Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theatre...
HARD OLD LADY FIGHTS SOFT MONEY: This Saturday only, Off-Broadway actress Barbara Bates Smith and musician Jeff Sebens will bring Go, Granny D! to Largo’s New Stage Theatre & Conservatory. Smith portrays real-life New Hampshire activist and author Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who between ages 88 and 90 walked 3,200 miles from coast to coast to stump for campaign finance reform, a cause for which she continued to lobby right up through her 100th and final birthday.
MAYBE THERE’S A TICKET AVAILABLE FOR SOMETHING IN ORLANDO: The final tally for freeFall Theatre’s record-shattering One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which closed last weekend: Every performance for the entire six-week run sold out. Bam. Over in Tampa, Jobsite Theater’s nostalgic comedy The Last Night of Ballyhoo has sold out six of its first nine performances, even with extra chairs added and with two weeks left to go. Maybe the Tampa Bay Rays should ask local theater companies how to put butts in seats.
“BUMBLING ALABAMA DUCK-HUNTING” IS TRIPLE-REDUNDANT: As a benefit for Voices for Children, a Tampa nonprofit that supports the local Guardian ad Litem advocacy program for abused and neglected children, Stageworks Theatre is hosting a staged reading of Mitch Albom’s Duck Hunter Shoots Angel this Friday and Saturday night. According to Stageworks, the play “interweaves a love story, sibling rivalry, tawdry media, race relations and cultural stereotypes as the chase to find the angel builds to a crescendo in the swamp.” So there.
IT'S AN HONOR JUST TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY: At tonight's CL Best of the Bay party, two new awards will be presented in the Theater category: Most Winningly Shameless Actor and Best Reason to Take Theater Seriously. Wouldn't it be just AWESOME if they were both won by the same person?
WHAT, NO HUMPTY? Carrollwood Players is holding auditions this Sunday and Monday for the musical Babes in Toyland. Roles in the community theatre production include all four Littles (Bo Peep, Miss Muffet, Jack Horner and Red Riding Hood) and Tom Tom the Piper’s Son who, according to the audition notice, “can be played naughty.”
“I AM HARTLICUS!” … “NO, I AM HARTLICUS!”: Stageworks’ Artistic Director Karla Hartley’s plans to sweep and haul away the detritus of several years’ productions in the company’s Channelside building ran afoul of a doctor’s orders to neither lift nor carry following Hartley's brief hospitalization last week. So she put out a social media SOS, and Monday morning ten volunteers split their time between lugging old set and prop pieces to the dumpster and reminding the mercurial Hartley to sit the hell down.
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