1. Stage

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. [Straz Center for the Performing Arts]
Published Sep. 5
Updated Sep. 5

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.


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)


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.
  • Wayne Brady (Oct. 13, Mahaffey Theater): From Whose Line Is It Anyway?. $35 and up.
  • Randy Rainbow (Oct. 19, Mahaffey Theater): The viral comic arrives with new cultural commentary. $37.50 and up.
  • Salman Rushdie (Sept. 25, Tampa Theatre): The author will speak in conjunction with the release of his new book Quichotte. $42 and up.
  • Julie Andrews (Nov. 13, Ruth Eckerd Hall): In conversation with her daughter, author Emma Walton Hamilton. $72.50 and up.
  • 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.
  • John Leguizamo (Nov. 17, Straz Center): Performing his one-man show Latin History for Morons. $35 and up.
  • 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.
  • Criss Angel (Dec. 13, Ruth Eckerd Hall): The Mindfreak and Vegas favorite returns with a new show. $48.75 and up.
  • Ira Glass (Jan. 25, Mahaffey Theater): From This American Life. Tickets on sale Sept. 9.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (April 7, Straz Center): The famed (and kind of #MeToo’ed) astrophysicist returns. $48 and up.


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.
  • Tampa City Ballet: If I Cry (Oct. 25-Nov. 8): Performances in Ybor City and St. Petersburg.
  • Diavolo Dance Theatre: Architecture in Motion (Oct. 25, Straz Center): $35 and up.
  • So You Think You Can Dance? (Oct. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall): $45 and up.
  • World of Dance Live (Nov. 3, Mahaffey Theater): $45 and up.
  • Los Vivancos: Born to Dance (Nov. 17, Straz Center): $35 and up.
  • Next Generation Ballet’s Nutcracker (Nov. 29-Dec. 1, Straz Center): $30 and up.
  • Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker (Dec. 26-27, Mahaffey Theater): $34.50 and up.
  • National Ballet Theatre of Odessa’s Romeo and Juliet (Jan. 5, Mahaffey Theater): $46.80 and up.
  • Les Ballets Trockadero (Feb. 15, Bilheimer Capitol Theatre): $39 and up.
  • Tampa City Ballet: Natsukashii (Feb. 21-23): Performances in Ybor City and St. Petersburg.
  • Che Malambo (Feb. 26, Straz Center): $29 and up.
  • Russian National Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty (Feb. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall): $35 and up.
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company (March 4, Straz Center): $45 and up.
  • Tampa City Ballet: Ybor City Trilogy, Part 2 (May 13-17): Performances in Ybor City and St. Petersburg.
  • Next Generation Ballet’s Swan Lake (May 16-17, Straz Center): $20 and up.


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.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Axel (Oct. 31-Nov. 2, Amalie Arena): $44 and up.
  • Chinese Acrobats of Hebei (Nov. 2, Mahaffey Theater): $30 and up.
  • Cirque Dreams Holidaze (Nov. 21, Mahaffey Theater): $38 and up.
  • Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes (Dec. 18, Amalie Arena): $25 and up.
  • Jurassic World Live (Jan. 3-5, Amalie Arena): $15 and up.
  • Shen Yun (Feb. 14-20, Mahaffey Theater): $80 and up.


  1. The cast of American Stage's production of "Vietgone" includes Sami Ma as Tong and Jeff Kim as Quang. Courtesy of Joey Clay Studio
    An immigrant story with voice offers a fresh perspective.
  2. On Saturday, J.B. Smoove will perform at Ferguson Hall, part of Tampa's Straz Center. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    The comedian known for portraying Leon Black on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ likes to wing it. He hits the Straz Center’s Ferguson Hall on Saturday.
  3. The cast performs 'On The Deck Of A Spanish Sailing Ship, 1492' in the Stage West production of 'Songs for a New World', which will be presented Oct. 17-27. Pictured at top, from left: Paris Seaver, Anthony Agnelli and Nicki Poulis. Standing in front: Jay Garcia. Timothy Rooney
    See ‘Songs for a New World’ and other shows in the north Suncoast
  4. Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    There’s Jeanne Robertson and an inventive Florida Orchestra collaboration, too.
  5. Emilee Dupre and Eric Davis star in Freefall Theatre's production of "The Turn of the Screw." Courtesy of Thee Photo Ninja
    A spooky, risk-filled performance will leave you with questions. | Review
  6. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will roll through Tampa as part of the Straz Center's 2019-20 Broadway series. JOAN MARCUS  |  Straz Center
    ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Roy Wood Jr., ‘Vietgone’ at American Stage, Piff the Magic Dragon and more.
  7. Music director Michael Francis leads the Florida Orchestra in the Star-Spangled Banner on Friday during the season-opening program at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. JAY CRIDLIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Friday’s opening night portrayed Tampa as a melting pot, delivering diverse pieces pulled from around the world. | Concert review
  8. Bernadette Peters is pictured at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2015. CHARLES SYKES  |  AP
    Peters follows the likes of Sting and Seal playing with the orchestra.
  9. Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, shown performing "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Florida Orchestra at St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater in January, will join the orchestra for its 2019-20 season-opening program this weekend. J.M. LENNON  |  Lennon Media
    Plus, SuicideGirls at Tampa Theatre and comedian Bryan Callen at Tampa Improv.
  10. Ned Averill-Snell, Ami Sallee, Emilia Sargent and Alan Mohney, Jr. in Tampa Repertory Theatre's Dinner With Friends, 2019. Courtesy of KLGold, LLC
    The Pulitzer-winning play illustrates the aftershocks of divorce on marital friendships. | Review