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'Webb's City: The Concert Version' revisits a piece of St. Petersburg history

It's not often that a local play proves as durable as Webb's City. Since its premiere in 2000, the musical biography of St. Petersburg pioneer "Doc" Webb has been revived several times, and one of its key songs, Wasn't It a Good Ride?, has become popular at graduation ceremonies and funerals.

If you missed its earlier incarnations, or if you've been longing to revisit it, here's your chance. The Palladium is staging a pared-down version called Webb's City: The Concert Version.

When we say "pared down," we're really talking only about the production itself. You'll see virtually the entire play and hear almost all the songs (just one has been cut), but scenery and costumes will be minimal and actors will have scripts in hand.

Webb was the legendary entrepreneur who created Webb's City, the downtown drugstore that became one of Florida's first tourist attractions.

The book by Bill Leavengood and the music and lyrics by Lee Ahlin offer both an intimate look at Webb's life and a broad view of St. Petersburg's gestation. If you've been here long enough to remember Webb's City, there's plenty of nostalgia, and if not, there's plenty of fascinating history. Either way, it's an enjoyable musical with a great cast, including Jeff Norton, a longtime local favorite who doesn't do much stage work these days.

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16.50, $21.50 and $26.50. (727) 822-3590 or mypalladium.org.

Marty Clear, Times correspondent

'Webb's City: The Concert Version' revisits a piece of St. Petersburg history 05/13/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 4:30am]

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