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Archive for November, 2012

Radio Theatre Project, a partnership between WMNF Radio and the Studio at 620, will be presenting the holiday classic – It’s a Wonderful Life – during their holiday gala at the Palladium on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

The company presents new plays and classic radio plays during their regular season at the Studio. The live shows are taped, edited and presented on WMNF’s Soundstage, which is also available on the web at www.wmnf.org

This hour-long version of It’s A Wonderful Life was originally done by the Lux Radio Theater in the heyday of radio drama.

Some of the bay area’s best actors will be on stage, dressed as 1940s radio actors. The sound effects are also done live during the show.

You’ll also see and hear the second installment of the new serial – The Continuing Adventures of Noel Berlin, Cabaret Detective. Each month, Noel works to solve a series of murders in St. Petersburg that seem to be related to strange lights emanating from the old St. Pete Pier.

The evening wraps up with a holiday sing-along around the piano. It all happens in the intimate Side Door Cabaret.

The show is a benefit for the Radio Theatre Project. Tickets are just $18 and are available through the Palladium box office. Showtime is 7 p.m.

For tickets and more information visit www.mypalladium.org.

The Radio Theatre Project as a Facebook page where you can hear Noel Berlin’s new single – I Got A Disease – and get more details on the benefit performance. http://www.facebook.com/#!/RTPLive?fref=ts

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Tampa  Bay Times took note of the big names set to play the Palladium in the coming months. Here’s what they said:

Keb’ Mo’ is one of the best blues artists touring today. Los Lobos’ David Hilalgo and Cesar Rosas are icons of Chicano rock.

So it is no surprise that all three guitarists were invited to perform on this year’s Experience Hendrix Tour, during which artists from across all genres paid tribute to the mighty Jimi.

They must have struck up quite a friendship, because it was announced Monday that next spring, Keb’ Mo’ and Los Lobos will team up for a joint tour that will hit the Palladium in St. Petersburg on March 1. With six Grammys between them, it’ll be a feast for the sense for guitar lovers.

Tickets to the show are $55.50 and $60, and go they’ll go on sale at noon Saturday at the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office, or be calling (727) 791-7400.

The Times also listed other big names coming to the Palladium:  Herb Alpert and Michael Franks on March 2 and David Benoit and Brian Culbertson on April 18. Stay tuned for lots more announcements of major shows soon.

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It’s non-stop music this weekend at the Palladium. It’s so much music, that we’re starting the weekend early with a great boogie woogie piano show on Thursday.

Just pick a night and a genre and you’ll find something to enjoy.

Thursday night it’s two of the country’s best boogie woogie pianists – St. Pete’s Liz Pennock and San Francisco’s Caroline Dahl. They’ll be taking turns on our grand and doing some four-handed tunes in the Side Door starting at 7:30. Jazz and blues fans won’t want to miss this great night of piano.

Friday night we are celebrating the return of a Palladium favorite – Claire Lynch – to Hough Hall. Claire and her band are recognized as among the best in the modern bluegrass world. Her songs and the bands harmonies are beautiful.

Saturday night the scene moves back downstairs to the Side Door for a night of Chicago blues with Backtrack Blues Band. The boys sold out their CD release party last summer, so get your tickets early for this one. Showtime is 8:30.

And finally, on Sunday afternoon at 4, Celtic fans will want to be here for Patrick Ball. Ball is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world and a captivating spoken word artist. He’ll be performing in the intimate Side Door.

Both the Patrick Ball and Claire Lynch shows are produced by our good friends at Caberfeidh Productions.

For tickets and more details check out: http://www.mypalladium.org

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I’m such of fan of Connie Evingson – she’s beautiful, she is a great singer – but she’s also a brave performer, who follows her musical passions.

She’s  explored Gypsy jazz, done full albums of music by Peggy Lee and Dave Frishberg, and now she’s showcasing the rhythms of bossa nova.

Connie Evingson

“I have a bit of a restless spirit,” she told me from her home in Minneapolis recently. “I love to explore new things. I love researching new things. If I wasn’t a jazz singer, I’d probably be librarian.”

Well, maybe. You’ve probably heard Connie singing on Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keeler – she most recently was on the Prairie Home cruise that sailed out of Tampa. But you’ll never mistake her for Keeler’s uptight, and straight-laced Research Librarian character.

This coming week – on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 – she’s appearing at the Side Door cabaret with trumpeter Charles Lazarus for a show of big band love songs.

She’ll also be doing some tunes from her latest album – Sweet Happy Life – a celebration of the songs of Norman Gimbel. The song is in the Top 10 on all the jazz charts and getting heavy airplay on jazz radio.

The critics have loved it. This review is typical:

 “At a time when everyone believes they can sing bossa nova and releases a disc to prove it, Connie Evingson takes the bossa bull by the horns and has produced a true masterpiece.” All About Jazz, July 30, 2012   — C. Michael Bailey

Connie jokes that Gimbel is the greatest songwriter no one has ever heard of. He wrote the English lyrics to Girl From Ipanema and other Jobim tunes, along with Killing Me Softly, the Roberta Flack hit and numerous others.

Girl From Ipanema, says Connie, is the second most covered song of all time – after the Paul McCartney classic, Yesterday.

In the early 1960s, record executive Lou Levy hear Jobim’s songs and thought they’d cross over at pop hits if they had English lyrics. He gave the tunes to Gimbel who didn’t translate the existing lyrics, but wrote his own.

When Jobim heard his lyrics he approved. His only complaint – the girls in Brazil are tan but they generally aren’t tall.

For her show at the Side Door, Connie is bringing a great band. Charles Lazarus has played with the Canadian Brass and is a featured performer with the Minnesota Orchestra. The quartet features Tommy Barbarella, is a veteran pianist who toured extensively with Prince.

Don’t miss Connie and Charles and the band in the intimate Side Door Cabaret on Wednesday, Nov. 7. For tickets and info visit www.mypalladium.org.

Or call the box office at 727 822-3590.

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Creative Loafing Theater Critic Mark Leib loved the American Stage production of Wit, currently running through this Sunday on the Palladium main-stage. He gives the show a five-star rating – the highest he offers. He joins other critics, like John Fleming in raving about this show.

Tickets are available through American Stage or in the Palladium lobby before the show.

For the full review click on: http://cltampa.com/tampa/wit-is-beyond-words/Content?oid=3486104

Here are some excerpts.

Wit is a moving, harrowing, revelatory play about life and death, God and science, compassion and cruelty. As we watch English professor Dr. Vivian Bearing confront a painful cancer and its even more painful treatment, we are drawn to reflect on our own lives, uncertain as they are, and the edifices we have built against time and tragedy. Though the play is too complex to be reduced to a single meaning, its most central teaching seems to be that there is nothing more essential than human kindness, no quality more urgent, no acquirement more indispensable….

…If great art is the art that combines beauty and depth, Wit is great art.

…The American Stage production at The Palladium does it justice. Kim Crow as Vivian Bearing is strong and sarcastic when the going is good, stunned and less caustic when the going gets rough, and then terribly needy as death approaches and her pain reaches levels she never thought possible.

Crow is also very funny from time to time, and even arrogant when the subject is her appreciation of Donne. As the doctor and former student who has the most contact with her in the hospital, Bill Grennan has a Tom Hanks likability: Even with his utter insensitivity to his patient’s humanity, he’s just the boy-next-door who happens to find cancer fascinating, as he must have found astronomy or evolution fascinating in years past.

Joe Parra is tellingly clumsy and clueless as Dr. Harvey Kelekian, the first M.D. to diagnose Bearing and recommend her cycles of treatment; he seems to find human weakness embarrassing, like a poorly covered blemish. And as Nurse Monahan, the one with a heart, LuLu Picart is endearing without ever seeming emblematic. One imagines that she simply treats all her patients with the same affection.

Todd Olson’s direction is impeccable, and Scott Cooper’s set, mostly made up of curtains and a few pieces of furniture, is as coldly sensible as any hospital interior I’ve ever seen. Cooper also designed Bearing’s hospital gown and the other costumes.

Should you see Wit in spite of the fearsomeness of its subject? Absolutely. This is drama that can change, or at least redirect, your life. As Donne elsewhere remarks, this bell tolls for all of us. If an inspired work of art can remind us of that fact, we need it in our repertoire.

Few plays are as important. See it if you can.

For more details: www.mypalladium.org

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