What’s happening on Tampa Bay stages: ‘Fun Home,’ Natasha Leggero

Local shows tackle political satire and the moon landing this week, too.
Published July 17
Updated July 18


A cartoonist who grew up in a funeral home? The high jinks write themselves! Actually, no, they don’t — but thankfully the world has Alison Bechdel, who wrote them for us in her 2006 graphic memoir Fun Home. It served as the basis for a musical of the same name, which premiered off-Broadway in 2013 before going on to win the Tony for Best Musical in 2016. Fun Home features a grownup Bechdel looking back at childhood and college-aged versions of herself as she wrestles with the lasting influence of her demanding and difficult father and, later, her own sexuality. Its personal, intimate and independent nature was a good fit for the first musical at American Stage in four years. $34 for Thursday’s preview, $48 and up after. 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529. For showtimes, visit americanstage.org.

FUNNY AND ALL: Evenings at the Improv

The Tampa Improv (1600 E Eighth Ave.) has a pretty diverse calendar from week to week. But this coming week brings an especially good slate of comic viewpoints. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

Small Town Murder: You don’t have to look far for a true-crime podcast these days. But you don’t often see one as popular as Small Town Murder in a club. The podcast, hosted by comics James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman, has sold out theaters but is coming to the Improv at 8 p.m. Thursday. $30 and up.

Natasha Leggero: Some comics have style, some have substance. Natasha Leggero has both. Her fashionable persona and keen satirical sensibilities earned her a regular spot on Chelsea Lately, which boosted the profile of her various specials, podcasts and projects, including her own Comedy Central series, Another Period. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. $25 and up.

Jamali Maddix: Speaking of worldly comics, British standup Jamali Maddix has traveled the globe for his Viceland series Hate Thy Neighbor, in which he interviews fringe groups from across the sociopolitical spectrum, from evangelicals and Confederate flag supporters to black separatists in Harlem. 7 p.m. Sunday. $20 and up.

Leanne Morgan: Then there’s Leanne Morgan, a Southern mom who has turned her life experiences into a comedy career. She rose to prominence on Nick at Nite’s The Search for the Funniest Mom in America and has since toured with the Southern Fried Chicks and started a podcast, Sweaty and Pissed. 8 p.m. July 24. $15 and up.

POLITICAL SATIRE: Drilled! The Musical

We’re a nation divided, for sure, but sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh about it. That’s the approach in Drilled! The Musical at the Palladium this weekend. It’s written and directed by Bill Leavengood, the man behind Webb’s City: The Musical, with music and musical direction by Constantine Grame. The action centers around Larry the Laborer, a blue-collar celebrity who helped his party get elected. But he has fallen on hard times and is jobless, with a pesky toothache. As he journeys to the only dental office that will accept his terrible insurance, political jabs to the right and left abound through song and dance. $15-$36. 8 p.m. Thursday, 6 and 9 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Sunday. 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. mypalladium.org.

TIMELY: Miss Ida’s Man in the Moon Yard Sale

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing happens Saturday, and the influence is ubiquitous, even in local theater. Local playwright Joseph Alan Johnson will premiere his newest play, Miss Ida’s Man in the Moon Yard Sale, at the Gulfport Art Center this weekend. The one-woman show stars Olga Kruse as Miss Ida Lemmie, who is holding a yard sale on that day in 1969. As she sets up the sale, details of her life unfold. Seating is limited, so reservations are strongly encouraged at (727) 504-2163. $10 cash at the door. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 2726 54th St. S.