return announcing that customs officers are guarding the pass: Carmen, Frasquita, and Mercedes know how to deal with them ("Quant au douanier"). All depart. Micaela appears, led by a mountaineer. She says that she fears nothing so much as meeting the woman who has turned the man she once loved into a criminal ("Je dis que rien ne m'epouvante"). But she hurries away in fear when a shot rings out. It is Jose firing at an intruder, who turns out to be Escamillo, transporting bulls to Seville ("Je suis Escamillo"). When he refers to the soldier whom Carmen once loved, Jose reveals himself and they fight. Carmen and the smugglers return and separate them. Escamillo invites everyone, especially Carmen, to be his guests at the next bullfight in Seville. Jose is at the end of his tether. Micaela is discovered, and she begs Jose to go with her to his mother but he furiously refuses ("Dut-il m'en couter la vie"). Micaela then reveals that his mother is dying. Jose promises Carmen that they will meet again. As Jose and Micaela leave, Escamillo is heard singing in the distance. ACT IV. Among the excited crowd cheering the bullfighters are Frasquita and Mercedes. Carmen enters on Escamillo's arm ("Si tu m'aimes"). Frasquita and Mercedes warn Carmen that Jose has been seen in the crowd. She says that she is not afraid. Jose enters. He implores her to forget the past and start a new life with him. She tells him calmly that everything between them is over. She will never give in: she was born free and free she will die. While the crowd is heard cheering Escamillo, Jose tries to prevent Carmen from joining her new lover. Carmen finally loses her temper, takes from her finger the ring that Jose once gave her, and throws it at his feet. Jose stabs her, and then confesses to the murder of the woman he loved. -- Rodney Milnes Metropolitan Opera Program Notes: By Gene Cropsey, Opera Tampa League Georges Bizet composed Carmen - the last of his sic completed operas - when he was only 36 years old. Although it ultimately found its place as Bizet's finest operatic masterpiece, judged by many as one of the greatest operas ever written, it came at the end of a musical career fraught with anxiety and disappointment. Like most French composers, Bizet shaped his musical skills at the Paris Conservatorie. Having entered at the age of 9, he capped his exceptional student career by winning the coveted Prix de Rome. In 1860, following three relatively unproductive years in that city, he returned to Paris where, for the rest of his life, he faced unrelenting personal and professional setbacks. His opera, Les Pecheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) premiered in 1863, but garnered little public support and was treated severely by the critics. Bizet went on to complete three more operas during the next decade, but all were received with little enthusiasm. The Parisian critics caustically branded them "Wagnerian." His operas were premiered only at the smaller Parisian theaters, the elite Paris Opera having rebuffed him, unwilling to take on a composer it considered a mere beginner. Throughout his career, Bizet was distressed over his critics' unwillingness and inability to embrace his music. His failures weighed heavily on him, causing him to develop insomnia and argumentative and nervous disposition, made worse by his neurotic wife and mother-in-law. To make matters more intolerable, he suffered from angina and painful absences of the throat. "They make out that I am obscure, complicated, tedious." Bizet once wrote, "more fettered by technical skill than lit by inspiration." His contemporaries, however - Gounod, Berlioz, Halevy, Saint-Saens and others - took Bizet's work seriously, recognizing its unique originality. In 1872, Camille du Locle, co-director of the opera comique, asked Bizet to collaborate with librettists Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy on a new full-length opera. By this time, Bizet's health was worsening, but he eagerly accepted, proposing that it be based on Prosper Merimee's novella Carmen. He knew many French critics were prejudice against him, but when the opera was completed in 1875, Bizet was certain they would at last be satisfied. "This time," he wrote "I have composed a work that is all clarity and vivacity, full of color and melody." But once again he was to be disappointed. Opera comique was an operatic genre designed to appeal to families of bourgeois respectability who wanted to be artificially entertained. But with Carmen, Bizet transformed it by vividly expressing the torments inflicted by sexual passion and jealousy. It proved to be too much for the Parisian audience, who were shocked by the blatant expression of sexual desire, girls smoking and fighting on stage, and the brutal murder. The critics responded more fiercely than ever. They branded it "educated noise," "audacious Wagnerism," "shocking and repugnant." One proclaimed that the stage of the Opera comique was no place for "characters who have sunk to the sewers of society." Librettist Jean Dupin groused, "Your Carmen is a flop, a disaster! The music never stops. That's not music! That's not an opera! A man meets a woman. He finds her pretty…He loves her, she loves him… She doesn't love him anymore… He kills her… And you call that an opera? It's a crime, do you hear me, a crime!" Three months after the premiere, Bizet died believing his work a failure. Later that year, Carmen was produced in Vienna with the spoken dialogue replaced by recitatives composed by Ernest Guiraud. Soon, Carmen began to conquer the entire operatic world, with audiences, critics and musicians singing its praises. Richard Strauss believed it to be unrelieved perfection. "If you want to learn how to orchestrate, don't study Wagner's scores, study the score of Carmen." Although he composed Carmen in the traditional framework of aria and spoken dialogue in an era dominated by Verdi and Wagner, Bizet achieved a vital and original music drama whose naturalism and tragic power profoundly influenced the realistic verismo composers to follow, notably Mascagni and Puccini.
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014Neil Berg's 106 Years of Broadway in Broadway" border="0" height="100" width="100" align="right"> NEIL BERG'S 106 YEARS OF BROADWAY
Ruth Eckerd Hall
3/17-3/17/2014
Once again, Neil Berg brings us an all-new musical revue with five Broadway stars and a great New York band, re-creating magical moments from the best that Broadway has offered over the past hundred years. This performance sells out every year!
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014 EVITA
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
3/18-3/23/2014
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award®-winning musical returns at last! Eva Peron used her beauty and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. Adored by her people as a champion for the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world - while her greed, outsized ambition and fragile health made her one of the most tragic. Evita tells Eva's passionate and unforgettable true story, and features some of theater's most beautiful songs, including "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" and "High Flying, Adored." Don't miss the stunning new production of Evita, directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford, that Channel 4 New York called "the hottest ticket in town!"
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014 CAMELOT
Richey Suncoast Theatre
3/6-3/23/2014
King Arthur nervously awaits to meet his new Queen Guinevere and to their surprise, they fall in love. The King tries to insure peace and stability to his kingdom so he establishes the Knights of the Round Table. The most famous knight, Lancelot joins the Round Table but soon Lancelot and the Queen fall in love. Their affair is made public by Arthur's illegitimate son, Mordred and his Aunt who is a sorceress. Peace ends and war breaks out between the King's Army and Lancelot's French Army. How will this all turn out at the end? Winner of 6 Tony Awards.
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014 EVITA
Straz Center [Carol Morsani Hall]
3/18-3/23/2014
Eva Peron used her smarts and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. Adored by her people as a champion for the poor, she became one of the most powerful women in the world - while her greed, outsized ambition and fragile health made her one of the most tragic. EVITA tells Eva's passionate and unforgettable true story, and features some of theater's most beautiful songs, including "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" and "High Flying, Adored." Don't miss the stunning new production, directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Grandage and choreographed by Tony winner Rob Ashford. CBS This Morning called it "THE SHOW BROADWAY HAS BEEN WAITING FOR!"
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CRIMES OF THE HEART
Jobsite Theater
3/5-3/30/2014
Shimberg Playhouse:Beth Henley; dir: Kari Goetz.
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CHINGLISH
Stageworks Theatre
3/17-4/11/2014
David Henry Hwang; dir: Anna Brennen.
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014 PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME!
Asolo Repertory Theatre
1/7-4/12/2014
Gar O'Donnell is leaving Ballybeg and the Ireland of his childhood. Leaving his father and the lads. Leaving Kate. For across the ocean there's a dream of Cadillacs, Coke floats, and girls-a dream of America. The play that established Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa) as one of the greatest theatrical voices of the English language, Philadelphia, Here I Come! paints a touching and humorous portrait of a young man on the verge of a new beginning. Frank Galati injects music and merriment into the storyline with the addition of song, dance and actor/musicians.
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014 VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
Asolo Repertory Theatre
1/22-4/13/2014
It's a lovely day at Vanya and Sonia's farmhouse in Bucks County, PA. But instead of spending the morning strolling through their cherry orchard, these wacky siblings have their hands full with a prophetic cleaning woman, a neighborhood costume party, and a surprise visit from their movie star sister Masha and her studly new boy-toy, Spike. One of the funniest dramatists writing today, Christopher Durang's latest Broadway hit turns Chekhov on its head and his signature blend of comedy and absurdity has never been more endearing-or relentlessly funny.
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Now Playing Onstage in Tampa - Week of 3/09/2014 THE GRAPES OF WRATH
Asolo Repertory Theatre
3/12-4/19/2014
Frank Galati's groundbreaking adaptation of Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel won the Tony Award for Best Play and has become a national theatrical treasure. This quintessential American story of hope and survival follows the Joad family's epic journey from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to the promised land of California in search of land, jobs and dignity. A soaring affirmation of the goodness, strength and perseverance of the human spirit, The Grapes of Wrath provides the perfect canvas for an examination of a nation in search of itself.
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