St. Petersburg Times: Weekend

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Stage: Hot Ticket


© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 6, 2001

The pick of the guitarists

Classical guitarist Ricardo Cobo this weekend leads off a new series of guitar recitals at the Dale Mabry campus of Hillsborough Community College. Cobo will also perform in the series put on by the University of Central Florida, the University of Miami and the Florida East Coast Guitar Society in Melbourne. Artist fees are underwritten by LaBella strings and the Florida Guitar Alliance.

"The four of us formed an alliance, and each institution got to pick one guitarist," said Richard Long, a guitar buff and professor of history and humanities at the HCC campus. "Ric was my pick."

The Colombian-born Cobo, who studied at Florida State University and taught at Stetson University, has been hailed for stunning virtuosity in a wide range of repertoire, from Bach to contemporary composers such as the Cuban master, Leo Brouwer. The other three guitarists in the series are Adam Holzman on Nov. 16, Martha Masters in January and Claudio Marcotulli on March 1.

Cobo plays at 8 p.m. Friday in HCC's 620-seat auditorium, 4001 Tampa Bay Boulevard, Tampa. Tickets: $7. (813) 988-2734.

- JOHN FLEMING, Times performing arts critic

Theater torn from the headlines

[Publicity photo]
The Laramie Project
Theater as journalism is the idea behind The Laramie Project, the play by Moises Kaufman and members of his company, the Tectonic Theater Project, on the gay-bashing murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., in 1998.

Members of the New York troupe made six trips to Laramie to conduct more than 200 interviews. Transcribed, reworked and staged, about 60 of the interviews make up the play, which debuted in Denver in March 2000 and has since played off-Broadway, in Australia and Japan, and around the United States. Last November, there were five sold-out performances in Laramie itself. A starry film is scheduled for an HBO showing next spring. Stageworks is mounting the Tampa Bay area premiere.

Kaufman, author of the acclaimed Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, writes in an introduction to the Laramie script that he was less interested in particulars of the Shepard killing than what the case said about larger historical and cultural questions.

"In its immediate aftermath, the nation launched into a dialogue that brought to the surface how we are thinking and talking about homosexuality, sexual politics, education, class, violence, privileges and rights, and the difference between tolerance and acceptance."

Anna Brennen and Jorge Acosta co-directed for Stageworks. The cast includes Keven Renken, Kenneth Mitchell, Robin O'Dell and Dawn Truax. The play opens Friday and runs through Sept. 23 in the Hillsborough Community College Theatre, 15th Street and Palm Avenue, Tampa. Tickets: $7-$15. (813) 251-8984.

- JOHN FLEMING, Times performing arts critic

Fall under the spell of 'Brigadoon'

SLT Productions, the English-language branch of Tampa's Spanish Lyric Theatre, is staging the classic Lerner and Loewe musical Brigadoon this weekend at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. SLT founder and artistic director Rene Gonzalez will direct the production. In the play, Brigadoon is a Highlands village under a magic spell that renders it invisible to the outside world, except for one day every century. Conflict ensues when a pair of American hunters (Gene Kelly played one of them in the movie version) find the village and must decide whether to remain forever or return home -- which would make the village disappear for good. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10.50-$18.50, available at the box office or from Ticketmaster. Call (813) 229-7827 or check

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