1. Arts & Entertainment

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Oct. 28-Nov.3

It’s Halloween week, plus Cirque du Soleil brings a new ice show to Amalie and Spooky Empire, “the dark side of comic con” haunts the convention center.
Cirque du Soleil's newest show, Axel, is performed on ice and hits Amalie Arena on Oct. 31-Nov. 3. [Marie-Andrée Lemire]
Published Oct. 27

Cirque du Soleil: Axel: The international troupe’s latest show is on ice, called Axel, and it incorporates acrobatics, visual effects and a mix of popular and original music. $44-$135. Thursday-Sunday at Amalie Arena.

Halloween: Get out your costumes or load up the candy bowls, because the trick or treaters will be ringing doorbells on Thursday. You can also find candy lanes in city parks such as England Brothers in Pinellas Park and Spectrum Field in Clearwater that night.

Spooky Empire: The convention celebrating everything Halloween and horror runs Thursday through Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center and is billed as "the dark side of comic con.” Celebrities expected include the “Mistress of the Night,” Cassandra Peterson, who portrays the character Elvira, rocker Alice Cooper and Mia Farrow (Rosemary’s Baby). $20-$50 per day through Sunday; 12 and younger free.

Cassandra Peterson, left, as Elvira and musician Alice Cooper will be appearing as celebrity guests at Spooky Empire convention at the Tampa Convention Center. [JC Olivera | Sipa USA via AP / Tampa Bay Times (2014)]


Music: Wear your costume Tuesday for a concert of spooky organ music called Pipe Screams at Christ United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg. On Wednesday, the Florida Orchestra Coffee Concert will be “Spooktacular” as Stuart Malina scares up music of the macabre with free coffee and doughnuts at the Mahaffey ($24-$42). On Thursday Gus Dapperton, lover of synths and vocal reverb, puts on a Halloween show in support of his debut album Where Polly People Go To Read. ($18) at the Orpheum in Ybor City. Boston roots rock act Adam Ezra Group performs at the Attic in Ybor on Thursday ($15-$20). Costumed funk act Here Come the Mummies plays a Halloween show on Thursday at Jannus Live ($25). On Saturday, indie-pop act The Neighbourhood plays the Ritz Ybor ($32.50). Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock & Roll III brings a a cast consisting of Broadway stars and rock singers on Saturday to play iconic hits at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday ($39-$69). Grammy-nominated drummer, singer and bandleader Sammy Miller and The Congregation and his jazz ensemble will perform Saturday in the Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall ($22.50-$29.50). Deathcore band Fit For An Autopsy plays the Crowbar on Friday ($20-$23). The ’90s favorites the Gin Blossoms will be at Clearwater’s Bilheimer Capitol Theatre on Friday ($42-$85). The Coral Head Musicfest charity event at the England Brothers Bandshell in Pinellas Park will have performances by Vince Neil, Sebastian Bach, Slaughter, The Sweet Mitch Perry, Hairdaze and Jen starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday ($34). Bret Bollinger & the Bad Habits, best known as the lead singer and bassist for the reggaie-rock band Pepper, plays a free show Friday at Jannus Live.

Broadcaster and author Katie Couric, left, will receive the 2019 Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism at the Poynter Institute’s annual Bowtie Ball in St. Petersburg on Nov. 2. Los Angeles Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine will receive Poynter’s 2019 Distinguished Service to Journalism Award. [Courtesy of Poynter Institute]

Bowtie Ball: Broadcast journalist Katie Couric and Norman Pearlstine, executive editor of the Los Angeles Times, will be honored for their contributions to journalism at this event for the Poynter Institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times, on Saturday at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort ($175-$350).

DTSP Songwriters Festival: The three-day celebration of live music will have more than 35 eclectic and diverse songwriters performing free shows Friday-Sunday. See a lineup at

So You Think You Can Dance Live: The tour features the top 10 finalists and favorite dancers from Season 16 of the popular television show at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tuesday ($45-$100).

JANE In Concert: The Florida Orchestra is throwing an unusual evening into its mix this season with a screening Saturday at the Straz Center of the stunning documentary of the legendary conservationist Jane Goodall, a trailblazer of chimpanzee research, while the orchestra performs the moving score from world renowned composer Philip Glass. ($48.75)

Comedy: The host of Vice Live on Viceland, Zack Fox, performs Wednesday at the Improv in Centro Ybor ($25-$50). Dynamic comedian, and an Oscar winner for Precious, Mo’Nique performs Friday-Saturday at the Improv ($40). And some of Tampa Bay’s best local comedy talent will be on the stage on Saturday with Ward Smith and Friends at the Palladium in St. Petersburg ($42).


Day of the Dead Block Party: Central Avenue will close down for a giant block party with face painting, a food truck, Chihuahua races, street vendors, a costume contest and dancing. Benefits chihuahua and pet rescues. Free. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at the Dog Bar, 2300 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 490-9835.

Tampa Riverwalk Fall Food and Art Festival: A collection of 75 to 80 exhibitors and food trucks showcase fresh food items, spices, crafts and home decor will feature an area for kids, too. Free. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday in Tampa’s Water Works Park.

Pasco Kids First Family Fun Day: Saturday brings a day promoting health and wellness on New Port Richey’s Sims Park with a family fitness walk, touch-a-truck, inflatables, free bicycle helmets to the first 500 children and various characters on site, from Spiderman to Snow White. Free admission; $2 all-day wristbands for inflatables.


Find Halloween parties and more at


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