WARM UP: Hot Chocolate 15K and 5K
It feels fitting in a season surrounded by food and sweets that even Sunday's Hot Chocolate 15K and 5K awards runners with decadent chocolate treats. There will be "sweet stations" along the course for those who can't wait, and the chocolate flows at the post-race party with a concert by country singer Michael Ray in Channelside Bay Plaza. There will also be a family-friendly kid zone. Finishers' mugs will be filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty dip-able treats. Benefits the Ronald McDonald House. 7:30 a.m. 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $54-$79. hotchocolate15k.com.
FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: Legend of Zelda
You don't often see "costumes encouraged" at Florida Orchestra shows, but that's the scene Friday when the orchestra presents a video game concert celebrating 30 years of The Legend of Zelda. Under the direction of Amy Andersson, a musician who has led opera productions, the video game concerts are finding a new generation of fans for orchestras. The concert celebrates 30 years of the popular video game franchise and the music will be expertly timed to high-definition video on a big screen. At press time, it wasn't sold out yet, but tickets were selling fast. 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $25-$95. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.
COMEDY: Bill Bellamy, Wendy Liebman
Two veteran comics are in town this week to get us through what can be a stressful time of year. Bill Bellamy, left, hosted seasons 5 and 6 of NBC's Last Comic Standing and has acted in a slew of comedies. But the MTV VJ may go down in history for coining the phrase "booty call" on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam. He performs at the Improv in Centro Ybor in five shows Friday through Sunday. 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.
Wendy Liebman, right, a comedian for more than 25 years, has been a regular on late-night talk shows and her own HBO and Comedy Central specials. Her bait-and-switch humor is an acknowledged inspiration to Amy Schumer, who was recently accused of stealing her joke: "I'm old fashioned. On a date I like it when the man pays. For sex." But Liebman dispelled the idea of joke theft, saying Schumer "has always been generous telling the press that I'm one of her influences." She attributed the similar jokes to a case of parallel thinking — "There are only so many ideas." Liebman performs five shows Thursday through Saturday at Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $18-$20. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.