Art, beer, bossa nova and a bunch more shows you shouldn’t miss make this an August weekend to remember.
1. SMILE at MIZE Gallery
We all could use a smile nowadays. Whether that translates into wanting a smiley-face remains to be seen, but you can be sure MIZE Gallery will give you plenty of variations to choose from in its new show, where you’ll find works incorporating the classic smiley-face by 46 local and national artists. Opening reception Friday, 8/9, 6-10 p.m., MIZE Gallery, 689 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg. Exhibit runs through 8/24.
2. DENIM at Venus Gallery
You’ll be in the neighborhood for the opening reception for SMILE, so why not hop down the street to the Venus Gallery for the opening of DENIM, a multi-sensory exhibit in which 20+ artists will celebrate that much-loved, much-pondered textile with artworks, jackets and more. Opening reception Friday, 8/9, 6-10 p.m., Venus Gallery, 244 Dr. MLK Jr. Street N., St. Petersburg. Hosted by the St. Pete Women’s Collective.
3. “Just A Short” & “Pick-A-Print” at Studio@620
An intriguing pair of one-night pop-up shows. Animator Meike Groh and Creative Clay artist Sydney Ray are showing hand-drawn still frames and acrylic concept paintings from a short film they’ll be premiering at the Museum of Fine Arts in September; artist Coralette Damme (aka The Crafty Hag) invites visitors to “Pick-a-Print” in what’s described as both an art installation and an opportunity to collect affordable hand-printed original artworks. Saturday, 8/10, 5-9 p.m., Studio@620, 620 1st. Ave. S., St. Petersburg, thestudioat620.org.
4. Nate Najar’s Bossa Nova Guitars with Phill Fest
If you feel the urge to get up and dance at the Palladium’s Side Door Cabaret on Saturday night, blame it on the bossa nova — and the irresistible rhythms and lilting musicality of guitarists Nate Najar, a St. Pete treasure, and the South Florida-based Brazilian Phill Fest, who has recorded four albums with his acclaimed father, jazz artist Manfredo Fest. Saturday, 8/10, 8 p.m., Side Door Cabaret at the Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, mypalladium.org.
5. 97X Craft Beer Experience at the Mahaffey
More than 100 types of craft beer from local and national craft brewers, plus food from St. Pete restaurants, live music, and Drew and Shark from 97X. Saturday, 8/10, 4 p.m., Duke Energy Center for the Arts/Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, themahaffey.com.
And four shows you must catch before they close:
6. Woof, Meow, Chirp and Slither: Artists Interpret the World of Pets
The goofy, beautiful creatures we share our lives with, as rendered by a slew of talented craft artists. Closing reception Sat., 8/10, 5:30-7 p.m. The People’s Choice Award will be presented and visitors will get the chance to paint their own pet-themed ceramics or rock. Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FloridaCraftArt.org.
Singers have been reaching for their corner of the sky ever since Stephen Schwartz’s musical landed on Broadway in 1972, and the show about a young prince searching for the meaning of life has been a staple of the musical comedy repertory everywhere from high schools to Broadway ever since. freeFall Artistic Director Eric Davis has put his own freeFall-esque spin on it, and the result has been one of the theater’s biggest hits ever. For more info on the show and Matthew McGee, who gives one (actually two) of his best performances in the show (and that’s saying something), watch our dRTB Live interview. Through 8/11, with Thursday and Friday nights looking to be your best bets for tickets (though no guarantees — they’ve been selling out regularly.) freefalltheatre.com.
8. Tampa Museum of Art: Abstract Expressionism: A Social Revolution, Selections from the Collection of Preston H. Haskell
Abstract Expressionism as a unifying direction in post-WWII art, reflected in 25 works by such seminal artists as de Kooning, Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, and Mark Rothko. Through 8/11, tampamuseum.org
9. The 100 Dresses
Innovocative Theater brings to life the beloved children’s book about an ostracized young girl whose drawings of dresses ultimately answer the bullies who plagued her. A multi-generational cast and post-matinee talkbacks continue Innovocative’s tradition of presenting socially conscious scripts that encourage discussion. Through Sun. 8/11 at Stageworks Theater, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., West Building #151, Tampa. innovocativetheatre.org.