Wynton Marsalis, Joffrey Ballet highlight Straz's new season

Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet and Pink Martini are among the highlights of the 2011-12 season at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, released Thursday.

Trumpeter Marsalis and his orchestra, who perform March 10, top the Straz jazz series. Also on the agenda are The Miles Davis Experience: 1949-1959 (Nov. 19) and singer-songwriter Rene Marie (Dec. 2-3). Marie will perform her one-woman theater show Slut Energy Theory Dec. 4.

Pink Martini (April 5) is a 13-member "little orchestra" from Portland, Ore., popular for its eclectic approach. "If the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully Pink Martini would be that band," leader Thomas Lauderdale says.

The Joffrey will perform Edwaard Liang's Age of Innocence (to music of Philip Glass and Thomas Newman) as part of a mixed program March 24. Other dance at the center includes Chinese acrobats in Chi of Shaolin: The Tale of the Dragon on Nov. 18 and Patel Conservatory's Next Generation Ballet in The Nutcracker (Dec. 16-18) and Swan Lake (May 12).

Basically, Thursday's announcement fills in the blanks of Straz programming for 2011-12. The seasons of the Broadway series, Opera Tampa and Jobsite Theater were previously announced.

Club Jaeb, featuring folk, alternative and country musicians one Monday night per month in the Jaeb Theater, begins its seventh season with Kim Richey on Oct. 24. Others in the series are Josh Ritter (performing in Ferguson Hall on Nov. 14), Tony Lucca (Dec. 19), the Nields (March 19) and Cartie Curtis (May 14).

The theater series includes Oy Vey in a Manger with drag troupe Kinsey Sicks (Dec. 2), The Gazillion Bubble Show (Dec. 3-4), Eleven Reflections on December by Andrea Assaf (Dec. 8-11), the Improvised Shakespeare Company (Feb. 16-18) and A Jew Grows in Brooklyn by Jake Ehrenreich (March 2-3). In the comedy lineup are John Oliver (Oct. 21), Mike Epps (Oct. 28), Jeanne Robertson (Nov. 4) and the Irish Comedy Tour (Feb. 3).

The National Geographic Live! series will return for its second season and include Ocean Soul (Jan. 24) with underwater photographer Brian Skerry, Life: The Unfolding Story (Feb. 21) with photographer Frans Lanting, Beyond the Invisible: Secrets of the Blue Holes (March 27) with cave diver-cultural anthropologist Kenny Broad and Connect with Anybody, Anywhere (April 24) with photographer Annie Griffiths.

The Art of Living speaker series features Deepak Chopra (Oct. 7), Larry King (Jan. 21) and Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert (March 25). There will be a taping of National Public Radio's Wait, Wait … Don't Tell Me! on Nov. 17.

The Kid Time (age 5-8) and Wee Folk (3-5) series have eight presentations, including Junie B. Jones (Nov. 5) and Velveteen Rabbit (Feb. 12).

John Fleming can be reached at fleming@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8716.

. If you go

2011-12 season

Single tickets for most performances at the Straz Center go on sale June 3. Season tickets for the Broadway series, Opera Tampa, Jobsite Theater, Club Jaeb and the Kid Time and Wee Folk series are now available; single tickets for these go on sale Aug. 1. Tickets to many performances are discounted from June 3 through Aug. 31.(813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045; strazcenter.org. See a full list at tampabay.com/things-to-do.

Wynton Marsalis, Joffrey Ballet highlight Straz's new season 05/19/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2011 12:17am]

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