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This week on Tampa Bay stages: Nate Bargatze, Randy Rainbow

Plus, St. Petersburg Opera’s ‘Merry Widow’ and more.
Randy Rainbow will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Saturday. [Courtesy of Varela Media]
Published Oct. 16

ALL AGLOW: RANDY RAINBOW

Look at Randy Rainbow, getting all shiny and starry before our eyes. The YouTube sensation, known for his parody interviews and songs, was just nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series, alongside the likes of Billy on the Street and eventual winner Carpool Karaoke. His brand of pointed political and cultural satire goes down pretty smoothly thanks to his witty lyrics and enthusiasm for musical theater, which shines through during his giddy live tours. $37.50 and up. 7 p.m. Saturday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

TENNESSEE KID: NATE BARGATZE

A standup special featuring bits about dead horses and college football? Yeah, Nate Bargatze’s a Southerner, all right. But he’s no blue-collar comic like Jeff Foxworthy or Larry the Cable Guy. Bargatze is dry, incisive and self-deprecating, all of which you can see in his great new Netflix special The Tennessee Kid. After honing his jokes in clubs in Chicago and New York, Bargatze developed a network of famous fans, from Marc Maron to Jim Gaffigan to Jimmy Fallon, who took him on a pre-Tonight Show comedy tour that hit Tampa Theatre in 2013. It took six years, but Bargatze is finally coming back to that same room — only this time, he’s the headliner. $38.50 and up. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286. tampatheatre.org.

On Thursday, Nate Bargatze will appear at Tampa Theatre. [Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre]

POETRY IN MOTION: ANDREA GIBSON

When Andrea Gibson speaks, people listen. The author and spoken-word artist is a captivating performer with an array of poetry slam honors and tours that frequently draw hundreds of fans. Gibson (who uses they/them pronouns) is touring behind their latest book Lord of the Butterflies, which includes poems about love, politics and challenges facing the LGBTQ community. Among the most striking works is America, Reloaded, inspired by the February 2018 mass shooting in Parkland and the political and religious figures who did little in response. “Christ could tear the nails from his hands and scrape them down a blood-spattered chalkboard, and they would still be praying for their bank accounts,” they say in the poem’s stark video, accompanied by music by Ani DiFranco. Expect an intense evening filled with emotional release. Buddy Wakefield also appears. $18 and up. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Attic, 1510 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 241-0110.

Andrea Gibson will perform at the Attic in Tampa's Ybor City next week. [LINDSEY BYRNES | Paradigm Talent Agency]

GOLD DIGGERS: THE MERRY WIDOW

Money does funny things to people, especially the characters in Franz Lehar’s comic operetta The Merry Widow, kicking off St. Petersburg Opera’s season this weekend. Recently widowed Hanna has inherited a fortune and suitors are lining up to get a chance at it. It’s in the Pontevedrin ambassador Baron Zeta’s interest to get her married off so that the fortune stays in the country. But Hanna only has eyes for Count Danilo, who’s too proud to court her for her fortune. Meanwhile, flirtations, jealousy and misunderstandings combine to bring more drama than Dynasty, but comic interludes and the triumph of true love make it a longtime favorite. It all happens under maestro Mark Sforzini’s baton, sung in English with projected text above the stage. $15-$95. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N. (727) 823-2040. stpeteopera.org.

From left: Kelli Butler, Pedro Barbosa and Catie Shelley in the St. Petersburg Opera Company production of "The Merry Widow." [Courtesy of Jim Swallow]

MOMS JOKE: CAT AND NAT

The internet is making everyone sensations these days, even regular moms. That’s the case for Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer anyway, two best friends and mothers who commiserate on YouTube about #momtruths. They’ve written a book of the same title and are heading to the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre. Cat and Nat will bring slightly R-rated, never-before-told stories from the trenches of motherhood and tips for handling it, with the idea that they’re doing the best they can. $28.50-$53. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. "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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. "Fiddler on the Roof" will come to the Straz Center in Tampa on Tuesday as part of its 2019-20 Broadway series. Courtesy of Joan Marcus
    Plus, Mo’Nique, Bianca Del Rio and more.
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