Plan your weekend
Monty Python's Spamalot: Pack a picnic — American Stage in the Park this year embraces the full-blown silliness of Monty Python's Spamalot, a satirical take on England's medieval past and present, which debuted on Broadway in 2005. The show includes hurled cows, killer bunnies, people being slapped in the face with fish and a coming-out party for a member of King Arthur's court. The show opens Saturday and runs through May 8 at Demens Landing, Bayshore Drive and Second Avenue S, St. Petersburg. $16-$38. A "pay what you can" preview performance is at 8 p.m. today . Gala Under the Stars, a fundraiser, starts at 6 p.m. Friday with gourmet dinner, an open bar, auctions and the opening performance of Spamalot for $200. (727) 823-7529. americanstage.org.
Mainsail Art Festival: Held for more than 40 years on the St. Petersburg waterfront, this has evolved from a small exhibition for local artists to one that attracts national interest and, on average, more than 100,000 visitors during its two-day run in Vinoy Park on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront. The festival is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Free admission. No pets or coolers. Street parking, most of it metered, is available but can be difficult to find on weekends. Consider using one of the paid parking garages or lots, then using a shuttle for pickup and dropoff. Free Mainsail trolleys will run both days. Go to stpetetrolley.com for those details and mainsailart.org for general information.
Take the kids
Sugar Sand Festival: After four years, this Clearwater Beach festival of sandsculpting has turned into a signature event. And this year brings lots of extra sand toys. While it costs $10 ($5 for kids; free for 5 and younger) to see the walk-through display of sand sculptures opening Friday through April 24 at Clearwater Beach's Pier 60, there are lot of free activities this year. They include free sand sculpting classes on the beach (4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 7 p.m. Monday), "speed sculpting" competitions from master sculptors (5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday), fireworks (9 p.m. Saturday) and free concerts. For a full schedule see sugarsandfestival.com.
Amber Tamblyn: The actor (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Joan of Arcadia) has released her third book of poetry, Dark Sparkler, a bleak collection on the sexism and ageism that women face in show business. She will be at Tampa's Inkwood Books from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday (the same night her husband, comedian David Cross, performs at the Straz Center) to discuss and sign her book. Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa, at (813) 253-2638.
Comedy: There's quite a collection of edgy comedians on stages across Tampa Bay this week who share a common love of making audiences nervous. Not-so-wholesome TV dad Bob Saget is coming off the raging success of Fuller House on Netflix, but be prepared for this comic's raunchy act. $35-$55. 8 p.m. Saturday at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com. Arrested Development's David Cross is known for his scorching social commentary. $28-$38. 8 p.m. Friday at Ferguson Hall at Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org. Girl power comedian Iliza Shlesinger is currently making couples uncomfortable on the new TBS game show Separation Anxiety. $18-$22, today-Saturday at Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com. Tampa's own Gallagher will smash watermelons and tell jokes with the help of veteran comic Artie Fletcher at 9 p.m. Saturday at the RockHouse Live, 6800 Sunset Way, St. Pete Beach. $25 ($35 for the Splash Zone). (727) 828-9143. rockhouselive.com.
Record Store Day: Saturday is Record Store Day, the morning when music collectors rise early and strap on their Rush T-shirts to hit their local record shops in search of limited-edition vinyl. Plenty of stores will offer discounts, food and drink, live music and other goodies. This year features 7-inches, live LPs, compilations and collectibles from artists such as David Bowie, Lil Wayne and Florence and the Machine. (For a full list, see recordstoreday.com.) Among the stores participating: Bananas Music: 2887 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 321-6814. musicfinder.com. Daddy Kool Records: 666 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-5665. daddykool.com. Microgroove: 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 667-7089. facebook.com/microgroovetampa. Mojo Books & Records: 2540 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 971-9717. facebook.com/mojotampa.
Safety Harbor Beer and Burger Throwdown: Back for a second helping, the Safety Harbor Beer and Burger Throwdown returns Saturday to challenge local brewers and restaurants. You can get samplings from local craft brewers in the Microbrewery Beer Garden, plus restaurants will be cooking up their top burgers ($3 or less each) for local celebrity judges to pick the Best Burger of the Bay. The 2-8 p.m. Saturday party also includes country music by Indiana, arts and craft vendors, photo opportunities with NASCAR's Cody Lane and interactive games in the kids zone at Safety Harbor City Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane. $5, 11 and younger free. (727) 674-1464.
Elle King: One huge hit and a couple of Grammy nominations later, Elle King is no longer merely Rob Schneider's daughter. In fact, these days, Schneider might be better known as Elle King's father. Such is the power of Ex's & Oh's, King's sassy debut single, and her 2015 album, Love Stuff. She'll perform with Clear Plastic Masks at 8 p.m. Saturday at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16 and up. (727) 895-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com .
Florida Orchestra: Firebird Suite: The orchestra's concertmaster Jeffrey Multer will take the spotlight soloist this weekend to lead the orchestra in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3, also known as the Strassburg. An accomplished violinist, Multer founded the Palladium Chamber Players and is also the artistic director of chamber music at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. Guest conductor Fawzi Haimor, whose repertoire includes the late romantic Germanic works and 19th and 20th century Russian and American composers, makes his debut with the orchestra in the concert. The orchestra will also perform Claude Debussy's beloved Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. Stravinsky composed the piece on a commission by ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, whose ballet The Firebird launched the composer's career. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts; 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.