If you’re fresh out of ideas for a special Valentine’s Day date, we’ve put together a list of some of the best events (and one non-events sure to please) happening on Valentine’s Day around Tampa Bay. While some are moderately priced, others are top-dollar, spare-no-expense happenings. So read on for some ideas that could help you have an unforgettable evening out with your special someone.
Florida Orchestra presents an Evening of Rogers and Hammerstein
Straz Center/Ferguson Hall
1010 N. W.C. MacInness
Tampa, FL 33602
Date: Feb. 14, 2014
An evening at the Straz Center is an almost surefire winner for date night. However, for Valentine’s Day, the Florida Orchestra is going to be reaching into the incredibly rich songbook of Rogers and Hammerstein for an evening of some of Broadway’s most memorable and romantic show tunes. Under the baton of Stuart Malina, the Florida Orchestra will weave magic spells with favorites from “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” “The Sound of Music” and many other classic shows. As part of the Pops series, tickets start at $15 and there truly is not a bad seat in the house.
405 Cleveland St.
Clearwater, FL 33755
Date: Feb. 14, 2014
The Capitol Theater pays homage to the Mediterranean heritage of the Tampa Bay area with Pavlo’s unique mix of Greek and Latin-style music. Nicknamed by some “The Greek God of Guitar,” Pavlo Simtikidis is a Canadian of Greek heritage and multiple nominations for the Canadian music industry’s Juno award. An artist of eclectic taste, you can expect hints of jazz and rock and roll to go along with his playlist of more traditional fare. Tickets at the intimate Capitol Theater in downtown Clearwater start at $29.50
Carrollwood Cultural Center
4537 Lowell Road
Tampa, FL 33618
Date: Feb. 14, 2014 at 8 p.m.
During the early days of rock ‘n roll, Tampa’s hottest group was the Impacs. Music and TV mogul Dick Clark spotted their talent and enlisted them to be the house band on his nationwide package tours. Impacs member Jay Lee Angelo estimates that along the way, they played with more than 140 of top 10 recording artists. They never became nationwide superstars, perhaps because they passed on a chance to appear on “American Bandstand” in order to take final exams at St. Petersburg Junior College, but they still can dish out plenty of good time rock ‘n roll. Whether it’s a rollicking cover of a Chuck Berry song or a Motown classic, the Impacs can still get a crowd dancing in the aisles. The show is scheduled to run from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. with ticket prices ranging from $13 to $20.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
777 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34236
After fighting his way through Europe as an U.S. Army infantryman, Anthony Benedetto went on to build a singing career under the name “Tony Bennett.” From the ’50s to the present day, Tony Bennett has set the standard when it comes to interpreting some of the greatest songs out of the great American songbook. Whether it’s the all-too-familiar classic “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” or a jazzy version of a Rogers and Hammerstein classic, Tony Bennett always delivers. He’s still going strong at age 86, but who knows how many more opportunities we will have to see the man Frank Sinatra once called “the best singer in the business.” Tickets at the acoustically perfect Van Wezel Hall on Sarasota’s fabulous waterfront start at $126.
Joey Gilmore at Dunedin Brewery
937 Douglas Ave.
Dunedin, FL 34698
Deep in the heart of Pinellas County, Dunedin may be the hippest little community in Tampa Bay. With its eclectic and eccentric downtown and variety of great dining spots, Dunedin is plenty fun any day of the week. One of the most happening places in this little town is the Dunedin Brewery. With its wide variety of beers brewed on premises and modestly priced selection of tradition bar foods, the Dunedin Brewery has plenty to offer on its own, but it’s also a hot spot for live music. One night it might be African-flavored jazz and on another it might be Caribbean Reggae. On Valentine’s Day, Blues Man Joey Gilmore will hold court at the Brewery. Joey’s style has been influenced by superstars such as James, Bobby Bland and Little Milton, but when he kicks off the show, the blues belong to him.
Mike Hennessy is a veteran news man who has won Florida AP awards for feature reporting and covered almost every kind of story imaginable from on-the-scene coverage of Hurricane Andrew, to some of the highest profile murder and corruption trials in Florida history. Mike is versatile and has the curiosity it takes to get to the bottom line of any story. His work can be found at Examiner.com.