Celeb-scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson fills Carl Sagan’s role in a fancy-pants exploration of the Big Bang and the scientific mysteries of the universe in Sunday's premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey at 9 p.m. on Fox and Monday on the National Geographic Channel (and 10 other Fox platforms for an unprecedented roll-out) But don't think this is some drab bit of homework.
Produced by Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane, who is a science geek on the side, it will have a mix of real images and high-tech special effects with contributions from Matrix and Spider-Man 2 cinematographer Bill Pope, Star Trek series producer Brannon Braga and The Avengers composer Alan Silvestri....
Seven years after his controversial exit, Isaiah Washington is heading back to Grey’s Anatomy for a one-time guest appearance with one of the other original cast members, Sandra Oh, who is set to bid farewell to the series at the end of its current 10th season.
As longtime fans know, Oh’s Dr. Cristina Yang was involved with Dr. Preston Burke (Washington); they were engaged at one point. “It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should,” creator Shonda Rhimes said in a statement. “Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang."...
Gasparilla Music Festival: The popular downtown music festival will have cuisine from the region's top restaurants and four stages of music with headliners the Flaming Lips today and Sunday. Gates open at 10 a.m. at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $30-$150.
Florida Strawberry Festival: For the final weekend of the festival, today's featured performers are Jerrod Niemann (7:30 p.m., $20-$25), Dustin Lynch (3:30 p.m., $15-$20), and Caroline Kole (1 p.m., free). The festival opens at 10 a.m. at Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds, 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children under 6. (813) 752-9194....
Once again, fortune favors the bald as Rays manager Joe Maddon, coaches, players and front office staff will shave their heads to pay tribute to children fighting cancer. Fans can join in as well, and all proceeds benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Cut for A Cure.
At the Sunday Rays-Red Sox game on March 16, the players will line up for shearing at 10:45 a.m., prior to the spring training game at 1:05 p.m. at Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte....
Busch Gardens has announced a deal that gives visitors a free Adventure Island Fun Card with the purchase of a Busch Gardens Fun Card, a $47 value. The Busch Gardens Fun Card with Adventure Island is $92 for adults and $87 children. You get unlimited access to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island all season long with no blackout dates. The Busch Garden visit dates are valid until Dec. 31 and Adventure Island visit dates are valid through Oct. 12. Purchase at AdventureIsland.com, at the Adventure Island or Busch Gardens front gates or by calling 1-888-800-5447. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...
Nude Nite: This three-night, 21-and-older sensual art event has grown in popularity and moved to a bigger warehouse this year with burlesque performances, live art by body painters, aerialists, pole dancers, explicit photography, live music and a cast of adult-themed strolling characters. It's at 6 p.m. at VF Warehouse, 1601 N 39th St., Tampa. $20-$25. (321) 229-8110.
Beer and Cheese Pairing: Try Florida Beer Co. varieties paired with different styles of cheeses from around the world at this Tampa Bay Beer Week sampling at 1 p.m. at Mazzaro's Italian Market, 2909 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. ...
Plan your weekend
Gasparilla Music Festival
Six thousand fans came to GMF in 2012; that figure swelled to 9,700 in 2013. This year, the festival will expand to two days, Saturday and Sunday, bringing in more than 40 artists, including its biggest headliner yet, the Flaming Lips. The vibe is great, there's food from nearly 20 of Tampa's best-known eateries, and children are welcome throughout the day, particularly at a kids' fest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. At 10:45 a.m. Sunday, there will be a Yoga Rhythm Lounge, a yoga and dance session in Kiley Garden. Gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Advance tickets are $40 for Saturday, $30 for Sunday or $60 for the weekend. More info and a full schedule is at gasparillamusicfestival.com. ...
When I saw Monday's episode of How I Met Your Mother, titled "Vesuvius," it didn't cross my mind at all that something sinister was bubbling up from underground. (There's spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the episode, and if you have seen it, you'll see how deeply down this rabbit hole I went.)
After all my digging, I still feel confident the creators aren't going to sock us in the gut with a finale in which Bob Saget tells those bored kids this was all about their now-dead mother. But first, bear with me....
If you didn't think Tampa landing the "Bollywood Oscars" next month was a big deal, will this convince you? Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is coming to Tampa as party of the hooplah next month to lead an acting workshop as part if the International Indian Film Academy's weekend and awards.
Spacey will be joined in the master class with Bollywood actress Vidya Balan, who won India's prestigious National Award for her thriller Kahaani....
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is coming to Tampa to lead an acting workshop when the "Bollywood Oscars" — the International Indian Film Academy's weekend and awards — arrives in April, IIFA announced Wednesday.
Spacey will be leading an acting workshop "where keen participants attempt to delve into the minds of masters from the world's most flourishing and prolific entertainment industries; Hollywood and Indian film industry," IIFA said in its announcement. He will be joined in the master class by Bollywood actress Vidya Balan, who won India's prestigious National Award for her thriller Kahaani....
1 Dunedin Youth Guild Playground: With the weather getting so much nicer, now is a great time to check out one of the most unusual-looking playgrounds in the region. It opened in August and its design was inspired by Dunedin naturalist Dr. Willis Blatchley, who would sit on a viewing platform in a live oak tree there and record his observations of nature. Kids will find a slide extending from what looks like a tree house. Swings hang from pretend tree trunks. There's a big model of an ant hill to climb through, a big egg to rock in and giant butterflies and caterpillars to ride on. There's even a mushroom table. The playground is in Weaver Park, 2750 Bayshore Blvd., on the east side of Bayshore close to the Pinellas Trail. There are signs bearing educational messages about nature, making this a nice combination of imagination, play and nature appreciation....
It may be time for a road trip for flower fans because the peak bloom season has officially arrived at Bok Tower Gardens, one of the best times of year to visit the National Historic Landmark in Lake Wales. Located about 25 miles southeast of Lakeland, the historic gardens have 150 varieties of camellias and hundreds of azaleas along with orchids and other annuals pushing out blooms. You can learn about the gardens during guided walking tours through April 13, Monday-Saturday at noon and 2 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is $12 , $3 children. See BokTowerGardens.org for more info. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...
Is Jennifer Lawrence's goofy-gal shtick growing thin? How many retweets did Ellen's selfie-with-the-stars get? And what in the heck happened with John Travolta and his imaginary pal Adele Dazeem? Herewith, a few lingering thoughts from Sunday's 86th Academy Awards:
210 MINUTES ... That was the running time of Sunday's Oscars telecast. A serious haul, but at least it wasn't 2002's marathon, which clocked in at 263 minutes! Part of the reason this year's event — which, save for a flabby midsection, was pretty entertaining — tested the clock is that the in-house orchestra refused to play any of the winners off the stage....
Florida Strawberry Festival: Featured performers today are Kellie Pickler (7:30 p.m., $15-$20) and Brenda Lee (3:30 p.m., $15-$20). The festival starts at 10 a.m. at 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children under 6. (813) 752-9194.
Dunedin Mardi Gras: Today is Fat Tuesday and there's a big street party and parade in Dunedin that features colorful floats, local celebrities, beads and plenty of beer, wine and food for sale. A free concert begins at 5 p.m. and the parade steps off from the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium at 7:30 p.m. The street party is along Main Street in Dunedin....
Is Jennifer Lawrence’s goofy-gal schtick growing thin? How many retweets did Ellen’s selfie-with-the-stars actually get? And what in the heck happened with John Travolta and his imaginary pal Adele Dazeem? Herewith, a few lingering questions, thoughts, riffs from Sunday’s 86th annual Academy Awards:
OOPS, THERE GOES ANOTHER J.LAW PRATFALL There was a time, sometime circa The Devil Wears Prada, when Anne Hathaway was America’s Sweetheart: silly, lanky, capable of both owning the silver screen and soft-shoeing with Hugh Jackman. But then, around the time she took best supporting actress for Les Miserables, her schtick started playing like, well, schtick: an actress buying into her own adorableness. Call us party poopers, but Jennifer Lawrence is starting to veer that (Hatha)way. On the Oscars red carpet, J.Law ate pavement yet again, although it wasn’t nearly as cute or, um, natural as when she tripped up the steps last year to accept her best actress statuette for Silver Linings Playbook. At this year’s show’s end, she tried to steal spotlight when presenting best actor trophy, asking why everyone was laughing at her (um, were they?) Finally, an after-party snap of her trying to steal Lupita Nyong’o’s best supporting actress hardware was a teeth-gritter. Are we the only ones starting to root for the bad guys in the Hunger Games flicks?...