The Theatre Grapevine presented the 2014 STAR Awards Ceremony Oct. 19, in Matheos Hall at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater.
Just as the theater community the awards honor each year is a fixture in Pinellas, so, too, is the award ceremony itself.
“I have attended every award night from the beginning, over 30 years ago,” said Dee Crews, publisher of Theatre Grapevine. Her comments appear in the October 2014 issue of the publication in which she praises her readers for helping to keep the arts alive in Pinellas County. “You are part of live theater which has been around this county for many, many years. If it wasn’t for Grapeviners, there would be no awards.”
The Theatre Grapevine, a nonprofit news magazine serving the community theaters of Florida’s Suncoast, sponsors the STAR Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievements in local theater.
STAR Award ballots were distributed over the summer and the votes tallied. The winners were celebrated at the annual ceremony, which serves to showcase the area’s best and brightest thespians. STAR stands for Suncoast Theater Award Recipient.
St. Petersburg City Theatre was this year’s big winner, earning 11 awards, including Favorite Musical Production for its production of “Hello Dolly.” St. Petersburg City Theatre’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” shares the award for Favorite Dramatic Production with Francis Wilson Playhouse’s “Amadeus.”
CLEARWATER - “Miracle on South Division Street," by Tom Dudzick, runs through Dec. 21, at the Early Bird Dinner Theatre, 13355 49th St N., Clearwater.
Show times are 11 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays, and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Miracle on South Division Street is the story of the Nowak family, living amidst the urban rubble of Buffalo, New York’s East Side. Maybe the neighborhood is depressed, but not Clara, the family matriarch. She happily runs her soup kitchen and tends to the family heirloom - a twenty-foot shrine to the Blessed Mother which adjoins the house. This neighborhood beacon of faith commemorates the day in 1942 when the Blessed Virgin Mary materialized in her father’s barbershop! When the play opens, a family meeting is in progress.
TARPON SPRINGS - Bell, Book, and Candle will be performed Oct. 30-Nov. 2 and Nov. 7-9, Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 South Pinellas Avenue (Alt. U.S. 19).
Gillian Holroyd is smart, attractive, funny - not at all what you’d imagine a witch to be. Despite appearing perfectly normal, Gillian can actually cast spells and perform all kinds of magic, but there are some drawbacks to being a witch. She can’t blush, cry or fall in love. When Gillian meets Shepherd Henderson and casts a love spell on him, matters are complicated by her quirky Aunt Queenie and mischievous brother Nicky.
ST. PETERSBURG - Auditions for "Footloose, The Musical" will be Sunday and Monday, Nov. 9-10, 7 p.m., at St. Petersburg City Theatre, 4025 31st St. S.
Callbacks will be Wednesday, Nov. 11. Director Rodney Hamilton and musical director Jessica Burchfield will be looking for quality dancers who can sing and for strong singers who can move. They will be accepting auditions from ages 15 and older. All dancers must be able to convincingly play high school juniors and seniors. Due to the high energy, tight harmony, dance-heavy script, five-hour Saturday rehearsals can be expected. Rehearsals will take place on weekday nights as well. Rehearsals will be seven days a week for the last two weeks leading up to opening night. The production will run Jan. 23 through Feb. 8.
Those auditioning should bring 32 bars of upbeat pop-music to the audition, unless otherwise directed by specific character descriptions.
TARPON SPRINGS - Acting Workshop with Nick Abounader take place Thursdays, Oct. 16, 23, 30 and Nov. 6, 13, 20 from 7-9 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane, Tarpon Springs.
Interested in improving your acting? Professional actor/director Nick Abounader teaches technique, audition strategies, improvisation, cold reading and much more.
Abounader, who is a former Broadway musical touring actor, has performed all over the world, bringing such roles to life as Bobby Strong in Urinetown, Radames in Aida, and Roger in Rent. He is one of Tarpon Arts’ favorite directors, recently directing The Prisoner of Second Avenue and Doubt and the upcoming Blithe Spirit and the 2015 musical, The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee.
When it comes to certain plays, the simpler the set, the better the production.
Why? Because sometimes the effectiveness of a play comes down to nothing more than the words of the playwright - and the proficiency of those delivering the words. That’s doubly true when it comes to works by William Shakespeare.
New Stage Theatre opens its 2014-15 season with an austere, fervent production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” running through Nov. 2, at 11650 131st St. N., Largo.
ST. PETERSBURG - freeFall Theatre’s 2014-15 season, billed as An Escape from Reality, will open with Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical “Into the Woods,” running Oct. 10 through Nov. 9 at 6099 Central Ave.
Performances are Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m.
“Into the Woods” is Sondheim’s take on what happens after happily ever after. One of freeFall’s top-requested shows, this will be the second Sondheim musical produced at the theater since the inaugural production of “The Frogs” in 2010. Eric Davis, artistic director, has created a new and exciting staging that will delight and intrigue audiences of all ages with its imaginative storytelling.
CLEARWATER - Second Stage Studio Theater presents Ann Frank and Me Oct. 19 through Nov. 2. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
No show is scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 25 or Friday, Oct. 31.
Anne Frank and Me is serio/comic about a young girl who comes to grips with the truth about the holocaust.
This multiple national award-winning new American classic, which was a hit in New York, is about the awakening of a modern teen Holocaust denier. Nicole Burns doubts the truth and cares even less, but ultimately comes face-to-face with the hell of the Holocaust, and--in an extraordinary sequence - meets Anne Frank on a cattle car to Auschwitz.
ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg City Theatre is putting the fun into fundraiser with a cheeky adaption of an "Oh, so British" Pantomime, or Panto. Dracula is on the loose in London hunting for the keys to Vlad the Impaler's treasure with Sapphi the vampire slayer in hot pursuit.
Coco Van Helsing and Lucy Lastic are not far behind. When they all meet up in Transylvania raucous chaos ensues. Music, outrageous comedy and audience participation...come see what the rowdy fun is all about.