May the Fourth be with you, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day and every other event blooming in May cannot be complete without the enchanting embrace of the theater. You’ll be astounded by these marvelous May things to do in theater and the arts coming your way in Tampa Bay!  

American Stage Theatre Company

April 19 – May 14
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, Hairspray will prove you can't stop the beat or from dancing in your seat. Set during 1962 in Baltimore, teen Tracy Turnblad’s dream comes true to dance on the Corny Collins Show where she must dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network. For over thirty-years American Stage in the Park has been a celebrated Tampa Bay tradition. Please note: No alcohol or pets are allowed in the park, by City Ordinance; however, food and beverages (both alcoholic and non) are available at concessions. Demens Landing opens at 6:00 p.m. General Lawn seating is for blankets and stadium seats (no legs) to the front, with chairs to the rear. Tickets for this performance are General Lawn Seating only: "pay-what-you-can" at the gate or $16 in advance.

Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I
May 2-7    
Take a trip to Carol Morsani Hall and be transported to a musical 1860’s Bangkok to witness the tumultuous relationship between Anna, a British schoolteacher, and the King of Siam. Will Anna be able to educate the King of Siam’s numerous wives and children or will the King hinder their desire for knowledge? Pamper your ears with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest featuring your favorites such as “Getting To Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.” Tickets start at $58.00.

Stageworks Theatre

Avenue Q    
May 4-21
Winner of the TONY® “TRIPLE CROWN” for best musical, best score and best book, Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college graduate named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. There, he meets an eccentric group of friends like Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet sexpert), Lucy the Slut, and others who guide Princeton towards his purpose in life. Tickets for preview nights are $15 and regular are $30.

Francis Wilson Playhouse

The Wedding Singer      
 May 4-21
Based on the hit film, this 2006 Tony-nominated Broadway musical comedy spoofs the many trends and characters of the 1980's in this unique boy meets girl plot. Robbie makes his living as a wedding singer sleeping in the basement; Julia is a waitress dating a Wall Street shark wannabe... and neither are happy. What will happen to Robbie and Julia? Tickets are $26 and Students with I.D. $15.

Ruth Eckerd Hall

The Three Musketeers
May 18 – May 28
Joe Winskye and Hat Trick Theatre brings to life a fast-paced, action-packed, adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ timeless classic, The Three Musketeers. Join three legendary swordsmen and cheer them on as they battle their way through Cardinal Richelieu and his men with the assistance of a wannabe hero. Don’t fall on your swords and miss the new spin on this classic tale. Tickets are $24 and Student and Military discounts are available with valid ID in person at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office.

Jobsite Theater  

Gloucester Blue 
May 19 – June 11 (Preview Performances: May 17 – 18)
A dark comedy coated in an array of betrayal and seduction. Follow the lives of the working-class housepainters, Stumpy and Latham, in Gloucester, MA, with their upscale clients Bummy and Lexi. Gloucester Blue comes from the same internal award-winning playwright, poet, and filmmaker Israel Horovitz, known for his acclaimed production of Lebensraum. Tickets are $28 and $14 on preview nights May 17-18th.  

American Stage Theatre Company  

The Invisible Hand 
May 31 – June 25    
In Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s contemporary political thriller, an American banker named Nick Bright finds himself kidnapped by an Islamist militant while in Pakistan. When the United States refuses to negotiate for his release, Nick proposes to raise the $10 million ransom on his own by teaching Bashir, his captor, how to play the stock market. With the clock ticking down, Will Nick die for his country’s freedom or do what is necessary to save his life? This is a general admission performance. House opens at 6:30 p.m. for seating. Tickets are "pay-what-you-can" day of the show based on availability, or $15 in advance.

Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Finding Neverland
May 30 – June 4 
Sprinkle your pixie dust and fly on over to Carol Morsani Hall for another Broadway hit and the winner of's Audience Choice Award for BEST MUSICAL! You won’t want to miss Tony Award®-winner Diane Paulus' time-honored tale surrounding Peter Pan. When playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to summon his muse, his inspiration is given a kick at the meeting of four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Reinvigorated by the boys’ active imaginations, he ventures to write a play that will enchant London audiences. Tickets start at $31.00.

1st Annual Tampa Fringe

May 11 – May 14
What’s that? You’ve been craving a multi-disciplinary, open-access, uncensored performing arts festival? Well you’re in luck because Tampa will be hosting its first annual Tampa fringe festival! Why fringe? Picture this: 88 different shows in 4 days at 4 different theatre venues AND 115 artists from all over the world performing for your enjoyment. There are also local acts featuring Tampa artists’ works such as Tyler’s Time Out by Theatre eXceptional, The Flashlight Play by Kevin Michael Wesson, and many more! 

Even better, ticket prices are kept low starting at $5-$13. Also, consider purchasing the $5 Fringe Button which enables theatre enthusiasts to buy tickets for any fringe show. This helps the festival to be able to return 100% of the box office to the participants, helping them to continue to create new works and to tour. Not enough theatre for you? Consider the festival’s Eliminator Pass so you can see as many shows as you want and receive special access to the VIP events such as “secret parties” around Tampa Bay. 


Looking for more inspired things to do in Tampa Bay?  We've got you covered with #my813! Be sure to bookmark our weekly things to do articles outlining the best, most unusual and interesting things to do in the 727 and 813 areas. Find them on our Facebook Page every Wednesday!  We'd love to hear from you after attending one or all of the productions listed in Marvelous May Theatre Productions Coming to Tampa Bay and look forward to your reviews below!  (Photos courtesy of event postings on Facebook and respective venues.)