7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 1 through Friday, January 3; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 4; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, January 5; Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa; $16-$70 (front row); 813-287-8844; ticketmaster.com.Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Calling children of all ages, new show "Legends" will have its world premiere this week at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The family fun includes performers from around the globe creating traditional and cutting-edge circus awesomeness plus there will be special appearances by a unicorn, pegasus and woolly mammoth. Andre McClain has stepped into the role of ringmaster after being a part of the Ringling family since 2003. Where is the magic created these days? Right here. Feld Entertainment, parent company of the Greatest Show on Earth, recently settled into its new corporate and operational headquarters in Manatee County.
8 p.m. Saturday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; $55-$75; 953-3368; vanwezel.org.B.B. King
Top five reasons to see B.B. King perform Saturday at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota: 1. He’s a legend: The term “legend” is to music journalism what “literally” is to everyday language: an overused, often misused annoyance. For blues artists, it’s as if reaching the age of 50 automatically makes you a legend right up there with Paul Bunyan. But here’s the thing, the 88-year-old B.B. King, whose journey takes him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to the White House, really deserves the legendary status; and his guitar Lucille is every bit as important to the American fabric as Babe the Blue Ox. Read reasons 2-5 to see King perform Saturday in Sarasota.
6-9:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; Village of the Arts, 1113 12th St. W., Bradenton; 747-8056; villageofthearts.com.Artwalk
Dubbed "New Year's in the Village of the Arts," this month's Artwalk through Bradenton's acclaimed artist colony will feature champagne, food, fine art spread across 25 galleries and fine-dining experiences at Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery or Ortygia Ristorante. For more information on this booming creative community, check out my Village of the Arts Guide.
Kettle of Fish with Joel Tatangelo Band, Billy Seward Band; 8 p.m. Saturday; Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa; $7/$10; 971-0666; skipperssmokehouse.com.Kettle of Fish’s CD Celebration
Top five reasons to attend local band Kettle of Fish’s CD Celebration Saturday at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa. 1. Best of Southwest Florida: When it comes to local rock bands that perform classic and original songs with equal, crowd-pleasing aplomb, Sarasota-based Kettle of Fish is the best. That’s why we had them headline our Ticket Turns 21 bash in April, which turned out to be a sold-out event that they seriously crushed from start to finish. Read reasons 2-5.
8:30 p.m. Saturday; The Blue Rooster, 1525 4th St., Sarasota; $10; 388-7539; blueroostersrq.com.Selwyn Birchwood
Selwyn Birchwood excels on vocals, guitar and perhaps most importantly, stage presence. This blues (young) man is an outstanding entertainer who wows crowds with everything from chops to charm to spectacles like crawling along the stage on his back while soloing. Based in Tampa, The Selwyn Birchwood Band took top honors at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn. The win placed the group first out of more than 240 bands from around the world. In addition, Birchwood won the Albert King Award for “Best Guitarist.”
Top 5: Weekend Picks, Jan. 3-5
/ Thursday, January 2, 2014