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Weekend arts forecast: On a stage near you

Bill DeYoung



Rock's Greta Van Fleet is at Amalie Arena Friday. Photo: Wiki Commons.

A quartet of Michigan hipsters bred on the music of Led Zeppelin and the Who, Greta Van Fleet is one of the most successful American hard rock bands of contemporary times – The Battle at Garden’s Gate, GVF’s 2021 sophomore album, chart-debuted at No. 1 Billboard Rock Album and reached No. 1 Billboard Hard Rock Album, No. 1 Billboard Vinyl Album, No. 1 Billboard Top Album Sales – and made the Top 10 on the Billboard 200. The platinum-selling group arrives at Amalie Arena Friday night, with Houndsmouth and Robert Finley. Details here.

What’s in a name?

Australia’s second-biggest pop music export from the 1970s (after Olivia Newton-John, of course) was Little River Band. Bass player Wayne Nelson, who joined the group in 1980 (after “Lonesome Loser,” “Cool Change” and “Reminiscing,” the group’s biggest American hits) is the sole remaining member from the “golden” era (distinctive lead singer Glen Shorrock has been in the wind for more than 30 years). Original member count: 0.

So, is it actually Little River Band? That’s for you to decide. The group plays Ruth Eckerd Hall Saturday, with an opening set from the Lords of 42nd Street, which of course is made up of ex-members of Billy Joel’s longtime backing band (they co-forged the distinctive BJ sound back in the day, but he later let them all go). Find tickets here.

While we’re on the subject, Kansas performs Saturday at Busch Gardens Tampa, the opening concert in the Food & Wine Festival, which runs weekly through May 20. Original member count: 1 (the bass player). Tickets and details.

Sad to hear that Lynyrd Skynyrd founding guitarist Gary Rossington passed away March 5. He was the last Skynyrdian from the classic, hitmaking years – and a heck of a talented Floridian. Inexplicably, “Lynyrd Skynyrd” will still play Plant City’s ongoing 2023 Strawberry Festival Sunday. Original member count: 0. Tickets and details.

More concerts

More from the Strawberry Festival: For King + Country is onstage tonight; Friday’s matinee performer is Wayne Newton, and Train plays Friday night; Saturday matinee is Sawyer Brown, with the Isley Brothers performing in the evening; Sunday delivers country artists Leroy Van Dyke, T.G. Sheppard, Mandy Barnett and T. Graham Brown (matinee), with the aforementioned “Lynyrd Skynyrd” taking the stage at night. All tickets here.

Singer/songwriters Ariella, Peter Mulvey, A Tale of Two and Jeffery Straker perform Friday at the Palladium Theater. The Hough Hall “celebration of house concerts” – an annual acoustic event – is called the Listening Room Showcase. Tickets.

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Will Evans, late of the New England band Barefoot Truth, plays the Safety Harbor Art & Music Center Friday and Saturday. Tickets are here.

The venerable (more than four decades and counting) jazz ensemble Spyro Gyra – an all-instrumental band still fronted by founding saxophonist Jay Beckenstein – returns to the Capitol Theatre Sunday. Tickets.

The classics

The Florida Orchestra welcomes violinist Itzhak Perlman Saturday. Taking place at the Mahaffey Theater, it’s the organization’s 55th season fundraising gala concert, during which Perlman will play film music, including the Theme from Schindler’s List, “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca, the love theme from Cinema Paradiso and more. Find tickets here.

TFO also plays with Opera Tampa this weekend, at the Straz Center. The opera is Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci – yes, the famous one about tragic circus clowns – and it’s onstage Friday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) in Ferguson Hall. Tickets here.

A small group of TFO musicians will be at the Palladium Theater’s Hough Hall Sunday for a 2 p.m. program centered around Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Saint‐Saëns’ Danse Macabre.

Opera Tampa’s “Pagliacci.” Publicity photo.


There’s a lot of heavy makeup back there in the Straz Center dressing rooms this weekend. Not only is Opera Tampa clowning it up with Pagliacci, the national touring company of Wicked is in Morsani Hall through March 26 (the central character has green skin, as you know). Read about the show here, and find tickets here.

The audience-participation haircut comedy Shear Madness continues in the Jaeb Theatre, also inside the Straz Center complex. Tickets.

And The Rooster’s Tale, a Monty Python-esque sature, continues at LAB Theater Project. Tickets here.

The Weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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