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Your weekend arts forecast: The enduring rock ‘n’ roll magic of Creedence

Bill DeYoung



John Fogerty entered the realm of the rock ‘n’ roll immortals all those years ago as the songwriter – and the voice – of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Creedence was toast by 1972, but even today you can’t throw a nickel without hearing “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” or the ever-so-topical “Fortunate Son.”

Fogerty’s 1985 handclapping hit “Centerfield” (“Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play”) continues to blast from P.A. speakers at baseball fields near and far.

That’s pretty impressive, because Fogerty’s solo career has been spotty at best. Still, he’s out there playing his heart out, still yowling away, and the fact that he’s playing the big halls, and selling plenty of tickets, is testament to the enduring strength of that catalog.

It’s been a long, long road.

Likewise the Yuengling Center, on the University of South Florida’s main campus in Tampa, has seen better days as a venue for rock concerts (for those of us past a certain age, it used to be known as the USF Sun Dome). Between basketball games, it appears, there are mostly comedy shows.

John Fogerty plays the Yuengling Center Saturday. The venue’s website screams “PLAYING HIS ICONIC CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL HITS & MORE,” in case we forgot.

As if.

Tickets are here.

Crafts for the holidays

The intersection of Central Avenue and 5th Street is ground zero for the Florida Craft Art Festival Saturday and Sunday (to be clear, it’s in a parking lot, not out in the intersection itself). Here, visitors will find 100 fine craft artists, from 12 states, selling their custom creations, handmade delights in ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media and wood, stuff available nowhere else. It is, of course, a holiday season staple, and it includes artist demonstrations, food trucks, craft beers and a kids’ art activity tent. Hours are 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. -4 p.m.  Sunday.

Music and theater and more

The venerable two-man America is at Ruth Eckerd Hall tonight (Nov. 18). Friday, Ruth’s got the global phenomenon known as Gypsy Kings, with fiery flamenco guitars Spanish-language vocals, and Saturday brings the annual return of that multi-media Christmastime synthesizer ‘n sleighbells juggernaut Mannheim Steamroller. All Ruth Eckerd tickets here.

It’s a big weekend for The Florida Orchestra, as our story Wednesday explained. The recap: Friday, Daniel Black conducts the music of Elton John and Billy Joel, with vocals, piano and rock instrumentation by the Canadian ensemble Jeans ‘n Classics. Saturday and Sunday spotlights music from the Final Fantasy VII video games, including the new Remake edition, featuring high-definition scenes from the games on a screen behind the live orchestra. All these shows are at the Mahaffey Theater, and tickets are here.

St. Petersburg Opera Company is in the final weekend of Pinocchio, its one-hour storybook opera for children and families, at Opera Central on 1st Avenue South. Get all the deets here.

So long, farewell: Sunday’s matinee will bring down the curtain on The Odd Couple, the season opener at American Stage. It’s also the big bon voyage for Dames at Sea at freeFall Theatre. St. Pete’s two largest professional theater companies are preparing holiday shows – they’ll both open the week after Thanksgiving break.

Also recommended: The Giver, a joint production between ThinkTank and Tampa Repertory Theatre, in its first weekend at Stageworks. Read about it here.

The Dirty Johns comedy troupe is back at thestudio@620 Friday and Saturday with its own form of holiday hilarity – the show is called “Naughty But Nice” (tickets here). And Spitfire Comedy House is in the second weekend of its Friends-inspired improv shows, which we told you about here.


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