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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

A MILLIE: SUTTON FOSTER

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. atthecap.com.

MASTERFUL WEEKEND: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

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. floridaorchestra.org.

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

TRUE BLUE: GILBERT GOTTFRIED

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. sidesplitterscomedy.com.

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

NEXT LEVEL BASIC: STRAIGHT UP WITH STASSI LIVE

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. strazcenter.org.

SOUTHERN FRIED COMEDY: A TUNA CHRISTMAS

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 strazcenter.org.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Demetri Martin will perform at Tampa Theatre on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre]
    'A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘The Screwtape Letters’ and ambitious Florida Orchestra collaborations round out the list.
  2. Ira Glass will appear at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Jan. 25. [Courtesy of Sandy Honig]
    The host of ‘This American Life’ brings stories from his years on the air to St. Petersburg on Jan. 25.
  3. "Sunset Baby" stars, from left, Aris Rogers II as Damon, Kelli Vonshay as Nina Shakur and Darren Constantine as Kenyatta Shakur. [Courtesy of the Heather Theatre]
    An activist tries to reconnect with his daughter after prison. But did “revolution” cost him his family? | Review
  4. These undated photos show William "Bill" Holley in costume during his thriving career as an opera singer in Europe from 1961 to 1984. After that, he retired to Plant City, where he never really performed opera, only singing in church and at weddings for friends and family. He died Dec. 28, 2019, at age 89. [Courtesy of Candy Greene]
    Before his quiet life of rural retirement, the Panhandle native performed in some of Europe’s most vaunted opera houses.
  5. Drumline Live will high-step through the Straz Center in Tampa on Jan. 14. [Courtesy of the Straz Center]
    Comic Matt Braunger at Side Splitters and a Duke Ellington tribute by the Florida Orchestra, too.
  6. Mike Tyson announces "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," a one-man show on Broadway, in New York in 2012. [EVAN AGOSTINI  |  Invision/AP]
    The boxing legend and his ‘Undisputed Truth: Round 2’ will hit the Hard Rock Event Center in April.
  7. The National Theatre Ballet of Odessa, Ukraine, will present "Romeo and Juliet" at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Jan. 5. [Courtesy of the Mahaffey Theater]
    Plus, Illusionist Ivan Amodei and the Florida Orchestra.
  8. Jim Gaffigan will perform at Tampa's Yuengling Center on Dec. 31. [Courtesy of Robyn Von Swank]
    Say hello to 2020 with Moscow Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker,’ comedy shows and more.
  9. Kaenaonalani Kekoa (Jasmine) and Jonah Ho'okano (Aladdin) in the Straz Center's production of "Aladdin" in Tampa. [Disney]
    The Disney musical will win you over, thanks to imaginative effects and a couple of lively stars at the center.
  10. The touring production of "Hamilton" came to Tampa's Straz Center from Feb. 12 to March 10. [Courtesy of Joan Marcus]
    Great theater and orchestral works happened all over town this year. Here are some of our favorites.
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