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This weekend on Tampa Bay stages: Chris Tucker, Four Italian Tenors

‘Nutcracker’ shows, an ‘America’s Got Talent’ star and other holiday performances fill out this week’s calendar.
Chris Tucker will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 29. [Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater]
Chris Tucker will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 29. [Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater]
Published Nov. 27, 2019

BRING HIM BACK: CHRIS TUCKER

With Eddie Murphy on a hot comeback trail thanks to Dolemite Is My Name, it might be time to revive Chris Tucker. The man never went away, of course, but he’s gotten a lot choosier with his projects since the Rush Hour franchise, opting out of comedies in favor of roles in dramas like Silver Linings Playbook and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. He does have a requisite Netflix standup special on his resume, which is probably a better reflection of the relaxed approach to fame he’s taken over the last decade-plus: a good amount of standup, and not much else. Murphy is returning to host Saturday Night Live this month, and it might be time for the show to invite Tucker to do the same. In the meantime, you’ll have to get your chuckles in person. $39.50 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

‘AMERICA’S’ HERO: RYAN NIEMILLER

Ryan Niemiller made an impression on this past season of America’s Got Talent, and it wasn’t just due to his appearance. “Very happy to be back here in Los Angeles,” he told the judges. “I just flew in from Indiana, and boy are my arms missing. That’s United for you.” Niemiller was born with a congenital birth defect in both arms, but was dead-set on becoming a standup comic anyway — the “Cripple Threat of Comedy,” he calls himself. Like so many America’s Got Talent stories, his is inspirational, but it wouldn’t sell in clubs across America if the jokes themselves weren’t funny. In Niemiller’s case, they very much are. $18 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday, 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Side Splitters, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960–1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com.

Ryan Niemiller, shown here on NBC's "America's Got Talent," will perform at Tampa comedy club Side Splitters starting Nov. 27. [TRAE PATTON | NBC]

GREAT TRIBUTE: THE FOUR ITALIAN TENORS

Throughout opera’s history there have been many great tenors, but these up-and-coming Italian tenors will salute Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli and Mario Lanza in their Viva Italia! tribute this weekend. Described as a “humorous, humble and heartfelt” salute, folks can get to know these rising stars through the beloved arias and songs made famous by the men who came before them. $45.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInness Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

'TIS THE SEASON: NUTCRACKER ROUNDUP

It’s Nutcracker season, when both professional and student ballet dancers glide across the stage to Tchaikovsky’s Christmas classic, full of sugarplum fairies, toy soldiers and the menacing Mouse King. Here’s a roundup of productions in November and December.

Next Generation Ballet: $30 and up. Nov. 29-Dec. 1. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInness Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

St. Petersburg Ballet: $15-$25. Dec. 6-8. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. mypalladium.org.

Brandon Ballet: $25-$35. Dec. 7-8. Riverview High School, 11311 Boyette Road, Riverview. brandonballet.org.

Dance Theatre of Tampa: $28-$32. Dec. 13-15. University of South Florida Theatre I, 3839 USF Holly Drive, Tampa. newtampadancetheatre.com.

St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory: $10-$20. Dec. 13-22. SPBC Blue Theater at the Jonathan & Sarah Bailie Studio, 1500 58th St. S, Gulfport. dancestudio-pro.com.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker: $34.50-$109.50. Dec. 26-27. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

HOLIDAY TUNES: A CHRISTMAS CABARET

Event though some stores have already started playing holiday music, it’s early enough in the season to still enjoy them. Why not get in the holiday spirit at Carrollwood Players’ A Christmas Cabaret? The intimate performance includes a piano, soft lighting and pleasant singing of beloved holiday tunes. $12. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. carrollwoodplayers.org.

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  4. Marc Maron, show here during his Netflix special "Marc Maron: Too Real," will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Feb. 15.
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  8. Catherine Daniel will star in Opera Tampa's production of "Carmen" at the Straz Center this weekend.
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