From annual holiday shows to edgy sci-fi dramas, November is a colorful month for theatre.
At American Stage, we’re in the middle of launching The Colored Museum. Every time I get a chance to see our drummer and five-person cast rehearsing their scenes, singing pieces of the production and laughing about the small things, I’m reminded of how lucky we are to have a strong theatre community in Tampa Bay.
Here are the five shows that I’m going to see this month. I hope you’ll join me in supporting local theatre, and I hope you enjoy American Stage’s next show, an all Black-production that holds a microscope to Black culture.
I think it will intrigue and disturb you in the best way possible.
This list is written and compiled by Abby Baker, and if you don’t see your theater on here, feel free to shoot me an email to get on December’s list.
#1 American Stage
The Colored Museum (Nov. 2-27)
163 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg
American Sage’s second show of the season, a two-time Tony award winning play — The Colored Museum — by George C. Wolfe. It features 11 “exhibits” in a museum that shows the range of satires, stereotypes, and cultural issues in the Black community. Personally, I have a special connection to this show. After weeks of popping into rehearsals and meeting with actors, I can tell this is a cast of people concerned with changing their community, and bringing age-old issues to the forefront. There’s no denying The Colored Museum deals with some dark issues such as slavery and oppression, but it’s wrapped in a fun, Dave Chappelle-style skit format that makes it hard to look away.
#2 freeFall Theatre
The Night Before (Nov. 25 - Dec. 25)
6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg
freeFall’s holiday show, The Night Before, is becoming something of a pre-Christmas tradition, this campy musical is back and bigger for a second year. Watching a group of friends and family gather in their Florida home to avoid the snow (yes, snow in Florida) is hilarious, comforting, and watching it feels like a cup of hot chocolate. Whatever way you choose to celebrate the holidays, freeFall’s classic Christmas comedy is charming and light, and reminds us why chosen families are so important.
#3 Straz Center for the Performing Arts
SIX (Nov. 1-6)
1010 . W C MacInnes Pl., Tampa
Historical pieces that manage to tell a story and twist into a fun, funky modern production are always fresh. SIX brings the six-scorned and beheaded wives of Henry VIII to life on the Straz stage to tell their version of the story as pop icons. I know this show from its popular Spotify playlist featuring live music from opening night, and it is a blast to listen to. Watching this talented cast of women take control 50 years after their character’s death sounds invigorating, and a musical with a story is always worth a watch.
#4 Studio Grand Central
A Number (Nov. 10-20)
2260 1st Ave. S., St. Pete
Sci-fi and theatre is a combination that isn’t often tackled. A small St. Pete theatre in its first year, Studio Grand Central is putting on a hgh-brow scientific production that features a father and his two boys — Bernard 1 and Bernard 2 — who he cloned from his first son. It’s an intriguing concept that handles the heavy questions about personal identity and nature vs. nurture in a “Black Mirror” type format. I’m interested to see how such a fresh new theatre will approach this hour-long production.
#5 Asolo Repertory Theatre
Cabaret (Nov. 16- Dec. 31)
5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
It’s difficult to make a theatre set mirroring a club in early Nazi regime 1931 Germany somewhere you’d like to spend an evening. However, Cabaret is a show that brings its audiences to a booming Kit-Kat Klub during the rise of the Third Reich, a place where in this show, the performers are grappling with staying in the warm and enjoyable atmosphere of the club, or facing the dark shadows of genocide outside the theatre’s walls. In a politically-charged time where we can choose to engage in social activism or standby, Cabaret is an amped-up yet entertaining reminder of what it means to acknowledge the world around us.
Dracula (through Nov. 13)
1010 N. Macinnes Pl., Tampa
Florida Studio Theatre (FTS)
The ‘70s: More Than a Decade (Through Nov. 29 )
Something Rotten (Through Nov. 29 )
1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
Guys and Dolls (Through Nov. 20)
1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota
The Burdens (Through Nov. 27)
1487 2nd St., Sarasota
Studio @ 620
Joe Breidenstine Quintet (Nov. 17)
620 1st Ave S.., St. Petersburg
American Stage First Mondays
Staged reading of 50:13 by Mansa Ra (Nov. 7)
12211 Walsingham Rd, Largo
Stage West Playhouse
Peter and the Starcatcher (Nov. 4-13)
8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill
Francis Wilson Playhouse
JUDY! JUDY! JUDY! (Nov. 12)
302 Seminole St., Clearwater
West Coast Players
I Ought to Be in Pictures (Through Nov. 6)
21905 US-19, Clearwater
Carrollwood Community Players
Holiday Cabernet (Nov. 19)
4333 Gunn Hwy, Tampa
Eight O'clock Theatre
The Wedding Singer - The Musical (Through Nov. 6)
105 Central Park Dr, Largo
Early Bird Dinner Theatre
Miracle on South Division Street (Nov. 15-Dec. 18)
13355, 49th St, N, Clearwater
The Lab Theatre Project
The Abbey of the Holy Lonesome (Oct. 20-Nov. 6)
812 E Henderson Ave., Tampa
Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre
Here Come The Mummies (Nov. 3)
The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show (Nov. 11-12)
Disney Junior Live on Tour (Nov. 20)
405 Cleveland St., Clearwater
Duke Energy Center for the Arts - Mahaffey Theater
Disney Princess – The Concert (Nov. 11)
NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet (Nov. 25-26)
400 1st St. S., St. Petersburg
Suncoast Broadway Dinner Theatre
White Christmas (Nov. 18-Dec. 24)
16128 US-19, Hudson
A Dolls House Pt. 2 (Nov. 3-20)
presented at Stageworks Theatre 1120 E Kennedy Blvd, Suite #151, Tampa, FL