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Weekend forecast: With a nod to ‘Maestro’ …

Bill DeYoung



In "Maestro": Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and chorus for Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection). Photo: MAX.

Bringing an end to Season 56, The Florida Orchestra goes out with a Hollywood bang, as this weekend’s concerts partially mirror the recent movie Maestro, a dramatization of the life of the great Leonard Bernstein.

Centerpiece of the season finale is Mahler’s powerful Symphony No. 2 in C minor (Resurrection), which film fans will remember as one of the most jaw-dropping musical sequences in Maestro; Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) feverishly conducts the piece with the London Symphony Orchestra and chorus.

St. Pete’s own maestro Michael Francis conducts TFO, and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and soloists, for this 80-minute masterwork. That comes after intermission; the first half is one of Francis’ “mystery pieces” (you’ll find out when you get there).

The concert is presented at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Find tickets here.

Tonight at the Mahaffey, Francis goes behind the scenes with Inside Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, 7:30 p.m. It includes a full orchestra performance of the work. Admission is pay-what-you-can at the door.

After this weekend, The Florida Orchestra will be on hiatus until September.


On theater stages

Both American Stage (in St. Petersburg) and Jobsite Theater (Tampa) are in the middle of shows with exemplary lead performances. At AmStage, Matthew McGloin is a trans rock with big issues in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (read all about it here), and Giles Davies prowls the Jobsite stage as a sweet-talking thief in the one-man show The Smuggler: A Thriller in Verse (read all about that one here).

Your weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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Welcome back, TR

Todd Rundgren. Photo by Bill DeYoung.

The great Todd Rundgren is back in Tampa Bay, for two nights of concerts (Saturday and Sunday) at Ruth Eckerd Hall. As is his wont, the shows on the current tour are vaguely themed – reports indicate Rundgren and his band’s sets will pull largely from his relatively recent albums including Global, The Individualist, No World Order, Liars and One Year Later.

The reluctant recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame usually throws a few of the hits in there, too. Find tickets here.


More concerts

Saturday and Sunday Curtis Hixon Riverfront Park, Tampa: The Uptown Music Festival, with jazz and R&B performers including Eric Darius, Kayla Waters, Jose Valentino. Alex Harris, DW3, Charleton Singleton and more. Food and beverage trucks will be on hand. Tickets start at $90; visit the website here for more information.

Rapper NF (a.k.a. Nathan Feuerstein) sails into Amalie Arena Friday, the most recent in a series of concerts there from top hip hop artists. NF’s last three albums – Perception, The Search and 2023’s Hope – hit No. 1 and topped one million copies sold. Tickets are here.

St. Pete musicians Ona K and Alejandro Arenas, collectively known as Orilla, bring their vast understanding of jazz, world music and the experimental to The S tudio@620 Saturday at 7 p.m. The show is Con Alma (with soul), and most if not all of the lyrics sung in Spanish. Tickets are here. Ona and Alejandro guest on Friday’s edition of the Arts Alive! podcast.

With original members Jason Bieler & Phil Varon still in the ranks, the hard-rocking early ‘90s band Saigon Kick plays the Capitol Theatre Friday. The band also includes guitarist Steve (Black Label Society) Gibb, son of Bee Gee Barry. Find tickets here.

Sunday’s Aly Sanchez concert at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center has been canceled.


Art opening

Tonight (Thursday, May 23) it’s the opening reception for Flora & Fauna, the newest exhibition at the Creative Pinellas gallery on Walsingham Road. It’s a nature-focused collection, as you might have guessed, and the artists include A Galban, Adriano Nicot, Jorge Dans, Froilán Escobar, Josignacio and Leslie Hiatt (read more about the exhibit, and its ancillary events, here.) The reception today is 6 to 8 p.m.





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