Local performers dominate the stages this weekend, with a few nationally-touring headliners sprinkled in the mix — and one major comedy celebrity. If you're not catching her theater gig, find a free show to enjoy this weekend. Here are your best bets:
Chelsea Handler at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Handler's wildly-popular comedy talk show Chelsea Lately will be coming to an end this year. On the bright side, that might leave more time for her stand-up comedy and perhaps a hosting gig replacing Craig Ferguson on CBS. Handler's current tour stops in Clearwater this week, and fans can expect the same brash, adult-oriented humor they love on her show. Showtime is Friday at 7 p.m. 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Info: rutheckerdhall.com or 727-791-7400.
Bert Kresicher at Tampa Improv. Kresicher's party animal days are well-documented and preceded his stand-up career, but there's no divorcing the two. Both are part of who he is, and explain why audiences enjoy hearing his rants and premises on stage. Showtimes are Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Info: improvtampa.com or 813-864-4000.
Made In New York at Tampa Improv. This special comedy show features several performers who hail from the Big Apple. Locals Jennifer Hensleigh, Mary Tischbein and Catherine Maloney team up with nationally-touring headliner John McClellan to provide a New York-themed experience. Showtime is Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Pete Correale at Side Splitters. Correale doesn't necessarily look like a guy who's trying to be funny. His demeanor is more like a co-worker or friend who's telling you a stories about his life that happen to be hilarious, which makes his show even more relatable. Showtimes are Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Info: sidesplitterscomedy.com or 813-960-1197.
Pat Duax at Snappers Grill & Comedy Club. Duax likes to tell stories of his childhood as part of his set, but there are characters as well, such as an Old West type named Whiskey Dick. If you don't get the reference, this might not be the show for you. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 36657 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. Info: snappersgrill.com or 727-938-2027.
Steve Netta at Coconuts Comedy Club (St. Pete Beach). Netta seems like a no-nonsense Italian neighbor from your old neighborhood, but the experienced comedian offers more wit and wordplay than attitude. He's quick with punchlines and adapts to whatever type of audience is in front of him. Showtimes are Wednesday-Saturday at 9:30 p.m. 6200 Gulf Blvd. at the Beachcomber Resort, St. Pete Beach. Info: coconutscomedyclubs.com or 727-360-5653.
Chris Gorges at Jack's Joint. Gorges is constantly busy on stage, moving around to accentuate a premise, pacing through banter with the crowd or gliding through his set jokes. You might have to catch your own breath after this show.
Showtime is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. 2950 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., Clearwater. Info: tampabaycomedy.com or 727-741-8014.
One-nighters and Independent Shows
Funny Mothers Show at Niagara Tap (free show). Scheduled for the Friday before we honor mom, this show features locals Catherine Maloney, Aniria and Teah. They're all moms whose own mouths could be washed out with soap, so expect plenty of adult material and naughty words. Showtime is Friday at 7 p.m. Niagara Tap is located at 11950 Seminole Blvd. in Largo. For more information, visit theniagaratap.com or call (727) 581-5331.
Catherine Maloney at Oldsmar Tap House (free show). Maloney, winner of a "Biggest Jerk" contest performs the night before Mother's Day. But this comedy mom is no sitcom-sweet performer. This is a grown-up show for grown-up ears.
Showtime is Saturday at 9 p.m. 300 State St. E., Oldsmar. Info: 813-475-5996.