Jay Leno will step down as the host of “The Tonight Show” in February, but three days later will be on stage at the renovated Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater, which on Monday announced 30 dates for its first season after December’s reopening.
Leno, who has announced his last night as host of the NBC show will be Feb. 6, will return to the Tampa Bay area for the first time in 20 years when he performs his stand-up act Feb. 9 at the Capitol, 405 Cleveland St.
The 750-seat theater will reopen Dec. 18 after the $8 million innovation with singer Michael McDonald. Several big-name acts are on the schedule, including legendary comics Leno, Bob Newhart (March 1) and Joan Rivers (March 14) along with musical stars Katherine McPhee (Jan. 11), Michael Bolton (March 10) and Judy Collins (April 11).
Leno took over the “Tonight Show” desk in 1992 after the retirement of Johnny Carson. He stepped aside in 2009 for Conan O’Brien, but returned to the show six months later. Throughout his “Tonight” gig, Leno has played before live theater audiences in Las Vegas, on college campuses and other venues.
Tickets to all shows go on sale to the public at noon Aug. 23 at www.atthecap.com, the Ruth Eckerd Hall ticket office, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, or by calling (727) 791-7400.
Renovations continue at the Capitol Theatre, which was constructed in 1921 and is one of Florida’s oldest operating theaters. It has been run by Ruth Eckerd Hall since 2009.
For the complete schedule and ticket information, go to www.atthecap.com.