1. Stage

New on Tampa Bay stages: Jim Jefferies, Robert Kelly lead a whole lot of comedy

Raunchy moms, YouTubers and flamenco dancers also hit local theaters. Plus, Tampa Rep opens a Pulitzer-winning drama.
Jim Jefferies in an episode of Comedy Central's "The Jim Jefferies Show." [ALI GOLDSTEIN | Comedy Central]
Published Sep. 11


It’s one of those weeks when comedians are flooding Tampa Bay stages with hours of laugh-out-loud material. Here are a half-dozen highlights.


America has this quirky habit of recruiting late-night hosts from around the world, from Trevor Noah to James Corden to Lilly Singh. But with comics like Jim Jefferies out there, is that such a bad thing? The brash Australian is a star around the world, headlining arenas in some countries and theaters in others, thanks to a handful of hit Netflix specials and his own FX series, Legit. His latest project is The Jim Jefferies Show on Comedy Central, a weekly show where he lets fly his many opinions on the news of the day. Odds are you’ll hear a few of them when he comes to town this weekend. $53 and up. 7 p.m. Friday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286.


When big-name comics need a funny face, they turn to Robert Kelly. He was part of Dane Cook’s Tourgasm, had a recurring role as Louie C.K.'s brother on Louie, and appeared in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, Denis Leary’s Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and Marc Maron’s Maron. Kelly has got more comedy credits where those came from, but he’s still most at home in a club doing standup, which is where he’ll be this weekend. $20 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960–1197.

Robert Kelly in his 2014 Comedy Central special "Robert Kelly: Live at the Village Underground." [Comedy Central]


Being a famous comedian’s brother isn’t always a bad thing. Look at the careers built by Charlie Murphy, Bob “Super Dave” Einstein or even Gallagher II. Tony Rock is definitely in that mold. Chris Rock’s kid brother has hosted and booked roles on a variety of TV series, including a self-titled sketch show. And while he may not be the most famous Rock, his brother wrote on Instagram this summer that he’s “the best comic in the family.” High praise. $17 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave. (813) 864-4000.

Tony Rock will perform at Tampa Improv in Ybor City Thursday through Sunday. [SMALLZ + RASKIND | Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.]


For jokes only a mother could love, or make, the nationally touring show sees Angela Peel and Molly Kirk offer up a multimedia evening that promises to be full of catharsis, commiseration and validation with with all-original music, comedy, games and prizes. $25. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18. Improv. (813) 864-4000.


Cancer’s no joke, but this annual benefit is serious about supporting people with the disease. All proceeds will go to the Florida Cancer Specialist Foundation to provide life grants for local people going through cancer treatments. The lineup features local funny people Catherine Maloney, “The Comedy Barbarian” Mike McCarthy and Dean Napolitano. It also includes nationally touring comedian Jimmy Schubert, who has appeared on The King of Queens and Entourage. The show is R rated. $27.50 and up, $100 more for VIP. 8 p.m. Saturday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place. Tampa. (813) 229-7827.


Apparently, there is a theory that the popular YouTubers Danny Gonzalez and Drew Gooden are the same person. Others may have no idea who either of them is, but they have millions of followers, so look them up. To debunk that same-guy theory, the pair have teamed up to go on tour that brings brand-new comedy, songs, live comedy sketches, roasts and improv. They’ve brought opening act and special guest Kurtis Conner along for the ride. Only VIP tickets remain. $164.50. 8 p.m. Sept. 18. Straz Center.


When a couple is best friends with another couple, life is great! But if one marriage begins to crumble, things can get very awkward. That’s the premise of Tampa Repertory Theatre’s new production of Dinner With Friends. Tom and Beth set up Karen and Gabe years ago and were inseparable ever since. But when one couple heads for divorce, the ripple effect tests the limits of their friendships. Donald Margulies’ script won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for drama, so expect to be moved. Opens Friday, with a preview performance on Thursday ($15). Runs through Sept. 29. $25, $20 students, seniors and military. Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus Studio Theatre, 1411 E 11th Ave., Tampa. (813) 783-5465. For showtimes, visit

From left: Alan Mohney Jr. (Tom), Emilia Sargent (Beth), Ami Sallee (Karen), and Ned Averill-Snell (Gabe) in Tampa Repertory Theatre's production of "Dinner With Friend." [Courtesy of KaraGold, LLC.]


Flamenco may be a traditional Spanish art form, but Siudy Garrido has taken it global. The Venezuelan dancer and choreographer has worked with everyone from Marc Antony to Alejandro Sanz to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, bringing flamenco into a new era. She runs her own dance academy in Miami, but next week will be in Tampa for Flamenco Intimo, an original show with a live band and backing dancers. $30.88 and up. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Straz Center.

Venezuelan dancer and choreographer Siudy Garrido. [KIKE SAN MARTIN | Kike San Martin]


  1. George Dwyer stars as Jarvis Standish (left) and Scott Tilson as Marco Santiago (right) in 'American Heartbeat,' an original musical about a Marine Vietnam veteran and an undocumented immigrant who meet while vying for the same job. The show will be presented Nov. 22-24 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. Martha Velez
    ProComm Theatre Troupe presents ‘American Heartbeat.’
  2. Julie Andrews, right, and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, take fans' questions in a Q&A at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 13. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The stage and screen icon came to Clearwater to discuss her new memoir ‘Home Work’ and a wide range of other topics.
  3. Kevin James appears in his 2018 Netflix special "Don't Never Give Up." Courtesy of KC Bailey
    Plus, ‘Once on This Island,’ the Tampa Bay Symphony and the Florida Orchestra.
  4. John Leguizamo will bring his one-man show "Latin History for Morons" to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Nov. 17. Courtesy of Matthew Murphy
    Plus, how his ‘House of Buggin’ became ‘Mad TV’ and a dream project about a Hispanic Oscar Schindler. Leguizamo’s one-man show comes to the Straz Center on Nov. 17.
  5. "Fiddler on the Roof" is at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Courtesy of Joan Marcus
    The revival of a pointed story about tradition stays close to the source. | Review
  6. Comic John Crist has canceled his upcoming tour, including a May 10, 2020 concert at Tampa's Yuengling Center, following a report by the Christian publication Charisma News alleging multiple instances of sexual misconduct. Courtesy of John Crist
    The viral star’s Netflix special and tour are on hold after a report alleging sexual misconduct.
  7. Julie Andrews will appear in conversation at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 13. Courtesy of Andrew Eccles
    The 84-year-old Hollywood icon will discuss her new autobiography this week at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  8. Julie Andrews arrives at the Los Angeles Philharmonic 2015-16 season opening gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    Plus, comics Jay Mohr and Cristela Alonso, the Florida Orchestra’s ‘Deep Field’ with Eric Whitacre and more.
  9. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater is undergoing a $12 million renovation/ expansion. Progress is seen here Wednesday, October 30, 2019. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    The 6,000-square-foot entryway opens this weekend, showcasing the venue’s most extensive facelift to date.
  10. Jobsite Theater's "The Thanksgiving Play" features Caitlin Eason, Giles Davies, Dana Mauro and Adam Workman. It runs through Nov. 17 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for Performing Arts in Tampa. Courtesy of Jobsite Theater
    Larissa FastHorse’s witty satire at Jobsite Theater mocks political correctness as well as theater itself. | Review