Winter Concerts & Show Guide

concert_banWinter can be “chilly” outside (be sure to grab your scarf for when it dips below 75!), but it is no reason for you to stay at home. There are quite a few entertainers and touring acts who will be coming to Florida just for your enjoyment between now and March. We’ve profiled 36 acts who will be performing either in south Florida, central Florida, or both, during the winter season. Ten specific acts are Hotspots’ Picks and for those shows, we outline how you can purchase a ticket of your own.

Here’s a calendar of the events coming up, sorted by week.

December 5 – 11

The Nutcracker

concert_nutcrackerThe Next Generation Ballet, The Arts Ballet of Florida and the Miami City Ballet all serve up the special holiday story by Ernest Hoffman with an unforgettable score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Straz Center, Tampa, Dec. 7-8; The Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater, Miami Beach, Dec. 8; Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, Aventura, Dec. 13-15; Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando, Dec. 19-23; Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Dec. 19-24; Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, Jan. 3-5.

Hotspots Pick! You can see The Nutcracker all across Florida for an affordable price. Tickets are being sold at strazcenter.org for the Tampa performances starting at $20.50; at fillmoremb.com for the Miami Beach performance starting at $43.50; at browardcenter.org for the Aventura and Fort Lauderdale performances starting at $35 and $25, respectively; at ticketmaster.com for the Orlando performance starting at $40.90; and at arshtcenter.org for the Miami performance starting at $25.

John Mayer

John Mayer, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, returns to Florida after a three-year hiatus. His fans will hear songs from his new album as well as signature favorites like “Your Body is a Wonderland” and “Waiting on the World to Change.” Amway Center, Orlando, Dec. 9

We Will Rock You

This world-renowned musical, now in its eleventh year on London’s West End, is currently on tour in the United States, spreading the joy of the Queen songbook, including but not limited to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and of course “We Will Rock You”! Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Dec. 10-15

December 12 – 18

Bernadette Peters

Broadway icon Bernadette Peters performs songs from her most famous shows, standards from Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as Stephen Sondheim, and her favorite numbers from her own solo albums. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, Dec. 14; Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Sarasota, Dec. 15

Cheech and Chong

The “Up in Smoke” duo, who released nine top-charting comedy albums over the span of 13 years in the 1970s and 1980s, brings their unique brand of comedy to south Florida. The evening is a benefit for Broward House, with 100% of the proceeds given to them. Kevin, Virginia and Jason of 97.3 The Coast will host. Hard Rock Live Hollywood, Hollywood, Dec. 15

Jazz at Lincoln Center

The Jazz at Lincoln Center ensemble, which can be heard weekly on NPR stations across the country, comes to the Sunshine State for two special holiday shows featuring the trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Dec. 17; Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Dec. 20

Jingle Ball

The holidays are here, and that means one thing: Jingle Ball is back! The star-studded lineup this year does not disappoint, which includes the racy and controversial Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus, as well as Enrique Iglesias and Flo Rida. Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Dec. 18; BB&T Center, Sunrise, Dec. 20

December 19 – 25

Justin Timberlake

concert_justinThe former NSYNC* heartthrob is bringing sexy back in a tour all across the U.S., with three special stops in south and central Florida. His 20/20 World Experience Tour will feature songs from his similarly-titled album and also from his long solo career. Amway Center, Orlando, Dec. 19; BB&T Center, Sunrise, Mar. 4; American Airlines Arena, Miami, Mar. 5

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can see Justin Timberlake in the flesh! Tickets are being sold at ticketmaster.com for the Miami performance starting at $68.45; and at thebbtcenter.com for the Sunrise performance starting at $62.75. The Orlando show is sold out.

A Christmas Carol

concert_carolThe Charles Dickens classic and Christmas staple comes to Florida courtesy of the Nebraska Theatre Caravan. The company has performed the beloved Christmas play in nearly every U.S. state over the past 30 holiday seasons. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Dec. 22; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Dec. 23

December 26 – January 1

Elf

concert_elfElf: The Musical is the heartwarming and very funny story of an orphan, Buddy, who believes mistakenly that he is one of Santa’s elves, going so far as to crawl into Santa’s bag of gifts, transporting himself to the North Pole! Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Dec. 31-Jan. 5

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

New Year’s Eve is sure to be fun whether you’re in south or central Florida. Pitbull comes home to Miami and the American Airlines Arena to perform a concert of his greatest hits and to ring in a hot and sexy 2014. The Straz Center in Tampa goes back in time with a ’20s-themed fancy dress ball, complete with a preview of the first episode of the new season of Downton Abbey.

B.B. King

B.B. King is still singing the blues at the age of 88. Currently in the middle of a nationwide tour, he brings his unmistakable Memphis sound — and his trusty guitar, Lucille — to Florida for quite a soulful experience over the New Year’s holiday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Dec. 31 and Jan. 2; Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando, Jan. 3; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Jan. 4; Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Jan. 5

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can jam with B.B. King. Tickets are being sold at rutheckerdhall.com for the Clearwater performances starting at $89 (12/31) and $69 (1/2), respectively; at ticketmaster.com for the Orlando performance starting at $47.50; at vanwezel.org for the Sarasota performance starting at $55; and at arshtcenter.org for the Miami performance starting at $49.50.

January 2 – 8

The Wizard of Oz

concerts_ozA favorite of many a gay man, The Wizard of Oz is coming to south Florida for a two-week engagement. Dorothy, having been blown to the mythical land of Oz by a tornado, has to learn a lot about herself and others before she can go home again (and you can go home again). Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, Jan. 7-19

Billy Joel

concerts_joelBilly Joel, embarking on a new national tour, has sold out so many dates that he actually had to add a second one for south Florida. His repertoire over the past four decades has been nothing short of impressive. I can’t decide whether my favorite is “Tell Her About It” or “For the Longest Time.” Hmm…what’s yours? BB&T Center, Sunrise, Jan. 7 and 11; Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Jan. 17

Porgy and Bess

concerts_porgyPorgy and Bess, the opera by George Gershwin, still resonates with viewers nearly 80 years after its debut performance. Bess, trying to escape her dark and sordid past out on Charleston’s Catfish Row, is redeemed by the love of a great man, Porgy, despite outside influences threatening to interfere. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, Jan. 7-12; Straz Center, Tampa, Jan. 14-19

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Jobsite Theater at the Shimberg Playhouse performs Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Be in for a fright as Holmes and Watson try to find a deranged killer on the loose out on a desolate moor. Straz Center, Tampa, Jan. 8-Feb. 2

January 9 – 15

Natalie Merchant

Natalie Merchant started building her devoted following in the 1980s as the lead vocalist in the band 10,000 Maniacs. She has become one of the most respected voices in the alternative and adult contemporary genres since going solo 20 years ago. Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Jan. 12

Rock of Ages

A boy and a girl experience an epic love story, set to over two dozen of your favorite hits from the 1980s. Featuring songs by Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Poison, Whitesnake, and others. Nominated for five Tony Awards. Lakeland Center, Lakeland, Jan. 15; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Jan. 16; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Jan. 17; Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, Jan. 18

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can enjoy the music of Rock of Ages. Tickets are being sold at thelakelandcenter.com for the Lakeland performance starting at $45; at vanwezel.org for the Sarasota performance starting at $35; at rutheckerdhall.com for the Clearwater performance starting at $35; and at kravis.org for the West Palm Beach performance starting at $25.

January 16 – 22

Megan Mullally

Megan Mullally, best known for Will & Grace, comes to Florida for one night only to perform some of her favorite songs for her devoted fans. This night doubles as a benefit for the Stonewall National Museum Archives. Megan Mullally will be accompanied by Seth Rudetsky. Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, Jan. 16

ABBA: The Concert

concerts_abbaEndorsed by ABBA themselves, this tribute band comes all the way from Sweden to perform all of the foursome’s greatest hits, from “Waterloo” and “S.O.S.” all the way through to “The Winner Takes It All” and “Super Trouper.” Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Jan. 17; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Jan. 18

 

Barry Manilow

concerts_barryBarry Manilow has been one of the most fondly-remembered names in pop music for the last four decades. With such hits as “Mandy,” “Copacabana,” “I Write the Songs” and “Can’t Smile Without You,” his stylings are infectious. BB&T Center, Sunrise, Jan. 17; Amway Center, Orlando, Jan. 18; Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Jan. 31

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can sing along with Barry Manilow. Tickets are being sold at thebbtcenter.com for the Sunrise performance starting at $17.99; at ticketmaster.com for the Orlando performance starting at $16.24; and at tampabaytimesforum.com for the Tampa performance starting at $17.24.

January 23 – 29

Once

An Irish street performer and a Czech immigrant are brought together by their shared passion for music and their electric, raw emotions. With their shared experiences, a unique bond grows between them. Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando, Jan. 28-Feb. 2; Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Feb. 4-9; Straz Center, Tampa, Feb. 11-16.

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can enjoy the musical Once. Tickets are being sold at orlando.broadway.com for the Orlando performance starting at $52.15; at arshtcenter.org for the Miami performance starting at $26; and at strazcenter.org for the Tampa performance starting at $46.50.

January 30 – February 5

The Kinsey Sicks

concerts_kinseyThe Kinsey Sicks, America’s favorite dragapella beautyshop quartet, celebrate 20 years performing with a special south Florida engagement, lampooning reality television in their special “America’s Next Top Bachelor Housewife Celebrity Hoarder Makeover Star Gone Wild.” Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, Feb. 1

February 6 – 12

War Horse

A moving bond between a boy and his horse cannot be broken, even as the threat of World War I looms on the horizon. The horse, sold to the cavalry just as the war is about to start, won’t be alone for long as his former owner pledges to find him. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, Feb. 12-16; Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando, Feb. 25-Mar. 2; Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Mar. 4-9

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can enjoy the musical War Horse. Tickets are being sold at kravis.org for the West Palm Beach performance starting at $25; and at arshtcenter.org for the Miami performance starting at $26. Tickets are not on sale for the Orlando performance yet, check back for availability at orlando.broadway.com.

February 13 – 19

Liza Minnelli

concerts_lizaIt’s Liza! The famed singer and actress, the oldest daughter of the quintessential gay icon Judy Garland, is promising a knockout performance in south Florida. Her voice and sparkle have won her four Tony Awards, an Oscar and a Grammy. Tickets go on sale December 2 for an experience of a lifetime. Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, Feb. 16

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

One of the world’s most popular dance troupes, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater comes to Florida for three stops on their 24-city 2014 tour. Alvin Ailey implemented his vision to combine the American modern dance tradition with the African-American cultural experience, and he would still be proud today. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Feb. 18; Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Feb. 20-23; Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, Feb. 24

February 20 – 26

Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty, who became famous for her roles in the musicals Wicked and 9 to 5, as well as for her two-season run on the NBC musical drama Smash, will be singing her favorite songs as well as the ones that made her famous. This will no doubt include the Grammy-nominated “Let Me Be Your Star.” Megan Hilty will be accompanied by Seth Rudetsky. Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, Feb. 20

Julio Iglesias

The original Spanish sex symbol, Julio Iglesias has been setting hearts atwitter (both male and female) since 1970. The Miami resident may have sang a song to all the girls he loved before, but it didn’t stop the boys from noticing him! American Airlines Arena, Miami, Feb. 22; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Feb. 25

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can swoon over Julio Iglesias. Tickets are being sold at aaarena.com for the Miami performance starting at $64.25; and at rutheckerdhall.com for the Clearwater performance starting at $49.50.

Carmen

The opera by Georges Bizet has been performed for nearly 140 years all over the globe, and this year, once again, it will be performed across Florida. Don José’s obsession with the gypsy Carmen, a femme fatale if there ever was one, proves to be his downfall. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Feb. 23; Straz Center, Tampa, Mar. 14-16

Memphis

A white boy from the wrong side of the tracks has a love for R&B music and a beautiful black nightclub singer, and in Tennessee in the 1950s, those ingredients add up to one explosive story. Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Feb. 24; Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, Feb. 25-Mar. 9

February 27 – March 5

Whoopi Goldberg

concerts_whoopiIn addition to being a hilarious stand-up comedienne, Whoopi Goldberg is also a talented actress, having won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Ghost. You can also see her talk about the day’s hot topics weekdays on ABC’s The View. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Feb. 28; Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, Mar. 1

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can watch and laugh at the comedy of Whoopi Goldberg. Tickets are being sold at rutheckerdhall.com for the Clearwater performance starting at $59; and at arshtcenter.org for the Miami performance starting at $50.

Chicago

concerts_chicIt’s been nearly 40 years since Chicago, set in the sexy, mysterious and just-a-touch-corrupt 1920s, premiered on Broadway. The 2013-14 national touring production comes back to Florida for one more date, starring Anne Horak as the firebrand Roxie Hart and John O’Hurley, who you may know from Seinfeld and Family Feud, as Billy Flynn. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Mar. 4-5

March 6 – 12

Chita Rivera

concerts_chicaChita Rivera, the Broadway grande dame and Kennedy Center Honoree known for her roles in West Side Story and Chicago, celebrated her 80th birthday in January 2013 and wanted to start a tour to celebrate the milestone. A year later, she is still going strong, with one March 2014 stop in Florida. Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, Aventura, Mar. 7

March 13 – 19

Patti LuPone

Patti LuPone is one of America’s living treasures, having gained so many fans for her roles on Broadway in Evita, Les Misérables, Gypsy…and even on television as the mother in Life Goes On! She comes to the Parker Playhouse to perform some of her best-known numbers, including “I Dreamed a Dream.” Patti will be accompanied by Seth Rudetsky. Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, Mar. 13

Joan Rivers

concerts_joanCan we talk? The undisputed queen of fashion (and queen of mean!) comes to Florida for a three-date commitment. Outrageous and uncensored, she isn’t slowing her roll even at the age of 80. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, Mar. 13; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Mar. 14; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, Mar. 15

Hotspots Pick! Here’s how you can see Joan Rivers tell it like it is. Tickets are being sold at kravis.org for the West Palm Beach show starting at $25; at rutheckerdhall.com for the Clearwater show starting at $65; and at vanwezel.org for the Sarasota show starting at $40.

Evita

concerts_evitaThis Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has earned millions upon millions of fans since its first performance in 1978. Whether you are a fan of Elaine Paige in the title role, or Patti LuPone, or Paloma San Basilio, or Caroline Bowman (you’ll see her here in Florida), all of these ladies have played Evita with indomitable grace and stature, and when they say “don’t cry for me, Argentina,” you better not cry! Straz Center, Tampa, Mar. 18-23; Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando, Mar. 25-30