Monday, April 30, 2012

Test Drive Your Seats

  Test Drive Your Seats
       For the Straz Center’s 2012-2013 Bank of America Best of 
       Broadway Tampa Bay series

WHAT:           Test Drive Your Seats

WHEN:           Sunday, May 6
                        1:30 3:30 p.m.
WHERE:        Carol Morsani Hall
David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
DETAILS:      The Straz Center will hold Test Drive Your Seats, an opportunity for the public to come inside Tampa’s home for premier performing arts and choose their seats for the 2012-2013 season with the stage in sight. There’s a season ticket package, and a price point, to fit every budget and every schedule. Packages begin as low as $128.

This is a FREE event. Those considering becoming season ticket holders can take seats for a spin and find the perfect ones from which to enjoy all of the magic live theater has to offer. The new season offers the singing and dancing nuns of Sister Act, Cole Porter’s classic Anything Goes, feel-good romps with ’80s hits like Priscilla Queen of the Desert’s “I Will Survive” and Flashdance’s “Flashdance – What A Feeling,” the chilling return of Jekyll & Hyde, the poignant and spectacular drama War Horse, the exhilarating and evocative Traces and the all-singing, all-dancing celebration of the Gershwins in ’S Wonderful.
For more information about this event or the Straz Center and its other upcoming events, please visit
Super WHY takes off in first-ever live show
Super WHY Live: You’ve Got the Power!

Preschoolers’ favorite reading-powered heroes soar onto stages nationwide in all-new live-action adventure inspired by top-rated
 PBS KIDS TV series!

Must-see multimedia experience for the whole family features new music from
Jack Antonoff of the chart-topping indie band “fun.”

Tickets on sale Friday, May 4, at noon

Tampa, Fla. – From Storybrook Village to Tampa’s David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts!  Preschoolers have “the power” to experience Super WHY as never before when Super WHY Live: You’ve Got the Power!, the first-ever live show based on the top-rated PBS KIDS TV series from Out of the Blue Enterprises, flies onto stages across the country starting this summer!  Produced by S2BN Entertainment (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Yo Gabba Gabba Live!, Rock of Ages: The Musical) and featuring music from Jack Antonoff of the hit band “fun.,” Super WHY Live kicks off in Monroe, La., and will visit nine cities throughout July, “setting the stage” for additional stops from coast-to-coast this fall. Tickets will be available beginning Friday, May 4.

Super WHY Live adds a whole new exhilarating dimension to Super WHY and its power to entertain and inspire young children,” said Samantha Freeman Alpert, co-creator and executive producer of the series and co-founder of Out of the Blue Enterprises. “We’re so excited to extend the beloved series from the screen to the stage with this full-scale live production for families to enjoy together.”

Super WHY Live vibrantly brings to life Super Why, Alpha Pig, Wonder Red, Princess Presto and their puppy pal Woofster, who each take children on larger-than-life, imagination-stimulating adventures.  With help from the audience, the characters embark on magical, out-of-this-world journeys to explore what they’ve always wanted to be  from a ship’s captain to a rock star and more! While singing, dancing and interacting with the characters on stage along the way, pint-sized fans (and parents, alike!) discover who really has the power to make dreams come true!

Showcasing cutting-edge technology, visual effects and aerial stunts, Super WHY Live is a sensory spectacular that will dazzle and delight audiences of all ages. The new production features a team of top talent, including a Tony® Award-winning scenic designer and an Emmy® and Tony Award-nominated lighting designer, who create a mesmerizing setting for the show.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to take fans on this high-flying ride and invite them into the world of Super WHY in a completely unique way,” said Michael Cohl, CEO, S2BN Entertainment.  “For many children, Super WHY Live will be one of their earliest live entertainment experiences and we’ve created a truly unforgettable show for the entire family.”  

Fans can visit to sign up to receive the latest tour news and announcements and follow @superwhylive on Twitter. 
About Super WHY
Reading is power and Super WHY is the only preschool property created to help kids learn the fundamentals of reading through interactive storybook adventures. Produced by Out of the Blue Enterprises in conjunction with DHX Media, the series has a groundbreaking multimedia aesthetic – with a winning combination of two- and three-dimensional animation formats, relatable and engaging characters and immersive environments. The program represents a novel approach to preschool educational television, featuring a team of superhero characters with literacy-based powers, who jump into books to find answers to everyday preschool challenges. 

About Out of the Blue Enterprises
Out of the Blue Enterprises is dedicated to developing a groundbreaking portfolio of individually-targeted children’s entertainment properties under the direction of a proven management team led by Co-Founders Angela C. Santomero, M.A. developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Creator of the preschool entertainment phenomenon, Blue’s Clues, and Samantha Freeman Alpert, MBA from Harvard Business School and former Nickelodeon entertainment executive with extensive children’s marketing experience. The company creates breakthrough, interactive and curriculum-based entertainment concepts that span a variety of viable platforms, including television, video, publishing and consumer products. In doing so, Out of the Blue stimulates the minds of kids and families, involves them in fresh and original ways and elevates their educational entertainment experiences to a whole new level.

About S2BN
S2BN Entertainment is a diversified international family show and event entertainment company specializing in the acquisition, development and production of high caliber touring exhibitions, unique live music tours and events, theatrical performances, and consumer and multimedia product offerings. The company’s experienced management team executes activities across all types of global venues – from stadiums to theaters. S2BN Entertainment has a long history of promoting a diverse range of incredibly successful shows on a global scale. Led by Michael Cohl, the team at S2BN has been responsible for producing and overseeing tours with many of the most renowned artists in the world, including the Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand; blockbuster Broadway musicals; and award-winning family shows for children of all ages.

Super WHY Live will play Carol Morsani Hall on Saturday, July 28, at 5 p.m. Regularly priced tickets start at $23.50 and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit

Visit to purchase VIP “Meet & Greet” packages.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Burn the Floor electronic recycling drive

“SO HOT it probably contributes to global warming
Extraordinary! Will take your breath away.” London Independent
Electronic recycling drive at the Straz Center offers
discounted tickets to Burn the Floor
Tampa, Fla. ─ The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts is partnering with SEER, Secure Environmental Electronics Recycling, to host an electronics recycling drive during the Straz Center engagement of the international hit dance sensation Burn the Floor.

Those who stop by the Straz Center stage door to recycle electronics anytime between now and Friday will receive a voucher for 50% off tickets to a performance Tuesday-Friday of Burn the Floor, which plays the Straz Center April 24-29. Each discounted voucher is good for two tickets and should be redeemed at the Straz Center Ticket Office 90 minutes before the selected performance. Items can also be dropped off directly at the ticket office during this window of time. Limit of two vouchers per person with multiple items. Restrictions apply.

Recycling electronic waste conserves landfill space and prevents toxics from being released into the environment. Collected items will be utilized for recovery and reuse of valuable materials. For a smooth, fast drop off, all cabling should be removed from devices and placed in a bag.

Items accepted at no charge include TVs (in one piece/no broken glass), laptops, PCs, keyboards, floppy/disk drives, mice, printers, microwaves, UPS batteries, PC monitors, CD-Roms, modems, fax machines, test equipment, circuit boards, networking equipment, phones, cell phones, PC power supplies, scanners, copiers, cabling, typewriters and stereos/VCR/CD players.

Items not accepted include console/projection TVs, toaster ovens, washers, ovens, mixers/blenders, battery powered tools, tires, gas powered tools, freezers, household trash, humidifiers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, vacuum cleaners, washer/dryers and car batteries.

Burn the Floor brings together the talents of 20 award-winning international dancers from around the globe – England, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Slovenia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Philippines and the United States – and includes Australian Ballroom and World Latin American champions. The dancers, who collectively hold more than 100 dance titles, move to the vision of artistic director and choreographer Jason Gilkison, former World Champion Latin and Ballroom dancer, and guest choreographer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance

For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, visit

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bon Iver At Coachella

Op Ed: Bon Iver At Coachella - Bob Lefsetz
Posted: Tue., Apr. 17, 2012 04:44:45 AM MST
I thought I was going to be crushed at the David Guetta show.
And I wasn’t even in the tent.
Happened to me once before, decades back, at a Chambers Brothers show in Boston Common. My feet left the ground, I was being held up by bodies, somehow I squirmed my way to the right and was ejected from the scrum.
And I’ve never forgotten it.
On Saturday I saw too many bands giving good performances of mediocre material, and one band with great material that was so long in the tooth it was creepy, and an acoustic act that was as out of place as a Muslim at a Bar Mitzvah. But on my way to the Sahara tent I encountered Kasabian. They reaffirmed my optimism. They were good.
You can tell when an act has that little something extra.
But minutes before Kasabian left the stage, the swarm started to move. That’s what it was, like endless gnats moving to the Sahara tent.
I moved too, but got so frightened of being caught in the mass of bodies that I stayed outside the tent, where I was still being bumped into and twirled like a top. Guetta eventually featured Usher, but by that time I was gone. The patrons kept streaming in, I wanted out.
And then there was that Canadian singer, with a bunch of extra players on stage. She was charismatic, merging with her guitar, but once again, the material was disappointing.
And then I saw Bon Iver.
To say this guy and his band were great would be an understatement, they were TRANSCENDENT!
Incredibly well-rehearsed.
But most importantly, they sounded completely different from every other act on the bill. They were a party of one. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.
In a sea of mediocrity, excellence stands out.
Oh, what the hell, let me start naming names.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. If she doesn’t get your willy moving, you’re gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) The sound was impeccable, the solos were good, and the material was so damn mediocre that she could close nobody, applause was minimal. And when AWOLNATION started up on the main stage, I gave up. That’s one of the problems at Coachella, sound bleed. It’s a war of who can turn up their amps louder. And if you think this is appealing, you’re deaf.
How about tUnE-yArDs? Great on paper, decent on YouTube and so out there live that almost no one clapped. We were all shaking our heads. I couldn’t find one person she impressed.
The aforementioned AWOLNATION was loud and that’s it. The less said the better.
Kaiser Chiefs were in the wrong location, maybe the wrong era. In the bright California sunshine, their music didn’t penetrate. I loved hearing "I Predict A Riot", but the audience was near somnambulant.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds…
Who gives a shit.
Smart guy, good guitar player, sub-mediocre voice. The more you listen, the more you miss Liam. I know Liam’s insane, but that doesn’t mean he’s not necessary.
And with so much more noise coming from every other stage, the cacophony made me want to move on, which I did.
Laura Marling?
Why don’t you whip out your guitar at the baseball game? She was so out of place, so overwhelmed by sound bleed as to be irrelevant.
Positively creepy. I’d hate to be an over-the-hill rock band. People remember your hits, want to hear nothing new and you play to an ever-dwindling audience, unable to give up because you were someone once. It hurts, I know. I loved hearing "Tempted", but the first part of the show was material I never need to hear again, and if you think they were good, you still believe your grandma is a hottie.
I’ll admit they were decent, but I never got in front of the stage. You’ve got to eat sometime, and go to the car for more clothes.
I wanted to love her. Up close and personal her complexion was less than perfect, she can really wail on the guitar, she closed me, she’s a rock star, but the longer I stood there the more the material washed off of me. She had everything but the hits.
And I’d like to explain what made Kasabian so damn good, but you know music, it’s like pornography, you know greatness when you see it.
And I didn’t think David Guetta was great. But there was no denying he had the audience in the palm of his hand.
As for the headliner, Radiohead… They made a crucial mistake. Trying to be unique, they refused to use the giant video screens on each side of the stage. Instead, we were subjected to their own tiny floating screens over the stage. Very cool. Excellent in theatres. But if you’re playing to tens of thousands, it just doesn’t translate. The problem with Radiohead? You just couldn’t see them!
And they were so boring at first, they lost fifteen or twenty percent of their audience, they just drifted off to Kaskade.
As did I.
The Sahara tent was full. There were incredible pink effects. There was an energy absent from the Radiohead show.
Oh, I went back to see Thom Yorke, et al. They played a few numbers I was familiar with. But really, they’re a band for fans only. If you’re not one, you’re not gonna be closed.
Which brings us back to Bon Iver…
Talk about overhyped! Every hipster in America is testifying about him.
Furthermore, the press fawns.
But he was everything we’re looking for, completely special without trying too hard.
He looks like a guy from your math class. His chest is not ripped and his hair is getting thin. But boy could he wring ethereal effects from his guitar.
And there was brass and backup vocals and the end result was an aural tapestry you couldn’t help but weave yourself into. What Justin Vernon was selling you can’t get at the movies, you can’t read in a book, it’s the essence of music.
Sure, he’s got a nontraditional voice. But so does Neil Young.
And Neil’s a good comparison. Because both he and Mr. Vernon go their own way, obey their own muse, are unaffected by both trends and media feedback.
Once upon a time, in the era of classic rock, the superstars sounded nothing alike.
But today, everybody fits into a slot. You rarely hear something new. And if you do, it’s not infectious.
But Bon Iver was.
And I realize Bon Iver is not EDM ("electronic dance music" for the uninitiated). But if you want to survive the deejay onslaught, that’s what you’ve got to be, different, unique, special.
Forget the TV competition shows. That’s like watching Little League.
Forget Top Forty radio. That’s old men doing it without emotion for the bucks. Breaking rules is anathema.
If you’re not willing to risk everything, without complaint, if you’re not willing to go your own way, you’re just not gonna make it, not in today’s market.
Come on Grace Potter, write one irresistible song! We don’t want to sleep with airheads, not more than once!
Feist…stop being so precious!
Noel Gallagher… Either form a band with Axl Rose or get back together with your brother, otherwise we just don’t care.
We live in an era where all that matters is excellence. And this is especially true at a festival like Coachella. When put next to great, good just fades away, we’re not interested.
If you can’t blow people away, if you’re not the cat’s meow, you’re better off avoiding the festival, you’re just gonna look small and irrelevant.
But if you can wring a magic sound from your instrument, if you can make us believe this moment is all that matters, if you can make the rest of the world fall away, getting us to concentrate only on you…
Then we’re all ears.

Article off  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



Il Volo



WHO: David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and Live Nation

WHAT: Il Volo

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Carol Morsani Hall at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

DETAILS: In May 2009, three fresh-faced teenagers, Piero Barone (17), Ignazio Boschetto (16), and Gianluca Ginoble (16), appeared on the popular Italian talent show Ti Lascio Una Canzone and dazzled television viewers with their flawless rendition of the Neapolitan standard “O Sole Mio.” The boys, who won the competition easily, decided their group needed a name. Il Volo, meaning “flight,” was chosen to signify the feeling that these three young tenors were about to spread their wings and fly.

The group’s self-titled debut album was released in Italy in November 2010, and was quickly certified gold by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. The international edition of the album was released on April 12, 2011, and was promoted in the United States with a performance during the final three results show of the tenth season of American Idol. The album debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and at No. 1 on the Classical Albums chart, selling 23,000 copies in its first week.

Regularly priced tickets start at $39.50 and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at VIP packages are available at

Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.

Opera Tampa offers open Aida rehearsals

Opera Tampa offers open Aida rehearsals

April 10, 12 and 15

These are FREE events

* * *

TAMPA, Fla. — On April 10, 12 and 15, Opera Tampa will offer a limited number of people the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes of Aida, Giuseppe Verdi’s grandest of grand operas. A series of FREE open rehearsals is planned in the coming week.

Attendees will have the opportunity to get a “fly-on-the-wall” view of the company as they rehearse Verdi’s famous “Triumphal March” scenes from Act 2 of Aida, under the direction of Maestro Anton Coppola. The busy and energetic rehearsal will include principle singers, chorus members and dancers.

Reservations may be made by calling 813.222.6409. Space is strictly limited to 10 people at each rehearsal. Attendees are asked to arrive at the Straz Center Stage Door on MacInnes Place, 10 minutes before their reservation and should plan to stay for the duration of the rehearsal. Photography or recording of any kind are prohibited. The available time slots are as follows:

April 10


7 to 8:30 p.m.

April 10


8:30 to 10 p.m.

April 12


7 to 8:30 p.m.

April 12


8:30 to 10 p.m.

April 15


2 to 3:30 p.m.

April 15


3:30 to 5 p.m.

Aida will be presented in the Straz Center’s Carol Morsani Hall, Friday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m., as part of the Opera Tampa season presented by Homes by Helen. The opera tells the story of Aida, princess of Ethiopia, captured and brought into slavery in Egypt. Radames, a high ranking military commander, is torn by his love for Aida and his duty to the Pharaoh, with tragic consequences for both. Regularly priced tickets for the performances of Opera Tampa’s Aida start at $29.50 and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at

For more information about Opera Tampa and its upcoming events, please visit

Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.


Aida is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.




Tampa, Fla. – The Nederlander Organization of New York and the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa announced today that they will join forces to present the finest Broadway shows in the Tampa Bay area.

Both organizations have long and successful histories and together will continue the impressive growth of Broadway at the Straz Center.

The Nederlander Organization is one of the largest theater owners and producers on Broadway, as well as one of the largest Broadway presenters in the nation.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012-2013, the Straz Center is the largest performing arts center south of the Kennedy Center and the largest cultural organization and Broadway presenter in Florida. Its Carol Morsani Hall was ranked in top five most-attended venues in the world under 5,000 seats for the past decade by Billboard magazine.

"I am thrilled by this association with this outstanding organization,” said Judy Lisi, the president and CEO of the Straz Center. "Together we can continue the impressive growth of Broadway shows for our audiences."

Lisi said the new association would involve both pre-Broadway and post-Broadway bookings, as well as advice and consultation on Broadway shows still in development.

The Straz Center presents an annual touring Broadway season, the Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay series. The 12-13 season includes War Horse, Jekyll & Hyde, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Flashdance, Wicked, Green Day’s American Idiot, Sister Act, Anything Goes and more.

“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nederlander organization, we could not be more proud to be associated with an organization as great as the Straz Center,” said James L. Nederlander, president of the Nederlander Organization. “We look forward to our continued growth together”

Opening in 1987, the Straz Center consists of five theaters, three restaurants and the Patel Conservatory. The 335,000 square-foot facility provides an environment for a wide variety of world-class events. In addition to hosting one of the nation’s leading Broadway series’ the Straz Center and is nationally respected for presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances and events and for its resident company Opera Tampa. For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, and its upcoming events, please visit

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Follow Us!


You can now follow the Straz Center – all social media includes calendar listings, upcoming events, up-to-the-minute on-sale information, occasional ticket discounts, behind-the-scenes tidbits and more!

See all the information about the types of shows that interest you!






Monday, April 02, 2012

Just Added: Bon Iver


Bon Iver



WHO: David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and Live Nation

WHAT: Bon Iver

WHEN: Thursday, June 7, at 8 p.m.

WHERE: Carol Morsani Hall at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

DETAILS: The name of this Grammy® Award-winning indie folk band from Eau Claire, Wis., Bon Iver (pronounced “bon ee-VAIR”) is a play on the French phrase ‘bon hiver’ meaning ‘good winter.’ Fronted by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon, Bon Iver also consists of Mike Noyce, Sean Carey and Matt MacCaughan.

Vernon independently released Bon Iver’s debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007, most of which was recorded during a four-month stay in a remote cabin in Wisconsin.

The group’s second album Bon Iver, Bon Iver was released in June 2011 to universal acclaim. It was named by Pitchfork Media as the best album of 2011 on their annual list. At the 2012 Grammy Awards, the album won Best Alternative Album and the group was awarded Best New Artist.

Regularly priced tickets start at $39.50 and may be purchased by calling

813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at