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Wednesday, Mar 21, 2018
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What’s on stage this week: Deborah Cox in ‘The Bodyguard,’ Ana Gasteyer, ‘Daddy Long Legs’


Canadian R&B star Deborah Cox headlines as Rachel in The Bodyguard, a role made famous by Whitney Houston in the film with Kevin Costner. The musical based on that film has the added aura of a concert.

"We involve the audience," Cox told the Times. "It makes for some good moments, it gives them an opportunity to go back and reminisce, back to the place they were when they first heard those songs." Tuesday through March 25 at the Straz Center. $40 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

Read more with Cox at tampabay.com/things-to-do/stage.


Ana Gasteyer was studying voice at Northwestern when she discovered improv. She wound up on Saturday Night Live, where she played the hush-voiced NPR host Margaret Jo McCullen and impersonated Martha Stewart. Her varied career has included numerous films (including playing Lindsay Lohanís mom on Mean Girls), dozens of television shows and four Broadway shows, including playing Elphaba in Wicked.

Itís just Gasteyer and a piano in her cabaret show, which is personal, funny and reflective.

"Itís more intimate," Gasteyer said. "Itís an opportunity to engage in a little more storytelling in your songs, songs that are a little more lyric-driven."

The goal, she said, is "to just slow down and connect in a crazy world. And of course, (to share) personal stories and personal bon mots, the complicated career roads, the crazy avenues of my life." 7 p.m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Ferguson Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.


A busy week for the Florida Orchestra starts with Beethoven, a coffee concert at
11 a.m. today (10 a.m. pre-concert conversation) at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First Street S, St. Petersburg. $24 and up. (727) 892-5798. themahaffey.com.

The coffee concert soloist, pianist Shinya Lin, is a winner in the 2017 Justine LeBaron Young Artist Competition. The winnersí recital for this yearís contest, which covers four categories for musicians up to age 22, starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the St. Petersburg College Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. It is free and open to the public.

A Woodson Chamber Concert celebrates Womenís History Month with a string quartet playing works by female composers. Women in Music starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Pay what you can at the door.

If youíre curious about how orchestras function, build their financial base and seek community support, check out a lecture and discussion with CEO Michael Pastreich. Orchestra 101 starts at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.


The "oldest orphan" in the orphanage faces an uncertain future until a mysterious benefactor comes along. Freefall Theatre alums Britta Ollman and Nick Lerew return to star in Daddy Long Legs, previously a Fred Astaire movie based on a 1912 novel. The gift underwrites college tuition and much more for Jerusha Abbott, with the provision that she write her donor one letter a month, which he never answers. Douglas S. Hall directs. Runs Saturday through April 8. 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$52. Previews Friday and Saturday afternoon cost $25. (727) 498-5205. For showtimes, go to freefalltheatre.com.


Taylor Macís play about family turbulence, Hir, has two weeks left at Jobsite Theater. The declining health of a dictatorial father opens the way for a resurgent mother, who champions her newly out transgender son, to the bewilderment of another son returning from Afghanistan. "Itís as funny as it is dark, and it both of those to the nth degree," says Roxanne Fay, who plays Paige, the mom. Runs through April 1 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Shimberg Playhouse, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

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Whatís on stage this week: Deborah Cox in ĎThe Bodyguard,í Ana Gasteyer, ĎDaddy Long Legsí