Woo remembered: Bill “Woo” Correira was a local arts leader for many; a personal artist hero of mine, a friend a master of his craft. When the artist/gallery owner of Gallery Woo, on the 600 Block of downtown St. Pete, died after a five-year struggle with brain cancer on Nov. 26, 2012, he left behind a legion of friends and fans in the St. Pete arts scene. Woo’s colorful and vibrant portraits of underwater wildlife have become a staple of the fishing-salt-life subculture of Tampa bay and beyond. What an honor it’s for all of us to have Woo on Display at The MFA, and event offering the artist’s best original works on view for a night in The Mary Alice McClendon Conservatory at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Pete. Also an original documentary about Woo directed by Todd Welch will be shown three times during the commemorative night. Proceeds will go to The Kind Mouse, who helps feed local children (thekindmouse.org). Woo would have liked that. Jan. 16, 7-11 p.m. Cash bar; light refreshments by 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House. 255 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg. $10. fine-arts.org. (Text by Daniel Veintimilla)
Show-tuned: An evening with Seth Rudetsky is like a slumber party carb-a-thon with your theater geek best friend. Thankfully, Seth Rudetsky: My Big Fat Broadway Show is less caloric and requires no singing into a hairbrush. Video highlights include Broadway routines performed in the Brady Bunch Variety Hour and Cher performing musical theater. Rudetsky is the afternoon host on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s On Broadway and the host of Seth Speaks on Sirius/XM Stars. As a pianist, he has played for more than a dozen Broadway shows. Saturday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. $37.50. strazcenter.org.
Buffalo shuffle: Both beguiling and tenacious, local actor Natalie Symons (pictured) has earned accolades for her work onstage and behind the scenes of local, professional stages. As an actor, she has appeared in freeFall’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and American Stage’s The Foreigner. As a writer, she received the 2014 Creative Loafing Tampa Bay award for Best Local Playwright as well as the 2012 Best of the Bay Critic’s Pick for Most Promising Playwright. Her new play, The Buffalo Kings, will premiere at freeFall this week, marking a first for both Symons, the theater and our local scene. The play has been described as touching and comedic story about family and life lessons. The production’s cast includes Katherine Michelle Tanner and Brian Shea will bring to life Symons’ “captivating, neurotic, and lovable characters.” Opens Sat., Jan 17, with shows Thurs.-Sun. through Feb 8. 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. freefalltheatre.com.
The 15th Annual Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival commands observance this year with thousands uniting for an 11-day festival continuing through Jan. 25. An immense lineup of events features live entertainment (music by R&B hitmakers Atlantic Starr, pictured), “Beat of the Drum” music fest, a 5K, renowned speakers, food and craft vendors, health resources and more. The event will commemorate Mrs. Felicia Ann Wintons-Taylor, a founding member of the Festival who sadly lost her brave battle against breast cancer in 2009. Dr. Calvin McFadden Sr. will give the keynote speech. Organizers say that the festival will ring in 2015 on an optimistic note, offering an itinerary loaded with family-fun, healthy and educational activities — and a whole lot of heart and soul. Events take place at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and other venues. Visit tampablackheritage.org for schedule. (Text by Amanda Riehm; click here for more MLK/Black Heritage events)
Altered estate: Contributing to a red-letter week for photography exhibitions (see this week’s cover story on African American Life and Family at the Museum of Fine Arts) Enhanced! — Photographic Works from the Drapkin Collections with Contemporary Light-Based Media opens this Friday at USF’s Contemporary Art Museum. Included are vintage photos from The Drapkin Collections, with some images dating back to 1850. What’s more is that USF artists have “enhanced” the images to initiate a dialogue about photography as a medium. The show is expertly curated by Noel Smith; opening concurrently with Oscar Muñoz: Sedimentaciones. A talk takes place at USF’s Barness Recital Hall-USF School of Music at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus before the reception. 3821 Holley Drive. ira.usf.edu.
Strike a pose: Kevin Murphy, The Ritz Ybor, and Square One present the 3rd Annual Cocktails X Couture, sponsored by Fashion Week Tampa Bay sponsored event. The event features fashion shows with looks by Black & Denim Apparel Company, Dolce Creative, Dollface, GoBeaRR, House of Hollywood, La France, Solimar Collection and several others. Guests are encouraged to dress in their fashionable best, and will be treated to a special craft cocktail bars, live entertainment and more. Sat., 7-11 p.m., $15, $20., 1503 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor. cocktailsxcouture.com.
Laugh attack: Jim Jefferies The Sydney-born, UK comedy sensation delivers brash, unfiltered humor with a rapier wit and charm (between various offenses, of course). Fri., 8 p.m. at the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall. $37.50. strazcenter.org. Joining Jefferies this weekend: a fixture on comedy stages for decades, Dom Irrera, a constant stand-up staple on the touring circuit. The accomplished comedian throws out casual barbs and funny stories with the ease of a veteran who always knows how to keep audiences entertained. $16-$18. Fri., Jan. 16, 8-9:30 and 10:15-11:45 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 17, 8-9:30 and 10:15-11:45 p.m. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. 813-960-1197.
Wait, that's not all. Known as the “Man of 10,000 Sound Effects,” versatile comedian Michael Winslow is best known as Officer Larvell “Motor Mouth” Jones in all seven Police Academy movies. Tickets are $35. $35. Sat., Jan. 17, 9 p.m. The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island. 727-367-4511. theclubti.com. Find out about more comedy shows in Michael Murillo's Laugh Tract.
Must-see art show: Slacktide Tempus Projects’ new show featuring Tampa-based artists Matthew Squires and Chris Kelly, focuses on multiple layers and methods of printmaking, opens with a reception. 7-10 p.m. After party at the Mermaid Tavern. tempus-projects.com.
Bonus events: An MLK Memorial Service features guest speaker Dr. Ray Arsenault and music by choral groups. 4 p.m. Greater Mt. Zion AME Chuch, St. Pete. facebook.com/StPeteInterfaithAlliance.