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Your weekend arts forecast

Bill DeYoung



Classical pianist Anne-Marie McDermott performs with the Florida Orchestra Saturday.

The Florida Orchestra continues to do its part for the St. Petersburg Celebration of the Arts with Saturday’s Masterworks concert performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, complete with the Lumina Youth Choir, soloists, a narrator and big-screen Shakespearean imagery.

The concert, however, is not taking place at the Mahaffey Theater, where the TFO has been in Saturday-night residence for decades. It’s at the significantly smaller Palladium, at 253 5th Avenue N.

It’s a booking situation.

The Mahaffey is in the middle of a four-day run of Shen Yun, the massive, world-touring celebration of traditional Chinese dance and pageantry. Shen Yun, which visits the Mahaffey every year at this time, has a cast and crew of hundreds. Once it’s in town, it’s in town.

Saturday’s Palladium program also features classical pianist Anne-Marie McDermott as soloist on Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27. McDermott is artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado, the Ocean Reef Chamber Music Festival in Key Largo and the Avila Chamber Music Celebration on the Caribbean island of Curacao. She’s also a touring member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

“When I perform, I try to erase everything from my mind and innocently try to rediscover the music with the musicians on stage,’’ she told Florida Orchestra blogger Kurt Loft. “I spent many years studying Zen Buddhism and that’s been a big help in being really prepared, but at the same time to have an empty mind.”

Said reviewer David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Every time I hear McDermott in person or on recordings, I conclude anew that she’s one of the great American pianists of her generation. Her depth of insight, precision of phrasing, and command of the piano on all levels are ceaselessly marvelous.”

As always, this program starts with a Friday-night concert at the Straz Center in Tampa, and another Sundayat Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Tickets for the Palladium concert are available here.

Feeling festive?

If you’re out and about this weekend, you might want to investigate the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, at Coachman Park in (that’s right) Clearwater. It’s a two-day gumbo of seafood and live blues music, the former from local vendors and the latter from local and regional performers (see the lineup here). General admission is free (starting at noon each day Saturday and Sunday), and you can upgrade, if you like, with reserved-seating packages for the concert area (click here).

Pinellas Park’s got the Florida Food & Brews Festival (lovingly prepared by LocalShops1) Saturday and Sunday in England Brothers Park, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. each day. Along with live music, standup comedy, games and races (check out that “Ninja Obstacle Course”), and something called an Extreme Lolly Lick-a-Thon, there’ll be more than 35 food trucks and/or craft beer vendors, vending. Proceeds from beer/wine sales fund CASA St. Petersburg programs to end violence in our community. Tickets are $15 here (children 12 and under get in free).

And the Super Greek Festival – ah, the food – continues through Sunday at St. Stefano’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3600 76th Street N. Dance lessons, traditional dancing et cetrera – and ah, the food. The event starts at 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday, with $3 daily admission, $5 for the weekend. Age 12 and under free.

And now, this

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pinellas Community Foundation, Creative Pinellas is throwing a bash called Festivale 50 today (Feb. 22) at its headquarters, 12211 Walsingham Rd, Largo. The 1-4 p.m. event brings together dance, theater, visual arts and more – all artists and art organizations are recipients of grants bestowed by PCF. And there’ll be a screening of documentary filmmaker Victoria Jorgenson’s The Magic Hour, a series of interviews with creative women – Janet Roberts, Paula Kramer, Maria Emilie, Angie Knowles, Inge Mooney and Neverne Covington – from our area. They’re all of a certain age, but that hasn’t dimmed their creative fires. Learn more and get tickets here.

For all the nudes fit to print, look no further than Artpool Gallery’s 11th annual Muse event, from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday. It’s all about beautiful body art, with music, video and more – tickets are here.

Art Garfunkel, who still has one of the most beautiful voices in pop music, is at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre Sunday night. This guy is often overshadowed by his former partner, you-know-who. Click here to read an interview I did with Artie a few years ago.

Are you a Pinellas County art organization? Do you put on events? Shows? Openings? Please add me to your emailing list. The address is Thanks!







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