Glass art. This weekend’s Glass Art Society (GAS) conference in St. Pete is drawing international attention to The Glass Coast (aka our booming local glass art scene), and all us non-artists benefit because many venues are staging special shows as part of conference programming, including Imagine Museum, Craftsman House, Florida CraftArt, Chihuly Collection, My Favorite Art Place at Sundial, Leslie Curran Gallery and Zen Glass (which is also sponsoring an event at Dan Painter’s Tiny Town in the Warehouse Arts District). There’s a free gallery hop this evening from 5 to 8:30 p.m. sponsored by the Morean Arts Center, featuring a special performance of handmade glass instruments by the MIT Glass Band at 6. glassart.org
Tampa Pride. It’s time for the Tampa Pride Diversity Festival and Parade, an event which has grown so much over the last five years that it may just catch up someday with St. Pete Pride. The big events take place on Saturday in Ybor City, but ancillary parties are happening all over. For schedule and more info, go to tampapride.org.
Tap Dogs. Performances by the Tap Dogs troupe have been described as “part theater, part dance, part rock concert and part construction site,” and the dancers themselves praised as “hot, hunky and highly inventive.” Having seen them in Edinburgh and NYC, I can vouch for all that. Their show is an exhilarating testament to athleticism, creativity and all the things you can do with water, scaffolding and powerfully percussive footwork. 3/29, 8 p.m.; 3/30, 2 & 8 p.m.; 3/31, 2 p.m. Straz Center.
Punch Brothers. The “ridiculously eclectic” GRAMMY®-nominated acoustic quintet featuring Chris Thile (MacArthur “genius” mandolinist and ebullient host of public radio’s Live From Here) tours in support of their latest album, All Ashore. Gabriel Kahane opens the show. 3/29, 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre.
Listening Room Festival Showcase. The house concert phenomenon that is the Listening Room Network, the brainchild of Tampa Bay singer/songwriter Fran Snyder, culminates each year in this showcase, in which the performers that people have invited to their homes come together in one big, multi-faceted music event. I remember when the showcase was held in the intimate environs of the Palladium’s cabaret; now the crowds are big enough to demand the much bigger Hough Hall. 3/29, 7:30 p.m., The Palladium.
Brahms.Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor in the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, along with a performance of Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night. 3/29, 8 p.m., Straz; 3/30, 8 p.m., Mahaffey; 3/31, 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd.
Bjorkestra. If you’ve never been to a show by St. Pete’s truly inimitable “20-piece megasuperband” the Florida Björkestra, what are you waiting for? Their interpretations of pop greats like Bowie and Madonna are deservedly legendary, so expect no less as they pay return visits in this outing to the haunting oeuvres of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. Don’t give up! Run up that hill! 3/31, 6 p.m., The Palladium.
Paula Poundstone. She’s been winning a whole new set of fans via NPR’s Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! and her own podcast, but she’s even better in person: irrepressibly, relentlessly funny, especially in her interactions with the audience. 3/30, 7:30 p.m., Capitol Theatre.
DFAC. With over 250 works representing over 250 artists, the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Student/Member/Faculty Exhibitions represent the entire spectrum of creative experience offered at the Center. Works in painting, jewelry making, pastel, colored pencil, watermedia, photography, clay, printmaking, mixed media, stone carving, and more will be featured. Opening reception 3/29, 6-8pm. Exhibition runs through 5/19. Admission is free. dfac.org.
Rays Opening Weekend. Yes, our Opening Day hopes were raised by Austin Meadows’ lead-off homer, then crushed by Blake Snell’s sub-par pitching, but hey, it’s just the beginning. And on Saturday you get a Cy Zilla bobblehead! raysbaseball.com