1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. /
  3. Fun

Fall Arts Preview: A guide to Tampa Bay’s top stage and museum events of 2019-20

From augmented reality at the Dalí to a boatload of Beethoven at the Florida Orchestra, it’s shaping up as another busy season in the arts.
Disney's Aladdin comes to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2019-2020 Broadway series. Courtesy of Deen van Meer.
Published Sep. 5
Updated Sep. 5

First, the bad news: We have to wait a full season for Hamilton.

The runaway blockbuster hit that recently graced Tampa Bay stages is coming back. It will return sometime during the 2020-21 season at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Straz officials announced this week.

But take this as an opportunity. We have a whole Hamilton-free season coming up to explore. And is there ever a lot to dig into.

From the 25th anniversary of Opera Tampa to a 250th-anniversary celebration of Beethoven’s birth by the Florida Orchestra, from augmented reality at the Salvador Dalí Museum to new and classic musicals like Mean Girls, Aladdin and Jesus Christ Superstar, it’s shaping up to be a diverse and provocative year. Everyone from Jean-Michel Basquiat to SpongeBob SquarePants, Pablo Picasso to Nick Offerman will get a moment in the spotlight. And we should see the opening of yet another huge arts destination, St. Petersburg’s long-delayed Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, as early as December.

Here’s a look at what the 2019-20 arts season will bring to Tampa Bay stages, museums and beyond.

ON STAGE: Mean Girls, Fiddler, Shakespeare and more on Tampa Bay stages

ORCHESTRA: The Florida Orchestra is bingeing on Beethoven, and here’s why

MUSEUMS: From Basquiat to augmented reality, what’s coming to Tampa Bay museums

CONCERTS: 68 sensational shows, from Elton John to Phil Collins to Post Malone

OPERA: Opera Tampa turns 25 with Aida, Carmen, Andrea Bocelli

COMEDY, DANCE AND MORE: Variety abounds, from Game of Thrones to Nick Offerman


  1. During the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, an orchestra will accompany outsized visuals and scenes from the epic HBO show. HBO
    Relive ‘Game of Thrones’ at a live concert, watch a movie at Adventure Island and see author Salman Rushdie and ‘Grease 2′ at Tampa Theatre.
  2. 30 minutes ago• Arts & Entertainment
    Patrons hit the dance floor at Tampa venue Skipper's Smokehouse in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times (2015)
    A 12-hour party in the Skipperdome, stargazing and a family-friendly Williams Park festival provide free and cheap entertainment.
  3. BurgerFi builds its signature cheeseburger with two Angus beef patties, double American cheese, lettuce, tomato and house sauce. Courtesy of BurgerFi
    Ring in National Cheeseburger Day, watch Bad Religion play Jannus Live or laugh with YouTubers Drew Gooden and Danny Gonzalez.
  4. Two western lowland gorillas at Busch Gardens were part of the successful Budweiser ad campaign during Super Bowl XLI. Sim Sim, left, and Cenzoo, right, helped sell Bud Light. BUSCH GARDENS  |  Tampa Tribune
    Sim Sim’s claim to fame was a 2007 Bud Light commercial.
  5. Visitors ride the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Tampa theme park Busch Gardens, which has put its 2020 Fun Card on sale early. AP/Busch Gardens
    Buy your 2020 Busch Gardens or SeaWorld Fun Card and get a few months free, plus more sales for Florida residents.
  6. To celebrate the 20th year of Howl-O-Scream, Busch Gardens is bringing back icons, the characters that matched the theming of each event. That includes, from left, Dr. Livingsdoom, the event's first icon in 2000 who was in the Haunted Jungle Trail, Death Jockey, Trickster, Voodoo Queen and the Butcher. Howl-O-Scream opens Friday. Busch Gardens
    Halloween Horror Nights, Howl-O-Scream, Disney’s Not-So-Scary, Scream-A-Geddon and more: A complete guide to spooky fun.
  7. Epcot's IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, a nighttime fireworks production, has been around for 20 years. Walt Disney World
    The nighttime production will be replaced by a new show called Epcot Forever.
  8. On Tuesday, Pup will play the Orpheum in Tampa's Ybor City. Courtesy of Vanessa Heins
    PUP brings a performance to Ybor City, see work from the Art of Dr. Seuss collection at Syd Entel and three Tampa attractions observe Swaptember.
  9. CORRECTS THE DATE TO SUNDAY, SEPT. 15 -  Jane Lynch poses in the press room with the award for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on night two of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
    Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones received trophies for their “The Handmaid’s Tale” roles at Sunday’s creative arts Emmy ceremony.
  10. A Zombie Bride is one of the characters found in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream, which opens for its 20th year on Friday.
    Free Museum Day is coming, Howl-O-Scream opens at Busch Gardens, Billy Ray Cyrus plays for the Bucs Beach Bash and Tho Who will be at Amalie Arena.