THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN TAMPA BAY
The events and descriptions below were compiled by Tampa Bay Times entertainment and events reporter Sharon Wynne. Click Here to check out all of the weekend events courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.
Sugar Sand Festival: Talk about a sand blast! The annual Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival on Clearwater Beach has become so popular that it is expanding this year to 17 days. Opening Friday through April 28th. Organizers say the festival drew more than 120,000 people over 10 days last year to tour the sand sculptures under a giant tent on the beach. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays. 10 Pier 60 Drive, Clearwater. (727) 871-8060. Sugarsandfestival.com
World’s largest bounce house: The mother of all bounce houses returns for a second year, this time at Carrollwood Country Park. The Big Bounce America travels around the world and can fit up to 180 people. It will be surrounded by a “bounce village” with food vendors, more inflatable attractions and restrooms. It comes with separate bounce sessions for kids by age group and some for adults only. It was a big hit in Odessa last March and for its second go-round, the candy-colored inflatable castle features slides, obstacle courses, basketball hoops, foam pits and this year brings a new 900-foot-long obstacle course and a 25-foot-tall space-themed race slide. The bounce house even turns into a dance floor with lights and a DJ at night. $15-$28. Friday-Sunday 4680 W Village Drive in Tampa. Thebigbounceamerica.com
- 2Cellos: Two guys with two cellos. Doesn’t sound like the formula for an arena-filling rock spectacle, does it? Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser have built a huge following (that started on YouTube playing Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal on cello). They blend pop and classical music — their latest album features everything from Vivaldi to Despacito and Seven Nation Army. They have an eye-popping stage show and are making the jump to arenas. $31.25 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500. Amaliearena.com
- Florida Orchestra’s Masterwork: Performances this weekend could be called Girl Power. In an all-too-rare confluence of events, a female conductor (Gemma New) will lead a piece composed by a woman (Anna Clyne’s The Seamstress) featuring a female soloist (the orchestra’s own Sarah Shellman on violin). The classical world is still dominated by men. Gemma New, soon to become principal conductor at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, is one of only two women guest-conducting the orchestra this season. Friday at the Straz; Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Floridaorchestra.org
- Tampa Bay Blues Festival: Three days of blues music in Vinoy Park runs through April 14 with Jonny Lang headlining Friday, Boz Scaggs Saturday, Tab Benoit on Sunday, and many others. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $30-$500.
- 98ROCKFEST 2019: This year’s lineup from the rock radio station includes headliner Godsmack, as well as Three Days Grace, P.O.D, Motionless in White, Rival Sons, and more. It will kick off with a free pre-show on Ford Thunder Alley (West Plaza) at Amalie Arena headlined by P.O.D., with interactive contests and ticket upgrades from participating sponsors. 5 p.m. Sunday Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $29 and up. (813) 301-6500. Amaliearena.com
- Dear Evan Hansen: The hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen is running through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa, and if you didn’t get tickets or were scared off by the price, you still have time to enter the $25 ticket lottery. Enter starting 48 hours prior to the performance you want at luckyseat.com/dearevanhansen. And for a review of the show, see tampabay.com/stage
- Spamilton: An American Parody: “I laughed my brains out,” Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted in 2016. High praise no matter the production. The show, which debuted in New York little more than a year afterHamilton, has earned positive reviews. If you scored tickets for Hamilton’s Tampa debut a month ago, consider this your chaser. It’s running now through May 12 in the Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $30 and up. (813) 229-7827. Strazcenter.org
- Rent: Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical and its long-running 20th anniversary tour finally comes this week to Ruth Eckerd Hall, where it hasn’t been since 2008. Another lottery! Seats in the first rows of the orchestra section will be available for $27.50 for every performance, available for in-person purchases at the ticket office, on the day of each performance only, two hours prior to the show. The $27.50 tickets are limited to two tickets per person. Otherwise, tickets are $35 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com
- Cedric the Entertainer: Performing Saturday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. $69 and up. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. Atthecap.com
- Gary Valentine: He’s the brother of Kevin James but he’s a veteran comic in his own right. Still, he played Danny on The King of Queens and Kyle on Kevin Can Wait, has a special on Comedy Central and has appeared in both Paul Blart: Mall Cop movies. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $15-$18. (813) 960-1197. sidesplitterscomedy.com
- Game of Lesser Thrones: St. Pete has a fairly new little comedy club that hosts regular improv nights and this weekend Spitfire Theater has a new show that spoofs Game of Thrones. “A series of conquests will decide the fate of the absurd, poorly managed, and absolutely blasphemous families of Westeros.” It runs Fridays and Saturdays through April 27. Spitfire Theater, 14 18th St S, St. Petersburg. $15-$20. (727) 329-6290. spitfiretheater.com
Saturday is Record Store Day, and there are quite a few vinyl outposts to choose from in Tampa Bay. Many are celebrating with discounts and entertainment. Here are a few highlights:
- Daddy Kool reopens in the Warehouse Arts District, with a popup Indie Flea, food trucks, live music and discounts in the store. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 2430 Terminal Drive S, St. Petersburg. Daddykool.com
- Planet Retro opens at 8 a.m. with limited editions, exclusive releases and fresh used vinyl to dig through. A punk rock flea market starts at 11 a.m., as well as bands including Car Bomb Driver. Food and drinks will be available. 226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. planetretrorecords.com
- Bananas will celebrate at its secondary location, Bananas Music and Movies, with DJ Kalani and live bands including the Vultures and Reality Asylum. There will be food trucks, raffles, giveways, live screen printing of Bananas T-shirts and free beer (while supplies last). 9 a.m.-7 p.m. 2887 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg.
- Microgroove Records will have special releases, beer, coffee, sandwiches and live music by Critical Hits, Hi-beam and Lassyu. Show a receipt and get 10 percent off at the Independent next door. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. 4906 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Microgroovetampa.com
Festivals & Carnivals
- USF Spring Plant Festival: Soak up some sunshine this weekend and head over to the University of South Florida’s Botanical Gardens for the Spring Plant Festival. There are so many benefits to caring for plants and growing things, and experts there will help you do it. Find plants and accessories and learn about organic vegetable gardening, native plants and beekeeping. $5, 11 and younger free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. (813) 974-2329.
- Egypt Shrine Circus and Carnival: For those pining for an old-fashioned circus, this weekend brings the 54th annual Egypt Shrine Circus and Carnival, a full carnival of 18 rides including a ferris wheel and carousel with clowns and shows from circus leader Dapper Dan. The fundraiser for the Tampa Shriners features performers, animals and aerial acts. Circus show times are Friday, 11:30 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The carnival closes each day one hour after the last show. Armbands for carnival and circus are $15 children, $25 adults (Friday’s armbands will be $15 for everyone). Opens at 3:30 Friday, 10:30 a.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall, 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. egyptshrinecircus.com
- Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival: Keel and Curley Winery’s Keel Farms puts on the family-friendly Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival, with more than 100 food and craft vendors, live music, a kids zone, U-pick blueberries and a wine-tasting school. Parking $10. 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. 5210 Thonotosassa Road, Plant City. (813) 752-3892. Keelfarms.com
- Barns and Beer Craft Beer Festival: Hosted on the grounds of Old McMicky’s Farm, featuring a big red barn and all, the Barns and Beer Craft Beer Festival samples more than 100 brews and wines paired with musical entertainment and farm games. Benefits the Old McMicky’s Farm Foundation. $45-$50. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. 9612 Crescent Drive, Odessa. (813) 920-1948. oldmcmickys.com
THIS WEEK IN DRESS UP
Mamma Mia: American Stage in the Park returns with a production of Mamma Mia in Demens Landing. The popularity of the movies has only done good things for boosting a theater audience for a story based on the songs of ABBA. And this annual event by American Stage is a great time to show off your picnic skills. It runs through May 12 so you have plenty of time to catch it. And we have ideas for a perfect picnic at http://www.tampabay.com/food/
April 21st is their only Pets in the Park night when you can bring along your pet and there will be costume contests for both pets and humans.
Friday’s opening night gala is sold out. Since this is a park production, you can bring a cooler (but no alcoholic beverages) to have a picnic. You can also buy food, beer, wine and sodas inside Demens Landing Park. Bring your own folding chair or blanket for seating. $20 general lawn admission, $35-$40 premium blanket seating, $45-$50 reserved chair seating. Bayshore Drive and Second Avenue S. (727) 823-1600. americanstage.org