MAGIC MAN: A Celebration of Harry Potter
Like a Comic Con for fans of J.K. Rowling's boy wizard, A Celebration of Harry Potter returns Friday through Sunday to Universal Orlando for the fifth year. Actor Natalia Tena, who played the shape-shifting witch Nymphadora Tonks, is making her first appearance at the event, along with Stanislav Yanevski (Viktor Krum), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) and the Weasley twins James Phelps (Fred) and Oliver Phelps (George). There will also be an expo, movie screenings, panels and a wand combat skills demo from Paul Harris, who choreographed the wand fight sequences in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A new projection show, the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, is set to debut at Hogwarts Castle. The celebration is included with general admission to the theme parks. Special VIP hotel packages are for sale at universalorlando.com.
LIVING LARGE: Hippopotamus birthday
The only hippo with Florida citizenship turns 58 this week. Lucifer, nicknamed Lu, came to the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park in 1966 when it was Homosassa's Nature World. When the park was taken over by the state, Lu's popularity led the state to grant the 6,000-pound hippo special Florida citizenship in 1991, allowing him to stay. Lu is the oldest living hippo in captivity in the Americas and visitors are invited to Sing Happy Birthday to Lu at 10 a.m. Friday and again at 12:30 p.m. There will be cookies for people while Lu enjoys a special hippo-friendly cake. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, 4150 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa. Included with park admission. $13, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. (352) 628-5343.
COMEDY: Miranda Sings, Chris D'Elia
Two rising stars of comedy will be in Tampa this weekend.
,Miranda Sings .?.?. You're Welcome puts the viral comic character created by Colleen Ballinger on stage at the Straz Center's Ferguson Hall. She parodies young, self-absorbed singers with far more confidence than talent and starred in the Netflix series Haters Back Off! 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $40.50. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
.Best known for starring on the NBC sitcom Undateable, Chris D'Elia has released a new stand-up special Man on Fire on Netflix. And his highly successful podcast, Congratulations With Chris D'Elia, launched in February and has since been a mainstay on iTunes' comedy podcast charts. He will be at the Improv in Centro Ybor Thursday through Saturday. 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. Limited tickets: $35-$55. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.