Plan your weekend
American Idol Live The original stateside reality-television singing competition takes its turn as American Idol Live brings Season 13 finalists to get up close and personal with fans. Sam Woolf, Jessica Meuse, C.J. Harris, and more will be there, and so will winner Caleb Johnson. His official single, As Long As You Love Me, saw release in May, but we're pretty sure you can count on Journey and Aerosmith covers — along with group performances — sprinkled into the set as well. The show is Friday at 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $60.50-$150. (727) 791-7400.
Bill Bellamy One of MTV's favorite hosts (MTV Jamz and MTV Beach House), the comic is credited with coining the term "booty call" and has since built a solid career of both acting and stand-up comdey. He performs Friday through Sunday at the Improv in Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $25. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.
Inventing Van Gogh The final production of the season from Jobsite Theater is big and ambitious, with living people interacting with dead people, actors playing multiple characters. Time and place is fluid. The premise is a shady art authenticator named Rene Bouchard (Ned Averill-Snell) taps contemporary artist Patrick Stone (Steve Fisher) to forge a Vincent van Gogh painting, creating a mysterious story and making lots of money in the process. The show runs through Aug. 3 in the Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $28. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Take the kids
Snooty's birthday party: The oldest known manatee in captivity and likely the oldest in the world is turning 66. You can join the party Saturday at his home at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, with children's games, a wildlife awareness festival, art activities, food and entertainment. The outdoor celebration is free, and tickets for general admission to the museum are available at a reduced price of $9, $8 seniors, $7 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free. The party runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Baby Snoots came to Bradenton for the Desoto Celebration in 1949 and ended up making it his home. In 1979 he was declared the official mascot of Manatee County and in 1982 was filmed for the kids' show Captain Kangaroo as part of a documentary on manatees. The highlight Saturday is the noon presentation of Snooty's birthday cake (made of fruit and veggies), along with the crowd singing Happy Birthday. The South Florida Museum is at 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. (941) 746-4131.
Monty Python Live (Mostly) The famed British comedy troupe concludes its nostalgic run Sunday in a show that will be played out in movie theaters on this side of the Atlantic. You can see every silly walk, singing lumberjack and dead parrot in a live telecast at more than 400 movie theaters nationwide. Show time is 2:30 p.m., due to the 5-hour time difference with London. It plays at four Tampa Bay locations: Regency 20 in Brandon, Park Place 16 in Pinellas Park, Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar and Citrus Park 20 in Tampa. Tickets are $18, available at Fandango.com and participating box offices. Now, if we can just persuade the theaters to add Spam to their concession stands, the afternoon is complete.
Busch Gardens show The Tampa theme park has added a new live stage show with some real hairy actors. "Opening Night Critters" is running several times a day in the Pantopia Theater with both rescued domestic and exotic animals performing in a tale of stage hands who haphazardly find themselves in the spotlight as the human stars in an all-animal production. The show includes dogs, cats, birds, a horse and a kangaroo, among others. Also for the summer, the park has extended hours until 9 p.m., with the acrobatics show Kinetix and fireworks every night through Aug. 17. In addition, there is a free concert Saturday by the a cappella group Pentatonix. The shows all are included with regular admission, which is $95, $90 for children. Check buschgardenstampa.com for online price breaks and Florida resident deals. Or call (888) 800-5447.
WWE Battleground This is the first time that Tampa has hosted WWE Battleground and it's getting a lot of buzz among wrestling fans. Chris Jericho will be facing Bray Wyatt at the pay-per-view event. The two have been feuding since the Wyatt Family interrupted Jericho's return on the June 30 edition of Monday Night RAW. It will also feature WWE superstars John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, The Shield, the WWE Divas and more. $25-$400. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500. 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Rays Watch Party When the Rays are in Minnesota, catch the game on the beach at a family-friendly watch party with a giant screen set up on the sand behind Guy Harvey Outpost on St. Pete Beach. 620-AM will broadcast live starting with their pre-game show. The Rays Street Team will also be on hand with giveaways. Get a coupon for unlimited sliding on the giant slide for $15 (normally $37). Food and buckets of beer available for purchase. No coolers. Free (food/drink additional). $10 parking. Guy Harvey Outpost: A Tradewinds Resort, 6000 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach. (727) 367-6461. 2:10 p.m. Sunday.