About That Glass Slipper Thing

It’s hard to imagine wearing any article of clothing made from a substance known for its ability to puncture and shred flesh. And yet. Who’s Cinderella without a glass slipper? The basic idea of the Cinderella story—young woman, bad circumstances, objects incite a change of fate—dates back thousands of years to many, many cultures spanning... Continue Reading →

The Julie Andrews Appreciation Blog

We love Julie Andrews. Naturally, she’s on our mind since The Sound of Music opens tonight, June 5, and runs through the weekend. No, Ms. Andrews doesn’t make an appearance in the new staging of this masterpiece, but for many of us, we can’t even see the words “the hills are alive” without picturing her sweeping,... Continue Reading →

Not Throwing Away Their Shot

The Straz Center education program readies local high school musical theater talents for the big time with the Broadway Star of the Future program. Winners get a chance to wow Broadway producers and directors in NYC for their shot at the title – and potentially launch their careers with a Jimmy® Award. We all know... Continue Reading →

Leotard, Check. Make-Up Kit, Check. Valve Oil? Check.

The Patel Conservatory Gears Up for Another School Year There’s no such thing as summer break for the faculty and staff of the Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory. We spend the summer months steeped in a camps, classes, workshops, performances and pre-professional productions like this year’s impressive mounting of an almost full-scale Les Miserables. So, we... Continue Reading →

Villain, Dragon, The Voice

Former Patel Conservatory student Shalyah Fearing Dreams It and Does It . . . Congratulations on Her Outstanding Performance on The Voice The Straz Center believes in the vital power of the performing arts to nurture the human spirit. Anyone should be able to cultivate her or his creative gifts and curiosities starting at a... Continue Reading →

Drawing on Theater Magic

The tricky business of adapting an animated movie into a stage musical  “The book was better.” So goes the typical critique of movies based on novels, but one rarely hears “I liked the cartoon better” as audiences stream from theater venues where their favorite Disney film characters sang-and-danced through a musical version of the animated... Continue Reading →

The Lioness Returns

Kissy Simmons’ early career began on stages around the Tampa Bay region, one of which was our Jaeb Theater. She left for New York City the week of Sept. 11, 2001, to audition for Aida, a Disney production. Her audition led to an interest in her for The Lion King, and she and her husband... Continue Reading →

William Ivey Long’s Designs on Broadway

The ultra-sexy revamped sheer black palette of the Chicago revival. The yellow dress in Contact. The frogs in Frogs. Sally Bowles’ maximum-leg-power mini-dress in Cabaret. The feather-trimmed muu-muu in Hairspray. And here, at The Straz, the mind-blowing, magical wardrobe changes in Rodgers+Hammerstien’s Cinderella. There is one mastermind behind these historic works of theater couture, and... Continue Reading →

How It Works: Rodgers+Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Big, blockbuster Broadway musicals come with singers, dancers, fabulous costumes ... and many trucks. How do those whopping set pieces end up on Carol Morsani stage? The answer is lots of (literal) manpower. We took some after-hours and behind-the-scenes photographs of the “load-in,” which is the usually very quick turn-around time between when the show... Continue Reading →

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