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Weekend arts forecast: Dance in the spotlight

Bill DeYoung



Dancer/choreographer Alexander Jones and musician Jeremy Carter, who'll perform together tonight at the Palladium, demonstrated "Jazz Theory" earlier this month at thestudio@620. Photo: Denzel Johnson-Green.

What’s so important about Beacon, the annual dance concert at the Palladium Theater?

It’s important because it is the one and only regularly-occurring presentation of original, professional dance works in the bay area, in various collaborations and forms. And it’s been that way since dancers Helen Hansen French and Lauren Ree Slone launched the first Beacon in 2015.

There are, of course, numerous dance professionals in the area, doing trailblazing work – and most if not all of them have choreographed and/or performed in the Beacon stage. Because it’s the big daddy of dance concerts.

Here’s the program for Friday’s Beacon 2023 show:

A new work from Alexander Jones and his Project Alchemy company, set to the music of Bach;

The Dinner Table, a film project by dancer Sarah Todd Emery, who describes it as “an intimate story, told through dance and film, of love destroyed by social and political differences”;

A recreation of Heidi Brewer’s site-specific work developed for the Palladium Theater (it originated at thestudio@620);

The St. Pete debut of Sarah Walston and Atlas Modern Ballet’s “Maelstrom”;

Helen Hansen French and pianist John O’Leary’s second collaboration, “an evocative new duet that explores memory.”

Tickets for Beacon 2023 are here.

Tonight (Thursday, April 27) in the Palladium’s Side Door Cafe Jones, Project Alchemy and saxophonist Jeremy Carter (with his band) explore “Jazz Theory,” which according to Jones “explores the jazz music and dance as ritual, conjuring up sensations of the past and creating new memories to be unlocked in the future. Each song, each movement holds a history, and this event dives deeper into those curiosities of that power.”

Find tickets here.

Helen Hansen French and Alexander Jones were guests on our Arts Alive! podcast in February, discussing the opportunities for dance and collaboration in the bay area, and why Beacon is – yes – important.

Listen to the podcast here.


R&B concerts

Sunday is the final stop on New Edition’s “Legacy Tour,” including all six original members of the pop/new jack swing group – Ricky Bell,  Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant (both Brown and Bivins have missed occasional shows on the tour, citing illness). Keith Sweat, Guy and Tank all co-headline the Amalie Arena concert. Find tickets here.

Friday at the Yuengling Center, on the University of South Florida Tampa campus, it’s “Tampa Throwback Jam,” with Ice Cube, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Lisa Lisa, 2 Live Crew, Color Me Badd and JJ Fad. Find tickets here.

Steve and Marty – at Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday. Publicity photo.

And more concerts

Hip-hop comedian Druski brings the laughs tonight to Morsini Hall, in Tampa’s Straz Center. Tickets.

Tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center, it’s country music’s Alabama (Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry). Tickets.

Legendary rock singer Pat Benatar returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall tonight, sharing the bill, as she has for several years now, with her guitarist husband Neil Giraldo. Tickets are here.

Tonight at the Capitol Theatre (Ruth Eckerd’s sister venue, in downtown Clearwater, it’s the Australian band Hoodoo Gurus. Tickets are here.

Tonight in Ybor City, at the Attic at Rock Brothers Brewing: The Travelin’ McCourys, the top-flight bluegrass band headed by Ronnie and Rob McCoury, whose father is bluegrass legend Del McCoury. Tickets.

Look for country singer Chase Rice (“Drinkin’ Beer, Talkin’ God, Amen.”) at Jannus Live Friday. Tickets.

Vocalist Tony DeSare guests with The Florida Orchestra for “Sinatra and Beyond,” Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, and again Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. All tickets are here.

The seemingly never-ending Steve Martin and Martin Short tour deposits these two legends of comedy at Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday (find tickets here). The pair’s Hulu series Only Murders in the Building has been renewed for a third season.

Mark Sforzini conducts the Tampa Bay Symphony at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall. The program includes competition winner Austin Ali’s Defiant Overture, the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102 with soloist Elisabeth Thomashoff, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B-minor, Opus 74 “Pathétique.” Find tickets here. The program will be repeated Tuesday (May 2) at the Palladium Theater.



ArtsXChange jazz event

Sunday is recognized as UNESCO’s International Jazz Day, and the Warehouse Arts District Association is honoring this with a series of commemorative events on its new, multi-purpose ArtsXchange outdoor stage (22nd Street at 5th Avenue South). At 7 p.m., the St. Pete-based Brazilian music group O Som do Jazz will perform, followed at 8 by a screening of the Mexican-made independent film Sincopa (click here to read about WADA’s super-cool movie screen).

If you arrive at 6, you can meet with the producer/cinematographer, director and star of Sincopa – Antonio Mata, Alan Gutierrez and Antonio Monroy.

Tickets for the event are here.



American Stage’s ambitious production of the musical Ragtime continues with evening performances in Demens Landing Park, outdoors on the downtown St. Pete waterfront. Tickets and info here.

Stageworks Theatre (Tampa) is opening the Jane Martin dark comedy Talking With this weekend; here’s our interview with director Rosemary Orlando.

Dancer/singer Tymisha Harris channels earth 20th century superstar Josephine Baker in the one-woman cabaret show Josephine, this weekend in the Straz Center’s Jaeb Theatre. The Catalyst spoke with Harris this week – here’s the story, with ticket details.


Festival weekend – movies and music

The Sunscreen Film Festival makes its 18th appearance this weekend, with screenings at the Sundial AMC 12 in downtown St. Pete. Read about Andrew Kiaroscuro’s movie 115 Grains here, and find the entire schedule of screenings, talks, workshops and more at this link.

Saturday and Sunday brings the annual Gasparilla Music Festival to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa. Headliners at the event (on five stages) include Run the Jewels, Cannons, Chromeo, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Local Natives, Rising Appalachia, Cope and others. Find all details, and tickets, here.

The Weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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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