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Date Night

Private booths with curtains provide customers with privacy while at Ciro's Speakeasy. That's pretty fancy.Photos by LUIS SANTANA | Times file

From fancy to thrifty, Tampa Bay date ideas that will cause heart eyes

Sometimes you want date night to be fancy, and are willing to spend some extra dollars to get there. And sometimes, you want nothing to do with that noise. There's no special occasion required for getting dressed up and doing something extravagant, just like there's no reason that having a special night out has to  …


  1. Review: Freefall's 'Red Velvet' delivers a message both timely and long overdue


    ST. PETERSBURG — A backstage scene in Red Velvet, Freefall Theatre's production of a recent play that is turning heads, spells out the pre-Victorian social climate as well as any.

    Jose Rufino, left, plays Ira Aldridge, the first African-American professional actor to play Othello, and Douglas S. Hall plays theater manager Pierre LaPorte in Freefall Theater's production of Red Velvet. Photo by Thee Photo Ninja.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 27-March 5


    Florida Strawberry Festival: In Plant City, the red berry is king but the music lineup is pretty sweet, too. Willie Nelson, Little Big Town and 3 Doors Down will be there, along with a midway of rides, exhibits and free daily entertainment starting Thursday. $10, $5 ages 6-12, free for 5 and …

    Chef Tony DeFrancesco carefully prepares a four-pound pile of strawberry shortcake for the Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest sponsored by St. Clement's at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City Thursday. Contestants were give ten minutes to attempt to finish the portion, a feat that no one managed to complete.
  3. Freefall's 'Red Velvet' tells remarkable true story of Ira Aldridge, who changed theater


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jose Rufino earned a master's degree in theater without hearing of Ira Aldridge, the character he portrays in Red Velvet starting this weekend at Freefall Theatre.

    Jose Rufino plays Ira Aldridge, the first black professional actor to play Othello the Moor, in Freefall Theatre’s production of Red Velvet.
  4. Review: 'Logan' is a gripping Wolverine story to take seriously


    James Mangold's Logan is an uncommonly mature comic book movie, practically from another universe unto itself. It's a movie demanding and deserving to be taken seriously, an elegy for a mutant.

    Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) tries to protect the young mutant Laura (Dafne Keen) in "Logan." (Ben Rothstein)
  5. Plan your weekend Feb. 24-26: Gasparilla Distance Classic, Mardi Gras pops, dinos at the zoo


    Plan your weekend

    Road runners

    Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa's best-known road races floods Bayshore Boulevard with runners this weekend for the Gasparilla Distance Classic. The race attracts elite runners and first-timers alike for the lovely route that the 15K takes …

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  TV personality Steve-O attends the 10th annual MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert at Club Nokia on May 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
  6. Review: Jordan Peele's 'Get Out' a smart allegory wrapped in a horror flick


    Jordan Peele's Get Out isn't Oscar material, yet it's a razored rebuttal to the movie industry's so white, so what reputation. Nothing is more Hollywood than horror movies, nor more show-business-as-usual than cultural appropriation.

    Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) takes boyfriend Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) to meet her potentially ill-meaning parents in Get Out.
  7. Interview: Internationally renowned artist Alex Katz brings works to Tampa Museum of Art

    Visual Arts

    When leaders at the Tampa Museum of Art got surprising news that Alex Katz would be stopping by to see his exhibit and mingle, it was a big deal.

    Alex Katz, Ariel, Black and White, 2016. Courtesy of the Tampa Museum of Art.
  8. Music Planner: 311 cruises in, plus Justin Hayward, Lee Greenwood and more

    Music & Concerts

    COME ORIGINAL: 311 Cruise

    If you're floating around Ybor City next week, keep an eye out for seafaring reggae-rock fans. They're in town for the annual 311 Cruise from Tampa to Cozumel and likely hitting up a handful of pre-parties in Ybor. The two biggest — concerts at the Ritz Ybor by alternative …

    The annual 311 Cruise leaves Tampa for Cozumel on March 2. Before that, there will be pre-parties across Ybor City, including a private concert at the Ritz Ybor on Feb. 28, during which 311 will celebrate the can release of 311 Amber Ale, a collaboration with Tampa’s Rock Brothers Brewing.
  9. 5 things to do under $5: Florida Orchestra, Black Arts Festival, Peter Max and Fiesta Day


    1Florida Orchestra Family Concerts: This family-friendly "pay what you can" show brings husband-and-wife musicians Anna Kate Mackle, principal harp for the Florida Orchestra, and John Shaw, principal percussion, who will demonstrate their instruments and play together. Arrive early for art activities and the …

     John Shaw, principal percussionist and his wife, Anna Kate Mackie, principal harpist, both of the Florida Orchestra, pose at home in St. Petersburg.
  10. Movie Planner: 'Get Out,' 'Rock Dog,' Oscars goodies galore



    Remember that Eddie Murphy standup routine about haunted houses and ghostly whispers urging visitors to leave? You can bet Jordan Peele does, lifting Murphy's riff for the title of Get Out (R), his directing debut.

    Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from Get Out.