MARCH 31 THURSDAY
A CHARMING FOLLY Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning romantic comedy, Talley's Folly, is set in 1940s Missouri, and reveals the seemingly unlikely courtship between two opposites: Sally Talley, a 31-year-old "spinster" from a wealthy, conservative family of narrow-minded Protestants; and Matt Friedman, a Jewish accountant 12 years her senior, whose family members were victims of European anti-Semitism. Together, the two work through their issues in a one-act play that's been praised as "a sweet, touching love poem" by the New York Post. Anna Brennen directs the local Stageworks production of Talley's Folly, which premiere's tonight at Shimberg Playhouse. 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., March 31-April 17. This evening's preview performance is $10; all others are $22.50. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa, 813-229-7827.
IMPRESSING AUDIENCES SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY This past Monday, Sonnet Fine Art Gallery of Sarasota opened The Masters of Impressionism, an extraordinary collection of paintings, drawings, etchings and lithographs by luminaries like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Edward Cassatt, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro and Paul Cezanne. Alexandre Renoir, great-grandson of the famed French impressionist, is also featured, and displays a selection of original paintings reminiscent of the style of his great-grandfather. Alexandre will be on hand this weekend to discuss his heritage, in addition to presenting live demonstrations and signing purchased artwork. The Masters receptions occur from 6 to 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., and 1 to 3 p.m. Sun.; a series of short lectures on the techniques of print making and collecting graphic media take place at 8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., and 2 p.m. Sun., April 1-3. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and the exhibit continues through April 8. 1480 Main St., Sarasota, 941-955-6443.
APRIL 1 FRIDAY
A DAY AT THE RACES Take a break from the usual Gandy Bridge shenanigans and spend the weekend in downtown St. Petersburg watching the 2005 Honda Grand Prix. The first street-circuit race in the famed IndyCar Series cruises through a picturesque, 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary course surrounded by the city's waterways and incorporating the runways of Albert Whitted Municipal Airport. The race marks the first-ever IndyCar Series race run on a non-oval track. Qualifying and practice sessions for the inaugural event occur throughout today and tomorrow (8 a.m.-5:45 p.m.). The real action begins Sun., April 3, with Wynonna Judd belting out the National Anthem as part of the pre-race ceremonies (2:45 p.m.), and Good Charlotte performing a post-race concert on the front straightaway near the start/finish line. The race will be aired on ESPN from 3:30 to 6 p.m., but why watch the race on television when you can witness the action live in your own hometown? Reserved grandstand seating: $80-$105 three-day pass; $55-$75 Sun. only. General admission: $45 three-day pass; $35 Sun. only. Other ticket options and reduced admission for ages 12 and younger are available. Go to www.gpstpete.com or call 727-824-7223 for more information.
FUN FILIPINO WEEKEND Tampa's Filipino community hosts a weekend of activities and diversions at Phil Fest 2005, an annual three-day celebration that showcases the culture and heritage of everyone's favorite Asian Pacific archipelago. Nibble on Filipino delicacies like suman (a sticky rice cake cooked in palm or banana leaves), pinasugbo (banana fritters) or rellenong bangus (milkfish stuffed with its own flesh, spices, onion and tomatoes); and explore Philippine history through visual works that include tapestries, crafts, furnishings and costumes. Guest performers at Phil Fest include Treebo, a live Filipino band; the Sinulog Dance Ensemble from Hollywood, Fla.; "Musikong Kawayan," or the Bamboo Orchestra; and Anthony Castelo, "King of Filipino Love Songs," with Ms. Carmen Patena, the "Shirley Bassey of the Philippines." Other amusements consist of talent competitions, the "Flores de PhilFest" children's parade and a $10,000 cash prize drawing. Proceeds benefit the Phillipine Cultural Enrichment Complex. 4-11 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun., April 1-3. $6 general/free to children 5 and younger. Bayanihan Arts Center, 14301 Nine Eagles Drive, Tampa, 813-925-1232.
APRIL 2 SATURDAY
HORSIN' AROUND After 11 days worth of competitions at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the top 30 riders from the United States, Canada, Germany, Argentina and France move on to Raymond James Stadium to participate in the 33rd Annual Budweiser American Invitational for a chance to win $200,000. Defending champion Norman Dello Joio faces members of the 2004 Silver Medal Olympic Show Jumping Team, riders in the top four spots on the American Grand Prix Association and many others. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Tampa Police Mounted Patrol. 7 p.m. $30-$40; $75 family four-packs. 4042 N. Himes Ave., Tampa, 888-289-6811.
TRIBUTE TO A TREMENDOUS TALENT When I became part of the Weekly Planet family, I just missed the opportunity to meet and work with the infamous Bud Lee. His photographs were always recognizable both for their superior quality and composition. And his natural ability to capture candid moments was apparently not limited to still shots. "Cuttings from the Cinema Garden of Bud Lee" is a tribute to the Plant City photographer's works on 16mm film, and is presented as part of the Third Annual Ybor Festival of the Moving Image. Join Bud Lee, friends and various creative colleagues to view clips from his numerous cinema projects (1977-2005). Titles include remakes of La Dolce Vita, Joan of Arc, Fellini's Birthday Party and Gone With The Wind. A reception follows the screenings. Noon-2 p.m. $5. Ybor Room, HCC-Ybor City, Palm Avenue and 14th Street, 813-935-9232.
APRIL 3 SUNDAY
CROWDED HOUSES The residents of Old Seminole Heights take great pride in the restoration and maintenance of their numerous historic homes. For the past seven years, these folks have organized the annual Old Seminole Heights Home Tour, an event frequently praised as "Tampa's best neighborhood home tour" by area restoration enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers. Guests on the tour can venture inside homes that were erected anywhere from the 1920s to the present; see restorations and renovations, completed and in progress; and meet homeowners who are more than happy to converse about their homes' history and share renovation stories and tips. Transportation is provided by HARTline. 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. $7 (includes tour guide booklet with a map, detailed home descriptions, and history). The tour departs from the Seminole Heights Garden Center, 5800 Central Ave., Tampa. Call 813-237-8808 for more information.