Fo'i Meleah performs at the Straz Center's Riverwalk Stage on Friday. (Facebook photo)

Weekend Top 10: Doobies, Donizetti, Grilled Cheese + More

Thursday

ROCK THE PARK at Curtis Hixon Park

House of I (Facebook)

Every first Thursday, Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa hosts a free concert, where folks can spread out blankets, open lawn chairs and take in Bay Area acts. This one features House of I, which specializes in grabby power-pop. Also on the bill is In Transit, whose spacey, psychedelic sound owes a debt to Radiohead. These monthly shows allow residents to see local bands in a professional setting, and for the bands to entertain to a larger-than-usual audience with the city skyline behind them. June 2, 6:30 p.m., Curtis Hixon Park 

Thursday through Sunday 

THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI at the Straz

A Scene from “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.” (Courtesy Jobsite Theater)

In 1941, the legendary German playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote this satirical piece, which has been called a “literary shot across the bow at the Nazi takeover,” recasting Hitler as Arturo Ui, a 1930s mobster in Chicago methodically taking over the greengrocer trade. A Creative Loafing review said, “[Jobsite Theater] has mounted a very funny, fast-as-the-wind production.” This is the play’s closing weekend. 6/2-4, 8 p.m., 6/5, 4 p.m., Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center.

Friday

FO’I MELEAH at the Straz Riverfront Stage

Meleah is a regular Jobsite Theater performer who just happens to possess a remarkably rangy and soulful singing voice. Most of her Youtube performances feature her singing cover songs, sometimes in a duet with a friend, in a casual setting like a bedroom or park. She occasionally accompanies herself on ukulele. This show, part of the Straz’s Live & Local Series, offers Orlando-based Meleah an opportunity to perform on a pro stage in front of a live audience. The concert is “weather permitting.” 6/3, 6-9 p.m., Riverfront Stage, Straz Center

Friday

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS at the MidFlorida Amp

Doobie Brothers at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater. Photo: Kelly A. Swift

This seven-piece version of the Doobie Brothers is led by original singer/guitarists Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, a lineup that made early-’70s, radio-ready rock tunes like “Listen to the Music” and “China Grove.” Michael McDonald — who joined in ’75 and significantly altered the band’s sound toward the yacht-rock of “What a Fool Believes” and “Takin’ it to the Streets” — is not part of this tour, so it will be interesting to see if the current incarnation includes his hits in their show. (I make a point not to look at set lists.) A welcome addition to the ensemble is Billy Payne, the long-time keyboard wizard for Little Feat. Still and all, I find it a bit Doob-ious that the band is playing a 20,000-capacity venue. Maybe it has something to do with this being the the group’s 50th Anniversary tour. 6/3, 8 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa.

Friday and Sunday

ST. PETERSBURG OPERA: DONIZETTI’S LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT at the Palladium

Kelly Curtin perform as Marie in Fille Du Regiment.

Not all operas are meant to make you sob in the seats (says someone who knows diddly squat about opera). La Fille Du Regiment — a comic opera — was composed in 1840 by Gaetano Donizetti, an Italian living in Paris at the time — which is, I presume, why it’s sung in French. The opera tells the story of Marie, a “canteen girl,” for the French Army’s 21st Regiment, whose soldiers treat her like a daughter. She falls in love with Tonio, a civilian, who joins the regiment in order to prove his worth. Conflict, humor, and some heartbreak, ensue. The St. Petersburg Opera Company’s production features a cast of seven, with Kelly Curtin starring as Marie and David Walton as Tonio. Mark Sforzini conducts the music. According to Wikipedia, the opera is famous for the aria “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!,” which requires the singer to hit no fewer than eight High Cs. The show will include English translations above the stage. Note: A final performance takes place Tuesday. 6/3, 8 p.m., 6/5, 2 p.m., 6/7, 7:30 p.m., The Palladium, 253 5th Ave. N., St. Pete.

Friday through Sunday

BRUCE BRUCE at The Improv

Bruce Bruce. (Publicity Photo)

The Atlanta-raised comic with an animated face and high-energy delivery is most remarkable for his sheer body mass. It’s the source of quite a bit of his self-deprecating humor. One of his pointers to let people know they’re fat is, “If you take a shower and sweatin’ at the same time.” Bruce also has great fun pointing out the differences between white people and Black people. All told, he’s quite a funny dude. 6/3-5, check for times, Improv Comedy Theater, Centro Ybor, Ybor City.

Friday through Sunday

THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE at Stageworks

Friday is opening night for this Tony-winning musical comedy about a middle-school spelling bee featuring six contestants and their neurotic parents. The hit play opened on Broadway in 2005, making this year the 17th annual 25th Annual. Don’t be confused by the cartoon characters in the photo. The Stageworks’ cast is made up of actual humans. 6/3, 8 p.m.; 6/4-5, 3 and 8 p.m., Stageworks, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa.

Saturday

GULFPORT PRIDE in Downtown Gulfport

The funky little town of Gulfport was LGBTQ-friendly way, way before the acronym came into use — going as far back as the 1970s or earlier. So it’s only fitting that it should have its own Pride event. The second annual LGBTQ Resource Center Pride takes place downtown, with a rainbow of activities, including a performance by the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band, always a fun time, plus more live music, the fifth annual ArtOut Exhibit (Queering the Pandemic), vendors displaying art, pride gear and products, and other goings-on to raise awareness and keep folks entertained. The official event goes ’til 5 p.m. but feel free to hang around. Gulfport rocks at night. The event benefits the Resource Center, which is located in the Gulfport Public Library. 6/4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., downtown Gulfport.

Saturday

THE ORIGINAL TAMPA BAY GRILLED CHEESE FESTIVAL at Carrollwood Cultural Center

Ahh, this weekend’s place to be for oozy goodness. After a couple of years off for you-know-what, the event is back and packed with food tents, trucks and trailers, each serving their take on one of the world’s great comfort foods — along with other heavenly unhealthy foods, including barbecue, hot dogs, spuds, bowls, donuts, desserts and more. There will be a market with non-food vendors of all sort, plus live entertainment and adult beverages. Admission is free. 6/4, noon-7 p.m., Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa.

Saturday

NVGTN at Armature Works

The NVGTN rollout will be held at the Gathering event space at Armature Works.

As the launch of a new sportswear line by NVGTN (Navigation) nears, the company throws an advance party with fitness classes, the chance to mingle with sponsor athletes, munch on (healthy) snacks, take in a guest performance by DJ Jonas Blue and — above all — get first access to shop the brand-new collection. Instagram junkies and wannabe Insta-stars should mark your calendar for this one. Although admission is free, you must pre-register for a ticket through Eventbrite. 6/4, noon-6 p.m., Armature Works Gathering, Tampa.