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Weekend forecast: Brooks and Dunn are back

Bill DeYoung



On the road again: Ronnie Dunn, left, and Kix Brooks play the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre Saturday. Publicity photo.

Country’s all-time top hitmaking duo, Brooks & Dunn, called it quits in 2010, after selling (and breaking) all kinds of records. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn played a string of Vegas residency dates with their pal Reba McEntire in 2015, and they each did the “solo artist” thing for a while.

They came back swinging in 2019 with Reboot, a collection of their biggest big hits (they have 20 Number Ones) re-recorded with contemporary country stars like Kacey Musgraves, Luke Combs and Kane Brown.

That No. 1 album under their belt buckles, Brooks & Dunn went back to the road in 2022 (after taking a year and change off during Covid).

The Reboot Tour comes to Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa Saturday, with openers David Lee Murphy and Ernest. Find tickets here.

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, a.k.a. Indigo Girls (“Closer to Fine,” “Galileo”), are not only the subjects of a new documentary film (It’s Only Life After All) but they’re coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday. Tickets.

And Ybor City’s Cuban Club is ground zero for Saturday’s WMNF Tropical Heatwave. Music on three stages starts at 6 p.m., and as you’d expect it’s an eclectic lineup including the blues/punk trio The Record Company, rhythm ‘n’ blues singer/songwriter Ruthie Foster, Say She She, Selwyn Birchwood, Tiger 54, the Dollyrots, Northstar, Wahh World Fusion Band (blending Indian ragas and Western rock and jazz) and lots more. Get the schedule (and tickets) here.


Other concerts

The band Escape the Fate is joined by the 14-piece Emo Orchestra Friday at the Capitol Theatre. The tuneage performed will encompass music by New Found Glory, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco and others. Tickets are here.

Australian blues-rock guitar prodigy Taj Farrant makes his bay area debut Saturday at the Capitol Theatre, with the trio Nathan Bryce and Loaded Dice. Tickets.

Saturday brings actor/comedian and Saturday Night Live alum David Spade to Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets.

The Offspring return to the Seminole Hard Rock Live Event Center Sunday. Tickets.

Shen Yun. Publicity photo.

Shen Yun

Shen Yun, the classical Chinese dance and music company, is back at the Mahaffey Theater Friday through Sunday, with four performances. The orchestra blends Eastern and Western music; the vocalists sing bel canto style in Chinese, performing piano-accompanied solos.

The costumes and the backdrops are ornate, colorful and exotic.

Shen Yun (according to the company, the name means “the beauty of divine beings dancing”) is based in New York and is banned from performing in China (one of the company’s marketing slogans is “China Before Communism”). Find tickets here.


The classics

The weekend’s concerts by The Florida Orchestra is called Disco Fever, and as the title implies it’s symphonic arrangements of ‘70s boogie-down hits including “The Hustle,” “Disco Inferno,” “I Will Survive,” a Bee Gees medley and more. Maisa Sykes and B. Slade are guest vocalists, with Enrico Lopez-Yanez conducting. Friday (8 p.m.), Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall (tickets) and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Ruth Eckerd Hall (tickets).

The Tampa Bay Symphony’s spring concerts begin this week, with a 2:30 p.m. performance Sunday in the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall. “A British Fantasia” includes Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance and Enigma Variations, along with Concerto for Bassoon, Strings, and Percussion by Gordon Jacobs. Additional performances: May 7 and 12 at the Palladium Theater, and May 10 at the New Tampa Performing Arts Center. All tickets are here.

Music director Mark Sforzini is our guest on Friday’s edition of the Arts Alive! podcast.

LAB Theatre Project’s “Fly Away Home” with Mandy Keen, left, Owen Robertson and Larry Corwin. Publicity photo.

On theater stages

Opening tonight at LAB Theatre Project in Ybor City is Fly Away Home, a drama set aboard a train in 1914. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright is rushing home after learning that his house is burning. Gwendolyn Rice’s play stars Owen Robertson, Mandy Keen, Larry Corwin and Zachary Finley. Details and tickets are here.

The curtain comes down this weekend on American Stage’s elaborate production of the musical Beauty and the Beast, on the outdoor stage in Demens Landing Park. There are shows daily through Sunday (they can only do this one in the evening, of course, so all performances are at 7:30 p.m.). Tickets.

Our Town, Thorton Wilder’s American classic “re-imagined for the 21st century,” is onstage through May 12 at Stageworks Theatre, Tampa. Find tickets here.

It’s the final weekend for the Bob Devin Jones-directed production of Hamlet at The Studio@620 (Sunday’s 3 p.m. matinee is the last show). Jones engineered this production to be his swan song after operating the venue for its first 20 years (read all about it, and Bob, in this story).

Still going at full steam is the comedy Nollywood Dreams at freeFall Theater. It runs through May 12. Tickets are here.

Peter Pan (the musical) is onstage this week at Morsani Hall, in Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts. This Broadway-on-Tour production is a new adaptation by playwright Larissa FastHorse (The Thanksgiving Play). It runs through Sunday with several performances; find tickets here.



The outdoor stage at the Warehouse Arts District’s ArtsXChange campus, 515 22nd Street S., is getting a workout the first three Saturdays in May. The moveable stage rotates into a film screen, and the inaugural showing is 1977’s Star Wars (subtitled A New Hope many years later). It flies at 9 p.m. this Saturday, May 4 (as in “May the Fourth Be With You”) and tickets (here) are $15. Next up in WADA’s “American Classics” series: Casablanca (May 11) and The Third Man (May 18).

Your weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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