Five Things to Do
Another week, another top-notch, diverse selection of mind- and soul-expanding opportunities in the land of sunshine. This week, our picks include a play about genetics, a film about fascism, and a comedian famous for big pants. Truly, something for everyone!
Pablo Larrain’s Neruda – Friday, March 17th
Chile’s Pablo Larrain has recently made a splash stateside as director of Jackie, and this film tells another, even darker political tale. You might not know that the poet Pablo Neruda was a political dissident in postwar Chile, but here we have the story of his time in hiding, and a fascist policeman trying to hunt him down. The policeman, in a brilliant bit of counter-casting, is played by the dreamy and empathetic Gael Garcia Bernal.
FREE, 7 p.m.
Miller Auditorium, 4200 54th Avenue South, Eckerd College, St. Pete
Informed Consent at American Stage – Opens Friday March 17
Plays that tackle contemporary issues head-on can be hit or miss. Clifford Odets may be considered one of the great American playwrights, but a lot of political theatre misses the human intimacy that is theatre’s reason for existing. But playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer takes on not just thorny issues, but cutting-edge science, and has come up with a highly praised work, described by critics across the country as cerebral, funny, entertaining, and most of all, humane.
$39, various times. Opening night already sold out.
Raymond James Theatre, 163 3rd Street North, St. Pete
Sinbad, Saturday March 18
Now, hold on. Sinbad might be remembered by some as the day-glo star of an irredeemably ‘90s family sitcom, but he remains not only beloved by fans, but surprisingly respected by his peers in standup. Take, for instance, recent and repeated plaudits from a source as unlikely as neurotic talker Mark Maron, who appreciates Sinbad’s energy, human insight, and tight construction as much as we all should. If only we could forget the Hammer pants.
$35-82, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater
Agua de Florida: New Work by Becky Flanders – Saturday, March 18
Becky Flanders is mostly known over in Tampa, where she’s involved with the Tempus Projects gallery and helps run the Mermaid Tavern. But late last year, she started hosting regular shows at something called PORTSPACE, and now some of her own mind-bending work will go on display here. Flanders works mostly with photos, all of which are strange and beautiful, and some of which might not be suitable for kids.
The opening is part of Gulfport Art Walk, so you can check out the rest of Gulfport’s quaint and quirky downtown while you’re at it.
PORTSPACE, 3007 Beach Blvd South, Gulfport
Life on Venus: Music of Bowie and Bjork – March 19
If you’ve missed their recent appearances, here’s another chance to catch the extremely well-received Florida Bjorkestra, who put Bjork and a little Bowie through their unique ensemble blender. The Bjorkestra features strings and horns along with a central rock group, and singers that recreate the beloved artists’ style (or sometimes not). The production isn’t staid, either, with painted faces and Bjork/Leia buns encouraged.
$20-$35, 9 p.m.
The Palladium Theater, 253 5th Avenue North, St. Pete
Historic Kenwood Artist Tour, Saturday and Sunday Afternoon, Kenwood, St. Petersburg.
Grand Opening Reception, Enroy Foundation Gallery – We don’t know much about this new gallery yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we do. In the meantime, celebrate that Gulfport has a new gallery! Featuring the art of Michael Chapman. Saturday May 18th, 6-10 p.m., 2838 Beach Blvd South, Gulfport