My Fair Lady VS. Pretty Woman

Call them what you want, rags-to-riches or fairy tales – either way, My Fair Lady and Pretty Woman, both playing The Straz over the coming weeks, are contemporary variants of a familiar plot. An uptight man of particular stature brings under his wing a woman who many considered tarnished and makes her over. During the... Continue Reading →

Talking With Janet Dacal

If the face and name are familiar, that’s because Janet Dacal starred as Alice in Wonderland, the Broadway musical that had its origins at the Straz Center. She returns to our stage starring in the Tony Award®-winning The Band’s Visit, a musical about Egyptian musicians who find themselves stranded in a small Israeli town. Janet’s... Continue Reading →

Pulling Strings: The Story Behind Hirschfeld’s My Fair Lady Album Cover

Considering it’s the subject of one of his most recognizable drawings, caricaturist Al Hirschfeld was not enthusiastic about a friend’s idea. Albert "Al" Hirschfeld photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1955. Hirschfeld’s friend, theatrical director Moss Hart, wanted to produce George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion as a musical. Hirschfeld balked. “I said ‘How are you going to improve that... Continue Reading →

Singer Welcomes Challenge of Opera Tampa Double-Header

Jean Carlos Rodriguez “Let’s play two!” was the catchphrase of Chicago Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks. Opera occasionally schedules double-headers as well. Opera Tampa is closing its season with two one-act operas: Puccini’s comedy Gianni Schicchi and Mascagni’s tragedy Cavalleria Rusticana. Jean Carlos Rodriguez performs in both operas and he’s wondering how much time he’ll have... Continue Reading →

FIVE FUN FACTS: Tatiana Melendez

Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Tampa appearance also will serve as a homecoming for one of the company’s dancers, Tatiana Melendez. Melendez is a genuine sensation in the dance world. She was racking up dance competition awards for both contemporary and ballet before she entered her teens. She’s in her third season with the company, and its... Continue Reading →

FIVE FUN FACTS: Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming, Tony Award®-winner for Cabaret, comes to The Straz April 3 for an evening of song and chit-chat about a topic we all have in common, but try to avoid – AGING. Here are five fun facts about Alan Cumming: He made a successful transition from a Scottish sitcom to film in small but... Continue Reading →

TALKING WITH DESMOND RICHARDSON

Photo: Brian Thomas Desmond Richardson is co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Called “one of the greatest dancers of his time” by The New York Times, Richardson danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as a principal dancer from 1987 to 1994 and, in 1997, joined American Ballet Theatre where he was... Continue Reading →

Most Memorable Movie Proms

In the Broadway hit The Prom, which opens at The Straz Feb. 15, a student faces hostility for wanting to bring her girlfriend to the big high school dance. That part of the plot is based on a real event, and while we admire those who stand up for equality and inclusiveness, we wonder why... Continue Reading →

Hallelujah Hattitude

Crowns, a celebratory musical about church hats, kicks off a series of Straz-produced shows Photo: Joseph Brown Apostle Paul was adamant about this point. When a man prays or prophesizes, his head must not be covered. Women, on the other hand … "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her... Continue Reading →

ARTISTS WE LOVE TO LOVE: Donna Summer

Broadway was about the only place Donna Summer’s music didn’t dominate during her late ‘70s hit-making heyday. The jukebox musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical finally brought the Queen of Disco’s catalog to the Great White Way. It would be difficult to overstate Summer’s popularity from the mid-‘70s through the early ‘80s. She had 11... Continue Reading →

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