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Weekend arts forecast: ‘Bad Friends’ and fresh theater

Bill DeYoung



James Putnam and Emilia Sargent appear in the Tampa Repertory Theatre production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons." Photo by Ashley Emrick.

Bad Friends Andrew Santino (left) and Bobby Lee. Publicity photo.

Podcast pals Andrew Santino and Bobby Lee and their Bad Friends stage show set down at the Mahaffey Theater tonight.

Since its weekly premiere just over two years ago, Bad Friends – on which the motor-mouthed two actor/comedians, and their snarky guests, discuss everything under the sun, both politically correct and not-so – has amassed over 130 million views on YouTube alone, and more than half a million subscribers.

Hear the podcast here; tickets for tonight’s live show are here.


Comedy and concerts

It’s a comedy three-for-all at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center. George Lopez performs tonight (Thursday, June 1), Kevin Hart’s sold out show is Friday, and Trey Kennedy is onstage Sunday. Find available tickets here.

Friday and Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Clearwater Smooth Jazz Jam brings together Brian Culbertson, Boney James, Vanessa Williams, David Sanborn & Marcus Miller, Jonathan Butler and Mindi Abair (different artists on different days). Details and tickets are here.


On theater stages

Three new shows make their debuts this week at area professional theaters:

American Stage: Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a successful Pakistani-American lawyer, his wife and the dangers of Islamophobia. Said the New York Times: “Everyone has been told that politics and religion are two subjects that should be off limits at social gatherings. But watching Mr. Akhtar’s characters rip into these forbidden topics, there’s no arguing that they make for ear-tickling good theater.” Tickets.

FreeFall Theatre: OZ, a new musical with book by Eric Davis and score by Michael Raabe. This is a world premiere by two of freeFall’s creatives; it’s the story of Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum and his relationships with the characters he dreamed up. Tickets.

Tampa Repertory Theatre: Arthur Miller’s great American drama All My Sons is the story of World War II airplane parts maker Joe Keller, and the repercussions that resound through his family following a wartime catastrophe. Peformed a the USF Theatre Center. Tickets.

Beyond Glory, the two-man Outcast Theatre production featuring the words of real veterans discussing the events that led up to their Medal of Honor wins, is onstage Friday through Sunday at the Off-Central. Here’s a Catalyst story that will tell you all about it.

The final four performances of Jobsite’s Alice, at the Shimberg Playhouse inside the Straz Center, are sold out. It closes Sunday.


Pride weekend

The Gulfport Pride Festival and parade happens Saturday, with live music all day long on the 28th Street and Shore Boulevard stages. The parade starts at 2 p.m., with appearances by – among many others – Gecko Queen Betty Pearson and the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band.  Find all the details here.

St. Pete Pride’s Kickoff Party, 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, is an admission-free block party on the 2200 and 2300 blocks of Central Avenue, with live music, a DJ and tons of celebration. Pride Executive Director Nicole Berman is Friday’s guest on our Arts Alive! podcast.


Opera, too

“The Italian Girl in Algiers.” Photo: Bill DeYoung.

St. Petersburg Opera Company is doing Rossini’s comical The Italian Girl in Algiers at the Palladium Theater June 2, 4 and 6 (the odd-days-off thing is to give the singers a day’s vocal rest between performances). Here’s our story from earlier this week.

Opera Tampa celebrates Pride Month with OUTLOUD, a cabaret show (for 18+), Friday night in the Straz Center’s TECO Theatre. Tickets.

The Weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

Please add us to your mailing list – send all press releases and event info to bill@stpetecatalyst.com.

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