Rob Colletti has done well playing misfits, from the spectacularly out-of-step Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon to a the lead role in School of Rock — The Musical, which opens next week. His character in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, based on the School of Rock movie, is a wannabe rock musician who steals his roommate’s identity as a substitute teacher and stumbles into a real educational situation — teaching young aspiring musicians how to rock out for real.
"People aren’t coming to see the Jack Black movie in a new way," Colletti, 31, said in a phone interview. "But they are coming to see the original storyline in a whole new way. I think there is really a gratifying sense of surprise. … There are a lot of jokes for children, but there’s a lot of humor for adults as well."
Response has been "incredible," Colletti said. "The best part is that you’ll have kids come up and say, ‘I want to start playing the guitar.’ Or, ‘I want to take piano lessons or singing lessons.’"
Runs Tuesday through Jan. 7 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $38 and up. (813) 229-7827. For show times, go to strazcenter.org.
The wiz kid from across the pond is back, this time with the Florida Orchestra. The the orchestra will play the John Williams score as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets runs on a high-def screen. Potterheads will no doubt swing by Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions in Diagon Alley for some dress robes. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $49-$99. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Given Florida’s status as possibly the most eclectic state of the union, the one people drift down to and stay because it would be boring to just go back up, why shouldn’t Clearwater ring in the new year with the Kiev-Aniko Ballet of Ukraine and international ballroom dance champions waltzing to the Viennese operetta? Clearwater thanks you for raising that question.
Twenty-one years in, Salute to Vienna has become a local tradition. This year’s festivities features soprano Monika Rebholz and tenor Franz Gürtelschmied, both of Vienna, and the Strauss Symphony of America playing the Blue Danube Waltz, arias from Die Fledermaus and more. 8 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $35 and up. VIP seating available ($135) with a post-performance, autograph signing event with the artists. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
Ricky Reyes says New Years celebrations remind him of how some things really haven’t changed all that much.
"I talk about ‘2018,’ how futuristic it feels. But I don’t think anything has changed," the Deltona comic said in a phone interview. "Like, I thought we’d have flying cars by now. But we can’t handle four-way stops, I don’t think we can do flying cars. We’ve got some cool stuff, but it’s nothing more than telling Alexa to turn on the coffee pot or something."
Reyes has performed with names like Ralphie May, Chris Tucker and Larry the Cable Guy, and has been heard on Sirus XM. 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $10-$12. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
Did Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo goad each other to great heights? The artists were not only contemporaries but competitors, and that is the premise behind DaVinci and Michelangelo: The Titans Experience, an original multimedia performance making its way back to Bradenton. The idea grew out of exhibitions involving both legends. Curator Mark Rodgers created the show, which uses specs of machines and inventions, animations, and the painting and sculpture that define both men to bring their relationship and rivalry to life. Proceeds benefit the Manatee Performing Arts Scholarship Program. 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W, Bradenton. $27 and $37. (941) 748-5875. manateeperformingartscenter.com.