Smokey Joe's Café, the Leiber and Stoller rock 'n' roll romp. The musical takes us back to the sounds and scenes of 1950s. Its directed by Thomas D. Guthrie, choreographed by Aaron Washington and produced by Catherine Hooten. 8 p.m. (except for Sundays at 2 p.m.) at Studio Theatre at HCC Ybor 2001 E 14th Ave., Tampa. $20. Aug. 26-29; Aug. 29. HCC-Ybor Campus, 2001 N. 14th St., Tampa. www.madtheatre.com.
On Saturday afternoon, detox and learn healthy new habits at Wendy Fits Health and Wellness Fair noon- 4 p.m. The yoga and fitness studio is at 13974 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. Learn about An alternative to traditional allergy treatments with Dr. Dale Hansen. Emily Wenzel discusses enriching your body with herbs; Durga Singer, from the Tampa Bay Area Organic Vegetable Co-op speaks; uncover secrets about weight loss, and learn about super foods that detox your body and other essential tidbits. 813-854-5400 www.wendyfit.com.
For you gluttons for punishment who savor the spicier things in life, be sure to check out this year's I Like It Hot Festival to try more hot and[image-1] spicy condiments than you could ever dream of. Taste and vote for your favorites in the amateur hot sauce and salsa competitions, listen to the live bands, and to further induce torture (on both contestants and onlookers), the jalapeno pepper-eating contest is a must-see event. My advice: Water never quenches the flames, so bring along a bottle of Pepto. 10 a.m.-5p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 for adults, kids 12 and under are free; free parking. Minnreg Hall- 6340 126th Ave. N., Largo. yourhotsaucecompany.com (Katie Machol contributed to this report.)
On Saturday night, the whimsical residents of Tampa Bay's quaintest beach town have come up with fun and enchanting spin on a froufrou occasion. Don't be late for this important date! The Geckos in Wonderland Ball offers yet another fun, offbeat event spin Gulport-style, in conjunction with town's annual Gecko Fest, its largest street festival of the year, on Saturday, Sept. 4. Geckos in Wonderland will be all things Gulfport quirky, funky and artistic. Larger- than-life décor will conjure Alices adventures in Wonderland and the Mad Hatters tea party. Live music for dancing and Wonderland-related characters and activities will offer surprises throughout the evening. Silent auctions will also be held during the Ball, featuring gift certificates and merchandise from local businesses and artists. A portion of proceeds from the Ball and Gecko Fest will benefit the City of Gulfports Centennial Celebration to be held in October. Tickets are $25 each and are available in advance at The Outpost, 3007 Beach Blvd. and Domain Home Accessories, 3129 Beach Blvd. Sat., Aug. 28, 7-11 p.m. Peninsula Inn, 2937 Beach Blvd., Gulfport. 727-439-1485.
Love dogs? We have a double-header of unique events: Pin-Ups and Pooches, presented by Buffalo Gal Vintage, a retailer of men and womens vintage, new and retro clothing, offers Tampa Bay women a chance to be photographed pin-up-style with their pets. Gals and their furry pals, receive costumes, set props and an 8x10 print. Costs $89.99. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Pinellas, and participants must be 18 or older. Sun., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Buffalo Gal Vintage, 291 Dr. Martin Luther Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-290-8468. After you get gussied up, attend the Pit Bull Pin-Up Party Benefit. Party with pin-up darlings to support pit bull rescue programs and meet Shorty Rossi from Animal Planets Pit Boss. Performances by Tampas burlesque troupe, Le Teaze. Live music, food, a silent auction, and an open bar. Sat., Aug. 28, 8 p.m. At Don Vicente De Ybor, 1915 Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. 813-287-2600.
In Ybor, four poetry teams from around the state will compete in the Sacred Sounds Saturdays Team Takeover Poetry Slam at the Creative Loafing Space. In addition to the performances one might expect in a traditional poetry slam, the team slam has added group pieces. Since its inauguration in August 2009, the monthly open mic and poetry slam competition, hosted by Reggie Eldridge and David "DeTyme" Tolliver, has played to standing room-only crowds at Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse. A wide variety of poets and performers, from local first-timers to world-renowned spoken word artists, from soul singers to comedianshave performed in the showcase. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. To purchase advance tickets, visit: TampaSlam.eventbrite.com. Sat., Aug. 28, 8 p.m. Creative Loafing Space, 1911 N 13th St Suite W200, Tampa.
On the other side of the bay, a local guy made good pays a visit and celebrates his latest success. St. Pete High and Florida A&M grad William[image-2] Packer has produced popular films such as Stomp the Yard, Obsessed, The Gospel and most recently, Takers. Hes been named to Jet magazines Whos Hot To Watch in 2008 and Black Enterprises Most Powerful Players Under 40. Packer will be returning home for the release of Takers and celebrate with a big party open to the public: The Take Over: The Takers Premiere After Party 11 p.m. at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Hors doeuvres included and drink specials help you go light on the wallet. $15 tickets available at the door or online at takeover.eventbrite.com.
Also in St. Pete: If youve attended your fair share of openings and festivals in the past decade, you might be worn out from pop-art clichés, flashy pretension and minimalist mediocrity. Well, we can tell you, without the tiniest flinch of doubt, that the Two Artist Show: Josh Pearson and Tim Jaeger, at Vitale Studios, will not have any of the above. Tampa artist Pearson combines imagery, graphics, patterns and subjects from all facets of life from scenes of the evening news to wild animals in stark and stunningly off-kilter collages. The Tampa artist says hes showing in St. Pete for the first time, and in his bio, reveals that he became inspired to work with magazine clippings after running out of supplies in the middle of a painting. The tattoo imagery just began to creep in. Hipster essentials aside, Pearson transcends his coolness factor with emotional impact. Likewise, Sarasota artist Jaeger though different in technique; more abstract and fond of acrylics blends subjects in dreamlike and hazy scenes with a sense of pathos and playfulness. For instance, one of his paintings features a floating head and the title, A High Five Moment. Jaegers also debuting in the Burg. DJ Mega, St. Petes poobah of partying down, will provide the soundtrack to what promises to be a compelling and fun evening. Two Artist Show: Josh Pearson and Tim Jaeger, Sat., Aug. 28, at Vitale Studios, 651 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-412-5605.
This Sunday, Tampa Theatre wraps up the Summer Classic Movie Series on Sunday with the moody, futuristic masterpiece: Fritz Langs[image-3] Metropolis, featuring live musical accompaniment by Dr. Steven Ball at the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. The film will be introduced by Dr. Margit Grieb, associate professor of German at the University of South Florida. The version screening on Sunday includes 25 minutes of newly discovered, digitally restored footage said to be the closest-to-perfect copy seen since the films 1927 Berlin premiere. Sun., Aug. 29, 3 p.m. $12 for adults, $10 for kids, seniors, military, and Tampa Theatre members. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. 813-274-8981.