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On your radar: British ska band The English Beat, and an acoustic Richard Marx concert

Florida State Fair: The fair opens today and runs through Feb. 18 with nearly 80 rides, games, animal exhibits, demonstrations and, of course, lots of fried food stuffs that have no business being fried. This year, the fair will be celebrating Florida's 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de Leon with a Tampa Bay History Center exhibit. Today is Heroes Day; all active, reserve, or retired military veterans, law enforcement, firemen and first responders are admitted free with I.D. It starts at 10 a.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $8–$12 ages 12 and older, $4–$6 ages 6–11, 5 and younger free. $5 admission after 5 p.m. (813) 621-7821.

A Masked Ball: Illicit love and political intrigue are woven through Verdi's romantic tragedy, when a king falls for his best friend's wife. See it at 7:30 p.m. at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Tickets start at $34.50. (813) 229-7827.

Jon Reep: You'll recognize this comic who won Last Comic Standing as "the Hemi guy" in Dodge commercials. See him at 8:30 p.m. at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $18. (813) 960-1197.

The English Beat: The British ska band who broke through in the '80s with hits like Mirror in the Bathroom and Save It for Later returns to the bay area for this concert at 7 p.m. at Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 565-0551.

Richard Marx: Don't miss this acoustic show by the ultimate musical storyteller who is always cool about taking audience requests. The concert begins at 8 p.m. at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $42.50–$59.50. (727) 791-7400.

To watch

Season premiere; Community, 8 p.m., NBC: Can Jeff finally get the credits he needs and graduate? There must be more cancellation rumors.

Season premiere; BrandX With Russell Brand, 11:30 p.m., FX: Russell made it to a second season. This is better than It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia how?

On your radar: British ska band The English Beat, and an acoustic Richard Marx concert 02/06/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 7:51am]
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