Big laughs: It could be the biggest comedy show of the year: Aziz Ansari, a.k.a. Tom from Parks and Recreation. His early show Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater is sold out, but the 10 p.m. one might have tickets available: $38; (727) 893-7832. Also in town is Joan Rivers on Friday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater $65-$85; (727) 791-7400; unpredictable Katt Williams on Saturday at the USF Sun Dome $48.75-$128.75, (813) 974-3004; and Bill Cosby, with two shows in Sarasota on Sunday, call (800) 826-9303 and one in Lakeland on March 17, call (863) 834-8111.
St. Patrick's Day starts early: As luck would have it, St. Patrick's Day falls on a Monday. Good thing celebrations start Friday. The Dubliner Irish pubs in Citrus Park and South Tampa crank up four days of festivities including lots of beer and a St. Puppy's Day pet costume contest Saturday. For more events: tampabay.com/things-to-do.
Michael Bolton: The '80s soft rock king is having a moment, with those random appearances in Honda commercials. He'll belt out standards like How Am I Supposed to Live Without You tonight at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. $72-$92. (727) 791-7400.
American Monkey: This dark comedy set amid auditions for an American Idol-style show questions what it takes to become a celebrity. The audience can sign up to sing and can vote by text messaging. Opens at Free-fall Theatre on Saturday, with previews Friday and Saturday matinee. $20-$44. (727) 498-5205.
Carmen: Don Jose becomes totally — and tragically — obsessed with the gypsy Carmen in this sexy opera thriller with a famous score by Georges Bizet. Presented by Opera Tampa in French with English supertitles. See it Friday and Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa. $34.50-$84.50. (813) 229-7827.
Florida Orchestra: Soloist Caroline Goulding plays Korngold's film theme-inspired violin concerto. Also on the program is Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 and the playful Dances from Powder Her Face by Thomas Ades. Concerts are 11 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. Toll free 1-800-662-7286.
Kids and Family
Chalk Walk Festival: More than 40 chalk and plein air artists cover Hyde Park Village sidewalks with stunning but fleeting masterpieces to compete for cash prizes. Runs Friday through Sunday. Free.
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