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This weekend on Tampa Bay stages: Demetri Martin, ‘Marie and Rosetta’

'A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘The Screwtape Letters’ and ambitious Florida Orchestra collaborations round out the list.
Demetri Martin will perform at Tampa Theatre on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre]
Demetri Martin will perform at Tampa Theatre on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre]
Published Jan. 15
Updated Jan. 15

STILL HIP: DEMETRI MARTIN

There was a time in the mid-2000s and early 2010s when Demetri Martin was everywhere. Everywhere cool, at least. He was The Daily Show’s “Trendspotting” correspondent, offering deadpan takes on everything from MySpace to life coaches. He won the top prize at Edinburgh Fringe, appeared on Flight of the Conchords and his own sketch show (Important Things With Demetri Martin) and released a series of acclaimed comedy albums and specials. And just when Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock seemed set to make him a major movie star, he just ... slowed down. He kept busy, writing books and screenplays and other forms of multimedia comedy. But he’s also stayed out of the limelight, evolving and deepening his thoughtful, absurdist comedy, which he’ll bring back to town in standup form this weekend. $38.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286. tampatheatre.org.

SISTER ACT: MARIE AND ROSETTA

When Lizzo played Saturday Night Live in December, her guitarist, Celisse Henderson, plucked out Truth Hurts on a cream Gibson SG Custom with a strap that read “Sister.” It was a tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, an early blues, soul and gospel singer and guitarist who greatly influenced rock 'n' roll forebears like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Tharpe was for decades an underappreciated figure in rock history, only making the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. But you can get more familiar with her story in Marie and Rosetta, George Brant’s 2016 play running at Freefall Theatre Friday through Feb. 16. The play captures Tharpe (Illeana Kervin) and protege Marie Knight (Hillary Scales-Lewis) as they prepare for their first tour together. $25 and up. 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 498-5205. For showtimes, visit freefalltheatre.com.

LOVE POTION: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

Oh, what a tangled web old Shakespeare knew how to weave. And even though A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a beloved, whimsical comedy, there’s still a lot of scheming and deception involved. Jobsite Theater is producing the fantastical play, replete with video projection, aerial and circus choreography and an original score by the Florida Bjorkestra’s Jeremy Douglass. The action follows four lovers whose fates are toyed with by fairies and the mischievous sprite Puck. They cross paths with a troupe of actors, the fairies meddle more and they all end up enchanted. Opens Friday and runs through Feb. 9. $29.50 and up. Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. jobsitetheater.org.

Katrina Stevenson stars as Puck in Jobsite Theater's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which will open Jan. 17. [Courtesy of Jobsite Theater]

SHARING IS FUN: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

So you like collaborations, do you? The Florida Orchestra definitely has you covered. For this weekend’s Masterworks performances, highlighted by Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring pianist Gilles Vonsattel, the orchestra is teaming up Avengers-style with the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg for a first-of-its-kind weekend. The shows will feature art from the museum’s upcoming exhibit “Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney,” plus new works from the orchestra’s visual artist in residence Geff Strik. Tampa City Ballet will perform alongside Stravinsky’s Pulcinella. Orlando Jacinto Garcia’s The Impending Silence, a new work commissioned by the orchestra and the Florida International School of Music, is also on the slate, as is Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel. “What we are very passionate about here, and what I love to do, is to really bring things together,” music director Michael Francis said. “It’s just a huge amount of real, genuine collaboration.” It will continue with orchestra events at the museum on Jan. 26 and Feb. 5-6. For now, enjoy this feast for the senses in theaters. $18 and up. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

This work by Natalia Gontcharova is part of designs for Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Golden Cockerel" opera-ballet production in 1913-14 in Paris. It will be on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg starting Jan. 25. [Courtesy of the Florida Orchestra]

C.S. LEWIS: THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS

C.S. Lewis is known for his series of fantasy novel, The Chronicles of Narnia. But he also wrote a very different kind of fantasy in The Screwtape Letters, which was adapted into a play. From his office in hell, demon Screwtape teaches a junior tempter the art of claiming a human soul, while he and his secretary Toadpipe scheme to work against God and for the devil. The play has been lauded for its humor, but what inspired Lewis to write the book is grave. He wrote it quickly and easily after listening to Adolf Hitler’s 1940 Reichstag speech, where he found himself astonished at how convincingly Hitler lied. $69 and up. 4 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Straz Center, Tampa.

C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters" will come to the Straz Center in Tampa on Jan. 18 and 19. [Courtesy of Jeremy Daniels]

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Monica Bill Barnes and Company will bring "The Running Show" to Hillsborough Community College's Ybor City campus on Feb. 28 and 29. [PAULA LOBO  |  HCC Dance]
  2. Music director Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra during a dress rehearsal. [Times (2019)]
  3. Comic and podcaster Joe Rogan in a scene from his Netflix special "Joe Rogan: Triggered." [Miikka Skaffari/Netflix]
  4. Danielle Wade, Megan Masako Haley, Mariah Rose Faith and Jonalyn Saxer in the nationally touring company of the musical "Mean Girls." The role of Regina George was played by English Bernhardt, not Faith, for the Feb. 18 performance. [Courtesy of Joan Marcus]
  5. Jeff Foxworthy will perform at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa on Feb. 20. [MRH Entertainment]
  6. Danielle Wade, Megan Masako Haley, Mariah Rose Faith and Jonalyn Saxer in the nationally touring company of Mean Girls the Musical, coming to the Straz Center Feb. 18-23. [Courtesy of Joan Marcus]
  7. Marc Maron, show here during his Netflix special "Marc Maron: Too Real," will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Feb. 15. [ADAM BETTCHER  |  Netflix]
  8. Marc Maron, show here during his Netflix special "Marc Maron: Too Real," will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Feb. 15. [ADAM BETTCHER  |  Netflix]
  9. Shen Yun returns to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Feb. 14-20, 2020. [Shen Yun]
  10. A national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" will return to the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on April 27-May 2, 2021. [Matthew Murphy]
  11. Catherine Daniel will star in Opera Tampa's production of "Carmen" at the Straz Center this weekend. [Courtesy of the Straz Center]
  12. Opera Tampa performers Susan Hellman Spatafora, foreground, and Timothy Wilt rehearse for Georges Bizet's 'Carmen' on Jan. 21, at the Straz Center in Tampa. Opera Tampa's 25th season will feature "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Aida" later this spring. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
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