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Catch a Show at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts

By Paul Bilyeu

Catch a Show at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Tampa's premiere performing arts complex, The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, or, the Straz Center, celebrates the tremendous impact the performing arts have on the community 365 days a year. The Straz Center hosts world-class performances in music, theater and dance and brings the best of Broadway to its five theaters, making it a thriving hub of cross-cultural exchange that offers the very best in performing arts for this region.

"We work hard to ensure programs for different types of audiences, reflecting the diversity of the Tampa Bay region so everyone knows that the Straz Center is their home for the performing arts," says Straz Center President and CEO Judy Lisi.

In addition to the hundreds of shows for kids, families and adult audiences each year, the Straz Center also houses the Patel Conservatory, the only accredited performing arts school in south central Florida. The Patel Conservatory provides classes in music, theater and dance for pre-K to adult students, including professional tracks for aspiring performing artists. Next Generation Ballet, the resident ballet company, is one of the most respected pre-professional companies in the country, providing an exceptional training ground for?literally?the next generation of great ballet dancers.

Year after year, the Best of Broadway season delights audiences with its line-up of hit Broadway shows, and patrons can catch exceptional concerts, stand up comedy, dance and theater by internationally recognized artists. The resident theater company, job site Theater, provides award-winning productions of cutting-edge new works and stage favorites.

Almost any night of the year, audiences can find multiple performances happening throughout the complex, with patrons enjoying cocktails and dinner in the on-site restaurant, Maestro's, beforehand. The Straz Center also features a coffee shop that brews local coffee and a riverside café and bar for lighter fare while enjoying a spectacular Florida sunset.

"This performing arts center was designed to belong to the people, to provide cultural nourishment to our community. We intended the Straz Center to be equal to similar centers in New York, London, San Francisco so that everyone in the Tampa Bay area could experience the joys of the performing arts. So, we have something for everybody," says Lisi.

Currently, the Straz Center is one of the largest performing arts complexes in the nation, creating a $100 million impact on the regional economy and drawing more than 470,000 attendees per year.

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