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Straz announces more shows for 2014-15

Latin rhythms, smooth ballet moves, educational speakers and funny send-ups of pop culture favorites will fill the 2014-15 calendar along with an already announced — and impressive — Broadway series at the Straz Center.

“Our season again offers the widest possible variety of high-quality, artistic programming,” said Straz president and CEO Judith Lisi in a news release. “From Broadway blockbusters to spectacular music and dance shows and family-friendly fare, the Straz Center continues to be the leading presenter of performing arts in the Tampa Bay area.”

A slate of more than 50 shows was announced today.

Included in the musical lineup is Tiempo Libre (Oct. 11), a septet of classically trained Cuban musicians that has audiences in a conga line before the performance is over. If you’re in a “Jersey Boys” mood, The Hit Men (Feb. 11), all former members of mega-acts such as The Four Seasons and The Shondells, will perform hits from the ’60s to the ’80s. And when 2 Cellos (May 9) performs modern hits on the typically classical instrument, you may decide to steer your kids toward music rather than soccer.

If dance is more your thing, the Straz will offer tap dance master Savion Glover’s “STePz” (Feb. 26), and visionary choreographer Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet (Jan. 15) takes the craft to new heights and demonstrates an evolving definition of what ballet is.

The Straz season not only will feed its audiences’ senses, but also their brains, with educational speakers, such as “Animal Planet” host and conservationist Jeff Corwin telling his “Tales From the Field” (Nov. 1). The National Geographic Live! storytelling series is back with three shows, including “On The Trail of Big Cats,” with photographer Steve Winter (Jan. 20).

This season, funnybones will be tickled by comedians Jay Mohr (Sept. 20), Anjelah Johnson (Oct. 16) and Ron White (Nov. 8).

Dig out your lightsaber, your magic wand and handcuffs for the season’s theatrical offerings, which include parodies of pop culture favorites, including “One Man Star Wars Trilogy” (April 24 to 26), “Potted Potter — The Unauthorized Harry Experience — A Parody by Dan and Jeff” (March 13 to 15) and “SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody” (Nov. 5). There also will singing and dancing demons in “Evil Dead — The Musical” (Nov. 13 to 15).

The Straz stages also will be filled with the enchanting performance artists Mummenschanz (Feb. 24 to 25), the new musical about the hope and horror of that “First Date” (Feb. 3 to April 12) and The Peking Acrobats (March 8).

These shows and more, such as the center’s Club Jaeb, Kid Time and Wee Folk series, will accompany an already announced Broadway series and Florida Opera Festival that includes “Pippin” (April 14 to 19), “Dirty Dancing — The Classic Story on Stage” (Dec. 2 to 7), “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (Oct. 21 to 26), “Motown The Musical” (March 17 to 22), “The Book of Mormon” (Jan. 20 to Feb. 1) and a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” (Dec. 17 to Jan. 4). The Florida Opera Festival will bring “Rigoletto” (Feb. 13 and 15) and “Madama Butterfly” (March 13 and 15).

Season tickets are available now, and single tickets for most Broadway shows go on sale Nov. 30. Single tickets for “Book of Mormon” go on sale Aug. 17, “Cinderella” on Aug. 24 and the opera festival on Nov. 2. Tickets are available at the Straz ticket office, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa, by phone at (813) 229-7827 or online at www.strazcenter.org.

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