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Emerging Artist Exhibition 2018

The Best Thing You Can Do TonightDream with Shakespeare or Parade with the Pumpkins

The St. Petersburg Festival of the Arts (SPF18) continues apace tonight with the opening of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Williams Park at 7:30 p.m. A delirious romantic comedy in which mixed-up lovers and mischievous fairies chase each other through the woods, Dream is the perfect choice for an outdoor performance. Co-produced by The Studio@620 and the St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival and directed by the Studio’s Bob Devin Jones, the production features a talented ensemble of local actors, dancers and musicians plus some local celebrities whom you might not expect to see doing Shakespeare in the park — like entrepreneur Reuben Pressman, who’s apparently going to be showing off his beat-boxing skills as Starveling the tailor, and Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, who will strut her regal stuff as Titania the fairy queen. Nadine already showed she could stand with the Shakespeareans as a member of the ensemble in the Studio’s Voodoo Macbeth — and anyone who’s ever heard her eloquent speeches on LGBT equality knows she’s a spellbinder. Besides, Queen Nadine has a nice ring to it. If you miss tonight’s opening, there’s a performance Sunday at 7:30 p.m., and the fun continues with performances Nov. 1-4 and 8-11, all at 7:30 in the park. Admission is free, but donations to support Studio@620 are welcome.

SPF18 has indoor fun on tap tonight, too: AS IF!, the American Stage Improv Festival. Troupes from St. Pete, Sarasota and Boston will go for the laughs at The Palladium’s Side Door Cabaret (8 p.m., $25). For the full schedule of SPF18 events, go to 

And if you’re doing your Friday nighting on the other side of the Bay, head to Ybor City for The Legend of the Pumpkin King Parade. The parade, which proceeds down Seventh Avenue  from 7-8:30 p.m, is the kick-off of Fantasma Fest 2018, Ybor’s free weekend-long celebration of fall, and features costumed marchers and fantasy air puppets and who knows what else kind of unpredictable Ybor fun. 

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