Opera singer Michael Kelly, the New York-based baritone best remembered by local audiences from the 2019 St. Pete Opera production of musical theater’s Kiss Me Kate (he was Petruchio, the leading man), is bringing a new themed cabaret show to town for Pride weekend. The Pleasing Recollection is onstage Friday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) at the Palladium Theater’s Side Door venue.
“It’s about a young gay man making his way through New York City in the late 1970s, and early ‘80, trying to find love,” Kelly told Broadway World before the piece debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, in New York City, in April. “And along the way, he meets some really iconic New York celebrities.”
Written by Stephen Kitsakos (libretto) and Martin Hennessy (music) with Bénédicte Jourdois (musical direction), The Pleasing Recollection began its odyssey to the stage when Kitsakos and Hennessy approached their vocalizing friend with an idea.
“They had written a couple of songs and wanted me to perform them, record them,” Kelly explained. “And when I got them, I was completely intrigued by what they had created, I asked them to have a meeting about it and to see if we could maybe develop it further, into a whole show, a one-man show.
“That’s exactly what we did. I asked Stephen if he had more stories like the ones that he had and he said, ‘Yeah, of course, this is my life … this is from my life.’”
Kelly told Opera Wire: “I’m so proud to have the opportunity to portray such a beautifully realized queer protagonist. It’s exciting to get to turn back the clock and revisit the gay culture of the ‘70s, an era that pulsed with gritty sexuality and endless possibilities.”
For tickets and additional information, click here.
Singer, rapper, actor and social media “personality” Todrick Hall is back in St. Pete this weekend, to perform at St. Pete Pride’s Friday Night Concert, at Spa Beach on the Pier (general admission lawn seating is $10 here).
The 4-10 p.m. event will also feature Shevonne and the Force, Zeta the Bae, MuMu and other popular LGBTQ+ local artists. And food trucks! And interactive activities! Chairs are welcome; no coolers, please.
Making its area debut on the Friday bill is the Russian punk/pop band Pussy Riot, as famous for its activism and political protests as for its music, which covers a lot of eclectic ground.
And the 20th annual St. Pete Pride parade – from Vinoy Park to Albert Whitted Park, north to south along Bayshore Drive, starts at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Pride Festival starts at 2 at both Straub Parks, right there between the Vinoy area and the Pier, and will continue throughout the day and well into the evening, with additional entertainment in the parks, and on Spa Beach.
The Pride Street Carnival takes over the Grand Central District Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with performance stages, games, vendors, food and bev trucks and more.
Thestudio@620 celebrates its 18th anniversary Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. with a Bob Devin Jones tradition – community-made desserts and socializing. Want to contribute baked goods? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. And Dirty John’s Say Gay Cabaret is at the venue Friday and Saturday nights at 8, with another freewheeling go-round of adult0oriented comedy. Tickets are here.
Music and dance
Today at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg: At Water’s Edge/Al filo del agua, an open-air, theater and dance performance with live music, created by choreographer Celeste Miller and USF Theatre professor Dora Arreola. The 7 p.m. performance in the MFA Sculpture Garden features dancer Miroslava Wilson, vocalist Siki Carpio and violinist/composer Chip Epsten, and will be repeated Sunday at 3 p.m. Both performances will be followed by conversations with the artists. Free with museum admission.
More shows you should know
The musical The Last Five Years is onstage today through Sunday in the black box theater at Studio Grand Central. Read all about it here.
Singer LeAnne Rimes is at the Mahaffey Theater Friday; here’s our interview with the country music star.
At the Palladium Side Door Saturday: The rockabilly band Professor Pennygoode’s Mighty Flea Circus. Point of reference: The group’s most recent record was produced by Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom. Tickets and info are here.
It’s the ‘90s all over again Saturday at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, with Train, Jewel and Blues Traveler sharing the bill. Tickets are here.
Magician Mike Super, an America’s Got Talent finalist, will thrill and amaze from the Mahaffey stage Saturday. Tickets.
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