Though it is illegal to shout about nonexistent fires in a theater, shrieking upon encountering an underseat gum wad is permissible. Shout about what’s on stage instead with today’s deal: for $85, you get a six-ticket flex pass for the 2010–2011 mainstage season of the American Stage Theater Company (a $180 value). The six tickets included in the pass can be used however you want, whether for six people attending one show, one person attending six shows, or three attempts at courting a handsome mailman. Performances take place at the 182-seat Raymond James Theatre. The pass can also be used toward lawn seating during the 26th annual American Stage in the Park performance, which will feature Rent this season.
The seven shows scheduled to be performed this season take place Tuesday through Sunday at various times throughout the day. The current production, The Mystery of Irma Vep, runs through October 10 and is a Gothic spoof that pokes fun at a wide range of monster-laden movies and eras throughout the ages. The season takes a turn for the dramatic during Opus, which depicts the tense four days leading up to a string quartet’s performance of a lifetime—it’s been summarized by the New York Times as “Sex, drugs and chamber music!” Other live-action entertainment this season spans a variety of genres and includes the touching drama Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the engrossing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the romantically comedic Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, the classic Rent, and the emotionally charged A Steady Rain.
Though it has changed names and gravitational pulls, the American Stage Theater Company has been around in one form or another since 1977. This season, like the many before it, promises to deliver enthralling live performances by talented actors that are sure to spellbind viewers and trump the novelty experience of 3-D movies.
American Stage Theater Co. was featured in Creative Loafing this year for its production of Hair and was recently deemed Best Theater Company in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay 2010 edition. American Stage’s current production, The Mystery of Irma Vep, was featured in the St. Petersburg Times. Five Yahoo! Locals give the theater company a four-star average; three CitySearchers give it a five-star average: > * The American Stage Hair doesn’t just bring us the music, it brings us the best of a generation’s worldview, and it’s enough to make you wonder just what you’re doing with your life now. – Mark E. Leib, Creative Loafing > * This theatre is the best in the Tampa Bay area. I have seen theatre all over the world and I would put this theatre among the top. You can tell that they are passionate about their work. I will go back again and again and again. – orrells, Yahoo! Local