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The taste of sweet success

By SHANNON BREEN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 6, 2002

Looking for something to do, here's a super calendar, ranging from Ebenezer Scrooge to a golf cart parade.

* * *

Stocked in freezer sections across the country are sweet homages to Jerry Garcia, Phish, and a recent inductee: the Dave Matthews Band.

After Ben & Jerry concocted "One Sweet Whirled," made with coffee ice cream, caramel and marshmallow swirls, DMB had clearly made it to the top.

The Dave Matthews Band formed in Charlottesville, Va., in early 1991, when South African Dave Matthews decided to put some songs he had written on tape. He opted to bring in some instrumental talent.

Matthews found assistance in drummer Carter Beauford and saxophonist LeRoi Moore, who were both accomplished jazz musicians in the local Charlottesville music scene. Based on the recommendation of distinguished local jazz guru John Dearth, 16-year-old musical prodigy Stefan Lessard came on board to play bass. Completing the band was keyboard player Peter Griesar (who left after a couple of years) as well as violinist, Boyd Tinsley.

DMB quickly became arguably the biggest sleeper rock superstar of the 1990s.

By now, fans may know the story behind the Dave Matthews Band's fifth album, Busted Stuff, which Matthews wrote much of, before last year's Everyday began recording, and then scrapped the material for fear of commercial suicide. Apparently, the album's troubled themes and unpolished songs might have proven isolating.

Busted Stuff sounds a lot more like, well, the Dave Matthews Band than Everyday, which found the band plugging in and ditching its famous jam sensibilities.

Included on the CD are road-tested fan favorites such as Grey Street, a portrait of a loser, begging for salvation, Grace is Gone, Where Are You Going and Bartender.

Jason Mraz opens for the band. DMB will kick off a nine-city arena tour Tuesday at the St. Pete Times Forum. 7 p.m.; $47.75. Call 287-8844.


WORLD'S LARGEST GOLF CART PARADE: Everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy got shot. But how about the time when Ken Edwards ate 36 cockroaches in one minute or when Kevin Cole made the farthest spaghetti nasal ejection ever? Today, Sun City Center is vying for a spot in the Guiness World Record books for the "World's Largest Golf Cart Parade," at the Fourth annual Holiday Kick-off Parade. 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Payant Financial Center, 1653 Sun City Center Plaza; free. Call 633-7843

THE NUTCRACKER: Giant mice duel with toy soldiers, vibrant flowers dance and a Sugar Plum Fairy rules a marzipan castle in The Nutcracker, which stars the Miami City Ballet and The Florida Orchestra. Tchaikovsky's score blends with Balanchine's famed choreography, creating a playground of sight and sound. 8 p.m. today ; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $20-$38. Call 287-8844.


JINGLE SHELLS: Does "it's the thought that counts" ring a bell, or, in this case, shell? Children can partake in the gift of giving without lightening their folks' wallets too much. Volunteers will be present to add some guidance on how to make holiday crafts out of sea shells and starfish. Psst. Parents aren't allowed. Session 1 (Ages 5-7): $12-$15. Session 2 (Ages 8-12): $15-$20. Reservations are required: Call 273-4015.


8 -- SUNDAY.

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS: At the Ye' Ol' Fashion Victorian Christmas Feast and Fundraiser, patrons will be greeted by "The Carollers," have cocktails around the piano with The Christmas Singers, and A Victorian Feast in the Chavez Dining Room, followed by The Christmas Show in the drawing room. This fundraiser will benefit the Encore Theatre, Drama & Musical Theatre School. Cash bar. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 15; Vicente de Ybor Historical Inn, 1915 Republic de Cuba Ave; $45. Call 839-0861.


9 -- MONDAY.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: You know how it goes -- some miserable chap gets visits from three soul-transforming ghosts, and becomes a not-so-miserable chap. 8 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $25-$30. Call 287-8844.

10 -- TUESDAY.

JACOB MARLEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL: "Marley was dead." Those are the beginning words in A Christmas Carol, but who is Jacob Quimby Marley besides a dry, pruney, old timer who looks frozen in disapproval? Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol by Tom Mula is the story behind Dickens' holiday classic, where Eric Davis narrates and plays all of the characters in the production. Through Dec. 22. 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; The Gorilla Theatre, 4419 N Hubert Ave.; $15-$20. Call 879-2914 or visit


FOUNDER'S DAY TEA: The Tampa Woman's Clubhouse has been transformed into a festive gathering place with trees, wreaths and lights for the holiday season. They will observe their annual Founder's Day Tea, which honors all past presidents of the Tampa Woman's Club, organized in 1900. 2 to 4 p.m.; The Clubhouse, 2901 Bayshore Blvd.; free. Call 839-7457.

THE GET: Elise Katch, a well-known author and speaker, will give a presentation on how, after 30 years of marriage, she was propelled into filing for a "Get" (Jewish divorce). She will read excerpts from her book, The Get, and answer revealing questions about how her divorce, affected her life and future. Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m., and is free for members, and $15 for guests. The book review and signing will follow dinner at 7:30 p.m. The program, followed by a dessert reception, is open to the community and will be held at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 2713 Bayshore Blvd. Call 837-1911.


LION KING: Dec. 13, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

GUNS N' ROSES: Dec. 13, St. Pete Times Forum.

GEORGE CARLIN: Dec. 14, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

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