Maxwell The magnetic singer was a key figure in the neo-soul movement of the '90s, his albums lush, affecting pastiches of poetry and jazz that seemed eons beyond what then passed for modern R&B. His 1996 debut, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, received considerable acclaim (including the first of his 12 Grammy nominations), as did singles like his visionary, falsetto spin on This Woman's Work, by the British alternative singer Kate Bush. He performs at 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets are $41-$131. (727) 791-7400.
Tampa Bay Comic Con Thousands of fans, many of them dressed in costume, will head to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend for bold-faced celebrity meet-and-greets and some 400,000 square feet of merchandise mania, panels, vendors, comics, cosplay, videos, toys, action figures, Star Wars, anime and video games. The convention runs noon to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (after hours programming 6 p.m. to midnight both nights) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. Admission is $30 each day or $60 for three days. 12 and under free. (610) 570-4273 or tampabaycomiccon.com.
WaZoo "Drink beer — save wildlife'' is the theme at Saturday evening's WaZoo, a major Lowry Park Zoo fundraiser with samplings of more than 275 beers, ales and beverages; food from local restaurants; animal encounters and live music. Upgrade to VIP for early admission, exclusive beer and restaurant samplings and access to the air-conditioned Safari Lounge. $65 through Friday, $70-$100 day of, $40-$75 designated driver. 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. lowryparkzoo.com.
Bucs night practice Training camp is here! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' annual night practice returns to Raymond James Stadium on Friday, with live drills, player and cheerleader autographs and post-event fireworks. Parking and admission are free. Lots open at 3:30 p.m., gates at 4:30, and practice starts at 5. Autograph vouchers are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the RayJay box office starting at 4 p.m. For details, see buccaneers.com.
Take the kids
Back to school shopping It's tax-free weekend and you can also check out the latest back to school fashions while meeting Keegan Allen, Toby from the ABC Family hit Pretty Little Liars, at the Shops at Wiregrass' Back to School Bash. The first 300 fans get a free Back-To-School Style Guide with a photo of Allen for a signature. This free event, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, is held in conjunction with tax-free shopping weekend. The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. (813) 994-2242.
Mary Lynn Rajskub You may know her as Chloe O'Brian from 24, the snarky computer hacker who gets Kiefer Sutherland out of jams, but she got her start in performance art-inspired comedy and she's still doing stand-up. She her perform at Side Splitters Comedy Club in Tampa today through Sunday, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $20-$22. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest You've probably seen the movie on TV, shuddering at the icy Nurse Ratched, but the latest local staging of Cuckoo's Nest, opening Saturday at Freefall Theatre in St. Petersburg, puts you in the middle of the action. It's an immersive presentation of the show, which playwright Dale Wasserman adapted for Broadway shortly after Ken Kesey wrote the ground breaking 1962 novel about the cyclical darkness of mental health institutionalization. Freefall will take audiences inside the mental ward, sprinkled in stylized seating around an elevated stage in the middle of the theater. Catch performances through Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. $20-$44, group rates available. 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 498-5205. freefalltheatre.com.
Tampa Bay Rays It's the must-have Rays giveaway you've been waiting for all year: the Joe Maddon Mr. Potato Head! Not only does it get the manager's specs just right, it keeps up the Rays' tradition of generous, playfully inventive promotions. For that they have the best record in baseball. So if you're going to the game against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, do not be surprised if there is a line around the Trop, as there was for the Joe Gnome last year. But wait, there's one more giveaway this weekend, on Family Fun Day Sunday: Wil Myers' head on a bike horn. Crazy fun or creepy? Let your kid be the judge. Saturday's game starts at 7:10 p.m., while Sunday's is 1:40 p.m. For tickets: tampabay.rays.mlb.com or toll-free 1-888-326-7297.
Plan your weekend