Do It This Weekend: Art After Dark, beach fests, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and much more

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[image-1]The sweeping panoramas of Gulf shorelines meet family fun at two big outdoor weekend events. On Honeymoon Island, the Humane Society of Pinellas presents the 19th Annual Mutt Strutt, a 1-mile owner-pet walk along the Osprey Trail, with more than 60 vendors, pet games, demonstrations, prizes and dog adoptions. Sat., March 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin. (

If you can’t make a long-term commitment, steal away for the Spring Fling in Treasure Island. The event includes carnival rides, food and craft vendors, and live entertainment. Headliner Atlanta Rhythm Section (“So Into You”) takes the stage Sat., March 19, at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free; $5 for parking, and rides must be redeemed for tickets and wristbands. Spring Fling, March 17-20, Treasure Island Community Center, 1 Park Place and 106th Avenue, Downtown Treasure Island. 727-547-4575. (

[image-2] w/Charles Bradley/Peter Baldwin: Among the leaders of the Stax-style retro funk-soul revival is petite howler Sharon Jones and the brassy, tight-grooving, rhythm-driven band that supports her, the Dap-Kings. Jones sings about heartache, hard times, family woes and other matters on their fourth Daptone Records full-length, 2010’s I Learned The Hard Way, which has sold more than 125,000 copies and spent some quality time on the Billboard 200. She’s been nicknamed the “female James Brown” for her explosive show-womanship; having seen her a few times, we’ll vouch that she’s worthy of the title.

[image-3]Charles Bradley, 62, is another soul revivalist discovered later in life. He recently released the album No Time for Dreaming, which has received rave reviews for its heartfelt delivery and bluesy grit. With a warm and amiable personality, Bradley is sure to engage the crowd as well as get it pumped for Ms. Jones' arrival.

JG personal fave Peter Baldwin is smooth operator meets down-to-earth singer-songwriter. His dynamic vocal range and self-possessed style ranges from the delicate and understated to all-out belt-outs replete with Prince-inspired party-downs. His cover of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme is a crowd pleaser. (Text contributed by Leilani Polk, Sat., March 19, 7 p.m., The Ritz Ybor, all Ybor City; all ages; $25.)

[image-4]St. Patrick's Day weekend continues at a few local Irish bars. Parties continue at Lucky Dill and the Dubliner bars thoughout Tampa bay. The ever-popular annual blowout at O'Keefe's in Clearwater presents Irish folk rock band Seven Nations on Friday night and Big Brother Band on Saturday. It's not too late to enjoy green beer, corned beef and cabbage, Mulligan stew, shepherd’s pie, bagpipers and Irish dancers. Free parking. March 17-19. O’Keefe’s is at 1219 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater. 727-442-9034.

The Mahaffey Theater brandishes a bevy of crowd-pleasing performances this weekend.  Travel down the yellow brick road again with Dorothy, Toto and their friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in a lavish production of The Wizard of Oz, featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography and classic songs.  Fri., March 18, 8 p.m. Local students play munchkins, too! $42-$62,

The Rhythm of the Dance is a modernized take on traditional Irish dance and music with the most up-to-date stage technology,  Sat., March 19, 8 p.m. $34-$54. On Sunday, see theater's most romantic tale of woe: you know, the story of Juliet and her Romeo.  The Guthrie Theater joins The Acting Company’s 38th national tour with a co-production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. No matter how many times you see Shakespeare’s most staged, adapted and produced  tragedy, you still want it all to end differently. It's literature and theater's most enduring and poetically touching love story with a bitter family feud, swordplay, a hilarious wet nurse and other colorful characters.7 p.m. $28-$48.

[image-5]A sprawling, scrawling three-day fest in Hyde Park, Chalk Walk allows kids and adult artists to hit the pavement to create masterpieces under the direction of artist Julie Graden. The free event offers fun for grown-up non-artists, too, with local musical entertainment and drink specials from Blue Moon Beer and Barefoot Wine all weekend long. In addition, there’ll be vendors, a bounce house, caricature artists, face-painters and carnival-style games. On Saturday, the Animal Ambassadors from the Lowry Park Zoo visit from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. followed by Busch Gardens stilt walkers 2-6 p.m. Get a hug from Elmo at 11:30 a.m. on Sundyay. Thirteen painters create live art in front of festgoers. Also on Saturday: the Quick Draw competition, 1-3 p.m.. March 17-19, Hyde Park Village, Tampa.

[image-6]Spring Awakening gave musical theater a dewy facelift when it premiered in 2006. Originally written by Frank Wedekind circa 1891, the story touches on the lives of teens in a repressive society. The play’s provocative content sparked controversy back in the day, but it managed to endure, and its musical revamp garnered several Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Duncan Sheik’s score — a soundtrack much less cheesy than your typical theater “rock” — offers tunes with “soaring melodies and gentle rhythms,” according to the New York Times. The modernized redo abbreviates the complexities of the original, but the Broadway touring production is still something to text home about. 8 p.m. Sat., March 19, and 2 and 8 p.m. Sun., March 20, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $50-$70.

[image-7]On 30 Rock, Kevin “Dot Com” Brown is a badass but warm-’n'-fuzzy entourage leader, an Obi Wan-like mentor to lovable manchild Tracey Jordon (Tracey Morgan). His character dispenses nuggets of wisdom that go completely against the stereotype of his thug-like persona. In real life, Brown’s versatility as a performer and businessman extends beyond the Emmy-winning sitcom. He has been a heavyweight in showbiz management and has opened live shows for Patti Labelle, B.B. King and Al Green. See what his shtick is all about as a stand-up comedian at the Ybor Improv tonight. March 17-20. $15-$17. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Centro Ybor, Ybor City. 813-864-4000.

The intense and twisted 1996 love story Disco Pigs, an award-winner by Irish playwright Enda Walsh, concludes this weekend. If you haven't seen it, don't miss this pivotal work, which has helped Walsh emerge in the forefront of young Irish dramatists. The critically acclaimed play takes us into the lives of warped teens Pig (a.k.a. Darren) and Runt (Sinead). Silver Meteor’s production stars Nic Carter and Dahlia Legault (Best Actress, Best of the Bay 2010). It’s directed by Megan Lemasney. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and 3 p.m. Sun.) Silver Meteor is at 2213 E. Sixth Ave, between 22nd and 23rd streets, Ybor City. $15; student and senior admission, $12. 813-300-3585.

[image-8]Home is where the trailer’s parked. Or so the story goes for Lucy Tight and Wayne Waxing, the DIY husband-and-wife duo Hymn for Her, who perform a blend of upbeat roots-Americana and garage rockabilly as Hymn for Her and manage every part of their lives – baby-making and raising, songwriting and recording, cross-country touring – in their silver Bambi Airstream. Lucy plays a three-stringed broom handle/cigar box guitar with lots of pedals, Wayne jumps between acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro and harmonica all while keeping the beat on bass drum and hi-hat, and both share vocal duties, his deeper twang a pleasant harmonic foil to her piping drawl. Their self-released 2010 second album, Lucy & Wayne and the Amairican Stream, was mixed by Jim Diamond (White Stripes). (4 p.m.  Sun., March 27;  Ella's Americana Folk Art Cafe, Tampa; text contributed by Leilani Polk)

Also, briefly ...

[image-9]Miss Julie: August Strindberg's masterpiece skewers class and gender politics through its tug o’ war between a strong-willed heiress and her determined manservant. 8 p.m. freeFall Studio Theatre, St. Pete. $32-$37.

Abilities Wine Tasting and Auction: The event is touted as Florida's longest-running and most prosperous three-hour tasting -- an "adult playground for food and wine fanatics." Call 727-538-7370, ext. 345, to order tickets. Sat., March 19, 6-9 p.m.Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. 727-825-3137.

Jersey Boys: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ success story is “just too good to be true,” including hits “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Shows all weekend. Tickets start at $48. Straz Center. 813-229-7827.

Bay Area Renaissance Festival Tickets at the gate are $17.95 adults, $14.95 seniors and $9.95 children 5-12. Wine and chocolate festival featured this weekend.  Discount tickets available at Walgreens, MOSI and Circle K. $14.95 in advance for adults; $6.95 for children 5- 12. MOSI Fields, Fowler Avenue and 46th Street, Tampa.

[image-10]Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Warren Sapp The famed defensive tackle is making an in-store appearance noon-2 p.m. Sat., March 19, at MetroPCS, 1251 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa.

Extinct Prehistoric Indians of Florida Dig into Florida's past, when archeologist Mac Perry talks about life in the state 12,000, 9,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 years ago, when the Spaniards arrived. For more information, call 727-582-2233. Sun., March 20, 2 p.m. Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N., Pinewood Cultural Park, Largo. 727-582-2123.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Tour The 90-minute walking tour in Ybor recounts stories of Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti, Charlie "Dean of the Underworld" Wall and "Dream Slayer" Victor Licata. Includes self-guided mp3 option. The tour stops at 10 points of interest on or around Seventh Avenue. Starts at 5 p.m. from King Corona Cigars, 1523 E. Seventh Ave. Third Saturday of every month. $15; tickets available by calling 813-358-3455 or visiting If there are remaining tickets, they will be available at the door.

Florida Holocaust Museum Peace/War, Survival/Extinction: An Artist’s Plea for Sanity. Featuring the artwork of Richard Notkin, the exhibition  provides social commentary on war, human rights violations and genocide, and to encourage dialogue about the avoidance of conflict. Notkin’s tile murals, teapots, sculpture and installations will be included in the exhibition. Opening reception Sat., March 19, at 7 p.m. March 17-May 30.  55 Fifth St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-820-0100.

Click here for more events happening this weekend.

It's that time again: The third Friday of every month, the Tampa Museum of Art partners with area organizations, volunteers, and artists for Art After Dark, a monthly lounge night that offers art, music and entertainment by way of a themed event — often inspired by one of the museum's exhibitions. The next installment is tonight, March 18, and is dedicated to Degas: Form, Movement, and the Antique. Attractions include the groovy French pop and atmospheric stylings of DJ Brian Oblivion, performances by Rebecca Levy and Erin Cardinal of the Moving Current Dance Collective and a full menu by Sono Café. $10, free for museum members and includes a cash bar. The museum is at 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. 813-274-8130,

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