Sunday, December 10, 2017
Stage

Best shows on stage this week: '5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche,' Brad Williams at the Improv

COMEDY RETURNS: 5 LESBIANS Eating a Quiche

Members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein have a lot on their plates. There's a cold war stirring fears of nuclear annihilation. Then you've got their own sometimes conflicting personalities coupled with an emerging solidarity as women.

But Thursday the members will focus on the society's annual quiche-tasting contest. That includes you, if you take the recommendation of last year's audiences and see 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, brought back to Stageworks Theatre by popular demand. The 75-minute play by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood treats the show as a meeting. All customers get female name tags.

Director John Pinckard described last year's show as "incredibly wholesome and family-friendly." Apollo Beach native Pinckard, an award-winning producer and director on and off Broadway, isn't here this time, but Jorge Acosta will implement his direction.

Actors returning from last year's show include Emily Belvo, Kari Goetz, Jaime Giangrande-Holcolm and Stageworks producing artistic director Karla Hartley. Rounding out the cast is Nicole Jeannine Smith, who has been acting in Tampa and Cincinnati the last couple of years and recently served as assistant producer for the first Tampa International Fringe Festival.

"I heard more about how much fun people had at this play than any other (last) season," Hartley said. "It seemed like the natural thing to do to bring it back for a summer re-run. I can absolutely say that we are finding more of the funny this time than we did last time." Friday through Aug. 20. 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $30-$35. A preview at 8 p.m. Thursday costs $15. (813) 374-2416. For showtimes, visit stageworkstheatre.org.

TAMPA IMPROV: BRAD WILLIAMS

Since childhood, Brad Williams has connected with audiences through sometimes dicey subjects, starting with himself. Williams, the headliner this weekend at Tampa Improv, was born with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism. From his father, the Orange, Calif., native learned to disarm with humor. He has been working professionally since age 19, touring with some of comedy's biggest names and at least nine television shows, including a highly rated 2015 special on Showtime, Fun Size.

Williams regularly tackles issues of disability, race and relationships with a soothing touch that drew praise from the late Robin Williams, who called Brad Williams "Prozac with a head." 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday.. 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $20. (813) 864-4000. visit improvtampa.com.

NEW STAFFERS: FREEFALL THEATRE

Freefall Theatre has grown since its founding in 2008. The number of full-time staff has grown to 11 with the recent hirings of technical director Nick Mathis and development director Margaret Murray.

Murray has a long track record of soliciting donors, most recently with St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts. She has a master's degree in arts administration from Savannah College of Art and Design, and has served multiple times as executive director of the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Mathis comes to Freefall from the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. While there, the theater awarded Mathis an advanced training fellowship for technical theater production. The new hires "will bring so much to Freefall's growing organization, both artistically and administratively," said Freefall producing artistic director Eric Davis.

AUDITIONS: MASTER CHORALE, TAMPA ORATORIO SINGERS

Two choral groups are holding auditions starting this week, both by appointment only. Time is nearly up (but you can still squeeze under the wire) for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, which holds auditions Thursday through Saturday at the University of South Florida School of Music. Details are at masterchorale.com/audition. Auditions for the Tampa Oratorio Singers run through Aug. 28. Contact music director Nancy Callahan at callahan@palmaceia.org. Both groups ask singers to prepare a short piece, and both supply accompanists. tostampa.org.

     
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