Planet Picks

Thursday 5.24

Raised On the Radio Release your death grip on the telly and celebrate a simpler time during Radio Days. This 8 p.m. Super Pops Concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall features The Florida Orchestra collaborating with guest ensemble Five By Design. Led by conductor Thomas Wilkins, the orchestra turns big band while Five By Design, decked out in vintage duds, breathes new life into decades-old favorites, like Sentimental Journey, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Chattanooga Choo Choo. Tickets range from $20 to $38. REH's at 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Call 727-791-7400.

Lip Shtick Comedian Willie Tyler may be a lot of things, but he's no dummy. He gives that honor to his sidekick, Lester. The ventriloquist and his sassy wooden counterpart have performed their family-friendly brand of comedy literally all over the country, sharing stages with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross to David Letterman. At 8:30 p.m., Tyler demonstrates his dying art form at Side Splitters Comedy Club. Tickets cost $8, and the club's at 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. Call 813-960-1197.

Friday 5.25

Britain's Best-Kept Secret Tampa Theatre supplies proof that you can garner critical praise while residing in obscurity, in the form of Richard Thompson. This gifted singer/songwriter has been quietly releasing albums since the early '70s — sometimes with bands, sometimes without — and often says more in one sentence than most writers do in an entire song. Tonight's 8 p.m. concert showcases the musician's stellar guitar skills and intelligent, intense lyrics. Tickets cost $30, and the theater's at 711 Franklin St., Tampa. Call Ticketmaster at 813-287-8844.

A Study in Depression Think you've got problems? We promise that they won't seem so bad after a night with Prozac poster child Richard Lewis. This sullen star built a career around his despairing demeanor, gaining fame through TV, movies and a stand-up act filled with observations from his brilliantly warped world. At 8 and 10:30 p.m. shows at the Improv, Lewis is kind enough to bare his neuroses for our amusement. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $22 at the door. The Improv's at 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa. Call 813-864-4000.

Dem Old Bones The one-time snide and sleazy Iggy Pop (a.k.a. James Newell Osterberg) is just a tad less aggressive and nihilistic in his old age (54 on April 21) but there's no denying the flicker of fiery punk spirit still agleam in his eyes. The still-sexy rocker gives us a thrill at an 8:30 p.m. Jannus Landing Show. St. Pete's own Gotohells rock out first, and tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Jannus is at 16 Second St. N., St. Petersburg. Call Ticketmaster at 727-898-2100.

Saturday 5.26

Cool Art Event No.1 Salt Creek Artworks and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts are collaborating on the second annual Fairly Lilith Celebration of Women in Art. The estrogen-fueled show begins with a reception and performance by musicians, poets and storytellers from noon to 5 p.m. at the museum ($5 admission). Then it's on to the gallery, where from 7 to 9 p.m., the artists (nearly 100) attend a second reception and awards ceremony in their honor (free admission). Call the museum at 727-896-2667 or Salt Creek at 727-894-2653.

T for 2(001) Empire Nightclub is celebrating its sixth anniversary. Translation: one helluva party. Stop by for the free giveaways, shots, Moet Nectar and tunes by resident DJs Eyeball and Cory, along with WFLZ-93.3 FM's own DJ Structure. Oh yeah, and did we mention Ice T? That's right, the provocative and intelligent rapper, a cop's nightmare in the '80s and '90s, is going old school at this rare event. Doors open at 9 p.m. The club's at 1902 Seventh Ave. E., Ybor City. Call 813-247-CLUB for ticket prices.

Cool Art Event No. 2 Brad Cooper Gallery, a longtime holdout from Ybor's art district days, offers a rare reception for Mysteries, a solo exhibition by Peter Mitchev. The Bulgarian-born artist attends the 7:30 to 10 p.m. fete to kick off his first major solo show in the U.S., which includes 34 of his recent oil paintings. Mitchev's masterful contemporary works reflect influences of Eastern European icon paintings and Byzantine art, with a dash of Gustav Klimt. The gallery's at 1712 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Call 813-248-6098.

Sunday 5.27

Back in Time The Henry B. Plant Museum's live theater series, Upstairs/Downstairs at the Tampa Bay Hotel, offers one last performance. Throughout the series, guests have met turn-of-the-century Tampa Bay Hotel employees, like head waiter Otis Freedman and hunting guide Arthur Schleman. At today's 2 p.m. show, Nonie White portrays Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt — wife of Teddy and hotel guest in 1901 — who shares her memories of the hotel's heyday. Admission's $5, and the museum's at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Call 813-254-1891.

We'll Have a Gay Old Time One of the biggest disadvantages of homophobia: missing out the SunCoast Resort's second annual FunFest. The bash gets cookin' around 3 p.m., and we're talking hundreds of hot men and womyn, human bowling, bouncy boxing, a free concert by '80s diva Shannon (Let the Music Play) and more. Nationally known gay artist Steve Walker also greets fans and shows off his works in the resort's MC Film Festival shop. Admission's free, and the resort's at 3000 34th St. S., St. Petersburg. Call 727-867-1111.

Monday 5.28

Attention Getting You'll have to see this one to believe it: For your viewing pleasure, Brass Mug presents the Girly Freak Show. At 6 p.m., GWAR's Slymenstra Hyman brings her all-star revue of female freaks, who offer bawdy burlesque, odd vaudeville and side-show stunts, including fire eating, sword swallowing, body electrification (100,000 volts!), oral cigarette extinguishing (don't ask) and more. Token male Zamora, The Torture King, is along for the ride. Admission costs $10, and the Mug's at 1441 E. Fletcher Ave., Tampa. Call 813-972-8152.

Tuesday 5.29

Toke 'Em if You've Got 'Em Tired of your clothes reeking from those happy plants in your closet? Slowly going blind from glaucoma because your ophthalmologist can't offer a prescription for pot? Then dagnabbbit, get behind the legalization movement by supporting an American Cannabis Society Fundraiser at Skipper's. Fort Lauderdale's Jerrod's Door and Tampa's Buffalo Strange offer their musical services to the Gods of Ganja at 8 p.m. Admission is donation only (slide 'em a fiver), and Skipper's is at 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Call 813-971-0666.

Wednesday 5.30

It Takes a Village And finally, we end this highly musical week with — surprise! — more music. Old Hyde Park's Live Music Series, featuring a free concert the last Wednesday of every month through October, begins tonight at 6 p.m. The Willie Lomax Blues Revue kicks things off with three hours of original tunes. Beverage sales benefit a different charity each month, with May's charity being The Epilepsy Services Foundation. Performances are in the heart of Hyde Park, at Swann and Dakota avenues in Tampa. Call 813-251-3500.

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