Arts & Entertainment

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The CL Intern Issue: Step up to the (open) mic

CL intern Jackie Braje looks into the wide-open culture of Tampa Bay’s open mic nights.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Performances at Boba House's open mic night range from acoustic guitar to stand-up comedy to solo slide trombone. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • Performances at Boba House's open mic night range from acoustic guitar to stand-up comedy to solo slide trombone.

"For my performance tonight, I will pantomime a porn star making a pizza delivery to someone’s home. Here we go, folks.”

The Rathskeller, located in the basement of the University of Tampa’s Plant Hall, was scattered with tables full of writing professors and anxious young students prudently reading and re-reading to themselves the poems their classmates had goaded them into presenting in front of everyone. The vibe was laid-back, and a muted orchestra of snaps followed every reading. This was UT’s open mic night, sponsored by the student literary journal NEON — the one night a month when antisocial groups of undergrad writing students all leave their caves.

Tampa has built up a culture of open mic nights, each attracting a unique demographic. You can find anything from a singer-songwriter to a balloon animal artist at these gatherings, and things are inclined to get slightly weird. But after carousing through a few different places, it became easy to distinguish some of the traits — and distinctive characters — that are specific to each venue.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nine and Numb battle in honor of Batman

The improv group competed in Crusaders vs. Rogues at Carrollwood Players Theatre on National Batman Day

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Nine and Numb improv group - DEB KELLEY
  • Deb Kelley
  • Nine and Numb improv group
An undeniable amount of magic exists in the world of community theater. Anchored by unfaltering creativity and tucked away in a tiny plaza on Gunn Highway, the Carrollwood Players Theatre is the longest running community theater in Tampa (established in 1981), and (sadly enough) is a well-kept secret.

On Wednesday, to celebrate National Batman Day, local improv group Nine and Numb brought their brand of off-the-cuff humor to the Carrollwood Players Theatre, with Crusaders vs. Rogues , a superhero-themed improv show.

Sprinkled among the audience members in the tiny theater were several Batmen, a Batgirl, a Spiderman (who was subjected to a good deal of mockery by the actors) a Loki, and a child Gladiator — who would eventually win the costume contest by a considerable cuteness margin (the prize being “the finest Batman items one could dredge up from a dollar store”).

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A look back at Trashion Fashion 2014

The event last Saturday was claimed to be ArtPool's biggest to date.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Marina Williams, owner of Art Pool Gallery, wearing her fashion trashion creation. - MARINA WILLIAMS ON INSTAGRAM
  • Marina Williams on Instagram
  • Marina Williams, owner of Art Pool Gallery, wearing her fashion trashion creation.
For its seventh edition, Art Pool Gallery s Trashion Fashion hosted more than 60 models and 25 designers on set.

According to ArtPool owner  Marina Williams, Saturday's event was their biggest yet. With rockabilly tunes from the Vultures, the fantastical moves of aerial dancers, a glowing runway, and a rockin’ bar,  it was a night to remember.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

A fond farewell to James Garner

The actor known as Jim Rockford and Bret Maverick has died of natural causes at 86.

Posted By on Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM


Cheeky, suave TV and movie star James Garner has died of natural causes at 86.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Do This: Weekend Top 10

Fun on the beach, at the pool, at art shows, offbeat fashion and a great reunion lead the heap.

Posted By on Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Monty Python Live (Mostly) can be seen at theaters this week, beginning Sunday night.
  • Monty Python Live (Mostly) can be seen at theaters this week, beginning Sunday night.

Cool, offbeat and splashy outdoor events help you have a little extra fun July 19-20.

On Saturday ...

The Taste of the Beaches: A Sizzlin’ Summer Bash offers nosh and outdoor fun with local bands the Hamiltones, 4-6:30 p.m. and Hunks of Funk at 7 p,m. Proceeds go to the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce for Clothes to Kids. $10. Sat., July 19, 4-10 p.m. Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. 727-360-6957.

Big doin's in downtown St. Pete. For its annual, outlandish runway show, Artpool owner Marina Williams claims she's putting on her biggest Trashion Fashion event to date. Bluelucy is premiering the Bike exhibition. It's also the PAVA Cool Art Show 26 Sat. and Sun. at the Coliseum — the summer's biggest indoor art show.

Heartwarming, quriky flick The Grand Seduction is currently showing at Tampa Theatre.The remake of the 2003 French-Canadian farce Seducing Doctor Lewis is another folksy-funny somewhat deadpan charmer a la Waking Ned Devine and The Full Monty. Visit for showtimes. Read a review here.

Jeff Dye
  • Jeff Dye
In the mood for a comedy show? Celeb Bill Bellamy 
Bill Bellamy
  • Bill Bellamy
brings his Ladies Night tour to headline gigs at the Improv. Babyfaced comic Jeff Dye is also in town. Read CL's Laugh Tract for more live comedy shows.

On Sunday ...

The Epicurean Hotel helps you beat the heat with its Sunday Splash Pool Party with "Icy inspired drinks, upbeat vibes and an exceptional crowd." 1207 S Howard Ave, Tampa; $10 admission (reduced from $15). Order tickets at

Watch the Rays vs. Twins game on a big screen on the beach at the Tradewinds Rays Watch Party at 2:10 p.m., on St. Pete Beach by Guy Harvey Outpost; food and drink specials featured; no coolers allowed.


See Peter O'Toole's blazing blue eyes on the big screen when Tampa Theatre’s Summer Movie Classics Series screens the visually lush 1962 seven-­Oscar winner, Lawrence of Arabia.

Roller Derby fans in Pinellas can check out the The Rolling Valkyries vs. The North River Renegades of the Roller Derby Revolution Roller Derby, an All-Female Flat-Track Roller Derby League 6:30 p.m. at Astro Skate, 875 Cypress St., Tarpon Springs. 727-280-7981.

Monty Python Live (Mostly), the last show of a 10-night reunion juggernaut will be broadcast to select cinemas all around the world. The show promises many of the classic, tawdry, Python bits, and is their first full reunion since 1980. The five remaining Pythoners (RIP Graham Chapman) will include a few twists for old favorites. Says John Cleese, “The main danger we have is that the audience know the scripts better than we do." Bay area fans can look forward* to the show simulcast in select theaters July 20, with replays on the 23 and 24th. *Trojan bunnies will be searched on site.  Sun, July 20, 2:30 p.m., with replays on July 23 and 24, 7:30 p.m., Regal Citrus Park, AMC Brandon Regency, AMC Woodlands in Oldsmar, and Regal Park Place in Pinellas Park; for tickets and info, $18; more info at (Text by Brian Frederick)

freeFall Theatre’s July Tandem Series features Ryan James Monroe — I Don’t Make Coffee. Monroe makes the most of his summer internship at freeFall by taking the stage in his one-man cabaret with music that ranges from Mozart to Jason Robert Brown. The show serves as a fundraiser for Ryan, who will be studying opera in Florence, Italy, with Elon University in the fall. Show on Sat., July 19; tickets are $20. freeFall Theatre Company, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-498-5205.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Do This: God of Carnage, Rays Watch Party

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

A TIME OUT FOR MOM AND DAD: God of Carnage cast (L-R) Brian Shea, Cathy Schenkelberg, Katherine Michelle Tanner, and Billy Edwards, - CHAD JACOB
  • Chad Jacob
  • A TIME OUT FOR MOM AND DAD: God of Carnage cast (L-R) Brian Shea, Cathy Schenkelberg, Katherine Michelle Tanner, and Billy Edwards,

Two great outing for theater lovers and Rays fans tonight:

Last year American Stage gave us Yasmina Reza’s acerbic comedy Art, and this year, the company closes out its current season with the playwright’s even more acclaimed God of Carnage. The Tony-winning play reveals how civility can deteriorate when well-meaning parents get dirtier than their kids’ playground dispute. Karla Hartley directs the “comedy of manners without manners,” and the promising cast features Katherine Michelle Tanner, Billy Edwards, Cathy Schenkelberg and Brian Shea. Former UT professor Kerry Glamsch takes a break from his fellowship at Ohio University to serve as assistant director. Preview July 17. Opening night is tonight and includes a reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. catered by Gratzzi Italian Grille, an open bar and live music; production runs through Aug. 10. $59 opening night. Student rush, advance and senior discounts available too. 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg.

At 7 p.m. local Rays blog X-Rays Spex, Green Bench Brewing Company, and Star Booty are teaming up to host "a proper" Rays Watch Party, when the Rays take on the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis. Enjoy all of the camaraderie of the game, grub and tunes all just a stones throw from The Trop. The game will be shown on one of the flatscreen televisions in the tasting room, then make your way to the beer garden where the game will be projected once the sun sets. The first pitch is set for 8:10 p.m., but arrive early for the Galbraith Group. Outdoor games (including whiffle ball, corn hole, and more) will be available, so bring the entire family. Local barbecue provisioners Urban Brew and Barbecue will be onsite. Throughout the night Green Bench will be offering $1 off beers to folks wearing Tampa Bay Rays gear, including X-Rays Spex’s very own “Raymones” shirt.  Green Bench Brewing Co., 1133 Baum Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-800-9836.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Indie movie with locals screens at AMC Veterans

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM


AMC Veterans will be showing an exclusive screening of Russel Friedenberg's (Ibid, Out of the Blue) Among Ravens.
The 2014 indie dramedy will makes its worldwide debut at the Nantucket Film Festival in New York and it will then makes its round throughout select U.S cities, Tampa, Fl included. 

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Real Genius — review of Jobsite's Inventing Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh invades a modern-day artist’s life in a fine production by Jobsite.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM

LIFE STUDIES: Steve Fisher, Nicole Jeannine Smith and Jordan Foote as Van Gogh. - CRAWFORD LONG
  • LIFE STUDIES: Steve Fisher, Nicole Jeannine Smith and Jordan Foote as Van Gogh.

It must have been rough being Vincent Van Gogh. Plagued by recurring bouts of mental illness, hounded by loneliness and misunderstanding, depressed by failure to sell his work and rejection by would-be friends and lovers, it almost didn’t matter that he was one of the greatest artists who ever lived.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Word Play — caught between the covers of Tampa Bay's literary scene

Books, beers, word games, prose wrestlers — Tampa Bay’s literary scene is alive and raging.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 6:22 PM

SEEN AT ZINE: Valerie Cooper types her thoughts during last weekend’s Zine Fest. - CATHERINE SALUSTRI
  • Catherine Salustri
  • SEEN AT ZINE: Valerie Cooper types her thoughts during last weekend’s Zine Fest.

It’s a spring evening at Cafe Hey. The Rocky theme is blaring, and two 20-something competitors make their big entrance. One is a woman in Day of the Dead makeup and the other is a man in Mexican wrestling gear.

After introductions, they square off for battle. Their arena: one small table. Their weapons: two vintage typewriters. 

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Monday, July 14, 2014

World Cup 2014: View from a booze-filled room

Argentina fans cry, and Germany fans cheer at a crowded MacDinton's.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 6:33 PM


The crowd at MacDinton’s, off First Avenue North, in Downtown St. Pete, smelled like booze and looked like a line at the DMV when I walked into the place, a few minutes before the World Cup Final, to see La Albiceleste (“the White and Sky Blues,” aka Argentina) take on Die Mannschaft (“the Team” — Germany). 

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