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Your weekend arts forecast: Van Gogh on the page; TFO; faux Foreigner?

Bill DeYoung



"Van Gogh Alive" will remain at the Dali Museum through June 13. Photo provided.

Run, don’t walk (or walk very fast, or skate maybe) to the Dali Museum today, where at 6 p.m. the amazing Van Gogh Alive exhibit will be augmented – just this once – by a dramatic presentation.

Van Gogh, of course, was as dramatic as any of the great masters – if you’ve experienced the immersive multi-media exhibition, you understand – and this, the reading of a play called The Letters of Vincent van Gogh, exposes even more raw nerves.

Written by Linda Pugliese, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh comes from the letters sent by the troubled painter to his brother, Theo. In it, the Dali proclaims, “Van Gogh discusses the purpose and creation of art, the frustration of limitation and the fear of loneliness and despair for humanity with an aching depth and sharp vision.”

Actor, director, playwright and frequent Dali Museum collaborator Roxanne Fay performs the work; admission is free with general museum admission. The performance will also be livestreamed on the Dali’s YouTube channel.

Van Gogh Alive will be in the house through June 13.


Just as The Florida Orchestra announces its fall season, this weekend features a cool little concert at the Mahaffey Theater – an all-Gershwin program, with “Rhapsody in Blue” as the centerpiece. Stuart Molina not only conducts, but he’ll be at the grand piano for this joyous powerhouse of American music, plus other favorites from the Gershwin songbook. Saturday evening is sold out, but there are two other performances to choose from.

RELATED STORY: Francis, Florida Orchestra set a ‘normal’ concert season, to start in September

Can it ever feel like the first time?

The line between “classic rock band” and “classic rock tribute act” is most certainly blurred in the case of Foreigner, the great, hitmaking British/American group that nailed a dozen big, big hits to the wall in the late ’70s to mid ’80s. Foreigner is booked into Ruth Eckerd Hall Saturday and Sunday, and with founding guitarist and co-writer Mick Jones in the ranks, the hits will certainly have the ol’ snap, crackle and sizzle.

The question, as it is with a lot of these “piecemeal” editions of classic bands, is it really, really the real deal? Is it really Foreigner? Without Steve Perry, how can Journey be Journey? When does ownership of the name and the logo outrank the musicians who wrote and played the music that mattered?

Longtime lead singer Lou Gramm, the instantly-identifiable voice on every single Foreigner hit, left the picture a long time ago (he also co-wrote the lion’s share of them with Jones). Although it’s a full band, the guitarist is the only original member remaining. As always, it’s the fans’ call. Tickets are here.

The other stuff

Skyway 2021: A Contemporary Collaboration opens Saturday at the Museum of Fine Art St. Petersburg. It’s a unique coming together of four top-drawer art institutions: The MFA, the The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art , the Tampa Museum of Art and the USF Contemporary Art Museum. The collection of works by 49 local artists from five counties will be in St. Pete through Aug. 22, and opens at each of the participating venues over the summer. More on Skyway 2021 Friday in the Catalyst.

Musician Grant Peeples is the ringleader for Bob Dylan’s 80th Birthday Bash (yes, the b-day is right around the corner) happening Friday at Hough Hall in the Palladium Theater. It’s an all-star rock ‘n’ roll celebration of the 20th century’s greatest poet, with appearances by Passerine, Steve Arvey, and TC Carr & The Josh Nelms Band. You go your way and I’ll go mine – and hopefully we’ll both wind up knockin’ on the Palladium’s door at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets and details are here.

It’s your final weekend to catch live performances of The Wendy House at Lab Theater Project in Tampa (the livestream video will be around for a few days more, however. Details and tickets here.




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