Three days after ending his reign as host of the Tonight Show, Jay Leno has a gig in Clearwater.
Ruth Eckerd Hall, you're thinking?
Nope. Try the revamped Capitol Theatre.
The historic venue, which closed in March to undergo more than $7.5 million in renovations, unveiled nearly 30 big-name concerts and events in its 2013-14 season on Monday, with Leno's Feb. 9 show at the top of the list. Soul-pop legends Michael McDonald and Michael Bolton and American Idol and Smash star Katharine McPhee are also on the calendar.
The city-owned theater, which is managed by Ruth Eckerd Hall, will show off its new look when it reopens in mid December with concerts by McDonald (Dec. 18), comedian Sinbad (Dec. 19) and a holiday show by Rockapella (Dec. 20).
"It's our goal to bring the stars downtown," said Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall's director of entertainment. "You may find more reggae and dance shows that could come in there, experimental shows. It's a great extension of what we do and it gives us the availability to be aggressive in our pursuit of alternative artists."
Single tickets will go on sale at noon Aug. 23. Among the acts on the Capitol's calendar:
Pop and rock: McDonald (Dec. 18, tickets are $82-$98), Rockapella (Dec. 20, $30-$45), McPhee (Jan. 11, $50-$100), Don Williams (Jan. 24, $65-$85), Shawn Colvin (Jan. 25, $35-$65), Melissa Manchester (Feb. 15, $45-$55), Edwin McCain (Feb. 20, $35-$49), Dave Mason's Traffic Jam (Feb. 21, $49-$59), Tommy Emmanuel (Feb. 22, tickets TBA), Don McLean (March 7, $45-$85), Gino Vannelli (March 8, $55-$115), Bolton (March 10, $72-$92), Marc Cohn (March 21, $45-$59), Al Stewart (March 22, $29-$37), Steve Hackett of Genesis and GTR (April 3, $65-$85) and Judy Collins (April 11, $49-$65).
Comedy: Sinbad (Dec. 19, $39-$85), Jackie Mason (Feb. 1, $25-$50), Leno (Feb. 9, $85-$195), Bob Newhart (March 1, $50-$98) and Joan Rivers (March 14, $65-$85).
Jazz, classical and more: Chris Botti (Jan. 18, $69-$125), The Dukes of Dixieland (Feb. 9, $35-$75), Pavlo (Feb. 14, $29.50-$59.50), Aaron Neville and Dirty Dozen Brass Band (March 15, $52-$72), the Irish Tenors (St. Patrick's Day, $50-$100) and Broadway and TV star Megan Hilty (April 26, tickets TBA). The stage show I Love Lucy Live on Stage will run May 16-June 8, becoming the first touring Broadway musical to book an extended run at the Cap.
Previously announced for the Capitol Theatre were two shows by Women of Ireland on Feb. 23 ($35-$75); pianist Vadym Kholodenko on March 30 ($35-$75); and pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii on April 9 ($35-$75).
In addition to expanding capacity from 485 to 750, the renovated Capitol Theatre will include bigger lobbies, bars, bathrooms and a rooftop terrace for private events and preshow parties. Rossi said the venue will also be able to remove the first eight rows of seating to allow for general admission shows.
"We're proud of what we've rolled out and now we're just anxious to open the doors," he said. "It's bright and shiny and state of the art, and it's going to be the talk of the town."
Finally, almost as if to prove Ruth Eckerd Hall has no plans of sliding quietly into the background, the venue on Monday announced a few shows there, too: Classic Albums Live: Led Zeppelin II (Sept. 19, $10-$35), Barenaked Ladies (Oct. 28; $35-$55), So You Think You Can Dance (Oct. 30, $48-$82.50) and Richard Nader's Doo Wop Reunion XIV featuring Kenny Vance and the Planotones, Jay Siegel's Tokens and more (March 15, $45-$95).
For info on all these shows, see atthecap.com and rutheckerdhall.com.