TAMPA — The Tampa Bay area gets its most public introduction yet to a top Bollywood star on Friday when Vidya Balan appears at the monthly Eat at Joe's lunch and concert series at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park.
"This is a warmup to the IIFA weekend," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, a key local organizer for next month's 15th annual International Indian Film Academy's awards weekend. "People, as they learn about it, especially those who are interested in Bollywood movies, are going to be excited about it."
Balan, a three-time IIFA winner for best actress in a leading role, is expected at the square at 12:15 to 12:20 p.m. Higginbotham said the event will include dancers in Bollywood-style performance. Eat at Joe's brings entertainment, food trucks and grab-and-go meals from local restaurants to Chillura Square, at the corner of Pierce Street and Kennedy Boulevard, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Friday of every month.
Balan is scheduled to be in town as part of a media tour this week that also will take her to Houston, New York and Orlando. The IIFA awards weekend is scheduled for April 23-26, with the academy's awards show being broadcast from Raymond James Stadium.
As part of the IIFA weekend, Balan is scheduled to conduct a master class with Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey.