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. REO Speedwagon will perform at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on March 1, 2020. Courtesy of Randee St. Nicholas
    REO Speedwagon, Gladys Knight, Kidz Bop, Art Garfunkel and more.
  2. Michael Francis leads a community chorus during one of the Florida Orchestra's Sing Out Tampa Bay sing-alongs. MICHAEL FRANCIS  |  Florida Orchestra
    The music director is entering his fifth year with the orchestra, which has a Beethoven-heavy season opening Sept. 27 in Tampa.
  3. 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.
  4. Patrons hit the dance floor at Tampa venue Skipper's Smokehouse in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2015)
    A 12-hour party in the Skipperdome, stargazing and a family-friendly Williams Park festival provide free and cheap entertainment.
  5. A Zombie Bride is one of the characters found in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream, which opens for its 20th year on Friday.
    Free Museum Day is coming, Howl-O-Scream opens at Busch Gardens, Billy Ray Cyrus plays for the Bucs Beach Bash and Tho Who will be at Amalie Arena.
  6. Jordan Foote (Norm) and Jonelle M. Meyer (Corky) in Jobsite's production of Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower." Courtesy of Pritchard Photography
    Steve Martin’s voice is ingrained in the absurdist comedy.
  7. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, bringing two December shows to Tampa's Amalie Arena, performs in Birmingham, Ala., in 2017. Courtesy of Anna Jones
    Seats at Stomp, Little Big Town and A Nightmare on Franklin Street are also up for grabs.
  8. Jim Jefferies in an episode of Comedy Central's "The Jim Jefferies Show." ALI GOLDSTEIN  |  Comedy Central
    Raunchy moms, YouTubers and flamenco dancers also hit local theaters. Plus, Tampa Rep opens a Pulitzer-winning drama.
  9. From left: Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors and Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." 20th Century Fox
    The popular ‘Last Podcast on the Left’ and Barry Bostwick from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ are new to A Nightmare on Franklin Street.
  10. The children just tricked (conned) their father into letting them purchase a dog, much to his displeasure, in the Live Oak Theatre presentation of 'Cheaper By the Dozen,' which opens Sept. 13 at the Brooksville theater. Standing, left to right: Billie (Amber Marino), Martha (Quincee Willis) and Dad (Joe Santerelli). Sitting, left to right: Dan (Jase Ivie), Fredericka (Hailey Radatz), “The dog,” (Ozzie), Jackie (Cam Kennedy) and Lilly (Emily Mosher). Kris Mitten