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Ybor City's Ritz gets the Maxim Party

The Maxim Party, arguably the Super Bowl's biggest private shindig, will take place Jan. 30 at the Ritz Ybor.

Maxim is mum on the details at this point, but officials with the venue said this week the party is a go. It's quite a coup for the historic theater, which opened in 1917 and has been everything from a playhouse to an X-rated theater to a thriving concert venue (you may remember it as the Masquerade, which closed in 2006).

The Ritz recently underwent a $750,000 makeover and has begun hosting more plays, parties and concerts, including shows by Tampa metal legends Underoath this week and indie kids Of Montreal on Dec. 8.

Carla Vaughan, the Ritz's director of sales and marketing, said the venue would also host a Latin jazz concert on Wednesday, Jan. 28, as well as two unannounced celebrity parties on Jan. 31 and Super Bowl Sunday.

For now, at least one celebrity DJ says he'll be part of the Maxim bash: DJ Vice. Expect a more fleshed-out announcement about the event in early December.

Snoop Bowl is in effect

Snoop Dogg is coming to Jesuit High School.

For the past six years, the rapper's charity youth football game, the Snoop Bowl, has become a fixture on Super Bowl weekend. This year's will take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Jesuit High School Football Complex. Organizers say several thousand tickets will soon go on sale to the public.

The Bucs' Earnest Graham is lined up to lead a group of area youngsters against the Snoop Dogg All-Stars, the Snoop-coached pee-wee team from Southern California. A number of NFL players will lend a hand with the teams. The goal, says organizer Steve Brickner, president of Earnest Giving and the 1Voice Foundation, is to teach young players sound football fundamentals and how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Graham isn't stopping there. He'll also host the Earnest Graham & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament on Jan. 29 at Ginn Reunion Resort in Celebration, and will be part of a mom-oriented baby shower and VIP brunch at Saks Fifth Avenue at WestShore Plaza on Jan. 28. Expect more details on these events in the coming weeks.

For details on the Snoop Bowl and how to donate to the cause, check closer to the game.

DirecTV to rock Al Lang

One unusually happening party last year in Arizona was the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl, a charity football game starring players like Pete Wentz, Kendra Wilkinson, David Spade, Stacy Keibler, Brody Jenner, Blake Lively, Brandon Routh and more, plus performances by Fall Out Boy and Josh Kelley.

DirecTV says they will stage the game again this year, on Jan. 31 at Al Lang Field at Progress Energy Park. A pregame show is slated for 1:30 p.m., with kickoff at 2:30 and a postgame concert at 3:30. No celebs or performers have been announced yet, but there is good reason to get excited about this one. Playboy magazine, which may or may not throw its own party this year, tells tbt* they plan to partner up with DirecTV on the event.

Hosts prep two parties

Two private parties are on the books for the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee. The first is the Host Committee's Media Party, thrown each year for credentialed media from around the world, on Jan. 27 at the Cuban Club in Ybor City. The theme: "Salsa, Soul & Rock & Roll." Last year's party featured a performance by the Gin Blossoms; the one in Jacksonville featured Hootie and the Blowfish. So if you're a print journalist who digs mid-'90s FM alterna-rock (right here, baby!), this party is for you.

And the Host Committee's celebratory "Gridiron Gala" for sponsors, committee members and local dignitaries will take place Jan. 30 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. About 2,000 VIPs will be on hand.

Circuit City hits the beach

Times aren't great for Circuit City, what with the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month.

But the electronics chain is still plotting a Super Bowl event. The seventh annual Circuit City Celebrity Flag Football Challenge will take place Jan. 31 at the TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach. Tickets will be $15.

No word yet on participants, but last year's game in Arizona featured Doug Flutie, Chad Johnson, Willis McGahee, Billy "Tae Bo" Blanks and a performance by Run DMC. Bookmark for future updates.

— Jay Cridlin [email protected]

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Ybor City's Ritz gets the Maxim Party 11/27/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 27, 2008 3:30am]
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