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Your weekend arts forecast: Live or virtual, we’re still here

Bill DeYoung



American Stage's "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" in action.

As we celebrate the holidays, we should count among our many blessings the fact that the virus (let’s not name it here, for once) did not eradicate the arts, visual, performing or otherwise.

Sure, we’ve got a good ways to go before things look any kind of “normal” again, but … can you see that light, way, way down there at the end of the tunnel?

It’s Christmas weekend – let’s also celebrate that some of our hard-working, hard-creating artistic types have left gifts under the tree for us to enjoy.

It’s a wonderful show

The American Stage virtual performance of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is a true Christmas miracle (well, maybe it’s a Festivus miracle; to each their own). It was pre-recorded, live, with all the actors (along with the sound effects guy) in different rooms (and in at least one case, in a different city!)

You wouldn’t know that by watching the warm, fuzzy video stream, available through Sunday via Broadway on Demand; click here for more info, and to purchase.


Be advised there is one completely live show to enjoy, although there’s some serious social distancing (and tickets are going faster than fast): The final “drive-in” performance of A Christmas Carol: In Concert at freeFall Theatre. You can see and hear this charmer at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve). That’s the last performance of the run; all earlier shows are sold out.

Tickets will be here if any remain.

At the David A. Straz Center

The Straz Center’s Nutcracker Outdoor Wonderland continues, with Next Generation Ballet performances on the Straz “campus” and under a spaced-seat tent on the Riverwalk, with shows at 5:30, 7 and 8:30 p.m. today. Info and tickets here.

Opera Tampa is on the Riverwalk Stage Saturday and Sunday (two shows each day) with Home For the Holidays, “a concert full of Christmas spirit and cheerful carols.” Info and tickets here.

And some others

St. Petersburg Opera Company has a full menu of digital programs to warm you on this chilly weekend, including several fully-produced operas from recent seasons, a “Maestro” event with the ever-ebullient Mark Sforzini, and eight different “Artist Recital” programs featuring some of the company’s best-loved singers. Tap into it all here.

Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m., the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay performs Handel’s Messiah, along with other Christmastime choral works, for its monthly “Measure By Measure” virtual concert. It’s free; listen and watch here.

“A Christmas Carol: In Concert” at freeFall.

The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.








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