Park Place Wesleyan Church presents free patriotic musical
Photo courtesy of Cathy McCanless
Park Place Wesleyan Church will reprise “United!” As it did last year, the 90-minute production features vocal ensembles, visuals, lighting effects, sing-along opportunities, confetti, indoor fireworks and cotton candy for kids.
The sweet sounds of patriotic music will soon fill the air at Park Place Wesleyan Church in Pinellas Park, where hundreds are expected to gather to pay homage to America.
An upbeat musical tribute honoring the brave men and women who serve or have served in our nation's armed forces will take place today, Monday and Wednesday in the church's main worship center.
"It's Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day all woven into one musical explosion," said Paul Priore, director of music and productions at the church.
The 90-minute production is called "United!" and will feature vocal ensembles, visuals, lighting effects, confetti, indoor fireworks and cotton candy for the kids. Guests will be able sing along with the choir to familiar melodies like God Bless America, America the Beautiful and Bill Withers' Lean on Me.
Dan Brown, a juggler from Seminole, will provide preshow entertainment. During each show, representatives from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines will be brought on stage for a song tribute.
The Sgt. Michael D. Rowe Memorial, "A Tribute to the Fallen Soldiers," will be on display. Army Sgt. Rowe, 23, of New Port Richey died in combat in Iraq in 2006.
Tonight only, World War II veteran Mollie Tomassich, 94, of St. Petersburg will make an appearance. She was in charge of developing an occupational therapy program for soldiers who were injured or lost limbs in the war. She worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at bases and hospitals across the country teaching the program. She will be honored for her contributions as well as represent other servicewomen who were never recognized.
The worship center where the performances will take place will be a tribute of its own, with flags, trees and color-reflective sheets. Three large projector screens will display video to go along with each song.
"The visuals that go along with the musical show speak volumes and may even spark questions that lead to educating children further concerning America," Priore said.
Priore, who has been producing and directing musicals at Park Place Wesleyan Church for 28 years, hopes visitors leave the show with a renewed sense of pride and patriotism.
"It's a must-see musical celebration of American patriotism that will bring you to your feet, guaranteed," he said. "And it's all free."
© 2014 Tampa Bay Times
Music Fest on the Water: Every Sunday the Pier hosts a new musical act at the Waterside Courtyard. This week's band is De Lei'ed Parrots. 1 p.m. 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 821-6443 or visit stpetepier.com.
Arsenic and Old Lace: This classic comedy hit is a frenzied, madcap story featuring two murderous aunts serving up deadly wine to lonely, elderly gentlemen. $20 adults, $10 students. 2 p.m. St. Pete Little Theater, 4025 31st St. S. Call (727) 66-1973 or visit splt.org.
The Vagina Monologues: Eve Ensler's whirlwind tour of a forbidden zone introduces a wildly divergent gathering of female voices. $15. 7 p.m. American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. Visit americanstage.org or call (727) 823-7529.
Celebrity Critter of the Week: Learn about and explore the habitat of a new and exciting "critter" each week. 10 a.m. The Pier Aquarium, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Visit pieraquarium.org.
Muvico Free Family Film Festival: The feature today is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Doors open at 9 a.m. and movies begin at 10. Baywalk 20, 151 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. Call (813) 558-9755 or visit muvico.com/freefilmfest.asp.
Terrific Tots: Each class starts with "good morning" in different languages, sing-along songs and age-appropriate interactive activities. Together, parents and children enjoy instruments to make music, a live guitar performance, movement and motor skills. Each week highlights new activities. Parents with children ages 1 to 3 are welcome to participate. 11 to 11:45 a.m. Great Explorations Children's Museum, 1925 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg. Free with museum admission of $9 for ages 2 to 54, $8 for 55 and up. Call (727) 821-8992, ext. 208.
Food addiction? Food Addicts Anonymous is a 12-step program for individuals struggling with their weight.
6 p.m. St. Anthony's Hospital, 1200 Seventh Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Park in west garage, follow signs to basement/Classroom No. 1. Entrance from garage. Free. Call (727) 825-1100.
Jazz at the MFA: Some of the best local jazz musicians will perform in the glass conservatory, and listeners can mingle on the terrace overlooking the bay. The new MFA Café will be open for dinner, with a cash bar available for beer and wine. 6 to 9 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg. $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers. Contact the MFA Café at (727) 896-2667 or (727) 822-1032.
Breakfast buffet: All-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, bacon, hash browns, grits, orange juice and coffee. 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. $10. Albert Whitted Airport, 451 Eighth Ave. SE, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 822-1532 or visit awaps.org.
If you go
When: Today at 6 p.m., Monday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (Doors open 90 minutes before. Seating is on a first-come basis. Special seating is available for wheelchairs and those with impaired vision.)
Where: Park Place Wesleyan Church, 4400 70th Ave. N, Pinellas Park.
Admission: Free. A nursery is available.
Parking: Free; additional parking available four blocks east of the church.
Information: Call (727) 526-3674 or visit ppwc.org.