Adult Prodigy Matt Haimovitz began learning to play the cello when he was 7 years old. At 12, his mentor, violinist extraordinaire Itzhak Perlman, introduced him to artist and teacher Leonard Rose, who was so impressed by his playing that he described him as "probably the greatest talent I have ever taught," praising his "ravishingly beautiful tone" and "unusual sense of style and musical sensitivity." Over the years, he's honed his gift to perfection and plays with a passion not unlike Susan Sarandon in The Witches of Eastwick after she finally gets a little somethin', somethin' from the devil. You can see him play at the UU Dome this evening in a solo performance of works by contemporary composers, including his own version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which he calls "Anthem," presented in the style of Jimi Hendrix's legendary Woodstock rendition. 8 p.m. $10. UU Dome at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 11400 Morris Bridge Road, Tampa, 813-988-8188.
february 11 friday
Dating by Paper Seminole Heights becomes the backdrop for M.A.D. Theatre's latest production, Personals, a musical comedy written by the creators of Friends. Based on the trials and tribulations of dating via personal ads, Personals offers a look at the humorous but oftentimes painful search for true love. Don't come to the show expecting to see any Central Perk-type hipsters; you're more likely to meet characters like Louis, who needs instruction tapes to help him approach women, or Sam, whose life is incomplete when he's single (and don't we all know someone like this?). The show is presented dinner theater-style at Viva La Frida Cafe y Galeria and admission includes a hearty meal. Warning: This play contains adult subject matter. 7 p.m. Fri., 3 and 7 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Feb. 11-27. $30 general admission/ $29 seniors and students (the price includes a meal). 5901 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-884-6500.
New and Renowned Talents The distinguished and reliably superior Brad Cooper Gallery opens two stimulating new exhibits this evening for your viewing pleasure. Gallery I features New Talent, an exhibit of works by four contemporary artists new to the Tampa Bay area: Igor Gorban (Odessa, Ukraine), Eric Montoya (Seattle), Helena Rubinstein (Israel) and Sandra Yagi (San Francisco). On display in Gallery II is William Pachner's Works on Paper, which includes ink/wash drawings, watercolors, pastels and mixed-media works created by the locally established artist between 1949 and 1995. The show represents a sample of the recurrent themes in his work, like imagined landscapes, passages and other visual memories. An opening reception occurs from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight; regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Continues through April 23. Brad Cooper Gallery, 1712 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 813-248-6098, www.bradcoopergallery.com.
Southern Women with Steel Appeal Truvy's Hair Salon is the place to go for juicy gossip about folks in the town of Chinquapin, Louisiana. It's also the setting of Robert Harling's 1987 off-Broadway dramedy Steel Magnolias, which was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film two years later. Like the film, the story is about the relationships between six women connected with (or employed by) the salon. The original stage version, however, is actually a one-set show and none of the men in the story makes a live appearance. Figure out which version you prefer starting this evening at the Carrollwood Playhouse. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., and 3 p.m. Sun., Feb. 11-March 5. $12 general admission/$10 students and seniors. 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa, 813-265-4000.
february 12 saturday
AIDS Movement This Valentine's Day weekend, take a morning stroll through Al Lopez Park with The AIDS Institute (TAI) and thousands of other Bay area citizens as part of the Florida AIDS Walk: Have a Heart, Walk for AIDS event. Registration for this two-mile walk-a-thon begins with a kick-off rally at 9 a.m., which features an assortment of guest speakers and a group warm-up. Participants and spectators can also enjoy refreshments by Starbucks and Panera Bread, entertainment by the WTOG-UPN 44 Chatterbus and its mascots, live smooth jazz broadcasts courtesy of WSJT-94.1 FM, a children's activity area and a community health fair. The events conclude with a special ceremony at which prizes are awarded to the top walkers (i.e., those who raised the most funds). For sponsorship information, or to form a Florida AIDS Walk team, please contact TAI at 813-974-4892, or send an email to Mgreen@theaidsinstitute.org. Al Lopez Park, 4810 North Himes Ave., Tampa.
Wiggin' Out Tastefully The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a San Francisco-based organization composed primarily of gay men, who appear in public dressed as nuns while participating in a host of charity functions and political events. The members model themselves after Roman Catholic religious orders, appropriating not only the nun's habit but also an active order's emphasis on community outreach, education and service. The Tampa Bay Order hosts its first annual Wig Drive tonight, playing upon the idea that cross-dressers and cancer patients have a lot in common: wigs, weaves, scarves, turbans, fancy hats, mastectomy bras and prostheses. If you know someone who has extras of any of these items, or if you have extras yourself, make sure to drop by Club Z109 and contribute your goods. A hairdresser will also be on hand to take hair donations for Locks of Love, and a portion of the proceeds and all contributed head coverings go to The American Cancer Society. 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. No cover. 5858 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, 727-538-0660, www.z109.com.
february 13 sunday
Clean Wisecrackin' Spend some time laughin' it up with Bill Cosby, a black comedian whose clean, good-natured style has become legend among today's dirtier, more in-your-face generation of funny guys. Most of you probably know him for his eight-year stretch as Dr. Huxtable in The Cosby Show, where he played the affectionate and oftentimes hilariously droll father of a wealthy black family living in Brooklyn. Nowadays, he tours the country, giving lectures and making headlines with his reprimands of the African-American community while also keeping an active stand-up schedule. His act has probably mellowed a bit since the days of Bill Cosby: Himself, and you can judge for yourself at one of two performances today at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. 3 and 7 p.m. $45-$55. 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941-953-3366.
february 15 tuesday
String Operated Artistry If you've never had the chance to see a marionette show or have been waiting for the chance to see another, The Cashore Marionettes cruise through Florida and stop for a single performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall's intimate Murray Studio Theater this evening. Joseph Cashore's expert manipulation and beautifully crafted marionettes are showcased in a program titled Simple Gifts, a series of original vignettes that reveal and celebrate everyday existence. Set to music by composers like Vivaldi, Strauss, Beethoven and Copland, and executed with great theatrical illusion and creative insight, Simple Gifts redefines the art of puppetry while offering a touching vision of what it means to be human. 7:30 p.m. $10. 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-791-7400.