“The Cosmos” is the final, exciting installment of the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra’s (so far) sold-out series, “The Planets and An Earth Odyssey,” a production five years in the making, in collaboration with NASA. “The Cosmos” will be presented this Sunday at 3 p.m. at the VBHS Performing Arts Center. In the series’ final chapter, the Orchestra’s innovative, multi-media production will incorporate a NASA film of stunning images taken from on and above the Earth, some from the Hubble telescope. As the film is screened, the orchestra will perform Antonin Dvorak’s incredible Symphony No. 9, a powerful masterpiece commonly known as “The New World Symphony.” It is by far the composer’s most popular symphony and, arguably, one of the most popular of all symphonies. Dvorak is said to have been influenced by music of the African/American South, as well as by Old World elements. The piece was written while the Bohemian composer was living in New York City and, according to Wikipedia, “purportedly incorporated the composer’s reflections on his American setting.” “The New World Symphony” premiered in Carnegie Hall in December 1893. Completing the concert is “The Unanswered Question,” a dark, intriguing musical work by American composer Charles Ives, a haunting piece that poses but does not answer the “perennial question of existence.” According to TheListenersClub.com, a common interpretation of the piece has the trumpet asking “The Perennial Question of Existence,” the woodwinds replying, “I don’t know!” before realizing the futility of the question, and the strings representing an eternal and unchanging reality. In the end, the question remains, stated one final, futile time by the trumpet. Many believe Ives was inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “The Sphinx.”
If you’re in the mood to try something a little different this weekend, something with music and energy, somewhere you can let your hair down, Riverside Theatre’s Howl at the Moon Experience this Friday and Saturday could be what you’re looking for. Howl at the Moon touring shows are for mature, fun-loving audiences, and take place on Riverside’s Waxlax stage, with a cabaret seating set-up and a dance floor. Talented, fearless pianists, often with a bent for comedy, face off on Dueling Pianos, without a set play list: Every show is different because these daring and versatile musicians play your requests, so you get to create your own par-tay. Get your motor running with live outside music and food and bar service starting at 6:15 p.m. (See Live in the Loop below). The Dueling Pianos shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and require reservations, so you don’t have to rush your pre-show outside fun. Plan to sing, dance and howl all night long. Call the theatre to reserve. Tickets are $16 to $22.
Back by popular demand, the Jacks Band will take the stage at Riverside Theatre’s Live in the Loop this Friday. The four-man Indian River County group plays classic hits, dance tunes, rock, blues and Motown at venues all over the area. On Saturday, Live in the Loop presents the Mighty Flea Circus Band, gettin’ down with swing and rockabilly, to keep your weekend moving along. Riverside’s popular outdoor series is free, no ticket required, and you can purchase food and beverages, soft and full-bar hard. There’s some seating available, but you might want to BYO lawn chairs. Live in the Loop runs from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Kilted Mermaid on old Dixie downtown calls itself “a funky, eclectic neighborhood pub with a chill atmosphere,” and indeed it is. You can get wines and craft beer, cheeses and decadent fondues, enjoy the cozy ambiance inside or out on the deck, and listen to live music all weekend. This Friday you’ll hear Letters to Abigail, an Appalachian/Americana acoustic band from North Carolina, with appealing, downhome southern harmonies. Saturday brings Sonder Blue, an alt-rock, four-piece boy band out of Hilton Head Island, with three lead singers creating tight harmonies reminiscent of some classic groups but with their own, totally contemporary sound. On Sunday, Flint Blade brings his not-run-of-the-mill music to the Mermaid, creating “psychedelic soundscapes” with his unusual instrument, a Chapman Stick. According to Wikipedia, a Chapman Stick is an electric guitar/bass hybrid instrument created by Emmett Chapman in the ’70s. It has 10-12 strings and can play bass lines, melody lines, chords and textures. Blade is South Florida-based and tours nationally. Music is from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.