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Looking forward: The month of October in the arts

Bill DeYoung



Actor, comedian and longtime late-night TV host Craig Ferguson plays the Straz Center. Oct. 20. Publicity photo.

Now this is more like it.

After a long, dry summer without the bay area’s regular rich complement of music, theater and other shows, October is the month when things start to get back to normal – well, as normal as possible in a post-pandemic (and post-Hurricane Ian) world.

On top of the cultural pyramid is the return of The Florida Orchestra. The 55th season begins with Carl Orff’s titanic work Carmina Burana, conducted by Michael Francis and featuring the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. Dates are Oct. 7 (Straz Center Morsini Hall), Oct. 8 (Mahaffey Theater) and Oct. 9 (Ruth Eckerd Hall).

Michael Krajewski conducts Hollywood Sings at the Straz Oct. 14, and at the Mahaffey Oct. 15. Featuring vocalist Julie Reiber, it’s – you guessed it – songs from the movies.

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Michael Abels’ Delights & Dances are on the program of all-ballet music Oct. 21 (Straz), Oct. 22 (Mahaffey) and Oct. 23 (Ruth Eckerd) Francis conducts (and, on the 20th, devotes one of his “Inside the Music” talks/demos to Stravinsky (at the Mahaffey).

TFO closes out its first month back onstage with Magic of Rodgers & Hammerstein, conducted by Stuart Malina, at 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Mahaffey.

(Then there’s the “Haunted Halls Family Concert,” a matinee Oct. 30, also at the Mahaffey.)

Also running at full throttle is the St. Petersburg Opera Company, with a full production of Puccini’s Tosca, Oct. 14, 16 and 18 at the Palladium Theater.

Other highlights from the Palladium’s October schedule: The Stylistics sing Oct. 23, and on the 30th, it’s Mountainfilm on Tour, a travelling anthology of outdoor, wildlife and environmental films, hand-picked from Mountainfilm HQ in Telluride, Colorado.


Concerts and comedy in October

Oct. 5 at Jannus Live: The War on Drugs.

Oct. 7 at the Straz Center: A solo performance by singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright.

Oct. 7 at Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Murray Theatre: Standup comic and bestselling author Jen Fulwiler.

Oct. 8 at Capitol Theatre: Jazz Bass’s ruling player Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones) and his trio Bass Extremes (with second bassist Steve Bailey and drummer Derico Watson.

Oct. 13 at Central Park Performing Arts Center: Iconic jazz fusion drummer Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra). His Crosswinds Project band includes Scott Tibbs (keys), Tim Landers (bass) and Mark Whitfield (guitar).

Oct. 14 at Ruth Eckerd Hall: Singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne and his trio.

Oct. 15 at Ruth Eckerd Hall: “Weird Al” Yankovic (say no more).

Oct. 16 at the Mahaffey: Romeo and Juliet, performed by the International Ballet of Florida.

Oct. 17 at Ruth Eckerd Hall: Yes.

Oct. 18 at the Capitol Theatre: Guitar great Steve Vai.

Oct. 20 at the Straz Center: Actor, comedian and Peabody Award-winning Scottish guy Craig Ferguson. And it’s in Ferguson Hall!

Oct. 21 at the Mahaffey: Tango Lovers, a celebration of Argentinian tango dancing.

Oct. 22 at the Capitol Theatre: Former Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci and his trio.

Oct. 27: Writer and humorist David Sedaris speaks (and says funny stuff) at the Straz Center/Morsani Hall.

Oct. 27 at Ruth Eckerd Hall: A double bill with country’s Travis Tritt and Chris Janson.

Oct. 28 at Capitol Theatre: The Wallflowers.

Oct. 28 at Straz Center/Morsani Hall: Non-binary Queer Eye comic Jonathan Van Ness.


In the big rooms

Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre shows in October: Zac Brown Band (Oct. 8); Chris Stapleton (Oct. 14); Stevie Nicks (Oct. 25).

Amalie Arena shows in October: Panic! At the Disco (Oct. 5); Smashing Pumpkins (Oct. 7); Greta Van Fleet (Oct. 26); Iron Maiden (Oct. 27); Romeo Santos (Oct. 29).


Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Forty-two years young, the big event ’22 takes place Oct. 14-16 at Baycare Ballpark. The lineup isn’t all jazz, nor it is all anything else in particular. It’s just good music.

Friday: 5:30pm – 7:00pm – The War And Treaty; 7:30pm – 9:00pm – Average White Band; 9:30pm – 11:00pm – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.

Saturday: 5:30pm – 6:45pm – Justin-Lee Schultz; 7:15pm – 8:45pm – Dumpstaphunk; 9:15pm – 10:45pm – Charlie Wilson.

Sunday: 3:15pm – 4:15pm – The Champ Jaxon Band; 4:45pm – 6:00pm – St. Paul & The Broken Bones;- 6:30pm – 8:00pm – Old Crow Medicine Show; 8:30pm – 10:00pm -Gov’t Mule.


Theater in October

In partnership with Tony-winning playwright Rupert Holmes, freeFall Theatre is producing the world premiere of All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a one-woman show starring Michelle Azar. It runs Oct. 5-23 before transferring to the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY.

Jobsite Theater (in the Straz Center’s Shimberg Playhouse is back with a ready-for-Halloween production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Oct. 19-Nov. 13.

Bonnie Agan reprises her turn as Texas governor Ann Richards in the one-woman show Ann, Oct. 5-16 at thestudio@620.

As always, events are subject to change, and additional events will likely be added as the month progresses.

Please add us to your mailing list – send all press releases and event info to bill@stpetecatalyst.com.

You can also submit your events to the Catalyst calendar, by clicking here.


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