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Rupert Holmes Penned RBG Play Makes Its World Premiere In St. Petersburg

Michelle Azar plays American cultural icon and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a new play by the Tony Award winning writer of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Rupert Holmes Penned RBG Play Makes Its World Premiere In St. Petersburg

This fall, freeFall continues their American Character Series with All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Other popular freeFall shows that have saluted the unique and enduring legacies of American Masters have included productions featuring the stories of James Beard, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Marie and Rosetta and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill are two of the most well attended plays in freeFall's 12 year history. "We felt this was such a great way to open our fall season," says freeFall Artistic Director Eric Davis. "It's also exciting for our company to collaborate with Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes on a world premiere play highlighting an icon like the notorious RBG." All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg plays freeFall for a limited run October 5 through 23 before transferring to the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY as part of their Literature Alive Series.

Supreme Court Justice "RBG" welcomes a friend of the family to her cozy chambers to convey, over the course of ninety fascinating and often funny minutes, a sense of her life and its many trials: losing her mother the day before she graduated as valedictorian of her Brooklyn high school ... being one of only nine young women studying law at Harvard while also raising a daughter and helping her husband battle cancer ... fighting for women's rights in the nineteen-seventies before condescending all-male courts ... and taking courageous stands for human rights as a voice of reason amid a splintering and increasingly politicized Supreme Court. An evening with a great and compassionate icon of straight-thinking American justice emerges ... an RBG who is not only "notorious" but victorious as she takes a stand for ordinary people facing the many challenges of a changing world. Bring your scrunchies, your hankies, your humor and your heart to this entertaining and uplifting event!

Rupert Holmes is the first person in theatrical history to solely win Tony awards as an author, a composer and a lyricist. He authored and composed the Broadway musical-comedy The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which won the Tony award for Best Musical and received a critically-acclaimed Broadway revival by the Roundabout Theater. His comedy-drama about the life of comedian George Burns, Say Goodnight, Gracie, earned him a Tony nomination for Best Play and won the National Broadway Theatre Award for Best Play. His stage comedy-thrillers Accomplice and Solitary Confinement broke existing box office records for the Kennedy Center and The Pasadena Playhouse, with both shows enjoying runs on Broadway, while Curtains starring David Hyde Pierce (and written with the legendary songwriting team of Kander and Ebb) won Holmes the Drama Desk award for Best Book of a Musical as well as two further Tony nominations

Michelle Azar is humbled and thrilled to take on the life of the great Ruth Bader Ginsberg as voiced by the esteemed Rupert Holmes. Her performance background began in Chicago where she sang with the Lyric Opera of Chicago's children's choir. She received an MA and BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and started working immediately as Janis Joplin in Beehive. Once moving to Los Angeles, she received Ovation awards for her roles in both dramatic and comedic roles with her theatre company, Neurotic Young Urbanites, and was the 2016 Stage Raw award winner for Best Actress in Eric Coble's My Barking Dog directed by Michael Michetti at the Boston Court Theatre. Other favorite stage credits: Bella in Lost in Yonkers, Berte in Boeing, Boeing ( La Mirada Theatre) Masha in Mayakovsky and Stalin (Cherry Lane Theatre) The Awakening of Spring (Circle Rep) and the creation of Constance Lily in the recent hit musical, Bronco Billy (Skylight Theatre). Select television and film credits include: NCIS LA, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, CRIMINAL MINDS, THE MAGICIANS, AQUARIUS, COMMUNITY, and the recently released film, SENIOR MOMENT with Jean Smart and William Shatner.

All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is directed by Laley Lippard (Steppenwolf Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Kennedy Center, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center) with set design by Tom Hansen and lighting design by Dalton Hamilton. Both designers call Tampa Bay home and are excited to be a part of this project as it continues to tour.

Tickets can be purchased online at freefalltheatre.com and run between $45 and $55. There is one preview performance on October 5 and admission is only $25. All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is part of freeFall's popular new subscription model.



Latest Standings Released For The 2022 BroadwayWorld Tampa Awards; American Stage Leads Fa Photo
The latest standings as of Monday, December 5th, have been released for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Tampa Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favorites.

Previews: LIGHTS, CAMERA, CHRISTMAS! at Hillsborough High School Theater Photo
The audience should expect a tap-dancing spectacular featuring Tampa Bay's premier tap company, Rhythm, and Sole, with the new Youth Tap Crew. Performers will be dancing, singing, and acting in scenes from 'Elf,' 'Polar Express,' and 'The Grinch.'

Review: THE NIGHT BEFORE is the Perfect Gift at FreeFall Theatre Company Photo
Allow me if you will a little indulgence as I set the scene. The year is 2020, the Global Pandemic that has riddled the world, and the country as we know it to shutter/ shelter in place. Like many Performing Arts Organizations, the folks at freeFall Theatre, known for their motto “Just escape awhile...” and their inventive way of producing live theatre, was struggling to find the best outlet to keep producing, while safely doing so for both performers and patrons alike. Producing Artistic Director Eric Davis and Director Matthew McGee began discussions about how to safely produce a Christmas Show that was full on Christmas versus just taking place around Christmas. In the past freeFall has produced works such as Peter & The Starcatcher, and The Lion in Winter that work for Christmas shows, but are not necessarily Christmas shows. They have also in the past produced A Christmas Carol, but being inventive, Eric Davis and company wanted to shake things up a little, and if any theatre is well known for doing just that, its freeFall. So you can say the show itself was born out of a challenge, and freeFall delivered ten-fold. The Night Before was such a hit, freeFall decided to bring it back this season for the second year in a row, with some new adaptations and new characters.

Review: THE ROAD TO HELL IS A BEAUTIFUL RELEVANT JOURNEY WITH HADESTOWN at Straz Center Fo Photo
Yes, the Holiday Season is once again upon us. Time for merriment, gathering with friends, family, chosen family, and what have you to enjoy the sights, the sounds, and the food of the season. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of the times, the Straz Center’s Carol Morsani Hall brings a different fable and tale of love, hope, and the courage to survive against all odds to its patrons following the close of Thanksgiving weekend, and ushering in the first week of December. Unlike Ghosts of both Past, and Present, patrons of the Straz Center are plunged head-first into a dark tale based on figures found in Greek Mythology, and the tale itself seems all too relevant and perfectly placed in our current climate. The Broadway Smash Hadestown takes the stage by storm and leaves no prisoners in its wake. I for one am thankful for this time, the time to sit in a sacred space and experience the undeniably beautiful event that is live theatre, and the Straz Center is the Gift that keeps on giving, not only during the holiday season but all year long. Their 2022/2023 Bank of America Broadway Season is one of the absolute best yet!


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