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Andrew Meacham, Times Performing Arts Critic

Andrew Meacham

Andrew Meacham is the performing arts critic for the Tampa Bay Times, covering the growing local venues for theater, orchestra, opera and dance. Andrew previously served as the Epilogue obituaries writer for the Times. He grew up in St. Petersburg, graduated from Eckerd College and holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Phone: (727) 892-2248


  1. Maestro Anton Coppola celebrates 100th birthday by conducting more original compositions


    TAMPA --  Four days after his 100th birthday, Anton Coppola conducted a two-hour concert Saturday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, the much anticipated highlight of a fund-raising gala for  Opera Tampa. 

    The concert (Coppola Conducts: 100 Years Young) feted  Coppola in the way he likely appreciated most -- by allowing him to honor his family, his Italian heritage and his life's work, including his 18 years as Opera Tampa's founding artistic director.  ...

    Director, actress and producer Sofia Coppola, center, is seen just prior to a performance by her great-uncle Maestro Anton Coppola Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Several Coppola family members including Maestro's nephew Director Francis Ford Coppola, and great-nephew Nicholas Cage were in attendance for the performance.
  2. MOMIX dancers transfix and entertain at the Straz


    Two dancers tapped out a few minimal movements, still in workout tights and ironing out a piece of choreography involving a 10-foot length of PVC pipe. MOMIX, an acrobatic and interpretive dance troupe with brand of storytelling that is at once abstract and highly personal, would soon rivet a sizeable crowd Thursday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Perfor...

    MOMIX dancers combine personal and abstract styles to tell stories. Shown here in Caravan, part of Opus Cactus.
  3. At 100, Tampa's opera king Anton Coppola celebrates a life's work


    Anton Coppola was 10 when they died in the electric chair.

    Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed on Aug. 23, 1927. The murder convictions of two Italian immigrants sparked worldwide outrage. As a boy in East Harlem, Coppola had heard his father and friends talking about the case around the dinner table. Seventy years later, he wrote an opera about the case.

    Are you following the math? The trial of a century was almost a century ago. On Tuesday, Coppola turned 100. ...

    Maestro Anton Coppola blows a kiss to the audience during an ovation of several minutes for the Opera Tampa production of Aida at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts.
  4. Stage Planner: St. Pete native comes home with Momix, Anton Coppola turns 100



    For one member of the acrobatic dance troupe Momix, this tour date is a stopover close to home. Autumn Burnette, right, who performs a variety of gravity-defying feats, was born in St. Petersburg 30 years ago.

    She started tumbling around age 4, and graduated from St. Petersburg High's International Baccalaureate program. Into middle school, she also starred on the gymnastics team, particularly the uneven bars. That is, until dance came calling....

    Autumn Burnette, who studied gymnastics and dance at Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, joined the MOMIX dance troupe in 2010.
  5. Review: Engaging premise goes to waste in American Stage's 'Informed Consent'



    From its unveiling nearly a year ago as part of the current American Stage season, Informed Consent showed promise.

    This one-act would dive into the historical tension between science and religion. Through the lens of a landmark court case pitting an American Indian tribe against a university over genetic research, the play would explore power and myth-making, ask hard questions and challenge audiences to come up with their own answers....

    Juliana Davis, center, turns in a solid performance as Jillian, the only character invested with any kind of nuance.
  6. Stage Planner: 'Informed Consent' at American Stage, 'A Skull in Connemara' at Jobsite



    In 1989, Arizona State University researchers entered into a research project with a group of American Indians living in the Grand Canyon area. The search for a genetic marker to Type 2 diabetes was unsuccessful. The scientists later used leftover blood samples for other studies, and that's where their troubles began with the Havasupai tribe.

    Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer delves into legal and ethical issues surrounding privacy, medical records, religious beliefs and social stigmatization. The play opens Friday at American Stage....

    Once, which has won eight Tony Awards, tells the tale of an Irish street musician who falls in love.
  7. Florida Orchestra composes a 50th anniversary season of celebration


    The Florida Orchestra has been planning its 50th anniversary season all year and the party is on.

    The theme is celebration.

    Highlights include a jubilant opening concert, the Carmina Burana (Oct. 6), with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay; Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet paired with West Side Story, as the world marks 100 years since the birth of Leonard Bernstein (Feb. 16-18); the return of longtime music director Jahja Ling, conducting Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 (Jan. 6-7); and the orchestra's first performance of Verdi's Requiem since 2002 (April 20-22)....

    Music director Michael Francis, entering his third year with the Florida Orchestra, has planned a celebratory lineup for the orchestra’s 50th anniversary season.
  8. Lloyd Conover, who invented Tetracycline and was my stepfather, dies at 93


    ST. PETERSBURG — In June 1952, Lloyd Conover stood alone in a Brooklyn laboratory, watching a chemical reaction unfold before him.

    The young chemist for Pfizer had been toying with an idea considered impossible at the time: What if he could modify two existing molecules, each with antibiotic properties, to create a more powerful antibiotic?

    The experiment yielded Tetracycline, a breakthrough in the history of antibiotics and for many years one of the most prescribed, treating acne and ear infections, malaria and bacterial pneumonia....

    Lloyd Conover, of St. Petersburg, invented Tetracycline. Pictured here several years ago with his granddaughter, Anitra Conover. (Courtesy of Heather Conover)
  9. Review: 'Something Rotten' strings low-brow jokes into a musical, signifying nothing


    TAMPA — The premise of Something Rotten, an irreverent reinvention of stage history that opened Tuesday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, sells itself: What if William Shakespeare wasn't really all that?

    What if musicals developed out of a desperate response by his Elizabethan competitors — even if they found the idea ludicrous that anyone would pay to see actors singing, dancing and acting at the same time? Wouldn't it be great to come up with a musical for the little guy, one that brings the Bard down a peg or two?...

    Adam Pascal plays a suspicious, not-so-sympathetic William Shakespeare in the musical comedy, Something Rotten! Photo by Joan Marcus.
  10. Stage Planner: Tiempo Libre, Elayne Boosler; Kristin Chenoweth reschedules



    A lot of comedians make a name for themselves by going loud, branding themselves almost literally into our brains. Elayne Boosler has always preferred topical, provocative and clever, and it's worked for 40 years. Boosler, whose next stop is Ruth Eckerd Hall's Murray Theatre, has been a fixture on national television for decades, including two movies for Cinemax and HBO's Comic Relief, and in February made Rolling Stone's list of Top 50 stand-up comics of all time. There's always a serious side with Boosler, who is a big advocate for animals and has said, "My fashion philosophy is, if you're not covered in dog hair, your life is empty." 7 p.m. Thursday. 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $30. (727) 791-7400.

    Elayne Boosler has more than survived over more than 30 years in comedy, she’s ranked among the best.
Getty Images
  11. Master Class: What does an orchestra conductor do?



    The young man lifted his hands, one of which held a baton, and brought them down.

    A grand piano took off like a racehorse hit with a whip, the pianist slamming chords in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, better known as the Pathétique. It and Jeancarlo Gonzalez, a graduate conducting student at the University of South Florida School of Music, had gotten this far together several times....

    University of South Florida graduate student Lindsey Jones conducts the Florida Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, as music director Michael Francis looks on.
  12. 'Hamilton' is coming to the Straz Center in Tampa


    It has long been the hardest ticket to get on Broadway, let alone in Tampa.

    But the wait locally for Hamilton finally has an end in sight. A touring version of Broadway's hottest musical in decades is coming to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa during the 2018-2019 season, the center and the show's producers have confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times. Exact dates will be released early in 2018....

    Lin-Manuel Miranda performs as Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton at the Public Theater in New York in January 2015. The show is “beyond blockbuster,’’ says Judy Lisi, president and CEO of the Straz center in Tampa.
  13. Orchestra goes interdisciplinary with the 'Dali Experience'


    TAMPA — Since taking over as music director in 2015, Michael Francis has articulated a strong interest in expanding the reach of the Florida Orchestra, geographically and culturally.

    "The Dalí Experience," a multimedia collaboration with the Dalí Museum, is the orchestra's latest foray in that kaleidoscopic direction. If the orchestra succeeds in broadening its presence through the Tampa Bay area and beyond, this concert will be remembered as a conceptual step forward....

    Flamenco guitarist Ca?izares led a jolly Concierto de Aranjuez during Friday’s performance of “The Dal? Experience” at the Straz Center.
  14. Review: Palladium Chamber trio mixes contemporary and classical with uplifting effect


    ST. PETERSBURG — If you think you know what chamber music is and you still don't want to check it out, the Palladium Chamber Players have a message for you.

    The musicians led by Florida Orchestra concertmaster Jeffrey Multer have enthusiastically, perhaps even aggressively, promoted their classical offerings for years. But because "chamber music" is kind of a dusty term connoting uncomfortable antique chairs and velvet curtains, some people who would attend a symphony never give it a chance. Wednesday's concert at the Palladium was an example of why those patrons should reconsider....

    Florida Orchestra concertmaster Jeffrey Multer leads the Palladium Chamber Players.
Photo by Matt Dines
  15. Stage Planner: 'Something Rotten!' opens at the Straz, Florida Orchestra does Dalí




    It's 1595, and two playwrights, Nick and Nigel Bottom, are desperate to compete with their contemporary, William Shakespeare. They launch a concept no one has heard of or can understand — the musical. That's the foundation of Something Rotten!, a musical comedy opening Tuesday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts....

    Adam Pascal plays a suspicious, not-so-sympathetic William Shakespeare in the musical comedy, Something Rotten!