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Your weekend arts forecast: ‘Skeleton Crew’ and NRBQ

Bill DeYoung



The cast of American Stage's "Skeleton Crew": King, left, Selmore, Upshaw and Holt. Photo: Joey Clay.

American Stage roars into 2020 this weekend with Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morisseau’s drama about blue-collar employees at a Detroit auto-pressing factory.

The four characters come together in the factory break room, where we learn how each has been impacted by the inevitable, hyper-frustrating, drop-by-drop bloodletting of the American dream. Morisseau, whose taut schoolroom drama Pipeline was a highlight of American Stage’s 2018-2019 season, “creates realistic dialogue full of such moments that seem effortlessly to transcend their immediate context to comment on greater truths,” according to the Hollywood Reporter in its review of Skelton Crew.

Opening Friday, the play is directed by L. Peter Callender, who also helmed Pipeline at American Stage. Callender also co-starred in last season’s Between Riverside and Crazy, which also featured Enoch Armondo King, a member of the Skeleton Crew ensemble (King was a standout in A Raisin in the Sun in 2017-2018, also directed by Callander).

King’s Crew castmates are Dee Selmore (she was in Raisin, too), Rasell Holt and Camille Upshaw.

Tickets and info here.

The other professional theater offerings for this weekend are Marie and Rosetta at freeFall; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Jobsite; and two benefit performances of Roxanne Fay’s Lady McBeth character study, the one-woman, written-in-Scotland Thrice to Mine (in a benefit for Tampa Rep, at Hillsborough Community College-Ybor).

St. Petersburg Opera Company has the Palladium Theater this weekend for its production of Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Movie Night at the Dali

Today (Thursday, Jan. 23) the Dali Museum is screening Woody Allen’s 2011 fantasy/comedy Midnight in Paris, with Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. It’s meant to go hand-in-glove with the museum’s current show, Midnight in Paris: Surrealism at the Crossroads, 1929, don’t you see.

The screening begins “at sunset,” and admission is free (not to the galleries, however). The Dali advertises a screening “under the stars” in the “avant-garden” but … baby, it’s cold outside. Bet they’ll move everybody indoors.


Rock ‘n’ roll’s legendary NRBQ returns to the bay area for two shows this weekend at the Safety Harbor Art & Music Center. They’re Saturday and Sunday, and, in deference to the 55-year-old bands longtime fans, the showtimes are early: 4 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.

Pianist Terry Adams, one of the founders of the “New Rhythm & Blues Quartet” (nobody actually calls them that) is the only founding member left in the ranks.

NRBQ plays a swinging, decidedly unpretentious amalgam of R&B, jazz, rockabilly and good old four-chord pop. The band has never in its lengthy history sold a lot of records, but a cult following that began in the earliest days is still going strong, and numerous leading lights in commercial music site their musicianship, experimental nature and sense of fun as major influences.

Tickets and info here.

And now, this

Inside the World of Craft Art: Craft Goes Monumental opens Friday at Florida CraftArt, with a meet-the-artists reception 5:30-7:30 p.m. The exhibit profiles eight bay area artists whose large-scale work exists in a highly visible public framework, with a series of talks, tours and workshops. In the gallery you’ll find their “smaller fine craft studio work.” The first “in conversation” event, Feb. 4, will feature sculptor Mark Aeling talking about his own journey into the wide world of public art. For details and a schedule, go here.

For the historically-minded, Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank, opens Saturday at the Florida Holocaust Museum. The exhibition – which will stay for a full year – includes a 25-minute film, one component of which is a virtual-reality (VR) “tour” of the Frank Family’s hiding place in Amsterdam, the “Secret Annex.” Information is here.

NPR commentator Ira Glass returns to the Mahaffey Theater Saturday with a program called “Seven Things I’ve Learned.” The creator, producer and host of This American Life will mix audio clips, music and video to demonstrate his approach to the creative process. Tickets here.

We’ve been going on and on about the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg’s ambitious new exhibit Art of the Stage: From Picasso to Hockney, with its extensive list of performance programs and more (here’s the list). Visit the Catalyst Friday for a first look at the exhibit’s visuals.

What’s The Florida Orchestra up to this weekend, you may ask? Well, there’s just one “official” concert: At 8 p.m. Saturday, the band will be at Ruth Eckerd Hall, performing the score to Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars film entry from 1983, as the movie itself is screened. Ewok alert!

Ah, but on Sunday, as part of the above-mentioned Art of the Stage, the hallowed halls of the MFA will be filled with chamber music from TFO members. Here’s the lineup (all of it’s free with paid admission to the museum):

• 12:30 pm: Tchaikovsky Serenade and Mozart Violin Concerto (Conservatory)
• 1:05 pm: Les aventures de Mercure by Satie (Marly Room)
• 1:30 pm: Stravinsky Octet (Hough Gallery)

• 2:30 pm: Tchaikovsky Serenade and Mozart Violin Concerto (Conservatory)
• 3:05 pm: Les aventures de Mercure by Satie (Marly Room)
• 3:30 pm: Stravinsky Octet (Hough Gallery)

We can’t stress this enough: If we don’t know about your event, we can’t write anything about it. So please remember to add to your mailing list today!

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