Monday, June 25, 2018
Stage

Stage Planner: Rocktopia at the Straz, Ella Fitzgerald Florida Orchestra tribute, opera 'couples therapy'

MIX IT UP: ROCKTOPIA

Arrangers with a classical flair have loved toying with rock music since the inception of the genre. George Martin's orchestration of Beatles songs (In My Life and Eleanor Rigby) comes to mind. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra released an Elvis album. There are even orchestral arrangements of Rock Around the Clock.

Rocktopia Live has taken that concept a step further. Billed as a fusion of classical music and classic rock, the event is heavy on musicianship, of course, and adds five vocalists and a choir performing Queen, Mozart, Journey, Handel, U2, Tchaikovsky, Heart, Beethoven, Styx, Foreigner, Rachmaninoff, Pink Floyd, Aaron Copland, the Who and more.

Among the singers is Largo native Chloe Lowery, above. The singer-songwriter has toured with Yanni, jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 8 p.m. Saturday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Morsani Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $36 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

WORK IT OUT: COUPLES THERAPY

Music is therapeutic. It can calm crying infants, sharpen attention and stimulate memories. Mark Sforzini wants you to consider this, too — music might help your relationship.

The St. Petersburg Opera Company's artistic director gives presentations throughout the season on coming productions or opera enrichment. Like the high school teacher who teaches the Revolutionary War in a period costume, Sforzini is a bit of a ham. With "Couples Therapy," this month's lecture, he'll help couples from Pagliacci, La Traviata and The Magic Flute with their trust and communication and boundary issues.

"This particular presentation will be done like a skit where I play the role of the therapist," Sforzini said. Presentations start at 6 p.m. Thursday at Music Gallery, 5990 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater; and 11 a.m. Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE. $20, $17 seniors and students.

The company has themed Bella Voce, its annual gala, after Into the Woods, the summer musical (June 30-July 9). 7 p.m. Saturday at Opera Central, 2145 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $175 and up. A VIP reception ($300) starts at 5:30 p.m. at Studio 150, 150 22nd St. S. stpeteopera.org.

FIRST LADY OF SONG: ELLA FITZGERALD

The Florida Orchestra pays tribute to one of the greats this weekend with Singin' and Swingin': A Century of Ella. Grammy-winning vocalist Carmen Bradford, who has soloed with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Doc Severinsen Orchestra and George Benson, will perform Ella Fitzgerald favorites in this Pops concert. Jeff Tyzik conducts. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p. m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

REASONABLE MEANS: PAY WHAT YOU CAN

You don't have to break the bank to take in the stage this weekend. Here are some low-cost options.

The Florida Orchestra's final Woodson Chamber Concert, pay what you can, honors Jazz Appreciation Month. 3 p.m. Sunday at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg. The orchestra suggests an RSVP to [email protected], and early arrival to guarantee a seat.

It's also time for the Florida Orchestra's Spring Program. Principal harpist Anna Kate Mackle and principal percussionist John Shaw will explain their instruments and perform duets. The event includes story time for children preschool through second grade. Arrive early for art activities and an "instrument petting zoo." Concerts are at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd. Pay what you can. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

   
Comments
Parody and theater trivia combine in Freefall’s light-hearted of ‘Musical of Musicals’

Parody and theater trivia combine in Freefall’s light-hearted of ‘Musical of Musicals’

ST. PETERSBURG — Forgive yourself if you recognize only a portion of the dozens of musicals being lampooned in The Musical of Musicals — The Musical!, Freefall Theatre’s season closer. This mash-up of the works of five celebrated composers reads like...
Updated: 4 hours ago
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Published: 06/20/18
Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

TAMPA — The virtues of Dancing at Lughnasa, with which Jobsite Theater closes its season, are many. This drama by the celebrated Brian Friel opened in 1990 to much acclaim. It captures a family’s joys and sadnesses, and the quickness with which one s...
Published: 06/19/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/15/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

Why this ballet dancer is skipping college in favor of her own St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory

GULFPORT — Brianna Melton is as serious a ballet student as they come.By her junior year at St. Petersburg High’s International Baccalaureate program, she had already spent four summers training with ballet companies across the country and had narrow...
Published: 06/14/18
What’s on stage: The Illusionists, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa,’ G. David Howard

What’s on stage: The Illusionists, ‘Dancing at Lughnasa,’ G. David Howard

OPENING: DANCING AT LUGHNASAIrish playwright Brian Friel, who died in 2015 at 86, won’t be traveling anymore. But I’ll bet he packed a tidy suitcase. Dancing at Lughnasa, Jobsite Theater’s season closer, manages to address a lot of issues: race, reli...
Published: 06/13/18
Ruth Eckerd Hall tees up comedy, romance and Kristin Chenoweth for 2018-19 Broadway season

Ruth Eckerd Hall tees up comedy, romance and Kristin Chenoweth for 2018-19 Broadway season

Ruth Eckerd Hall rolls out a new lineup of musicals for its 2018-19 season, a mix of comedy, favorite musicals and romance."For the last 35 years, Broadway has always been a staple at Ruth Eckerd Hall," chief executive officer Zev Buffman said in a p...
Published: 06/12/18
A tense night at the Tony Awards ends in euphoria for Largo doctor Jeffrey Grove

A tense night at the Tony Awards ends in euphoria for Largo doctor Jeffrey Grove

Dr. Jeffrey Grove sat three-quarters of the way back from the stage at Radio City Music Hall, waiting for his moment. The Largo physician made the trip with family to New York for Sunday’s Tony Awards, where he hoped to see his investment in O...
Published: 06/11/18
Neal Boyd, ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner, dies at 42

Neal Boyd, ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner, dies at 42

SIKESTON, Mo. — Neal Boyd, an opera singer who won America’s Got Talent and dabbled in Missouri politics, has died. Scott County Coroner Scott Amick says Boyd died around 6 p.m. Sunday at his mother’s house in Sikeston. He was 42. Amick says Boyd had...
Published: 06/11/18