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Art, stage, comedy

Brian Shea plays Crumpet the elf in the stage version of Santaland Diaries at American Stage in St. Petersburg. Photo by Andy Orrell

Brian Shea plays Crumpet the elf in the stage version of Santaland Diaries at American Stage in St. Petersburg. Photo by Andy Orrell


Get out and see a show

This is a big weekend for hanging out at home with friends and family and all the attendant customs you observe around a major holiday. For many of us, it's a long weekend with lots of entertainment possibilities, especially if you have out-of-town guests. You know where I'm going with this: Go to a museum! You can choose one for its proximity or launch yourself further afield to see a particular exhibition or have a new arts experience. Some suggestions: The Dali Museum (1 Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg; is, through Feb. 16, offering a trove of works by Pablo Picasso alongside its world-class collection of works by Salvador Dali, a first-time-ever side-by-side comparison of the two. At the Tampa Museum of Art (120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa;, "Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color" is a lovely, accessible show reminding us that the Impressionists weren't the only game in town in the early 20th century. And the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg (255 Beach Drive NE, is featuring, through Jan. 18, a group of paintings and drawings of the late dancer Rudolf Nureyev by Jamie Wyeth that have an elusive and haunting quality, much like Nureyev himself. — Lennie Bennett

The Downtown New Port Richey Art Gallery Holiday Gift Exhibition Browse or buy artwork and handmade holiday gifts. Free. The Downtown New Port Richey Art Gallery (formerly The Progress Energy Art Gallery), 6231 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. (727) 848-6500. Noon-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

The Art of Gift Giving New items include glass, wood, jewelry, clay, metal, fiber and mixed media artwork, which comes with a tag identifying the artist and their hometown. They will even gift wrap it for you. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday. Free admission. Florida CraftArt Galleries, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7391.


One last chance to crack it

It can be easy to slip into nutcracker overload this time of year, but the Moscow Ballet has some ways to keep the classic story feeling fresh. The company's Great Russian Nutcracker comes to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday, bringing with it 10 foot silk puppets, life-sized Russian nesting dolls and a white "dove of peace" with a 20-foot wingspan created by dancers. Performances are at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. $32-$190. Call (727) 893-7832 or visit

Live Radio Theatre Project: Winter Holiday Special Radio Theatre Live continues the holiday spirit with another classic movie adaptation, The Shop Around the Corner, along with two short plays. In Christmas Breaks, a woman is dumped just before Christmas, and in Boca Raton on Ice, two people trying to get to Florida for the holidays are stuck in an ice storm in Newark. 7 p.m. Monday. $10. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620.

The Scott & Patti Show: Home for the Holidays In a special holiday show, Matthew McGee and Scott Daniel bring glitz and glamor with an outrageous "mother and son" act with glittering costumes, special guests and songs like The First Noel, Joy to the World and O Holy Night. 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $20. Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 374-2416.

A Christmas Carol In the classic holiday tale, Scrooge is a stingy, miserable, old miser until he is visited by three spirits on a mission to change his heart. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $16. Second Stage Studio Theatre, 200 S McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 944-6442.

St. Petersburg Opera First Night Performances The cathedral features the St. Petersburg Opera singers and orchestra (at 7 and 9 p.m.) and chamber music with the Bayreuth Bassoon Quartet (at 8 and 10 p.m.) for New Year's Eve performances on Wednesday. Free with First Night badge. Cathedral Church of St. Peter, 140 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-4173. stpete­


Countdown to hilarity

Looking for a fun and different way to ring in 2015? Several comedy clubs are bringing in comics for New Year's Eve shows. Clean comic Steve Zimmerman performs two sets followed by a party and viewing of the Times Square ball drop on the big screen at the Improv (1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City). Tickets are $20 for the 7:30 p.m. show ($42 with dinner), $34 for the 10 p.m. show and celebration (including hors d'oeuvre, champagne and party favors). For info see At Side Splitters Comedy Club (12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa), Dale Jones of Last Comic Standing features a champagne toast and mock countdown at a 7:30 p.m. show so you can be home before the crazy parties. Admission to a 10:30 p.m. show includes party favors, champagne toast during the countdown, DJ and a complimentary continental breakfast. It's $17 for the early show, $35-$75 for the late show; see And at Sporty's on the Beach (17903 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach), G. David Howard performs at 10 p.m. in a party that includes favors and champagne at midnight. Tickets are $40. For details, call (727) 596-6725.

Jimmy Shubert 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. $14-$18. Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 864-4000.

Dak Rakow He's appeared on Comic Strip Live and HBO's Comic Relief. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 6 p.m. Saturday. $14-$16.50. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.

Nikki Carr Fresh off this season of Last Comic Standing. 7 p.m. Sunday. $10. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitters­

Rich Guzzi The comedy hypnotist's 7 p.m. shows are clean while the 9:30 p.m. shows are X-rated. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. $15. Snappers Grill and Comedy Club, 36657 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. (727) 937-3737. ­

The Shabaang! The PDC Jam Band opens the long-form improv show by three different house teams. 7:30 p.m. Friday. $3. Tampa Pitcher Show, 14416 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 963-0578.

The Big ticket: Santaland Diaries

Perhaps you tried to get into the holiday spirit, but just found yourself hating everyone and everything around you. Well, here's the show for you! Catch the final performances of Santaland Diaries at American Stage in St. Petersburg. In Joe Mantello's stage adaptation of David Sedaris' famous holiday story, an out of work writer takes a job as a Macy's elf over the holidays, wearing green velvet knickers, becoming more bitter with each passing day. Brian Shea handles the role of Crumpet the elf in the one-man show, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $19. (727) 823-7529.

Art, stage, comedy 01/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 1:28pm]
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