Planet Picks

Thursday 3.15

Art-Reach HCC-Ybor has been playing host to Professor Pavol Petras, a portrait artist from the Slovak Republic, in town to share his techniques. The artist's final free workshop takes place at The Tampa Museum of Art at 7 p.m. Museum director Emily Kass is the night's model as Petras demonstrates his unique, contemporary style of portraiture. Don't blink — the artist produces his incisive, acrylic paintings very quickly. The museum is at 600 Ashley Drive, Tampa. Call 813-253-7674.

Medicine Man Faithfully continuing to care for our well-being, Nature's Food Patch offers Cancer Prevention & Treatment, with Dr. Alan Tralins. Founder of The Cancer Wellness Institute, the Doc drops by at 7 p.m. to explain his method of integrating modern with complementary medicine. A strong supporter of proper nutritional therapy, he specifically advocates ingesting lots of fruits and veggies daily, as a key component in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The lecture's free, and the Patch is at 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Call 727-443-6703.

Friday 3.16

Art for Theater's Sake Art lovers and theater supporters are sated with tonight's 10th annual Much Ado About Art Auction, at Saltcreek Artworks. Starting with a 6 p.m. preview, this fete has Shakespeare-inspired works by Herb Snitzer, Lance Rodgers, Cassandra Gordon-Harris and others being auctioned off to the most ardent admirers. Admission is free ($5 donation suggested), and proceeds benefit the artists and American Stage's upcoming Shakespeare In the Park production. Saltcreek's at 1600 Fourth St. S., St. Petersburg. Call 727-823-1600.

Moving Up in the World A world premiere? In Tampa?! Believe it. The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center presents Anton Coppola's new opera, Sacco & Vanzetti. Depicting a robbery and double murder outside of Boston in 1920, and the subsequent controversial trial, this production is the hot ticket of the year. Those who can actually afford the $250 ticket are treated to a gala pre-performance cocktail buffet at 6:30 p.m., along with a post-show reception with Coppola and cast. Regular tickets cost $19.50-$55.00. TBPAC's at 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Call 813-229-STAR.

Live Dining Spanky's Restaurant takes care of your dining and entertainment needs with 7 to 11 p.m. shows by Shana and Mike Loren. Shana, the Bay area's own singer and children's entertainer, and Loren, a St. Pete painter/songwriter, are both using this opportunity to record live CDs. Hootin' and hollerin' appreciated. Admission is free, and Spanky's is at 416 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg. Call 727-822-8888.

Saturday 3.17

Ancient Chinese Secrets If you're into the Eastern thing (God knows everyone else is) check out the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship at the Bayfront Center. From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., dozens of martial artists compete in full-contact fighting, weaponry, Kung Fu forms, Tai Chi and more. Stick around till 7:30 p.m. for the Kung Fu Master's Demonstration as well. The tourney continues through Sunday, and admission costs $12 for the competition, $20 for the demonstration. The center's at 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Call 727-734-8222.

New and Not-So New The Gulf Coast Museum of Art offers two new exhibits — Another Country: New Works by Roger Chamieh and Miriam Schapiro: Works on Paper; A Thirty Year Retrospective. In the former, Chamieh (a Londoner) explores the effects of Florida's climate and wildlife on the body, offering outdoor sculptures that incorporate cast sugar, butter and wax. Schapiro's show consists of groups of prints, drawings and collages ("femmages") from the artist's 30-year career. Admission costs $3, and hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum's at 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo. Call 727-518-6833.

Noize The State Theatre kicks up the volume for an 8:30 p.m. concert featuring Hot Water Music and Leatherface. HWM, an indie-rock quartet out of Gainesville, is an old friend of Leatherface, England's gift to post-punk (who, incidentally, have more American fans than British). The two bands toured together and released a dual CD in '99. The Lansing, Mich., punk outfit Small Brown Bike gets a song or two in there as well. Tickets cost $10. The theater's at 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Call 727-898-2100.

Sunday 3.18

Cold Blooded Carnival If you're bored with the barking and purring variety of family pet, check out your more out-of-the-ordinary options at the Florida International Reptile & Exotic Animal Show. Taking place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Florida Fairgrounds, this show features seminars, animal shows, lots of reptiles and birds for sale, and an exotic animal petting zoo (camels, llamas, pygmy sheep, wallabies, an 18-foot Burmese Python, etc.). Admission costs $6, and the Fairgrounds are at U.S. 301 and Orient Road in Tampa. Call 813-621-7821.

Choice Buds The Museum of Fine Art's annual Art in Bloom exhibit is up and running, filled with sweet-smelling floral arrangements by professionals and erudite amateurs. In celebration, a Sprout Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Straub Park. This family fest offers original art and plant sales, entertainment, food, children's events and more. The museum also offers free admission from 1 to 5 p.m. The festival is free, and the park's at Beach Drive and Fourth Avenue North (adjacent to the museum), St. Petersburg. Call 727-896-2667.

Monday 3.19

Make 'Em Laugh Looking to bond with your folks (or grandfolks)? Treat 'em to an evening with Carol Burnett, America's variety show sweetheart, at Ruth Eckerd Hall. The stage, screen and TV actress is as plucky as ever, and Burnett's Emmy Award-winning turn on Mad About You (1996-97) gave her major points with Gen Xers as well. The laughter, reflection and audience interaction starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $39 to $50. REH is at 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Call 727-791-7400.

Tuesday 3.20

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome A little debauchery never hurt anyone, and TBPAC's got plenty during the 7:30 p.m. production of Cabaret. Based on Christopher Isherwood's autobiographical Goodbye to Berlin, the Broadway hit uses a vulgar and decadent cabaret (the Kit Kat Klub) as a mirror image of German society's decline toward Nazism. Tickets to this mature-audience show range from $22.50 to $64.50. TBPAC's at 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Call 813-229-STAR.

Wednesday 3.21

Sleaze Machine Australian hard rockers AC/DC, who spawned countless imitators over the last couple of decades, rock the Ice Palace at 7:30 p.m. Beer-drinkin', tooth-missin', mullett-wearin' party animals can head bang first with Slash's Snakepit (never understood the appeal of that guy), then emulate the lung-shredding vocals of Brian Johnson during songs like "Shook Me All Night Long," "Thunderstruck" and "Stiff Upper Lip." Tickets cost $35 and $45, and the Palace is at 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Call 813-301-6775.

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