Holiday show highlights: Melissa Etheridge, Donny and Marie, Cirque Musica, ‘Nutcracker’

Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are been put away, get out your calendars to make time for the top holiday concerts and stage shows coming to the Tampa Bay area.

This year brings pop and rock stars getting their jingle on, as well as cirque performers and ballet’s best.

Here are the highlights, but see t for hundreds of holiday events and shows.


Melissa Etheridge: The rocker and her holiday trio will perform songs from her 2008 holiday album, A New Thought For Christmas. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $49.50-$92.50. (727) 893-7832.

Florida Orchestra Holiday Pops: The family program includes a holiday sing-along, and this year brings two matinees that won’t spoil anybody’s bedtime. Grammy winner Jeff Tyzik, the orchestra’s principal pops conductor, will be the merry host with vocalist Doug LaBrecque. 8 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727)

Donny and Marie Celebrate the Holidays: The brother-sister also promise pop favorites like Puppy Love and Paper Roses. 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $72.75-$113.75. (727) 791-7400.

The Beach Boys: Holidays and Hits: Original members Mike Love and Bruce Johnson perform material from their early surf rock classics, plus holiday hits. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $40-$75; $150 dinner package.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The blockbuster symphonic rock act brings two shows 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $32 and up.

Rockapella Christmas: The five-man a cappella pop act brings unique takes on classic holiday favorites. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30-$59. (727) 791-7400.

Dave Koz: The nine-time Grammy nominee and saxophonist extraordinaire with Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and Valerie Simpson. Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall. $35-$100. (727) 791-7400.

Bowzer’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Holiday Party: Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of Sha Na Na hosts Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Original Comets, the Dixie Cups, Joey Dee, Bowzer and the Stingrays and Rocky and the Rollers. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $38.75-$78.75. (727) 791-7400.

A Peter White Christmas: Combining jazz, pop and classical guitar, featuring Rick Braun and Euge Groove. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Capitol Theatre, Clearwater. $39-$50. (727) 791-7400.


Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular: The show combines a live orchestra and a visual experience of high-flying acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and other circus high jinks. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $25-$85.

Next Generation Ballet’s the Nutcracker: Internationally renowned guest artists join the cast of dancers and gymnasts for three shows. Dec. 17-18 at Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $30 and up. (813) 229-7827.

Great Russian Nutcracker: Moscow Ballet brigs award-winning principal dancers, with stunning costumes and backdrops for three shows. Dec. 26-27 at the Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg. $32-$190. (727) 893-7832.

The Family Blessing: Formerly known as The Chocolate Nutcracker, this show follows a young boy as he experiences the blessings that come through having a family. 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Mahaffey Theater. $19-$39. (727) 893-7832.


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