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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” the song goes, which, yes, is a Christmas carol, but it also applies to the season we’re in right now, when the A&E scene is back in full swing and the Rays — wonder of wonders — are, too!

  1. The Boys of October. What a weekend for local sports fans. The Rays’ thrilling playoff run continues with the first two games of the American League Division Series against the Astros (Fri., 2:05 p.m., and Sat., 9:07 p.m., in Houston, watch on FoxSports1); the Bucs hope to surprise the sports world again, this time in New Orleans (Sun., 1 p.m., on Fox); and the Lightning play their season opener tonight at Amalie Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports Sun)
  2. Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Opening Weekend. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, TIGLFF is not only a great filmfest for the LGBT community, it’s a great filmfest, period. Highlights in the lineup include retro screenings of important films in the festival’s history, like the ground-breaking documentary Tongues Untied by black gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs; an acclaimed new doc about the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus touring the deep South; and the controversial new comedy Adam about a straight guy who passes for trans to stay in the good graces of his summer crush. Opening Fri. 10/4, 7:30 p.m., with screening of the romantic comedy Sell By; continues through 10/12,
  3. Vietgone Opening Weekend at American Stage. American Stage cleaned up at the recent Theatre Tampa Bay Awards, winning deserved kudos for last season’s productions of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley and Fun Home. Its new season is kicking off this weekend with a very different kind of love story: the regional premiere of Vietgone, Qui Nguyen’s award-winning play about two “very new Americans” who meet and find love in 1975 after the fall of Saigon. Through 11/3,
  4. Revolution: Music of The Beatles — A Symphonic Experience. The Florida Orchestra meets Abbey Road with arrangements based on original recordings, vocalists singing the hits, photos from the Beatles Book Photo Library and more. Fri.-Sun. 10/4-6, , Straz/Mahaffey/Ruth Eckerd,
  5. Capitol Steps: “The Lyin’ Kings” at The Palladium. Boy, do we need them now. The nation’s pre-eminent political parodists will sing us songs that might just be funnier than what’s going in D.C. at the moment, assuring equal-opportunity jabs at both sides of the aisle (notice they say “Kings,” not “King”). Sat. 10/5, 8 p.m.,
  6. Studio@620 Dance Hall Festival. The Studio just keeps on dancin’ with Mad Science by Sheila Cowley and an anniversary celebration for the dance world’s first couple, choreographer Paula Kramer and dance photographer extraordinare Tom Kramer (Thurs. 10/3, 7 p.m.) and Dundu Dole Urban African Ballet’s “Motherhood on My Mind” (Fri. 10/4, 7 p.m.).
  7. Meteor Shower Closing Weekend at Jobsite. So popular they extended it, Jobsite concludes its acclaimed run of the Steve Martin comedy. Thurs.-Sat., 10/3-5, 8 p.m.; Sun. 10/6, 4 p.m.,
  8. Deborah Masters: Spirits opens at Leepa-Rattner. Huge hanging sculptures make a haunting impact at the Leepa-Rattner Museum in Tarpon Springs. 10/6-1/5/20,
  9. Come Out St Pete. In celebration of National Coming Out Day (coming up Oct. 11), St. Pete’s Grand Central District throws a big all-weekend party that includes Taste of Grand Central (Thurs. 10/3, all day); a Vogue Ball for the benefit of VFW Post 39 (Fri. 10/4, 7-10 p.m.) and a Lip Sync Battle at Dog Bar (10/4, 8-11 p.m.); and the Come Out St. Pete Parade & Festival (Sat. 10/5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.).
  10. Hard Rock Grand Opening. The multi-million-dollar expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa opens its doors this weekend with lots of fancy stuff you won’t be able to get into because it’s sold out, like the Keith Urban concert on Friday, but lots of other fancy stuff you can look at between slot sessions, like Elvis’s gold piano and Gaga’s Super Bowl outfit.

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