The Serpent: The Jobsite production takes a unique comedic approach and mixes it with a little myth and reality to tell the story of creation. This performance runs through Dec. 17. Production times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. Special performances are 8 p.m. Thursday and 4 p.m. Dec. 16; Shimberg Playhouse, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center; $15.50. Call 229-7827.
Shin Do Kumate XI: The sport of mixed martial arts has grown so much in popularity because of its fusion of high-octane contact fighting and adrenaline-inducing energy. Now the sport returns to the bay area for a night of skills and thrills. 8 p.m.; St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa; $16.75-$151.75. Call 301-2500.
Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade: Watch lights sparkle across the water when decorated kayaks, canoes and traditional craft float upriver from Lowry Park, past the illuminated Sulphur Springs Tower. Boaters can participate by gathering at Lowry Park Boat Ramp at 5:30 p.m. 6-8 p.m.; Lowry Park to Sulphur Springs Tower; free. 237-8497.
Tampa Bay Lightning Reindeer Run and Festival: Lightning Community Ambassador Dave Andreychuk and Heather St. Louis, wife of Lightning star Martin St. Louis, will lead a 5K run to raise funds for the Lightning Foundation and Epilepsy Charities. 8 a.m.-noon; St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa; $15-$30. Call 301-6590 or visit www.tampabaylightning.com.
Jim Gaffigan: From television shows like The Ellen Show and Ed to movies like Three Kings and Road Trip, actor/writer/comic Jim Gaffigan has what it takes to get a laugh out of his audience. Now he will bring his clever humor to the area. 7 and 10 p.m.; Ferguson Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa; $34. Call 229-7827.
George Carlin: He's here to share his twisted, yet funny, show that full of controversy and provocative content. Singer/songwriter, Vance Gilbert is scheduled to open for the comedian. Gilbert's work can be described as being poetic and powerful. 6 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.; Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater; $39-$70. Call (727) 791-7400.
Handel's 'Messiah': The Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah will be performed under the direction of Nancy Callahan. 6 p.m. today at Bayshore Baptist Church, 3111 W. Morrison Ave. Tampa; 6 p.m. Sunday, at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, 3501 San Jose St., Tampa; free. Call 253-6047 or visit www.palmaceiapres.org.
White Christmas: In this three-time Oscar-winnning holiday favorite, a no-nonsense Macy's employee hires a nice old man to portray Santa at the famed department store, but he claims to be the real Kris Kringle! When Kris is institutionalized, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. With Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, and Natalie Wood. 3 p.m.; Tampa Theatre, Tampa; $7.50. Call 274-8982.
'Hairspray': The spunky Tony Award-winning musical is based on a 16-year-old girl who sports a large bouffant and lands a spot on a popular television dance show. This production runs through Dec. 17. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays; Morsani Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa; $30.50-$65.50. Call 229-7827.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Creole Christmas: The flavorful sounds of Bourbon Street make their way to the stage via musicians full of New Orleans soul. 8 p.m.; Morsani Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa; $19.50-$32.50. Call 229-7827.
Tony Bennett: Dec. 15, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater.
Florida Orchestra: Dec. 15, Idlewild Baptist Church, Lutz.
Kenny Rankin: Dec. 18 Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa.
'The Nutcracker': Dec. 21, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa.