Who doesn’t love taking in a show? I know I love dressing up and heading to the nearest performing arts hall or arena to see top-notch live entertainment. The Sunshine State always has a great variety of shows to choose from no matter the time of year. Below, I’ve profiled 18 shows that will be coming your way this spring. Make it a point to see at least one!
Brought to you by playwright and composer Stephen Schwartz, Pippin is one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals. In this iconic production, a young prince travels far and wide in search for deeper meaning in not only his life but the lives of the people he holds dear.
When and Where? Artis-Naples, Naples, March 24-29; Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, March 31-April 12; Straz Center, Tampa, April 14-19; Dr. Phillips Center, Orlando, April 21-26; Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, April 28-May 3
The host of Dog Whisperer is coming to Florida with a unique one-man show. Millions of people trust him for canine behavior advice, and now they have a chance to ask Cesar their questions in person as his show is part-speaking engagement and part-interactive fun.
When and Where? Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, March 26; Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, March 27; Artis-Naples, Naples, March 30; Lakeland Center, Lakeland, March 31; Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, April 1
Jane Lynch is a triple-threat: she’s an actress, comedian and singer. (Recently she earned a star on the Walk of Fame for her accomplishments!) Don’t miss her one-night-only performance in Florida, which will combine comedy and music for an unforgettable experience.
When and Where? Florida Theater, Jacksonville, March 27; Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, March 29
The winner of four Tony Awards, Memphis is a trip back in time to when the music was electric and the passions that brought you that music were outlawed. A poor white radio DJ brings “black music” to the masses, revolutionizing some lives and endangering others.
When and Where? Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, April 7-12
This is another limited engagement that everyone should note on their calendars. The winner of a Tony Award and an Olivier Award, Alan Cumming is one of the best actors and singers of his generation. The Good Wife star showcases his talents in this one-off performance.
When and Where? Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, April 11
A decade ago he was at the top of the comedy game, as people competed to collaborate with him. Fame caught up to him, and after years in seclusion, he is back for a full nationwide tour. If you are a fan of Chappelle’s Show reruns on Comedy Central, get your tickets now; he’s here!
When and Where? Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, April 13
Who doesn’t know this story? After lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier runs afoul of the Mob, she’s forced to flee Reno and go straight for a California nunnery. Little do the sisters know that Deloris is going to change their lives permanently — and bring them into her chaos!
When and Where? Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, April 14-19
The author of Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim has been hailed as one of America’s best writers of humor and satire. In his one stop in Florida, he will be reading new, never-before-released works, and he will also host a book signing.
When and Where? Dr. Phillips Center, Orlando, April 17
Regarded as one of the best singer-songwriters of all time, Bob Dylan is a living treasure. When we spoke to Melissa Manchester earlier this year, she said studying songwriting with Bob Dylan was “very foundational.” See and hear his raw talent as he makes four stops in Florida.
When and Where? St. Augustine Amphitheatre, St. Augustine, April 18; Dr. Phillips Center, Orlando, April 19; Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, April 21; Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, April 22
She’s one of the most talented soul singers in the world, and she has four Grammy Awards to prove it. The acclaimed chanteuse, well-known for her sensual melodies like “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” brings three unforgettable nights of music to Florida.
When and Where? Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, April 22; Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, April 23; Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, April 24
Kathy Griffin loves her gays, and she is making sure she meets every gay man in Florida in her five performances across the state. Whether she’s talking about her adventures with Cher, her boxed-wine aficionado of a mother, or spilling the tea about the Kardashians, Kathy is always uproariously funny.
When and Where? Tennessee Williams Theatre, Key West, April 22; Lakeland Center, Lakeland, April 23; Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, April 24; Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, April 25; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, April 26
He’s one of the hottest actors out there today, scoring leading roles in blockbuster films. But Kevin Hart is going back to his roots for his fourth nationwide stand-up tour, and this is the first time he’s being given the rock star treatment and playing at arenas. All Florida stops are even adding extra nightly shows!
When and Where? Amway Center, Orlando, April 24; Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, April 25; Amalie Arena, Tampa, May 8; AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, May 9
The Jagged Little Pill album was the soundtrack of a distressed generation, and twenty years later her music now resonates with a completely different group of fans. In her two Florida appearances, she will be picking her favorites out of her songbook and regaling audiences with stories from the road.
When and Where? Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, April 28; Hard Rock Live Orlando, Orlando, April 29
This musical is one of the most addictive productions you’ll ever see. After resisting for the longest time, I saw it, only to fall in love and see it again and again. Even though the odds are stacked against the New Yorkers in this award-winning musical, they tackle each day with enthusiasm and love.
When and Where? Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, Aventura, April 30-May 3
Beauty and the Beast
Central Florida is ready for Belle and the Beast! This musical closes out the Broadway season in Tampa and Orlando, and what a great way to end the year. In this heartwarming song-and-dance spectacular, it is up to Belle to teach the Beast how to love — in order to save him from himself.
When and Where? Straz Center, Tampa, May 5-10; Dr. Phillips Center, Orlando, May 12-17
The Divine Miss M still has it after all these years! She recently released an album, an homage to her favorite girl groups of the past, and called it It’s the Girls! Now, to support that new album release, she is touring the country and she’s starting off that tour right here in Florida!
When and Where? Hard Rock Live Hollywood, Hollywood, May 8-9; Amalie Arena, Tampa, May 11
The Australian rap sensation, who became famous around the world for her hits like “Fancy,” “Problem” and “Black Widow,” will be headlining her first worldwide tour. More tour dates may open up in the future but Iggy Iggs will be saying hello to Orlando and Miami on her first-ever tour of Florida.
When and Where? Amway Center, Orlando, May 15; AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, May 16
Comedy’s lovable “Queen of Mean” may be an equal opportunity offender in her comedy routine, but she has a soft spot for the LGBT community, having donated heavily to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. After a few years of making one-off performances, Lisa Lampanelli will be in both South and Central Florida this year, making us laugh until we cry.
When and Where? Hard Rock Live Hollywood, Hollywood, June 5; Hard Rock Live Orlando, Orlando, June 6