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Date Night

Illustrations by ALLI ARNOLD   |   Special to the TImes

Great Tampa Bay date ideas for Valentine's Day or all year long

You want to take your sweetie on a great date on Valentine's Day, of course. And rest assured, there is some pretty fun stuff happening around town this weekend. But why limit yourself? Here, from the brains of the Tampa Bay Times entertainment and lifestyle experts, are some original and lovey-dovey Tampa Bay date …

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  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Jan. 23-29.

    Events

    Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: Your last chance ever to see the Ringling circus in Tampa will be Wednesday-Sunday before it ends its 146-year run for good in May. Come an hour early to meet performers, see animals up close, try on costumes and learn circus skills ($18-$85).

  2. Review: Heavy lifting falls to the leads in Opera Tampa's 'Romeo and Juliet'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Drama is great in opera when you can get it. It has never been considered essential, at least not when compared with the music, with which things like acting and character and staging are at best unequal partners.

    Richard Troxell and Sarah Joy Miller impress as the leads in Opera Tampa’s production of Romeo and Juliet.
  3. Gasparilla Planner: What you need to know to conquer the pirate invasion

    Events

    AAARGH YOU READY? Gasparilla planner

    What is happenin', matey?

    Pirates aboard the Jose Gasparilla pirate ship prepare to dock at the Tampa Convention Center to mark the start 101st Annual Gasparilla Pirate Invasion Parade in Tampa in 2016.  [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  4. Interview: Jazz great David Sanborn on Tampa Bay Black Heritage, Kendrick Lamar and touring

    Music & Concerts

    Saxophonist David Sanborn is suffering from a terrible cough. "Some throat thing," he sputters in between fits during a telephone interview.

    David Sanborn performs onstage at the One World Concert at Syracuse University on October 9, 2012 in Syracuse, New York.
  5. Florida Orchestra principal oboe John Upton takes the lead in Mozart concerto

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — John Upton wondered if Michael Francis would remember him.

    John Upton, Florida Orchestra’s principal oboist, center, rehearses with the orchestra at the Mahaffey Theater in  St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  6. From creepy masks to the closing circus, it's a hard time to be a clown

    Stage

    When the clowns found out the circus was closing, they turned their red noses to each other for support.

    Clown Alley of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Courtesy of Ringling Bros.
  7. Review: 'Forbidden Broadway' at the Straz skewers biggest names of the stage

    Stage

    TAMPA — No one can spoof show business like the actors and writers who are steeped in it, and that is part of the reason Forbidden Broadway is still going strong after 35 years. The fast-paced musical revue has gone through numerous revisions and given work to more than 2,000 struggling actors, …

    Kevin B. McGlynn spoofs The Lion King in Forbidden Broadway, a fast-paced musical parody of Broadway’s biggest hits. Now in its 35th year, the show is updated to include more recent trends.
Straz Center.
  8. St. Petersburg's American Stage one of 12 theaters worldwide to complete the August Wilson cycle

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG

    In the past decade at American Stage, we've witnessed more than 100 years of life.

    CAMERON COTTRILL   |   Times
  9. Here's how critics reviewed all 10 August Wilson cycle plays at American Stage

    Stage

    Here's a rundown of 10 seasons of American Century Cycle plays at American Stage, and what our reviewers said at the time.

    “Gem of the Ocean”
  10. Plan your weekend: Gasparilla Children's Parade, Beer and Bacon Festival, comedians George Lopez, Margaret Cho

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Take the kids

    Gasparilla Children's Parade: Pint-sized pirates welcome Tampa's pirate season on Saturday. Kids 5 and younger can join the Preschooler's Stroll half-mile strut (1:30-2:30 p.m.). There's also a bicycle safety rodeo (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), and an air …

    Liam MacGillivary, Scout Hayden and Rylie Auger, all 4 years old, ride in a ship during the Preschooler’s Stroll before the annual Gasparilla Children’s Parade along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa.