The Phantom never dies, orchestra doings this week



Turns out, the Phantom survived that angry mob. We know that because the antihero of Andrew Lloyd Webberís 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera re-emerges in the 2010 sequel, Love Never Dies.

It opens in 1907 New York, where the Phantom has re-invented himself as Coney Island impresario. Without revealing his true identity, he secures a leading role for Christine in Paris. The set, costumes and lighting create some astonishing visuals, the style borrowing from burlesque and Broadway with a nod to the Viennese operetta. Meanwhile, the story line of Love Never Dies follows the unexpected resurgence of a doomed romance. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30†p.?m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45 and up. (813) 229-7827.


The Florida Orchestra is bringing in a heavy hitter in Camille Zamora to headline its Holiday Pops concert. The soprano has sung Mozart and Mahler, collaborated with artists from Placido Domingo to Sting, performed at the U.S. Capitol with Yo-Yo Ma. Zamora also sang the principal role in Paul Hindemithís opera The Long Christmas Dinner, which topped the New York Timesí classical playlist. The Holiday Pops concert starts at 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (sold out), 2 and 8 p.m Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg (limited seats), and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337.


Last yearís popular run of Itís a Wonderful Life ó A Live Radio Play has inspired another at American Stage. Joe Landryís playful script recasts the show as a behind-the-scenes window into a radio studio with actors reading and sometimes singing the roles of George and Mary, the wicked Mr. Potter and Violet, the angel Clarence, now with an added double role of a station manager and Foley sound effects artist. Jim Sorensen, Colleen Cherry and Dean Wick are returning to the cast, which also includes Alison Burns, Richard B. Watson and Kody Hopkins. Stephanie Gularte directs. Saturday-Dec. 24 at the Raymond James Theatre, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $30. (727) 823-7529. For showtimes, go to


Tickets have gone on sale for the Florida Orchestraís January concert Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy. The heads-up might be useful news for fans of the video game franchise or its most prominent composer, Nobuo Uematsu, who will be on hand for a meet-and-greet. Grammy winner Arnie Roth will conduct the orchestra in selections from 30 years of Final Fantasy games as popular characters move on a high-definition screen. 8 p.m. Jan. 26 and 2 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. SE, St. Petersburg. $25-$95. Separate meet-and-greet tickets $50. (727) 892-3337.


Established in 1925, St. Petersburg City Theatre bills itself as the longest continuously operating community theater in the country. Prospects for this local institution floundered last year when debt reached $45,000 and the theater eliminated all four of its paying positions.

But donít write off SPCT just yet. The theater, still struggling but with debts paid off, concludes a run of A Christmas Carol this weekend.

"There is still money in the bank, I do know that," past president Sharon Cook said. "I didnít see how we would do it but the new board has really stepped up."

Volunteers, many of them mothers of kids in the theaterís training program, are manning lighting booths and soundboards themselves, Cook said. David Middleton, a staffer turned volunteer, directs A Christmas Carol. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday at 4025 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. $20, $15 students. (727) 866-1973.