If you want to leave the Manatee Performing Arts Center covered in gooey pulp on Friday, you’d better act quickly.
Leo Gallagher is bringing his raucous comedy to the Manatee Performing Arts Center for two shows. He’s better known by just his surname, and he’s famous for smashing a variety of juicy foodstuffs with his Sledge-O-Matic. Watermelon smashing is the traditional climactic moment of his shows.
There are still tickets available to both of his shows at MPAC, but few remain in the “splash zone” — the front rows of the theater, where fans are most likely to be treated to a shower of fruity residue. Gallagher’s fans apparently consider that a bonus, and those seats cost quite a bit extra. (Typically there’s plastic sheeting available so people in the splash zone don’t get overly juiced.)
Just in case there’s any confusion, it’s the real, famous Gallagher who’s coming to Bradenton. Gallagher’s look-alike brother Ron Gallagher used to perform as Gallagher Two, with a similar act that included the Sledge-O-Matic, in a kind of Gallagher tribute act. Famous Gallagher sued not-so-famous Gallagher and won.
Gallagher, as most people around these parts probably know, went to high school in Tampa, and then went on to graduate from the fledgling University of South Florida. He has a degree in chemical engineering and he also studied English literature.
Aside from his fruit-smashing, Gallagher does some pretty funny and intelligent stand-up comedy.