Spring Arts '14 What to watch for: Etcetera

Showbiz superwomen highlight shows heading to town in the coming months.

Don’t miss…

  • Amy Schumer at Straz

Inside Amy Schumer’s Back Door Tour What happens when you get inside the head of a woman who doesn’t really keep anything inside? Hilarity. Amy Schumer is one of today’s leading ladies of comedy, sprinkling spicy bits of raunch and honest sex talk into her clever routines. Her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer combines stand-up, sketch and interviews with celebrities like Paul Giamatti, Parker Posey, Janeane Garofalo, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Michael Ian Black, Mike Birbiglia and many others. She told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross: “Maybe I can be this person for women and for men just to hear the women’s perspective in a less apologetic, honest way.” No maybes about it. Wed., Feb. 19, Morsani Hall at Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. 813-229-STAR, strazcenter.org.

  • Whoopi Goldberg at Ruth Eckerd Hall

Whoopi Goldberg Born Caryn Elaine Johnson, Goldberg is not only the calm, cool, collected matriarch on The View, but the author of a children’s book series, a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations, a champion against AIDS and the star of several movies; most notably, The Color Purple and her Oscar-winning turn in Ghost. Whatever crazy trajectory Goldberg’s career has taken her on, she will always be a funny lady first. She recently paid tribute to comedy’s first funny lady in the HBO documentary Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley. 8 p.m., Fri., Feb. 28, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, rutheckerdhall.com.

  • Lily Tomlin at Tampa Theatre

Lily Tomlin I’ve grown up admiring Lily Tomlin. When we were kids, my friend Kelly and I used to hold our noses and mimic Ernestine, Tomlin’s snooty operator on Laugh-In, and watch The Incredible Shrinking Woman over and over. The comedy icon and character actor born Mary Jean Tomlin brings a kaleidoscope of idiosyncrasies and emotional depth to her roles. She popularized the one-woman show genre with The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe and worked with the late Robert Altman in Nashville, Short Cuts and Prairie Home Companion. Recently, she turned in a memorable performance as Kenny Powers’ feisty mom in Eastbound and Down. 8 p.m., Thu., April 3, Tampa Theatre, tampatheatre.org.

Also on the radar...

  • Jane Comfort: Beauty at HCC-Ybor

Jane Comfort and Company: Beauty The provocative dance theater work expores notions of female beauty, in particular those of people in the U.S. Hillsborough Community College’s Dance Program will present talkbacks and other events in conjunction with the performaces, Fri.-Sat., Jan. 17-18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mainstage Theatre of HCC-Ybor, on the corner of Palm Ave and 14th Street in Ybor City. Find out more at janecomfortandcompany.org. Event info at hccfl.edu.
MOSI’S Festival of Chocolate Indulge your inner chocoholic with tastings galore, a live cake-decorating competition, the Cocoa Couture Fashion Show and the Great American Candy Run. Jan. 18-20, Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa, mosi.org.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Poor Bess: another man has done her wrong, and life on Catfish Row has never been so bleak. But then comes Porgy — and he bears a love that is deeper and truer than Crown or Sporting Life can even imagine. Jan. 14-19, Straz Center, strazcenter.org. —Mark E. Leib
Official Gasparilla Pirate Fest & After Party: Light Up The Night The 2014 Gasparilla Pirate Fest invades Sat., Jan. 25. A new and improved after-bash will take place in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park from 5:30 to 10 p.m., featuring live music and the after-party’s first-ever fireworks finale.
Susannah St. Petersburg Opera presents an American opera about a mountain girl. Penned by Carlisle Floyd in the 1950s when he was a professor at FSU, the performance will feature a member of the original cast, and Floyd will be in residence the week before the run with events featuring him TBA. Fri., Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m., and Sun., Feb. 2, 2 p.m.; Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. Palladium Theater, St. Pete. mypalladium.org.
Muse The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s inaugural gala celebrates Tampa Bay’s collective muse with a stylish but free-spirited celebration. “No stiff tuxes, boring speeches and rubber chicken dinner,” we’re told. 5-9 p.m., Fri., Jan. 31, $100, Museum of Fine Arts, stpeteartsalliance.org.
Lebowski Fest Toss back some White Russians, rock out to live bands and watch the film at the Orpheum on Fri., Jan. 31; bowling and more at University Lanes on Sat., Feb. 1. lebowskifest.com.
Localtopia The independent business organization Keep Saint Petersburg Local celebrates its two-year anniversary with a shopping. arts and food fair with live music and a beer garden. Jun Bustamante, Rebekah Pulley, performers from the St. Petersburg Opera and other notable locals are slated to perform. Williams Park, 330 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat., Feb. 1, keepsaintpetersburglocal.org.
The Magic Flute. Mozart’s operatic masterpiece is secretly about freemasonry and probably about the efforts of the government of his time to quash the composer’s (and librettist Schikaneder’s) favorite secret society. But you don’t have to know any of that to enjoy the spectacular music and the convoluted, fairy-tale plot. Feb. 7-9, Opera Tampa’s Florida Opera Festival, Straz Center. —ML
Tony Bennett The smooth crooner and lovable living legend is 87 and still going strong. His upcoming show is a family affair — daughter Antonia Bennett shares the stage. 7:30 p.m., Feb. 12, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, themahaffey.com.
An Evening With Venus: Ancient Roman Erotica The ever-animated and impish scholar Dr. Robert Stephen Bianchi provides a fun B.C.-17 lecture with Spathose models providing eye candy. Thurs., Feb. 13, 5:30-9 p.m., Lecture at 7 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, $15.
Deepak Chopra: The Future of Well-Being The good doctor and life coach shares insights from his latest book, What Are You Hungry For? 7:30 p.m., Sun., Feb. 23, Straz Center.
The Florida Orchestra Presents Charlie Chaplin: The Gold Rush The Florida Orchestra provides live accompaniment for The Tramp’s adventure in the Alaskan wilderness — a score composed by Chaplin himself. 8 p.m., Fri., Feb. 28, Tampa Theatre, tampatheatre.org.
Dana Carvey The Emmy-winning ’80s-’90s SNL favorite and comedic film celeb — known for his stint as Garth in Wayne’s World, Ross Perot/George H. Bush impersonations and the recurring characters The Church Lady, Hans (of Hans and Franz) and Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual — brings his stand-up to downtown Tampa. 8 p.m., Fri., March 7, Tampa Theatre.
Carmen Cigarette girl Carmen, opera’s favorite femme fatale, has the power to drive any man mad with love. But in Don José she finds a fellow who won’t accept being picked up and then dropped like a quickly fading flower. Bizet’s music has entered the Collective Soundtrack of the Western Mind — deservedly. March 14-16, Opera Tampa’s Florida Opera Festival at the Straz. —ML
Jay Leno The Tonight Show host emerged from the shadow of Johnny Carson only to be upstaged by whippersnapper Jimmy Fallon. No matter, there's no shortage of love for the middle-of-the road, everyman TV icon, who stays loyal to his fans and performs live yearly. His Feb. 9 show at the newly remodeled Capitol Theatre sold out fast, so the venue added a March 29 performance. 7:30 p.m., Sat., March 29, AtTheCap.com.
Four Days of Dance Celebrate National Dance Week with the Hillsborough Community College Dance Program’s performance series celebrating the variety and diversity of dance in the Tampa Bay community. $10 for all four days. HCC Ybor’s Mainstage Theatre. April 17-20. hccfl.edu.