The 2021-22 season begins Aug. 14 with a free performance by ELLADA in Craig Park
TARPON SPRINGS — Following a season that was cut short by the pandemic, Tarpon Arts is looking to rebound in a big way this year, including kicking off the 2021-22 season with a free concert at Craig Park.
The Welcome Back Concert in the Park is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 14, at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a performance by popular Greek band ELLADA. It’s the first of nearly 80 live performances in a schedule filled with Broadway stars and musical acts as well as comedies, one-act plays, dramas and mysteries, according to Tarpon’s cultural and civic services department director, Diane Wood.
“This season joyfully welcomes patrons back to live entertainment in Tarpon Springs,” Wood said recently via email, noting the regular schedule runs from Sept. 11 to July 24 and is sponsored by AdventHealth North Pinellas. “It is a season featuring the music of some of the greatest artists of the ’60s and ’70s such as Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Elton John and Linda Ronstadt, and also includes a robust line up of community theater comedies and favorites such as a Sherlock Holmes mystery, a Gilbert and Sullivan classic ‘Pirates of Penzance’ and Disney's romantic ‘Beauty and the Beast’.”
Other highlights of the upcoming schedule, according to Wood, include the “velvet voice” of the Soul of Broadway, Terron Brooks, the Jersey Tenors, Tony Pace's Icons show and the Motown vibes of the Soul Cruisers, as well as the Welcome Back concert.
Wood, who came to the city from the Straz Theater six years ago, said anticipation for the upcoming season has “already exceeded our expectations with strong, initial ticket sales.” She noted ticket discounts are available through Tarpon Arts’ Series of Six and Fan Four Pack promotions, and patrons of the season will also be able to redeem ticket stubs for freebies from one of seven participating Tarpon Arts Restaurant Partners. Tarpon Arts also has Show Sponsorships available for patrons, businesses, and organizations, according to Wood.
After last season ended prematurely in March 2020 and following a six-month stretch of community theater performances on a temporary stage at the Heritage Museum to start this year, Wood and her team, which now includes former Ruth Eckerd Hall entertainment manager Brandon Groc, are excited to see live performances again at the Performing Arts Center inside City Hall as well as at the cozy, 70-seat theater located inside the recently remodeled historic Community Center at 101 S. Pinellas Avenue.
“Tarpon Arts would like to recognize and thank local community theater actors, stage managers and directors for working with us to provide patrons with a ray of positive light during a time when most of the performing arts venues were completely shut down,” Wood wrote, adding, “Our collaboration safely provided abundant smiles and appreciation from our patrons.”
As for this season, Wood said the response has “provided us with confirmation on what shows will be most popular with our patrons. We have enjoyed the feedback from the public saying, "best season ever!”
Tarpon Arts 2021-22 season brochure is currently available at the Heritage Museum, Safford House Museum, Performing Arts Center, Tarpon Springs Library and Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are currently on sale for all shows online at Tarponarts.org, via phone at (727) 942-5605 or at the Ticket Sales Office in the Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane in Craig Park, Monday to Friday. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.