SEASON OPENER: PALLADIUM CHAMBER PLAYERS
This string ensemble glitters with excellence, playing the finest string quartets ever written with full expression and apparent ease. Each of four primary members of the Palladium Chamber Players enjoy national reputations, playing in metropolitan orchestras and in major festivals. Cellist Edward Arron, right, for example, ran his own chamber music series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In St. Petersburg, the group and its Dec. 12 evening performances remain a mostly unsung treasure.
"Sometimes we've gotten more than 500 people," said violinist and artistic director Jeffrey Multer, left, who also serves as concertmaster for the Florida Orchestra. "But I think there are at least another 300 who would come if they knew about it."
The season opens with Multer, Arron and pianist Jeewon Park, right, playing works by Bach, Turina and Schubert. Violist Danielle Farina, the fourth core member, returns Jan. 16. Two new members, cellist Julian Schwarz and pianist Marika Bournaki, will also join the group in 2019. Starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25 to $38 (St. Petersburg College students with ID, $10). (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.
GLEEFULLY RETRO: JANE LYNCH
Many performers have found a lucrative moonlighting niche in cabaret, a chance to show off their versatility and tell personal stories. The solo shows might be intimate, romantic or funny. Jane Lynch, who won an Emmy for her role as Sue Sylvester on Glee and hosted NBC's Hollywood Game Night, brings a sharp, satirical wit to A Swingin' Little Christmas, tinsel-streamed sounds evoking Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, the Andrews Sisters and more.
Lynch performs with Kate Flannery (The Office) and Tim Davis, who has sung with Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino and Josh Groban. The same trio recorded a jazzy Christmas album in 2016, the springboard for the national tour. 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Jaeb Theater, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $49.75. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
THE SWEET SPOT: MOZART'S 'SINFONIA CONCERTANTE'
The Florida Orchestra's final concert of the year features one of Mozart's most pleasant compositions, the Sinfonia Concertante. A crossover between a concerto — which typically features a solo instrument in counterpoint with an orchestra — and a full symphony, the piece brings out all of the fulsomeness associated with the composer. (Part of the first movement shows up in the soundtrack of Amadeus.)
Soloists are two of the orchestra's own, violinist and associate concertmaster Nancy Chang and principal violist Derek Mosloff. The concert also features the more reflective Symphony No. 1 by Sibelius and Rimsky-Korsakov's version of Mussorgsky's tone poem, Night on Bald Mountain. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Palladium. A pre-concert talk starts one hour before performances. $18-$48. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.
NO PLACE LIKE OZ: RUTH ECKERD HALL
Two family classics come to Clearwater in time for the holidays. The Wizard of Oz starts at 3 and 8 p.m. Sunday. Then Peanuts characters put on a pageant in A Charlie Brown Christmas Live, 7 p.m. Dec. 12. Both shows are at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen–Booth Road, Clearwater. $35 and up. (727) 791–7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
SIXTIES SWING: THE WINTER WONDERETTES
Four female singers headline the Harpers Hardware Holiday Party in The Winter Wonderettes. Roger Bean's Off-Broadway creation, last seen at Stageworks in The Marvelous Wonderettes, involves the audience in both shows. This time the story line unfolds between smooth renditions of Jingle Bell Rock, Winter Wonderland, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town and more. Runs Friday through Dec. 23 at 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Suite 151, Tampa. $30-$35 (opening night $45). (813) 374-2416. For showtimes, go to stageworkstheatre.org.