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Fall Arts Preview: Variety abounds, from ‘Game of Thrones’ to Nick Offerman

Some of the best comedy, dance and multimedia extravaganzas coming to Tampa Bay this season.
Nick Offerman will perform at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 7, 2019. [Matt Winkelmeyer]
Nick Offerman will perform at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 7, 2019. [Matt Winkelmeyer]
Published Sep. 5, 2019
Updated Sep. 5, 2019

WANT MORE? Check out the rest of our Fall Arts Preview

There’s more to the arts than the orchestra, opera and theater. Tampa Bay’s performing arts halls — and, in some cases, its biggest arenas — rely on comedy, dance and multimedia performance artists to diversify their annual offerings. And fans usually turn out in droves to see them.

Here’s a look at some of the best special events coming to town, from dancing to dinosaurs, Steve Martin to Cirque du Soleil, “Mindfreak” Criss Angel to Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews.

COMEDY

Comedian Jim Gaffigan discusses his new stand-up album during a SiriusXM "Town Hall" event with host Ron Bennington at SiriusXM Studios on June 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

SPEAKERS AND PODCASTS

Julie Andrews speaks as the Wallis Center for Performing Arts hosts "Mancini Delivered," an evening honoring the legacy of Henry Mancini, in Beverly Hills, Calif. on April 1, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Alex J. Berliner / ABImages via AP Images)
  • Rhett and Link (Sept. 8, Straz Center): The YouTube stars bring their act to life. $45 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • Wayne Brady (Oct. 13, Mahaffey Theater): From Whose Line Is It Anyway?. $35 and up. themahaffey.com.
  • Randy Rainbow (Oct. 19, Mahaffey Theater): The viral comic arrives with new cultural commentary. $37.50 and up. themahaffey.com.
  • Salman Rushdie (Sept. 25, Tampa Theatre): The author will speak in conjunction with the release of his new book Quichotte. $42 and up. tampatheatre.org.
  • Julie Andrews (Nov. 13, Ruth Eckerd Hall): In conversation with her daughter, author Emma Walton Hamilton. $72.50 and up. rutheckerdhall.com.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow (Nov. 14, Tampa Theatre): After a screening of their new film Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes will talk with the audience. $50 and up. tampatheatre.org.
  • John Leguizamo (Nov. 17, Straz Center): Performing his one-man show Latin History for Morons. $35 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • Straight Up with Stassi (Dec. 5, Straz Center): Stassi Schroeder’s hit podcast embarks on a live tour with Beau Clark and Taylor Strecker. $39.50 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • Criss Angel (Dec. 13, Ruth Eckerd Hall): The Mindfreak and Vegas favorite returns with a new show. $48.75 and up. rutheckerdhall.com.
  • Ira Glass (Jan. 25, Mahaffey Theater): From This American Life. Tickets on sale Sept. 9. themahaffey.com.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (April 7, Straz Center): The famed (and kind of #MeToo’ed) astrophysicist returns. $48 and up. strazcenter.org.

DANCE

Paul Taylor Dance Company, shown performing 'Esplanade,' will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on March 4, 2019. [Paul B. Goode]
  • The Studio@620 Dance Hall Festival (Sept. 14-Oct. 12): Features Rogue Dance, Project Alchemy, Sheila Cowley, Dundu Dole African Ballet, St. Petersburg Performs, Andee Scott and more, plus a festival finale and dance battle. Prices vary. thestudioat620.com.
  • Tampa City Ballet: If I Cry (Oct. 25-Nov. 8): Performances in Ybor City and St. Petersburg. tampacityballet.org.
  • Diavolo Dance Theatre: Architecture in Motion (Oct. 25, Straz Center): $35 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • So You Think You Can Dance? (Oct. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall): $45 and up. rutheckerdhall.com.
  • World of Dance Live (Nov. 3, Mahaffey Theater): $45 and up. themahaffey.com.
  • Los Vivancos: Born to Dance (Nov. 17, Straz Center): $35 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • Next Generation Ballet’s Nutcracker (Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Straz Center): $30 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker (Dec. 26-27, Mahaffey Theater): $34.50 and up. themahaffey.com.
  • National Ballet Theatre of Odessa’s Romeo and Juliet (Jan. 5, Mahaffey Theater): $46.80 and up. themahaffey.com.
  • Les Ballets Trockadero (Feb. 15, Bilheimer Capitol Theatre): $39 and up. rutheckerdhall.com.
  • Tampa City Ballet: Natsukashii (Feb. 21-23): Performances in Ybor City and St. Petersburg. tampacityballet.org.
  • Che Malambo (Feb. 26, Straz Center): $29 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • Russian National Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty (Feb. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall): $35 and up. rutheckerdhall.com.
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company (March 4, Straz Center): $45 and up. strazcenter.org.
  • Tampa City Ballet: Ybor City Trilogy, Part 2 (May 13-17): Performances in Ybor City and St. Petersburg. tampacityballet.org.
  • Next Generation Ballet’s Swan Lake (May 16-17, Straz Center): $20 and up. strazcenter.org.

THEATRICAL SPECTACULARS

Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke in a scene from 'Game of Thrones.' Photo by Helen Sloane/HBO.
  • Game of Thrones Live (Sept. 22, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre): $20 and up. livenation.com.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Axel (Oct. 31-Nov. 2, Amalie Arena): $44 and up. amaliearena.com.
  • Chinese Acrobats of Hebei (Nov. 2, Mahaffey Theater): $30 and up. themahaffey.com.
  • Cirque Dreams Holidaze (Nov. 21, Mahaffey Theater): $38 and up. themahaffey.com.
  • Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes (Dec. 18, Amalie Arena): $25 and up. amaliearena.com.
  • Jurassic World Live (Jan. 3-5, Amalie Arena): $15 and up. amaliearena.com.
  • Shen Yun (Feb. 14-20, Mahaffey Theater): $80 and up. themahaffey.com.


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  1. Marc Maron, show here during his Netflix special "Marc Maron: Too Real," will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Feb. 15.
  2. Marc Maron, show here during his Netflix special "Marc Maron: Too Real," will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Feb. 15.
  3. Shen Yun returns to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Feb. 14-20, 2020.
  4. A national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" will return to the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on April 27-May 2, 2021.
  5. Catherine Daniel will star in Opera Tampa's production of "Carmen" at the Straz Center this weekend.
  6. Opera Tampa performers Susan Hellman Spatafora, foreground, and Timothy Wilt rehearse for Georges Bizet's 'Carmen' on Jan. 21, at the Straz Center in Tampa. Opera Tampa's 25th season will feature "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Aida" later this spring.
  7. Julia K. Harriman, left, and Austin Scott star in a national tour of 'Hamilton,' which will return to the Straz Center in Tampa June 1-27, 2021.
  8. Enoch Armando King (Reggie), Dee Selmore (Faye), Camille Upshaw (Shanita) and Rasell Holt (Dez) in "Skeleton Crew," on at American Stage through Feb. 23.
  9. Sinbad, in a scene from his 2014 special "Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla," will perform on Feb. 1 at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.
  10. Broadway, film and TV star Bernadette Peters will perform with the Florida Orchestra at their annual fundraising gala Feb. 1 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
  11. Katrina Stevenson stars as Puck in Jobsite Theater's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Tampa.
  12. Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short in a scene from their Netflix special "Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life."
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