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Florida Orchestra shifts Coffee Concerts series from Mahaffey Theater to Ruth Eckerd Hall

The Florida Orchestra is transplanting its popular Coffee Concerts series from Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, where the performances often draw full houses, to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. The first of three concerts in Clearwater this season is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, with Alastair Willis conducting a Russian program, heavy on the ever popular works of Tchaikovsky: Marche Slav, Mozartiana and the Polonaise from his opera Eugene Onegin.

The program is repeated at 11 a.m. Thursday at Mahaffey. At both concerts, coffee and Krispy Kremes will be served beforehand, and they go fast.

The other two concerts in the series at Ruth Eckerd are March 2 (a French program) and April 6 (Viennese), with Willis on the podium. $24-$42, with student tickets for $10. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.

The orchestra and the Studio@620 are launching their second season of "An Intimate Collaboration," salon-type programs at the gallery, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. The first, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, is themed to the orchestra's upcoming concert tribute to the new Salvador Dalí Museum. The program includes musicians from the orchestra playing suitably surreal works by John Cage, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison and Virgil Thomson. $10. (727) 895-6620; studio620.org.

Pass the popcorn, please: Music on the big screen

The Metropolitan Opera has scored big with "The Met: Live in HD," its simulcasts of productions beamed into movie theaters, and there's another on the docket this Saturday at 1 p.m., Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, with Deborah Voight in the title role of Minnie. A half-dozen theaters in the Tampa Bay area and Sarasota carry the simulcasts. See fathomevents.com for details. Prices vary, with a top ticket of $24.

Now the Los Angeles Philharmonic is getting into the act. At 5 p.m. Sunday, the orchestra and its wunderkind music director Gustavo Dudamel perform for a live theater screening from its Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. The program: John Adams' Slonimsky's Earbox; Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No 1, Jeremiah, with mezzo-soprano Kelly O'Connor; and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Vanessa Williams hosts. Most of the theaters that carry the Met simulcasts have the LA Phil screening, which has a top ticket of $20. See fathomevents.com.

On the old-fashioned media front, a taped Metropolitan Opera performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale, starring Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WEDU-Ch. 3.

Acting lessons

• Giles Davies, who was terrific in Gorilla Theater's production of The Lark last season, will offer a series of acting workshops starting Jan. 15 at the Tampa theater. Davies was an ensemble member with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Co. for nine years and performed in 45 productions. $60 per three-hour session. (813) 879-2914.

Knives in Hens, a play by David Harrower, has a performance at 8 tonight at the Studio@620 in St. Petersburg. It's staged by Samuel French, a directing major at Carnegie Mellon University. Harrower's Blackbird, about a pedophile and his victim 15 years later, was given a provocative production by Tampa's Jobsite Theater in 2008. $10, $15. (727) 895-6620; studio620.org.

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8716. He blogs on Critics Circle at tampabay.com/blogs/critics.

Florida Orchestra shifts Coffee Concerts series from Mahaffey Theater to Ruth Eckerd Hall 01/03/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 7:02am]
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