Well worth the road trip: On Friday evening, catch the opening reception for Wayne White: Here Comes Mr. Know It All The iconic, inventive and downright hilarious contemporary artist and Pee Wee puppeteer, artist of Smashing Pumpkins videos and subject of the documentary Beauty Is Embarrassing ushers in a new show at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Florida Southwestern State College, Fort Myers, 6-8 p.m. rauschenberggallery.com.
If it's in the air, it will be there: Sure to dazzle and exhilarate with colorful hot-air balloons and other high-flying fun, the Festival of Flight in north Hillsborough is a three-day outdoor fest that will sport planes, deltas, kites, helicopters and other forms of flight together in one place. Katie Pinder Brown emcees an eclectic lineup of musicians and entertainment. While there you may even be one of the lucky few to board a WWII fighter plane provided by The T-6 Warbird Adventures, or for something more guaranteed, you could book a balloon flight at AmericanBalloonRides.com. Sept. 11-13: 5-9 p.m. Fri., 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. and 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sun. Tampa North Flight Center, 4241 Birdsong Blvd., Lutz. festivalofflightwesleychapel.com.
Curtain calls: The local professional theaters were all dark and then, boom, the lights are all back on, seemingly at once. First up is CL theater critic Mark Leib's new comedy about love and money, The Funny Thing Is I Still Love This Place, opening Friday at Stageworks. Yep, now it's the thespians' turn to reciprocate praise or skewer the reviewer cum playwright who's either been their hero or bane of their existence. (Side note: Before joining the staff of Creative Loafing, CL named Leib “Best Playwright” in our Best of the Bay.) Jobsite takes on screen mogul Ethan Cohen with his series of shorts about good and evil titled Almost an Evening (Pictured: Jonelle Meyer as God Who Loves and Owen Robertson as God Who Judges). Tampa Rep opens the stirring classic The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman, and American Stage laces us up with with Pulitzer-winning author Lynn Nottage's empowering drama, Intimate Apparel, a few days later, midweek. For details, visit stageworkstheatre.org, jobsitetheater.org, tamparep.org, americanstage.org.
Sun bloc: The big SHINE mural festival, part of the new SPF15 arts fest in downtown St. Pete, is coming to a close and culminates with big mural reveals, parties and more during the Second Saturday Art Walk. Coinciding will be the Morean Art Center's Leave a Message urban art show and more.
USFSP's Big Fitty: Celebrate a half-century of University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus. The USFSP Community Block Party. The free outdoor event will be held by the college at the intersection of Sixth Avenue South and Second Street South. During the block party, Second Street South will be co-named University Way in a special announcement by Mayor Rick Kriseman, and the new Bayboro Blonde Ale will be unveiled by the St. Pete brewers at the fest. Expect Saturday Morning Market vendors, live entertainment, kids activities and more. A Rowdies Soccer Clinic kicks off at noon and continues till 1:30 p.m. There will also be a USF vs. FSU Watch Party. 10 a.m.-3p.m. usfsp.edu.
Awesomely offbeat: One of the funny-weird stars of Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show Great Job!, David Liebe Hart performs with puppets. The outsider musician, actor and painter also believes he was abducted by aliens when he was a child. In his act, he sings about these chilling encounters. Brokenmold brings the unique underground comedic figurehead to New World Brewery this Saturday night. With backing musician Jonah Mociun, Hart’s stage show should please longtime fans and newbies. In addition to creating electronicized versions of Hart’s old favorites, the duo will perform new material along with David’s puppets, seizure-inducing video projection, an interactive exercise routine and Hart’s “endearing and bizarre” stand-up comedy. Saturday, 9 p.m. 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City, $10 advance, $12 day of show. newworldbrewery.net.
Shut up, Martin! The eclectic comedian show Shut Up and Laugh stars NBC comics Chris D’Elia (Undateable), Pete Davidson (SNL), plus Jerrod Carmichael and Tiffany Haddish (both of The Carmichael Show) at the Mahaffey. Satuday, 8 p.m. $29.50-$69.50. themahaffey.com. Delivering both wise-ass charisma and affable approachability, Martin Lawrence has gone from sitcoms to Hollywood blockbusters but still takes time to tour every year or two. Saturday at 8 p.m. $39.50-$110. Straz Center, Tampa. strazcenter.org.
Back & Forth, the 20th Anniversary of Silver Meteor Gallery Celebrate a local arts milestone with works by artists who have shown in the gallery in the past: Chris Ballantyne, Don Butler, Chris Deacon, Charlie Doan, Ken Echezabal, Joe Griffith, Chris Millstein, Thomas Murray, Cindy Psynner, Shayde Sartin, Emiliano Settecasi and Brian Taylor. Reception Sun., Sept. 13, at Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E. Sixth Ave., Ybor City. Up through Sept. 27; event page on Facebook.
Also worth a mention: Babs fans can see Barbra Streisand in two of her best all-time films at downtown Clearwater's Capitol Theater Saturday night; The '70s Classic Double Feature Series will screen What's Up Doc? and The Way We Were at 7 p.m. Saturday night. More info at atthecap.com.
Napoleon Wineamite at Tampa Theatre: Now in its 14th year, the annual WineFest is Tampa Theatre’s biggest fundraising event of the year, benefiting the historic movie palace’s artistic and educational programs as well as its ongoing preservation and restoration. Patrons are encouraged to dress as their favorite character or come in a Napoleon Dynamite-inspired costume! This year’s event features snacks and samples from local independent restaurants, sips from the finest wineries, an evening of rare, top-rated wines and – for the first time this year – a “Movie Under the Stars” screening of this year’s theme, Napoleon Dynamite. Prices vary. tampatheatre.org.