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Florida Spotlight: April 2009

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Topol in Fiddler on the Roof
(© Joan Marcus)
See a familiar face take his final bows in the role that defined him when the North American revival of Fiddler on the Roof comes to Florida in April, featuring original motion picture star Topol reprising his role as the long-suffering papa Tevye. The tour comes to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach April 14-19, the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Center in Fort Myers April 21-26, and rounds out the Florida leg at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, April 28-May 3. Other touring hits this month include the raucous and percussive Stomp, (literally) hitting the Saenger Theatre in Pensacola April 7-8 and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota April 10-11. If you like some strings mixed in with your song and dance, see frantic fiddlers take center stage in the Canadian musical showcase Barrage at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale April 2, the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville April 5, and the Lyric Theatre in Stuart April 4 and 6-8.

For quieter fare, head to the Gable Stage at the Biltmore in Coral Gables for the southeastern premiere of Nilaja Sun's award-winning solo, No Child (April 18-May 24), about the various students and staff of a New York public school. Also in Coral Gables, two sisters are at odds over their dead mother's rare stamp collection in Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius at the New Theatre (April 16-May 17). In Fort Lauderdale, get an earful of harmony with a Broadway take on one of the "boy bands" of yesteryear. Jersey Boys chronicles the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (April 8-May 3). In nearby Boca Raton, it's music, mystery, and comedy with the Caldwell Theatre Company production of the Agatha Christie spoof Something's Afoot (April 12-May 17). For a romantic evening, head to Coral Springs at the Broward Stage Door Theatre for the waltzing Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music (April 17-May 24).

North to West Palm Beach, we find Palm Beach Dramaworks with the Florida premiere of Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (April 24-June 14), a play that combines his 1959 drama The Zoo Story with its prequel Homelife. Nearby, the Delray Beach Playhouse pays homage to composer Jerome Kern with the musical revue The Song is You (April 6-15), while cheeky off-Broadway wit Dixie Longate returns to Florida with Dixie's Tupperware Party at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart (April 14-18).

Nostalgia reigns in Central Florida, with touring productions of Happy Days the Musical at the King Center in Melbourne (April 28-29) and the musical adaptation of Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (April 14-19) at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando. Also in Orlando, see the Neil Simon comedy Barefoot in the Park at Theater Downtown (April 17-May 10), and the puckish children's mystery Holes at the Orlando Repertory Theatre (April 17-May 24).

In Gainesville, take a fantastic journey with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Marguiles with the tall tales of his play Shipwrecked! at the Hippodrome State Theatre (April 17-May 10). Pensacola plays host to the smash Billy Joel / Twyla Tharp collaboration Movin' Out at the Saenger Theatre on April 22, while you can catch the touring production of The Wizard of Oz at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota (April 25-26) and the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center (April 27). Sarasota is packed with songs of multiple eras, starting off at the Florida Studio Theatre with the folk-infused culture clash of Frank Higgins' Black Pearl Sings! (April 8-May 30). The Asolo Theatre offers Craig Carnelia's introspective chamber musical Three Postcards (April 15-May 3), while The Players Theatre presents Smile! (April 16-26), a tuneful look backstage at a beauty pageant courtesy of Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Ashman. Finally, hear the golden age songs of Leiber and Stoller in Smokey Joe's Café from the Manatee Players in nearby Bradenton (April 9-26).

In Fort Myers, the touring production of the frisky Broadway musical The Pajama Game hits the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Center (April 7-11), while the Florida Repertory Theatre brings us the unexpected love story of two seniors in Joe DiPietro's The Last Romance (April 24-May 17). The stage of the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples is packed with high wigs and low schemes in Moliere's classic comedy Tartuffe (April 1-11), and the Venice Theatre stages a darker shade of classic with their production of Edward Albee's bantering and boozy Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (April 9-26).


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