Issue 21.23: Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center

By : Jake Stevens
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A peek behind the curtain: The Dr. Phillips Center brings Orlando’s arts into the 21st century with its grand opening this month, Inside: Our Annual Holiday Guide, MBA fires Orlando Pride director, suspends board, LGBT Welcome Center opens in St. Pete, Scott edges out Crist in governor’s race, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Jobsite’s ‘Vampire Lesbians of Sodom’ mixes camp, comedy and music through Nov. 23

By : Zach Caruso
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Tampa – The Vampire Lesbians of Sodom have come to town, and they’ll be at the Straz Center until the end of November.

In honor of the nationwide tribute to famed playwright and camp-legend Charles Busch, Jobsite Theater and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts are putting on a production of a Busch favorite, and one of the longest running plays in off-Broadway history—Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, the story of two vampiresses, a virgin sacrifice, and her maker, who first meet in ancient Sodom and spark a rivalry that lasts for nearly 2,000 years.

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Suncoast AIDS Theater Project takes on a classic with its Blown by the Wind

By : Steve Blanchard
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Garry Breul has a message to share, and the platform on which he shares it each year is getting bigger and louder.

Suncoast AIDS Theater Project returns for the 11th year June 17 and 24 with a lampoon of Gone With the Wind, appropriately-or inappropriately-titled Blown by the Wind. The comedy is a follow up to last year’s wildly popular A Wizard of Oz, which featured local actor Matthew McGee as The Wicked Witch. This year, McGee returns once again to take on the role of Scarlett O’Hara.

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“Die! Mommie! Die!” is Loony Fringe Fun

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It's the dream of many gay men (or otherwise) to zip themselves into gowns and then act like  divas on stage for 90 minutes. Playwright/actor/producer Charles Busch is a master at the form, having written and starred in many over-the-top theatrical productions featuring strong, female leads: Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Psycho Beach Party and Red Scare on Sunset leap to mind.

The plot of Die! Mommie! Die! is a Byzantine mash of family misalliances, jealously, revenge, and extreme emotional angst: these characters hate as hotly as they love. They dance around one another in a crazed tarantella of familial dysfunction, changing loyalties as often as the maid changes sheets. In fact, she's even involved, acting the part of an expository Greek chorus with an agenda all her own. Anyone who's ever been part of a family will identify, save for the denizens of Sunnybrook Farm.

All those exclamation points in this show's title are brought to the fore, and more, by Zachary Hines, who plays heroine Angela Arden in a way that would make Busch proud: the gowns, the hair, the eyelashes, and — best of all — the attitude are bought forward wonderfully by Hines in this zany Fringe romp. His delivery is spot on, and he knows how to transform a petulant shoulder blade into a deadly weapon seemingly without moving a muscle.

Timothy Bourn delivers a perfectly cantankerous Sol Sussman, who is Angela's husband; you can practically smell the bagels and lox on his breath. Griffeith Whitehurst and Margo Stewart give us the Sussman children, respectively shrill and plangent as the parts demand. Lyndsey Magid plays Bootsie the maid with a southern twang which had me thinking of Tammy Faye Bakker on speed, and Nick Haugland gives us the delightfully smarmy and popular Tony Parker; he's managed to make inroads into the Sussman with a lethal combination of ooze and sex. (Often, they are the same.)

Die! Mommie! Die! is typical loony Fringe fun, a fine serving up of Busch for those of us who appreciate the genre. He admits to channeling Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford and Lana Turner in many of his portrayals, and I must say that Zachary Hines' Angela Arden ably brought all of them all out the night I saw the show. I think I may even have spotted Susan Hayward up there on that stage!

Show: Die! Mommie! Die!
Theatre Group: Hampton Arts Management in Collaboration with The University of Tampa â┚¬â€ Tampa, FL
Venue: Silver
Remaining Performances:
5/24 Tue. 8:50 PM
5/25 Wed. 9:10 PM
5/26 Thu 6:15 PM
5/28 Sat. 4:30 PM
5/29 Sun. 5:10 PM

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