1. Stage

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.


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.

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.

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


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.


  1. Demetri Martin will perform at Tampa Theatre on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre]
    'A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘The Screwtape Letters’ and ambitious Florida Orchestra collaborations round out the list.
  2. Ira Glass will appear at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Jan. 25. [Courtesy of Sandy Honig]
    The host of ‘This American Life’ brings stories from his years on the air to St. Petersburg on Jan. 25.
  3. "Sunset Baby" stars, from left, Aris Rogers II as Damon, Kelli Vonshay as Nina Shakur and Darren Constantine as Kenyatta Shakur. [Courtesy of the Heather Theatre]
    An activist tries to reconnect with his daughter after prison. But did “revolution” cost him his family? | Review
  4. These undated photos show William "Bill" Holley in costume during his thriving career as an opera singer in Europe from 1961 to 1984. After that, he retired to Plant City, where he never really performed opera, only singing in church and at weddings for friends and family. He died Dec. 28, 2019, at age 89. [Courtesy of Candy Greene]
    Before his quiet life of rural retirement, the Panhandle native performed in some of Europe’s most vaunted opera houses.
  5. Drumline Live will high-step through the Straz Center in Tampa on Jan. 14. [Courtesy of the Straz Center]
    Comic Matt Braunger at Side Splitters and a Duke Ellington tribute by the Florida Orchestra, too.
  6. Mike Tyson announces "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth," a one-man show on Broadway, in New York in 2012. [EVAN AGOSTINI  |  Invision/AP]
    The boxing legend and his ‘Undisputed Truth: Round 2’ will hit the Hard Rock Event Center in April.
  7. The National Theatre Ballet of Odessa, Ukraine, will present "Romeo and Juliet" at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Jan. 5. [Courtesy of the Mahaffey Theater]
    Plus, Illusionist Ivan Amodei and the Florida Orchestra.
  8. Jim Gaffigan will perform at Tampa's Yuengling Center on Dec. 31. [Courtesy of Robyn Von Swank]
    Say hello to 2020 with Moscow Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker,’ comedy shows and more.
  9. Kaenaonalani Kekoa (Jasmine) and Jonah Ho'okano (Aladdin) in the Straz Center's production of "Aladdin" in Tampa. [Disney]
    The Disney musical will win you over, thanks to imaginative effects and a couple of lively stars at the center.
  10. The touring production of "Hamilton" came to Tampa's Straz Center from Feb. 12 to March 10. [Courtesy of Joan Marcus]
    Great theater and orchestral works happened all over town this year. Here are some of our favorites.