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Webb’s City, The Musical (Will Call)
Thursday, September 14 @ 8:00 p.m.
The hit musical written and directed by Bill Leavengood with music, lyrics and musical direction by Lee Ahlin about St. Pete’s famous drug store returns to the Palladium in a concert format.
In 1999, the Pinellas County Millennium Celebration commissioned Leavengood and Ahlin to create a new musical based on the life and times of J. E. “Doc” Webb, the colorful St. Petersburg entrepreneur called the “P.T. Barnum of Retail.” In 1925, Webb opened a tiny drug store on Ninthth Street and over the next five decades transformed it into a 77-store complex covering ten city blocks. In its heyday, Webb’s City attracted 60,000 visitors per day.
Webb’s City, the Musical premiered in 2000 at both Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Mahaffey Theater. The show was such a hit that a new non-profit arts organization, LiveArts, was created to bring it back to the Mahaffey Theater in 2001, where it broke their box office records, selling more than 10,000 tickets. A community theatre production was mounted at St. Petersburg Little Theatre a few years later where it broke their box office records as well.
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Sid Flannery has been a programmer on the WMNF Saturday Bluegrass show since 1996. Sid loves the outstanding musicianship, the rich acoustic sounds, and the great soulful singing that characterizes bluegrass. Sid really enjoys hearing from the listeners on Saturday mornings, including those who are very familiar with bluegrass and those who are discovering the music for the first time.
I have played old time music since 1976, when I met and took a banjo class from my good friend Cousin ErnieWilliams. In addition to clawhammer banjo, I also play old time fiddle, guitar and autoharp. I began participating in The Florida Folk Festival in White Springs by playing with Ed Flemming and Friends, then The Hyde Park Hysterical Society String Band and Mr. Ethnic's Wednesday Night Fiddle Support Group. Since 1980, just after our community radio station went on the air, I've brought old time music to WMNF radio audiences. Tune into Mr. Ethnic's Old Time Music Show on the first Saturday of the month to hear some of the best vintage and contemporary old Time music. I'm a founding member of the folk-arts advocacy group, Friends of Florida Folk, and have been on the Board of Directors, as well as Secretary and Vice President. Also a founding member of the Florida Folklore Society, I've served on the Board of Directors. I'm a member of the Florida State Fiddler's Association and the newly formed Florida Banjo Society. I've performed at festivals such as the Rattlesnake Roundup in San Antonio, FL, Pioneer Days at the Pioneer Florida Museum, the Heart of Florida Folk Festival in Dade City, and the Fall Country Jamboree in Barberville. I was extremely honored to open a concert with the Mr. Ethnic group for the original Red Clay Ramblers at a WMNF concert. Along with Cousin Ernie, I have been Co-Director of the Florida Old Time Music Championship since its inception. As such, I've brought some of the best master old time musicians to central Florida. I am also Co-Director of the Suwannee Old Time Music Weekend held at and sponsored by the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs.
Note* To listen to the archive of my show for one week afterward, you need to go to the Saturday Bluegrass page.