Pink Martini, Josh Ritter, Wynton Marsalis lead Straz Center's 2011-12 season
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa unveiled its 2011-12 season schedule this week. And while the slate is a little light on big-name music -- which is to be expected, since most artists announce tour dates on their own time -- there are a few musical, comedy and lecture events worth noting.
First, the music: "Little Orchestra" Pink Martini, above, will perform on April 5, 2012. Classic Albums Live will bring the Who's Who's Next to Tampa on Sept. 23. Look for Black Violin on Jan. 13, Celtic Thunder on Oct. 13 and Straight No Chaser on Dec. 23. And trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on March 10.
In the theater's smaller Jaeb Theater, we're getting more of the folksy Americana pop that venue has become known for: Kim Richey (Oct. 24), Tony Lucca (Dec. 19), Meg Hutchinson (Jan. 16), Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin (Feb. 13), the Nields (March 19), Ry Cuming (April 16) and Catie Curtis (May 14). The series' highlight: Popular singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, who will actually perform in Ferguson Hall on Nov. 14.
But when you turn to the worlds of comedy and lectures, things really get interesting.
We've already told you about stand-up shows by Mike Epps (Oct. 28) and the Daily Show's John Oliver. Add to that an appearance by humorist Jeanne Robertson (Nov. 4) and a stand-up show from, you guessed it, Larry King (Jan. 21). And speakers include Deepak Chopra (Oct. 7) and an evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert (March 25). Finally, don't miss a taping of the NPR show Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me! on Nov. 17.
For more insights and observations on the Straz's upcoming season -- including dance and theatrical events -- click here for John Fleming's story.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*