Leapin' wizards! Harry Potter fans, this is your week. Leaky Cauldron blogger and Potter documentarian Melissa Anelli (her Potter bible is on the New York Times bestseller list) will present a free talk Tuesday at 7 p.m. as part of the USF Lecture Series at the Tampa campus' Marshall Student Center. And then hold fast to your Gryffindor scarves, because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 opens Friday in theaters.
Mahaffey's big week. Expect some heavy traffic around the downtown St. Petersburg venue, with the ringleader of the Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor, onstage on Thursday. Food explorer Anthony Bourdain pops in Friday to make us all wish we had his job (or maybe not, if sweetbreads are on the menu). Master ventriloquist Terry Fator appears Saturday, and Lyle Lovett and His Big Band will close out the weekend on Sunday. (If you go, be sure to catch a glimpse of the new Dali Museum next door; it's looking splendid.)
Time to chill. Hard as it might be to believe, they've figured out how to build an outdoor ice skating rink in Curtis Hixon Park in balmy Tampa. It opens Friday and runs through Jan. 2. Cost is $10 for 90 minutes, which includes skate rentals.
Rock 'n' roll bagpipers. Don't knock it until you've heard Seven Nations play a pounding set of traditional Irish songs. They play the Dunedin Brewery on Friday night, then are part of the lineup at the annual Dunedin Celtic Festival the next day.
The original lady Diana. It's Miss Ross, to you, and the incomparable performer is Coming Out of her cozy overseas life on this States tour. She performs her greatest hits at Van Wezel Hall in Sarasota on Thursday and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Saturday.
Speaking of inspiration. Dreamgirls, the hit Broadway musical based loosely on the story of Miss Ross and the Supremes back in Motown's heyday, opens at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, with local American Idol finalist Syesha Mercado in the title role of Deena. It plays through Sunday.
KIDS AND FAMILY
Mr. Sandman, bring us a scene. Starting Thursday, great mounds of sand will rise behind the Bilmar Resort on Treasure Island, destined to become spectacular sculptures in the annual Sanding Ovations contest and music festival. Expect entertainment and lots of frenzied digging.
More to explore
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