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Weekend forecast: Here’s what’s happening

Bill DeYoung



Singer/songwriter Lauren Daigle, who recently crossed over from the Christian music charts to the pop world, performs Friday at Amalie Arena. Publicity photo.

New play development is one of the ways professional theater companies bolster their future; by encouraging and developing budding playwrights, they’re ensuring that, down the road, there will always be interesting, creative and sometimes even groundbreaking works with which to thrill and chill their audiences. New work is the lifeblood of the theater.

The 2024 edition of Lift Every Voice, American Stage’s annual New Play Festival, includes staged readings of six unproduced scripts, March 1-3 (this Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Chosen out of 200+ annual submissions, the six plays – and their creators – have been going great guns in American Stage workshops all week long.

The schedule

Unless otherwise indicated, all events and readings are held at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

Friday: 6 p.m., Opening Reception; 6:30, Keynote Address with Dr. Martha Bireda; 7:30 p.m., The Dog by Lily Rushing and Glenburn 12 WP by Vicki Ramirez.

Saturday: 11 a.m., Bats#!t by Steven J. Burge; and Flowers for Men (at American Stage) by Christian Mendonça; 1 p.m., Aberdeen and Netarine by Syd Rushing; and Goddess at the Lucky Lady Motel (at American Stage) by Namisha Ladva; 3:30 p.m., Playwrights Panel (at American Stage).

Sunday: 10 a.m., Write On! (short plays written by local middle and high school students); 12 p.m., Aberdeen and Netarine and Goddess at the Lucky Lady Motel; 2 p.m., Bats#!t and Flowers for Men; 5 p.m., Closing Reception.

Tickets are available here.


More theater

New this weekend is the comedy Fully Committed at the Off-Central, St. Pete. Alan Mohney Jr. is the sole performer; he plays 32 characters in Becky Mode’s whirling-dervish tale. Mohney is our guest Friday on the Arts Alive! podcast. Tickets for Fully Committed are here.

It’s the second weekend for SYD, Craig Houk’s exquisitely-performed drama about two family in 1973 New Orleans, at LAB Theatre Project (Ybor City). Read the Catalyst conversation with the playwright here.

St. Pete’s freeFall Theatre company has another hit on its hands with the wacky musical comedy God Bless you, Mr. Rosewater (based on a Kurt Vonnegut novel), running through March 10. Tickets are here.

Storyteller, actress and arts educator Nan Colton will perform a one-person show, as artist Mary Stevenson Cassatt, Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Catherine Hickman Theatre in Gulfport. There will be a Q&A session following the performance, which is a benefit for the Gulfport Senior Center Foundation. Tickets are available here.

Sunday’s one-night-only performance of the musical Come From Away at Ruth Eckerd Hall is sold out.



Drummer Steve Ferrone, who moved into the drum chair for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers after founding member Stan Lynch departed the band in 1994, is playing a Petty tribute show today at the Floridian Social Club (with the band Vota). Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. performance are here.

Tonight at The Studio@620, the show from Nate Najar and Daniela Soledade is sold out.

Friday brings Peter Noone, the ever-youthful lead singer of ‘60s Britpop stars Herman’s Hermits, to the Mahaffey Theater. Also on the bill for “Stars of the Sixties” are “The Lovin’ Spoonful” (with original bass player Steve Boone), the Happenings’ original lead singer Bobby Miranda and PBS favorite Chris Ruggiero. Tickets here.

Chart-topping Christian/pop performer Lauren Daigle is at Amalie Arena Friday. Tickets.

It’s Listening Room Festival time again at the Palladium Theatre; performing Friday on the Hough Hall stage are singer/songwriters Spencer LaJoye, Daniel Neihoff, Grace Morrison and Jenna Nicholls. Find tickets (and details) on the 7:30 p.m. concert here.

Celtic Woman, a combination of heavenly harmonies, hot band Irish-music-making and fleet-footed step-dancing, is on its 20th anniversary tour, and so visits its regular St. Pete stomping ground, the Mahaffey Theater, Sunday. Find info and tickets here.

Comedians John Heffron and Maryellen Hooper appear Saturday at the Palladium; find tickets for their “Tickled Pink Comedy Tour” here.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Steve Hackett – a pioneer in progressive music – plays Ruth Eckerd Hall Saturday, re-visiting music from Genesis (his old band) and his lengthy solo career. We spoke with Hackett earlier this week; find that interview here.

Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Palladium, it’s St. Petersburg’s 80-member One City Chorus, back to sing “songs of social justice, civil rights, equality and diversity.” Find tickets here.


The classics

The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay has an intriguing concert, consisting of James Whitbourn’s Annelies, a choral work written around The Diary of Anne Frank; and the world premiere of Oraciones by Nico Gutierrez. This is the program Friday (8 p.m.) at First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg, and again Saturday (8 p.m.) at the New Tampa Performing Arts Center. Info and tickets here.

There’s a different kind of classical music on the bill from The Florida Orchestra. The group’s only performance this weekend, is Twist & Shout: The Music of The Beatles. Chelsea Gallo conducts, Friday at 8 p.m. in Morsini Hall, inside Tampa’s Straz Center. Tickets.


Lest we forget …

Cirque du Soleil is in residence at Tropicana Field (well, in a big blue-and-white tent out in the parking lot) every day of the week through March 24. Read all you need to know (and find tickets) here.

Your 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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