Karla’s 50th Birthday Fundraiser. In last weekend’s Top 10, I recommended that you “reconnect with Stageworks’ fabulous females,” referring to videos featuring Georgia Mallory Guy, Vickie Daignault and Jessy Juliana Minson. Well, on Friday May 29 at 7 p.m. you can celebrate with the company’s most fabulous female of all, Producing Artistic Director Karla Hartley, who’s observing her 50th birthday with an online bash and fundraiser. No telling what’ll happen at this party (they’re promising a “BIG announcement”), but it’s sure to be a blast — and an honor much-deserved.
2020 Tampa Bay Virtual Heart Ball. The annual Heart Ball is always a highlight of the social calendar and a vital source of funds for the American Heart Association Tampa Bay. Like so many galas, though, this one’s going virtual. The event — Fri. May 30 from 6-7 p.m. — will feature silent and live auctions, special appearances from local leaders, and tributes to survivors. Register here.
TIGLFF: Breaking Fast. The Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has gone virtual, too, and this weekend they’re showing a holiday movie of sorts: Breaking Fast, which begins on the first night of Ramadan, the holiest time of year for Muslims. The love story between a young Muslim doctor and “an All-American white guy” unfolds over talks during Iftar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast. The trailer looks charming, and the film is available to watch from Thurs. May 28 at 7 p.m. through Sun. May 31 at midnight. Buy your ticket here.
Eat a Naked Farmer lunch and help the Dream Fund. No, you don’t have to be naked or a farmer. Naked Farmer is a new restaurant, and (just like Datz St. Pete did when they opened), it’s giving lunch proceeds during its grand opening to the Children’s Dream Fund, helping to make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses in our community. The menu is tempting — locally sourced, farm-to-table fare with an emphasis on healthy deliciousness — and it will be open for dine-in, to-go, or online orders for pick-up or contact-free delivery. Both indoor and outdoor seating available. Sat. May 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 200 Central Ave, #150, St. Petersburg.
Dance On! An Evening with the Mark Morris Dance Group. This one’s happening tonight, Thurs. May 28 at 7:30, so I hope you see this writeup in time. It’s a free online event premiering four short videodances by the great Mark Morris, choreographed and rehearsed for the first time entirely via Zoom videoconference. The event includes a live, online question-and-answer session with Morris and Colin Fowler, MMDG Music Director. Register here. And even if you miss it, there’s still a wealth of online goodies on the MMDG site, worth a visit for anyone who values contemporary dance.
Ride A Roller Coaster — Virtually. If you can’t yet stomach the idea of braving the crowds at a theme park but you dearly miss the thrills of roller-coastering, Sea World Orlando is providing the next best thing: virtual rides via video. Mako is the most thrilling; it comes complete with screams.
The Great Ex Games. The Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Petersburg has not yet reopened, but you can play along at home with this nifty-sounding fundraiser on Fri. May 29, beginning at 7 p.m. on Zoom. It’s a virtual game night with friendly competition — and prizes! Games are geared toward adults, but children are welcome to play along, too. Cost is $25 per household, and you can register here: http://bidpal.net/greatexgames
Go to a museum — for real. The Tampa Museum of Art and the Tampa Bay History Center are opening June 1; the Ringling in Sarasota and the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa both opened Wednesday; the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts has been open since Monday, and St. Pete’s Imagine Museum has been open longer than that. Florida’s COVID guidelines stipulate that museums can open at only 50% capacity, but if you enjoy going to Trader Joe’s when there’s nobody blocking the aisles, imagine the sweet solitude of wandering a museum without having to elbow anybody out of the way of the artworks.
Florida Orchestra plays Beethoven — and a very personal Ode to Joy. WSMR-FM’s weekly concert rebroadcasts continue tonight, Thurs. May 28 at 7 p.m., with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto featuring soloist Simone Lamsma. And for a short, sweet dose of Ludwig, check out the Orchestra’s charming video set to the tune of the Ode to Joy from the Ninth Symphony, in which board members, staffers and musicians answer the question “What Brings You Joy?” Watch for a funny cameo from Music Director Michael Francis and his wife Cindy (love the surreptitious sign switch).
The Tiny Bedtime Plays. The last one for this week is tonight, Thurs. May 28, at 7:45 p.m. — it’s a play about a firetruck “commissioned” by a 3-year-old (I’m playing the firetruck). The fun resumes Sunday through Thursday every night at 7:45 p.m. Just call 609-663-5276 each night at 7:45 and listen over the phone to a very short play by Sheila Cowley. Then hang out afterwards to chat with the cast.