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Stage & Theater
ST. PETERSBURG - The team behind freeFall’s smash hit “Spring Awakening” reunites to present Paul Scott Goodman's musicalization of Jay McInerney's classic novel of the youth and excess of 1980s New York. “Bright Lights, Big City” runs Feb. 28 through March 22 at freeFall Theatre.

Performances are Thursday, 7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Ticket prices vary depending upon performance time.

Lucas Wells stars as Jamie. Other members of the cast include Scott Daniel as Chuck Bean, Nick Lerew as Michael, Clinton Harris as Tad, Kara Konken as Amanda, Sarita Amani Nash as Vicky/Coma Baby, Heather Cleveland Krueger as Mother), Amy Marie Stewart as Meghan with Katie Berger as Mary.

The story follows the sordid urban adventures of a dissolute fact checker as he plummets through a boomtown world of nightclubs, bars, models and cocaine. The set designed by Matt Davis will turn freeFall’s black box into a stylized version of a 1980s nightclub complete with high-top table club seating. Table space is limited.

“Bright Lights, Big City” will be directed by freeFall’s artistic director Eric Davis with musical direction by Michael Raabe and choreography by Megan Morgan. Costume, wig and make-up design will be created by Scott Daniel of MattocS Productions LLC. Mike Wood Lighting Design will design lighting.
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CLEARWATER - Russian National Ballet Theatre performs Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Saturday, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

A classic battle between an evil sorcerer and the power of true love is told through the silent beauty and grace of dance accompanied by the magical music of Tchaikovsky.

Follow Prince Siegfried on his journey to manhood and authority to reign over his kingdom. As he leaves the carefree whims of youth behind and the time is at hand for him to choose a bride, evil is afoot and temptation lurks. Will love triumph over the sorcerer’s curse?
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CLEARWATER - The epic struggle between good and evil comes to life on stage in this all new production of the musical phenomenon, Jekyll & Hyde at Ruth Eckerd Hall Monday, March 2, 7:30 p.m.

Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson and featuring a thrilling score of pop rock hits from multi Grammy and Tony nominated Frank Wildhorn and double Oscar and Grammy winning Leslie Bricusse, Jekyll & Hyde has mesmerized audiences the world over.
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ST. PETERSBURG - As part of St. Petersburg City Theatre’s 90th main stage season, “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” by Beth Henley, will be run March 6-22, at the theater, 4025 31st St. S.

Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 2 p.m. The lobby will open one hour prior to the show. Tickets are $22 for adults and $10 for students with identification. For information, call 866-1973 or visit www.spcitytheatre.org.
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CLEARWATER - West Coast Players presents the universally acclaimed “Other Desert Cities,” by Jon Robin Baitz, running March 6-22, at 21905 U.S. 19 N. in Clearwater.

This funny and searing play by the creator of TV's “Brothers & Sisters” is filled with clever exchanges among family members who know exactly how to push one another's buttons. When Brooke Wyeth announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family's history, she effectively draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it.
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PALM HARBOR - A group of acting students will showcase a variety of monologues, scenes and songs during a forum at The Witch’s Brew, 1219 Florida Ave., on Sunday, March 8.

The themed showcase, “The Nature of Theater,” starts at 1 p.m., in the garden with an emphasis on the celebration of the human spirit. It’s all part of a program called The Acting Class.

Admission is free.
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CLEARWATER - Called "one of the funniest standup comics" by her peers and ranking among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America, comedian and actress Wanda Sykes returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m., for the first time since her sold out show in 2011.

In 2012, Sykes joined forces with producer Page Hurwitz to form Push It Productions, a production company dedicated to creating quality, comedy-based programming for network and cable television outlets. Their first set of specials, Herlarious was the recipient of a 2014 Gracie Award.
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ST. PETERSBURG - Coming to The Palladium Theater, Friday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m., Girls Night: The Musical has been called “Part anthem, part confessional and all party!” and “Desperate Housewives meets Mamma Mia!”

Share the fun and laughter at this hilarious, feel-good musical comedy as five girlfriends go from heartbreak to happiness during a wild night of karaoke. The show is part of the Mahaffey on the Move series.
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CLEARWATER - West Coast Players recently released details about the sixth annual One Act Plays Festival scheduled July 3-4 and 10-12.

Early information is of interest to playwrights, play readers, actors, stage managers, back stage crew, directors, set constructors, volunteers, and anyone else interested in participating in any way.

Submission deadline for scripts is April 11. Play reading committee will select scripts for production April 18 and select directors and assign scripts April 25.
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GULFPORT - The Gulfport Community Players are seeking original one-act plays to be performed during the 15th annual Summer One-Acts Festival, set for July 9-19, in Gulfport.

Playwrights are encouraged to submit family-friendly plays running 5 to 20 minutes through March 15. The Gulfport Players prefer light-hearted comedies and drama. Scripts must be simple to stage and produce.

To enter the competition, send two nonreturnable hard copies of the script to: Gulfport Community Players, 1619 49th St. S., Gulfport, FL 33707. Online submissions will not be accepted.
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Entertainment Calender
• Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
Blast Friday with Mindi Abair
Blast Friday with Mindi Abair, Friday, Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m., in the Cleveland Street District of downtown Clearwater. Blast Friday was established in 2009 as downtown Clearwater's free, family-friendly street festival.

Supported by the city of Clearwater, the Cleveland Street District and the Downtown Development Board and produced by Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road, this month’s headliner will be Mindi Abair. A St. Petersburg native, the saxophonist, singer and songwriter will bring her unique blend of instrumentals and vocals to the outdoor stage. Fire and Ice will kick off the festivities.

VIP tickets also are available. For information, call 791-7400 or visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.
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Caught in the Net
“Caught in the Net,” by Ray Cooney, Jan. 10 through March 1, at the Early Bird Dinner Theatre, 13355 49th St. N., Clearwater. Matinees are Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. Evening performances are Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m. Cost is $32 for dinner and the show. Call 446-5898 or visit www.earlybirddinnertheatre.com.
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Girls Night: The Musical
Girls Night: The Musical, Friday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m., at The Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $37.50. Call 822-3590 or visit mypalladium.org.
Indigo Girls with Symphony
Indigo Girls with Symphony, Friday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m., at The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $45.50. Call 893-7832 or 800-874-9020, or visit www.themahaffey.com.
My Fair Lady
“My Fair Lady,” by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe; Feb. 26 through March 15, at Francis Wilson Playhouse, 302 Seminole St., Clearwater. Call 446-1360 or visit www.franciswilsonplayhouse.org.

Performances are generally Thursday through Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets for nonmusicals are $21 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets for musicals are $26 for adults and $15 for students.

The 1956 Broadway hit musical that won six Tony Awards and Best Musical is based on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” and at that time set the record as the longest running musical in history. Following was a hit London production, a popular film version and numerous revivals. Labeled “the perfect musical,” the story follows Henry Higgins’s attempt to cultivate a perfect “lady” from a humble flower girl.
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Wanda Sykes
Wanda Sykes, Friday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $43. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
• Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
Beeruary & Burger Throw Down
Beeruary & Burger Throw Down, Saturday, Feb. 28, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Marina Park, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane, Safety Harbor.

The event will feature craft beer and burgers. Beeruary will offer tasting opportunities from local breweries and home brewers in the beer garden.

Attendees also will have an opportunity to purchase craft beers. Onsite patrons will be choosing best brew. There will be a vendor area, VIP tent, bubble soccer and a burger cook-off.

Admission is free. VIP tent entry is $60. For information, visit Simplyeventsfl.com.
 ... Read More 
Bright Lights, Big City
“Bright Lights, Big City,” with book, music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman; Feb. 28 through March 22, at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Call 498-5205 or visit www.freefalltheatre.com.

Performances are Thursday, 7 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Matinees are Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets prices vary depending upon performance time.

Jay McInerney’s 1984 novel about a young writer caught up in the cocaine-dusted 1980s New York fast lane explodes across the stage in Paul Scott Goodman’s rock musical. Lucas Wells is Jamie, a fact checker at a posh New York magazine who dreams of being a respected writer. His escapes from the disappointments of life lead him deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of the yuppie party scene.

Eventually his obsession with his estranged wife Amanda is shattered, and he finds his way back to life. freeFall’s production will immerse the audience in the decadent club world of the 1980s Big Apple while Goodman’s tuneful, driving rock score envelopes you in the power of this contemporary literary milestone.
 ... Read More 
Caught in the Net
“Caught in the Net,” by Ray Cooney, Jan. 10 through March 1, at the Early Bird Dinner Theatre, 13355 49th St. N., Clearwater. Matinees are Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. Evening performances are Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m. Cost is $32 for dinner and the show. Call 446-5898 or visit www.earlybirddinnertheatre.com.
 ... Read More 
Megan Hilty
Megan Hilty, Saturday, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Tickets start at $55. Call 791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com.

Hilty will perform an unforgettable evening of Broadway favorites and tunes made famous by stars like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Dolly Parton. The show wouldn't be complete without beloved classics like “Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend” and original songs from “Smash” as well as popular songs from Cole Porter, Harold Arlen and music from Hilty's album, “It Happens All the Time.”
 ... Read More 
More Local News
Music & Concerts
•  Indigo Girls perform with symphony orchestra
•  Palladium welcomes Lewis and Bailey
•  Rick Michel performs as Frank Sinatra
•  March music scene - Lineup features local, national performers
•  Leo Kottke comes to Palladium Theater
  MORE >>
Out & About
•  Lowry Park Zoo presents festival of lights
•  Blast Friday welcomes back baseball
•  Rays single-game tickets on sale
•  Guilds celebrate the art of Quilting
•  Rotary hosts Corks, Forks & Crafts Brews
  MORE >>
Art & Museums
•  Gallery exhibits Dual Expressions in Art
•  Beach Art Center director targets technology
•  DFAC seeks trashy treasures donations
•  Martin Parr photos on display at Museum of Fine Arts
•  Art show highlights local artists
  MORE >>
Movie News & Reviews
•  Movies opening this week - Feb. 27
•  Reel Time - Australian zombie film offers fresh twist
•  Cenac named Sunscreen Film Festival director
  MORE >>
Viewpoints
•  Debra Saunders - President has no right to overturn laws he dislikes
•  Driver's Seat - British mysteries: Bloody well civilized
  MORE >>
Reader's Forum
•  Belleair candidate responds to letters
•  Belleair commissioner explains absence from forum
  MORE >>
  Entertainment Calendar
  Live Music Calendar
  Community Calendar
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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