Hurricane Irma wreaked varying degrees of havoc across the state, but now electricity has been restored to Tampa Bay and a little razzle dazzle could provide a welcome distraction.æAlthough several performances had to be postponed, Tampa Bay is resilient andäóîas they sayäóîthe show must go on. So here’s what’s on deck for the rest of September.
Wednesdayæat 7 p.m. Thurs,-Sat. evenings atæ8.æ Matinees atæ3 p.m., American Stage Theatre Company, Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg
From an award-winning writer on the hit TV series Orange Is the New Black comes one of Americaäó»s hottest new plays. Jay äóìThe Sportäó Jackson wants nothing more than to prove heäó»s the best boxer in the world. However in the Jim Crow era, his chances are as good as knocked out. When a boxing promoter hatches a plan for äóìthe fight of the century,äó The Sport just might land a place in the ring with the reigning white heavyweight champion. But is the country ready for this face off? Through the sights and sounds of the early 20th century boxing circuit,æThe Royale packs a punch that will leave you breathless. Runs through Oct. 15.ææLisa Tricomi directs, featuring æAygemang Clay, Rokia L Shearin and Rich Lowe, making their American Stage debut, with award-winning veteran performers æKim Sullivan (Seen in all 10 of American Stage’s August Wilson Productions) and Richard B. Watson (Informed Consent and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone) making their return to AS’s Mainstage.
Pay what you can at the door Wednesday; $20 in advance.æOther performance date prices vary.
Scare Actor Auditions
Thursday, Sept. 21, 4 p.m., The Raw Studios,æ2338 Emerson Ave. S., St. Petersburg
The Blood District is the scariest event to hit St. Petersburg. Be a part of this horrifying creative event set in a decade when zombies roamed the railways and terrifying creatures lurked in the Warehouse Arts District’s historical industrial buildings.
Lend Me a Tenor
Thursday, Sept. 21, Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center,æ324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs
Tarpon Arts is kicking off its much anticipated new 2017-18 season with three-time Tony Award-winning Lend Me a Tenor. This musical comedy by Ken Ludwig takes places in 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio. It is opening night of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company and the world-famous tenor Tito Mirelli is set to perform. The Companyäó»s manager is a nervous wreck that something is going to go wrong and insists that his assistant watch over Titoäó»s every move. From one catastrophe to the next äóñ an angry wife, a presumed death, crazy costumes, slamming doors, and mistaken identities äóñ the night unfolds in perfect comedic disaster.
This Tarpon Arts production is directed by Jamie Bierchen and includes a cast of talented local community theatre thespians. Get tickets at TarponArts.org.æRuns through Sept. 24.
$27 nonmembers, $23 members.
Preview Performances and Opening Night:æTake Me Outæ(Rescheduled Due to Hurricane Irma)
Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m. andæSaturday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m., The Studio@620,æ620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg
Opening Night: Saturday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.,æThe Studio@620,æ620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg
This was slated for Sept. 14 and appeared in the previous column but was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.æCatch a preview performance of Richard Greenbergäó»sæTony Award-winning Take Me Out, a play that focuses on a baseball star who comes out of the closet and his teammatesäó» reactions. The drama unfolds over the course of a season and themes of homophobia, racism, class and masculinity are explored. At the time of the playäó»s writing, no Major League Baseball player had come out publicly during their career.æTake Me Outæimaginatively explores how such an event would unfold. Directed by Bob Devin Jones, featuring Philip Rankin and Drew Smith. Runs through Oct. 1.
Preview Performances: $25
Regular Admission:æ$35, $30 for students and seniors
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m., West Coast Players Theatre, 21905 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater
Young lovers Brad and Janet get a flat tire while driving in a storm and take refuge in a nearby castle, the home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, during a wild night of murder and mayhem. The stage production, containing mature language and themes, is a musical rendition of the 1975 movie and a spoof of B-movie horror flicks. Audience participation on Saturdays only. Props will be provided; no outside props allowed. Runs through Oct. 8.
$25, $21 for students.
Celebrate Community Theatre: Get in the Game
Sunday, Sept. 24, 1:30 p.m., Catherine Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Ave. S., Gulfport
Watch this comedic romp; meet and greet with fellow theater lovers, actors, directors, and playwrights; and learn the past, present, and future of community theater.
Mama Won’t Fly
Friday, Sept. 29, 4 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m and 4 p.m., Early Bird Dinner Theater,æ13355 49th St. N., Clearwater
An outrageously hilarious race against the clock begins when Savannah Sprunt Fairchild Honeycutt agrees to get her feisty mother all the way from Alabama to California in time for her brotheräó»s wedding. Savannahäó»s problem: Mama wonäó»t fly. With only four days to make it to the ceremony, this determined daughter has no choice but to drive cross-country with her equally willful mother, Norleen Sprunt, in Mamaäó»s vintage sedan.æThis ferociously funny, family-friendly Jones-Hope-Wooten comedy will have you laughing your way across the country and all the way down the aisle. Runs through Oct. 22.
$36 includes pre show entertainment, buffet style dinner, tax, and show.