1. Stage

What’s on Tampa Bay stages this weekend

‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Roy Wood Jr., ‘Vietgone’ at American Stage, Piff the Magic Dragon and more.
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will roll through Tampa as part of the Straz Center's 2019-20 Broadway series. [JOAN MARCUS | Straz Center]
Published Oct. 2


The title alone inspires the earworm . . . oompa, loompa, doopity doo. And the Broadway version of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book has music from the 1971 movie, including Pure Imagination. The show comes through the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, bringing a new score by the songwriters from Hairspray. But the classic tale remains the same, with the same lesson: Bad things happen when you’re greedy. $41 and up. Opens Tuesday and runs through Oct. 13. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. For showtimes, visit


A tale of two refugees who lost their loves escaping their war-torn motherland hardly sounds like a comedy. But Vietgone at American Stage promises to be a raucous one. It’s playwright Qui Nguyen’s story of how his parents escaped Saigon in 1975, moved to America and found each other. Through satirical wit and flashbacks to Vietnam, difficult themes are explored within a love story. While it’s not a musical, characters rap to move the plot along. Opens Friday and runs through Nov. 3. $30-$70. 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529. For showtimes, visit


Things can get pretty intense when it comes to politics, especially in today’s divisive climate. Sometimes you just have to laugh about the absurdity of it all. That’s what the Capitol Steps do, with skits and songs where no one from either side of the aisle is safe. They’re returning to the Palladium with new show The Lyin’ Kings. Expect to see Trump rock out, Putin dance shirtless and Bernie Sanders sing show tunes. $55-$69. 8 p.m. Saturday. 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590.


There’s a direct link between the Florida Orchestra and the Beatles, and that link is Jeff Tyzik. The orchestra’s principal pops conductor is a Grammy-winning composer, producer and arranger — and it is in that capacity that he became an officially sanctioned Beatles collaborator, creating original orchestrations of songs from their original Abbey Road sessions. After premiering last year in Kalamazoo, Mich., Tyzik’s Revolution: The Music of the Beatles — A Symphonic Experience comes home, in a way, to the Florida Orchestra. Tyzik will conduct his arrangements of songs like Penny Lane, Here Comes the Sun and Hey Jude, accompanied by a live band and vocalists, with rare photos of the Beatles projected on screen behind them. $18 and up. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. (727) 892-3337.


Can we officially count Roy Wood Jr. as one of our own? Sure, the comic was born in Alabama, but he graduated from Florida A&M University and made a name for himself working the Florida circuit. And now he’s a correspondent on The Daily Show. Anyone who can provide Trevor Noah and company with some authentic Sunshine State perspective on the headlines is truly doing the Lord’s work in comedy. This weekend he’ll return to one of those clubs he worked before his Daily Show fame, Side Splitters on the north side of Tampa. $25 and up. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway. (813) 960–1197.

On Oct. 4 and 5, Roy Wood Jr. will perform at Tampa comedy club Side Splitters. [NICOL BIESEK | Comedy Central]


He may look a bit like a goober in a dime-store Halloween costume, but Piff the Magic Dragon is a man in high demand. The British magician and comic recently popped back on America’s Got Talent, the show that made him an American star in 2015. He has worked with Penn and Teller and Mumford and Sons, and he has a hit Vegas residency at the Flamingo. And while he has been honing his unique act for years, only this summer was he named one of Variety’s 10 comics to watch in the coming year. You’ve got your own chance to do so this weekend. $32 and up. Fans can also tack on a $40 ticket to a “private party” before the show, featuring photo and video ops, one-on-one magic tricks and more. 8 p.m. Saturday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Piff the Magic Dragon appears with Heidi Klum on NBC's "America's Got Talent: The Champions" in 2018. [TRAE PATTON | NBC]


  1. Randy Rainbow will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Courtesy of Varela Media
    Plus, St. Petersburg Opera’s ‘Merry Widow’ and more.
  2. The cast of American Stage's production of "Vietgone" includes Sami Ma as Tong and Jeff Kim as Quang. Courtesy of Joey Clay Studio
    An immigrant story with voice offers a fresh perspective.
  3. On Saturday, J.B. Smoove will perform at Ferguson Hall, part of Tampa's Straz Center. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    The comedian known for portraying Leon Black on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ likes to wing it. He hits the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall on Saturday.
  4. The cast performs 'On The Deck Of A Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492' in the Stage West production of 'Songs for a New World', which will be presented Oct. 17-27. Pictured at top, from left: Paris Seaver, Anthony Agnelli and Nicki Poulis. Standing in front: Jay Garcia. Timothy Rooney
    See ‘Songs for a New World’ and other shows in the north Suncoast
  5. Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    There’s Jeanne Robertson and an inventive Florida Orchestra collaboration, too.
  6. Emilee Dupre and Eric Davis star in Freefall Theatre's production of "The Turn of the Screw." Courtesy of Thee Photo Ninja
    A spooky, risk-filled performance will leave you with questions. | Review
  7. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will roll through Tampa as part of the Straz Center's 2019-20 Broadway series. JOAN MARCUS  |  Straz Center
    ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Roy Wood Jr., ‘Vietgone’ at American Stage, Piff the Magic Dragon and more.
  8. Music director Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra in the Star-Spangled Banner on Friday during the season-opening program at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Friday’s opening night portrayed Tampa as a melting pot, delivering diverse pieces pulled from around the world. | Concert review
  9. Bernadette Peters is pictured at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2015. CHARLES SYKES  |  AP
    Peters follows the likes of Sting and Seal playing with the orchestra.
  10. Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, shown performing "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Florida Orchestra at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater in January, will join the orchestra for its 2019-20 season-opening program this weekend. J.M. LENNON  |  Lennon Media
    Plus, SuicideGirls at Tampa Theatre and comedian Bryan Callen at Tampa Improv.