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Hot Ticket: Drew Carey's spur-of-the-moment comedy

By SHARON KENNEDY WYNNE and JOHN FLEMING
Published September 15, 2005

Drew Carey brought the coffeehouse favorite - improvisational comedy - into America's living rooms with the retooled British import Whose Line Is It Anyway? He's still plugging away at the improv circuit with a new TV show and a national tour that comes to Sarasota on Saturday.

"Comedy Central Live! With Drew Carey and the Improv All Stars" is completely improvised, with the actors basing their scenes on suggestions from the audience.

See how the comics respond to the prompt, "You're getting married underwater and are attacked by a giant squid." Hilarity ensues. Or not. That's the tension of improv.

The show includes Whose Line alums Greg Proops, Chip Esten, Jeff Davis, Sean Masterson and Jonathan Mangum. The 40-city tour coincides with the launch of Carey's new improvisational series on Comedy Central, Drew Carey's Green Screen Show. The show starts Sept. 26.

Comedy Central Live! With Drew Carey and the Improv All Stars is at 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $45-$55. Toll-free 1-800-826-9303; www.vanwezel.org

- SHARON KENNEDY WYNNE, Times staff writer

"Magic Flute' plays again

Mozart's Masonic fantasy, The Magic Flute, returns to open the season at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. In April, it was the debut production of the New Century Opera, a joint venture of the center and the St. Petersburg College Opera Workshop. Marilyn Michael is artistic and stage director; Constantine Grame is musical director; Helen Campbell, with the assistance of Susan Pease and Helene MacNeil, designed the costumes; and Theodore Grame is director emeritus.

The Magic Flute, Mozart's last and most labyrinthine opera, will be sung in English by a cast that includes, from left, Brad Meredith (Tamino), Nolan Marshall (Sarastro) and Sonia Leonavicius (Pamina). Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the center, 324 Pine St. $14, $16. (727) 942-5605.

- JOHN FLEMING, Times performing arts critic

[Last modified September 14, 2005, 10:41:06]


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