FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 begins famously — da-da-da-daaaaah — and builds through mind-boggling elaborations on that motif. Music director Michael Francis conducts as the Florida Orchestra opens its season with the masterpiece more than 200 years after it was written, plus Valentina Lisitsa playing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Pines of Rome, Ottorino Respighi’s four-movement symphonic poem. 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $18-$58. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.
ALSO OF NOTE: PRICES TICK UP
In 2011, the Florida Orchestra reduced ticket prices for masterworks and pops price to $15 to $45, a move that led to bigger audiences and the start of a financial turnaround. Those prices have now changed to $18 to $48, with concerts in demand (including this weekend’s concert) going as high as $58. The reason for the adjustment, the orchestra said in a statement: "A lot has changed since then...Our goal is to better blaance cost and demand while still remaining affordable for all."
A CLOSER LOOK: INSIDE THE MUSIC
This season the orchestra increases its special Inside the Music presentations, essentially free geek-out sessions deconstructing the weekend’s main concert piece. This time it’s Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The mood is casual, relaxed and fun. 7:30 p.m. today at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave N, St. Petersburg. Pay what you can at the door.
TRY TO REMEMBER: THE FANTASTICKS
Two fathers fake a feud in order to trick their rebellious teenagers into falling in love. As they explain in song, "Soldiers must fight and preachers must pray/And children, I guess, must get their own way/The minute that you say no."
Freefall Theatre artistic director Eric Davis has designed The Fantasticks with puppetry and dueling pianos. Whimsical and tender, The Fantasticks song list also includes Try to Remember and Soon It’s Gonna Rain. Runs through Oct. 21 at 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $37 and up, $34 seniors, students, teachers and active duty military; $23 younger than 18. (727) 498-5205. For show times, go to freefalltheatre.com.
NAZISM ON TRIAL: JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG
In roles played on film by Spencer Tracy and Marlene Dietrich, Jim Wicker and Elizabeth Fendrick play Judge Haywood and Frau Bertholt in Stageworks Theatre’s season opener, Judgment at Nuremberg. Abby Mann’s play fictionalizes the Judges’ Trial, one of the military tribunals after World War II.
"The play is about the conspiracy of silence," said Karla Hartley, Stageworks’ producing artistic director who is co-directing this show with Matthew Ray. "And if you are silent, are you any better than the people who are doing things that are objectionable or murderous? This kind of thing is cyclical, and if we don’t examine it now and again then it’s going to keep happening."
Runs Friday through Oct. 14. 120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. $30-$35. (813) 374-2416. For show times, go to stageworkstheatre.org.
STILL ON TOP: LOUIE ANDERSON
For nearly 40 years, Louie Anderson has risen the top with a wholesome, self-deprecating brand of comedy. At the same time, the multiple Emmy winner doesn’t hold back on issues important to him. For example, he’s been talking about the effects of growing up with an alcoholic father since the early 1990s. "I do think that people are not coming to my show to be lectured or to visit the dark realms of comedy," Anderson recently told the Times’ Jay Cridlin. 8 p.m. Friday, Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $28 and up. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.
THE RIGHT NOTES: LUCIA MICARELLI
At 35, Juilliard-trained violinist Lucia Micarelli has already soloed with Josh Groban and Chris Botti, played blues as Annie in HBO’s Treme and performed for orchestras worldwide. She brings technical mastery to a seemingly unlimited repertoire. 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Straz Center, Ferguson Hall. $25 and up.