1. Arts & Entertainment

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 26-Sept. 1

Chris Brown returns to Amalie Arena, get ready for Labor Day weekend and the Summer of Rum fest closes out the season.
Chris Brown performs at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Published Aug. 25

Chris Brown: The controversial Grammy-winning R&B star will play his fourth Tampa show in five years in support of his latest album, Indigo. Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign, Joyner Lucas and Yella Beezy are tagging along. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Labor Day: Prepare for a long weekend as Labor Day approaches. There will be free music all weekend at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, and the nearby Florida Aquarium will have a Labor Day Luau on Sunday night from 6 to 10 ($15).

Star Wars land: At last, the elaborately themed land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens to earthlings on Thursday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The stakes are high in Florida after crowds were surprisingly light this summer in California when Disneyland opened a nearly identical land, which also cost $1 billion to pull off.

Stormtroopers patrol the Tie Echelon Stage during the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge media preview at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. An identical land is opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando on Aug. 29. [CHRIS PIZZELLO | Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]


Music: Grammy-nominated jazz artist and the pride of USF’s music program, Chuck Owen, with his new sextet ReSurgence, debut Wednesday at the Mainstage Theatre at Hillsborough Community College ($25). New Wave heroes the B-52s bring their 40th anniversary tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Wednesday ($53.25 and up). Post-punk outfit Ash Code play Crowbar on Tuesday ($15-$20). The master of funk George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic bring their final tour to the Mahaffey Theater on Thursday ($45 and up). Local bands such as Ordinary Boys, Row Jomah and Talk to Mark put their spin on classics for WMNF Presents: Tributes at Skipper’s Smokehouse on Saturday ($15). Smooth ’70s pop and rock will be in the air Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall when Firefall, Poco and Pure Prairie League stop in ($39-$83.75). Founding member Johnny “Jaimoe” Johnson brings An Evening of Allman Brothers Music to the Palladium in St. Petersburg on Saturday ($40-$45). Shephard’s Labor Day weekend celebration includes concerts by Sam Feldt on Saturday and Nervo on Sunday ($16 and up).

Summer of Rum Festival: The seventh annual rum lovers party with more than 40 varieties of rum drinks will have live music by Sublime, Rome, the Expandables and Inner Circle. $15. Noon-11 p.m. Saturday in Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa.

National Dog Day: Every dog has his day on Monday when both Caddy’s on Central and the Sundial shopping and entertainment plaza invite patrons to bring their dogs to celebrate National Dog Day. Sundial will have beer samples for people and frozen treats for dogs starting at 5 p.m., and Caddy’s will have a Yappy Hour and a new doggy menu starting at 4 p.m. Monday at 217 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free.

Comedy: The Palladium in St. Petersburg hosts the comedy show Kick the Bucket List, dubbed “the world according to AARP,”on Friday with comics Scott Novotny, John Carfi and Bob Burr poking fun at growing older ($25-$35). Comedian Lavell Crawford, a fan favorite on AMC’s Breaking Bad, will be at Tampa’s Improv Friday through Sunday ($37.55).


Geckofest: The 19th annual Labor Day weekend party and festival in Gulfport this year is themed “Geckos of the Round Table,” so expect lots of King Arthur costumes. With music on two stages, hundreds of vendors, kids’ activities, acrobats, magicians, daredevils, fire eaters and costumed characters from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in downtown Gulfport.

Labor Day Luau: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa reopens at 6 p.m. and stays open late on Sunday for an unofficial end-of-summer luau. Get an after-hours look at its animals and attractions, as well as a live DJ and steel band. Parking is $6. $15, ages 2 and younger free. 6-10 p.m. Sunday.


Find date night ideas and things to do with kids at


  1. On Thursday, Spymonkey's "Hysteria" will bring absurdity and physical comedy to the Straz Center through Nov. 3. Courtesy of Jane Hobson
    Spymonky’s ‘Hysteria’ opens at the Straz, the Capitol Theatre celebrates ‘Abbey Road’ and a banned books drag show hits St. Pete Shuffle.
  2. This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ewan McGregor in a scene from "Doctor Sleep," in theaters on Nov. 8. (Jessica Miglio/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP) JESSICA MIGLIO  |  AP
    Dish network retailer is offering to pay one approved applicant to track things such as their heart rate, jump scares and sleep patterns.
  3. Neighbors with Cafe Ten-O-One, CellarMasters Wine Bar & Bottle Shop aims to debut before Thanksgiving. MEAGHAN HABUDA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Appetizers and small plates are planned alongside wines by the glass and bottle.
  4. A model walks the runway during Tampa Bay Fashion Week in 2016, wearing a dress by Elizabeth Carson Racker. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2016)
    Stylists are here to help you look good. Plus, it’s time for the Dress for Success sale.
  5. St. Petersburg native Bill DeYoung, the author behind "Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought It Down." Tampa Bay Times (2014)
    Bill DeYoung will also talk about ‘Skyway,’ his book about the 1980 Tampa Bay disaster.
  6. Tampa Museum of Art features this work and others on display as part of the exhibition "Purvis Young: 91." Courtesy of  Philip LaDeau
    Free Museum Day is here, plus there’s a new show at Mize Gallery and Creative Pinellas showcases emerging artists.
  7. "Rambo: Last Blood" stars Sylvester Stallone. YANA BLAJEVA  |  Lionsgate
    ‘Villains’ and ‘Ambition’ also open, plus Gigglewaters features ‘Mars Attacks!’ before the “storming” of Area 51.
  8. Spymonkey's "Hysteria!" will run at the Straz Center's Jaeb Theater from Sept. 19-Nov. 3. Courtesy of Jane Hobson
    Spymonkey’s ‘Hysteria,’ Billy Cobham and ‘Crossing the Bay’ accompany dance experiences and a banned book cabaret.
  9. The fun, witty menu at Brandon's Strandhill Public features a six-minute egg wrapped in ground Irish pork. The whole thing is panko-fried, then served with pickled red peppers and spicy hollandaise. Courtesy of Rory Martin
    The modern bar and restaurant doesn’t feature any harps or shamrocks, but it does embrace present-day Ireland without losing sight of the past.
  10. Rick's on the River has called West Tampa home for 25 years. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2009)
    Rick’s on the River celebrates 25 years in Tampa, Oktoberfest, wine tastings and Taste of Laura Street in Plant City.