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Thursday 5.10

Free For All The Tampa Museum of Art is in exhibition overdrive these days, currently touting three shows that you can see for free from 5 to 8 p.m. The American Experience: 20th Century Prints from the Berkman Foundation features works on paper; Seattle Sampler displays gorgeous works by 12 studio glass artists; and the newest show, Landscape/Land Use, highlights the topographical influences of natural forces combined with cultural heritage. The museum's at 600 Ashley Drive, Tampa. Call 813-274-8130.

620,000 Deaths ... and all we got was this lousy musical. Actually, considering the show's Tony nominations, The Civil War isn't lousy at all. The Broadway hit, playing at 7:30 p.m. at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, follows the events of the war from beginning to end, highlighting the battle's effect on individual families. Soldiers' letters, diaries and the poetry of Walt Whitman give viewers an intimate look at the war's emotional landscape. The play features lapsed country music star Larry Gatlin. Tickets range from $19.50 to $61.50. TBPAC's at 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Call 813-229-STAR.

Friday 5.11

Searching the Stanzas Citizens of St. Pete, kiss boring lunch hours goodbye. Head to Ovo Cafe for the debut of Anthropologie at the Ovo. Held every half hour from noon to 3 p.m., this cool lunchtime amusement features fashion and home decor shows, and a unique literary scavenger hunt. Secret objects are described in the stanzas of poems, and the first person/table to find them wins a prize. Ovo's at 515 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Call 727-898-5515. (An additional hunt is held on June 1, and at the Ybor City Ovo on May 18 and June 8.)

Slainte! American Stage, in a celebration of family and heritage, presents A Couple of Blaguards at 8 p.m. Written by Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela's Ashes, this humorous play features two brothers reminiscing in the local pub about growing up Irish in America. The pair become mother, father, priest, nun and other colorful characters as they relive their colorful Irish-Catholic upbringing. Tickets cost $28, and American Stage is at 211 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. Call 727-823-PLAY.

Less-Than-Usual Stand-Up Only cave dwellers are unfamiliar with Kevin Pollack. The stand-out actor has 30-plus films on his resume, including The Usual Suspects, A Few Good Men and 3,000 Miles to Graceland. But his career started in the comedy clubs, doing spot-on impressions that made him a Johnny Carson favorite. Still funny as hell, Pollack doesn't have a lot of time for stand-up these days, so don't be stupid — catch his 8 or 10:30 p.m. show at The Improv. Tickets cost $25 in advance, $27 at the door, and the club's at 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Call 813-864-4000.

Saturday 5.12

Hittin' the Sauce Listen up folks: New Port Richey's Cotee River Seafood Festival & Boat Show begins today with a nine-hour Blues by the River concert. Starting at noon, a paltry $2 donation gets you an afternoon of great tunes by Hazard Factor, the Women's Blues Revue, Molten Mike and others, including a 7 p.m. show by the boss of sauce himself, bluesman Bill Wharton, along with his band, The Ingredients. The show's in Sims Park, located at Main and Bank streets in downtown New Port Richey. Call 727-842-8066.

Paddle Tale Nigel Foster is a paddlin' fool, an international figure in sea kayaking. The British native has written five books on the subject, designed six sea kayaks, and gives regular symposiums on the sport. He's kayaked across the English Channel, throughout Scotland and other risky waters. He's now based in Seattle, and continues to write, instruct and design. He'll give a free talk at Sweetwater Kayaks on 6:30 p.m. The subject: his circumnavigation of Iceland; he was the first man in a sea kayak to do so. You may be able to pry some paddling tips out of him as well. Sweetwaker Kayaks is at 1130 Pinellas Bayway S., St. Petersburg. 727-906-0708.

In Vino Veritas Three hundred premium California and international wines, 40 superb restaurants and 300 silent auction items equal the Abilities Wine Tasting & Auction. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., Tropicana Field is brimming with life's pleasures for this award-winning annual event, which has netted nearly $1.2-million for people with disabilities since its inception. Tickets cost $60, with a $125 option that includes a 6 p.m. VIP reception. The Trop's at One Stadium Drive (16th Street), St. Petersburg. Call 727-538-7370, ext. 345.

Sunday 5.13

A Classic Afternoon Guys, you might consider classical music the perfect sedative, but it's Mother's Day after all, so bite the bullet and take your mom and/or wife to Maestros Haydn, Tchaikovsky & Strauss, the latest Florida Orchestra concert. Starting at 7:30 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall, this performance finds conductor Jahja Ling leading the orchestra and gifted guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein through works by the show's namesakes. Tickets range from $20 to $38. REH's at 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Call 727-791-7400.

It's a Chick Thing Have you noticed a pattern? For one reason or another, Skipper's has been the place to be for the last few Sundays, and today's no different. At 5 p.m., the club hosts Take Back the Night, the Women's Blues Revue's annual benefit for domestic violence agencies. Bring Mom along to enjoy the cool tunes, art auction and tasty Skipper chow, and simultaneously raise funds for The Haven of RCS, The Spring and CASA (Center Against Spouse Abuse). Tickets cost $8. Skipper's is at 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Call 813-971-0666.

Monday 5.14

Family Meeting There's like, what? Fifteen-trillion reading groups around town? But Rainbow Readers continues to be the only book group exclusively for gay and lesbian readers. More power to 'em, we say. At 7:30 p.m., the Readers invite all gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered literary types to join them at Equality Florida for some intelligent conversation, and to critique Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas' memoir, Before Night Falls. The meetings are free, and EF's at 3708 W. Swann Ave., Tampa. Call 813-221-1423.

Tuesday 5.15

Only at the Orpheum This Ybor haunt, one of our faves, is the only venue brave enough to feature bizarre, schizophrenic music man Wesley Willis. Willis began his career as a singing homeless man on the streets of Chicago, garnering cult status and attention from the music industry. Backed by his trusty keyboard, Willis performs his funny/angry/scary three-chord rants at 9 p.m. Country Teasers and Mark McManus open the show, and tickets cost $7. The Orpheum's at 1902 Republica De Cuba. Call 813-248-9500.

Wednesday 5.16

Does the Body Good Keeping an eye out for the latest fitness craze? Here's something to consider: Staff members from Yogassage Therapeutic Massage & Yoga offer a Yogassage Demonstration at 7:30 p.m., in Borders-Carrollwood. Combining elements of meditation and relaxation, yogassage (yoga + massage) is a unique body therapy that focuses on increasing flexibility, energizing the body and relieving muscle stiffness. The event's free, and Borders is at 12500 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Call 813-265-8455.

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