The Mahaffey Theater had already announced an interesting season for 2016-17, including concerts by Pet Shop Boys and Brian Wilson and an appearance from comedian Tracy Morgan.
Now, the Mahaffey has considerably beefed up its season calendar, adding 20 new shows. Among the highlights are comedian Billy Gardell (Jan. 15), wildlife expert Jack Hanna (Jan. 22) and Motown great Smokey Robinson (Feb. 9). So many shows have been added that it’s almost like a whole extra season, even though the new shows are interspersed with the previously announced ones. A few of the new shows are at the Palladium Theater, a smaller space on the north side of downtown St. Petersburg.
Most of the added shows are concerts. Perhaps the most intriguing one is “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra,” composed by REM bassist Mike Mills, on Oct. 21. But also new to the season are a puppet show, a ventriloquist act, a magic show and a dance performance.
Here’s the entire rundown of recently added shows.
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8 p.m. Oct. 21: “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra,” composed by R.E.M.’s Mike Mills for Robert McDuffie, featuring Fifth House Ensemble. Violinist Robert McDuffie has commissioned a new composition from REM’s Mills. The concerto features McDuffie on violin, with a four-member rock band fronted by Mills.
7 p.m. Oct. 23: Jeffrey Osborne and Gerald Albright. R&B vocalist Osborne (“You Should Be Mine,” “On the Wings of Love”) is joined by the saxophone player and multi-instrumentalist Albright for a program of duets and solos.
3 p.m. Nov. 13: “Odd Squad Live.” From the Emmy-winning PBS kids’ series. Ms. O needs you to team up with Odd Squad agents in this live, interactive adventure to solve an exciting case.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 29 (Palladium Theater): “Windham Hill Winter Solstice” featuring Liz Story, Barbara Higbie and Sean Harkness. New Age-influenced musicians have created a show in celebration of the winter solstice.
7:30 p.m. Jan. 13: Billy Gardell. He’s probably best known as the co-star of the hit series “Mike & Molly,” but he’s been packing concert halls with his stand-up comedy. Billy Gardell played Officer Mike Biggs on the popular sitcom for its entire six-season run. Gardell’s stand-up show includes stories about his rough childhood and wild adolescence, contrasted with tales of his new family life.
7 p.m. Jan. 15 (Palladium) “Ethan Bortnick: The Power of Music.” Fifteen-year-old Ethan Bortnick sings, plays piano, writes songs and stars in television specials and feature films.
7:30 p.m. Jan. 19: “Elvis Lives.” A multi-media and live musical journey across Elvis’ life, featuring winners from Elvis Presley Enterprises’ annual worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, each representing Elvis during different stages in his career.
8 p.m. Jan. 20: The Five Irish Tenors. On their first American tour, the Five Irish Tenors fuse wit with lyricism. The program includes everything from W.B Yeats’s “Down by the Sally Gardens” to Verdi’s “O Mio Rimorso” from “La Traviata.”
3 p.m. Jan. 22: Jack Hanna’s “Into the Wild Live.” America’s most popular animal expert brings his four-time Emmy Award-winning television series to the stage, with a exotic animals, humorous stories and footage from his adventures.
7 p.m., Jan,. 29: “Terry Fator: It Starts Tonight.” Fator is a comedian, ventriloquist, singer and celebrity impersonator. His cast of puppet “characters” includes Winston the Impersonating Turtle, World’s Greatest Elvis impersonator Maynard Thompkins, Walter T. Airdale, Duggie Scott Walker, tween Emma Taylor and many others.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 1: An Evening With Pat Metheny. Twenty-time Grammy-winning guitarist Metheny presents a range of music from throughout his storied career, joined by drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Linda Oh and keyboardist Gwilym Simcock.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 9: Smokey Robinson. A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Kennedy Center Honoree and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, Robinson has created such hits as “Tears of a Clown,” “Being With You” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.”
Feb. 18 (Time TBA, Palladium ): BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. Since forming in 1975, Grammy-winners BeauSoleil have been considered one of most esteemed Cajun groups in music.
3 p.m. Feb. 19: “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live.” Realistic puppets star in an entertaining and educational live show that aims to thrill kids while stimulating their imaginations.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 20: “Masters of Illusion.” Direct from the hit TV show, “Masters of Illusion” is a fast-moving, family-friendly show replete with grand escapes, comedy magic and sleight of hand and beautiful dancers.
8 p.m. Feb. 24: “Benise: Strings of Passion.” Acclaimed guitarist Benise, a PBS favorite for over a decade, takes the audience on a musical journey of salsa, flamenco, tango, waltz, samba and more.
7 p.m. Feb. 26: “Rhythm of the Dance.” This show celebrates the rich history of Ireland and the art of Irish dance, from the disciplined Celtic Step to the sensual, ancient Sean Nos dance style.
7 p.m. March 31: “1964 ... The Tribute.” One of the most highly regarded Beatles tribute shows.
8 p.m. April 21: “One Night of Queen.” Great Britain’s Gary Mullen & the Works re-create a complete Queen concert with such songs as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Killer Queen,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Are the Champions.”
8 p.m.: April 22 (Palladium ): “Say Goodnight Gracie.” A show written by Tony Award-winner Rupert Holmes, promises the audience a hilarious, heart-warming evening in the company George Burns.
Tickets for all newly-announced events go on sale at noon Aug. 5 Tickets may be purchased online at themahaffey.com or by phone at 727-893-7832.