Your Weekend Arts Forecast: Gulfport Air Painting, Live Podcast Mystery In Tampa

A group of Pinellas County artists took up residence on the sidewalk behind the Gulfport Casino and painted scenic Boca Ciega Bay, and the distant St. Pete Beach skyline, en plain air.

That’s a French expression for, roughly, “outdoors.” For painters, this means starting – and completing – a piece right there, in the plain air. As opposed to a shut-in studio.

Wednesday’s event was part of a painting class conducted at the instigation of the Gulfport Merchants Chamber, the group that puts on, among other things, the month First Friday Art Walk along Beach Boulevard and vicinity. Gulfport artist Jack Providenti taught the class.

With a particular focus on Gulfport’s many artists (like Providenti) who paint in the open air, the (always well-attended) Art Walk takes place Friday (April 1) from 5 to 9 p.m. More than 50 artists participated at the inaugural “In Plein Sight” art walk in 2021, and the chamber expects even more this time around.

Click here for additional information on the First Friday Art Walk and “In Plein Sight.”


Singer/songwriter Janis Ian returns to Clearwater’s Capitol Theater tonight. The “Society’s Child” and “At Seventeen” scribe recently issued The Light at the End of the Line, her first album of new material in 15 years. Ian, who moved to the Manatee-Sarasota area four years ago, has said this will be her final recording (as a solo artist). Moreover, this gifted storyteller is saying she’s on her last-ever tour (it started in February and will run through November).

The pandemic, Ian told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, was a big factor in her decision to slow things down. “There’s been something about being home that’s been great, and at the same time, I was going to hit 70, and that affected it too,” she said. “So it was a combination of circumstances.”

Tickets here.

Brotherly love: Acoustic troubadours Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin, who share a bill Sunday at the Capitol, have forged significant careers of their own. Many, however, will recognize that their older brothers, James Taylor and the late Harry Chapin, did pretty well for themselves also. Tickets here.

Sibling trio sibling trio Bekah, Caleb and Joshua Liechty – known collectively as the harmony-singing group Girl Named Tom, from Season 21 of TV’s The Voice – will be onstage at the Capitol Friday. Tickets are here.

Sunday brings Florida’s legendary blues-playing Roy Book Binder to the Palladium Theater for a 6 p.m. performance. Tickets are here; ready about Roy here.

Better Than Ezra is at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center tonight at 8. Tickets.

Cecil Baldwin of “The Haunting of Night Vale” is part of the ensemble bringing a “live” version to the Tampa Theatre Friday. Publicity photo.

Spoken word, printed word and other stuff

Cecil Baldwin, Symphony Sanders and Meg Bashwiner of the uber-popular mystery podcast Welcome to Night Vale bring their live-in-person road show version (The Haunting of Night Vale) to the Tampa Theatre Friday. Says the New York Times: “With its uncanny blend of the macabre and the mundane, the news out of Night Vale sounds like what might occur if Stephen King or David Lynch was a guest producer at your local public radio station.”

The Haunting of Night Vale, its creators insist, is a “completely stand-alone story.” Tickets are here.

The 6th annual SunLit Literary Festival kicks off with a Where the Wild Things Are-themed celebration at The Factory St. Pete, Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight. There’ll be live music, food trucks, libations and other cool things … all to benefit Keep St. Pete Lit’s reading and writing programs for children. There’s a full weekend of literature-themed events, which you can read about here.

Ayyyy. Saturday’s performer at the Capitol Theatre is Happy Days veteran Henry Winkler, who’ll tell stories and answer questions about his career – “through humorous anecdotes and inspirational life lessons” – as an actor, writer, producer and director. Tickets are here.

Sunday at the Straz Center Ferguson Hall, actor, singer, comedian and author Alan Cumming brings his one-man show Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age.” Look for the Catalyst interview with Mr. Cumming Friday; tickets, in the meantime, are here.

Stageworks’ “Murder on the Orient Express.” Photo: Ned Averill-Snell.

Dance and theater

New York’s innovative Complexions Contemporary Ballet is in performance tonight (Thursday, March 31) a the Straz Center Ferguson Hall. We spoke with principal dancer (and Tampa native) Tatiana Melendez earlier this week (click here).

Decisions, decisions: Several exceptionally good theater choices this weekend, including Karole Foreman’s shiver-inducing turn as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (freeFall Theatre; details here); Roxanne Fay and Debbie Yones in the brain-stretching drama Breadcrumbs (Studio Grand Central; details here); and the romp through Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit Murder on the Orient Express, with Matthew McGee as Hercule Poirot (Stageworks; details here).

And the national tour of the Disney musical Frozen is at the Straz Center Morsani Hall through Sunday; tickets are here.

Eugene O’Neill’s The Web gets a staged reading Monday at 7 p.m., at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas (12211 Walsingham Road). It’s part of the “First Monday” joint project between Creative Pinellas and American Stage. Admission is free, and you can reserve a seat here.

The classics

The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay is at First Presbyterian Church (701 Beach Drive, St. Pete) at 8 p.m. Friday with Fauré’s Requiem Mass and the world premiere of This, Too, Shall Pass by Sydney Guillaume. The program is repeated Sunday at 2 p.m. at Sykes Chapel, University of Tampa,  ​401 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa. All tickets are here.

Two separate and distinct programs from The Florida Orchestra this weekend. The brass and woodwinds come together for concerts at the Tampa Theatre (tonight) and the Palladium Theater (Saturday). The program: Mozart’s Serenade No. 12, Britten’s The Sword in the Stone Concert Suite (conducted by Daniel Black), Gounod’s Petite Symphonie and Pergolesi’s Sonata No. 4

Classical guitar virtuoso Miloš joins the full TFO for Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez; the program also includes Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite (after Bizet). This concert takes place Friday (Straz Center, Ferguson Hall), Saturday (Mahaffey Theater) and Sunday (Ruth Eckerd Hall).

All TFO tickets are here.

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