Today, award-winning local actress Sharon Scott debuts Mahalia, Just As I Am, her new musical about the life and times of gospel great Mahalia Jackson. The powerhouse vocalist was the first artist to be awarded a Grammy in gospel, but everything wasnt coming up roses the show follows her continued struggle with segregation in the South in the midst of Mahalias rise to fame. (Pictured: Sharon Scott as Mahalia Jackson) Oct. 16-25, 8 p.m. Fri.-Sun.; preview performance, Thurs., Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., The [email protected], 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg, $15-$25, 727-895-6620, studio620.org. Franki Weddington
Meet the author and pick up your autographed copy of Paul Abercrombie's Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis, and Other Totally Green Cocktails, along with two tickets for drinks detailed in the book. Visit inkwoodbooks.com for more info. Thurs., Oct. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Restaurant BT, 1633 W. Snow Ave., Tampa, $30.
The Visiting Artists and Scholars Series continues with Lance Winn, the director of the University of Delaware's MFA program. Winn discusses form and formlessness, using a series of smaller images to create what appears to be one large image from far away — his interpretation of "how personal experience fit into the overall picture of society." Contact Ashleigh Gallant at [email protected] for more info. Thurs., Oct. 15, 7-9 p.m., USF Marshall Center, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, free.
After the break: Writers at the U, Almost Maine at the library, and the Dali and Beyond Film Series.