Plan your weekend
Rays Fan Fest: This free event Saturday at Tropicana Field is always jammed with fans eager to get ready for baseball season and meet Tampa Bay Rays players and coaches. Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons joins for a talk. You can tour the clubhouse and let the kids run the bases. And, once again, the Rays have cleaned out their closets for the Rays Charity Yard Sale. The $25 autograph passes for the top players have long since sold out, but kids 14 and younger can visit a free autograph station with more than 40 former Major League players. It's free parking and admission from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
Comedy: For fans of offbeat comedy, Creed Bratton, right, the disturbingly hilarious character from The Office, bringing a night of comedy and music with his rock band, the Grass Roots, at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$40 at ticketfly.com. But for old-school comedy fans, veteran comedian Robert Klein, who has been on Broadway, television and in film and influenced a generation of stand-up comics, performs Friday at 8 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Tickets are $30-$50. atthecap.com.
Hollywood Awards Night: For Oscar night Sunday, dress like a movie star and head to the Tampa Theatre for the historic movie house's annual Academy Awards viewing party. The Oscar watch party is held in a theater older than the Oscars. Tampa Theatre opened in 1926, three years before Wings became the first best picture winner. The venue's 17th annual Hollywood Awards Night includes the broadcast and a 7 p.m. red-carpet entrance with a limo ride around the block. Arrivals are announced by "Roan Jivers," cheered by "fans" and snapped by paparazzi. A cash bar is available, and costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $20, or $15 for Tampa Theatre members at tampatheatre.org.
Kristin Chenoweth: She has won a slew of awards, wowed audiences with some amazing vocals and now Kristin Chenoweth performs Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. She is best known for roles in Wicked (a Tony-nominated performance as Glinda the Good Witch), and teacher April Rhodes in Glee, but the Oklahoma-born singer got her start in opera and has a wide range of musical tastes and some serious pipes to show them off with. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com. Read our interview with Chenoweth at tampabay.com/things-to-do/stage.
Matilda the Musical: The family-friendly Tony-winning musical about a precocious and gifted girl has won raves for concepts and story, acting and musical score. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, Matilda is a young girl with magical powers, dissed by her stepfather as ugly and beset by authority figures, particularly at school. The show runs through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa. $50-$120. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.