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The musical that roared

By SHANNON BREEN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 13, 2002

Looking for something to do, here's a super calendar, ranging from George Carlin to Handel's Messiah.

* * *

Lions and baboons and hyenas. Oh my.

The Lion King, part of the Broadway in Tampa Bay Series, is coming to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center's Carol Morsani Hall today through Jan. 26.

The bittersweet tale about heroism is well-known: Boy cub loses his father's crown to an evil uncle; boy cub befriends a warthog and meercat; boy cub returns and regains control of the kingdom; boy cub gets the girl.

Set in wild Africa, the Tony Award-winning Broadway thunders with pulsating rhythms and a musical score that includes Elton John and Tim Rice's Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Circle of Life.

Don't expect to see small children.

The Performing Arts Center is sticking to a longstanding policy excluding children younger than five from its Broadway Series of shows. The center's trustees enacted the rule because of disruptions at shows.

Performances are daily except Mondays; curtain times vary. Sign language provided at selected performances. 8 p.m. today, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; $22.25-$133.25. For tickets or complete show schedule, visit or call 229-7827.


MANY MOODS OF CHRISTMAS: With conductor Richard Zielinski, the Florida Orchestra and Master Chorale of Tampa Bay will play selections from Messiah and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9; also works by J.S. Bach, Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Robert Shaw. 8 p.m. today, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg. Also 8 p.m. Saturday , USF Special Events Center; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Monday; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $20-$42. Call 286-2403 or 1-800-662-7286.

DEREK TRUCKS BAND: The Derek Trucks Band has been a work in progress for more than 10 years, slowly blending jazz, rock, blues, Latin, Eastern Indian and other world music. In 1999, Trucks was asked to join the Allman Brothers Band, taking over slide guitar duty; he has since been balancing the two. 8:30 p.m.; Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg; $15-$17. Call (727) 896-1244.

CHOCOLATE NUTCRACKER: One hundred area students perform with professionals in a multicultural version of the traditional Christmas tale; features music from uptown Harlem to Brazil, Cuba and West Africa. 7 p.m. today; $17. (Also presented as part of the Family Series for ages 5 and older; 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; $10.) Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. Call (727) 791-7400.


HERALDS OF HARMONY CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: For their annual holiday show, Heralds of Harmony, an 80-person chorus, sing traditional Christmas carols in an a cappella barbershop harmony. The first half of the show has more traditional songs like Jingle Bells and Silent Night; the latter half, more formal, tells the story of Christmas. 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Ferguson Hall; $20-$30. Call 229-7827.

HANDEL'S MESSIAH: Nancy Callahan conducts Handel's Messiah with the Tampa Oratorio Singers, an orchestra, soloists and a combined choir from various churches. 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Bayshore Baptist Church, 3111 W Morrison Ave.; free. Call 253-5388.

GEORGE CARLIN: Carlin publicized his potty mouth long before the Osbournes of the world came along. He even got an award for basically swearing a lot in public, for which he received the Free Speech Award from First Amendment Center at U.S. Comedy Arts Festival 2002. Add author and dramatic actor to his hat collection. During the summer, he filmed Jersey Girl, Kevin Smith's new film for Miramax, playing a fairly dramatic role as Ben Affleck's father. In April, he also published Napalm & Silly Putty, which spent 20 weeks on the New York Times best seller list. 6 and 9:30 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $39-$75. Call (727) 791-7400.

TINSLEY ELLIS: Hot off the CD presses is Tinsley Ellis' latest album, which offers a generous dose of gritty blues laced with Memphis R&B and urban funk. 8 p.m.; Skipper's Smokehouse; $10-$13. Call 971-0666.

HOCKEY: NEW YORK ISLANDERS AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING. 7:30 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum; $8-$155. Call 288-2658.

15 -- SUNDAY.

TAMPA BAY GAY MEN'S CHORUS: The group's 15th anniversary holiday performance, "Candles, Carols and Canes: A Renaissance" visits two different venues. Founded in 1988, the Tampa Bay Gay Men's Chorus formed after the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida visited Tampa in 1987. 3 p.m. Sunday, Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Also 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at Friday Morning Musicale building, 809 Horatio St.; $20. Call 727-865-9004.

SCROOGED: In this 1988 modern spin on the Charles Dickens classic, a television exec (Bill Murray) realizes that there are more cherished things than television ratings. Also starring Karen Allen and Carol Kane. 3 p.m.; Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St; $5-$7. Call 274-8981.


16 -- MONDAY.

THE IRISH ROVERS CHRISTMAS: Seven Irish lads bring us melodies of the Emerald Isle with mandolins, banjos, guitars and accordions. 1 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $15. Call (727) 791-7400.

17 -- TUESDAY.



A SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS: Traditional Scottish carols and wassail tunes, with Bonnie Rideout, three-time U.S. fiddle champion; also dancers and Celtic musicians. 1 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater; $15. 727-791-7400.


A CHRISTMAS CANNOLI: A TALE OF TWO FAMILIES. The ratings blitz of HBO's The Sopranos is proof enough that there is a strong appetite for Mafia-centered entertainment. Joe Pauly knows that, too. Last summer, he wrote a mob-style Christmas comedy based on A Christmas Carol with Scrooge portrayed as a Godfather-like character: Ebenezer Skungili. Instead of Bob Cratchit, there is Bob Clemenza. You get the idea. 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, through Dec. 28; Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E Sixth Ave.; $7-$10. Call 818-0991.

BUILD YOUR OWN GINGERBREAD HOUSE: Most are familiar with Grimm's story about two children, abandoned in the woods by destitute parents, who discover a house made of bread, cake and candies. Hansel ate some of the roof; Gretel ate a window. And then all hell broke loose. Pastry chef Beth Gauthier leads a peaceful interactive workshop for kids ages 4-8 as they build their own holiday gingerbread houses. Roy's asks for RSVPs by Dec. 16. 10 a.m. to noon; Roy's, 4342 W Boy Scout Blvd; $20 per child. Call 873-7697.

ORNY ADAMS: A Boston native, Orny Adams has written jokes for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and hosted his own show on the Travel Channel. Now he is hitting the stand-up comedy circuit. 8 p.m. Thursday; 8 and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 20 and Dec. 21; 7 p.m. Dec. 22; Improv Comedy Theater & Restaurant, Centro Ybor; $14-$18. Call 864-4000.

HOCKEY: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING. 7 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum; $8-$155. Call 288-2658.


  • A ROYAL CHRISTMAS: Dec. 20, St. Pete Times Forum.
  • HALLUCINATION BEFORE CHRISTMAS: Dec. 20, the Masquerade.
  • CHARLOTTE CHURCH: Dec. 20, St. Pete Times Forum.
  • NUTCRACKER ON ICE: Dec. 21-22, Mahaffey Theater.


  • MEATLOAF: Dec. 27, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • DAMON WAYANS: Dec. 28, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • B.B. KING: Dec. 31, Mahaffey Theater.
  • DAVID CROSBY AND JUDY COLLINS: Jan. 22, Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • PROOF: Jan. 28, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
  • JIMMY BUFFETT: Feb. 8, St. Pete Times Forum.
  • BELA FLECK AND THE FLECKTONES: Feb. 13, Tampa Theatre.

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