Spring Arts Preview: May

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The Weeknd, who plays Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on May 12, 2017. - Nabil Elderkin
Nabil Elderkin
The Weeknd, who plays Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on May 12, 2017.

Alex Katz: Black and White. If you think about it, color is pretty damn dominant and if you’re familiar with Alex Katz works, you know he has a love affair with bold, simplified blocks of color. What you might not know is that he had a lifelong interest in trying to strip color from his works to put more emphasis on the formal elements of line, form, light, and shadow. In signature portraits of family and friends, some drawings of Maine’s landscape, and still life, Katz’s use of black and white brings out the more graphic quality of these works in comparison to his vibrant palettes. If you’re longing for color, don’t despair: a selection of color works will be there for some shocking juxtaposition. Feb. 23- May 29, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa. 813-274-8130. tampamuseum.org.

Avenue Q. Don’t be fooled by the Sesame Street-like puppets: this raunchy, randy, politically incorrect show is about starting out in New York, the joys of puppet sex, and songs that your children ought not know. Expect to be shocked. May 4-21. Stageworks, Tampa. 813-374-2416. stageworkstheatre.org—ML

End of the Rainbow. Judy Garland pushes herself to the limit while the men in her life try desperately to keep her away from pills and booze, all in Peter Quilter’s scorching look at celebrity and calamity. Apr. 29-May 28. freeFall Theatre, St. Pete. 727-498-5205. freefalltheatre.com. —ML

Gloucester Blue. World-famous playwright Israel Horovitz continues his association with Jobsite Theater, offering a twilight comedy about blackmail, gentrification, economic inequality, and infidelity. Who’ll be left standing: the housepainters or their upscale employers? May 19-June 11. Jobsite Theater, Tampa. 813-229-STAR. jobsitetheater.org—ML

The Invisible Hand. When Nick, an official of Citibank in Pakistan, is kidnapped by Islamic militants, he sees one hope of surviving: teaching them American capitalism at its most cynical. The play is by Ayad Akhtar, who won a Pulitzer for Disgraced. May 31-June 25, American Stage, St. Pete. 727-823-PLAY. americanstage.org—ML 

May Road Trip: Suwannee River Jam Way down upon the Suwannee River... sing it with us. Or don't, because, you know, it was a really racist song and Stephen Foster didn't choose the river for any reason other than the name worked in his song. Also, he misspelled the name. Worst state song ever. Nevertheless, the Suwannee River Jam is totally worth your time, even if they haven't announced the lineup yet. Make your camping reservations at Live Oak's Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground now, because this weekend of music is the place to be in early May. Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground, Live Oak. May 3-6. $45-$375; camping extra. 386-364-1683. suwanneeriverjam.com.

The Weeknd Many of Abel Tesfaye’s fans have already began to abandon him after another move towards pop centrism on a new album (last year’s Starboy), but the 26-year-old sexed-up crooner better known as The Weeknd shouldn’t apologize. He’s still one of the most unique artists on the Billboard charts, and his recent collaborations with Daft Punk are proof that his sexed up noir & B is catching on with the rest of the world. May 12, Amalie Arena, Tampa . 813-301-6500. amaliearena.com. — RR

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers w/Joe Walsh There are certain songs (“American Girl,” “Freefallin’”) that Tom Petty admits he’s gotta play live, and while fans probably won’t hear anything off Wildflowers (his 1994 solo LP), they probably shouldn’t take this show — which will pull from every corner of his 40 year old discography — for granted. Despite being prone to boredom when he’s off the road, Petty, 66, has expressed a desire to spend more time with his grandchildren, and he’s unsure how much more touring the Heartbreakers can actually take. May 6, Amalie Arena, Tampa. 813-301-6500. amaliearena.com. — RR





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