The Tampa Bay Sanderson Sisters channel "Hocus Pocus" at the Palladium.

Weekend Top 10, Halloween Edition: Hoots, Furs, Skin & Hocus Pocus

HALLOWEEN ON CENTRAL

The un-scariest thing about this event? No cars! Businesses up and down Central Avenue will ban golf carts, motorcycles, gas-powered scooters and other large motorized vehicles on Halloween afternoon for 22 blocks, so that revelers can enjoy a family-friendly day of tricks, treats, costumes and entertainment minus automotive menace. Sun. Oct. 31, Noon-5, from MLK Jr. St to 31st St., Free. carfreestreet.com

OWL-O-WEEN in Largo

Great Horned Owl (Photo taken in Sanford, Florida by Andrea Westmoreland/Wikimedia Commons)

WooHooooo! Was that an owl? Did a bat just flitter by? Those are among the spooky attractions in this kid-friendly combo of nature walk and haunted garden, which includes animal shows, scavenger hunts and scary stories ‘round the campfire (including a marshmallow roast).  Fri. Oct. 26, 6 p.m., McGough Nature Park, 11901 146th St. N., Largo, playlargo.com. Preregistration and prepayment ($5 per person) are required. Call 727-518-3047 to reserve your spot.

A LITTLE HOCUS POCUS at the Palladium

You know ‘em, you love ‘em, but you may never have seen ‘em like this. The witchy spirits of Bette, Kathy and Sarah Jessica from the beloved Halloween flick Hocus Pocus possess three fabulous local drag performers known as the Tampa Bay Sanderson Sisters (Kathryn Nevets, Daphne Ferraro and Chi Chi Lalique) in this 90-minute interactive show featuring select moments from the film, video, props, and musical selections. Family-friendly and appropriate for all ages. Costumes encouraged. $50 gift card for best costume. Sun. Oct. 31, 3 p.m., Hough Hall, The Palladium, 253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets $35-$45.

THE HAUNTING OF STUDIOS@5663

What’s spookier than a haunted house? How about a whole warren of art studios where the thrills and chills are the work of artists, so you know their imaginative skills will impress at the same they’re scaring the pants off you? According to the promo on Facebook, “You will ask yourself: ‘Has the art come to life…or am I already dead?!’” 7-10 p.m., Fri.-Sun., Oct. 29-31, Studios at 5663, 5663 Park Blvd. N., Pinellas Park. $5 per person suggested donation benefits Diversity Arts 501c3, @studios5663 on Facebook.

TOOTSIE at the Straz

Drew Becker (right) as Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels with Kathy Halenda as Rita Marshall.

Not Halloween-ish per se, but it nevertheless represents one of the greatest feats of disguise in recent theatrical history: Tootsie, aka Dorothy Michaels, aka Michael Dorsey, obnoxious actor turned wise grande dame in David Yazbek and Robert Horn’s witty Tony®-winning musical comedy (or “comedy musical,” as it is aptly billed). An excellent cast has been assembled for the touring production of this critically acclaimed Broadway show, which puts a whole new spin on the classic film. Example: The laughably bad soap opera Dorothy starred in is now a laughably bad Broadway musical based on Romeo & Juliet. (Guess who plays the Nurse?) Kudos in particular for the comic timing of Jared David Michael Grant as Dorsey’s bemused roommate (the Bill Murray role in the movie). Through Oct. 31, Straz Center, Tampa, 813-229-STAR (7827), strazcenter.org.

SKIN HUNGRY at LAB Theater Project

(L to R) Eddie Gomez, Darius Autry, Roz Potenza and Haley Janeda. Photo: LAB Theatre Project.
 

No, it’s not about zombies or even vampires, but it does feature one of Tampa Bay’s most appealing actors, Roz Potenza, in the role of a 74-year-old with a 23-year-old boyfriend of whom her 43-year-old son does NOT approve. A warm-hearted world premiere by playwright Erin Mallon at Ybor’s incubator for new plays, LAB Theater Project. Oct. 28- Nov. 14, 812 E. Henderson Ave. in Ybor City, with options for viewing In-Person, Livestream, or On-Demand, 813-586-4272, labtheaterproject.com.

THE ODD COUPLE at American Stage

(L to R) Damon Dennin and Michael Burgess. Photo: Jarrett Hass.

Also not Halloween-y at all, but, well… the couple is odd! And as the first show out of the gate under the leadership of American Stage’s new producing artistic director, Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, it’s an occasion. Adam Mace directs an updated version of Neil Simon’s classic comedy about mismatched roommates, with a multicultural cast led by Michael Burgess as Felix (the neatnik) and Damon Dennin as Oscar (the slob). Wednesdays-Sundays through Nov. 21, American Stage, 163 3rd St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-823-PLAY (7529), americanstage.org.

THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS at the Cap

Richard Butler in a still from the video for “Wrong Train” from the Furs’ latest album, Made of Rain.

OK, so again not a Halloween show, but think about it: The ethereal yet propulsive music of the Furs, the sepulchral allure of singer Richard Butler, the shadows and mirrors in music videos like “The Ghost in You” and “Pretty in Pink,” all add up to a show that fits the mood of the season. And Made of Rain, their newest release, shows that Butler and the gang have not lost their power to haunt. Fri., Oct 29, 8 p.m., Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 727-791-7400, rutheckerdhall.com.

UPDATES

TTB Recommended: Two of the shows I previewed in last weekend’s top 10 have already won the coveted Theater Tampa Bay Recommended seal of approval, and they’re both very much in keeping with the scary season: Jobsite’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Stageworks’ Evil Dead: The Musical.

Dames & Graces: I jumped the gun a bit when I said last week that the new Two Graces restaurant next to freeFall Theatre would be opening simultaneously with the theater’s production of the musical Dames at Sea. But now both are up and running, which means you can dine in Two Graces’ beautiful outdoor/indoor space, then stroll over to freeFall for the sprightly, tap-happy Dames.