Polo players, angry men, pretty ballerinas and art walks (including a show devoted to cats) and lots, lots more — they’re all on tap this busy weekend.
FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: PROKOFIEV’S ROMEO & JULIET
It’s the start of Romeo & Juliet season hereabouts. This weekend, the Florida Orchestra plays the lush, evocative ballet score by Russian composer Serge Prokoviev, and on February 3, the orchestra will devote its morning Coffee Concert to a program of music inspired by Shakespeare’s tragedy, including Bernstein’s West Side Story score, which can also be heard in Steven Spielberg’s movie adaptation now playing in theaters. And in two weeks, Jobsite opens their production of the play (in which, full disclosure, I play two roles). Also on tap in this weekend’s Florida Orchestra program: George Gershwin’s propulsive, jazzy Piano Concerto in F and Winter Bells, a symphonic poem by contemporary composer Polina Nazaykinskaya inspired by an ancient village not far from where she was born in southern Russia. Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet: Sat., Jan. 8, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater; Sun., Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall. floridaorchestra.org.
12 ANGRY MEN at Stageworks
Stageworks’ production of the jury-room drama 12 Angry Men was supposed to open in March of 2020, then was rescheduled for the fall of 2021, and now – finally! – it opens this weekend. I have a personal stake in this one; I was supposed to be in it, but scheduling conflicts arose and I had to bow out. But with Ned Averill-Snell as Juror No. 8 (the Henry Fonda role in the 1957 film) and Jim Wicker as combative Juror No. 5, plus a cast of talented actors under the direction of Rosemary Orlando, I can pretty much guarantee this one’s going to be a scorcher — and the play’s exploration of the nature of justice is as relevant and thought-provoking as ever. Jan. 6-23, stageworkstheater.org.
BEACH POLO CLASSIC at Don CeSar
If you enjoyed watching Prince Philip swing his polo mallet on The Crown, you can now see the “Game of Kings” in person, in matches being played on the beachfront at St. Pete’s pink palace, the Don CeSar Hotel. Guests and locals alike can attend this two-day event, which will include full 3-on-3 beach polo matches, professional teams and scoring, and cash bar cocktail service in the tournament viewing area. Spectators can also take advantage of the Don’s newly redesigned restaurants and bars before or after the match. Sat.-Sun., Jan. 9-10, matches at noon & 2 p.m. Don CeSar Hotel, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach
BOEING BOEING at Early Bird Dinner Theater
You could use a few good belly laughs, right? Then Marc Camoletti’s 1960 bedroom farce (revived to great acclaim on Broadway in 2008) may be just the ticket. A playboy with three-count ‘em-three fiancees — all of them airline hostesses — finds himself in an amorous predicament when they simultaneously land in his Paris apartment. Jan. 8–Feb. 27, 4 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, 11 a.m. Thursday & Saturday. Early Bird Dinner Theater, 13355 49th Street N Clearwater. Reservations: 727-446-5898.
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK in Gulfport
Did you know that 2022 is the first year of the Age of Aquarius? The organizers of Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk have declared it so, and they’ve made it the theme of this month’s Walk. Defining the era as “a time of shifting and changing ideas and realities in culture, climate and perspective,” they invited participating artists to explore its meanings and look for solace in these changing times. Musical entertainment by Gale Trippsmith & Joey Interrante. Fri. Jan. 7, 5-9 p.m., Beach Blvd S., Gulfport.
SECOND SATURDAY ART WALK in St. Pete
The galleries and studios in St. Pete’s six arts districts showcase their wares in this monthly artstravaganza. Highlights include an art show for cat lovers, “ “Feline,” at Atelier de Sosi (2380 6th Ave.); “Midtown Through Our Eyes” at The Studio@620 (620 1st Ave. S.), featuring impressive photography by students from Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High; and big doings at The Factory (2622 Fairfield Ave. S.), where resident artists will have open studios, Keep St. Pete Lit will hold a poetry open mic in the Word Garden, and Factory denizens Daddy Kool, Sunshine State Goods and Fairgrounds St. Pete will all be open. Sat., Jan. 8, 5-9 p.m., stpeteartsalliance.org/artwalk.
YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX GALA: Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow
An evening of performances by international ballet stars (Lauren Lovette of New York City Ballet, Daniil Simkin of Staatsbnallett Berlin in his Tampa debut, and many more) and bright young dance talents from the 2022 Youth America Grand Prix competition, including award-winning wunderkinds from the Straz Center’s Next Generation Ballet. Sat., Jan. 8, 8 p.m., strazcenter.org.
CIRCA: New works by Rebekah Lazaridis at MIZE Gallery
An homage to popular spots in St. Petersburg by an artist who says she’s interested in “highlighting all the little haunts, watering holes, staples and communal places that have made St. Petersburg vibrant, authentic and valuable over the years.” Lazaridis’s work will be familiar to local theatergoers; she has worked in the industry for over 20 years as a scenic artist and collaborates with theaters in the area as a set designer. Exhibit opens Friday, Jan. 7, 6-9 p.m., MIZE Gallery, 689 Dr. MLK Jr St N., Unit C. St. Petersburg. Exhibit will run through Jan. 23.
REDUCED ADMISSIONS at the DALÌ
The Dalì may be widely known for its iconic “bubble” building, to which it moved in 2011, but it opened in its original location in 1982. So, to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the museum is giving the public a gift: $19.82 adult admission to Hillsborough and Pinellas County residents through January 28, 2022. The Dali has also joined several other local museums in offering $3 admission — plus free parking — to low-income families, thanks to the national Museums for All program.
JAZZ VISIONARIES at the PALLADIUM and the CAP
The jazz scene lights up on Friday with performances by two masters of the genre: composer, pianist and scholar Dave Meder at the Palladium in St. Pete and legendary guitarist Al Di Meola at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.
Dave Meder Songs and Stories Trio: Fri., Jan. 7, 8 p.m., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, mypalladium.org. Al Di Meola: Fri., Jan. 7, 8 p.m., The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater, rutheckerdhall.com.