Monday, April 23, 2018
Features and More

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 16-22.

Earth Day: Sunday is the official day to celebrate our big blue rock, but Island Earth Days is Saturday and Sunday at Honeymoon Island in Dunedin with music, kids’ activities, nature walks, live animals and environmental displays. Free; $8 park admission per carload. islandearthdays .com.

Mainsail Art Festival: One of the area’s biggest and highest-quality art shows brings 250 artists, a Kids Create activity tent, live music and food vendors to St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Saturday and Sunday.

date night

Music: Friday, contemporary jazz icons Spyro Gyra play Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre ($35-$55), while the 98RockFest featuring headliners Shinedown takes over Tampa’s Amalie Arena ($29-$75). Saturday, country superstar Kenny Chesney returns to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa ($32-$370).

Beach Goes Pops: Bring a blanket or a chair to Pass-a-Grille Beach on Saturday and enjoy free live music, an arts and crafts show, and food and drink from numerous area restaurants. Free; VIP seating $100-$125. beachgoespops.com.

Florida Orchestra Masterworks: Verdi’s Requiem: The Florida Holocaust Museum begins each performance with a talk on how the work became known as the "Defiant Requiem" during the Holocaust. Performances are Friday at the Straz Center, Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $15-$45.

Record Store Day: Local record stores pull out all the stops for vinyl lovers Saturday. Check our Soundcheck music blog ( tampabay.com/blogs/soundcheck) for a list of deals and festivities such as St. Petersburg’s Bananas Music with giveaways and live music.

American Stage in the Park: The Producers: The Broadway show based on Mel Brooks’ cult comedy opens at Demens Landing in St. Petersburg with pay-what-you-can previews Wednesday and Thursday. Starting Saturday, performances are $18-$30 lawn, $32-$35 premium blanket, $38-$40 reserved. americanstage.org.

SunLit Festival: The celebration of the local literary scene continues with events including the Antiquarian Book Fair Friday-Sunday at St. Petersburg’s Coliseum. $10 weekend pass; $6 daily.

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Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

ST. PETERSBURG — Without question, Mel Brooks’ The Producers carved a more indelible mark than most of the musicals in the entire genre of throwaway musicals it parodied.The creator of Get Smart and Blazing Saddles not only co-wrote the adaptation of...
Updated: 7 hours ago
It’s a boy! Kate Middleton gives birth to third royal baby

It’s a boy! Kate Middleton gives birth to third royal baby

LONDON — For Kate, the wait is over. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth Monday to a healthy baby boy — a third child for Kate and Prince William and fifth in line to the British throne.The couple’s Kensington Palace office announced news of the birt...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Taste test: vanilla wafers

Taste test: vanilla wafers

When it comes to cookies, our judges are all in. When it comes to vanilla wafers, most of them admitted to reaching for the familiar Nilla Wafers in the bright yellow box. Surprisingly, they liked the well-known brand least of the seven wafers sample...
Published: 04/23/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
In Bhutan, gross national happiness more important than GDP

In Bhutan, gross national happiness more important than GDP

Associated PressLAYA, BhutanPrayer flags whip in the wind, flying across steep valleys and roads. Buddhist temples, stupa shrines and majestic fortresses called zhongs dot the landscape. Giant water-powered prayer wheels spin from tumbling falls. Far...
Published: 04/20/18
The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took on a new layer of signif...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
On 4/20, a Tampa distillery is releasing hemp-infused Touch Vodka

On 4/20, a Tampa distillery is releasing hemp-infused Touch Vodka

TAMPA — Appropriately enough, a local distillery is releasing a hemp vodka on Friday, 4/20.After more than a year of planning and research, Fat Dog Spirits — the parent company of Touch Vodka — is releasing its new Nirvana vodka.Served in 750-millile...
Published: 04/19/18
Graze all day at Armature Works

Graze all day at Armature Works

TAMPA HEIGHTS— Graze 1910 upholds the comfortable and relaxing, yet elegant setting of Armature Works with its "comfort food" offerings and dedication to serving breakfast all day."It’s the way I eat. I graze all day," said owner Raymond "Ray" Menend...
Published: 04/19/18
Tampa Bay disciples of 'Wild Wild Country' guru remember Oregon commune

Tampa Bay disciples of 'Wild Wild Country' guru remember Oregon commune

SPRING HILL Joe Lemieux sat on the cream sofa near several relics from another era in his life, out of place in this retiree’s pastel-tinged living room and brought into the morning light specifically for this occasion. There was a beaded nec...
Published: 04/19/18