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Tampa Bay stage events this week: ‘Lone Star Spirits,’ Jo Koy, more comics

Plus, ‘The Office: A Musical Parody,’ a dance roundup, the Florida Orchestra in space and a St. Pete Opera collaboration with Kuumbaa West African Drummers.
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]

LEAPS AND BOUNDS: DANCE EVENTS

Take your pick of ballet, modern or experimental.

Fresh off choreographing Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film Little Women, acclaimed New York-based choreographer Monica Bill Barnes brings The Running Show, which turns live dance into a sporting event based on dancers’ life stories. $15. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. HCC Ybor Campus Mainstage Theatre, 1411 E 11th Ave., Tampa. hccfl.edu.

Watch as graceful dancers from the Russian National Ballet present Sleeping Beauty to a score composed by Tchaikovsky at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $35-$75. 8 p.m. Saturday. 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

The esteemed Paul Taylor Dance Company will perform three works from their namsesake who helped pioneer modern dance, Company B, Piazzolla Caldera and Esplanade. $45. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInness Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. For showtimes, visit strazcenter.org.

HAUNTED: LONE STAR SPIRITS

Ghosts are explored in the figurative and literal sense in Lone Star Spirits, opening at Freefall Theatre. The plot sees Marley return to her small Texas hometown to deal with some family business. With her hipster boyfriend in tow, her worlds begin to collide when she enters her estranged father’s liquor store and runs into her ex-boyfriend, the former football hero who wants her back. Add to the mix an old high school friend and the ghost of the bear-wrestling pioneer who haunts her father’s store and things start taking weird turns. $25-$50. Opens Saturday and runs through March 29. 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 498-4205. For showtimes, visit freefalltheatre.com.

MUSICAL PARODY: THE OFFICE

It’s hard to imagine how to parody The Office. Find out when the unauthorized musical version comes to the Capitol Theatre. Mashable called it the “world’s most elaborate inside joke,” and with musical numbers titled That’s What She Said and The Dundies that seems to be true. $35-$70. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Saturday. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

HA-HA LAND: COMICS EVERYWHERE

It’s another weekend of comedy everywhere you look, both in clubs and in theaters.

Doug Benson: The stoner comic and prolific podcaster has struck out twice in Tampa with technically flawed recordings of his popular show Doug Loves Movies. But his standup still packs 'em in every year, even when he hits town for one night only. $20 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday. Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

Doug Benson will perform at the Improv in Ybor City on Feb. 27. [Courtesy of Troy Conrad]

Colin Quinn: SNL’s former Weekend Update host turns his gruff voice on the ills of modern society in a show dubbed The Wrong Side of History, setting up shop on the intimate Murray Theatre stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $39.50 and up. 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Colin Quinn will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Feb. 28. [Loshak PR]

Steve Byrne: Steve Byrne has toured with comics like Kevin James and Russell Peters and co-created the sitcom Sullivan and Son. But lately he has pivoted toward filmmaking, directing a documentary on the Amazing Johnathan and an upcoming comedy called The Opening Act. Still a funny standup, though. $15 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Improv.

Jo Koy: Four packed theaters in two nights? You don’t have to be a math whiz to know that’s a lot of tickets. But Tampa Theatre just couldn’t put them on sale fast enough for Jo Koy, the globe-trotting comic who has gone from being a Chelsea Lately regular to one of the most reliable draws in the biz. $40.75 and up. 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Sunday. 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286. tampatheatre.org.

SPACED OUT: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

Who better to headline your concerts about space than an actual, factual astronaut? Luckily, the Florida Orchestra happens to have one in its own backyard. Clearwater native Nicole Stott, who recently appeared in a Super Bowl ad, will appear at the orchestra’s “Out of This World” program, featuring interstellar selections from Star Trek, Star Wars, E.T., Holst’s The Planets and more. Sarah Hicks conducts the program, which will be enhanced by images and videos from space. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

Related: St. Pete to the Super Bowl: Meet Nicole Stott, Tampa Bay’s astronaut
Nicole Stott speaks to reporters about NASA's Orion spacecraft test vehicle in the well deck of the USS Anchorage at the Port of Los Angeles in 2014. [DAMIAN DOVARGANES | AP]

HARMONIC CONVERGENCE: ST. PETERSBURG OPERA

Opera may be a centuries-old art form, but it’s not the only one that speaks to the human condition. To illustrate that fact, St. Petersburg Opera is teaming up with the Kuumba West African Dancers and Drummers for Harmony: Tolerance and Acceptance, a collaboration featuring opera works by Mozart and others in a chamberlike setting, plus music that explores the African diaspora in various forms through dance and traditional music. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. Opera Central, 2145 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-2040. stpeteopera.org.

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