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Weekend arts forecast: Hello, Ethel Waters

Bill DeYoung



Rose Weaver's "At Home with Ethel Waters" opens Saturday at freeFall Theatre. Photo provided.

For 50 years, Rhode Island’s Rose Weaver has been closely associated with Trinity Repertory Company, in the city of Providence, as an actress and a playwright. She has been a member of Equity, Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA for nearly as long.

Weaver is opening Saturday night at freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, in a one-woman show she wrote and has performed all over the country. It’s At Home With Ethel Waters, and it’s the latest freeFall collaboration with artistic director Wren T. Brown of the Ebony Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles.

Much like the 2022 Ebony/freeFall production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, which was about singer Billie Holiday, this new show (in previews Friday night and Saturday afternoon) spotlights one woman and one amazing career. Ethel Waters (1896-1977) sang jazz, blues and showtunes, and appeared in a dozen films, including the racially-charged 1949 weeper Pinky. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the film – the second African American to receive an Oscar nod.

She was the first African American to star in her own television series (1950) and to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award (1962).

Musical director Damon Carter accompanies on piano. Find tickets here.


Adios, La Gringa

Sunday’s 3 p.m. matinee will be the final performance of the bilingual drama La Gringa, by Carmen Rivera, at American Stage. All showtimes and tickets can be found here.

Snoop Dogg: At the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre Saturday. Publicity photo.

On other stages

Saturday Night Live alum Seth Myers – currently, of course, the host of NBC’s Late Night – is on a standup comedy tour, and he’s performing tonight at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center. Tickets.

It’s a three-nighter at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater: The a capella group Pentatonix tonight, rock’s All American Rejects Friday, and hip hop artists Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa Saturday. Find all Mid-Florida tickets here.

Six-time Latin Grammy-winning duo Jesse & Joy, from Mexico, are in concert Friday at the Mahaffey Theater. Un Besito Más?, the brother and sister team’s 2017 release, won the overall Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album. For info and tickets, click here.

Road to Nowhere, the eight-piece, all-local band performing Friday in the Palladium Theater’s Side Door Café, plays nothing but Talking Heads covers. Tickets.

Comedians Valarie Storm and Sheena Regan headline a Girls Night Out comedy show Saturday in the Palladium Side Door. Tickets.


Improv Fest

The annual Countdown Improv Festival is onstage through Saturday at the HCC (Hillsborough Community College) Ybor Performing Arts Building (Ybor City). Hours are 9-11:30 p.m. daily, and tickets are here.


One more

Tonight at thestudio@620, Saints and Peters – An Adult Only Literary Night features fully nude males reading curated samples of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and prose. 18+ only; doors open at 7:30 p.m. (show is from 8 to 9:30). It’s part of a “literary salon” movement that began in England. Find tickets and additional information here.


The Weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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


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