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Your weekend arts forecast: What’s up in music and theater

Bill DeYoung



Gypsy Star is at thestudio@620 Friday. Photo provided.

Gypsy Star, the Suncoast world-music band fronted by guitarist and composer Billy Keen, makes a too-long-in-coming return to thestudio@620 Friday, in support of a new single, “Far Beyond My Wildest Dreams.” Like everyone else, Gypsy Star hasn’t been on a stage in over a year.

Fusing Latin, folk, jazz, Mediterranean, Celtic and other styles, the group also features Belinda Brodsky on vocals, keyboards and percussion, local belly dance legend Kimara Lee dancing plus harmony vocals and percussion, bassist Rich Clemenson and drummer Kana Leimbach.

Advance tickets (required) for the 8 p.m. show are here.


And now Nina

John O’Leary and Synia Carroll. Photo: Steve Splane.

Synia Carroll, the svelte-voiced Sarasota jazz singer, is at the Palladium Theatre Friday with a concert called “Feelin’ Good: Celebrating Nina.” This tribute to music icon Nina Simone includes Paul Gavin, drums; John O’Leary, piano; Brandon Robinson, bass; James Suggs, trumpet; and Patrick Hernly, percussion.

“I think what’s always drawn me to Nina is she incorporated everything,” Carroll told WUSF’s Mike Cornette in a recent interview. “She went from classical to blues to practically bluegrass. I mean, she didn’t care. If the song told a story that touched her heart, and that she felt shared a message, then she would do that song. She had no fear in that way.

“And I respect that so much. And I see that in myself to a certain degree. So she’s a person I model myself after, in that sense.”

Details and tickets are here.


Theater stages

“Dionysus on the Down Low”: Jonathan O’Brien, left, and Theron Butler. Outcast Theatre.

Tampa’s Outcast Theatre Collective is guesting at Stageworks this weekend with Dionysus on the Down Low, a drama by Michael Proft, described thusly by director Clareanne Despain: “After LGBT activist David Okello (played by Theron Butler) flees his native Uganda when his life is threatened in the wake of a proposed anti-homosexuality bill, he takes shelter in Boston with Matthew Teitman (played by Jonathan O’Brien), an LGBTQIA rights advocate with the ACLU. As Matthew helps David obtain political asylum, personal, political, and sexual tensions rise as two men with disparate cultural values and desires struggle — sometimes explosively — to find common ground.”

Dionysus on the Down Low opens tonight and runs daily through Sunday.

American Stage is opening Romeo & Juliet in America (The One With the Happy Ending) on the outdoor Williams Park stage tonight. It’s a Shakespearean adaptation, not a contempo-overhaul, director L. Peter Callender told us earlier this week.

Here: More American Stage news.

Director Nick Hoop and his Turkey Creek Collective are at The Mar this weekend with the “investigative” musical (I am) Nobody’s Lunch. Read all about it here.

Continuing at freeFall Theatre is The Rose and the Beast, the immersive, interactive walk-through book of slightly-skewed fairy tales. Details and tickets are here.


Other stuff

The iconic progressive rock band King Crimson is opening its 2021 American tour (the British musicians have been off-duty for 19 months due to the pandemic) tonight at Ruth Eckerd Hall. The Catalyst spoke with singer/guitarist Jakko Jakszyk this week.

Busy weekend at Ruth’s place. Friday brings a triple-bill of Firefall, Pure Prairie League and Orleans, and guitar shredder Yngwie Malmsteen is onstage Saturday. Tickets here.

Florida acoustic guitar legend Richard Gilewitz returns to the Palladium’s Side Door Sunday, for a duo show with Nashville flatpicker, mandolinist and all-around stringmaster Tim May. Tickets here.

The 32nd Professional Association of Visual Artists (PAVA) art show and sale at the St. Pete Coliseum happens 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission to the works-in-all-media event is free.








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