With its striking new building, the Dalí Museum deserves a suitably surreal tribute, and it will get one when the Florida Orchestra plays this weekend. HK Gruber, an Austrian composer, will be the soloist — the chansonnier (a performer of satirical songs, monologues and skits) — in his Frankenstein!!, which is described as a "neo-Gothic pan-demonium."
Stefan Sanderling will conduct the program, which also includes Beethoven's Consecration of the House, Milhaud's Le Boeuf sur le Toit (The Ox on the Roof), Satie's Gymnopedie Nos. 1 and 3 and Falla's Three Cornered Hat suite.
Frankenstein!! is Gruber's signature work, and he'll perform it in English. The whimsical text, chock-full of pop-culture references (John Wayne, James Bond, Batman and Robin, Superman and, of course, Frankenstein), is by poet Hans Carl Artmann. Sanderling and the orchestra will be occupied some of the time with a battery of toy instruments, from whirly tube to Swanee whistle, kazoo to bird warbler.
At 8 p.m. Saturday, the orchestra plays its program at Mahaffey Theater, across the lawn from the new museum in St. Petersburg. It will also be performed at 8 p.m. Friday at Morsani Hall of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; and again at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $20-$67, with student tickets for $10. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic