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The month of July in the arts

Joe Hamilton



Brad Paisley headlines Tampa's Pig Jig in Riverfront Park Oct. 14. Photo: bradpaisley.com

Just as the Covid curtain begins to slowly lift, the big wet blanket of summer descends. Of course, right?

So while there are some pretty cool concerts and stage productions coming in July, a few of the area’s heavy hitters, including the Florida Orchestra, Opera Tampa and the St. Petersburg Opera Company, are officially on summer vacay.

Still, it looks a whole lot better than last July!

At the Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Chicago (four original members remaining) will trot out the hits this Friday (July 2); country’s Brad Paisley stops in July 9; and the venerable Dave Matthews Band plays July 28.

Even bigger shows are on the Mid Florida books for August and September; check here to see what may well be in your concert future.

Lunch dates

Nick Hoop (Hand to God) is directing (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch (a cabaret about how we know what we know when nobody knows if everyone else is lying and when someone or something wants to have you for lunch) at The Mar July 23-25, with musical direction by Michael Raabe and a cast that includes a number of notable bay area thespians.

Created in 2006 by the “investigative theater troupe” The Civilians, Nobody’s Lunch (let’s go with the less-exhaustive “short” title for now) was written by Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman from 2003 interviews conducted with New Yorkers about American, politics, information dissemination and the then-current Iraq War. These vignettes are interspersed with snappy cabaret numbers.

July jewels

Really great to see thestudio@620 waking up from the Covid-19 deep sleep; the intimate performance venue’s got a live, in-person concert series this month: The Jason Charos Quintet (July 8), Gypsy Star (July 23) and Orilla (Ona Kirei and Alejandro Arenas) July 30.

At the Palladium Theater this month: David Manson’s EMIT Jazz Festival returns, with performances by MJR (Mauricio J. Rodriguez) Latin Project & Friends (July 9); Gumbi Ortiz & New Groove City (July 10) and Tabajero Belo with Manson’s own band O Som Do Jazz (July 11). Sarasota-based jazz artist Synia Carroll pays tribute to Nina Simone with “Feelin’ Good” July 23, and guitarists Richard Gilewitz and Tim May unite for a concert July 25. Blues guitarist Jose Ramirez returns on the 30th, with another fabulous La Lucha ‘80s Jazz Party set for the 31st.

Notable Ruth Eckerd Hall July shows include REO Speedwagon (July 21), Robert Fripp’s King Crimson (July 22), Firefall, Orleans and Pure Prairie League (23rd), Yngwie Malmsteen (24th) and Dave Koz (30th). Comedian Bob Saget is at Ruth’s sister venue, the Capitol Theatre, July 16.

American Stage will set up shop in Williams Park for Romeo & Juliet In America (The One With the Happy Ending), a Shakespearean adaptation directed by L. Peter Callender running July 21-Aug. 1. The cast includes Kiara Hines, Josh Odsess-Rubin, Rasell L. Holt and Tampa Bay’s favorite Shakespearean, Giles Davies.

And A.R. Gurney’s comedy Sylvia, about a spunky young dog (played by Kari Goetz) that disrupts a young couple’s comfy life, opens at Tampa’s Stageworks Theatre July 30.






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