What’s happening on Tampa Bay stages: ‘Madama Butterfly,’ Broadway season at Ruth Eckerd Hall

Plus, Jeremy Piven brings his comic energy to Tampa Improv this weekend.
In this 2017 photo, Jeremy Piven participates in the Wisdom of the Crowd panel during the CBS Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at CBS Studio Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. The actor will perform a few standup sets at Tampa Improv this weekend. [Associated Press]
In this 2017 photo, Jeremy Piven participates in the Wisdom of the Crowd panel during the CBS Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at CBS Studio Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. The actor will perform a few standup sets at Tampa Improv this weekend. [Associated Press]
Published June 19
Updated June 21

MUSICAL SEASON: Broadway Season at Ruth Eckerd Hall

Ruth Eckerd Hall’s 2019-20 Broadway season will strike a chord with fans of musicals. With the exception of Masters of Illusion, the entire season is a festival of song. Tickets go on sale on June 28 at noon. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

• Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Dec. 12): The true story of the prolific songwriter features her beloved songs, including I Feel the Earth Move and (You Make Me Feel Like )A Natural Woman.

• Masters of Illusion (Feb. 13): Magicians perform grand illusions, comedy magic, sleight of hand and acts of escape.

• The Office! A Musical Parody (Feb. 28-29, Bilheimer Capitol Theater): Based on the television show, a documentary crew captures the antics of the staff at paper company Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pa.

• Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles (April 19): In celebration of the anniversary of Abbey Road, a showcase of Beatles favorites.

• A Bronx Tale: The Musical (April 20): The musical based on the film based on Chaz Palminteri’s autobiographical one-man show follows C, a boy caught between the father he loves and the mob life he admires, set to a doo-wop soundtrack.

BEAUTIFUL TRAGEDY: Madama Butterfly

Sometimes you just need a good, ugly cry. Puccini’s popular opera, Madama Butterfly, can you get there. It’s an all-too-familiar story about a young Japanese girl, Cio Cio San, who denounces her family and religion while she waits in vain for an American naval officer, Pinkerton. But when St. Petersburg Opera maestro Mark Sforzini raises the baton on Friday, the score, arias and duets will help you understand the beauty in tragedy. Bring your hanky. $20-$75. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through June 30. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-2040. stpeteopera.org.

TARNISHED GOLD: Jeremy Piven

Here are some fun facts about Jeremy Piven: He was childhood friends with John Cusack! He was cut out of Major League! He once guested on Seinfeld, playing a fictionalized version of George Costanza! Here’s a less-fun fact about Piven: He has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least eight women dating back to the ‘80s, according to Variety. Piven has denied the allegations, even taking a lie detector test to affirm his innocence. But the accusations have cooled the career of the man who won three Emmys for playing acid-tongued agent Ari Gold on Entourage. So Piven has pivoted to standup, hoping his natural comic energy will help get fans back on his side. $30 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

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