Saturday, May 19, 2018
Stage

What's on stage this week: Florida Orchestra pops, 'Threepenny Opera,' Naked Magicians

 

STOMPIN' POPS: SWING IS THE THING

 

The Florida Orchestra opens its pops season with some of the most ebullient tunes from the swing era. With Swing Is the Thing, conductor and arranger Jeff Tyzik will lead the orchestra in the danceable tunes that would influence the development of pop music, jazz and blues.

The production revs up with dancers, singers and clarinet virtuoso Dave Bennett. Though Bennett is just 33 and swing peaked in the mid 1940s, he's considered one of the foremost interpreters of Benny Goodman, et al. The concert will allow the genre to pay it forward, tracing swing's influence into the 1950s and 1960s with tunes from Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to Tuxedo Junction to Rock Around the Clock.

8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

 

JOBSITE GOES BIG: THE THREEPENNY OPERA

 

Workers were erecting a three-level set last week for The Threepenny Opera, Jobsite's pull-out-the-stops musical event in the Jaeb Theater. A cast of 16, plus an eight-piece band, will fill that space Oct. 20 through Nov. 12, with the first preview on Oct. 18 .

The show by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill is also several layers deep, an adaptation of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, itself a 1728 parody of the operas of Handel. Its most popular song, The Ballad of Mack the Knife, was written in haste after the actor playing Macheath in the Berlin premiere demanded more recognition, essentially holding the show hostage before the 1928 opening.

Ryan Finzelber's model is "easily the largest set we've put in the room," producing artistic director David Jenkins said in an email. On the theater's website, Jenkins, who is directing the show, makes an interesting pitch for attending previews, which he describes as "rehearsals for us, but with an audience."

"You're in a way doing us a favor," Jenkins says, "and we're giving you a huge break on tickets for being our 'test audience.' " 8 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $15. Regular tickets for the Oct. 20-Nov. 12 run are $29.50. (813) 229-7827. jobsitetheater.org.

 

IN THE FLESH: NAKED MAGICIANS

 

Ever wonder what would happen if a magician couldn't hide something up his sleeve?

The Naked Magicians dared themselves to find out, then turned that cheeky challenge into a career. Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler start out clothed, but that doesn't last long. The duo have won raves for their skill and chuckles for the R-rated humor, some of which comes through audience participation. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

 

FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: THE SCIENCE OF SOUND

 

The Science of Sound: French Horn Quartet, a lesson both on the horn and how sound works, starts at 10 and 11:15 a.m. Saturday at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater, 100 First St. S. Instrument petting zoo available 45 minutes before concerts. Free. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

 
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