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Weekend arts forecast: ‘Planets,’ percussion, plenty of performances

Bill DeYoung



The Percussion Collective performs with The Florida Orchestra this weekend. Publicity photo.

Michael Francis conducts The Florida Orchestra this weekend; it’s the first all-classical concert of the band’s new season. Gustav Holst’s grand, spatial The Planets has the above-the-title honor, Saturday evening at the Mahaffey Theater, and again Sunday evening at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Both shows will include projections of high definition images from space, obtained from NASA, as a celestial backdrop.

The Percussion Collective, featuring acclaimed players from Europe, Asia, and the U.S., will join TFO for Christopher Theofanidis’ five-movement concerto Drum Circles. This work was commissioned by a consortium including the Aspen Music Festival, Baltimore Symphony, Colorado Symphony and the Oregon Symphony. The group’s artistic director Robert van Sice is considered one of the world’s foremost performers of contemporary music for marimba.

And music director Francis promises a “mystery piece” to round out the otherworldly program. Tickets.

Tonight (Thursday, Sept. 28) at the Mahaffey, Francis takes visitors “Inside the Planets,” with live orchestra demos, select excerpts and very dry British wit. Admission to this 7:30 p.m. event is pay-what-you-can.



Vocalists Belinda Womack, Larry Alexander and Michael Raabe perform music popularized by Tony Bennett, along with other chestnuts from the Great American Songbook, Friday at freeFall Theater. Pianist Raabe (the theater’s musical director) will be joined by Kenny Walker on bass and Dave Pate on sax. Info and tickets here.


Brett Scallions. Publicity photo.

Friday concerts

Brett Scallions, longtime lead vocalist for the multi-platinum hard rock band Fuel, at Central Park Performing Arts Center. With Saigon Kick’s Jason Bieler. Tickets.

At the Tampa Theatre: Comic Nimesh Patel. Tickets.

Shinedown (rock) at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre. Tickets.

Jazz trumpeter James Suggs and his Quintet at the Side Door Café, Palladium Theater. Tickets.


Saturday concerts

Singer/songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin, Capitol Theatre. Tickets.

Country music’s Eric Church at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre. Tickets.

At the Tampa Theatre: Comic Michelle Wolf. Tickets.


Sunday concerts

Judy Carmichael (stride piano) together with Nate Najar (jazz guitar), at the Side Door Café, Palladium Theater. Tickets.


Monday concerts

Toad the Wet Sprocket (‘90s rock)  at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets.


Dammit, Brad

Florida resident Barry Bostwick, who played straight man Brad Majors in 1975’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show, will attend a Friday night screening of the film at the Mahaffey Theater. Bostwick will introduce the shadow cast (Hell on Heels) and stick around for a few (fee extra) meet ‘n’ greets. There’s a memorabilia exhibit, a costume contest and more. Audience participation is encouraged; you must be 18 or older. Find all the particulars here.


Anime time

Producer Dewey Caruthers and the gang at St. Pete Comic Con are back at the Coliseum Saturday and Sunday with their second annual Anime Con. Guests include five prominent voice actors, renowned for their portrayals of over 30 characters in popular anime shows, with several of Florida’s best-known cosplayers. Find every detail you need at this link.

Things are tough for Rosencranz and Guildenstern at Jobsite Theater. Image: James Zambon Photography.

On theater stages

Isaac’s Firetruck, a short play for children, will be onstage at 2 p.m. Sunday at thestudio@620. Presented in a “radio theater” format (with live sound effects), the show’s cast includes David Warner, Robin O’Dell, Mary Rachel Quinn and Bridget Bean. Crayons will be distributed, and Creative Clay will lead a drawing session after the show. Admission is absolutely, positively, one hundred percent free.

Arthur Miller’s searing drama The Crucible is in its first weekend, in a joint production by the Tampa Repertory Theatre and ThinkTank. Our Wednesday interview will give you all the details.

And Jobsite Theater’s take on Tom Stoppard’s Shakespeare-inspired comedy Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead continues in the Shimberg Playhouse, inside the Straz Center. Tickets.


On the art scene

Saturday brings the second annual St. Pete Art Battle to 18th Street and Central Avenue, under the I-275 overpass. The noon-to-6 p.m. event features spraycan “combat” between five teams of muralists, who’ll compete against one another by painting 8×8 panels. Look for a vendor market, live music and food trucks, and at 4:30 p.m., the crowd votes on its favorite piece. All the panels will be sold at the end, with proceeds going to the artists. Details are here.


The art of dance

The 2023 Momentum Choreographers Showcase, Friday and Saturday at thestudio@620, is the five-year anniversary event for Alexander Jones’ projectALCHEMY. It’s an audience-interactive program combining dance and art, at 7:30 p.m. each night. Read more and find tickets here.


Telling tales

Author LL Kirchner is back with True Stories tonight (7 p.m.) at Green Light Cinema. Five-minute oral stories are welcome; you may be chosen to present yours to the audience. Tonight’s theme is Florida; details and tickets here. Kirchner, meanwhile, is Friday’s guest on the Arts Alive! podcast, discussing her new book Blissful Thinking.

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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