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Art, stage, comedy

Michael Francis conducts a Florida Orchestra session at the Straz.

James Borchuck/tbt*

Michael Francis conducts a Florida Orchestra session at the Straz.


Gulfport's 2Cool

Gulfport is about as charming as a small city gets with its lost-in-time, humanly-scaled architecture, a cluster of good restaurants and its bustling arts scene. That scene will get even busier on Saturday and Sunday with the 2Cool Art Show at the historic Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. The show, in its fourth year, is an off-shoot of the popular Cool Art Show in the summer, which has been going for 26 years. Both are organized by the Professional Association of Visual Artists. It's smaller than most art festivals with 38 artists and fine crafts people showing and selling works in popular media. But there is so much to do in downtown Gulfport, you can easily make a day of it. Hours both days are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. — Lennie Bennett

Art in the Park Original artwork by local artisans, including paintings, jewelry, photography and more. Meet and interact with the creators of the artwork. 10 a.m. Sunday. Free. Pioneer Park, Main Street and Douglas Avenue, Dunedin. (414) 207-7225.

Black History of Our Community & Nation Exhibit Opening A collection of photographs of our nation's black history. The Train Depot, built in 1909 as a Jim Crow segregated building, is an important reminder of this "journey for change." 2-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Tarpon Springs Train Depot Museum, 160 E Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs. (727) 943-4624.

Intimate Immensities: Curiosity Cabinets of the Floating Woods The closing reception and artist talk will be Saturday for an exhibition by local artists and the studio's own gallery curator and studio manager, Kenny Jensen. The exhibit is open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620.

Me and My Shadow (Box) Some 100 artists turn small shadow boxes into works of art. Ticket includes desserts and a raffle ticket for a shadow box. 7 p.m. Friday. $25-30. Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin. (727) 298-3322.

"Photographing Modernism" and "We Are the Music Makers" opening receptions "Photographing Modernism," an exhibit by Ezra Stoller, best known for his iconic images of mid-century buildings; and "We Are the Music Makers," Tim Duffy's 20-year quest to preserve Southern traditional music through the Music Maker Relief Foundation, open with a reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday. $10, $8 students, members free. Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, 400 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 221-2222.

The Space Between A meet-the-artist reception will be held for the multimedia, kinetic art exposition featuring original, canvas, glass and chrome works by local artist Mark Gonzalez. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. Free. Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa. (813) 269-1310.


The ol' razzle-dazzle

Paint the town, but don't murder any husbands. Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart are coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater when a touring production of Chicago stops for three performances this weekend. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $35 to $100. (727) 791-7400 or

A Picasso When Paris falls to the Germans, Nazis confiscate works of "degenerate" art, forcing Pablo Picasso to choose which of his own works will be sacrificed. 7 p.m. Monday. $20/$15 student and senior. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620.

Detroit A friendly backyard barbecue with new neighbors quickly spirals into a dangerous bacchanal in this staged reading by A Simple Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. $15, $13 seniors/students/military. Eckerd College Bininger Theatre, 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 864-8279.

Les Miserables The Showcase Players with the Florida Academy of Performing Arts, more than 70 middle and high school students, present the classic musical. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $10-$20, $30 Valentine's Day dinner special. The Barn Theatre at Winthrop, 11349 Bloomingdale Ave., Riverview. (813) 601-3129.

Love Letters ArtsFusion presents the play of two people reading notes, letters and cards in which, over nearly 50 years, they discuss their dreams and disappointments. 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $12-$20. Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 First Ave. NE, Ruskin. (813) 645-7651.

Rent M.A.D. Theatre presents the rock musical about a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create in New York City's East Village. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Through Feb. 22. $22-$25. Shimberg Playhouse at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

The Fantasticks The story of the celebration of love in all its heartbreaking complexity. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $22, $20 members/students. Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs. (727) 942-5605.

The Rat Pack Together Again Tribute to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. with a mix of song, comedy and sketches. 4 p.m. Sunday. $26-35. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590.

The Scott & Patti Show: Love Will Keep Us Together Matthew McGee and Scott Daniel bring glitz and glamor with an outrageous "mother and son" act. This show is a salute to great love songs from Billboard's Hot 100 to the Great White Way. 8 p.m. Tuesday. $20. American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529.

Bethany Tampa Rep's play presents a single mother who loses more than her house but struggles to stay positive. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $15. Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E Sixth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 300-3585.

Birds of a Feather This comedy celebrates families of all types with two bird families living in New York City: two male penguins who raise a chick together at the Central Park Zoo, and red-tailed hawks who make their home on the ledge of a Fifth Avenue building. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Two special events: Tonight, cast members will hold a talk back on the challenges of playing up to eight different characters after the show. $30, $25 seniors, $15 students/artists. Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 374-2416.

First Date A blind date newbie and serial-dater's casual drink turns into a high-stakes dinner as supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversation land mines. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday. Through April 19. $40. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

Footloose Based on the 1984 movie, the musical about a city boy who shakes up a small Midwestern town with dance features hits like Let's Hear It For The Boy and Holding Out For a Hero and. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $24, $10 students. St. Petersburg City Theatre, 4025 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 866-1973.

Radio Golf The last play in August Wilson's famed Century Cycle that illuminates the experiences of everyday African-American people. Set in 1997, this one explores the lives of the black elite and the Ivy League. 8 p.m. Friday and Wednesday-Thursday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Runs through Feb. 22. $29-$49. American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529.

The Buffalo Kings A family struggles at Christmas to heal in the wake of a hate crime. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $21-$44. Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 498-5205.

Love is a Two-Way Street A mixed repertoire dance concert from Collective Soles Dance Company in which each piece of choreography delves into the intricacies of modern relationships. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. $15 advance, $20 day of. JDP Black Box Theater, 5330 Primrose Lake Circle, Tampa. (813) 979-2222.


Hey, Paula!

Emmy-winning comedian Paula Poundstone is a regular panelist on NPR's weekly news quiz show Wait Wait! Don't Tell Me, and she remains one of the most popular and groundbreaking female stand-ups of all time. Find out why when she brings her act to the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St. in Clearwater, at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $34.50-$44.50. (727) 791-7400.

Joe Torry 8 and 10:30 p.m. friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. $17-$20. Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 864-4000.

John Caparulo 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $17-$26. Side Splitters, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.

Mike "Mad Dog" Adams 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. $18-$25. Coconuts Comedy Club Beachcomber Resort, 6200 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 360-5653.

Ariel Sanabria 8 p.m. Saturday. Free. Iglesia Plenitud de Vida Church, 14414 N Florida Ave, Tampa. (813) 501-2160.

Ian Gutoskie 6 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. $10. Side Splitters, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.

The Big ticket: Florida Orchestra

Hearing the sounds of sweet violins while you're trying on those new shoes? You're not going crazy. Part of the Florida Orchestra's new mission under incoming conductor Michael Francis is to get out and about more. The first step was a concert in December at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Take two comes on Friday, when members of the orchestra will play a free concert at International Plaza. It's designed to preview the orchestra's upcoming 2015-16 season, the first season under the new music director's leadership. The concert is at 2:30 p.m. in the grand court area in the middle of the mall. The orchestra will play excerpts from the new season of masterworks, pops and coffee concerts, and Francis will talk about the music and the orchestra's mission. If you're in the mood for a more traditional orchestra concert, Francis will conduct a program of Dutilleux's Métaboles, Ravel's ballet score for Ma Mère L'Oye, or Mother Goose, and Fauré's Requiem. Shows are at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Tickets are $15-$45, but catch a deal at the concierge desk at International Plaza, where you can get half-off the $30 and $45 seats to the shows this weekend, as well as a program of Russian music in March. (727) 892-3337 or — Stephanie Hayes

Art, stage, comedy 01/17/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2015 4:19pm]
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