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This weekend on Tampa Bay stages: Sutton Foster, Gilbert Gottfried

Plus, the Florida Orchestra, ‘Straight Up With Stassi’ Live and ‘A Tuna Christmas.’
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]
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]
Published Dec. 4, 2019


During Julie Andrews’ recent speaking engagement in Clearwater, a fan asked her to pick her favorite character she’s played. The stage and screen icon chose the title role in her 1967 comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie. That’s a long way of saying Sutton Foster was stepping into some pretty huge shoes when she debuted as Millie in the film’s 2002 Broadway adaptation — and she knocked it out of the park, winning a Tony for her winning comic charm. Foster has been a Broadway sensation ever since, reaping five more Tony nominations and a win for Anything Goes. When she’s not at work on stage or TV — she’s currently starring in TV Land’s Younger — Foster tours the country singing some of her favorite songs from Broadway and her albums. $45 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.


The latest installment of the Florida Orchestra’s Masterworks series features a few of the greats among greats. There’s Beethoven’s Consecration of the House Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (Pathetique), and there’s Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, one of the greatest works ever written for the instrument, with the orchestra’s principal clarinet Natalie Hoe as the featured performer. 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, 1010 N MacInnes Place; 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, 400 First St. S; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road. $18 and up. Get a preview at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, when conductor Michael Francis pulls back the curtain on Pathetique during an “Inside the Music” performance and lecture at Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg. Pay what you can at the door. (727) 892-3337.

Natalie Hoe is the featured clarinetist on Mozart's Clarinet Concerto during the Florida Orchestra performances in Tampa Bay this weekend. [Florida Orchestra]


Gilbert Gottfried’s shrill voice is perfect for the extensive voice acting he’s made a career of, with roles including Iago, the parrot in Aladdin and the Aflac duck. But don’t let those roles fool you. When it comes to standup, he’s one of the crudest in the business. So much so that he told the filthiest version of the world’s dirtiest joke, documented in the 2005 film The Aristocrats. Get down with him this weekend when he brings his act to Side Splitters Comedy Club. $20-$25. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.

Gilbert Gottfried will perform at Tampa's Side Splitters Comedy Club Thursday to Saturday. [Courtesy of Gilbert Gottfried]


The world was introduced to narcissistic drama queen Stassi Schroeder thanks to the reality show Vanderpump Rules. While she’s had her ups and downs on the show, she has capitalized on her penchant for snark with a bestselling book called Next Level Basic and her Straight Up With Stassi podcast. She’ll bring the live version to the Straz Center, along with her fiance Beau Clark and fellow podcaster Taylor Strecker. They’ll dish on pop culture, celebrity relationships and reality TV, which she describes as “basic b***h talk.” $29.50 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.


Southern culture gets affectionately spoofed in A Tuna Christmas, opening Dec. 11. Set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, a cast of more than 20 characters are played by just two actors. It’s time for the town’s annual Christmas yard display contest, which Vera Carp has won 14 times in a row. A mysterious Christmas phantom has been vandalizing yard displays, threatening to send the contest into turmoil. Meanwhile, obstacles vex Joe Bob Lipsey’s production of A Christmas Carol and Bertha Bumiller struggles to keep her family together at Christmastime. Runs through Dec. 22. $32.50 and up. Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center. For showtimes, visit


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