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Music takes a royal turn

By SHANNON BREEN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 20, 2002

Looking for something to do, here's a super calendar, ranging from fake snow to real life.

* * *

Flu season is under way, and a spoon full of sugar may help the medicine go down . . . in the most delightful way.

Just ask Dame Julie Andrews, who will be visiting the neighborhood tonight for The Royal Christmas, a program of holiday classics.

Andrews reunites with her The Sound of Music costar, Christopher Plummer. The two are mistress and master of ceremonies.

One of tonight's performers, "voice of an angel" singer Charlotte Church, is just three months shy of 17. She has already commanded standing ovations from royalty, after performing the soprano vocals for best picture winner A Beautiful Mind.

Joining Andrews, Plummer and Church on stage are London's Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by George Daugherty, the Westminster Concert Choir and the Westminster Bell Choir.

Plummer, who won acclaim for portraying Mike Wallace in The Insider, plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol during a skit.

Andrews and Plummer will lead the audience through Christmas tales and seasonal carols, plus selections from The Sound of Music.

There will be more than 150 dancers, singers and musicians.

The Royal Christmas starts at 8 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum. Tickets are $45-$85. Call 287-8844.


REV. BILLY C. WIRTZ: The clerical title Rev. Billy C. Wirtz received was via the mail. Over the course of his 16-year career, Wirtz has churned out songs like Mennonite Surf Party, Roberta, and Inbred. Rev. Billy's Christmas Show incorporates blues, boogie-woogie and a dose of rockabilly combined with southern satire. 8 p.m.; Skipper's Smokehouse; $7-$10. Call 971-0666

HALLUCINATION BEFORE CHRISTMAS: The band Hallucination celebrates its record label's 10th anniversary, along with Bassbin Twins, House Wrecka, Monk, Three, Bunny, Beautiful Confusion, Tommie Sunshine and Stateside Collective. 9 p.m.; The Masquerade, 1503 E Seventh Ave.; $20 ($15 with two cans of food for the homeless). Call 247-3319.

FRIDAY NIGHT JAZZ SERIES: Old Hyde Park Village will host the second Friday Night Jazz concert of the season. Allon Sams performs near the fountain from 6 to 9 p.m. The concert series is held Fridays through April. Free photos with St. Nick. Old Hyde Park Village; free. Call 251-3500.

A CHRISTMAS STORY: Sure, TNT broadcasts the film 75,367 times throughout December, but why not go, and see a stage version of American humorist Jean Shepherd's classic. That's a double dog dare. 7 p.m. today; 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday; Canterbury School, Knowlton Campus, Dollinger Center for the Arts, 901 58th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg; $7-$15. Call (727) 823-7529.

THE NUTCRACKER: The Dance Theatre of Tampa, a youth dance company founded by Dyane Joseph and co-directed by Amanda Keeney, will perform its first show: The Nutcracker. It's the tale of a little girl, Clara, who is transported into a fantasy as her nutcracker doll turns into a human-sized prince. A giant rat monster plays the antagonist. 7 p.m. today; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; University of South Florida, Theater 1; $12-$16, free for ages 3 and younger. Call 991-4343.


TRUST COMPANY: Ten years ago in sweet home Alabama, the nucleus of what would become Trust Company formed when singer-guitarist Kevin Palmer and drummer Jason Singleton met as teenagers with a mutual interest in making loud noises. A few years later, bassist Josh Moates joined the fold, and, in 2000, second guitarist James Fukai completed the quartet. They are on tour promoting their new CD The Lonely Position of Neutral. 8 p.m.; Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg; $13. Call 287-8844.

NUTCRACKER ON ICE: Swollen ankles. Chilled champagne. The Nutcracker. Ice is the fate of everything these days. The gist is the same as the original story except for the addition of skates. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday; Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg; $20-$38. Call 727-892-5767. 6

HOLIDAY JOYS WITH JOHN AND MARY K. WILSON: What holiday would be complete without John and Mary K. Wilson? Well, that depends on your concept of complete. The married duo plan on singing their hearts out to holiday tunes. 4 and 7 p.m.; Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive; $10. Call 727-587-6793.

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

22 -- SUNDAY.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Warning: anything in excess is bad. Throughout this month, Dickens' classic has been exposing people at lethal-toxicity levels. If you can take it, here's another dose. 3 p.m.; Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St.; $5-$7. Call 274-8981.

CLASSICAL HOLIDAYS: Traditional Christmas carols and music of Chopin, Tchaikovsky will waft throughout Palladium Theater choreographed with ballet by Elena Martinson and Andrei Ustinov; also pianist Christine Hartley and soprano Susanne Epple. 3 p.m., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg; $10-$25 Call (727) 822-3590 or visit

23 -- MONDAY.



CHRISTMAS MOVIES! It's about that time when Hollywood factories begin churning out Oscar-worthy contenders. Leonardo DiCaprio competes against himself as Martin Scorsese's The Gangs of New York (released Friday) and Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can battle for the No. 1 box-office slot. Catch Me If You Can -- starring DiCaprio as a con man/high school student running away from an FBI agent (Tom Hanks) -- will be released Wednesday.

They endure competition from lions and a wooden boy: Pinocchio and The Lion King (IMAX) will be re-released Christmas day as well. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which came out Dec. 18, may top last year's Fellowship of the Rings. Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets is still on thousands of screens across the country.

New in town this week: Two Weeks Notice, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Antoine Fisher, Rabbit-Proof Fence and Standing in the Shadow of Motown. For times and locations, check Tampa movie listings in today's Floridian section.

CHRISTMAS ON TV: Want Christmas movies in the privacy of your own living room? Here's where to find them:

Christmas Eve: It's a Wonderful Life, 8 p.m., WFLA-Ch. 8; A Christmas Story, 12 consecutive showings beginning at 8 p.m. on TNT; Christmas Across America, 8 p.m., HGTV; A Diva's Christmas Carol, 8 p.m., VH-1; Babes in Toyland, 8 p.m., The Disney Channel; Santa, Baby, 8 p.m., WTVT-Ch. 13; Funniest Holiday Moments, 9 p.m., WTVT-Ch. 13; and Christmas Eve at St. Peter's Basilica, 11:35 p.m., WFLA-Ch. 8.

Christmas Day: White House Christmas 2002, 8 p.m., HGTV; Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, 8 to 9 p.m., WTSP-Ch. 10; St. Olaf Christmas Festival, 8 to 9 p.m., WEDU-Ch. 3; America's Greatest Christmas Decorations, 8 to 9 p.m., WFLA-Ch. 8; A Different Kind of Christmas, 8 p.m., WGN; The Christmas Secret, 9 p.m., WTSP-Ch. 10; The Santa Clause, 9 p.m., The Disney Channel; and Christmas Remembrances, 9 p.m., BET.


MEATLOAF: Dec. 27, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

CHAMPIONS ON ICE TOUR: Dec. 28, St. Pete Times Forum.

GREAT AMERICAN TRAIN SHOW: Dec. 28-29, Florida State Fairgrounds.

SOME LIKE IT HOT: Dec. 31, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

B.B. KING: Dec. 31, Mahaffey Theater.

OUTBACK BOWL: Jan. 1, Raymond James Stadium.





PROOF: Jan. 28, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.


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