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North Pinellas theater options plentiful in new year

We're ringing in the new year with a preview of the musicals, comedies and dramas coming to North Pinellas in the months ahead. So open up those brand new calendars and start planning for a happy and delightfully entertaining 2016.

Ragtime | Jan. 9

It's the dawn of a new century and in New York City everything is changing — including the music. Ragtime is a Tony Award-winning musical based on the compelling stories of an upper-class matriarch, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician, all believing in a brighter future. Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets start at $35. Visit rutheckerdhall.com or call (727) 791-7400.

Calendar Girls | Jan. 15-Feb. 7

West Coast Players present Tim Firth's comedy-drama about a group of women who raise money for a new settee in the hospital waiting room by posing partially nude for a calendar. The theater company will offer its own version of 2016 Calendar Girls with proceeds shared with Cancer Patient Support Services at Morton Plant Mease hospitals. Tickets are $19 with group discounts available. Call West Coast Players at (727) 437-2363, email boxoffice@wcplayers.com, or visit wcplayers.org to purchase tickets.

42nd Street | Jan. 23

Some of the greatest songs ever written — We're in the Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off to Buffalo, Dames, I Only Have Eyes for You and 42nd Street — are presented in this musical about a starry-eyed young dancer. Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets start at $35. Visit rutheckerdhall.com or call (727) 791-7400.

Iolanthe | Feb. 5-7

Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera is the first theatrical performance slated to take place in the newly renovated Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. The story line is about a band of immortal fairies at odds with the House of Peers; it's a political satire aimed at many aspects of British government. Tickets are $20; $18 for members and students. Call (727) 942-5605 or visit tarponarts.com.

Annie | Feb. 6

America's favorite red-headed orphan pays a visit in this Tony Award-winning musical filled with hope, optimism and songs like It's the Hard Knock Life and Tomorrow. Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets start at $35. Visit rutheckerdhall.com or call (727) 791-7400.

The Book of Mormon | Feb. 16-21

This nine-time Tony Award-winning musical from the creators of South Park follows two young missionaries sent to Uganda to try to convert the citizens to the Mormon religion. The locals, however, are more worried about war, poverty and their next meal. Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets start at $38. Visit rutheckerdhall.com or (727) 791-7400.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat | Feb. 23

This family musical is a reimagining of the biblical story of Israel's favorite son, Joseph, his brothers and his coat of many colors. Memorable songs include Go, Go, Go Joseph, Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door. Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets start at $35. Visit rutheckerdhall.com or call (727) 791-7400.

Oklahoma! | Feb. 25 to March 13

Francis Wilson Playhouse brings back this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical set in the turn-of-the-century Oklahoma territory. Unforgettable tunes include Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', I Cain't Say No, People Will Say We're in Love and Oklahoma! Tickets are $26; $15 for students with current I.D. Call (727) 446-1360 or visit franciswilsonplayhouse.org.

Jesus Christ Superstar | March 4-20

Largo's Eight O'Clock Theatre resurrects this rock opera featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. First staged on Broadway in 1971, the musical is loosely based on the Gospels' accounts of the last week of Jesus' life. Tickets are $26.50 each. Call (727) 587-6793 or visit largoarts.com.

Same Time Next Year | March 4-20

This 1975 romantic comedy by Bernard Slade follows the love affair between Doris and George, who have romantic trysts annually for two dozen years. Tickets are $19; group discounts available. Call West Coast Players at (727) 437-2363, email boxoffice@wcplayers.com, or visit wcplayers.org to purchase tickets.

Macbeth | March 11-16

New Century Opera presents Verdi's Macbeth, an opera based on Shakespeare's play of the same name. Come get an "Opera Tune-up" on Feb. 20 — which serves as an informative, sneak peek at the story and music of the opera. The opera is staged at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $25; $22 for members and students. Tickets to the Tune-up at the Heritage Museum are $15: $12 for members and students. Call (727) 942-5605 or visit tarponarts.com.

A Streetcar Named Desire | March 31-April 10

Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning story of seduction and deception makes its way to the Francis Wilson Playhouse. Tickets are $21; $15 for students with current I.D. Call (727) 446-1360 or visit franciswilsonplayhouse.org.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood | May 5-22

This Tony Award-winning musical is a whodunit based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. Tickets at Francis Wilson Playhouse are $26; $15 for students with current I.D. Call (727) 446-1360 or visit franciswilsonplayhouse.org.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum | May 20-29

The musical's original 1962 Broadway run won several Tony Awards and now it's headed for Largo's Eight O'Clock Theatre. Considered one of the funniest musicals ever written, the farce is a combination of ancient comedies and classic vaudeville filled with slamming doors, mistaken identities, puns and satire. Tickets are $26.50 each. Call (727) 587-6793 or visit largoarts.com.

Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens | June 3-19

This is a biggie for West Coast Players as it is the third and final piece of the popular Verdeen Cousins Trilogy, which included The Red Velvet Cake War and Rex's Exes. It's Southern-fried fun as three characters race against the clock to produce the ultimate high school reunion with plenty of obstacles along the way. Tickets are $19; group discounts available. Call West Coast Players at (727) 437-2363, email boxoffice@wcplayers.com, or visit wcplayers.org to purchase tickets.

North Pinellas theater options plentiful in new year 12/31/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2015 10:54am]
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