Archive for May, 2011

Proving that last year’s ranking was no fluke, St. Petersburg again tops the AmericanStyle Magazine’s listing of the top 25 arts destinations. The magazine focuses on mid-sized cities. Tampa and Miami also made the list.

But St. Pete, riding high on the opening of the new Dali Museum and the success of the Chihuly Collection, remained on top. The rating focuses largely on visual arts.

Here’s what they said:

St. Petersburg is reveling in a monumental arts year that kicked off in January with the opening of the new $36 million Dali Museum. The building itself is a work of art, doubling the size of the original and dedicated to showcasing the art of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. The museum includes the Helical Staircase—a spiral ascending to the third floor galleries; Café Gala, named in honor of Dali’s wife; and the Avant-Garden, complete with misty grotto and hedge labyrinth. On view now is an installation of the Dali’s entire permanent collection of 96 paintings, plus drawings, photographs and prints. AmericanStyle reader and resident of St. Petersburg Steve Harris says, “The city has some great art exhibits, for a city its size. The new Chihuly Collection is fabulous, the St. Petersburg Art Museum has always been high quality but has greatly expanded, and I cannot wait to go to the new Dali Museum.”


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I joined the sold-out crowd last Saturday night to see Bonnie Raitt and Buddy Guy at Taste of Pinellas. The official title was “Bill Edwards Presents A Taste of Pinellas” and it was clear that Edwards was making a statement with the weekend event.

His company, Big 3 Entertainment Group, won the contract to run the Mahaffey Theater and they promise big things. He’s transformed the Treasure Island Yacht Club into a major entertainment destination. And he brought in a world-class lineup for the “Taste.”

The themed nights featured Chris Issac and Josh Turner on Friday, Buddy and Bonnie on Saturday, and Third Eye Blind and Colbie Callait on Sunday.

As Bonnie Raitt hit the last note of a satisfying and hit-heavy show the sky over downtown lit up. The impressive fireworks  – which rivaled the city’s Fourth of July display – seemed to signal that the sky’s now the limit for top shows in the ‘burg.

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Tampa Bay Magazine published its annual “Best of Tampa Bay” edition and again, the Palladium earned top honors. Here’s what they said:

“Best Community Performing Arts Center – The Palladium at St. Petersburg College.”

 “This architecturally beautiful, 850-seat  community theater is committed to representing cultural diversity and emerging artists, as well as enriching the lives of people in the community. From their Side Door Jazz series to St. Petersburg Opera, their programing is entertaining and affordable.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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We’re still in the final leg of our 2010-11 season, the biggest and most successful in Palladium history but we’ve also been focused on the future. For those who can’t wait for a preview of the Palladium’s upcoming season – here’s an advance peek at just some of the highlights:

AUGUST – Lourdes of the Flies, an original comedy aimed at high school and college students. Written by Bill Leavengood, author of Webb’s City. It will run for four weekends in the Stavros Great Room; Jeff Norton Memorial Theater Awards.

SEPTEMBER – St. Petersburg Opera presents Die Fledermaus.

OCTOBER – American Stage Presents the Pulitzer Prize winning play – August: Osage County.   Side Door Jazz returns for another season of great music.

NOVEMBER – The Palladium’s new Singer-Songwriter series presents Don Schlitz, author of The Gambler and other country hits;  Gypsy Tango, an evening of tango and flamenco; The Young Concert Artist Series presents Caroline Goulding, violinist. She recently signed with Opus 3 artists, one of the top concert agencies in the world.

DECEMBER – The community holiday celebration, Black Nativity, returns, along with the Nutcracker and the Nate Najar Holiday jazz show.

 JANUARY – Young Concert Artists Series features Hahn-Bin, a 22-year-old protégé of Itzhak Perlman and dynamic performance artist in his own right; The return of our Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Stomp; Bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. 

FEBRUARY – Noel Paul Stookey, of Peter, Paul and Mary, in a solo concert; Encore chamber series returns.

 MARCH – St. Petersburg Opera presents Samson and Delilah; Amor de Tango  features the best Argentinian dancers, with a live tango band; The Greatest Acoustic Blues Show returns with new artists;  And Jeffrey Siegel presents another Keyboard Conversation program.

APRIL – Charlie Albright, a pianist who recently earned a rave review in the New York Times, closes out our Young Concert Artists series;  

MAY – A month of school and dance shows featuring lots of bay area student performers. One of the Palladium’s biggest months. 

JUNE – St. Petersburg Opera presents The Marriage of Figaro.  

We’re also setting dates and shows for our first-ever Broadway Cabaret Series, featuring great Broadway performers in concert.


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