Broadway musicals returning to Tampa’s Straz Center in the fall

Jay Handelman
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Caroline Bowman as Elsa in the North American tour of “Frozen,” one of the musicals featured in the Straz Center for the Performing Arts’ 2021-22 Broadway season.

Broadway is expected to return in the fall to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, which has announced a 2021-22 lineup that includes “Frozen,” “Tootsie” and “The Prom” and several other shows that were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While Broadway has not yet reopened, many theater observers are hopeful shows will restart in the fall, though unions have not yet agreed on safety standards for performances and presenters.

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More:‘Hamilton’ return to Tampa postponed until 2022

“It’s been a long intermission, but we are excited for the return of touring Broadway to Tampa,” Judith Lisi, the center’s president and CEO, said in announcing the season Friday.

A scene from the original Broadway cast of “The Prom.” A national tour is planned for the Straz Center’s 2021-22 season.

Lisi said the center will follow recommended safety measures as it reopens more indoor performances.

“We will always consult with our partners at Tampa General as we develop our health protocols, and, if necessary, continue implementing safety measures for staff and guests like health screening, temperature checks and mask-wearing,” Straz officials said.

During the pandemic, the center has invested $1.4 million in a mitigation plan that includes upgraded HVAC system, disinfecting and sanitizing equipment and touchless systems for ticketing, food and beverage and restrooms.

Among the shows that were postponed this year are two with scores by Tony-winner David Yazbeck – “Tootsie,” a musical version of the hit film that starred Dustin Hoffman, and “The Band’s Visit,” about an Egyptian band’s experience when it mistakenly travels to the wrong town in Israel for a concert.

Cast members from the Tony Award-winning musical “The Band’s Visit,” one of several touring shows booked for the Straz Center’s 2021-22 season after being postponed because of coronavirus.

“Tootsie” opens the season Oct. 26-31. It will be followed by a return engagement of the long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats” Dec. 7-12.

“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” which follows the life and career of the disco queen, will be presented Jan. 11-16, followed by the warm-hearted musical “The Prom” (Feb. 15-20), which was recently presented as a Netflix film starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

Disney’s “Frozen,” which will bring Elsa and Anna to the stage with added songs, is scheduled for March 23-April 3, followed by the recent Lincoln Center revival of Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,” April 26-May 1.

“The Band’s Visit,” which won 10 Tony Awards including best musical, will be presented May 4-8, followed by “Pretty Woman: The Musical” (May 17-22), based on the hit 1990 Garry Marshall film that starred Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.

The return engagement of “Hamilton,” which originally was scheduled for June, has been postponed to Nov. 15-Dec. 11, 2022, because of the pandemic. It is not part of the Straz Center’s new subscription package. 

Current season ticket holders will receive renewal invoices beginning April 19 and must renew by May 28. Subscription packages range from $215-$739. For more information: 800-955-1045; strazcenter.org

Jay Handelman, arts editor and theater critic, has been an editor and writer at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune since 1984. Read more of his arts and entertainment stories. And please support local journalism by subscribing to the Herald-Tribune.