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Your weekend arts forecast, Grand Prix edition

Bill DeYoung



Downtown this weekend. Photo provided by Firestone Grand Prix.

As a general rule, because we’re the St. Pete Catalyst we tend to focus on the Pinellas side of the bay. The arts, culture and performing arts scenes are, of course, exploding over here, and it’s our mission to chronicle what’s going on, with the occasional close-up story on the people and the organizations that make it all run so well, because St. Pete deserves nothing less.

This is an odd weekend, however – both of our professional producing theaters (freeFall and American Stage) are dark, with new mainstage shows coming soon – and downtown, the Mahaffey Theater’s on a very brief sabbatical and the big museums haven’t got any special programs.

That’s because the St. Petersburg Grand Prix has taken over much of 1st Street South, and Bayshore Drive, and it’ll be loud and mostly blocked off for race days, today (March 8) through Sunday. Parking’s going to be a nightmare.

So, for the first time, this column is pointing a spotlight at Tampa.

Unless you’ve been living under a cultural rock, you’re aware that a visiting production of the Broadway mega-smash Hamilton has been at the David A Straz Center for a month, and that calling it “the hottest ticket in town” is something of an understatement. There are just three performances left, today through Sunday (March 8-10), and although management declines to use the phrase “sold out,” they pretty much are, and have been. Since it’s the end of the run, however … there might be a few tickets available. The Straz Box Office is (813) 229-7827. Best of luck.

Country music star (and contemporary tabloid cover boy) Blake Shelton performs tonight at Amalie Arena, with Florida’s own Bellamy Brothers and John Anderson, plus Trace Adkins.

North Carolina’s fabulous Avett Brothers headline the 2019 Gasparilla Music Festival Saturday at Curtix Hixon Waterfront Park. It’s a weekend-long outdoor squeeze-fest; tickets and info are here.

End of Tampa stuff

Earlier this week, we introduced you to the incomparable double bassist Lloyd Goldstein, a former Florida Orchestra musician who now plays bedside gigs at Moffitt Cancer Center. He and banjo player Joshua Paul perform a segment of Saturday’s St. Pete Opera Company’s multi-disciplinary production Creative Collaborations, at Opera Central at 7:30 p.m. Details and ticket info are in the story.

A chamber group from The Florida Orchestra will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. The program, “Women in Music,” features Lewis Sligh, flute; Jeffrey Stephenson, oboe; Joseph Beverly, clarinet; Maurizio Venturini, bassoon and Kaitlin Resler, horn. It’s pay-what-you-can.

The Palladium Theater pays tribute to Women’s History Month with a Sunday  (7 p.m.) concert featuring jazz saxophonist and singer Valerie Gillespie. The band includes Judi Glover on piano, Linda Nash on flute, Meghan Lock on drums, and Megan Baker on bass. Details here.

Monday night, our Classical Revolution friends are back for another mad whirl of chamber music downstairs at the Iberian Rooster. The 7-9 p.m. event is free.





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