This week on Tampa Bay stages: Nate Bargatze, Randy Rainbow

Plus, St. Petersburg Opera’s ‘Merry Widow’ and more.
Randy Rainbow will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Courtesy of Varela Media
Randy Rainbow will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Courtesy of Varela Media
Published October 16

ALL AGLOW: RANDY RAINBOW

Look at Randy Rainbow, getting all shiny and starry before our eyes. The YouTube sensation, known for his parody interviews and songs, was just nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series, alongside the likes of Billy on the Street and eventual winner Carpool Karaoke. His brand of pointed political and cultural satire goes down pretty smoothly thanks to his witty lyrics and enthusiasm for musical theater, which shines through during his giddy live tours. $37.50 and up. 7 p.m. Saturday. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

TENNESSEE KID: NATE BARGATZE

A standup special featuring bits about dead horses and college football? Yeah, Nate Bargatze’s a Southerner, all right. But he’s no blue-collar comic like Jeff Foxworthy or Larry the Cable Guy. Bargatze is dry, incisive and self-deprecating, all of which you can see in his great new Netflix special The Tennessee Kid. After honing his jokes in clubs in Chicago and New York, Bargatze developed a network of famous fans, from Marc Maron to Jim Gaffigan to Jimmy Fallon, who took him on a pre-Tonight Show comedy tour that hit Tampa Theatre in 2013. It took six years, but Bargatze is finally coming back to that same room — only this time, he’s the headliner. $38.50 and up. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286. tampatheatre.org.

On Thursday, Nate Bargatze will appear at Tampa Theatre. Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre
On Thursday, Nate Bargatze will appear at Tampa Theatre. Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre

POETRY IN MOTION: ANDREA GIBSON

When Andrea Gibson speaks, people listen. The author and spoken-word artist is a captivating performer with an array of poetry slam honors and tours that frequently draw hundreds of fans. Gibson (who uses they/them pronouns) is touring behind their latest book Lord of the Butterflies, which includes poems about love, politics and challenges facing the LGBTQ community. Among the most striking works is America, Reloaded, inspired by the February 2018 mass shooting in Parkland and the political and religious figures who did little in response. “Christ could tear the nails from his hands and scrape them down a blood-spattered chalkboard, and they would still be praying for their bank accounts,” they say in the poem’s stark video, accompanied by music by Ani DiFranco. Expect an intense evening filled with emotional release. Buddy Wakefield also appears. $18 and up. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Attic, 1510 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 241-0110.

Andrea Gibson will perform at the Attic in Tampa's Ybor City next week. Lindsey Byrnes  |  Paradigm Talent Agency
Andrea Gibson will perform at the Attic in Tampa's Ybor City next week. Lindsey Byrnes | Paradigm Talent Agency

GOLD DIGGERS: THE MERRY WIDOW

Money does funny things to people, especially the characters in Franz Lehar’s comic operetta The Merry Widow, kicking off St. Petersburg Opera’s season this weekend. Recently widowed Hanna has inherited a fortune and suitors are lining up to get a chance at it. It’s in the Pontevedrin ambassador Baron Zeta’s interest to get her married off so that the fortune stays in the country. But Hanna only has eyes for Count Danilo, who’s too proud to court her for her fortune. Meanwhile, flirtations, jealousy and misunderstandings combine to bring more drama than Dynasty, but comic interludes and the triumph of true love make it a longtime favorite. It all happens under maestro Mark Sforzini’s baton, sung in English with projected text above the stage. $15-$95. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N. (727) 823-2040. stpeteopera.org.

From left: Kelli Butler, Pedro Barbosa and Catie Shelley in the St. Petersburg Opera Company production of
From left: Kelli Butler, Pedro Barbosa and Catie Shelley in the St. Petersburg Opera Company production of "The Merry Widow." Courtesy of Jim Swallow

MOMS JOKE: CAT AND NAT

The internet is making everyone sensations these days, even regular moms. That’s the case for Catherine Belknap and Natalie Telfer anyway, two best friends and mothers who commiserate on YouTube about #momtruths. They’ve written a book of the same title and are heading to the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre. Cat and Nat will bring slightly R-rated, never-before-told stories from the trenches of motherhood and tips for handling it, with the idea that they’re doing the best they can. $28.50-$53. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

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