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Weekend arts forecast: Big music, big theater

Bill DeYoung



"Wicked" at the Straz Center: Jennafer Newberry As Glinda And Lissa Deguzman As Elphaba. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The national tour of Wicked continues to dominate the bay are theater scene; defying gravity with all its Broadway bells and whistles, the Stephen Schwartz musical is attracting record crowds to Morsini Hall, in Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts, where it will remain through March 26.

The touring company stars Jennafer Newberry as Glinda and Lissa Deguzman as Elphaba; Tampa-born dancer Alexia Acebo is part of the ensemble – she also plays Elphaba’s mother in a brief, early scene. Read Acebo’s story here.

Wicked tickets are here.

Elsewhere in the Straz Center complex, Jobsite is in the premiere weekend of Misery, adapted from the Stephen King novel (and the movie by Rob Reiner). This weekend is sold out. Get your Misery on here.

That’s onstage in the intimate Shimberg Playhouse; next door in the Jaeb Theatre the comic whodunit Shear Madness continues through April 8. Tickets.

When the Righteous Triumph, by Tampa playwright Mark E. Leib, opens Friday at Stageworks, in Tampa’s Channelside District. It’s an historical drama about the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins (in Tampa) that led to an important change in race relations. Tickets.

Leib is Friday’s guest on our Arts Alive! podcast.

At the Off-Central, in St. Pete, Karen Zacarias’ comedy Native Gardens is entering its first weekend. Here’s our story about the show, from earlier this week.

Closing with Sunday’s matinee is the “medieval comedy” A Rooster’s Tale, at Ybor City’s LAB Theatre Project. Tickets. Producer Owen Robertson discusses the show, and the theater company, here.


Mike Savino, a.k.a. Tall Tall Trees, performs Friday at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center.


Reggae Rise-Up weekend is here at last. Wiz Khalifa tops the list of headliners at the four-day (today through Sunday) celebration at Vinoy Park, on the water in downtown St. Pete. It’s estimated that more than 15,000 people will descend on the park. Details and tickets are here.

And the Innings Festival, with concerts and a big baseball theme, is Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Headliners includes the Avett Brothers (read our interview here), Dave Matthews Band, Weezer, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, Marcus Mumford, Third Eye Blind and more. Details and tickets are here.

“One-man psychedelic indie-folk orchestra” Mike Savino, a.k.a. Tall Tall Trees, performs Friday at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center. TTT is a multi-instrumentalist who is considered a pioneering “experimental banjo” player and a particularly emotive vocalist. Details and tickets here.

New England singer/songwriter Ellis Paul returns to St. Pete for an intimate Craftsman House Gallery concert Friday – and Chuck Brodsky is back to play Saturday. For tickets call (727) 323-2787.

This weekend at Jannus Live: Singer, songwriter and actress Sabrina Carpenter Friday; jam band moe. Saturday. All tickets.

At Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre Friday: Singer/songwriter Martin Sexton; guitarist Eric Johnson has a Capitol gig Saturday, with blues singer and guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor stopping in Sunday. All tickets here.

Where’s the orchestra?

The Florida Orchestra has a pops weekend, with music from the Harry Potter and Star Wars film franchises. Lawrence Loh conducts Saturday (2 and 8 p.m.) at the Mahaffey Theater, and Sunday (7:30 p.m.) at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Details and tickets are here.

St. Patrick’s Day

By now you’ve heard that Tampa’s annual River O’Green Festival has been moved to Friday (4-10 p.m.) at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park; admission is free. There’s a $5 fee to enter Paddy Fest, Friday in Williams Park (hours are 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.). Both have live entertainment, food and beer trucks, and green stuff for kids. Details here.

The Weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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