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Weekend forecast: Kevin Hart’s intimate environment

Bill DeYoung



Comedian Kevin Hart's two weekend concerts at the Straz Center are close to sold out. Publicity photo.

Comedy supernova Kevin Hart has shows (the opening performances of his cross-country “Acting My Age” tour) Saturday and Sunday in the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall. The recent recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor is reportedly the highest-paid comedian working the road today.

“‘Acting my Age’ is my ninth tour and I wanted to change things up by creating a more intimate environment,” Hart said in a prepared statement when the tour was announced. “This hour is about connecting with the audience and feeding off the crowd’s energy and laughter.”

Don’t expect that connection via a cell phone, smart watch or recording device; they’ll be placed in special sealed pouches on entrance; Straz Center staff will open them after Hart’s hourlong sets are over. Says the website: “Anyone seen using a device (phone, smart watch or accessories) during the performance will be escorted out of the venue.”

Any remaining tickets (there weren’t many at press time) will be here.


And more comedy

The Kathy Griffin “comeback” tour arrives at Ferguson Hall, inside Tampa’s Straz Center, tonight. We spoke with the chatty comic this week; the interview (here) includes a ticket link.

There’s another show in the standup comedy series at the Off-Central Saturday, with theater proprietor Ward Smith as your “jocular host,” and comedians Pat Largo, Scott Bird and Tim The Dairy Farmer. Tickets.

Forrest Beers hosts Friday’s standup comedy night at The Studio@620; tickets are here.


The Florida Orchestra

This weekend’s concerts from The Florida Orchestra feature Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, one performance each at the Straz Center, the Mahaffey Theater and Ruth Eckerd Hall (Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively).  

Michael Francis conducts the program, which also includes Brahms’ Double Concerto and Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin.

The Elgar piece was also performed by the Tampa Bay Symphony in four concerts earlier this month.

Tonight (Thursday, May 16) at the Mahaffey, TFO Music Director Francis will take the audience “behind the scenes” of the Enigma Variations – 14 variations on a single theme, each of them intended by Elgar to musically “depict” a member of his family, or one of his acquaintances.  

Admission to tonight’s 7:30 “Inside” event is pay-what-you-can; tickets for the full concerts are available here.


On theater stages

New at American Stage is the transsexual rock ‘n’ roll musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, by John Cameron Mitchell (who famously played the titular character onstage and in the dodgy 2021 film version). More info, and tickets, can be found here.

At Jobsite Theater (in the Straz Center’s Shimberg Playhouse), Giles Davies appears in the one-person drama The Smuggler: A Thriller in Verse, opening this weekend. More info, and tickets, can be found here.

Four performances remain for the historical drama Fly Away Home (today through Sunday) at LAB Theatre Project in Ybor City. Here’s a podcast all about the show.



The electronic dance music artist known as The Polish Ambassador is onstage Saturday at the Floridian Social. Tickets.

Vanderpump Rules reality TV star Tom Sandoval is at the Capitol Theatre Saturday with his rock ‘n’ roll cover band the Most Extras. Tickets.

If tributes and tribute bands are your thing, Friday is apparently Queen Day. Canada’s Classic Albums Live plays the entire News of the World album at the Capitol Theatre; and Gary Mullen-as-Freddie Mercury is back for his annual visit with his band One Night of Queen, at the Mahaffey Theater.

Monstrous metal from Amon Amarth, Cannibal Corps, Obituary and Frozen Soul at the Yuengling Center (USF campus, Tampa) Saturday. Find tickets here.


Museum art

Opening Saturday at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is Never the Same Song, by musician/artists Lizzi Bougatsos and Lonnie Holley; Saturday also brings Reimagining Nature: Dali’s Floral Fantasies to the Dali Museum. Dali Curator of Education Peter Tush is Friday’s guest on our Arts Alive! podcast.

Your 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.

You can also submit your events to the Catalyst calendar, by clicking here.


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