What's happening on Tampa Bay stages: 'Come From Away,' Cledus T. Judd and 'Southern Momma'

Starting Tuesday, a touring production of the musical ‘Come From Away’ will visit Tampa’s Straz Center. [Matthew Murphy]
Starting Tuesday, a touring production of the musical ‘Come From Away’ will visit Tampa’s Straz Center. [Matthew Murphy]
Published June 3, 2019


Aaron Posner's 2013 "sort-of" adaptation of Anton Chekhov's 19th century play, The Seagull, has a wild plot. There are multiple love triangles, betrayals and suicide attempts. The play within a play, presented by Tampa Repertory Theatre, centers around a playwright, his opportunistic, adulterous actor girlfriend, his embittered mother who is also an actor and her narcissist author boyfriend. Don't discredit the importance of the supporting characters, whose ill-placed affections add more twists to the drama. It was Chekhov's intention to portray what it means to make art with the original. With a scene that breaks the fourth wall, Stupid F---ing Bird is on track to deliver the same. It opens Friday and runs through June 16. $20-$25. University of South Florida's Theatre 120, 3837 USF Holly Drive, Tampa. For showtimes, visit

LATINX: Four Guys Named Jose...

Latin culture and music is celebrated in Stageworks Theatre's production of Four Guys Named Jose...and Una Mujer Named Maria. Four guys, yes, all named Jose, but hailing from various Latin countries, meet up at the Burrito World. Besides having the same name, they also share the same dream: to perform a stage show of Latin standards that would shatter stereotypes. Enter beautiful Maria, who lets them vie for her affection. The score includes favorites La Bamba, Guantanamera and I Like it Like That, so expect lots of chair dancing. Select cabaret seating and you'll be part of the action, with a glass of free cava to boot. Friday's opening performance is sold out. Runs through June 16. $30-$35. 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. For show times, visit

HERE IT COMES: Come From Away

A hit Broadway musical with a great big heart that wasn't scored by some sort of pop celebrity? Do they really make those anymore? They sure do, and Come From Away is a stellar example. The show tells the story of the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland, which in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 welcomed more than three dozen planes and 7,000 stranded travelers when the United States grounded all flights. That it was based on a true story, with characters based on real-life residents, made the play's messages of hope and help in hard times resonate all the more. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards, and probably would have taken home more than one had it not been facing the juggernaut that was Dear Evan Hansen. Ironically, that musical's popularity might come back to help Come From Away in Tampa. A record number of season ticket holders signed up to see Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, and Come From Away, the little Canadian musical that could, deserves to stand alongside them. $51 and up. Tuesday through June 9. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827.

FUNNY PEOPLE: Comedians everywhere

A few very different funny people are coming to venues across town this week.

This weekend in Ybor City, it's Conan commentator and Angie Tribeca actor Deon Cole, who performs at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave. $25 and up. Nineties icon Pauly Shore is scheduled to perform at the Improv at 8 p.m. Wednesday, and don't be surprised if he gets a little deeper about his comic dad Sammy Shore, who died earlier this month.

Speaking of the '90s, Kevin Farley, the brother of Chris Farley, is performing at 8 tonight; 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday; 6, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday at Side Splitters, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway. $10 and up. (813) 960-1197.

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Finally, the Straz gets a dose of southern culture courtesy of radio personality and country-fried songsmith Cledus T. Judd, who returns to Tampa on his new tour with YouTube sensation "Southern Momma" Darren Knight. Red Squirrel and Gary Cargal open. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Friday.