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This week on Tampa Bay stages: Kevin James, Damon Wayans

Plus, ‘Once on This Island,’ the Tampa Bay Symphony and the Florida Orchestra.
Kevin James appears in his 2018 Netflix special "Don't Never Give Up." [Courtesy of KC Bailey]
Kevin James appears in his 2018 Netflix special "Don't Never Give Up." [Courtesy of KC Bailey]
Published Nov. 13


A handful of comedians with major TV credits hit theaters and clubs this weekend:

Kevin James: He has been a mall cop, a zookeeper and a grownup, but he’s still best known as The King of Queens. That, and Adam Sandler’s buddy. $43.25 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Damon Wayans: He’s part of the comedy dynasty that brought the world In Living Color, but he’s also known for cult favorite films like The Last Boy Scout and Bamboozled. $50 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Improv Tampa, 1600 E Eighth Ave. (813) 864-4000.

Doug Stanhope: Stanhope has a reputation as a true comic’s comic for his raw, personal and often political comedy. He doesn’t have as many film or TV credits, but in the projects he does take (The Aristocrats, Louie), he stands out. $45 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday. Improv Tampa, 1600 E Eighth Ave. (813) 864-4000.

Chris D’Elia: He became a comedy heartthrob this decade thanks to Whitney and Undateable, and it pays off on stage. His Tampa trip went from one to three shows due to demand for tickets. $35 and up. 8 p.m. Nov. 20, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 21. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286.

Chris D'Elia in his 2017 Netflix special "Chris D'Elia: Man on Fire." [Courtesy of Katie Yu]


The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts’ Broadway series is packed with revivals this season. But only Once on This Island won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Originally produced in 1990, the musical is set in the French Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Told in a storytelling tradition, the tale of a peasant girl who goes on a journey for love aided by gods unfolds through a powerful score, elaborate costumes and fluid choreography. Opens Tuesday and runs through Nov. 24. $46 and up. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. For showtimes, visit

"Once on This Island" will come to the Straz Center in Tampa on Nov. 19. [JOAN MARCUS | Straz Center]


Maestro Mark Sforzini raises his baton over the Tampa Bay Symphony this week for the first series of concerts of the season. “Brahms and Barber” crosses continents and centuries with 20th century American composer Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, Op. 14 and 19th century German composer Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. They’ve also tossed in contemporary American composer and saxophonist Kyle Wernke’s Burst. Featuring Ellen dePasquale on violin. $20. 2 p.m. Sunday at the Straz Center, 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium in St. Petersburg, 3:30 p.m. Nov. 24 at the St. Petersburg College Arts auditorium in Clearwater. For showtimes, visit


The Florida Orchestra is blending old and new this weekend. The old: a couple of classics in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, with guest Benjamin Beilman, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1, “Winter Dreams.” The new: Fanfare, by Canadian composer Vivian Fung, and associate conductor Daniel Black, who will be making his debut as Masterworks conductor. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. $18 and up. (727) 892-3337.

Daniel Black will conduct with the Florida Orchestra this weekend. [Florida Orchestra]


Can you tell the story of Latin people around the world in under two hours? John Leguizamo has done about as good a job as anyone. The native of Colombia received wide acclaim, including a special Tony Award, for his latest one-man show Latin History for Morons, inspired by a desire to educate his son about everything from the Mayans and Aztecs to the immigration wars on the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s a personal show peppered with Leguizamo’s trademark energy and humor, but you’ll come away learning something, too. $35 and up. 7 p.m. Sunday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

John Leguizamo will bring his one-man show "Latin History for Morons" to Tampa's Straz Center on Nov. 17. [Courtesy of Matthew Murphy]


  1. Criss Angel will bring his Raw: The Mindfreak Unplugged tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Dec. 13. [Courtesy of Jerry Metellus Photography]
    It’s the Christmas season at the Florida Orchestra and St. Petersburg Opera.
  2. Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, shown here in the 1978 film "Grease," will make an appearance in Tampa on Dec. 14 for a film sing-along and meet and greet with fans. [AP]
    The forever Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko will reunite for a sing-along screening on Saturday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.
  3. Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Pee-Wee Herman, arrives for a Comic-Con panel in 2011 in San Diego. [GREGORY BULL  |  AP]
    The actor (Pee-Wee himself!) will accompany the 35th anniversary celebration at Tampa Theatre.
  4. Charlie explains to his parents and sister, Beth, that the best thing about church is that there are no Herdmans there. Pictured, from left: Sarah Krug as Mother (Grace Bradley), Amber Marino as Beth, Frank Miller as Father (Bob Bradley) and Jude Mys as Charlie. [Kristina Mitten]
    Live Oak Theatre presents ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
  5. Benjamin Ismail, left, and Susan Maris star as Peter Shaw and Henrietta Leavitt in American Stage's "Silent Sky." [Joey Clay Photography]
    Parts of it play like a romantic comedy, but you will learn a thing or two about the woman who mapped the universe. | Theater review
  6. Sutton Foster accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical at the 65th annual Tony Awards in New York in 2011. [JEFF CHRISTENSEN  |  AP]
    Plus, the Florida Orchestra, ‘Straight Up With Stassi’ Live and ‘A Tuna Christmas.’
  7. Nick Offerman will perform at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Dec. 7. [Matt Winkelmeyer]
    The ‘Parks and Recreation’ star, who performs at Tampa’s Straz Center on Saturday, knows his face is everywhere. He can’t stop it.
  8. The cast of "The Lion in Winter" at Freefall Theatre: Eric Brandon Davis, Joseph Michael-Kenneth, Alicia Thomas, Rob Glauz, Robert "Spence" Gabriel, Stephanie Dunnam and Joe Lauck. [Courtesy of Thee Photo Ninja]
    Freefall Theatre’s production of James Goldman’s script tells a medieval tale of family dysfunction. | Review
  9. Joel Hodgson and his robot pals - from left, Gypsy, Crow and Tom Servo - will bring their live tour of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" to the Straz Center in Tampa on Dec. 3. [Shout! Factory]
    The show creator’s final live tour hits the Straz Center in Tampa on Dec. 3.
  10. Chris Tucker will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 29. [Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater]
    ‘Nutcracker’ shows, an ‘America’s Got Talent’ star and other holiday performances fill out this week’s calendar.