Art, romance, a Red Sox invasion, a slew of good music — if you’re looking to be entertained, Tampa Bay’s an excellent place to be this weekend. Here’s our must-attend top 10. Plus: a bonus #11 — on 4/20!
Art festivals pop up around here like kudzu, but the most prestigious one of all is arguably Mainsail, now in its 44th year and recently named among the top 35 of the “100 Best Fine Art Shows in the Nation” by Sunshine Artist magazine. The artists — more than 250 of them from all over the country — are competing for more than $60,000 in prize money; the setting, St. Petersburg’s waterfront Vinoy Park, is delightful; there’s music and food and kids’ activities and lots of art-loving dogs; and it’s all produced by a committee of volunteers. What’s not to like? Plus, it’s free. (Unless, of course, you buy some art, which you really should do, doncha think?) 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 4/20; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 4/21, 701 Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg.
So how’s it feel when we’re on the top and you’re on the bottom? A mild example of the kind of trash talking you can revel in during the matchup this weekend between last year’s World Series champs, now living in the basement, and this year’s upstart league leaders, as of this writing the winningest team in baseball. 4/19, 7:10 p.m.; 4/20, 6:10 p.m.; 4/21, 2:10 p.m.
3. See a play in a park
It’s the perfect time of year to plop down on a blanket or a beach chair and watch fizzy romantic shenanigans on an outdoor stage, and this weekend you’ve got two great choices: St. Petersburg Shakespeare Festival’s Much Ado About Nothing, the classic war of wills and wit between that most witty and willful pair, Beatrice and Benedick (8 p.m., 4/18-28, Williams Park, 350 2nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg, free admission) and American Stage in the Park’s ABBA-solutely terrific Mamma Mia!, staged by Stephanie Gularte with a fine balance of heart and silliness (8 p.m. Demens Landing, 4/18-21). Bonus: Sunday is “Pets in the Park Night,” so bring Rover right over and see if he remembers all the moves you taught him to “Super Trouper.”
4. Nate Najar: From Rio with Love, Bossa Nova
Latin jazz with a killer lineup, led by the gifted Najar on nylong string guitar with Jeff Rupert on tenor sax and Daniela Soledade on vocals. Grab your favorite Girl (or Boy) from Ipanema and bossa nova ova to the Palladium. 4/18, 7:30 p.m., Side Door at The Palladium.
5. Leon Bridges
He’s only 29, but his soulful, heartfelt R&B has won him comparisons to such revered forebears as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. 4/18, 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd.
6. Ken Jeong
The doctor-turned-comic has been such an indelible part of recent pop culture phenomena — The Hangover, Crazy Rich Asians, The Masked Singer — that he’s become a phenom in his own right. 4/20, 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd.
7. Santana: The Global Consciousness Tour
It’s the 20th anniversary of Carlos Santana’s groundbreaking album Supernatural and the 50th anniversary of his legendary performance at Woodstock. Yes, you can now reflect on how very old you have become. 4/18, 8 p.m., Al Lang Live Concerts @Al Lang Stadium. 230 1st St. S., St. Petersburg.
8. Art People
A staged reading of a play by Mark E. Leib about the lives, loves and occupational hazards of 11 different artists, directed by Bob Devin Jones. A SunLit Festival event. 4/18, 7 p.m., Studio@620, 620 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg.
9. The Hit Men Live
The mega-talented musicians who made the stars’ records sound better are now standing in the spotlight themselves, playing the hits they made with everyone from Elton John to Carole King to The Who and sharing insider lore. 4/19, 8 p.m., Mahaffey.
Cut a pocket from an old piece of clothing, put a poem in it, bring it to the ArtsXchange and see what happens. A SunLit Festival event. 4/18, Noon-4 p.m., ArtsXchange, Warehouse Arts District.
As if you weren’t going to anyway. But this is for a good cause — Keep St. Pete Lit‘s Children’s Literacy Programs — and it sounds like a good time. Baked in the Florida Sun will feature live painting by Chad Mize; poetry readings by local poets, including Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke; music by Hello Darlin’ Records; local vendors including PRINT ST. PETE Community Letterpress, Dilly Dally’s, Tombolo Books, Bluebird Books Bus, Sunshine State, food trucks, Posies Flower Truck, coffee provided by Black Crow Coffee Co Old Northeast, donation bar supported by Green Bench Brewing Co., and more! Baked in the Florida Sun will also include an Artists’ Private Party, including a curated conversation with Peter Meinke and Chad Mize on creating art inspired by Florida, access to an exclusive Chad Mize gallery, music, open bar & catering. 4/20, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Behar + Peteranecz Architecture, 2430 Terminal Drive S., St. Petersburg, $5 donation at the gate. Tickets for the private party, which begins at 7 p.m., can be purchased for $50 at the door or in advance online here: brownpapertickets.com/event/4103503. All proceeds go to Keep St. Pete Lit Children’s Literary Programming