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What's happening on Tampa Bay stages: Adam Sandler, Laughs for the Troops, Little Black Dress

Adam Sandler in the Netflix special “100% Fresh.” The longtime comic will visit Tampa’s Amalie Arena with his old buddy Rob Schneider on Saturday. [Netflix]
Published Jun. 26

THE SANDMAN COMETH: Adam Sandler

If you could travel back in time to 1996 and inform the world that Keanu Reeves would be the most intriguing actor of the summer and Adam Sandler would be in the middle of a grand critical re-evaluation, would anyone have believed you? Yet here we are in 2018, with John Wick punching up Twitter every day, and the Sandman on a comedic hot streak. First came last fall's 100% Fresh, his celebrated first standup special in more than 20 years, which featured an eye-openingly sincere tribute to his late friend Chris Farley. Then came his first-ever gig hosting Saturday Night Live, where he resurrected his beloved old character Opera Man. Now he's embarking on his biggest tour ever. Many will tell you that Sandler never went away; his dramatic work in Punch-Drunk Love and The Wedding Singer has always had supporters. But something just feels right about this comeback, if you want to call it that, like he's starting to remember why so many people liked him in the first place. If he keeps it up, someday he might once again be as omnipresent as Keanu. His new tour features an opening slot from old buddy Rob Schneider. $33.75 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

THE BEST MEDICINE: Laughs for the Troops

Comedy is supposed to make you feel better, right? Well, here's one way it can do that even if you can't make the show. Laughs for the Troops is a Riverview nonprofit that aims to help veterans and first responders through laughter, especially those dealing with PTSD. They've got a show with Thomas Brown, Happy Cole, Tommy Drake, Phil Palisoul and Consuela Ivy. And if you can't make it, you can purchase a ticket to be donated to a veteran — and Laughs for the Troops will match it with three more seats for their family. $30 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. laughsforthetroops.org.

LADIES NIGHT: Little Black Dress

We've all seen ladies out on the town for a bachelorette party. They wear sashes proclaiming it, the bachelorette sporting a veil and toting phallic toys. They take over the club, doing shots and dancing on the bar. By now, the bachelorette party phenomenon is cliche, making it ripe for spoofing. And that's just what the musical party Little Black Dress does. The ladies gleefully sing about getting wasted, go to a male revue and cleverly use audience participation for an improvisational element. Grab a group of girlfriends and whoop it up. $30 and up. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Straz Center.

SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT: Straz Center

After previously announcing Broadway, Opera Tampa and Jobsite Theatre offerings for the 2019-20 season, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts announced its full lineup, including musical performances, comedy, guest speakers and family favorites. Among the highlights are John Tesh: Songs and Stories from the Grand Piano (Feb. 28); astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (April 17); comedian and actor Nick Offerman (Dec. 7); Pursuit of the Black Panther with photographer Shannon Wild, part of the National Geographic Live series (Jan. 21); Diavolo Dance Theatre: Architecture in Motion (Oct. 25); and Lippo the Clown's Small Family Circus (Feb. 8). Other events include the Broadway Ball (Oct. 19); the free Broadway and opera concert Straz Live in the Park (Nov. 3); Taste at the Straz (April 4); and Opera Tampa's Grand Gala (May 2). Single tickets for most events go on sale on Aug. 9 at strazcenter.org.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. The cast of American Stage's production of "Vietgone" includes Sami Ma as Tong and Jeff Kim as Quang. Courtesy of Joey Clay Studio
    An immigrant story with voice offers a fresh perspective.
  2. On Saturday, J.B. Smoove will perform at Ferguson Hall, part of Tampa's Straz Center. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    The comedian known for portraying Leon Black on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ likes to wing it. He hits the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall on Saturday.
  3. The cast performs 'On The Deck Of A Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492' in the Stage West production of 'Songs for a New World', which will be presented Oct. 17-27. Pictured at top, from left: Paris Seaver, Anthony Agnelli and Nicki Poulis. Standing in front: Jay Garcia. Timothy Rooney
    See ‘Songs for a New World’ and other shows in the north Suncoast
  4. Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    There’s Jeanne Robertson and an inventive Florida Orchestra collaboration, too.
  5. Emilee Dupre and Eric Davis star in Freefall Theatre's production of "The Turn of the Screw." Courtesy of Thee Photo Ninja
    A spooky, risk-filled performance will leave you with questions. | Review
  6. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will roll through Tampa as part of the Straz Center's 2019-20 Broadway series. JOAN MARCUS  |  Straz Center
    ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Roy Wood Jr., ‘Vietgone’ at American Stage, Piff the Magic Dragon and more.
  7. Music director Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra in the Star-Spangled Banner on Friday during the season-opening program at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Friday’s opening night portrayed Tampa as a melting pot, delivering diverse pieces pulled from around the world. | Concert review
  8. Bernadette Peters is pictured at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2015. CHARLES SYKES  |  AP
    Peters follows the likes of Sting and Seal playing with the orchestra.
  9. Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, shown performing "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Florida Orchestra at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater in January, will join the orchestra for its 2019-20 season-opening program this weekend. J.M. LENNON  |  Lennon Media
    Plus, SuicideGirls at Tampa Theatre and comedian Bryan Callen at Tampa Improv.
  10. Ned Averill-Snell, Ami Sallee, Emilia Sargent and Alan Mohney, Jr. in Tampa Repertory Theatre's Dinner With Friends, 2019. Courtesy of KLGold, LLC
    The Pulitzer-winning play illustrates the aftershocks of divorce on marital friendships. | Review
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