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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Firehouse Cultural Center is ready for center stage

RUSKIN – Weekend evenings in South Shore can be a bit quiet. But that’s about to change, thanks to the Firehouse Cultural Center.

With the recent completion of building renovations, the center is kicking off the fall with a comprehensive array of programming and introducing a new, live entertainment series called the Firehouse Pub.

“Our programs were limited while construction was underway,” said Georgia Vahue, the center’s new executive director. “Now we’re in full programming mode.”

The Firehouse Pub will provide a relaxed, intimate venue for up to 124 adults to enjoy top-quality entertainment, including blues, jazz, big band, Broadway show tunes and more. Guests can enjoy snacks and a cash bar while watching the live performances. Entertainers will come from all over the state, Vahue said.

“It’s almost like a clubhouse,” she continued. “We will have bistro seating with six to a table. It will provide guests with an opportunity to enjoy a relaxing, very affordable evening. Tickets are $10 to $20, depending on the event and whether guests are members or not. There’s nothing like it in South Shore.”

Kicking off the series will be Gary Tatlock and Rich “Sticks” Porlides who will provide an evening of jazz improvisation as the duo Cloud Seven at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4. According to his press information, Tatlock began playing the guitar and performing at a co-op house at age 5 “for pocket change.” He taught himself to play piano and flute and later learned trumpet with Bill Adam and Jimmy Stamp. A jazz virtuoso, he also teaches, composes and engineers sound.

According to his press info, Porlides began playing bongos at age 3, guitar at age 5 and, after seeing Ringo Starr perform when he was 7, took up the snare drum. He later he learned the mandolin and harmonica and did “folk, bluegrass and comedy on the streets of Greenwitch Village for beer money.” At age 14 Porlides started a rock band and has been performing blues, jazz and rock ever since.

Advance tickets for the show are $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers. During the day of the show or at the door, they’re $12 for members, $15 nonmembers.

Other performances currently scheduled include bari-tenor Craig Hartfield’s Broadway by the Numbers on Oct. 19, who will sing the songs the audience chooses; Rick Gee’s Jazz Jamm’s Valerie Gillespie ensemble, Oct. 26; the world fusion band Treebo, Nov. 2; Stage Door Canteen’s Big Band Night, Nov. 9; Girls Night Out comedy show, featuring Traci Kanaan, Long Island Mary and Robin Savage, Dec. 6; and Nathan Coe Marsh’s Comedy Magic Show for grownups on Jan. 11.

All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. For complete information and ticket pricing, visit www.firehouseculturalcenter.org.

The pub series is just the beginning.

“As a nonprofit organization, we provide opportunities for artists of all genres and programming for residents and at the same time have an economic impact on the redevelopment of the South Shore area,” Vahue said.

Other program offerings this fall include Arts in Education field trip performances; the Mini-Maestro Family Concert Series of five, interactive concerts by the South Shore Symphony Orchestra for kids ages 5 to 12; My Art My Way for Kids, a VSA Florida after-school program for mentally or physically challenged children ages 4 to 8; six-week, Theater Improv residencies providing a variety of arts experiences for teens in middle school and high school; Theater at the Firehouse, featuring live performances ranging from “War of the Worlds” to “The Iliad; and a youth orchestra for teens ages 14 to 18 conducted by Ken Watts in partnership with the South Shore Symphony Orchestra.

Details are available at www.firehouseculturalcenter.org. For additional information, call (813) 645-7651.

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(813) 731-8138

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