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Looking ahead: The month of February in the arts

Bill DeYoung



Billy Joel will perform Feb. 24 at Raymond James Stadium, with Sting. Publicity photo.

Billy Joel will release a single, “Turn the Lights Back On,” Feb. 1. It’s his first new song in 17 years, and even its predecessor was a one-off single. Joel hasn’t made a full album since River of Dreams in 1993.

However, Mr. Piano Man has never stopped touring and selling out performances wherever he goes. This summer he’ll wrapped up a 10-year string of monthly dates at Madison Square Garden in New York City. All sellouts.

Saturday, Feb. 24 brings Mr. Joel and his band to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, where he’ll share the bill with none other than Sting. Tickets for this double whammy double bill went on sale in October.

Yet another music legend will visit this month. None other than Willie Nelson has a Feb. 10 date at the Sound Amphitheatre in Clearwater.

Multi-platinum Canadian rapper/singer Drake, whose latest album, For All The Dogs, is at No. 4 on this week’s Billboard chart, performs this Friday and Sunday (Feb. 2 and 4) at Amalie Arena, Tampa, with J. Cole.

Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile has reunited with Sean and Sara Watkins, his partners in the groundbreaking acoustic band Nickel Creek, for a 30th anniversary tour. Nickel Creek plays Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Feb. 24.


Other notable February concerts

Matisyahu. Feb. 2, Jannus Live.

Tanya Tucker. Feb. 3, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Comedian Katt Williams. Feb. 3 and 4, Yuengling Center.

Comedian Mike Birbiglia. Feb. 9, Mahaffey Theater.

Gladys Knight. Feb. 14, Mahaffey Theater.

Diana Krall. Feb. 16, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

David Foster & Katherine McPhee. Feb. 17, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

North Mississippi All-Stars. Feb. 17, Jannus Live.

Napoleon Dynamite Live. With Jon Heder, Jon Gries and Efren Ramirez, Feb. 23 and 24, Capitol Theatre.

The Return of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. With Carl Palmer, Feb. 23, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Lettuce. Feb. 24, Jannus Live.

Rodney Crowell. Feb. 28, Capitol Theatre.


The classics

Opera Tampa’s staged production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni is in Ferguson Hall, at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 2 and 4, with The Floria Orchestra.

The Vaughn Williams Piano Quintet is at the Palladium Feb. 7.

At the Palladium Theatre, the Tampa Bay Symphony performs Feb. 13 and 18.

 Molly Carr, violist with the Juilliard String Quartet, performs with pianist Anna Petrova Feb. 28 at the Palladium, with a program by all woman composers.

The Florida Orchestra concert schedule: Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances & More (chamber concert), Feb. 2, 3 and 4; From Broadway With Love, Feb. 10; Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Feb. 17 and 18; Inside Ein Heldenleben, Feb. 22; Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Feb. 23-25.

Cirque du Soleil’s “Bazzar” will settle into Tropicana Field starting Feb. 22. Publicity photo.

Cirque du St. Pete

Cirque du Soleil is touring a show called BAZZAR, and the company of acrobats, dancers and stunt performers will be in residence at Tropicana Field for an entire month, starting Feb. 22.


On theater stages

February 2024 is a slam-bang month for professional theater in Tampa Bay. Here’s what’s in the offing:

The Chinese Lady. Based on the true story of the first Chinese woman to step foot in America, 14-year-old Afong Moy, in the early 19th century, who was immediately put on display for a paying public once she arrived in New York. American Stage, Jan. 31-Feb. 25.

Straight White Men. In Young Jean Lee’s comedy, three adult brothers gather for Christmas at their childhood home, and in the course of family bonding, confront their own sense of entitlement and the challenges of being a straight white man in a changing world. Tampa Repertory Theatre, Feb. 1-18.

Whiskey & Soda. Ben Randall’s drama imagines a 1979 meeting between John Lennon and Margaret Thatcher. U.S. premiere. The Off-Central, Feb. 1-11.

I Am My Own Wife. Doug Wright’s Tony-winning play is based on the story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transgender woman who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime. Stageworks Theatre, Feb. 9-25.

Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors). Millionaire Eliot Rosewater sets off on a journey to find his life’s purpose. This search takes him to Rosewater County, Indiana, his family’s former home, that has lost all hope. freeFall Theatre, Feb. 9-March 10.

SYD. Craig Houk’s drama is set in a conservative Christian Louisiana community in the early 1970s, with two families dealing, in very different ways, with crises involving a gay son and a lesbian daughter. LAB Theatre Project, Feb. 22-March 10.

Twelfth Night. Jobsite Theatre’s 2024 Shakespeare adaptation continues through Feb. 11 in the Stra Center’s Jaeb Theatre.

Bob Devin Jones’ Further On Down The Road will receive a staged reading Feb. 22 at thestudio@620, Jones’ place of business. According to Jones, the play was inspired by the artwork of The Florida Highwaymen; an exhibition of original Highwayman paintings (La Florida, Re-found) opens Fe, 17 at thestudio@620.

Pro tours dropping in: The Straz Center for the Performing Arts’ Broadway series continues with Moulin Rouge! The Musical Feb. 7-18; at Ruth Eckerd Hall, a national tour of Annie is onstage Feb. 22.












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