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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. USF student Gabriela Young is the owner of Earth and Ivory, an online jewelry business with items made out of clay.  [Special to the Times | Sarah Foster] SARAH FOSTER  |  Special to the Times | @sarahtheartiste
    Gabriela Young went from selling bracelets to friends to making clay wares for customers with her business, Earth and Ivory.
  2. Third Eye Blind will perform at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Thursday. Courtesy of Danny Nolan
    Jannus Live welcomes a performance by Third Eye Blind, watch ‘Signature Move’ in Gulfport and the Gallery at Creative Pinellas brings the Arts Annual.
  3. Kevin Smith, left, and Jason Mewes pose during an interview on Sept. 25 in Los Angeles to promote "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot." WILLY SANJUAN  |  Invision/AP
    A daylong music festival aims to preserve a Tampa landmark, Jay and Silent Bob visit Tampa Theatre and Christmas Town at Busch Gardens opens.
  4. Theo Tamborlane's oil on canvas, "City Scape XII," is one piece of art that will be shown during the Studio Waltz in Dunedin and Palm Harbor on Nov. 16. Theo Tamborlane
    Tour some art studios, gaze at the stars or cuddle puppies while you get a firefighter’s autograph.
  5. Pieces of jewelry by Cindi Samaha, who will be a featured artist at the Tampa Museum of Art's Holiday Shopping Event. Courtesy of Cindi Samaha
    Plus, the Dunedin Arts and Crafts Festival, Tampa Bay Holiday Market and Booze and Boutiques shop hop.
  6. Julie Andrews will appear in conversation at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Wednesday. Courtesy of Andrew Eccles
    Julie Andrews pays a visit to Ruth Eckerd Hall, a St. Petersburg pool hosts aqua yoga and Sustainable Buzz takes over the Tampa Riverwalk.
  7. On Tuesday, the Straz Center will host the Super Scientific Circus. Times
    The Super Scientific Circus visits the Straz, plus Titus Andronicus perform at Crowbar and Vintage Trouble at Ruth Eckerd.
  8. There will be numerous salutes to the military today and Monday for Veterans Day.
    Veterans Day, Julie Andrews talks about her practically perfect career and country stars line up for Q-105′s Guitar Pull.
  9. Two Disney employees and a former middle school assistant principal are among the 17 accused of possessing and sharing child porn. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Polk County Sheriff’s Office charged more than 600 felony counts of child pornography possession to the 17.
  10. Eric Andre arrives at the world premiere of "The Lion King" in July at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. JORDAN STRAUSS  |  Invision/AP
    Eric Andre appears at Tampa Theatre, plus the Veterans Day Fall Fly in Treasure Island and AJR plays the Yuengling Center.