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The month of August in the arts: Hot stuff

Bill DeYoung



Carlos Santana and his band will play the mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre Aug. 27, with Earth, Wind & Fire. Photo: Bridget Burke.

The good people at Live Nation, the company responsible for booking the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, aren’t about to let sweltering summer temperatures get in the way of a big outdoor concert season. August appears to be the busiest month at Mid-Florida so far this year.

Troubled R&B performer Chris Brown performs Aug. 13, with rapper Lil Baby;

Folkie rock singer/songwriter Jack Johnson has an Aug. 19 show, with reggae star Ziggy Marley;

Aug. 20 brings country singer Dierks Bentley, with Ashley McBryde and Travis Denning;

The Black Keys and Band of Horses take the stage Aug. 25;

Carlos Santana plays Aug. 27, with an opening set by the indefatigable Earth, Wind & Fire.


Other concerts

At the end of the month (Aug. 30) Jannus Live (downtown St. Pete) has an astonishing reggae lineup: The “Bigga Baggariddim Tour” with UB40, the Wailers with Al Anderson, Maxi Priest and Big Mountain.

At Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre: A double billing of Buddy Guy and John Hiatt, Aug. 5 (this Friday); Christopher Cross, Aug. 16.

At Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater: Men at Work and singer John Waite, Aug. 4 (this Thursday); Hindi vocalist Javed Ali Aug. 19, musical satirist Randy Rainbow Aug. 26.

Amalie Arena has “Freestyle Explosion Throwback Jam” Aug. 12 with a big bunch o’ artists from the ‘80s and 90s, including (but not limited to) Stevie B, Lisa Lisa (no Cult Jam, unfortunately), The Jets, Cover Girls and Brenda K. Starr.

At Amalie Aug. 13, it’s retro-crooner Michael Buble.

Trick Daddy, CeeLo Green, Trina, Juvenile and others will be at the Yuengling Center Aug. 27.

Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren are at the Mahaffey Theater Thursday (Aug. 4); it’s very close to sold out. The Mahaffey’s only other scheduled offering for the month is the touring kids’ show Paw Patrol, Aug. 13 and 14.

Palladium bound: CD release shows for jazz saxophonist Eric Darius (Aug. 12) and St. Pete’s Queen of Brazilian bossa nova, Daniela Soledade (Aug. 19). And Tampa comedian Helen Keaney headlines Girls Night Out Aug. 20 on the Side Door stage.


Twins Seven Seven, Green Painting (detail), 1944, Ink and mixed media on paper, Gift of Irwin and Marcia Hersey.

Art world

As Gio Swaby: Fresh Up continues to bring crowds into the main gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg has something new in the Minck Gallery, opening Aug. 13. Multiple: Prince Twins Seven Seven is the name of the exhibition, as well as (without the word “multiple”) the name of the artist: A painter, sculptor and musician from Nigeria (1944-2011), whose work was influenced by traditional Yoruba mythology and culture. The works are part of the MFA’s permanent collection, which includes Twins Seven Seven’s prints is various – hence “multiple” – stages of process.

Says the MFA advance release: “The artist’s paintings, prints and drawings also powerfully repudiate the frequently misconceived division between the traditional and contemporary in African art.”

On Aug. 5 (that’s this Friday), the Dali Museum has scheduled a curated “gallery experience” in the permanent collection, focusing on Salvador Dali’s wife and muse, Gala. Included is a screening of the short film Breton and the Muse: A Midnight in Paris, produced by the museum in 2020. Ned Averill-Snell plays artist Andre Breton, while Gala is portrayed by Roxanne Fay – who’ll be in attendance at the screening.


Theater stages

For bay area professional theaters, August is that limbo month where one season has ended (or is about to) with the next season waiting in the wings. For some, it’s a time for recharging those creative batteries and getting ready to produce some energetic new stuff in September.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions. The Ybor City-based LAB Theater Project has an original drama written by founder Owen Robertson, Creating Monsters. Opening Aug. 25, it’s the imagined backstory of 19th century novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, with Newt Rametta as Shelley.

Selina Fillinger’s drama Something Clean opens Aug. 11 at Studio Grand Central, with Debbie Yones as a wife and mother dealing with unextinguishable feelings of grief and guilt.

Of course, freeFall’s production of Neil Simon’s Rose and Walsh is onstage through Aug. 28, and Animals Out of Paper at Jobsite ends this Sunday, Aug. 7.

Mainstage MIA in August: American Stage, Tampa Repertory Theatre and Stageworks. But they’ll all be back soon.

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