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What's happening on Tampa Bay stages: Comic and actor T.J. Miller, American Stage tackles O'Neill

In this 2016 photo, T.J. Miller poses in a spacesuit at the Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. The comic and actor performs at the Tampa Improv on Friday and Saturday. [Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]
In this 2016 photo, T.J. Miller poses in a spacesuit at the Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. The comic and actor performs at the Tampa Improv on Friday and Saturday. [Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]
Published May 22, 2019

FULL CIRCLE: Florida Orchestra

A quick bit of historical trivia: Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 was on the program for the very first concert by the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony, later known as the Florida Orchestra. Fifty-one years later, it will close out the orchestra's 2018-19 season. The piece, a towering work of 20th century composition, highlights the orchestra's final Masterworks installment before summer. This weekend's performances also include Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, featuring concertmaster Jeffrey Multer; and Silver Glass, a piece inspired by Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books written by Florida State University student Lincoln Sandham, winner of this year's Student Composer Competition. Michael Francis conducts. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $18 and up, free for kids and teens in advance. Francis will dissect the symphony and discuss Shostakovich's story at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Pay what you can at the door. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

STILL HERE: T.J. Miller

T.J. Miller isn't canceled. But over the last few years, he has really toed that line. The comic and actor, known for roles in Deadpool, Transformers: Age of Extinction and How to Train Your Dragon, has gotten in repeated hot water due to patterns of unruly behavior. He was arrested after allegedly making a fake bomb threat aboard an Amtrak train in New York; he lost his role on HBO's Silicon Valley over disruptive behavior on set; and he was accused of sexual violence by a former college classmate (an accusation Miller has denied). Yet his outlandish and explosive skills as a comic actor and improviser continue to make him an appealing hire in Hollywood; in January he'll co-star with Kristen Stewart in a new Disney action movie called Underwater. In the meantime, he still has standup. $25 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

YBOR STORIES: Tampa City Ballet

Tampa City Ballet is a professional company that incorporates contemporary dance into its repertoire. This opens their performances to new heights in the evolution of dance to tell many kinds of stories. One such topic is the rich history of Ybor City, which they'll present at HCC Ybor Campus Mainstage theater (1411 E 11th Ave) Saturday-Sunday and at St. Petersburg's Palladium (253 Fifth Ave. N) on Wednesday. Seventh Ave and Ybor is part one of a trilogy of an original work that explores the neighborhood in the early 1900s. Imagining the hustle of the cigar factories and the multicultural influence should make for dynamic choreography and movement. $28-$36. tampacityballet.org.

BENDER: Long Day's Journey into Night

American Stage opens Eugene O'Neill's Tony and Pulitzer-winning drama next week, with a preview performance on Wednesday. Set over the course of one day, Long Day's Journey into Night follows the dysfunctional Tyrone family, who are plagued by addiction and alcoholism. During the course of the Connecticut summer day, they fight, drink and life-changing secrets are revealed. But there are some tender moments, too, giving the actors the chance to stretch their emotional ranges. $18. 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529. For show times visit americanstage.org.

TRAPPED: No Exit

The famous quip by Jean-Paul Sartre that "hell is other people" came from his play No Exit. The phrase has a much more existential meaning than just being annoyed. Go deeper at the Studio@620 this weekend, when local director Skyler Bianca presents the famous play. Three people must pay for their sins trapped in a room for eternity, acting as each others' tormentors. $20, $15 members. 7 p.m. today through Saturday. 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.

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