Where/when: Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, today, 4 p.m.
Why go: The Tampa Museum of Art presents free admission on Fridays from 4pm to 8pm.
Where/when: Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, today, 6 p.m.
Why go: This "chic, semi-formal soiree" features live entertainment and receptions before and after the show. Admission includes a ticket to see the duo Black Violin and entry to the receptions.
Where/when: University of Tampa, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Plant Hall Music Room, today, 6 p.m.
Why go: This exhibit at the Henry B. Plant Museum explores "Tampa’s premier party, attended by a motley crew of the famous and infamous, the beautiful people and bad dudes," the museum says. The exhibit highlights the Krewe of Gasparilla's memorabilia-coronation robes, programs, crowns, costumes, plus vintage photographs.
To open the exhibit, former mayor Dick Greco, Boyd Wynne, Bill Carson and Dick Clarke will present a panel of "Tall Tales and Scandalous Stories," moderated by Norman Stallings Jr.
Where/when: David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, today, 7:30 p.m.
Why go: The Straz Center presents "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," a play crafted from short stories by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron and based on the best-seller by Ilene Beckerman.
Where/when: Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, today, 8 p.m.
Why go: Skipper's describes tonight's line up thusly: "Tab Benoit is a Cajun man who’s definitely got the blues. A guitar player since his teenage years, he hung out at the Blues Box, a ramshackle music club and cultural center in nearby Baton Rouge run by guitarist Tabby Thomas. Playing guitar alongside Thomas, Raful Neal, Henry Gray and other high-profile regulars at the club, Benoit learned the blues first-hand from a faculty of living blues legends. The nightly impromptu gigs were enough to inspire Benoit to assemble his own band – a stripped down bass-and-drums unit propelled by his solid guitar skills and leathery, Cajun-spiced vocal attack. He took his show on the road in the early ‘90s and hasn’t stopped since.
Imagine the female love child of Dusty Springfield and Doug Sahm with Dr. John acting as the midwife and you’ll have an idea of the southern roots music with elements of rock, blues, soul, gospel and country that defines Beth McKee."
Where/when: , 4906 N Florida Ave., today, 8 p.m.
Why go: Microgroove Records presents a performance by Tampa's Matt Hires, known for his album "Take Us To the Start" and the tune, "Honey, Let Me Sing You a Song."
Where/when: Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, today, 8 p.m.
Why go: The Florida Orchestra presents "a night of musical impressions" inspired by works of art: Botticelli in Respighi’s Trittico Botticelliano, Matthias Grünewald in Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler and Victor Hartmann in Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Where/when: Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, today, 8 p.m.
Why go: Jobsite Theater presents "The 39 Steps" by Patrick Barlow, based on the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. Directed by Katrina Stevenson and winner of two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards in 2008, as well as the 2007 Olivier Award. Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have this fast-paced whodunit packed with laughs, more than 150 zany characters, an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance.
Where/when: , 1913 N Nebraska Ave., today, 8 p.m.
Why go: 108 North Theatre presents this Broadway musical retrospective that celebrates the rise of doo-wop fame for Ellie Greenwich and a jukebox of hits, from the title track to “Do Wah Diddy,” “And Then He Kissed Me,” and others. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Mary & Martha House, which provides emergency shelter, transitional housing and support services to homeless or abused women.
Where/when: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, downtown, Saturday, 7:30 a.m.
Why go: Part of the 10-day Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, this 5K walk emphasizes healthy living and is dedicated in memory of Felecia Ann Winton-Taylor, a founding member of the festival, organizers say. Registration begins on site at 7:30am or can be done online via this link: http://tampablackheritage.org/events/?ee=10
Where/when: Gandy Boat Ramp, 5108 W Gandy Blvd., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Why go: Recreational boat owners planning to participate in the 2012 Gasparilla Pirate Invasion on Jan. 28 are invited to take advantage of "no-cost, non-punitive, 15-minute checks" to avoid "potential sizeable fines for outdated or missing safety equipment aboard their boats." This comes from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 79, which plans to offer Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel Safety Checks.
Where/when: , 5800 N Central Ave., Saturday, 8:30 a.m.
Why go: On the second Saturday of each month the club leaves promptly at 8:30 a.m. from the Seminole Heights Garden Center, 5800 N. Central Ave. It alternate routes from month to month. The pace is moderate (10-16 mph), the routes average 10 miles roundtrip and usually include a stop at a coffee shop along the way. Please come with your helmet on your head, air in your tires, and brakes that work, ready to experience the beauty of Central Tampa on two wheels.
Where/when: Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Saturday, 9 a.m.
Why go: The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) hosts the Festival of Chocolate, called the state's largest all-chocolate themed event. This tasting, shopping, and interactive experience features a tour through a unique chocolate-themed museum with the science and history of chocolate; demonstrations by chefs; wine and chocolate pairings; competitions for attendees that include stacking cookies and eating ice cream; and plenty of tasty treats. Bring your sweet tooth!
Where/when: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Saturday, 10 a.m.
Why go: The signature event of the 10-day Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, this street fair features live entertainment along with unique "villages," food, and craft vendors.
Today, enjoy "old school" entertainment by Rose Royce and others.
Organizers list the villages as follows:
- Artists’ Village: Local and national artists showcase their wide selection of original, ethnic artwork.
- Authors’ Village: Local and national authors present literature.
- Children’s Village: Features face painting, storytelling, educational activities, and arts and crafts, as well as several other engaging activities for children. (at the Glazer Children's Museum; included with museum admission)
- Greek Village: A platform for sororities and fraternities to spotlight their organizations and share information of their community involvement.
- Health Village: Offers adults and children free health screenings for HIV, diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, glaucoma and other health concerns.
- Corporate Village: Bay-area businesses have the opportunity to reinforce their brands, promote products and distribute information.
- Drum Circle: Myron and Natalie Jackson of the Kuumba Dancers & Drummers will lead the circle, teaching traditional African and world rhythms. Participants will have an opportunity to play and learn various drumming styles and techniques along with history. All ages and experience levels welcome. Some drums are available for sharing; feel free to bring your own percussion instrument.
Where/when: Glazer Children's Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Saturday, 10 a.m.
Why go: .As part of the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, the Glazer Children's Museum and the Children's Board of Hillsborough County present Children's Village. Located on the third floor of the museum, the village includes activities and entertainment about black heritage and culture such as authors, performers and speakers.
Where/when: Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Saturday, 6 p.m.
Why go: The Grammy-nominated alternative-rock group Skillet headlines this event, Christian music's largest annual tour. Also featured are Sanctus Real, Kari Jobe, Group 1 Crew, illusionist Brock Gill, speaker Nick Hall, Dara Maclean, and For King & Country. Bob and Larry from VeggieTales will make a special appearance.
Where/when: Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Saturday, 8 p.m.
Why go: Skipper's says the evening's headliner: "Whatever one’s religious persuasions, the Blind Boys’ music is some powerful stuff, and the group deftly mixes together the sacred and the profane to mutual benefit." And as for Thomas Wynn & The Believers: "Sounding like an even more soulful and sincere Black Crowes, this brother/sister-fronted outfit easily ranks as one of Florida's finest, plying audiences with a heady brew of rock, country, gospel and Southern soul."
Where/when: Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Saturday, 8 p.m.
Why go: The Tampa Theatre welcomes comedian John Pinette, who has toured with Frank Sinatra and been a regular guest on "The Tonight Show" and "The View."
Where/when: , 5810 N Central Ave., Sunday, 1 p.m.
Why go: This luncheon is in honor of Margaret McAlister, 88, who retired this month as the organist at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tampa after 65 years of performance. Please RSVP at 813-930-8139.
Where/when: Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Sunday, 3 p.m.
Why go: The Tampa Theatre presents "The Muppet Movie," the film that first introduced young audiences to Kermit the Frog singing "The Rainbow Connection" in his home swamp before setting off across the U.S. to Hollywood. Rated G.
Where/when: Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Sunday, 5 p.m.
Why go: Skipper's Smokehouse presents the acoustic rock of Halcyon with special guests, the pop/rock duo Sirsy.
Where/when: , 5020 N Florida Ave., Sunday, 6 p.m.
Why go: Enjoy live bluegrass music at the Independent during its monthly "Sunday School for Sinners" showcase.
Where/when: , 5020 N Florida Ave., Sunday, 8 p.m.
Why go: The Independent welcomes North Carolina singer-songwriter Nikki Talley. Her Web page says her blend of contemporary Southern rock, country, blues and jazz comes with a "fiery stage performance" and "hauntingly seductive" lyrics.