1. Stage

What's on stage this week: Florida Orchestra brings in a rising star, Il Divo returns, new plays open

Florida Orchestra Esther Yoo will play Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto Nov. 16-18-, 2018, part of the Florida Orchestra’s concert, Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 2. (Courtesy of the Florida Orchestra)
Published Nov. 14, 2018


This weekend the Florida Orchestra expands on its British connection. The title piece, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 2 (A London Symphony) — energetic, bustling, powerful — reflects the moods of that great city. Before that comes a real treat as Esther Yoo, a rising star in the music world, plays Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Earlier this year, Classic FM Internet Radio named Yoo, 24, one of its "30 incredible musicians under 30." She completes the first-ever artist-in-residence program with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra this week.

The program also features English composer Edward Elgar's tone poem, In the South (Alassio). Michael Francis, the orchestra's music director and a fellow Brit, conducts. 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. A preconcert talk starts one hour before performances. $18-$48. (727) 892-3337.


They say Simon Cowell discovered Il Divo, and that's true — if by "discovered" you mean biologically engineered, something like the world's first test-tube baby. The X Factor judge and producer spent two years searching the world for his dream ingredients, four good-looking guys who were classically trained yet versatile. He found them in the Swiss-born tenor Urs Buhler, the self-trained Sebastien Izambard of Paris, baritone Carlos Marin of Madrid and tenor David Miller of Colorado. Thirty million album sales later, the crossover quartet has been breaking records and hearts with the likes of Mama, Hero, My Heart Will Go On and Time to Say Goodbye. 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $55 and up. (727) 893-7832.



Ratings winners keep doing what works, and So You Think You Can Dance has racked up 15 Emmys in 15 seasons. Now a tour featuring 2018's best comes through town, starring finalists Hannahlei Cabanilla, Jay Jay Dixonbey, Chelsea Hough, Evan DeBenedetto, Genessy Castillo, Cole Mills, Darius Hickman, Magdalena Fialek, Slavik Pustovoytov and Jensen Arnold, plus special guests. Starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $35 and up. (727) 893-7832.


Stageworks Theatre founder Anna Brennen was frustrated over current events and the coarseness of our national dialogue, starting with the White House. She wanted to counter partisan rhetoric but not with more of the same. So she asked friends in the Tampa Bay area to send quotes reflecting humanity's best instincts. They responded with contributions of more than 70 thinkers spanning 3,000 years. One of those friends, Scott Swenson, shaped monologues and agreed to play a role in a new play, Scorched Angels.

"I chose those that best suited to, and/or pertained to democracy and the role of its citizens," Brennen wrote in an email. The Studio@620 hosts a staged reading of the result. The cast includes Swenson, Angela Bond, Lisa Powers Tricomi, above, and Richard Coppinger. 7 p.m. Monday at 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-6620.


Lab Theater Project opens a new play about baseball a century ago. The Redemption of Rube Moats by A.J. Delauder follows a former semipro player, Rube Moats, who let his opportunities slip away. Now a manager, Rube wants to make sure his promising younger brother, who has been scouted by the Baltimore Orioles, doesn't make the same mistakes. Caroline Jett directs. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E Sixth Ave., Tampa. $15. (813) 586-4272.


  1. REO Speedwagon will perform at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on March 1, 2020. Courtesy of Randee St. Nicholas
    REO Speedwagon, Gladys Knight, Kidz Bop, Art Garfunkel and more.
  2. Michael Francis leads a community chorus during one of the Florida Orchestra's Sing Out Tampa Bay sing-alongs. MICHAEL FRANCIS  |  Florida Orchestra
    The music director is entering his fifth year with the orchestra, which has a Beethoven-heavy season opening Sept. 27 in Tampa.
  3. Spymonkey's "Hysteria!" will run at the Straz Center's Jaeb Theater from Sept. 19-Nov. 3. Courtesy of Jane Hobson
    Spymonkey’s ‘Hysteria,’ Billy Cobham and ‘Crossing the Bay’ accompany dance experiences and a banned book cabaret.
  4. Patrons hit the dance floor at Tampa venue Skipper's Smokehouse in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2015)
    A 12-hour party in the Skipperdome, stargazing and a family-friendly Williams Park festival provide free and cheap entertainment.
  5. A Zombie Bride is one of the characters found in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream, which opens for its 20th year on Friday.
    Free Museum Day is coming, Howl-O-Scream opens at Busch Gardens, Billy Ray Cyrus plays for the Bucs Beach Bash and Tho Who will be at Amalie Arena.
  6. Jordan Foote (Norm) and Jonelle M. Meyer (Corky) in Jobsite's production of Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower." Courtesy of Pritchard Photography
    Steve Martin’s voice is ingrained in the absurdist comedy.
  7. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, bringing two December shows to Tampa's Amalie Arena, performs in Birmingham, Ala., in 2017. Courtesy of Anna Jones
    Seats at Stomp, Little Big Town and A Nightmare on Franklin Street are also up for grabs.
  8. Jim Jefferies in an episode of Comedy Central's "The Jim Jefferies Show." ALI GOLDSTEIN  |  Comedy Central
    Raunchy moms, YouTubers and flamenco dancers also hit local theaters. Plus, Tampa Rep opens a Pulitzer-winning drama.
  9. From left: Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors and Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." 20th Century Fox
    The popular ‘Last Podcast on the Left’ and Barry Bostwick from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ are new to A Nightmare on Franklin Street.
  10. The children just tricked (conned) their father into letting them purchase a dog, much to his displeasure, in the Live Oak Theatre presentation of 'Cheaper By the Dozen,' which opens Sept. 13 at the Brooksville theater. Standing, left to right: Billie (Amber Marino), Martha (Quincee Willis) and Dad (Joe Santerelli). Sitting, left to right: Dan (Jase Ivie), Fredericka (Hailey Radatz), “The dog,” (Ozzie), Jackie (Cam Kennedy) and Lilly (Emily Mosher). Kris Mitten