What's happening on Tampa Bay stages: Comics D.L. Hughley and Emo Philips, Uptown Music Fest

D.L. Hughley, shown in an episode of BET’s ‘The Comedy Get Down’ in 2017, will perform at Tampa Improv this weekend. [Courtesy of BET]
D.L. Hughley, shown in an episode of BET’s ‘The Comedy Get Down’ in 2017, will perform at Tampa Improv this weekend. [Courtesy of BET]
Published June 12, 2019

SMART BOOKINGS: D.L. Hughley, Greg Fitzsimmons

Smart guys are invading your local comedy clubs this weekend. In Ybor City, it's D.L. Hughley, who has peddled his brand of insightful sociocultural commentary everywhere from The Original Kings of Comedy and Dancing With the Stars to shows like CNN's D.L. Hughley Breaks the News. Hughley won a Peabody Award for his satirical special D.L. Hughley: The Endangered List. $37.50 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 864-4000.

Speaking of prestigious awards, four-time Daytime Emmy winner Greg Fitzsimmons returns to Side Splitters. The former writer for the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher is also an author, podcaster and actor, appearing on shows like Crashing and Santa Clarita Diet. $20 and up. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 6, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197.


Emo Philips was way ahead of his time, compellingly eccentric before that sort of comedy was en vogue. His unique style — absurdist, self-deprecating, brilliantly constructed one-liners delivered in a dreamy, meandering falsetto — was influential on countless comics like Patton Oswalt, Ricky Gervais and even Eric Idle. More than once, GQ has rated several of his jokes among the greatest of all time, including this one: "Once I beat up the school bully with a baseball bat. Both his arms were completely broken. Which is what gave me the courage to do it." Danny Bevins opens. $14.50 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6793.

SAX THERAPY: Uptown Music Festival

It's raining saxmen at this weekend's Uptown Music Festival, a funk and jazz fest benefiting neighborhood programs through Tampa's University Area Community Development Corporation. At the top of the bill are Tampa's own B.K. Jackson and Adrian Crutchfield, who have both played with Prince. They'll be joined by Jackiem Joyner, Bryan Thompson and bassist Tim George. $15 and up. 4 p.m. Saturday. University Area Park, 14013 N 22nd St., Tampa.

Among the organizations with a presence there: The Florida Orchestra, which will hold a music instrument petting zoo for kids. The orchestra is staging 20 instrument petting zoos across Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties throughout the summer.


Tampa Repertory Theatre has shared the lineup for its ninth season. Productions take place at the University of South Florida's Studio 120 or at HCC Ybor Studio Theatre.

Dinner With Friends (Sept. 12-29): The Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy looks at friendship in the age of divorce.

The (Curious Case of the)

Watson Intelligence (Jan. 9-26): The comedy spans three centuries and follows three guys and a computer named Watson. King Lear (May 29 -June 14, 2020): Shakespeare's tragedy about betrayal and regret.