Friday, February 27, 2015

Tampa viewers weigh in on new House of Cards season, now on Netflix

House of Cards season 3 drops on Netflix today. Here are some hopes and predictions from Tampa fans.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 2:42 PM


House of Cards Season 3 drops today on Netflix, and yesterday illegally via some naughty people’s torrents.

Personally, I want some questions answered. Will Claire Underwood add any color to her wardrobe now that she’s the First lady? Will Frank come out of the bisexual closet? Will Jackie Sharp and Remy Danton team up in and out of bed and take out the Underwoods? Will Former President Garrett Walker get rid of the bags under his eyes and lay off the Xanax? Will Doug Stamper return from the dead creating a zombie apocalypse? What will Frank Underwood eat now, instead of Freddy’s ribs? Maybe John Favreau’s food truck from Chef will park outside of the oval office?

CL asked a few Tampa residents their predictions for this season and listed my own wishes as well.

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So long, Mr. Spock — Leonard Nimoy dead at 83

The actor became synonymous with his resolute Star Trek portrayal.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 12:48 PM

HE LIVED LONG AND PROSPERED: Leonard Nimoy in the recent Star Trek: Into Darkness.
  • HE LIVED LONG AND PROSPERED: Leonard Nimoy in the recent Star Trek: Into Darkness.

Just when we thought you could get through the week without another heartbreaking celebrity death, we had to receive word that beloved spokesperson and sci-fi icon Leonard Nimoy died this morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83. According to a report by the New York Times, his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed that he died of end-stage COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) complications. The disease originated from a cigarette habit that Nimoy gave up three decades ago. 

Nimoy's Mr. Spock character on the original Star Trek series inspired millions of fans with his rational calm and resolute morality. His catchphrase "Live long and prosper" not only endeared many to his space-traveling character but became representative of the method-trained, affable actor who portrayed him.

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the Star Trek franchise, called Nimoy “the conscience of Star Trek.”

Those of us who grew up in the 1970s recall Nimoy fondly as the narrator of the amazing-but-true docu-series In Search Of ... . His deeply intoned voice lent a special gravitas to the show's hyperbolic, ominous revelations, benefited by some truly choice psychedelic soundtrack music.

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston on March 26, 1931, the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. His father was as a barber.

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Mulaney's here in May — tickets on sale today

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Tickets for comedian John Mulaneys May show go on sale today.
  • Tickets for comedian John Mulaney's May show go on sale today.

Maybe you've heard of John Mulaney. Maybe you have no idea who he is. But he's probably made you laugh at some point in your life.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Movie Review — Florida Man finds humanity where we rarely look

Director Sean Dunne gets to know the men we'd prefer to laugh at and forget.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 4:41 PM

  • Sean Dunne
I cued up director Sean Dunne’s Florida Man, released earlier this month, nervous that it would be a condescending point-and-laugh-fest. Its title, after all, is inspired by Twitter accounts and memes preoccupied with just how crazy, violent, stupid and degenerate Floridians are.

An hourlong documentary featuring the same sort of stories could have been just as mean and shallow and it could have been, with its interviews of a couple dozen old, violent, alcoholic, dead-end Floridian men, regaling the camera with their tales of debauchery and hopelessness.You know these guys —  they’re the ones selling palm-frond crucifixes by the roadside, barely staying upright at the bar, swearing at an imaginary enemy in the parking lot.

But there’s a good chance you don’t really know them, because you, like me, are probably too wrapped up in your own challenges and messes and worries to bother. You might agree with one homeless wanderer’s self-assessment: “I’m just one guy. I’m nobody.”

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Gasparilla Arts Month: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

Art in the open air.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 4:34 PM


Sat., Feb. 28, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sun., March 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa,

Offering a Pollack-like splash of variety in a riverfront setting, the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts draws nearly a quarter-million art lovers of all ages to downtown Tampa each year. The free two-day fest has acquired acclaim as one of the premier arts events in the Tampa Bay area, ranking among the nation’s leading juried arts festivals that feature both fine and craft art.

Optimally scheduled for the final weekend of February/early March — when pre-springtime breezes chill the Sunshine State — the 45th annual Gasparilla Festival of the Arts allows patrons to stroll rows and rows of ceramic, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor and wood. The juried festival features competitors from across the U.S. and around the world. Works of local young and emerging artists, live entertainment, local food vendors and children’s art areas are also featured. It’s all quite a coup considering that GFoA is a not-for-profit organization managed and operated by volunteers.

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Wanda Sykes to offer parental guidance at Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday night

Out, married with kids, the comedy star is in top form at 50.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 2:52 PM

HOT MAMA: Expect Wanda Sykes to tell a lot of jokes about parenthood at her Ruth Eckerd show Friday.
  • HOT MAMA: Expect Wanda Sykes to tell a lot of jokes about parenthood at her Ruth Eckerd show Friday.
Wanda Sykes
Fri., Feb. 27, 8 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater

Straight-shooting comedian, human rights-advocate Wanda Sykes has probably the most distinctive female voice in comedy. She's been a puppet with hair rollers on Crank Yankers, made famously sassy cameos on Curb Your Enthusiasm, spoken at the White House Correspondents Dinner and played the smart-ass BFF of Julia Louis-Dreyfus in CBS's The New Adventures of Old Christine. Most recently she's been enjoying most her choice guest spots on Alpha House, the new Garry Trudeau-conceived TV political comedy series on Amazon.

Sykes's delivery is distinctive in that she injects equal parts exuberance and snark as she offers offbeat but common-sense solutions to everyday problems: "To me, political office should be like jury duty," she jokes. You should just get a notice in mail one day and be like, "I’m Secretary of State next month!"

The saucy stand-up celeb will be headlining Ruth Eckerd Hall Friday night. Expect to hear plenty of jokes about child-rearing, family foibles and more middle-aged matters from the comedian who turns 51 on March 7.

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Theater review: Butcher Holler Here We Come

A Silver Meteor production assaults the viewer’s perceptions with an immersive, visceral experience.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 10:12 AM

WHISTLING IN THE DARK: Butcher Holler tricks and attacks the senses. It’s not often that I see theater so primordial or so deep.
  • WHISTLING IN THE DARK: Butcher Holler tricks and attacks the senses. It’s not often that I see theater so primordial or so deep.
Butcher Holler Here We Come
Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E. Sixth Ave., Ybor City, Tampa. 813-300-3585. No more local performances scheduled in the near future. Visit Aztec Economy's website,, for future dates. 
For all the talk about catharsis in the theater, it isn’t very often that you come upon the real thing. But it’s precisely catharsis — the purging of pity and terror from one’s psyche after they’ve been stirred up by a stunning drama — that I felt after watching Aztec Economy’s Butcher Holler Here We Come. This shattering play — “event” might be a better description — was presented last weekend at Ybor City’s Silver Meteor Gallery (in near darkness and very cold weather), and played like a combination nightmare, mystery rite, and horror ride at a depraved theme park. It took place in a center section of the narrow theater, with chairs for the audience lining opposite walls, so the effect was immersive as well as explosive. And though we ostensibly were sharing space with five emotionally challenged coal miners trapped in West Virginia, 1973, there were elements of the show so uncanny and unintelligible, I still don’t know exactly what I experienced. I do know that at the end I felt that cleansing of mind that Aristotle talks about — or was it just relief that the torment was over?

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The birth of Black Amethyst, the return of BlueLucy

A promising new gallery and tattoo studio opens on MLK; Chad Mize and co. are back at it in nomadic fashion, for now.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 7:07 AM

  • J. Michael Taylor/Black Amethyst

A few intriguing new developments for Burg art lovers! St. Pete-based artist  J. “Tattoo Titan” Michael Taylor has opened Black Amethyst Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery in the historic Sir Walter building at 689 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St., St. Petersburg.

A grand opening exhibition is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 28, from 7 p.m. to midnight, featuring Taylor’s Demigods series of acrylic paintings. The gallery is now open for business with tattoo appointments available daily from noon (booking up quickly, we're told).

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Kevin Hart returns — tickets for second May 8 show go on sale Friday

The blockbuster comedy star headlines downtown Tampa's big venue late May.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 1:22 AM


Actor-comedian Kevin Hart recently enjoyed a successful hosting stint on SNL and has announced his huge North American arena tour and a new time has been announced for the show. Hart's What Now? Tour will take the award-winning comedian to 45 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada with a stop at Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Fri., May 8. His 7 p.m. show is close to selling out. Tickets for a second 10:30 p.m. performance go on sale at noon Friday, Feb. 27, at

Hart can currently be seen in The Wedding Ringer and in March 2015, will star opposite Will Ferrell in Warner Bros. Pictures' Get Hard. In 2016, he will star in Ride Along 2, the anticipated sequel to last year’s $100 million hit. Other film credits include Top Five, Think Like A Man Too, About Last Night and This Is The End. He is also dipping his toes in the TV pond as executive producer of Real Husbands of Hollywood, which premiered its third season in September on BET.

Hart's comedy tour, Let Me Explain, took him to 90 American cities before hitting countries throughout Europe and Africa. With jokes like "I DON'T have EX's! I have Y's. Like 'Y the hell did I date you?," Hart fills arenas at capacity yearly and is only the second American in history to sell out London’s O2 Arena. 

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SCENE BREAKER: Festival scores star, freeFall scores décor and SaraSolo score = one soloist down

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:50 PM

TABLE FOR EIGHT? Bright Lights, Big City at freeFall. - KEVIN TIGHE
  • Kevin Tighe
  • TABLE FOR EIGHT? Bright Lights, Big City at freeFall.

Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theater…

BRIGHT LIGHTS? CHECK. BIG CITY? CHECK. CHEAP TABLES? SCORE! Among other distinctions, freeFall Theatre is famous for immersive audience seating schemes tailored by show, depositing patrons on mismatched institutional day-room chairs for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and funky sofas and pillows for Man of La Mancha. (There’s always traditional riser seating available for patrons who fear proximity to actors.) So the perfect trick for the musical adaptation of Jay McInerney’s 1984 live-fast-die-young novel Bright Lights, Big City opening this weekend was pretty obvious: NYC nightclub seating, ‘80s style, complete with hi-top tables. The problem was that those hi-tops can cost about as much as all the blow that was snorted off them, a stiff bill for an item that would be needed only for a few weeks. Thanks to that post-’80s miracle Craigslist, freeFall propsmaster Timothy Saunders managed to score 14 hi-tops for a grand total of $275, plus two tickets to the show. Which is Reason Number 9 that propspeople are the Greatest American Heroes.

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