What’s on stage this week: Florida Orchestra happy hour concerts now free, Benji Brown, Radio Theatre Project

The casual Wednesday concerts return for a third year. Comic Benji Brown brings his humor to the Straz.
Published November 20 2018



For several years, the Florida Orchestra has pushed to expand its imprint in the area with alternative venues, tribute rock concerts and performances in shopping centers, schools and hospitals. Happy Hour concerts target anyone who might enjoy a beverage and a chance to mingle with musicians after work, including commuters to or from Tampa. The first two years, $35 got you in the door and a complimentary drink from a local beer or liquor retailer. Customers were free to visit the bar at any time, or to mingle with musicians afterward.

This year you can buy your own drinks but admission is free. Pops conductor Stuart Malina, above, conducts the hourlong Two to Tango at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 in the courtyard of the Heights Public Market at Armature Works. Two remaining Happy Hour concerts follow the same format, American Jazz (Jan. 9) and The Romance of France (March 13). 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28. 1910 N Ola Ave., Tampa. (727) 892-3331. floridaorchestra.org.



Miami’s Benji Brown has performed with Tyler Perry, Chris Rock and Steve Harvey. His fast-paced comedy throws characters of any race, class or gender with no inhibitions and without ever taking his foot off the gas. They just fly by, a conveyor belt stuck on warp speed. As In Living Color’s Tommy Davidson once said of Brown, “You have no choice but to leave your world behind and venture into his.” 8 p.m. Saturday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Ferguson Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $24.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.


In Los Angeles, Ron Satlof directed many of television’s hit shows from the 1970s to the 1990s. He left his imprint on Hawaii Five-O, Magnum P.I., Charlie’s Angels and eight Perry Mason telefilms, to name just a few. After retiring to St. Petersburg, Satlof continued to produce and direct, taught cinematography at Eckerd College and served on the board of the Gasparilla Film Festival.

In a special presentation, Radio Theatre Project will pay tribute to Satlof, who died July 2 at 79. $15. 7 p.m. Monday at the [email protected], 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.


It’s almost a year away, but National Geographic: Symphony for Our World promises some variety in local arts entertainment. A 90-minute visual panorama of the natural world — oceans, coastlines, mountains and skies, and creatures living therein — runs with a five-part live orchestration, a production by Jason Michael Paul Entertainment. Tickets go on sale at noon Friday at the Straz Center. The show is Nov. 2, 2019. $68.75 and up.

Tickets are now on sale for puppeteer Terry Fator, whose impressions and family-friendly act have helped make him one of the top-earning comics listed by Forbes magazine. The show is Dec. 29 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $43.25 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.


Jobsite Theater is throwing a 20th birthday party. The Jobsite Rocks 20th Anniversary Show includes a cash bar, drawings, portrait photography and a variety show. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater. $20. A VIP show with a silent auction and presentations from performers you’ve come to know starts at 7 p.m. and costs $75.