What’s on stage in Tampa Bay this weekend: 2Cellos, ‘Rent,’ Cedric the Entertainer, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

Plus, Ed Asner stars in ‘The Soap Myth’ and the Florida Orchestra delivers a rare Masterworks show with a focus on women.
Published April 10
Updated April 10

Times Staff Writers

GO OUT TONIGHT: Rent

It has been approximately 12,088,800 minutes since Rent premiered on Broadway — or 23 years, but who’s counting? Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about art, integrity, friendship and love remains beloved more than two decades later; it has toured constantly and in January became a hit, sort-of-live production on Fox. Rent’s long-running 20th anniversary tour finally comes this week to Ruth Eckerd Hall, where it hasn’t been since 2008. Seats in the first rows of the orchestra section will be available for $27.50 for every performance, available for in-person purchases at the ticket office, on the day of each performance only, two hours prior to the show. The $27.50 tickets are limited to two tickets per person. $35 and up. 8 Thursday and Friday. 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

STRING IT LOUD: 2Cellos

Two guys with two cellos. Doesn’t sound like the formula for an arena-filling rock spectacle, does it? Then maybe you just haven’t seen 2Cellos live. Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser have built a huge following through their blend of pop and classical music — their latest album, Let There Be Cello, features everything from Vivaldi and Bizet to Despacito and Seven Nation Army — and an eye-popping stage show. Familiar faces at local performing arts halls, they’re making the jump to arenas. $31.25 and up. 8 p.m. Saturday. Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500. amaliearena.com.

ON THE MOVE: Cedric the Entertainer

Cedric the Entertainer performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. And yes, we’re certain about that. The funnyman’s standup show was originally scheduled for April 6 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, but moved recently without explanation. If your ticket still says Ruth Eckerd Hall, you’ll need to purchase a new one for the Cap. $69 and up. 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.

LADIES NIGHT: Florida Orchestra

It’s not quite history in the making. But the Florida Orchestra’s Masterworks performances this weekend are significant and should also feel inspiring. In an all-too-rare confluence of events, a female conductor (Gemma New) will lead a piece composed by a woman (Anna Clyne’s The Seamstress) featuring a female soloist (the orchestra’s own Sarah Shellman on violin). The classical world is still dominated by men. New, soon to become principal conductor at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, is one of only two women guest-conducting the orchestra this season. It adds a level of thematic significance to this rare performance of The Seamstress. Schumann’s Manfred Overture and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 round out the bill. $18 and up, kids and teens in advance free. 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

AUTHORITY FIGURE: The Soap Myth

Ed Asner has played God. He has played the president. He has played the Pope. He has even played Santa Claus. “Call me a man of authority: ‘Can you believe him or not?’ ” the 89-year-old actor said by phone recently. “I like it when they believe me.” With seven Emmys and five Golden Globes under his belt, the erstwhile Lou Grant has earned audiences’ trust on weighty matters, which makes him a good fit to star in The Soap Myth, a reading of which will take place at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC. Asner plays a Holocaust survivor dedicated to the heinous but factually murky story that Nazis used the dead bodies of Jewish prisoners to make soap. He’ll be joined by decorated theater actors Tovah Feldshuh (The Walking Dead), Jayne Atkinson (24) and Johanna Day (The Rainmaker). $25 and up. 7 p.m. Monday. 522 N Howard Ave., Tampa. (813) 572-5900. bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com.

JEDI MIND TRICKS: Michael Carbonaro

If you’ve ever seen TruTV’s The Carbonaro Effect, you’ve had your mind blown by Michael Carbonaro’s baffling tricks. He sets people up in a variety of scenarios and their reactions are very entertaining. So is he, so check him out Thursday at the Mahaffey Theater, where he’ll blend magic and bizarre antics, audience interaction and video clips. $35-$55, VIP $170. 7 p.m. 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 300-2000. themahaffey.com.

GOOD FOR YOU: Dear Evan Hansen

Did you miss out on tickets to hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, running through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa? Or are you just scared off by the nearly $200-a-head price? You still have time to enter the $25 ticket lottery. Enter starting 48 hours prior to the performance you want at luckyseat.com/dearevanhansen. And for a review of the show, see tampabay.com/stage/.

MORE: For the Evan in Tampa’s Dear Evan Hansen, a demanding role brings love and anxiety

Contact Jay Cridlin at cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin. Contact Maggie Duffy at mduffy@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8572. Follow @maggiedalexis.

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