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This weekend on Tampa Bay stages: ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ ‘We Will Rock You’

Plus, Mo’Nique, Bianca Del Rio and more.
"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]
"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]
Published Oct. 30, 2019
Updated Oct. 30, 2019

TRADITION: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

Tradition is the theme that pervades Fiddler on the Roof, which is fitting since the long-running musical has become a tradition in itself. The original Broadway production set performance records, and it has gone on to have five Broadway revivals and four in London. Plus, it’s a favorite among regional and community theaters. Maybe it’s the catchy score, marked by Russian fiddle music that includes favorites Sunrise, Sunset and If I Were a Rich Man. Or perhaps it’s the plot that follows poor milkman Tevye, a Jew in a Russian village desperate to cling to his traditions, which include the arranged marriages of his daughters during a time when everything is changing. Opens Tuesday and runs through Nov. 10. $48 and up. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. For showtimes, visit strazcenter.org.

QUEEN OF COMEDY: BIANCA DEL RIO

Every October, Bianca Del Rio always has to think hard about her costume. Especially when she has a gig on Oct. 31. “I tell people, it’s Halloween every day for me,” said the drag superstar and veteran standup comic. Del Rio, the stage alter ego of native New Orleanian Roy Haylock, won the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014 and this summer was named the most powerful drag queen in America by New York magazine. With all of her projects in the works — products, screen appearances and her biggest standup tour to date — it’s not hard to see why. “I’ve always been the insane oddball out of drag,” Del Rio said. We’ll see if that extends to her outfit on Halloween night in Tampa. $50 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday. Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

Bianca Del Rio will perform at Tampa's Straz Center on Halloween night. [Courtesy of Rene Koala]

CROWNING GLORY: WE WILL ROCK YOU

We forget this now, but the current Queen renaissance didn’t start with Bohemian Rhapsody. It didn’t even necessarily start with Adam Lambert on American Idol. It started with We Will Rock You, the 2002 West End musical so beloved it ended up running 12 years. If you’ve had Fat Bottomed Girls stuck in your head since Rami Malek won his Oscar and you’ve been having Queen withdrawal since their concert in Tampa in August, this show’s for you. Come and do the fandango! $39.50 and up. 7:30 p.m. Monday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

A touring production of "We Will Rock You" will stop by the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Monday. [Courtesy of Randy Feere]

PRECIOUS AND RARE: MO’NIQUE

In January, Mo’Nique became the first African-American woman to hold down a solo Las Vegas residency, at the SLS Hotel. It was proof that Mo’Nique still has clout in the entertainment world, even if she often finds herself at odds with Hollywood, claiming many producers blackballed her after she won an Oscar for Precious. She has blasted Netflix for failing to offer her a fair rate for her special and she has taken on luminaries like Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. And she doesn’t care if her bluntness makes people uncomfortable. “I can’t waste my energy worrying about if you like me,” Mo’Nique told the Washington Post this year. “Respect me.” She’s still a top draw as a comic (repeat: Vegas), and still crosses the country sharing her side of her life in cities like Tampa. $40 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

SPECIAL MOMENTS: ORDINARY DAYS

There’s a phrase about New York City having 8 million stories, referring to its residents. That’s what Ordinary Days, opening at Stageworks Theatre on Friday, is based on. Billed as a “quasi-perfect dazzling sort of fairy tale,” the musical explores making simple human connections in the city that never sleeps, following four characters. It’s meant to be uplifting and is chock-full of songs that move the plot along. $35, $50 opening night. 8 p.m. Friday. Runs through Nov. 17. 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 374-2416. For showtimes visit stageworkstheatre.org.

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