Summer is typically a quiet time for live theater, but this year companies around town are excited to catch up with audiences.
Gulfport Community Players
Gulfport Community Players return to the stage of the Catherine Hickman Theater just in time for Pride Month with “Birds of a Feather” by Marc Acito. Remember Roy and Silo, the two male Central Park Zoo chinstrap penguins who adopted an egg and raised a chick together? This very true story was the subject of a 2005 children’s book by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, “And Tango Makes Three,” that became one of the most banned books in the U.S. Acito’s stage version moves beyond children’s book territory to ruminate on relationships, conformism and the construction of public identity as the penguins and their zoo community grapple with parenthood and celebrity. The show runs June 10 to 20 with socially distanced seating. gulfportcommunityplayers.org
St. Petersburg Opera Company
There are plenty of great venues around town, but catching the St. Petersburg Opera Company at the Palladium is always a treat. Beginning June 13, the SPOC performs Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” a tale of fatal jealousies in a traveling troupe of actors based on a real-life story of a middle-aged actor who murdered his actress wife during a performance. Opera composers don’t often write their own libretto, but this case lit a creative spark in Leoncavallo, and his 1892 opera is a perennial audience favorite — short, gritty and boasting one of the great tenor arias of all time (“Vesti la giubba”). Performances are June 13 and 20 at 2 p.m., and June 15 and 18 at 8 p.m. at the Palladium’s Hough Hall. mypalladium.org/events/st-pete-opera-pagliacci
“The Rose and the Beast” sees the freeFall heading indoors for the first time in a while, with a unique, interactive walk-through performance that lets guests explore Francesca Lia Block’s bestselling novel of the same name. Audiences will step into Block’s retelling of nine classic fairy tales through a series of scenic spaces. Designed by Tom Hansen, Rebekah Lazaridis and Steven K. Mitchell and features an original score by Michael Raabe and Amanda Eland, this medium-blurring adaptation marks the company’s return to air-conditioned comfort. Walk-through appointments on Wednesday through Sunday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. freefalltheatre.com; 727-498-5205