Monday, April 23, 2018
Events

Plan your weekend Jan. 17-

Plan your weekend

MUSIC

Billy Joel Is Friday the last time Billy Joel will play Tampa Bay? Over the past two decades he's been less and less keen to hit the road, though he did recently announce a monthly residency at Madison Square Garden. His show here is 8 p.m. Friday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $39.50-$119.50. (813) 301-2500.

Bond & Beyond with the Florida Orchestra The orchestra's Pops program will have three performances for your ears only, with vocalist Debbie Gravitte: 8 p.m. Friday at Ferguson Hall at Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. A collection of rare Bond-movie memorabilia will also be featured at each show. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337, or toll-free 1-800-662-7286.

PARADE

Gasparilla Children's Parade This is the one where you have to behave. No alcohol. And definitely no wardrobe malfunctions, no matter how much you want those beads. Maybe that's why this one seems to keep growing every year, as people tire of the drunken hijinks of Gasparilla. This parade includes more than 100 units with dance groups, marching bands, krewes, an air invasion and a 23-minute pyrotechnic extravaganza. The parade, which starts at Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, also will be broadcast live on Fox 13. It's free (reserved seating $28-$40) from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. (813) 251-8844.

FOOD

Festival of Chocolate Chocoholics can kiss their resolutions goodbye. The Festival of Chocolate returns to Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry for a three-day run starting Saturday to milk our need for all things cocoa, with chef demos, competitions, tastings, wine and chocolate pairings, kids' games, a fashion show and much more. The festival is included with regular MOSI admission ($21.95; senior, 60-up, $19.95; age 2-12, $17.95) and is $10 for museum members. For full details, see festivalofchocolate.com.

Taste of Safety Harbor The event is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, 105 N Bayshore Blvd., Safety Harbor. Participating restaurants include Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Bar Louie, Copperheads Taphouse, The Sandwich on Main, Southern Fresh and more. $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Call (727) 726-2890 or visit safetyharborchamber.com.

TAKE THE KIDS

Monster Jam Returning to Raymond James Stadium for the first of two very loud stops in Tampa (the next one is Feb. 1), Monster Jam is like the professional wrestling of racing with decked-out monster trucks crushing or leaping over lesser cars and even school buses. Go early for tailgating and photos with the drivers and trucks. Monster Jam is at 7 p.m. Saturday at RayJay; tickets are $15-$100. For details, see monsterjam.com.

Drum Major for Justice Battle of the Bands and Drum Line Extravaganza The holiday and big parades are Monday, but on Sunday, bands from historically black colleges and universities throughout the South each put on a 10-minute halftime show featuring the trademark high-stepping moves, funky drumbeats, dancing and acrobatics. $10 advance, $12 at the gate, $15 VIP. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. (727) 388-9494. 4 p.m. Sunday.

COMEDY

Ralphie May The supersized comedian, who credits Sam Kinison as an inspiration, is an alum of Last Comic Standing, but doesn't shy away from touchy topics including race, gay weddings and dead celebrities. You'll cringe, but you'll laugh. Because he doesn't take anything seriously — except, maybe, his health after a near-death experience at Tampa General Hospital in 2011, when he was brought down by pneumonia and blood clots during a Mexican cruise. He's a family man now, but that hasn't softened his raunchy ways, or his popularity. He performs at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Tickets are $29.50-$49.50. strazcenter.org.

GET OUTSIDE

Treasure Island Kite Fest Kites of all shapes and sizes take flight behind the Thunderbird Resort on Treasure Island in a weekend-long show of tricks set to music, precision flying, huge themed kites and amateur fliers. Bring your own kite; vendors will also be on site selling kites and supplies. Weather permitting, there may be giant bubbles and a night kite flying session. It's all free from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday behind the Thunderbird Resort, 10700 Gulf Blvd. (727) 320-9463.

Comments
Dynasty bids farewell to Tampa with one last show

Dynasty bids farewell to Tampa with one last show

Local hip-hop artist Dynasty is on her way to Hollywood, but before she goes she will grace Tampa with one more performance.Originally from New York, Diana "Dynasty" Hardy came to Tampa in 2004 and quickly became acclimated to the area’s underground ...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

American Stage in the Park: The Producers: Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy sees a down-and-out producer and his accountant scheme to produce the most notorious flop in theater history. Through May 13. 8 p.m., Demens Landing, 100 First Ave. SE, St. Pe...
Published: 04/20/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 21

Kenny Chesney: The tight-jeaned country superstar is making his first return to Tampa in five years and will be joined by country music’s hottest, new act Old Dominion after the release of their sophomore album Happy Endings which debuted No. 1 on Bi...
Published: 04/20/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a...
Published: 04/20/18
Review: Gilbert King’s ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’ a compelling, horrifying look at Florida’s racist history

Review: Gilbert King’s ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’ a compelling, horrifying look at Florida’s racist history

If Willis McCall were a fictional character, he’d be too far over the top to be believable. Readers (and editors) would scoff that no one could be such a monster of violent, unabashed racism — and get away with it for so long. But McCall...
Published: 04/20/18
Tampa, Brandon 4-year-olds earn starring roles in Waitress at the Straz

Tampa, Brandon 4-year-olds earn starring roles in Waitress at the Straz

TAMPATwo little girls, strangers to each other just a month ago and now best friends, will become authentic stars this week as they perform in the Broadway musical hit, Waitress, at the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall.Both Lucy Capri, 5, of Tampa and Mad...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 20

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 20

Spyro Gyra: Nine-time Grammy nominated, contemporary jazz icons known for blending soul, Latin, pop, and world beat influences and one of the most famous instrumental ensembles of all time will perform. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Cle...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took on a new layer of signif...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Persall: Upon retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Persall: Upon retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Do you see what I did there? The comma and extra "E" in my byline? One last pun, just for fun. It’s the end, fin in French, and something unfortunately ruder in Swedish. Time to retire, nearly 25 years to the day after starting work as the T...
Published: 04/19/18