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Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 25

Florida native Kristen  Wilson will be Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's first female ringmaster. She debuts next month with the circus' new season. [Courtesy Feld Entertainment]

Florida native Kristen Wilson will be Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's first female ringmaster. She debuts next month with the circus' new season. [Courtesy Feld Entertainment]

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus: This year's show, called Circus XTREME, features BMX trick riders, trampoline daredevils, a bungee aerial skydiving display and more thrills from the human performers, along with animals ranging from Bengal tigers to camels. Come an hour early to meet performers, see animals up close, try on costumes and learn circus skills. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $18-$85. (813) 301-2500;

Wine Society Tasting: Expand your wine palate in weekly wine tasting class with food pairings. Registration preferred. 7 p.m., Ybor City Wine Bar, 1600 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 999-4966.

Joe Turner's Come and Gone: Pride Night: The last of August Wilson's Century Cycle, owners of a boarding house play host to a makeshift family of people with connections to slavery. Some stay days, some longer. Through Feb. 19. Features a mixer at 6 p.m. and a post performance discussion with Nadine Smith of Equality Florida. 7 p.m., American Stage Theatre Company at Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $39-$49. (727) 823-7529.

Forbidden Broadway: Dubbed the "funniest show in New York" by the New Yorker magazine, the show spoofs characters, plots and show tunes of contemporary and classical Broadway musicals. Through March 12. 7:30 p.m., Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $40. (813) 229-7827.

Cabaret: The Broadway revival of this classic show reunited director Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall, choreographer to recreate their work in a Tony-winning production of songs like Willkommen and Maybe This Time. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $27.50-$79.50. (813) 229-7827.

Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: The monthly series returns and opens with Flatbush Luck, in which two hunky phone repair guys find themselves wrapped up in a murder plot. 7:30 p.m., Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (813) 879-4220.


Leap into Art at Leepa-Rattner: Library staff read stories about art. Story related, hands-on art activities follow. 3:30 p.m., Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs. $7, $6 seniors, no charge for children, students and active military with ID. (727) 712-5762.


SEASON PREMIERE: The Magicians, 9pm, Syfy: The show's second season premiere finds Quentin (Jason Ralph, left) and friends stuck in Fillory trying to defeat the Beast while reeling from defeat and becoming mythical royalty. This show has become the adult version of Hogwarts and Narnia.


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This is not your father's — or your grandfather's — Archie comics.

On paper it seems like a bonkers idea: Classic characters Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge and Jughead Jones are modernized for a teen murder mystery.

But on screen, Riverdale plays out like a noirish melodrama combining elements from all your soapy favorites like Twin Peaks, Gossip Girl and Dawson's Creek.

Archie (K.J. Apa) is the handsome, red-headed football player who is more abs than awkward. He comes back buff after a long break working for his dad (Luke Perry), yet pines for the scandalous summer fling with teacher Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel).

Supposed goody-two-shoes Betty (Lili Reinhart) isn't all cotton candy and sunshine. She's constantly stifled by her journalist mother (Twin Peaks' Madchen Amick), who tries to keep Betty on the straight and narrow path with an Adderall prescription and strict rules.

The arrival of New York socialite Veronica (Camila Mendes) shakes up Betty and Archie's lives as well as Riverdale High. Veronica's mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols) returns to her hometown of Riverdale to start over after her husband's financial fraud scandal.

Riverdale cold opens with the death of the high school football star and twin to the fiery redhead Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines). Clearly this is no accidental death. It's also a bit weird that Cheryl and Jason take a romantic boat ride in matching crisp white linens. And who better to narrate this seedy mystery than Jughead (Cole Sprouse).

The story quickly turns into an old fashioned whodunit wrapped in a surreal drama led by pretty teenagers and horrible parents.

This is an Archie story above all else, but with hints of David Lynch surrealism. The characters retain much of their iconic personality and physical traits, but without the goofy dialogue. They're all inherently good kids who often get placed in more adult situations than you would find in the comics.

Even local band Josie and the Pussycats gets a dynamic twist. The all-black trio, led by Ashleigh Murray, rock pep rallies like an episode of Friday Night Lights.

Series creator and executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Glee, Looking, Big Love) brings much of the pop-culture saturated and sardonic dialogue seen in his other shows to Riverdale. It also helps that Aguirre-Sacasa is the Chief Creative Officer for Archie Comics.

Don't let the show's comic book roots deter you. The show's smart and surprising choices temper the teen angst and wholesome origins. It's not another paperback teen drama.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at Follow @chelseatatham.

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Jan. 25 01/24/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 2:39pm]
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  1. Ticket window: Shania Twain, Chicago, George Benson

    Music & Concerts

    Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:

    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Singer Shania Twain performs during the debut of her residency show "Shania: Still the One" at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on December 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
  2. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest


    Plan your weekend


    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  3. Pasco Events for Aug. 25-31


    25 Friday

    Feeding Pasco's Elderly hosts inaugural Leadership Breakfast: The Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Division/Feeding Pasco's Elderly will host this east Pasco event to mirror the Ambassador's Breakfast fundraising event that has been held the past two years on the county's west side. County …

  4. Local craft beer of the week: Cherry Pastelitos, Coppertail Brewing Co. in Tampa

    Bars & Spirits

    On Saturday, Tampa's Coppertail Brewing Co. will celebrate its third anniversary with a Florida weisse festival, showcasing densely fruited tart wheat beers from more than a dozen Tampa Bay area breweries including, of course, many of its own brews in this summer-friendly style.

    Center: Coppertail Brewing’s Cherry Pastelitos. Flanking it are Coppertail’s BOMP (blood orange, mango, passionfruit), left, and Pinky Swear (pink lemonade-flavored).
  5. 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' opens run at Show Palace Dinner Theatre


    The Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson takes a nostalgic swing through the 1950s and '60s with its production of Smokey Joe's Cafe, which opens Aug. 26. The local offering of the longest-running rock 'n' roll revue in Broadway history features the legendary pop tunes of hit makers Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. …

    A local production of the 1950s and '60s musical revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe" opens Aug. 26 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.