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What's happening on Tampa Bay stages: 'Madama Butterfly,' Broadway season at Ruth Eckerd Hall

In this 2017 photo, Jeremy Piven participates in the Wisdom of the Crowd panel during the CBS Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at CBS Studio Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. The actor will perform a few standup sets at Tampa Improv this weekend. [Associated Press]
Published Jun. 21

MUSICAL SEASON: Broadway Season at Ruth Eckerd Hall

Ruth Eckerd Hall's 2019-20 Broadway season will strike a chord with fans of musicals. With the exception of Masters of Illusion, the entire season is a festival of song. Tickets go on sale on June 28 at noon. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400.

• Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Dec. 12): The true story of the prolific songwriter features her beloved songs, including I Feel the Earth Move and (You Make Me Feel Like )A Natural Woman.

• Masters of Illusion (Feb. 13): Magicians perform grand illusions, comedy magic, sleight of hand and acts of escape.

• The Office! A Musical Parody (Feb. 28-29, Bilheimer Capitol Theater): Based on the television show, a documentary crew captures the antics of the staff at paper company Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pa.

• Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles (April 19): In celebration of the anniversary of Abbey Road, a showcase of Beatles favorites.

• A Bronx Tale: The Musical (April 20): The musical based on the film based on Chaz Palminteri's autobiographical one-man show follows C, a boy caught between the father he loves and the mob life he admires, set to a doo-wop soundtrack.


Sometimes you just need a good, ugly cry. Puccini's popular opera, Madama Butterfly, can you get there. It's an all-too-familiar story about a young Japanese girl, Cio Cio San, who denounces her family and religion while she waits in vain for an American naval officer, Pinkerton. But when St. Petersburg Opera maestro Mark Sforzini raises the baton on Friday, the score, arias and duets will help you understand the beauty in tragedy. Bring your hanky. $20-$75. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through June 30. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-2040.


Here are some fun facts about Jeremy Piven: He was childhood friends with John Cusack! He was cut out of Major League! He once guested on Seinfeld, playing a fictionalized version of George Costanza! Here's a less-fun fact about Piven: He has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least eight women dating back to the '80s, according to Variety. Piven has denied the allegations, even taking a lie detector test to affirm his innocence. But the accusations have cooled the career of the man who won three Emmys for playing acid-tongued agent Ari Gold on Entourage. So Piven has pivoted to standup, hoping his natural comic energy will help get fans back on his side. $30 and up. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Improv, 1600 E Eighth Ave. (813) 864-4000.


  1. Randy Rainbow will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Courtesy of Varela Media
    Plus, St. Petersburg Opera’s ‘Merry Widow’ and more.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. "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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.