1. Stage

On stage this week in Tampa Bay: 'Anastasia,' Tampa International Fringe Festival

Starting on Tuesday, the musical ‘Anastasia’ comes to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. [Evan Zimmerman, MurphyMade]
Published May 2

OFFBEAT: Tampa International Fringe Festival

Tampa Bay has long been known as a hub for local theater. And with the return of the Tampa International Fringe Festival for the third year, we can consider ourselves a place where experimental performances thrive. Jobsite Theater artistic director David Jenkins and William Glenn and Trish Parry of Wish Experience started the collaborative in 2016. The festival brings eclectic performances to venues around Ybor City Thursday through May 11. The lineup includes solo performances, comedies, satire and even two children's shows (most of the performances are definitely not for kids). The festival's headquarters, Fringe Central, is at Gaspar's Grotto, 1805 E Seventh Ave. Special events include Thursday's opening party performance of Dreams Deferred by Kezra Leon at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St. $5-$13 per performance, passes available.

OPERA TAMPA: 2019-20 Season Announcement

Opera Tampa's 25th anniversary season includes works from Bizet, Verdi and Gilbert and Sullivan, all held at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInness Place. The season begins on Nov. 30 with a concert, Viva Italia: A Salute to Four Great Italian Tenors, by up-and-coming opera stars paying tribute to Pavarotti, Caruso, Botticelli and Lanza. The rest of the season follows:

Carmen ( Feb. 7-9): George Bizet's opera about a fiercely independent woman and the disaster that strikes when a man tries to claim her will be sung in French with English supertitles.

The Pirates of Penzance (March 13-15): Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera following a soft-hearted band of pirates contains the classic, I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General. Sung in English with supertitles.

Aida (April 24 and 26): Giuseppe Verdi's love triangle set in Egypt will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Season tickets are available now. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 9. (813) 229-7827.


DNA testing conclusively ruled out the theory that Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna escaped the execution of her family by the Bolsheviks in 1918. But it was a beautiful fantasy that resulted in some impostors and became the subject of film and a Broadway play. Anastasia opens at Tampa's Straz Center Tuesday and runs through May 12. In the musical, two con men see the opportunity to claim they've found Anastasia when they meet an amnesiac orphan named Anya. $168 and up, but there is a digital lottery that gives fans the chance to purchase tickets for $25. Visit to register.

DRUMS, PLEASE: Florida Orchestra

Mahler's the main master at the Masterworks concerts this weekend by the Florida Orchestra; his sprawling, percussive Symphony No. 1 is the main course at two performances. But the others should be just as compelling, especially if you like big beats. Master percussionist Colin Currie will bring a huge, immersive complement of percussion instruments to perform Switch, by 39-year-old American composer Andrew Norman. And then there's Steve Reich's Music for Pieces of Wood, which is exactly what it sounds like — a piece played entirely on five differently tuned wooden claves. It sounds stark, but is in fact mesmerizing. Michael Francis conducts. $18 and up, free for 18 and younger in advance. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. (727) 892-3337.

RAP SESSION: Joe Budden Podcast

How did Joe Budden go from being the Pump It Up guy to, as the New York Times put it, "the Howard Stern of Hip-Hop"? Being afraid to speak his mind hasn't hurt. The man has beefed with the likes of Eminem, Meek Mill and even Chance the Rapper, and he's lived to tell about it all on his Joe Budden Podcast. Along with co-hosts Rory, Mal and Parks, Budden dissects the state of modern rap with such uncensored frankness that it led to an exclusive deal with Spotify. You know, kind of like the one Stern signed with SiriusXM once upon a time. The podcast will host a live taping at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center. $33.75 and up.


  1. Julie Andrews, right, and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, take fans' questions in a Q&A at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 13. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The stage and screen icon came to Clearwater to discuss her new memoir ‘Home Work’ and a wide range of other topics.
  2. Kevin James appears in his 2018 Netflix special "Don't Never Give Up." Courtesy of KC Bailey
    Plus, ‘Once on This Island,’ the Tampa Bay Symphony and the Florida Orchestra.
  3. John Leguizamo will bring his one-man show "Latin History for Morons" to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Nov. 17. Courtesy of Matthew Murphy
    Plus, how his ‘House of Buggin’ became ‘Mad TV’ and a dream project about a Hispanic Oscar Schindler. Leguizamo’s one-man show comes to the Straz Center on Nov. 17.
  4. "Fiddler on the Roof" is at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Courtesy of Joan Marcus
    The revival of a pointed story about tradition stays close to the source. | Review
  5. Comic John Crist has canceled his upcoming tour, including a May 10, 2020 concert at Tampa's Yuengling Center, following a report by the Christian publication Charisma News alleging multiple instances of sexual misconduct. Courtesy of John Crist
    The viral star’s Netflix special and tour are on hold after a report alleging sexual misconduct.
  6. Julie Andrews will appear in conversation at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 13. Courtesy of Andrew Eccles
    The 84-year-old Hollywood icon will discuss her new autobiography this week at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  7. Julie Andrews arrives at the Los Angeles Philharmonic 2015-16 season opening gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    Plus, comics Jay Mohr and Cristela Alonso, the Florida Orchestra’s ‘Deep Field’ with Eric Whitacre and more.
  8. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater is undergoing a $12 million renovation/ expansion. Progress is seen here Wednesday, October 30, 2019. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    The 6,000-square-foot entryway opens this weekend, showcasing the venue’s most extensive facelift to date.
  9. Jobsite Theater's "The Thanksgiving Play" features Caitlin Eason, Giles Davies, Dana Mauro and Adam Workman. It runs through Nov. 17 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for Performing Arts in Tampa. Courtesy of Jobsite Theater
    Larissa FastHorse’s witty satire at Jobsite Theater mocks political correctness as well as theater itself. | Review
  10. "Fiddler on the Roof" will come to the Straz Center in Tampa on Tuesday as part of its 2019-20 Broadway series. Courtesy of Joan Marcus
    Plus, Mo’Nique, Bianca Del Rio and more.