Friday, December 15, 2017
Events

On your radar: The Florida Orchestra plays video game music — or try Willie Nelson, Robin Williams or an iPad quartet

Einstein on Food & Wine: On Saturday, VIPs get to mingle with hunky Fabio Viviani (of Top Chef fame), and choose among beer, wine and restaurant samples at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa ($80, $125 VIP). He'll also do an intimate dinner Friday at a private home ($200/$350 couple). (813) 987-6000.

Video Games Concert: It's like being plopped into the middle of a video game such as Halo, Final Fantasy and Warcraft with the Florida Orchestra playing the music. It's all synchronized to huge video screens, with special effects and rock 'n' roll lighting. Plus the audience can play video games on stage. Cool. It's Friday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. $40, $50; $150 for VIP. (727) 892-3337.

iPad Quintet: The USF School of Music has just the right touch on iPads to play rock, rap and classical music Friday at the University of South Florida School of Music Concert Hall on Fowler Avenue in Tampa. $12 advance, $15 day of; ticketmaster.com.

Date night

On stage: At the Straz Center in Tampa is Traces, a show with acrobatics fused with contemporary dance, theater and even skateboarding, set to music like Radiohead. Don't worry about a plot. Opens Tuesday. $31.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. Also opening Tuesday is a quick run of Billy Elliot, the Tony Award-winning musical about a boy who jumps from the boxing ring to ballet class, at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $50–$70. (727) 791-7400.

Robin Williams: Joking about his age, the Oscar winner offers "an evening of sit-down" comedy. Like we believe he's going to sit still in a chair? Tickets are $59, $89, $125 on Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Willie Nelson: Everybody's always making pot jokes about the 79-year-old legend of outlaw country music, but we're not high on that. Oops. He's joined by his son, Lukas, on Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $48.50–$100. (727) 791-7400.

Tosca: Presented by St. Petersburg Opera, the tale of Puccini's young lovers intensifies into murder, betrayal and declarations of love Friday, Sunday and Feb. 5 at the Palladium Theater. $21.50–$64.50. (727) 823-2040.

Kids and family

Monster Jam: Yes, it was just here a week or so ago, but can you ever have too much of giant trucks crushing stuff? Go early from 2 to 5 p.m. to see the trucks and drivers. The smashing starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. $15–$35. Toll-free 1-800-745-3000.

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Straz Center reviewing Tavis Smiley theatrical tour in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

Straz Center reviewing Tavis Smiley theatrical tour in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

The theatrical tour about the death of Martin Luther King Jr. that broadcaster Tavis Smiley is slated to bring to Tampa in March is still on schedule, according to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, though it is under review.PBS s...
Published: 12/14/17
This week's top holiday events: Parades, Christmas lights, theme parks and more

This week's top holiday events: Parades, Christmas lights, theme parks and more

PARADES Homosassa Christmas Boat Parade Parade begins at Marker 75 by Bird Island. Free. Homosassa Springs Marina, 10806 W Halls River Road, Homosassa. 6 p.m. Dec. 16.   Indian Rocks Beach Boat Parade It begins at the Holiday Inn Harbourside and...
Published: 12/14/17
Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Bar review: Spanish flair at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Take a second and try to think of a few of the world’s biggest drinking cultures. Ireland is a freebie, but then you’ll probably move onto Germany, Russia and possibly even South Korea (yep, South Korea goes hard).How about Spain? No, I’m not just ta...
Published: 12/14/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 15

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 15

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress is ready to Roar as she sets off on a tour in support of the album, Witness. Synth-pop duo Purity Ring opens. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $45.75-$195.75. (813) 301-2500.John Prine: T...
Published: 12/14/17
From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

From Crystal River to Brooksville, branch out to shop on these unexpected main streets

You don’t have to stare at a greeting card to picture a bustling old main street lined with decorated shops and lampposts. Historic small-town shopping districts are easy to find, and more charming than Walmart. Beyond the downtowns of St. Pet...
Published: 12/14/17
New locations for Tampa’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, plus a Mario Lopez appearance

New locations for Tampa’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, plus a Mario Lopez appearance

New Year’s Eve fireworks in downtown Tampa will be a little different this year, as free, public viewing moves from Channelside Bay Plaza to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park behind Amalie Arena due to ongoing construction. Meanwhile, the Pied Pipe...
Published: 12/14/17
Review: Kevin Young gives readers the truth about ‘Bunk’

Review: Kevin Young gives readers the truth about ‘Bunk’

We live in the age of the hoax.Believe me.And if you don’t believe me, believe Kevin Young, author of the sometimes disturbing but always fascinating new book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News.In it, Yo...
Published: 12/14/17
Local craft beer of the week: Big Storm’s Lightning Twenty Five Craft Lager

Local craft beer of the week: Big Storm’s Lightning Twenty Five Craft Lager

The Tampa Bay Lightning is off to its best start in franchise history, racking up NHL highs in wins and points in their 25th anniversary season.That calls for a toast.And Odessa’s Big Storm Brewing has just the beer. Turns out, the brewery picked a g...
Published: 12/14/17
Wine of the week: Georges DuBoeuf 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau

Wine of the week: Georges DuBoeuf 2017 Beaujolais Nouveau

It would hardly be the holidays without Beaujolais nouveau.This French wine made with Gamay grapes appears on American shelves in mid November. It’s a vin de primeur, a wine made from the most recent harvest and fermented only a few weeks — barely gr...
Published: 12/14/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Thursday, Dec. 14

Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Thursday, Dec. 14

Santa and Ice Skating in St. Petersburg: Santa and his sleigh will be appearing on select nights in St. Petersburg for visits with area children. After visiting Santa, stick around for "glice" skating on a simulated ice rink. 6 p.m., North Straub Par...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17