From ballet to wrestling: January in entertainment and the arts

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We so rarely get visits from A-list touring dance artists here in the Bay Area, that the appearance of one of the country's most beloved such groups is reason enough for a new month – and a new year – celebration.

Harlem Dance Theater will perform Jan. 23 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. The Morsani Hall concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, the first African-American principal dancer of a major ballet company (New York City Ballet), Dance Theater of Harlem is today an 18-member multi-ethnic company that performs classics, works of George Balanchine and current artistic director, Robert Garland, and avant-garde contemporary dance.

DTH also has a strong presence in New York through its training school and arts education and community engagement program, Dancing Through Barriers.

Find tickets to Dance Theater of Harlem here.

The State Ballet Theater of Ukraine returns for its annual visit to St. Pete's Mahaffey Theater on January 5 (that's this Friday) with the two-act family ballet Cinderellawith music by Prokofiev.

Find tickets for the production here.

“Ringling” will visit the Amalie Arena from January 5 to 7, Photo: Feld Entertainment.

The 21st A century-old version of what was known, for 150 years, as the Ringling Bros. Circus. and Barnum & Bailey, comes to Tampa's Amalie Arena January 5-7. There are no animals in the Ringling show, which is a totally reimagined high-tech production featuring acrobatics, aerial and trapeze stunts, high-flying BMX bike riders, music, comedy and much more. This is NOT, the producers emphasize, a circus. Find out everything about Ringling In This Catalyst historyand buy tickets here.

The end of the month will bring another very popular form of entertainment to our shores. From WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), retired professional wrestler The entrepreneur (aka Mark Calaway) will appear at the Capitol Theater in Clearwater on January 28, telling stories and answering questions from the audience. Tickets for this event are here.

Monday January 29 brings the main event – WWE Monday Night RAW – at the Amalie Arena. Big names from WWE, including Cody Rhodes, Seth Freakin Rollins, Sami Zayn, Becky Lynch and Drew McEntyre, are among the wrestlers confirmed for Monday Night Raw, which will be broadcast live on USA Network.

RAW tickets are here.

Here are other highlights for arts, entertainment and in-between for the month of January:

Elvis Costello returns to Ruth Eckerd Hall on January 11. Photo: Shore Fire Media.


Styx And .38 Special split the bill on January 5 (this Friday) at The Sound, Clearwater's Coachman Park Amphitheater. Each of these groups still includes one of its original lead singers.

Rise up from Saint-Pierre returns to St. Pete Pier on January 6 (this Saturday) with a hip hop extravaganza including the duo Atmosphere (aka Slug and Ant) with Brother Ali, RJD2 and others. Doors at 5 p.m. Pianist, songwriter and record producer Andrew McMahon in the desert is heading to Rise Up on January 20.

Elvis Costello is back on January 11 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, with the Impostors.

Tommy Stinsonguitarist for legendary Minneapolis band The Replacements, appears Jan. 11 for a show at the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club.

Singer composer Karla Bonoff will perform Jan. 12 at the Murray Theater at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Wildly eccentric singer-songwriter and performer Nellie McKay makes a return visit to the Palladium Theater on January 12.

Back on the road after a nasty motorcycle accident, followed by a car fire, Jay Leno seems to be living proof that – as Reader's Digest I have always insisted that laughter is the best medicine. The old Tonight Show host takes the stage Jan. 13 at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

January 13 at the Capitol Theatre: Canadian guitar icon Jesse Cook.

Rock'n'roll You're here will have two nights, January 16 and 17, at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center.

Popular legend Judy Collins returns to the Capitol Theater on January 18.

Singer-songwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy (aka Will Oldham) visits the Side Door Café at the Palladium Theater on January 19th.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Band Kansas (original members: 2, drummer and guitarist) will take place at Ruth Eckerd Hall on January 20.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak on January 25 in Morsani Hall at the Straz Center.

And another returning stage hero: that skillful singing clown, Puddles Pity Party, returning to the Capitol Theater on January 26.

Jazz guitar virtuoso Al DiMeola made one of its periodic stops at the Capitol Theater on January 27.

Classical music

The Florida Orchestra concerts this month: if you recently watched Maestro, the biopic of Leonard Bernstein, TFO offers you the show this weekend (January 6, Mahaffey Theater; January 7, Ruth Eckerd Hall). The program includes the On the symphonic suite by the wateras well as Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 and Missy Mazzoli's Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres).

The program for January 13 and 14, Spectacular science fiction, includes music from Star Wars universe and more; Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 will be the anchor of the concerts on January 19 and 20; the month ends with an all-out celebration of George Gershwin's birthday.

Some concerts also take place in the Morsani Hall, at the Straz Center.

THE Palladium Chamber Players return on January 17 with a program by Schumann and Brahms (this is the Palladium Theater).

The latest stage show craze, screening a beloved film while an orchestra performs the score live, takes on a new form Jan. 20 at the Straz Center's Morsani Hall. The film at the center of this one is Tim Burton's 1989 action thriller. Batman, with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The music is by long-time Burton collaborator Danny Elfman. But will Prince's “Batdance” make an appearance?

In “Batman” (1989). Michael Keaton, left, and Jack Nicholson. Photo: Warner Bros.

On the theater stages

Pinellas County playwrights William Leavengood and Constantine Grame collaborated on Gaspar! Musical comedyJanuary 4-7 at the Palladium Theater.

Straz Center's Broadway Tour Series Opens in 2024 with Stephen Sondheim Business From January 9 to 14, in the Morsani room.

Jobsite Theater rings in the New Year with Shakespeare Twelfth night January 17-Feb. 11 at the Jaeb Theater at the Straz Center. As usual for Jobsite, this is an adaptation of the Bard's classic comedy, with original music.

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