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Tarpon Springs offers comedy, dance, other performing arts events this weekend, beyond


Laugh your abs off, learn to flamenco dance or listen to the soothing guitar rhythms of Grammy nominee Alex de Grassi this weekend as the inaugural Tarpon Springs Summer Solstice Festival of the Performing Arts continues its six-week run.

The festival, which began last weekend and stretches through Aug. 1, showcases more than a dozen musical, dance, comedic, storytelling and theatrical acts. It was modeled after the popular and eclectic Savannah Music Festival.

Kathleen Monahan, director of the city's cultural and civic services department, said the festival should put some cool sparkle into what might otherwise be just a long, hot summer.

"We created this festival to give local residents fun and interesting summer activities that are close to home and, at the same time, attract people from outside Pinellas County," she said.

To do so, the department received a $66,000 new product marketing grant from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to purchase advertising in local, state and national publications.

"It seems to be working as we are getting quite a few responses and inquiries from people outside the area," Monahan said. "It will be great exposure for Tarpon Springs."

The summer fest heats up tonight with two productions aimed at tickling your funny bone.

At the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, see a production of David Ives' Off-Broadway comedy, All in the Timing, featuring six one-act plays. The performances continue Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

At the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, local musical comedian and storyteller Suzanne Ruley shares some of her favorite cabaret and musical theater songs.

Saturday night, world class guitarist Alex de Grassi takes the stage at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Often cited for his ability to create a highly orchestrated sound with his guitar, de Grassi received both a Grammy and Indie Award nomination for his 1998 recording The Water Garden.

Sunday evening, the festival takes a Spanish turn with distinguished dancer-choreographer Clarita Filgueiras and the group Flamenco Puro performing at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Take her foot-stomping flamenco workshop at 3 p.m.; experience not necessary.

Wednesday, it's "Stars and Stripes Forever: A Patriotic Muse." Sing along or just enjoy the old favorites performed by Constantine Grame and Lauren Weber at the Safford House.

The festival continues with Greek dance workshops, the musical Oliver!, chamber music, folk music, baroque on the bayou, a guitar workshop and more.

"We literally have something for everybody," Monahan said.

Have a Diversions idea? Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at

if you go

A festival for the season

The Tarpon Springs Summer Solstice Festival of the Performing Arts is under way at various locations. For tickets to any event, visit or call (727) 942-5605. Here's the schedule:

Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 S Pinellas Ave.:

Today, Saturday and Sunday: David Ives' Off-Broadway comedy All in the Timing, featuring six one-act plays: Shows are at 8 p.m. today and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15, $13 for members.

July 11: Katie Adams' "Red, White and Blue: Storytelling and Songs." 3 p.m. $5; $3 for members, students, children.

July 17: Mike Jurgensen, Pete Price and Pete Hennings: Original songs and well-known standards at 8 p.m. $15; $13 for members.

• • •

Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St.:

Tonight: Suzanne Ruley, "Seriously Funny," 8 p.m. $15, $13 for members.

Saturday: Guitarist Alex de Grassi, 8 p.m. $15, $13 for members.

Sunday: Clarita Filgueiras and Flamenco Puro. Workshop at 3 p.m. $10. Performance at 7 p.m. $15; $13 for members. Advance sale combo ticket, $20.

July 10-12, 17-19, 24-26: Oliver! Fridays and Saturdays 8 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. $16; $14 for members; $12 for students.

July 31: Richard Gilewitz, "Acoustic Adventures": 8 p.m. $15; $13 for members.

Aug. 1: Levendia, a Greek Dance Troupe, 8 p.m. $15; $13 for members.

• • •

Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane:

July 9, 16, 23, 30: Greek dance workshop, 7 to 8:30 p.m. $20 for all four classes.

July 18: Trio Da Camera, chamber music with violin cello, clarinet and piano, 8 p.m. $15; $13 for members.

July 25: Bay Baroque, Baroque instruments include oboe, recorder, viola da gamba and an Italian-style harpsichord, 8 p.m. $15; $13 for members.

Aug. 1: Richard Gilewitz's GillaCamp Guitar Workshop: sessions at 11 a.m. and noon. $30 per session.

• • •

Safford House, 23 Parkin Court:

Wednesday: "Stars and Stripes Forever, A Patriotic Muse." Sing along with Constantine Grame and Lauren Weber: 3 and 7 p.m. $15; $13 for members.

Tarpon Springs offers comedy, dance, other performing arts events this weekend, beyond 06/25/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 25, 2009 5:04pm]
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