IDOL FINALIST RETURNS: MICHAEL LYNCHE
Former American Idol standout Michael Lynche returns to his hometown this weekend, headlining a Florida Orchestra pops concert. R&B Legends With Michael Lynche sees 2010's fourth-place finisher (hey, Jennifer Hudson didn't win either), a Gibbs High graduate, teaming up with arranger and conductor Jeff Tyzik in a blend of classic R&B and vintage soul. They'll draw on the music of James Brown, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder and more. Concerts start at 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. $15-$45. (727) 892-3331. floridaorchestra.org.
SALSA AND SWING: MORE ORCHESTRA
One of two Florida Orchestra Happy Hour Concerts this month celebrates Latin influences. Fiesta! features work by tango king Carlos Gardel, Carmen, George Gershwin's Cuban Overture and more. Free drinks. Starts at 6:30 p.m. (doors open 5:30 p.m.) at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org. The season's last Woodson Chamber Concert celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month with a string quartet, uncovering the connective tissue between the likes of Mozart and ragtime, swing and improvisation. Starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Pay what you can at the door. (727) 892-3331. floridaorchestra.org.
LOCAL TALENT: ERIN WEINBERGER
From the Manatee Players to the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre to the Asolo, Sarasota native Erin Weinberger has grown up with the encouragement to live her dream. Now with the Rodgers and Hammerstein national tour of Cinderella, she thinks she likes the 12-minute ball scene best.
"Everyone's in big ball gowns, there are these big lifts, and it's really incredible music," Weinberger, 23, a swing in the ensemble (and an understudy for Charlotte, a stepsister), told the Times. "It's just overwhelming."
She's enjoyed working with Tatyana Lubov and Louis Griffin as Cinderella and the prince, and signing autographs for kids who line up afterward. It's just the show we need today, she believes.
"There's a strong political message relevant to this day and age, to stand up for yourself," Weinberger said. "She found her way through this upper-class community through kindness, which is really special. Kindness can save the world."
8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
HIGH NOTE: MICHAEL AMANTE
The versatile Michael Amante has stayed active in part due to his rare vocal ability. The "people's tenor," as the singer's website bills him, has also been called the "prince of high C's," but can also landed high E's and F's with strength. That and a wide-ranging repertoire has led to Amante's lead roles in both musicals (West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar) and operas (Madama Butterfly, La Boheme), as well as countless concerts with the ability to sing standards, Broadway and opera with equal dexterity. In 2002, Billboard named Amante its top classical artist of the year. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
YOUNG STANDOUT: MATTHEW GRAYBIL
Pianist Matthew Graybil has been playing with symphonies since age 14 and performed in more than 200 concerts. The Juilliard School graduate will bring an educational slant to this weekend's concerts backed by the Chopin Project. Debussy: His Friends and Enemies starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the Religious Society of Friends, 1502 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Suggested donation $15 or more. (813) 253-3244. A second concert starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20 to $35. Students younger than 18 free at both concerts. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.