Spring Arts Preview — January/February

A curation of major events happening in the arts this season.

click to enlarge AUGUST IN WINTER: August Wilson's Radio Golf stars, from left front, Kim Sullivan, Anthony Chisholm, Chrystal Bates, Alan Bomar Jones and “ranney.” - Chad Jacobs
Chad Jacobs
AUGUST IN WINTER: August Wilson's Radio Golf stars, from left front, Kim Sullivan, Anthony Chisholm, Chrystal Bates, Alan Bomar Jones and “ranney.”

Because we all need a friendly reminder now and then: Here's one of several scheduled calendar reminders of events in our Spring Arts Preview 2015.

Check back here at Art Breaker in the coming months for more or refer to our print edition calendar as shown in our Jan. 22 issue, pages 11-21. New events may be added at discretion of editor.

Now running

Radio Golf
In August Wilson’s final play, an African-American developer wants to replace historic properties with a bright commercial complex. Should the past be obliterated — or treasured? Jan. 21-Feb. 22, American Stage.

Jan. 24

The Art of Piracy: Pirates in Modern Culture
For the past four centuries, pirates and shipwrecks have staked out a seminal chapter in Tampa history. From the legend of Jose Gaspar to NFL mascot Bucco Bruce, the snarling thieves are unavoidable around these parts, especially during Gasparilla season. Through April 26. Tampa Bay History Center.

Jan. 27

Electronics Alive VIII
UT’s electronic arts biennial features digital animations, interactive programs and virtual spaces by artists from around the globe. Jan. 27-March 6, University of Tampa Scarfone/Hartley Gallery.

Jan. 31

click to enlarge Spring Arts Preview — January/February - anna lee edwards, pyramid inc.
anna lee edwards, pyramid inc.
Spring Arts Preview — January/February
These Places Actually Exist
Students from Tampa’s Pyramid Inc., an arts/educational facility for mentally challenged adults. explore where we dwell, both figuratively and literally. Venture Compound.

Merchandise w/Parquet Courts

After an overseas tour to support their release, After the End, Tampa’s hometown non-heroes Merchandise are joined by hard-buzzing indie garage rockers Parquet Courts. American Legion Hall, Tampa.

Galactic w/Monophonics
The New Orleans funk-jazz institution returns with San Francisco psych-soul up-and-comers Monophonics. State Theatre.

click to enlarge Spring Arts Preview — January/February - MARTIN PARR
Spring Arts Preview — January/February

Monet to Matisse — On the French Coast & Life’s a Beach, Photographs by Martin Parr

Get ready for a year of great exhibitions from St. Pete’s MFA, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Monet to Matisse features a bevy of well-known French artists, from Impressionists to modernists (including Renoir and Picasso), who made the country’s Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts a subject of their paintings. Closer to the present day, British photographer Parr’s photographs of beachgoers around the world — sometimes wickedly funny — are sheer delight. Both shows open on Feb. 7, the anniversary of the MFA’s debut in 1965. Feb. 7-May 31, Museum of Fine Arts.


Keep Saint Petersburg Local’s second celebration of local greatness is both free and pet-friendly, featuring 100-plus vendors from the city’s favorite independent businesses and non-profits. Williams Park.

Paula Poundstone
Her off-kilter humor and spontaneous wit — currently a highlight of NPR’s Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! — run the gamut from political digs to off-the-cuff tales from the home front. Capitol Theatre.

Thru Feb. 12
Assembly Required

HCC Ybor celebrates retiring art professor Suzanne Camp Crosby with a 20-year retrospective of her enigmatic staged photographs. HCC Ybor School of Visual and Performing Arts Gallery.

click to enlarge Spring Arts Preview — January/February - SUZANNE CAMP CROSBY
Spring Arts Preview — January/February

The Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota highlights 10 contemporary artists who use cast-off materials such as garbage and found objects to create sublime sculptures and installations, like the glimmering wall hangings of Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui, crafted from the metal caps and wrappers of liquor bottles; Mac Premo’s “Dumpster Project,” an artist’s-studio-cum-curiosity-shop of more than 500 objects in, yes, a dumpster, and Jill Sigman’s distinctive huts made of salvaged materials. Feb. 13-May 17, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Much Ado
For their second big showgasm since Sexxx Dreams, Coco and Homo (Zachary Hines and Colleen Cherry) are presenting Much Ado under the auspices of their newly formed nonprofit, Avant-Guardian. Much Ado, an “immersive performance and exhibition,” re-imagines the wedding of the misguided secondary couple of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Claudio and Hero. Expect a wedding party you’ll never forget, where you can mingle in a lovely staging area and enjoy food truck vittles and a first-rate art exhibition. Plus, Coco and Homo will salute same-sex couples who have recently wed with a bonus reception on the evening of Feb. 14, after the show. Feb. 13-14 at the historic Rialto Theatre.

The hunchbacked court jester Rigoletto in Verdi’s classic opera is happy to help his boss ravish innocent maidens — until the seducer sets his sights on Rigoletto’s daughter. Feb. 13-15, Straz Center.


Attic Records’ third annual music fest spreads 25 mostly Florida-spawned acts over four stages in downtown St. Pete. JJ Grey & Mofro headline. Jannus Live/Ringside Cafe/Mandarin Hide/MacDinton’s.

Justin Townes Earle

Steve Earle’s singing, songwriting son issued two heart-sore country/folk rock recordings in 2014 — Single Mothers and Absent Fathers. He hits town for the first time in four years supporting both. Crowbar.

Second Screen Cult Cinema

A new film series kicks off in downtown Tampa’s Vault with the 1960 thriller Peeping Tom. Enjoy nibbles from Bamboozle and themed craft cocktails like the “Peeping Tom Collins.” The Vault.

Butcher Holler Here We Come

NYC’s Aztec Economy stages the Tampa premiere of a play about a 1973 cave collapse in West Virginia that traps five coal miners. Feb. 19-21, Silver Meteor Gallery.

Lights On Tampa 2015

Tampa’s signature electronic art and light festival is back, as the city unveils one permanent and six temporary public art projects in and around Curtis Hixon Park, Kiley Gardens and the adjoining Riverwalk. Chicago-based artist Nick Cave orchestrates “Heard,” featuring local dancers dressed in the handmade, noise-making “sound suits” Cave is known for. Other attractions include a field of LED-topped posts that reflect the Hillsborough River’s tidal rhythms and “Sky Striker,” an interactive carnival-style high striker that will illuminate the Sykes Building. Feb. 20-21, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Kiley Gardens,

“My answers to this world are often misunderstood between yes and no,” says acclaimed Tampa Bay artist Kirk Ke Wang. His multimedia exhibition at CASS Contemporary will consist of an installation of paintings, sculptures, photography and video, with many puzzles and hidden messages for viewers to decipher. Feb. 20-April 4, Contemporary Art Space & Studio.

Paul Reiser

The congenial everyman comic — standup comic, movie star, creator of ’90s Must-See TV sitcom Mad About You — gets “Up Close and Personal” for his latest tour. The Palladium.

Hollywood Awards Night

Test your Oscar-predicting prowess at this gala red-carpet party on the night of the Academy Awards. Tampa Theatre.

Savion Glover's STePz

Hailed as the greatest hoofer of our time, Savion Glover (Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk) creates a new level of virtuosity in Stepz as he and a quartet of hand-selected tap dancers pay toe-tapping tribute to Glover’s inspirations in a wonderful new work that is “a tight show with some of the most skillful tap you’ll ever see” (The New York Post). Straz Center.

Wanda Sykes

From a puppet with hair rollers on Crank Yankers to her finger-pointing cameos on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sykes has probably the most distinctive female voice in comedy. Ruth Eckerd Hall.

My Sinatra

Celebrate what would have been Sinatra’s 100th birthday with Cary Hoffman, who has turned his acclaimed PBS special into a one-man musical play about Ol’ Blue Eyes. Straz Center.

Bright Lights Big City
The rise and fall of a coke-sniffin’, would-be illustrious Manhattanite in an amphetamine-laced rock musical based on the Jay McInerney novel. Feb. 28-March 22, freeFall Theatre.

Thru March 1
Ya La’Ford + Nathan Beard: Illuminated Silence

Two exciting painters with a bent for rhythmic abstraction have teamed up to build an installation at DFAC. Dunedin Fine Art Center.

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