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  1. Plan your weekend July 31-Aug. 2


    Plan your weekend

    Nerds rising

    Tampa Bay Comic Con With Carrie Fisher — Princess Leia herself — in the house, we won't be surprised if this geektastic event once again breaks attendance records at the Tampa Convention Center. More than 40,000 are expected over …

    Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie.
  2. Things to Do Planner: Meet Grumpy Cat, the Bucs and Willow Shields



    Grumpy Cat, the Internet celebrity with the perpetual scowl, got an endorsement deal from PetSmart and Friskies.
  3. Stage Planner: A Sarasota ballet gala, yes; tickets for 'Mame,' no



    Francisco Serrano, son of the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School’s founders, won the International Student Ballet Competition in Havana in 2014. He will perform at Saturday’s gala.
  4. Dining Planner: Three local drinking festivals and a food truck court

    Food & Dining


    Feeling thirsty, Tampa Bay? Take a gander at the whistle-wetting possibilities this week.

    Tampa Bay Brewing Company beers, including Red E Amber Ale, Iron Rat Stout, Moose Killer Barley Wine, and Old Elephan Foot IPA.
  5. Art Planner: Kristin Beauvois portraits, Dick Jacobs' 'Wonderlust' and a mural festival on the way

    Visual Arts



    After seeing the one shown here that came with a news release, I had to go to Kristin Beauvois' website to see more. They're terrific! These aren't conventional renderings of people. She defines them as abstractions, and indeed, reality is greatly distilled in them. In some ways, they …

    Richard O. “Dick” Jacobs, Leopard, Botswana, from his book Wonderlust.
  6. Music Planner: Toby Keith speaks out; Fifth Harmony and Kygo ready to pop

    Music & Concerts



    Let's skip the tired debate over Toby Keith's place in politics and culture, the red-versus-blue antagonism that in Dubya's America positioned him as something of an inverse Dixie Chick — reviled and beloved with equal devotion, and a symbol of all that was right/wrong with …

    Toby Keith.
  7. At 20, Clearwater native Vinny Ortega is running a theater company in New York



    As directors met for the first time to kick off a theater festival in June, an organizer approached a fresh-faced teenager in their midst.

    Vinny Ortega is a 2013 Gibbs High School grad who is using theater to change the world. 

courtesy of Vinny Ortega

Clearwater native Vinny Ortega performs in No Entiendo, a play he co-wrote about a teenage immigrant from Mexico.
  8. Tips for navigating the madness at Tampa Bay Comic Con


    Tampa Bay Comic Con drew some 44,000 fans in superhero regalia in 2014, shattering attendance records at the Tampa Convention Center. This year could be poised to topple last year's record, with Saturday alone expected to draw close to 30,000 people. � Here are some tips to help you navigate the scores of …

    Customers shop for comics, artwork, memorabilia and apparel at the 2013 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center.
  9. Review: New Griswolds 'Vacation' bawdier and less likable


    Comedy today works in cruder fashion than the '80s, so why should it be expected to Vacation any differently?

    Christina Applegate, left, Ed Helms, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins in Vacation. (Warner Bros. Entertainment)
  10. Plan your weekend July 24-26


    Plan your weekend

    Cult Classics

    Fanboy Expo To the comic con, Robin! The Fanboy Expo at Tampa's Grand Hyatt this weekend will reunite TV's Batman and Robin, Adam West and Burt Ward, the caped crusader and boy wonder of the campy '60s superhero series. The comic con also …

    Adam West, left, and Burt Ward at the filming of Return To The Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt. TV’s Batman and Robin will be at the Fanboy Expo at Tampa’s Grand Hyatt this weekend.