Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Features and More

A melodic night at the movies

TAMPA — Jeff Tyzik has been a guest conductor of the Florida Orchestra quite often through the years, but Friday night was the first time he was on the podium with the title of principal pops conductor behind his name. Fittingly the first piece on the program of movie music was the Raiders' March from John Williams' score for Indiana Jones, featuring a trumpet quartet. Tyzik is a trumpet player.

Four of the 10 works on the program were by Williams, which was fine with everyone at Ferguson Hall of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Tyzik included music from Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, the closing theme from E.T. and a suite from Star Wars. Williams' latest offering in movie theaters is the score for Lincoln, with no less than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on the soundtrack.

"What makes this music so endearing?" asked Tyzik, who spoke between numbers. "It's the beautiful melodies. That's what makes it so memorable."

As Exhibit A, he led Max Steiner's suite from Casablanca. Then, in an arrangement by Tyzik, the orchestra played a medley of instantly identifiable themes associated with iconic screen characters from Scarlett O'Hara to the Pink Panther (with a sizzling sax solo by David Pate) to Rocky Balboa. Tyzik also arranged the medley of James Bond music (featuring Kurt Grissom on drum kit), beginning with the original theme by Monty Norman that has been used in every film in the franchise since Dr. No in 1962.

Tyzik is a vigorous, efficient conductor, with broad gestures and clear stick technique, and the orchestra, with extra players in some sections, sounded good under his direction. He inherits a strong tradition from his pops predecessors, Skitch Henderson and Richard Kaufman.

Since being named to head the pops in June, Tyzik has added two more orchestras to his resume, giving him a total of six in the United States and Canada. This could be a record, though popsmeisters do tend to accumulate orchestras in bunches. Mainstays like Henderson, Marvin Hamlisch and Erich Kunzel never limited themselves to one or two orchestras. If Tyzik can be charged with spreading himself too thin, his critical mass of orchestras could also pay dividends if it allows him to develop more ambitious programs, such as, perhaps, his "A Night at the Cotton Club" program that will be played here in March.

This weekend's program, which also includes music from The Entertainer and Pirates of the Caribbean, sticks with the basics. Nothing wrong with that, but in the future Tyzik ought to work in the orchestral music of less-known Hollywood composers, such as Thomas Newman (Meet Joe Black, American Beauty, Finding Nemo) or Alexandre Desplat (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Movie music is more than John Williams, as great as he is.

John Fleming can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8716.

Comments
Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Noel Cruz seemed remarkably chill. As did his partner Kerem Koca. All around them in the Station House building in St. Petersburg, workers pounded the last nails, bartenders unpacked boxes of glassware and jewel-toned bottles of Amari, and the kitche...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Party like it’s Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

Party like it’s Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

As a kid, I always looked for doors into other worlds. I blame Narnia. In C.S. Lewis’ classic novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, four British children step through a magic wardrobe into Narnia, a world filled with talking animals and plenty ...
Published: 12/12/17

From the food editor: How to make perfect, hot Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Sometimes, you just want a hot, crispy potato.I didn’t get home from work the other night craving a full dinner; I arrived at my house with cartoon visions of potatoes in my head, and knew I had to make it happen.I wasn’t looking for a fast food fren...
Published: 12/12/17
Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic creature feature The Shape of Water soaked up seven Golden Globes nominations Monday, kicking off another marathon awards season. The Shape of Water is nominated for best dramatic motion picture alongside Christop...
Published: 12/11/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Petula Clark: The two-time Grammy Award-winning artist is known for hits like Downtown, I Know a Place, My Love and I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love. 2 and 7:30 p.m., Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $34.50-$49.50....
Published: 12/11/17
Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

Is Gilbert Gottfried really that annoying in real life?

A new documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried reveals someone more mild-mannered than his stage persona, married with children, verging on dull. His voice doesn’t grate, dropping half its nasal quality and all of its foul-mouthed bluster....
Published: 12/11/17
Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein story, chef and television personality Mario Batali offered up his views on how to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for an Oct. 30 video for Fast Company."You need a workplace free of fear, that harbors an...
Published: 12/11/17
Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

TAMPAMaybe it’s the twinkling chandeliers. All skajillion of them. Or maybe it is the rhythmic syncopation of ice cubes in shiny shakers. It could be the old-timey metal dessert cart with its silver cloches and chafing dishes, or else the chummy-but-...
Published: 12/11/17
Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

TAMPA Just a block away from CW’s Gin Joint, the folks at Urban Juice Co. have retooled, taking the historic Franklin building, one of the city’s oldest, erected in 1895, and re-envisioning it in September as 1895 Kitchen-Bar-Market, a "...
Published: 12/11/17
Sting rocks the house with old and new hits in Florida Orchestra gala

Sting rocks the house with old and new hits in Florida Orchestra gala

ST. PETERSBURG — In some ways, the Florida Orchestra’s gala with Sting looked like other concerts of a mega-star. Most of the fans who packed the Mahaffey Theater bought their tickets the day they went on sale. They cheered and sang along at the open...
Published: 12/10/17