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The month of May in the arts: Diana Ross, Sting and more

Bill DeYoung



Diana Ross performed at the Mahaffey Theater in 2012. Photo: Bridget Burke.

Diana Ross isn’t the oldest of the original Motown superstars still performing (that would be 84-year-old Smokey Robinson), but she’s got the most record sales and, arguably, the most star power.

Ross, who turned 80 last month, is certainly moving forward in ’24. She recently put her five-bedroom Miami mansion on the market for $17.8 million.

The supreme diva is also on tour again, and will visit The Baycare Sound amphitheater in Clearwater May 9. It’s just the second show – she opens the previous night in Hollywood (Florida).

May is also notable for the seasonal return-to-business of Tampa’s Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, an outdoor stage, after its wintertime shutdown. Country’s Brooks & Dunn hit the stage May 4, followed by Chris Stapleton on May 10, Hozier May 11, Dave Matthews Band May 22 and Niall Horan May 31.

Also back at full steam is the Rise Up St. Pete concert series, at Spa Beach on the St. Pete Pier. The May schedule: Big Something (May 4), BYNX (May 11) and Kyle Smith (May 21).

Queensryche plays Jannus Live May 9.

Those are the outdoor venues: Moving indoors, Sting is perhaps the other biggest big name to hit town in May; he’ll front The Florida Orchestra at the Mahaffey Theater May 9 and 10 (the second day was added after the first quickly sold out). It’s the British rock legend’s second time in the bay area so far this year (he co-headlined with Billy Joel at Raymond James Stadium in February).

The orchestra’s last performance month of the season also includes a free Pops in the Park concert May 12 at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa.


Big laughs

May’s comedy calendar includes appearances by Kevin Hart (18th and 19th at the Straz Center), Mike Birbiglia (29th at the Mahaffey Theater), Kathy Griffin (Straz Center, 16th) and David Spade (Ruth Eckerd Hall, 4th).

Saturday nights are Comedy Nights at the 42-seat St. Pete black box theater the Off-Central, throughout the month.


And more concerts

At Amalie Arena: Latin rapper Bad Bunny (May 21); rapper NF (May 24) and country artist Kane Brown (May 31 and June 1).

At Ruth Eckerd Hall: Indigo Girls (May 3); guitar legend Steve Lukather with a re-built Toto (May 8).

At the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center: The Offspring (May 5); En Vogue (May 15).

At the Mahaffey Theater: British singer/songwriter Jacob Collier (May 5).

At the Capitol Theatre: Emo Orchestra (May 3); Australian teen guitarist Taj Farrant (May 4); Don McLean (May 11); Five For Fighting (May 22); Saigon Kick (May 24); Todd Rundgren (May 25 and 26); the Allman Betts Band (May 27).


Art openings

An exhibition by the Plein Air Adventure Group, spotlighting outdoor Pinellas locations, debuts May 3 at Gulfport’s DRV Gallery.

On May 18, the Museum of Fine Arts will debut Never the Same Song, a joint exhibition by artists and musicians Lolley Holley and Lizzi Bougatsos.

Also on the 18th, Reimagining Nature: Dali’s Floral Fantasies debuts at the Dali Museum.

Flora & Fauna, an exhibition showcasing the artworks of A Galban, Adriano Nicot, Jorge Dans, Froilán Escobar, Josignacio and Leslie Hiatt, opens May 23 at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas.

American Stage’s “Beauty and the Beast” is onstage in Demens Landing Park. Photo provided.

On theater stages

The dance spectacle Shen Yun (“China Before Communism”) is at the Mahaffey Theater for its annual visit May 3-5.

The Straz Center’s Broadway Series flies in a new adaptation of Peter Pan to Morsani Hall May 1-5 (Morsani Hall).

At The Studio@620, Hamlet continues through May 5.

At Stageworks Theatre, the new adaptation of Our Town continues through May 12.

At Demens Landing Park, American Stage’s musical Beauty and the Beast continues through May 5.

At Jobsite Theater (in the Straz’s Shimberg Playhouse), actor Giles Davis is onstage in the one-man show The Smuggler: A Thriller in Verse May 15-June 9.

LAB Theatre Project (Ybor City) produces Gwendolyn Rice’s drama about Frank Lloyd Wright, Fly Away Home, May 2-19.

At freeFall Theater, the comedy Nollywood Dreams continues through May 12.

Please add us to your mailing list – send all press releases and event info to bill@stpetecatalyst.com.

You can also submit your events to the Catalyst calendar, by clicking here.




































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