Lots Of Laughs This Weekend As Famous Comedians Come To Tampa Bay


The events and descriptions below were compiled by Tampa Bay Times Entertainment and Events Reporter Sharon Wynne. To check out all of the weekend events courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times, click here.


  • Chelsea Handler: The brash comic will be in conversation with author Glennon Doyle about her new memoir “Life Will be the Death of Me” 8 p.m. Thursday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $72.50 and up. Rutheckerdhall.com. There's an interview on tampabay.com in which she opens up on her “identity crisis” after turning 40 that led to her introspective new memoir.
  • Larry the Cable Guy: The comic best known for his catchphrase “Git-R-Done,” Larry the Cable Guy (real name Daniel Whitney), returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall for two shows. It’s his first time back since a sold-out 2013 show. $59.50-$69.50. 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater rutheckerdhall.com
  • Bill Bellamy: MTV veteran and longtime TV talking head Bill Bellamy will issue a booty call to the Improv. $25 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. 1600 E Eighth Ave improvtampa.com
  • Billy Gardell: And over at Side Splitters, it’s an old familiar face on the Florida stand-up circuit, who is best known as Melissa McCarthy’s better half on Mike and Molly. $30 and up. 7 p.m. Friday, 6 and 8:45 p.m. Saturday. 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway. sidesplitterscomedy.com
  • Stand Up for Innocence The annual event hosted by the Innocence Project of Florida brings together comedy and community in order to raise awareness and funds to support litigation efforts on behalf of wrongfully convicted individuals in Florida’s prisons. Stand-up performers this year are Owen Smith, Andy Pitz and Karen Bergreen. $100; $50 students and government employees. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Friday Morning Musicale, 809 Horatio St., Tampa. floridainnocence.org


  • Fields of Dreams night at the Threshers: It’s Field of Dreams night when the Clearwater Threshers take on the Tampa Bay Rays’ Florida State League club, the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Sure, Kevin Costner (Ray) was the star of the 1989 hit, but you can meet, have your photo taken with and get an autograph from Dwier Brown, who played John, Costner’s ghostly ballplayer father in the film. $6-$10. 6:30 p.m. Friday. Spectrum Field, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater.
  • RAYS: Those damn New York Yankees took two of three games from the Rays at Tropicana Field last week, but maybe Tampa Bay can get some payback in New York. Join the Rays Street Team to watch a Rays watch party on the beach. There will be giveaways and live music afterward at this free event. 1:05 p.m. Sunday at TradeWinds Island Resorts, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.
  • Saturday across the bay, the Tampa Tarpons will host a Military Appreciation Night, when they host the Daytona Tortugas. The first 1,000 fans receive an Armed Forces Card Set and local military members will be honored in an on-field ceremony. The Tarpons will wear themed uniforms that will be auctioned online. The auction is open at tarponsbaseball.milbauctions.com. And make sure you stay for fireworks after the game! $5-$8. 6:30 p.m. George M. Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa.


  • Kinky Boots: With songs by Grammy and Tony-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is based on a true story of the unlikely friendship that develops between the owner of a failing shoe factory and a fabulous drag queen named Lola. When the pair collaborate on a line of stilettos with serious strut power, their lives are changed. $43-$93. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 
  • The granddaughter of George Steinbrenner, Broadway performer Haley Swindal returns home to Tampa on Sunday to star alongside fellow Broadway vet Jana Robbins in We Just Move On: The Songs of Kander and Ebb, It’s a cabaret featuring the music of the duo behind Chicago, Cabaret and other musicals. Read our interview with her here. $25 and up. 2 p.m. Sunday. 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa.


  • Kristin Chenoweth could probably get on stage and read scripts from her old show The West Wing and still make it entertaining. The Tony- and Emmy-winning actress is just that entertaining, whether she’s playing Glinda in Wicked or dipping into her repertoire of songs from Glee. She’s become a regular at Ruth Eckerd Hall, singing Broadway and Great American Songbook standards. $45 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com
  • Country’s Tracy Lawrence is the guy behind a handful of No. 1 singles like Alibis, Time Marches On and Find Out Who Your Friends Are. Despite a checkered legal history, including a 1998 arrest and conviction for domestic battery on his then-wife, his career has soldiered on as his hits have piled up. $25 and up. 10 p.m. Friday. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. dallasbull.com
  • Have Gun, Will Travel has been one of the bay area’s most popular Americana acts for more than a decade., so it’s about time they got their own festival. The End of the World Festival features an array of local talents joining the Bradenton group on stage: Someday Honey, Josh Reilly and the CornFed Locals, Hotel Life, Mark Etherington, Kristopher James, Fever Beam, Johnny Mile and the Kilometers and more. $15 and up. 4 p.m. Saturday. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa.

For The Family

  • Jack Hanna Weekend: Internationally known animal expert Jack Hanna, one of David Letterman’s favorites, will be at Busch Gardens to share animal facts and travel tales. He will also be available for autographs and meet-and-greets. Meeting him is included with admission, which starts at $84.99. “Jungle Jack” shows are at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. buschgardens.com
  • DISNEY JR. PJ Masks Live!: Now in its second season, the hit Disney Jr. series PJ Masks follows the nighttime adventures of three young friends who transform into their dynamic alter egos — Catboy, Owlette and Gekko — when they put on their pajamas and activate their animal amulets to solve mysteries. 'PJ Masks Live! Save the Day' is a new live musical show with sneaky villains Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl. $25-$120. Noon and 3 p.m. Sunday. Ferguson Hall at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. strazcenter.org


  • Saturday is both Art Museum Day and International Museum Day, and a few museums in Tampa Bay are celebrating. The Imagine Museum offers free admission for everyone to see its stunning collection of studio glass. 1901 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. imaginemuseum.com
  • Tampa Museum of Art offers pay-as-you-will admission, free tours, activities for children and families, 10 percent discounts at the Museum Store and Riverwalk Cafe and $10 off all membership levels. 120 W Gasparilla Plaza. tampamuseum.org
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg is offering 20 percent off new individual and dual memberships and 20 percent discounts for new members in the MFA Store. 255 Beach Drive NE.


  • Suburb Pop, a pop up event company, brings a shopping, art and food experience to Factory 114 — Channelside, a co-working and event space, this weekend. It features a makers market and galleries with work by local artists and small businesses. There will be live painters and photo walls, as well as bites from local restaurants and a bar featuring slushed drinks. The event is free. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. 114 S 12th St., Tampa. suburbpop.com
  • The Alley is a row of antique and vintage shops in Belleair Bluffs. While it’s already fun to poke around for treasures in each of the shops, it’s also fun to save money, which you can do at the Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale. Find upcycled and renewed pieces from Chloe’s Home Decor, Lemon Tree Vintage Market and Shabby2Chic. Or check out Antique Alley, which also sell plants, fresh flowers and gourmet foods. Add to your wardrobe at Reloved Resale, which offers lightly worn vintage, contemporary and designer clothes. Free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. 596 Indian Rocks Road N.
  • Tampa Indie Flea couldn’t ask for a better setting than Armature Works, with views of the Hillsborough River and Tampa’s skyline. It raises the cool factor with a curated selection of 100 makers with goods including letterpress, vintage wares, leather goods and succulents. Free. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. 1910 N Ola Ave.


  • Sweet Corn Festival: Tarpon Springs will be feasting on roasted corn on the cob, as well as Southern-style barbecue ribs and chicken, pulled pork and ice cream. Arts and craft vendors and music round out this relaxed, pet-friendly gathering inspired by the country. The event is free, with food and drink for sale. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Craig Park, 100 Beekman Lane, Tarpon Springs.
  • Temple Terrace Craft BrewFest: Down more than 100 specialty beers from 35 area breweries throughout the fifth annual Temple Terrace Craft BrewFest. An array of mobile kitchens, vendors and live tunes abound, too. Dogs and kids are welcome. $20-$35. 4-8 p.m. Saturday. Woodmont Park, 415 Woodmont Ave., Temple Terrace.  templeterracebrewfest.com
  • A Feast for the Senses: A tasting with a twist, this takes inspiration from “A Feast for the Eyes: European Masterpieces from the Grasset Collection,” at the . Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. Taste red and white varietals and a sparkling wine. Then for your other senses, Drom Fragrances senior perfumer Jim Krivda’s custom-designed fragrances are paired with the vino list curated by noted wine and fragrance experts Mary John Baumann and Ruth Sutcliffe. $50, $45 members. 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE. mfastpete.org

Extra Events

  • Carry the Load: 5K at Water Works park in downtown Tampa on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. honors the sacrifices of our military and first-responders. Last year, the event had more than 700 people participate and they are trying to reach a goal of more than 1,000 for this year. The event is free for all participants and will include live music, food, drinks and games following the march. Bring a rucksack, memento or photo that is symbolic of who you are honoring. The event is free and registration at 8 a.m. with start time at 9 a.m. Saturday. Water Works Park, 1710 N Highland Ave., Tampa. carrytheload.org
  • Tampa Bay Boat Show: With summer coming, you can see and compare numerous makes and models of boats in one location, as well as trailers, docking and safety equipment and outdoor-related exhibits. Fishing seminars, cast netting demos and RVs are part of the show’s more than 100 exhibitors. The event is free and from 10 a.m.-6 p.m Friday-Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds Special Events Center, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. tampabayboatshows.com


MegaCon Orlando: This is really more of a warning to avoid the traffic jam on I-4 this weekend when the Southeast’s largest fan convention, MegaCon Orlando, returns to the sprawling Orange County Convention Center bringing a celebrity lineup of film, television, anime and gaming stars. More than 100,000 fans are heading there, here’s why:

  • There will be a reunion of the cast of Back to the Future — Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Tom Wilson (Biff Tannen) and James Tolkan (the strict principal Strickland) 
  • A reunion of The Goonies — Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and Ke Huy Quan.
  • Dr. Who fans can meet David Tennant and Billie Piper.
  • Wonder Woman’s Lynda Carter
  • Shazam! star Zachary Levi
  • Actors Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips.

The floor will have loads of merchandise, gaming, steam punk and geek speed dating. It opens Thursday from 4-9 p.m. and runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday. $20 and up. megaconorlando.com



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