Archive for September, 2011

Adam Hall is part of the cast of St. Petersburg Opera’s upcoming production of Die Fledermaus. He’s also a blogger who writes at http://tenordad.blogspot.com/2011/09/die-fledermaus.html

Here is his take on the show:

Die Fledermaus

Die Fledermaus (literally, Batman) is an operetta by Johann “The Other” Strauss, which exactly follows the plot of La Rondine, which, as you may recall, has the same plot as La Traviata, which, as we all know, is really just the same story as Pretty Woman.Let me sum up the plots of both Die Fledermaus and La Rondine for you quickly.  Act 1:  Rich people sit around at home before eventually deciding to all go out drinking, separately, and in disguise. 
Act 2: Everyone is pretending to be someone else and drinking heavily, the chambermaid is wearing her bosses dress, and they mostly recognize each other, but pretend not to.  Act 3: We get to see what happens to everyone after one night of major drinking and bad decisions.So as you can see, they are basically the same show, except that many of the characters’ names are different, and they say and do different things, and also one is about a bird and one is about a bat.The story of Die Fledermaus opens with our hero, Eisenstein, being badly mistreated, in that there is another tenor on stage, singing to his wife.  If there is one thing a tenor hates, it is another tenor on stage singing, so Eisenstein comes stomping home, where we learn that he has a terrible lawyer, and must now go to jail.  Luckily, his friend Falke comes along and tells him about a great party, so Eisenstein naturally decides to put off going to jail, as there will be an open bar at this party.

Now, some other people are going to the party as well, and if they were tenors I would tell you about them, but as they are not, let’s skip to the part where Eisenstein shows up.  He is very happy, because the other tenor has now been arrested, and, as such, cannot participate in Act 2.  Eisenstein starts looking around for girls to show off his watch to, because back in those days watches were apparently a potent aphrodisiac.  Unfortunately for him, his wife is at the party as well, and even more unfortunately, she tricks him and steals his watch.  Having nothing else to woo girls with, he decides to end the act and go to jail, where, unbeknownst to him, his arch enemy, the other tenor, is waiting.

Act 3 is mostly a gigantic duel between the two tenors, similar to that battle between Qui Gon Jinn and Darth Maul at the end of The Phantom Menace, except that instead of having to race through corridors and use the force, Eisenstein has to dress up as a lawyer and yell a lot.  It’s hard to tell if the show ends as a comedy or a tragedy, since our hero does end up in jail.  But he also gets his watch back, so I guess it all evens out.  The real tragedy is that nothing really bad happens to the other tenor, but I suppose we can only imagine that horrible things happen to him after the curtain comes down.

Thus ends the tale of Mr. Eisenstein, the dashing and brilliant hero of our story.  And if you want to know stuff about the other characters, well, go see the show.

Check Adam’s blog for updates and don’t miss Die Fledermaus at the Palladium this weekend – Friday, Sept. 30; Sunday, Oct. 2; and Tuesday, Oct. 4.

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One of our favorite traveling jazzmen, Chuck Redd, is returning to the Palladium this Thursday. He’s playing vibes with the Nate Najar Trio, as they kick off our 2011-2012 Side Door season.

Over the past few years, the Side Door has become THE listening room for jazz, blues, folk, and lots of other genres. Our upcoming jazz shows include Nate and Chuck this Thursday, Valerie Gillespie and her Ensemble on Thursday, Oct. 6 and the 1960s exotica sounds of Stolen Idols, on Nov. 18.

Blues fans won’t want to miss the Toler-Tucci Band, on Oct. 7. The band features “Dangerous” Dan Toler, former guitarist for the Allman Brothers and the Gregg Allman Band, along with an all-star group. It will be a night of Southern rock and blues.

As for this week, Nate and Chuck should be in good form. Nate just returned from  playing gigs and doing some recording with Chuck in the D.C. area.

Chuck has been here before with Nate and twice as a leader of the Statesmen of Jazz for Arbors Records. If you’ve never seen this bandleader and in-demand sideman, get down to the Side Door Cabaret this Thursday for the 7:30 show.

Tickets are going fast, so don’t miss out.

St. Petersburg College students will some hands on experience on Friday when Chuck leads a master class for Dr. David Manson’s jazz students at the Gibbs campus.

We’ll be adding more Side Door dates, including some holiday cabaret shows, in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned.

For more information and tickets on all our Palladium shows visit our website at www.mypalladium.org

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Our good friends at Hotel Indigo are helping the Palladium kick-off our 2011-2012 season with a great party at the beautifully renovated property on 3rd Avenue North.

I’ll be there with details of our upcoming season. Palladium favorites Nate Najar and John Lamb will provide the music. (Nate and John are headlining our opening Side Door Jazz show on Sept. 22, so you’ll get a sneak preview of that show which will also feature Washington D.C. jazzman Chuck Redd on vibes.)

Hotel Indigo will be offering some happy hour refreshments and a chance to check out new work by the hotel’s current “artist in residence” Janice Campbell.

Hope you can join us for this fun – and free – event. We’re calling it the Fall Arts and Entertainment Preview. The party runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 16. Hotel Indigo is located in downtown St. Pete at 234 3rd Ave. N. (between Second Street and Third Street North).

There are more details on our website – www.mypalladium.org  – and a link to the Hotel Indigo site. I hope you can join us!

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If you were in the audience for the Jeff Norton Theater Awards last month at the Palladium, you know theater is thriving on both side of Tampa Bay.  You can now add “A Simple Theater” to the mix.

I caught the company’s debut show, Death and the Maiden, Friday night at the Studio at 620.  ” Simple” is an appropriate moniker if by simple you mean great acting, powerful (and timely) play selection and a set that does its job and nothing more.

It’s a cliché, but I was literally on the edge of my seat for 90 minutes (the show runs with no intermission). Roxanne Fay – one of our best actors – was throwing off sparks as the victim of torture and rape who may or may not be confronting her attacker years later. Steve Garland, as her husband, and Giles Davies, as the possible torturer, matched her intensity.

The pacing was relentless and the actors stayed in character even during the blackouts. I had to remind myself at times to breathe.

The new company is the brainchild of actors Gavin Hawk and Meg Heimstead. Hawk, an Eckerd professor currently starring in Barefoot In The Park at American Stage, directed the show.

 I’m a theater lover, not a theater reviewer, so instead of throwing out more theater-critic clichés, I’ll just say congratulations to this exciting new company and I’ll tell you something very simple  – don’t miss this show!

For showtimes and more details visit www.studio620.org.

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