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Your weekend arts forecast: New American paintings, ‘Satchmo’ and a harpsichord

Bill DeYoung



At the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg: Jacob Lawrence, American, 1917–2000, In the Heart of the Black Belt, 1947, Tempera on board, 20 x 24 in., Art Bridges. © 2021 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg got even cooler this week with the arrival on loan of four significant works by celebrated American artists. It’s part of a yearlong collaboration with the nonprofit Art Bridges foundation (there will be a total of five in the package, but one – by Marsden Hartley – won’t arrive until June).

Now on view in the Modern and Post-War galleries are “In the Heart of the Black Belt,” a 1947 canvas by Jacob Lawrence, one of the country’s first nationally-recognized Black artists; “Untitled (Subway Station),” 1945, by Norman Wilfred Lewis, the only Black artist associated with Abstract Realism; “The Walls,” 1955, by social realist Hughie Lee-Smith; and “Re-Echo,” part of a well-known 17-painting series (“Earth Green”) by Abstract Impressionist Lee Krasner, widow of the legendary Jackson Pollack and a revered painter in her own right.

Admission tickets must be purchased in advance for timed entry to the museum. All the details are here.

L. Peter Callender as Louis Armstrong in “Satchmo at the Waldorf.”

Well hello, Satchmo

Starting Friday, American Stage streams its filmed presentation of Satchmo at the Waldorf, which stars L. Peter Callender as entertainer Louis Armstrong, reflecting on his life and career in a backstage dressing room in 1971 – six months before his death. The one-man show by Terry Teachout was directed by veteran actor, director and playwright Ted Lange and features a stunning set by designer Jerid Fox. Here’s our video discussion with Callender and Lange from earlier this week. Tickets and streaming info can be had here.

Conductor Jeannette Sorrell at the harpsichord


Baroque TFO

Even in these unusual and unpredictable times, The Florida Orchestra still manages to bring in the occasional heavy hitter to held deliver the goods at its socially-distanced Mahaffey Theater concerts. Sometimes it’s an impressive guest soloist; other weeks, a notable guest conductor.

Saturday’s TFO concerts at 2 and 8 p.m. tick both boxes: Guest conductor Jeannette Sorrell is also an accomplished harpsichordist, and she will lead the band from that instrument for performances of Telemann’s Polish Concerto and Overture Burlesque,  Grétry’s Suite from Zémire et Azor (Beauty & the Beast) and Mozart’s Symphony No. 33 in B-flat.

TFO for this program will consist of about two dozen spaced, mask-wearing musicians. “The pandemic has inspired symphony orchestras to explore Baroque music, even though most have canceled part of their seasons,’’ Sorrell told the orchestra’s official blogger Kurt Loft.  “That’s the most challenging part. But it’s probably been healthy for orchestras to be put in a situation to explore more chamber and Baroque music. It’s giving us all different ways of bringing this (seldom played) music out to the public.’’

At 5 p.m., Daniel Black conducts Variaciones Concertantes by Ginastera, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, and the Mozart Horn Concerto No. 3, featuring TFO soloist David Smith.

Tickets and info here.


Provided you wear your mask and keep responsibly distanced, you can see and hear a nice selection of great bay area musicians during Saturday’s 8th annual Localtopia at Williams Park (admission is free). To wit: Ivy Alex, 10:15 a.m.; Nate Najar and Daniela Soledade, 11 a.m.; Boho Sideshow, noon; Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets, 1 p.m.; Shevonne Philidor, 2 p.m.; Boxcar Hollow, 3 p.m.; Ari and the Alibis, 4 p.m.

And in other news

You’ve got three more opportunities to drive in to freeFall Theatre to catch Scott Daniel and Matthew McGee in Scott and Patti: Get a Real Job!: Today, Friday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (no show Saturday). Learn more.

The Lifespan of a Fact continues onstage at Stageworks Theatre, re-configured for appropriate social distancing. Learn more.

Although it’s available for streaming via several services, the locally-shot thriller Fear of Rain is best viewed on a large screen, with the stereophonic sounds of Rain’s schizophrenia coming at you from both sides of the theater. The movie has been held over for another weekend (this one) at Studio Movie Grill in Seminole, and is on the schedule today (Thursday, Feb. 18) at Green Light Cinema downtown. Learn more.


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