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What's happening on Tampa Bay stages: 'A Doll's House,' 'God of Carnage,' Pole for a Purpose

Pablo Francisco will perform at the Tampa Improv this weekend. [Courtesy of Tomas Whitehouse]
Published Aug. 7

WOMEN'S LIB: A Doll's House

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was very woke about the plight of women trapped in bad marriages. He addresses that issue in several of his 19th century plays, including 1879's A Doll's House. Carrollwood Players are presenting the seminal drama. Nora is married to Torvald, who has recently earned a big promotion at the bank. Times are tough, so Nora has done something shady to keep the household afloat. She has hidden this from Torvald, because his reputation is his chief concern. When a bank employee arrives at the house threatening to expose Nora's wrongdoing, she despairs. But when she finally is exposed, Torvald's reaction reveals how he really considers his wife. She's not willing to accept that. $12. Runs through Aug. 17. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa. (813) 265-4000. carrollwoodplayers.org.

BAD MANNERS: God of Carnage

The fragile facades of two couples come tumbling down in God of Carnage, the Tony Award-winning dark comedy presented by Plant City Entertainment. After their sons' scuffle involved the loss of teeth, the couples must discuss what to do. They meet over drinks and as the night goes on, they lose all their inhibitions and start behaving like children themselves. The show contains strong language and includes topics of racism and homophobia and other adult themes. Runs through Aug. 17. $15-$20. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. 101 N Thomas St., Plant City. (813) 752-0728. pceshows.com.

GOOD IMPRESSIONS: Pablo Francisco

Pablo Francisco: Arizona native, Tampa homeboy. The MADtv veteran is such a frequent presence at the Tampa Improv that he might as well get a P.O. box here. Francisco keeps coming back because his wide stable of impressions — most famously Don LaFontaine, the late movie-trailer-voiceover guy, but also everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Keanu Reeves to Mark Wahlberg — keeps packing the house. When he comes to town, you never know who you'll see on stage. $15 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

JOKE'S ON YOU: Sleight of Humor

It's a comedy show, but it's also not entirely a comedy show. Quite the trick, isn't it? Steve Marshall and Bob Burr will blend a few different stage elements in Sleight of Humor this weekend in St. Petersburg. Burr, who used to manage Snappers Comedy Club in Palm Harbor, said Marshall's style "is almost like a standup comic, motivational type thing, but it's very funny. And I do standup comedy and magic. So the scope of the humor show is basically just having a good time, and seeing two different types of acts. It works together." $25 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.

SPIN FOR THE WIN: Pole for a Purpose

Yes, yes, go ahead and make your jokes about Tampa hosting a giant pole-dancing competition. Done yet? Then show some proper respect for Pole for a Purpose, a nonprofit organization that over the past eight years has raised $33,000 for victims of domestic abuse, multiple sclerosis research, the Humane Society and more. Their showcase events spotlight pole dancing as a physical feat that's both athletic, artistic, acrobatic and alluring. So leave your dollar bills at home, and instead buy a ticket — or better yet, bring a check — to support the organization and its efforts. $42.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Jaeb Theater at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

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