Lowry Park's big beer bash, comedy headliners, cutting-edge visual art, film and theater and Tampa Bay Comic Con make up a list of this weekend's best events, enumerated here in quasi-chronological order:
1) Hey, beer lovers. Tonight is Wazoo, a sudsy fundraiser by and for Lowry Park Zoo. The brewtastic expedition includes lagers, porters, stouts, browns, ambers, wheats, ales, ciders, pilsners, draughts and more from international and independent brewers. Hundreds of vendors and event volunteers will pour more than 275 types of beer from 70 breweries worldwide. You can't drink all that beer on an empty stomach — admission also includes nosh from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Big Momma’s Smokehouse BBQ, Brick House Tavern + Tap, Cigar City Brewpub, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery, Ker’s WingHouse, Kona Grill, Papa John’s Pizza, Sonny’s BBQ, Tijuana Flats and more. Live music by One Mile Final (rock, hip-hop and blues), Cutty Jones (contemporary and classic hits), Impulse (reggae), Kim Harpo and The Hawks (blues), and The Adrian Ray Band (country). Tickets start at $65; VIP admission at 6:30 p.m.; offical start time at 7:30. Visit the WaZoo web site or WaZoo Facebook page for tickets and more details.
2) If you're in Tampa and are after a more subdued but intriguing experience — one that benefits to great local art organizations, Quaid and Tempus Projects — head to Tempus Projects for Contemporary Issues in Understanding Summer Art Sales.
Participating Quaid collective artists include Anthony Record, Christina Humphreys, Ericka Richardson, Justin Nelson, Lauren Moradi, Monica Perez, Neil Bender, Tom McMillan and Ville Mehtonen. The sale raises funds for a planned expansion at the end of 2015, when Tempus will be expanding and using the project space for shorter engaments. In the meantime, Quaid is also focusing on raising funds and starting a search for its own location. The best part: Pieces will be sold for less than $100. 7-11 p.m. at 4636 N. Florida Ave., Tampa. tempus-projects.com.
3) In St. Pete, the city's famed muralists do battle at Wall Street. Bloom Studios and Oleson Gallery are bringing that outdoor/urban/street vibe inside for an exhibit of large and smallscale works by some of the region’s bestknown muralists at Schoolyard Skatepark, a 12,000-square-foot indoor streetstyle skateboarding facility. Featured artists include Acud Akut, BASK, Sebastian Coolidge, Stephen Palladino, and Thirst (pictured), as well as a solo show by Aurailieus. Read more here.
4-6) Sometimes redundancies are good, such as when I say that it's yet again a stellar weekend for local theater. First up, it's your last chance to see Jobsite Theater's Inventing Van Gogh. freeFall Theater is opening its production of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest — which looks to be another one-of-a-kind immersive experience — and alumni and students at PCCA are reviving Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead at The Studio@620.
7-8) We also are fortunate to get a lot of A-list stand-up comics. This weekend has two ubiquitous if vastly different solicitors of laughs — D.L. Hughley at the Improv in Ybor and Mary Lynn Rajksub at Side Splitters. One of the "Original Kings of Comedy," Hughley has risen from Spike Lee's joint to be a busy actor, political commentator and ballroom blitzer on Dancing with the Stars. Mary Lynn Rajksub is a frequent co-star on a slew of TV shows and indie flicks. Both headline shows tonight and tomorrow at their respective Tampa venues.
9-10) Historic cinema houses in Tampa and Clearwater offer some of the best of the past and present — that is if you're not up for waiting in line for opening weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy. Tampa Theatre is showing the groundbreaking Boyhood (reviewed by Joe Bardi here) and a 1970s-disaster-movie double feature of Jaws and Earthquake can be enjoyed at Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater. The event is part of Capitol's new 70s classic film series.
And as if we needed to tell you: Tampa Bay Comic Con contiues to its geek on with after parties at the Castle and the Social in Ybor.
Saturday's afternoon/evening events include a Q&A with Game of Thrones stars Richard Madden (pictured) and Pedro Pascal followed by a costume contest. For an event schedule, click here.