Arts&Culture: Beauty & The Burg by Cindy Stovall

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BY CINDY STOVALL

Greetings to my friends, listeners, and all lovers of the artful life here in our Beautiful Burg. It is an honor to be a contributor to a publication so rich in visual appeal and compelling content. My hope is that this piece will be the first of many discussing the ever exploding and evolving cultural life of the Sunshine City. Of course, I welcome your feedback and love, love, LOVE any inside info on must-see art/theatre events, performances, and personalities.

Let’s start by talking about some of the upcoming events you’ll be sure to want on your calendar. On my podcast, we call them Beauty Marks and there are always an abundance to choose from, many of them free. If you’re bored in the ‘Burg, you have absolutely no one to blame but yourself!

Performing Arts

Eric Davis directs freeFall Theatre’s first offering of 2018. Don’t miss Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, the seminal masterpiece by one of America’s greatest playwrights, runs Jan. 27 through Feb.18. This deeply personal semi-autobiographical work by Tennessee Williams is regarded as one of the most powerful and important plays of the 20th century. Looking ahead, the witty and romantic musical Daddy Long Legs, based on the novel by Jean Webster, opens March 17.

Summer Shakes: Fans of Shakespeare are invited to join freeFall’s annual trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival August 6-13 to experience live performances of the Bard’s legendary work performed by the largest professional repertory company in the U.S.  For more information, call 727-498-5205 or visit freefalltheatre.com to book your tickets.                           

American Stage continues its “We the People” themed series of plays with  A Raisin in the Sun. Director L. Peter Callender of San Francisco’s African-American Shakespeare Company returns to American Stage after directing August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come & Gone and Jitney to great critical success accumulating ten Tampa Bay Award nominations and winning six, including Outstanding Director.   A Raisin in the Sun runs from Jan. 24 – Feb 18.  To purchase tickets, visit americanstage.org/raisin

Arts Happenings

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, always supporting the arts and artists, celebrates excellence on February 9 at 7pm with the 4th Annual Muse Awards taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts. stpeteartsalliance.org

The 5th Annual St. Petersburg Fine Art Festival comes to South Straub Park February 24-25. The work of some 120 artisans will be featured offering a true feast for the senses.  Hours are 10 am to 5 pm and admission is free. The festival is produced by Paragon Fine Arts Festivals, co-sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg and helps support the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. 

The Morean Arts Center showcases emerging avant-garde Florida artists in  Fresh Squeezed 2. The exhibit opens on March 10t and runs through April 27t.   Quote- “The purpose of Fresh Squeezed is to encourage, support and celebrate artists who fly under the radar and have not had their big break.” moreanartscenter.org

On the Museum Calendar

Check out Happy Hour with the Historian at The St. Petersburg History Museum. It’s a monthly fun and educational event complete with libations and nibbles! The next one is scheduled for March 1  at 6pm and features John Capouya, author of “Florida Soul”. historystpete.org

 At The Museum of Fine Arts, the very popular Star Wars and the Power of Costume continues through April 1. But I want to mention an event that is a personal favorite. For the 21st year, Art in Bloom returns to the museum March 22-26.  This annual rite of spring fills the museum with fresh floral interpretations of the permanent collection and current exhibits. I am a proud participant (see photo) and look forward to seeing you there! Details at mfastpete.org

 Cindy Stovall can be reached at cstovall5@gmail.com.

Editor’s Note:  Listen in as Cindy interviews the artists,  writers, directors, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, and behind-the-scenes people who make the St. Pete arts scene happen.  Beauty & The ‘Burg airs at 6 pm every Wednesday at  http://heliumradio.com/podcastfilter/beauty-and-the-burg/ , where you can find an archive of previous episodes.