Tarpon Springs Summer Solstice Festival offers variety of performing arts, a nod to Greek heritage

BY JOHN FLEMING

Times Performing Arts Critic

Fittingly, the Tarpon Springs Summer Solstice Festival of the Performing Arts will open and close with events that celebrate Greek culture.

"We try to represent the community, and our Greek heritage is something that is unique to Tarpon Springs,'' said Kathleen Monahan, director of the city's cultural and civic services department.

The festival, new this year, begins Saturday night with Greek music by the trio Ellada on the Sponge Docks. It winds up Aug. 1 with the Greek dance troupe Levendia at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center.

The festival features 14 presentations in all, including acoustic guitarists Alex de Grassi and Richard Gilewitz, Mike Jurgensen's folk music trio, theater productions of David Ives' All in the Timing and the musical Oliver!, comedian and storyteller Suzanne Ruley, the Flamenco Puro ensemble, a concert by Lauren Weber and Constantine Grame of 19th century patriotic songs, Bay Baroque and more, all spread among a half-dozen venues.

"We tried to model the festival a little bit after the Savannah Music Festival, which has an eclectic flair,'' said Monahan, who would like to add a visual arts component next summer. Marketing has been aided by a $66,000 grant from the Pinellas Convention and Visitors Bureau that allowed the festival to target potential audiences in Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus, Hernando and Manatee counties, as well as elsewhere in Florida.

"We're getting quite a few inquiries,'' Monahan said last week. "I think the marketing is going to have a good effect in drawing people here in the off season.''

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8716.

if you go

Tarpon Springs Summer Solstice Festival

Fri.-June 28: All in the Timing, Cultural Center, 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. $13, $15.

Saturday: Greek music and dance, Sponge Docks, 6:30-10 p.m. Free.

June 26: Suzanne Ruley, comedian, Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m. $13, $15.

June 27: Alex de Grassi, guitar, Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m. $13, $15.

June 28: Flamenco Puro, Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m. (Flamenco workshop at 3 p.m.) $13, $15; workshop $10; combo ticket $20.

July 1: "Stars and Stripes Forever,'' Constantine Grame and Lauren Weber, Safford House, 3 and 7 p.m. $13, $15.

July 9, 16, 23, 30: Greek dance workshop, Heritage Museum, 7-8:30 p.m. $20.

July 10-26: Oliver!, 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. $12-$16.

July 11: Katie Adams, children's storyteller,

Cultural Center, 3 p.m. $3, $5.

July 17: Mike Jurgensen, Cultural Center, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. $13, $15.

July 18: Trio da Camera, Heritage Museum, 8 p.m. $13, $15.

July 25: Bay Baroque, Heritage Museum, 8 p.m. $13, $15.

July 31: Richard Gilewitz, guitar, Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m. $13, $15.

Aug. 1: Guitar workshop, with Gilewitz, Heritage Museum, 11 a.m. and noon. $30.

Aug. 1: Levendia (above), Performing Arts

Center, 8 p.m. $13, $15.

Information: (727) 942-5605; tarponarts.org

Tarpon Springs Summer Solstice Festival offers variety of performing arts, a nod to Greek heritage 06/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 4:30am]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...