With the Oscars® scheduled for Sunday night, we’re in a prize-happy mood. Presenting… our predictions for the Best of the Weekend:
Best gallery opening: Make Believe at CASS Contemporary. How do you beat an art opening at a stylish gallery with international cred (artists from Holland, Germany, France, Australia and the Czech Republic); complimentary drinks from Mandarin Hide and Rock Brothers; and an after-party at the trendy new Riverwalk spot Remedy? You don’t! Just go! Opening reception Friday, 7-9 p.m., CASS Contemporary, 2722 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa. Show continues through April 19, casscontemporary.com.
Best proof that laughter is the best medicine: Roy Zimmerman in Concert. Nationally acclaimed political satirist singer/songwriter Roy Zimmerman was a big hit as the guest artist at last Sunday’s One City Chorus concert. Here’s your chance to catch him solo. Fair warning: He ain’t a fan of our current POTUS. “In the current national nightmare,” Roy says, “we need to laugh. And we need to hope. To laugh is to fight back. To hope is to fight back.” Friday, 7:30 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Petersburg, $25 at the door or $20 in advance at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4044825
Best way to frolic with Shakespeare’s fairies: Florida Orchestra plays Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Michael Francis leads a rare performance of the full work, proving it’s so much more than the famous “Wedding March.” Added fillip: Singers in the aisles, a narrator and images on a big screen. Also, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 with Anne-Marie McDermott. Friday, 8 p.m., Straz; Saturday, 7 p.m., The Palladium; Sunday, 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd. floridaorchestra.org
Best place to pimp your novel: Tampa Bay Publishing Conference. A weekend of useful information and engaging conversations, as dozens of seasoned writers and book industry professionals from throughout Florida share their expertise and personal publishing journeys. Friday, 12:30-7 p.m., Seminole Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N., Seminole. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:40 p.m., Creative Pinellas campus, 12211 Walsingham Rd., Largo; 6:30-8:30 p.m., Publishing Salon at Rapp Brewing, 10930 Endeavour Way, Seminole. Sunday, 10 a.m.-4:40 p.m., Creative Pinellas campus. wordierthanthou.com.
Best reason to head south for the weekend: Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training. Can they beat last year’s 90-win season and make it to the playoffs? Head down to Port Charlotte and Fort Myers for opening weekend to see how this year’s team is shaping up. Friday vs. the Phillies, 1:05 p.m. at Charlotte Sports Park (DJ Kitty Mascot Head!); Saturday vs. the Twins at CenturyLink Sports Complex, Fort Myers, 6:05 p.m.; Sunday vs. the Yankees, 1:05 p.m. at Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, 941-206-4487, mlb.com/rays/schedule/2019-02.
Best multi-tasking musician: Art Garfunkel. Most of us know the ethereal voice that bridged troubled water lo these many years ago. But did you know Art Garfunkel is also a published poet? That he walked across the U.S. and Japan on foot? That he has a master’s in architecture from Columbia? He’s still singing, still making albums, but boy, he could just explain his resume and it’d be a fascinating evening. Saturday, 8 p.m., Capitol. Limited seating.
Best Oscars® party that can’t call itself an Oscars® party: Hollywood Awards Night at Tampa Theatre. What “Hollywood awards” could these possibly be, you ask? Are they anything like the Oscars® or Academy® Awards®, which also take place on Sunday? Well, yes, of course, they’re exactly the same awards, but Tampa Theatre can’t call their Oscars® party an “Oscars Party®” as such because they have to be officially sanctioned by the Academy® or God® or something. But never mind. The theater throws a fabulous bash anyway, as befits the the most movie-tastic movie palace in Tampa Bay, complete with red carpet reception at 6:30 p.m., the Oscar® telecast on the big screen beginning at 8, and various ticketing tiers. The $50 mezzanine tickets are sold out, but you can still snag balcony seating for $20 (includes popcorn, soda & water) or a perch on the $150 VIP Party Deck, which includes buffet dinner and open beer, wine & signature cocktails until 11 p.m. 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa, tampatheatre.org