Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
5:57 pm EDT
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Entertainment: The show must (may) go on

The Sharon has an exciting, diverse lineup for 2020-21—once the curtain is raised again.

Photos: Nicole Hamel

ho the heck is Nonnie and what aren’t we supposed to tell her?

Music, theater and comedy fans can seek the answer when the “Don’t Tell Nonnie” open mic nights and the rest of the Sharon’s events return—hopefully—for the 2020-21 season in The Villages. Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art venue in Spanish Springs Town Square.

The Sharon boldly announced a full slate of events beginning this summer. Tickets go on sale in July for some shows. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 guidelines, show dates have been continually changing, marketing manager Erika Nelson says, so check with the venue for updates.

Here’s a rundown of the season for entertainment-starved fans. Several shows were rescheduled from the spring because of theater closures:

  • Jackie Evancho, finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” Nov. 14-15.
  • The Hit Men, a rock supergroup including Lee Shapiro, Jimmy Ryan, Jeff Ganz, Russ Velazquez and Steve Murphy, Jan. 15.
  • Chris Botti, trumpeter and composer, Jan. 25.
  • “An Intimate Evening with David Foster: Hitman Tour,” Feb. 4-5.
  • “Anka Sings Sinatra: His Songs, My Songs, My Way!” with Paul Anka, March 21.

If you go to just one concert the entire season, check out cool cat Lee Rocker, a founding member of the Stray Cats rockabilly band who plays the upright bass like it’s his personal amusement ride. Hits like “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” and “(She’s) Sexy and Seventeen” will bring back a flood of memories. Tickets are on sale for his Aug. 27 show.

Other concerts include:

  • The Righteous Brothers, Bill Medley and Bucky Heard, Jan. 4-5.
  • “The Opera Locos,” a comic opera, Feb. 8.
  • The Julian Bliss Septet, with a tribute to Benny Goodman, Feb. 22.
  • The Ten Tenors, March 12.

The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra will stage nine performances (tickets are on sale):

  • Labor Day Pops Concert, Sept. 6.
  • Columbus Day Opera Gala, Oct. 11.
  • Messiah Classical Concert, Nov. 17.
  • Holiday Concerts, Dec. 17-18.
  • Classical Concerts, Jan. 8, March 15 and April 13.
  • Pops Celebration Concert, Feb. 23.
  • Opera Gala, May 5.

In addition to the philharmonic’s holiday concerts, the Moscow Ballet arrives Nov. 20 to perform “The Great Russian Nutcracker.”

Subscriptions for the four-show International Series go on sale July 8:

  • The Dhamaal Dancers and Musicians of India, Oct. 10.
  • Israel Symphony Orchestra, Jan. 20.
  • Tango Fire, a dance troupe, Feb. 1.
  • Vienna Boys Choir, Feb. 15.

Other dance performances include:

  • Jon Lehrer Dance Company, Sept. 24 (on sale July 8).
  • “Ballroom with a Twist 11th Anniversary Tour,” Jan. 22.
  • “The World of Musicals,” Jan. 26.
  • “Velocity Irish Dance,” with David Geaney and James Devine, Feb. 17.
  • Bodytraffic, a dance company, March 18.

Jay Leno, the former “Tonight Show” host who now plays the foil to his buddy Tim Allen on “Last Man Standing,” headlines the bookings for seven comedy shows. In addition to his performance Jan. 16, the lineup includes:

  • “The America I Grew Up In Tour,” Jeff Allen, Oct. 1 (on sale July 15).
  • “Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment,” Nov. 5.
  • Kathleen Madigan, Jan. 18.
  • Jeanne Robertson, March 1-2.
  • “Funny Women of a Certain Age,” featuring Caroline Rhea, Julia Scotti, Carole Montgomery and Thea Vidale, March 16.
  • “Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom,” March 20.

The Broadway touring shows offer four diverse and tantalizing performances:

  • Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to Margaritaville,” Dec. 8-11.
  • “Jersey Boys,” March 4-6.
  • “Summer, the Donna Summer Musical,” June 22-24.
  • “Hairspray,” Aug. 9-11, 2021.

The Sharon brings a touch of magic to The Villages with Charles Bach, Wonder Magician on Oct. 2 (on sale July 22), and illusionist Rick Thomas on April 6. The circus comes to town March 8 when the acrobats of Cirque Mechanics perform “Birdhouse Factory.”

Tickets for the National Geographic Live! Speaker Series go on sale July 1:

  • “Hidden Wild: Secrets of the Everglades,” with conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr., Oct. 5
  • “Deadliest Lifesavers,” with biomedical scientist Zoltan Takacs, Feb. 3.
  • “When Women Ruled the World,” with Egyptologist Kara Cooney, March 11.

On occasional nights in the lobby of the Sharon, music fans can enjoy “Don’t Tell Nonnie,” an open mic night named in honor of Sharon Morse. There’s a lot to tell Nonnie about the Sharon’s upcoming season, just don’t tell her that everyone’s fingers are crossed.

The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center

1051 Main St., The Villages / 352.751.7799

Tickets available at Villages box offices and