Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Laugh Tract — Who's Bringing the Funny

Posted By on Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 8:23 PM

Sinbads at The Capitol Theatre on Saturday night.
  • Sinbad's at The Capitol Theatre on Saturday night.

After a few weeks without a major comedy show, Tampa Bay's back on the stand-up comedy map.

That's not to say it hasn't been a funny summer. But there have been fewer theater shows recently, with most comedy being found in clubs, bars and restaurants.

But not anymore. Nationally-known performers are headed to big venues, with others on the way. The comedy clubs and smaller locations still have their shows as well. So August will be a good time to laugh.

Here are your best bets this week:

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Love theater? Get involved with Carrollwood Players

Posted By on Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 8:17 PM

ALL SET: Carrollwood plays, like Who Maid Who? pictured above, can use your help.
  • ALL SET: Carrollwood plays, like Who Maid Who? pictured above, can use your help.

If you've been itching to get involved with local theater, you gotta start somewhere. Why not lend a helping hand to Carrollwood Players? Sure, it's community theater, but has named this venerable troupe tops in Tampa Bay.

The Players need help building sets, manning their front of house at performances, organizing scenery, props and costumes, distributing flyers and posters around the community, running sound and lights, working backstage, publicizing shows, getting mailings and other promotional projects done, finding and creating props and more.

Work front of house for a performance and see a show for free.

Click here for opportunities to work on everything from sets to sound, lights, props, costumes, backstage, publicity and more.

Click here for a list of upcoming auditions.

Also, to get the latest about volunteer opportunities on Facebook, join CP's Facebook Volunteer HQ Group.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

It's a Wet Hot American prequel!

Netflix releases the 8-episode prequel Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp today

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 12:46 PM


Way, way back in 2001, the guys from the MTV sketch comedy show The State released the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer. The summer camp movie satire barely hit theatres and was a critical flop. The late, great Roger Ebert himself gave it a scathing review with a lowly one-star rating. (Ebert also gave one-star ratings to some other surprises, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Blue Velvet and my holiday favorite Scrooged.) Only one critic, Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman, seemed to get it and love it. I stood on the side of Gleiberman.

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Reptilian Gulfport fun — Gecko Crawl and Poker Run

The events kick off the town's annual bohemian art and party season Aug. 7-8.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 6:30 AM


Why wouldn't geckos and booze and poker go together?

Because Gulfport, that's why.

It's just that sort of town, especially when Gecko season officially commences the first full weekend of August.

First, there's the the Gecko Art Show Opening Reception at the Catherine Hickman Theater on Aug. 7, and again with the Gecko Pub Crawl Saturday, Aug. 8, throughout Gulfport's restaurant and entertainment centric downtown. 

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Do This: The Weekend Top 10

Stars of TV and film descend on Comic Con, SNL's young dude, art show/play openings and closings, the new Brew Bus ride and more.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Opening & Closing: Attend the Opening Reception for The Messengers: Help kick off a compelling, sometimes disturbing new solo abstract/watercolor portrait show by Kristin Beauvois. 6-9 p.m., Friday, The Studio @620, St. Petersburg. Free. In Tampa, you can attend t he  Closing Reception for It’s Not Real, The first solo show of Florida-based artist Danial Ryan, who brings together, through painting, drawing, and video that reveals the darkness and absurdity of suburban life (such as his painting here). Quaid, 4636 N. Florida Ave., Tampa. 813-362-2832.


Le geek: 
The 15-year-old Tampa Bay Comic Con is finally here and will be graced with sci-fi royalty: Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. Other celebs include Linda Hamilton (The Terminator,) Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Jena Malone (Hunger Games), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Freema Agyeman (Dr. Who, Torchwood) and Matt Ryan (Constantine), plus the recognizable cartoon voices Of Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants), George Lowe (Space Ghost) and Billy West (various voices from Futurama, Ren, Woody Woodpecker). Guests of honor include comic book writers Neil Adams and Mark Waid (Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, X-Men). Oh, and don’t forget the official after-party in Ybor at the Orpheum Saturday night ($10 with event wristband). 

SNL's resident young person: Pete Davidson’s active career has been in high gear for some time now, with popular turns on Saturday Night Live and MTV’s Guy Code keeping him in the spotlight. Whether Davidson riffs on turning 21, hits on his teacher or smokes weed and talks about the dirty things he’d do with Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, it’s his mix of pop culture humor wrapped in a stoner mindset that makes him so relatable — but it’s clever enough to be good comedy, too. The young comedian/actor has built a following at comedy clubs with his casual wit and comfortable delivery, entertaining audiences who have probably been going to clubs longer than he’s been allowed to enter them. (Text by Michael Murillo; read Murillo's Laugh Tract for more comics in town this weekend, including Jamie Kennedy). 

Straight Outta Gainesville: A band that can go hard and soft and take you to wondrous place in between, Big Shoals headlines New World Brewery Saturday night with Will Quinlan and The Dram. Click here for Facebook event page.

WaZoo Beer Fest: Recognized as one of the “10 Great Beer Festivals in the Country,” the big Lowry Park Zoo to-do offers live music and food galore from local eateries. Saturday, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa.

Woody Allen & Diane Keaton Double Feature: Annie Hall & Manhattan Capitol Theatre's 1970s throwback movie series is back with two of Woody Allen’s best films, both co-starring Diane Keaton. Saturday at 7 p.m., Annie Hall, the 1977 Oscar-winning comedy and dysfunctional urbanite love opus from 1977 returns to the big screen, featuring an all-star cast that includes Allen, Keaton, Tony Roberts, Shelly Duvall, Paul Simon and many others. The film is followed by Manhattan (1979), the Gershwin-kissed black-and-white homage of sorts to Bergman and Fellini. Starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton and Mariel Hemingway. $7. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.

Civil rites: Never more relevant, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement brings us back in time to the Civil Rights Movement through the work and voices of nine activist photographers — men and women who chose to document the national struggle against segregation and other forms of race-based disenfranchisement from within the movement. Also on display will be Beaches, Benches and Boycotts:  The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay, which captures Jim Crow laws in effect in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and surrounding, segregated areas. Opening reception Saturday, 7-9 p.m. at the Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 S. Fifth St., St. Petersburg. $9. 727-820-0100, ext. 271.

Last weekend for Jobsite's Occupation: Set in 2017, Jobsite's oddball satire takes audiences to a Florida taken over by the Chinese. Stars Katie Castonguay, Nathan Jokela, J. Elijah Cho (pictured, left) and Emily Belvo. Directed by Chris Holcom .$28. Preview performances are Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sundays, 4 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Through Aug. 2. Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

Hawk & Wayne’s This Is a Comedy Show: It’s your last chance to catch acclaimed comedy improv duo Gavin Hawk and Ricky Wayne perform a completely improvised one act play based on audience suggestions. Tickets: $10 ticket purchase. Performed in our lobby cabaret, where there will be full cash bar service for patrons. Sun., Aug. 2, 7 p.m. American Stage, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg.

Brew Bus Sunday Local Loop: Seminole Heights-Ybor City: Cheers to the debut of shuttle connecting Ybor’sTampa Bay Brewing Co. and Coppertail with The Independent, Angry Chair Brewing, Ella’s and Southern in Seminole Heights. $10, Sunday. For more details, read Food & Drink Editor Meaghan Habuda's feature or at

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Flipping for it: Tampa Bay embraces a resurgent pinball passion

The classic analog arcade game is back, for collectors and competitors alike.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 12:25 PM

  • todd bates

It’s a Saturday, but downtown Tarpon Springs is sodden and silent after three days of rain. The only real sign of life is a smattering of people, mostly in their thirties and beyond, milling around in front of a bright yellow and red storefront. From the doorway behind them, you can just hear it — the bells, clacks, and bleeps of yesteryear.

Through that door, inside Replay Amusement Museum, the noise is deafening, and the joy is palpable. Adults, kids, and more than a few grandmas jockey for their turns in front of stand-up game consoles, slapping fat red buttons and talking trash to machine and human alike. There’s a little Gradius, some Street Fighter — but most of the crowd’s energy is directed to the dozens of pinball machines lining Replay’s long brick walls: Addams Family, Arabian Nights, White Water.
Those names might not ring out like their digital cousins’ — certainly not on a weekend when Pac-Man is co-starring in an Adam Sandler disaster movie (in every sense). But Replay, and its collection of dozens of “pins” stretching back to the 1970s, are part of a nationwide movement.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Attention visual artists — time to get squared away for Five by Five

The Hillsborough Arts Council has announced its call for artists for the popular annual event.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 3:35 PM


The Hillsborough Arts Council has issued a call for artists to participate in its biggest and most popular fundraiser of the year, Five by Five.  The event returns with its "small art for a big cause" to the Tampa Museum of Art Friday, Oct. 16.

SUBMIT your 5-inch-by-5-inch artwork the week of Sept. 14-18. No fees. 2D, 3D, all mediums accepted. Call details and online entry are at

Note: Participating visual and performing artists are donating their work. Visual art is being sold for flat fee, with proceeds from donated artwork going to projects that fund individual artist grants and workshops, presented, of course, by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. 

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On Sale Friday: Martin Lawrence at The Straz

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM

See Martin Lawrence Sept. 12; buy tickets this Friday.
  • See Martin Lawrence Sept. 12; buy tickets this Friday.

Most people have seen Martin Lawrence's sitcom, Martin. If you're old enough, you caught it when it first ran in the 1990s, and helped establish Fox as a legitimate contender in the network ratings wars. If not, you've probably seen it in reruns on a random cable channel late at night. Even though it only ran for five years, it made an impression that still resonates decades later.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nuance Galleries owner Rob Rowen is allowed back at Starbucks — not enough, he says

Starbucks banned him and later revoked the ban after the media found out, but he wants more from the mega-coffee chain.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 3:13 PM

NEW HANGOUT: Rowen (right) has begun to order his coffee from Havana Village. - COURTESY OF ROB ROWEN
  • NEW HANGOUT: Rowen (right) has begun to order his coffee from Havana Village.

Nuance Galleries
 owner Rob Rowen is not one to sit idly by when he sees a wrong committed, but his advocacy for physically challenged Starbucks customers didn't offer the results he expected.

Rowen —  who's been a supporter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and has a son-in-law with the physical challenges brought on by MD — says he does not remain silent when a handicapped space is taken illegally. He has heard firsthand the complaints of the disabled, who suffer inconveniences from not having accessible parking. 

So, when he began noticing a recurring pattern of illegal handicapped parking at the South Tampa Starbucks (at Dale Mabry and Azeele), Rowen felt the need to take action. He started asking non-permitted customers in the handicapped space to move their cars. Most customers complied and were apologetic, polite and consented did not complain. "The staff, for the most part, were appreciative," he said.

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Rain didn't douse the Tampa Zine Fest Saturday

The annual event offered interesting reads, info and the musical stylings of Jeremy Gloff at the Ybor Daily Market.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 10:54 AM

On Saturday, the third annual Tampa Zine Fest took place at the Ybor Daily Market. While local pop musician Jeremy Gloff performed music from his upcoming album, attendees meandered between the different tables that featured zines from local zine-makers.

The zines varied between light-heartedly quirky and serious activism.

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