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Weekend forecast: Slepakov’s Russia, Dylan’s ‘North Country’

Bill DeYoung



The Broadway musical "Girl From the North Country" is at Tampa's Straz Center through Sunday. Publicity photo.

Friday’s 8 p.m. concert at the Palladium Theater Hough Hall is what’s known as a “rental,” in that it’s presented by neither the Palladium itself or one of its usual community partners. New York-based promoter Show Impulse is behind the current American tour dates for Russian comedian and musician Semyon Slepakov; according to company CEO Vladimir Bykhovskiy, the shows are entirely in the Russian language.

At press time, the Palladium performance was close to sold out.

In 2023, the Ministry of Justice named Slepakov a “foreign agent” over his song “Kolybelnaya” (Lullaby), which features a mother telling her 3-year-old son that “Nothing is better than dying on the battlefield.” It is a satirical song openly critic of the Kremlin and the war, and has been viewed more than 2.2 million times on YouTube.

Slepakov has lived in Israel since 2022.

Remaining tickets are here.


At the Straz Center

Girl From the North Country, the Tony-winning musical set in Minnesota during the Great Depression and featuring 20-some Bob Dylan songs (he’s from Minnesota, the self-same North Country) is at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday, with multiple performances in Morsini Hall. Tickets for this entry in the Straz Center’s Broadway Tour series are here.

Also at the Straz (in the Jaeb Theatre, in the round): Stranger Sings!, a musical parodying the smash Netflix series Stranger Things. Raved the New York Theatre Guide: “Not only stuffed to the brim with nostalgic jokes, but it is also perfectly on the pulse with fan conversations around the show.” It’s onstage through April 21; tickets are here.

Next door at the Shimberg Playhouse, Jobsite Theatre’s production of Martin McDonagh’s visceral Irish drama The Beauty Queen of Leenane continues, through April 7. Tickets.


Hey hey Artimus

Artimus Pyle

The last surviving member of Lynyrd Skynyrd visits Largo’s Central Park Performing Arts Center Friday. Artimus Pyle was the band’s drummer for much of its classic, hit-making years (from the third album, Gimme Back My Bullets, forward); as one of the survivors of the 1977 plane crash that decimated the band, he was involved in several of the Skynyrd “re-boots” over the decades, including the Rossington Collins Band. He left the Skynyrd machine in 1991, and seems to have an on-again, off-again (and occasionally litigious) relationship with family members and heirs of his former bandmates.

Tickets for Friday’s Artimus Pyle Band concert (8 p.m.) can be found here.


And a few more

Mark Harelik’s drama The Immigrant is in its final weekend at Stageworks Theatre, not so far from the Straz Center in downtown Tampa. Read all about it here.

British singer/songwriter Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat”) makes his annual stop at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre Friday, backed by his Empty Pockets Band. Tickets.

Oh, and Happy Easter.

Your weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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