1. Stage

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


  1. REO Speedwagon will perform at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on March 1, 2020. Courtesy of Randee St. Nicholas
    REO Speedwagon, Gladys Knight, Kidz Bop, Art Garfunkel and more.
  2. Michael Francis leads a community chorus during one of the Florida Orchestra's Sing Out Tampa Bay sing-alongs. MICHAEL FRANCIS  |  Florida Orchestra
    The music director is entering his fifth year with the orchestra, which has a Beethoven-heavy season opening Sept. 27 in Tampa.
  3. Spymonkey's "Hysteria!" will run at the Straz Center's Jaeb Theater from Sept. 19-Nov. 3. Courtesy of Jane Hobson
    Spymonkey’s ‘Hysteria,’ Billy Cobham and ‘Crossing the Bay’ accompany dance experiences and a banned book cabaret.
  4. Patrons hit the dance floor at Tampa venue Skipper's Smokehouse in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2015)
    A 12-hour party in the Skipperdome, stargazing and a family-friendly Williams Park festival provide free and cheap entertainment.
  5. A Zombie Bride is one of the characters found in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream, which opens for its 20th year on Friday.
    Free Museum Day is coming, Howl-O-Scream opens at Busch Gardens, Billy Ray Cyrus plays for the Bucs Beach Bash and Tho Who will be at Amalie Arena.
  6. Jordan Foote (Norm) and Jonelle M. Meyer (Corky) in Jobsite's production of Steve Martin's "Meteor Shower." Courtesy of Pritchard Photography
    Steve Martin’s voice is ingrained in the absurdist comedy.
  7. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, bringing two December shows to Tampa's Amalie Arena, performs in Birmingham, Ala., in 2017. Courtesy of Anna Jones
    Seats at Stomp, Little Big Town and A Nightmare on Franklin Street are also up for grabs.
  8. Jim Jefferies in an episode of Comedy Central's "The Jim Jefferies Show." ALI GOLDSTEIN  |  Comedy Central
    Raunchy moms, YouTubers and flamenco dancers also hit local theaters. Plus, Tampa Rep opens a Pulitzer-winning drama.
  9. From left: Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, Barry Bostwick as Brad Majors and Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." 20th Century Fox
    The popular ‘Last Podcast on the Left’ and Barry Bostwick from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ are new to A Nightmare on Franklin Street.
  10. The children just tricked (conned) their father into letting them purchase a dog, much to his displeasure, in the Live Oak Theatre presentation of 'Cheaper By the Dozen,' which opens Sept. 13 at the Brooksville theater. Standing, left to right: Billie (Amber Marino), Martha (Quincee Willis) and Dad (Joe Santerelli). Sitting, left to right: Dan (Jase Ivie), Fredericka (Hailey Radatz), “The dog,” (Ozzie), Jackie (Cam Kennedy) and Lilly (Emily Mosher). Kris Mitten