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Your weekend arts forecast: Snowfest and Sutton, Prine and Pettis

Bill DeYoung



It's beginning to look a lot like ... Snowfest! The fake stuff rolls in Saturday at North Straub Park. Photo: City of St. Petersburg.

North Straub Park is all about the little ones Saturday, as the City of St. Pete’s Parks and Recreation  Department delivers 65 tons of “snow” (the manufactured kind) to the big green space.

Snowfest, from 9 a.m. until 2 in the afternoon, features “big” and “kiddie” toboggan slides, an art tent, a special play area for preschoolers, inflatables, the Nomad Art Bus, food trucks and more. There’s even a “teen area” for those kids who are too cool to do the toboggan thing, play video games, to charge their phones, listen to music and generally hang out.

Wristbands, which are required, are $5 at the gate.

Sutton Foster

Getting ‘Younger’

Actress and singer Sutton Foster, who’s starred for five seasons on the TV Land comedy/drama Younger, performs in concert Friday (Dec. 6) at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre. The Georgia native won Tony Awards for the musicals Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002, and for the 2011 revival of Anything Goes (she took home Best Actress Awards and Outer Circle Critics Awards for them both, too).

Foster played Inga in Mel Brooks’ Broadway adaptation of his Young Frankenstein, and Princess Fiona I Shrek the Musical. Her other Broadway roles have included The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Violet and Sweet Charity.

Tickets and info here.

Our Mrs. Brooks

Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Capitol’s parent venue (also in Clearwater), has country music star Trisha Yearwood Friday night. After selling something like 16 million albums, Yearwood took a nearly-10-year hiatus from recording, writing cookbooks and tending house (and playing a few shows) with her second husband, Garth Brooks.

Her new album Every Girl has launched her first tour as a solo artist in five years, although she’s been keeping busy: in October, Yearwood and Brooks reportedly spent $8 million for a 1.9 acre beachfront resort property on Anna Maria Island.

Tickets and info here.

And now, this

Friday and Saturday delivers Patterson Hood, the singing, writing and guitar-playing frontman for Alabama/Georgia’s legendary rock ‘n’ rolling Drive-By Truckers, playing solo shows The Attic at Rock Brothers in Ybor. Check out this link to see if any tickets remain.

at Clarinetist Natalie Hoe joins the Florida Orchestra for this weekend’s Michael Francis-conducted Masterworks concerts, featuring Mozart’s multi-hued Clarinet Concerto, plus Richards’ Return the Echo, Beethoven’s Consecration of the House Overture and the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique.” It’s the usual TFO weekend trifecta: Friday at the Straz Center, Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall (all evening performances, each preceded by a pre-concert talk; tickets here). Hoe, born in London and raised in Hong Kong, has been principal clarinetist for TFO since 2017.

The 2019 ArtJones Open Studio Tour, a walking, talking introduction to 20 of Gulfport’s finest fine artists, happens Saturday and Sunday. Here’s our story about it from earlier this week.

Speaking of Gulfport and the best of the best, the legendary singer/songwriter John Prine returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall for one of his periodic area performances Saturday (tickets here). Prine, whose album The Tree of Forgiveness reached No. 1 on the Billboard American chart in October, lives part of the year in Gulfport.

Another fine-grained acoustic performer, Pierce Pettis, will play an intimate (50 seats) show Sunday, at 5 p.m., at the Craftsman House Gallery & Café in St. Pete. Learn more here.

How about one more in Clearwater? The Romantics, whose 1980 hit “What I Like About You” has an unforgettable rock ‘n’ roll hook, and remarkable staying power (the way that some insanely catchy “dumb” songs seem to), will play for Saturday’s “Miracle on Cleveland Street” event. Details are here. The other Romantics hit, from 1984, was of the course the not-nearly-as-cool “Talking in Your Sleep.”

There’s a bluegrass festival up Dunedin way Saturday (Dec. 7). Singer and mandolinist Jeff Parker, a 12-year veteran of the great Dailey & Vincent band, headlines the Honeymoon Island Bluegrass Festival; you can bet the music (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) will be fine. Honeymoon is, of course, part of the Florida State Park System, which means admission is by the carload, with tickets for the music area costing a few dollars more. Click here for all the ticketing, parking, performing, visiting details.

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