'Inventing Van Gogh' opens in Tampa

Jobsite ends its season with the Steven Dietz drama that spans centuries

July 3, 2014 

The Jobsite Theatre production of "Inventing Van Gogh" runs through Aug. 3 at the Shimburg Playhouse at the Straz Performing Arts Center in Tampa. PUBLICITY PHOTO

Jobsite Theatre, the resident theater company at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, is winding up its most successful season ever.

The most popular play in that season, and probably the most popular play in Jobsite's 16-year-history, is "Return to the Forbidden Planet," which stars Bradenton-area actors Jonathan Harrison and Owen Robertson.

That show runs through Sunday, and on Wednesday Jobsite will open the final show for its 2013-14 season. "Inventing van Gogh" is a time-bending drama by Steven Dietz, who's one of the most widely produced American playwrights.

The plot concerns a contemporary painter who is hired to forge a Van Gogh work and ends up confronting Van Gogh himself. The result, according to the Jobsite people, is "a compelling mystery about madness, the obsession to create, and the fine line that separates truth from myth."

The cast includes a couple of the Tampa Bay area's finest actors, Ned Averill-Snell and Nicole Jeannine Smith. The director is Karla Hartley. She's the artistic director of Stageworks, Tampa's oldest professional theater company, and she's known as one of the best directors in the area.

By the way, there are still five more performances this weekend of Jobsite's "Return to the Forbidden Planet," a fun jukebox musical that mixes classic rock tunes with Shakespeare and sci-fi.

Details: July 9-Aug. 3, Shimberg Playhouse at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Show times: 8 p.m. Thursday- Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $28 plus service charge. Information: 813-229-7827, strazcenter.org.

-- Marty Clear

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