Do It This Weekend: 5132, art/craft/vintage sale, The Nutcracker, Ditchfield Family Singers, Christmas Trio and more

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Browse handmade goods from all kinds of Tampa Bay artists and Etsy vendors – everything from vintage clothes, shoes and purses to flatware, handcrafted jewelry and wall art. There’s something for everyone at this colorful event. Show your support for local artists and help stimulate the Tampa Bay economy by checking out this festive sale, and purchasing sweet stuff for killer deals.  Sat., Dec. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., ARTpool, 919 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg, free, – Lily Reisman

The Moscow Classical Ballet performs a traditional version of The Nutcracker, when Clara drifts off to candy-coated dreams of the Sugerplum Fairy, a Nutcracker Prince, an evil Rat King and the playful residents of the Land of Sweets, all set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, performed by the Florida Orchestra. Visit for more info. Dec. 19-20, 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. $39.50-$55. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Rd., Clearwater.

Has anyone else noticed the theme of zombie-inspired holiday events this year? Did Halloween get extended and I just missed the memo? I guess nothing says Celebration of Life, Music and the Arts like a band of brain-hungry, undead minions like horror punk rockers the Funeral Dazies, who are one of several groups to play at Saturday’s fundraiser benefit for Kevin Giordano, a 27-year-old local with cancer. Also on the roster are The Tempests, Last Minute, The Defendants and Man vs. Clam – and, for good measure, a fire-eater stops by to heat things up. See cartoons on the big screen in the afternoon, or stick around for a shadow cast performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show by the Interchangeable Parts theater troupe at midnight. In case the name of the troupe didn’t clue you in, this is one of the naughtier versions of Rocky you’ll ever see, so be prepared for Santa to remove you from his list of gift-getters. I suggest that all kids, Glenn Beck fans, and people who are missing vital organs – like a sense of humor – steer clear. Sat., Dec. 19, noon-midnight, Beach Theatre, 315 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach, donations accepted, – Franki Weddington[image-1]

Celebrated local actors Meg Heimstead, Jim Wicker and Karel Wright perform in Christmas Trio, Susan Hussey’s semi-autobiographical drama about family and the holidays. Barbara has mixed emotions about spending the holy (hell) day with either of her divorced parents; as the three family members relive their holiday memories, they reveal each other’s strengths, weaknesses — and that sometimes, family knows exactly how to push your buttons better than anyone else. Visit for more info. (Pictured: Meg Heimstead, Karel Wright and Jim Wicker in Christmas Trio) Dec. 3-20, 7 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 and 7 p.m. Sun. $15-$25; $10 student tickets 30 minutes prior to curtain. Gorilla Theatre, 4419 N. Hubert Ave., Tampa.

The Claus must enjoy the respite from his wintry abode each year when he visits the temperate climate of Tampa via motorboat for Snacking with Santa to take holiday photos with local kiddos — who also enjoy a scavenger hunt, crafts, Santa snacks and more. Sat., Dec. 19, 2 p.m., American Victory Ship and Museum, Tampa, $10, $5 ages 4-12.

If you can't afford airfare to see your favorite operas grace the hallowed stage of the Met, here's the next best thing: selection's from the world-famous house of music are broadcast live in HD to theaters around the world. Today, see The Met Live: Les Contes d'Hoffman. In Offenbach's offering to the muses of music and poetry,  protagonist Hoffman searches for love in the arms of three women, only to discover that they're all facets of his true desire: poetry. Visit for a full list of participating locations. Live performance, Sat., Dec. 19, 1 p.m.; encore Weds., Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m., Citrus Park Stadium 20, Tampa, $15-$22.

Holiday, Inc. is a new show by local playwright and producer Jonathan Van Dyke (fresh from the success of his recent show, Totally Electric). This holiday jukebox musical recalls the traditions of everything from Broadway to disco, rock and roll, and swing. Visit for more info. Dec. 18-20, 8 p.m. Fri., 1:30, 4:30 and 8 p.m. Sat., 3 and 7 p.m. Sun. $20-$30. Friday Morning Musicale, 809 Horatio St., Tampa.

In the Ditchfield Family Singers Christmas Show, the family from Sarasota visits St. Pete to perform crowd-pleasing carols for their annual holiday show. Visit for more info. Sun., Dec. 20, 2 p.m., Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, $15-$25.

That anyone is even having sugarplum dreams of opening a new gallery in Florida’s economic climate is a testament to Tampa Bay’s devotion to the arts. So bah humbug on ye naysayers, because this weekend, you can get a preview of the soon-to-be-a-reality Tempus Projects in Seminole Heights, which is “dedicated to bringing a variety of artists to the neighborhood serving as a conduit in the art community,” and houses recent works by local artists Lisa Harasiuk, Brian Taylor, Ben Pace, Justin Nelson, Kym O'Donnell, Will Stryffeler and more. The event, called 5132, also boasts an open-air market with works by creative craftspeople Don Sizemore and Elizabeth Kozlowski, along with photographic novels by Bradley Paul Valentine. Fri., Dec. 18, 7-10 p.m., on display through Dec. 28, 5132 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, free, – Franki Weddington

Keep it local this holiday season and cash in on unique, handmade gifts for everyone on your “nice” list at the Art/Craft/Vintage Holiday Sale. ARTpool’s fantastically creative Marina Williams puts on this outdoor sidewalk shebang just in time for last minute holiday shopping.

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