Top 10 artistic events for Sarasota-Manatee: August 5 to 11


Celebrate women in cabaret shows

Two women with long-standing ties to the Venice Theater perform in their own musical programs this weekend, which marks the end of the abridged season of the Venice Theater’s annual Summer Cabaret Festival. The first is Alana Opie, who has been seen on shows such as “Blood Brothers” and “Always … Patsy Cline”. She will perform some of her favorite songs from the shows she performed on at 7:30 p.m. today and Friday. Then, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, longtime musical director and accompanist Michelle Kasanofsky joins her son Mikal Mancini and their frequent collaborator Joel Broome for a performance that honors the singers of Ella Fitzgerald in Dusty Springfield. , Cher and Adele. Tickets are $ 25 and performances are held at Pinky’s Cabaret at the Venice Theater, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice. 941-488-1115;

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Coming soon:Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith reunited in upcoming Selby Gardens exhibit in Sarasota

Meg Lowman, former CEO of Selby Gardens and canopy expert, is the author of the new book

Virtual book launch for Meg Lowman

There are a number of events on the schedule this week via Bookstore1Sarasota, starting with a discussion on “The Cellist” by Daniel Siva led by Elsie Souza for Mysteries to Die for the Book Club. It’s 2 p.m. Tuesday. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the store will host the launch of the latest book by former Selby Gardens manager Meg Lowman, biologist, educator and writer. His new book is “The Argonaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us”. At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the store’s Poetry Book Club, run by Doug Knowlton, begins a series focusing on local published poets, starting with Pat Owen’s “Orion’s Belt at the End of the Drive”. Owen will join the discussion. There is a fee (which includes copies of the book) for some of the programs. For more details:

Derek Sikkema is one of the playwrights featured at the Players Centre's 20th New Game Festival.

Players Center celebrates 20 years of new gaming festivals

Even without a performance venue, the Players Center for Performing Arts continues a 20-year tradition with its annual New Play festival, which begins Monday. Five local playwrights will have the chance to hear their latest work performed in a virtual format n on Zoom during the five-day event. The festival opens with “The Mantle” by Jalex Scott; followed Tuesday by “OUT” by Derek Sikkema; Stephen Cooper’s “Spiritual Bliss” Wednesday; “Locked Inside” by Morgan Cox on August 12; and “Just Like Stealing” by Douglas Gearhart closing the festival on August 13th. All performances are at 7:30 pm The winning play will have a more complete staging in the future. (Due to the pandemic, the theater has not been able to present the last two winners.) Tickets are $ 10 per show, $ 24 for a three-pack, and $ 30 for all five shows. Customers will receive a Zoom link on the day of the show. For more information: 941-365-2494;

Mr. Robb, a comedic artist, is featured in the 2021 edition of the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Ringling.

Circus sensations at the theater

After a one-year hiatus, the Summer Circus Spectacular returns for two weeks to The Ringling’s historic Asolo Theater. Produced by the Conservatory of Circus Arts, the show brings together a variety of circus artists from around the world performing in an intimate venue. Local actor and director Jared Walker, who is the Creative Director of Sailor Circus Academy, returns as the track chief. This year’s production stars Darren Trull, a veteran of many Cirque du Soleil shows, comedy actor Mr. Robb, hand-balancing performer Elayne Kramer, juggler Noel Aguilar and unicycle act. of the Valla-Bertini family. The show is aimed at a family audience with performances during the day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Friday and at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets cost $ 18, $ 12 for children 12 and under. For more information on tickets: 941-360-7399;

Artist Autumn Knight is part of a Hermitage Artist Retreat Program.

Identity in art

The Hermitage Artists’ Retreat focuses on two visual artists who will take a frank and intimate look at their creative processes and identity themes as part of the “Identity in Art” program at 6.30pm on Friday. Presented in collaboration with Art Center Sarasota, the program features interdisciplinary artist Autumn Knight, who works with performance, installation, video and text, and figurative artist Robert A. Pruitt, whose work is featured in some leading museums. Pruitt creates large-scale figurative portraits onto which he projects images of different experiences and material references. The program will be shown on Hermitage Beach at 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood. The event is free, but there is a $ 5 registration to register. For more information:

Exploration of the work of Robert Colescott

New leadership is on the way for the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, which recently announced the hiring of Virginia Shearer as new Executive Director starting in late August. While waiting for his arrival, you can explore the current major exhibition “Art and Race Matter: The Career of Robert Colescott,” a glimpse into the nearly six-decade career of the late artist. The exhibition, which originated at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, is now on display until October 21 at the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College. It presents 54 works that span a career in which he has confronted issues of race, gender, identity and the realities of life in the second half of the 20th century. The museum is located at 1001 S. Tamiami Trail in the old Sarasota High School. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information:

Reading of new pieces at the FST

The Florida Studio Theater is using the month of August to try out new plays from writers who were part of the FST Playwright Project, which used federal funds during the pandemic to hire writers to create new works. “Last Call at the Old Slave Quarters Lounge,” which premieres at 7 pm Monday, is by Kenneth Jones, whose play “Alabama Story” premiered in Sarasota in 2016. The new work is set at a popular Mississippi restaurant with a troubling history that has hurt the business. Kate Alexander will lead. At 7:00 pm on August 16, the theater will present “America in One Room” by Jason Odell Williams, author of “Handle with Care”. a wide range of topics. Catherine Randazzo leads the reading. Tickets cost $ 20 for each reading. Discussions will follow each reading at the Keating Theater, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. For more information: 941-366-9000;

The walls of the Museum of Botany and the Arts at Selby Gardens display works by road bandits for the “We Dream of a World” exhibit.

Florida Bandits Show in Selby

Herald-Tribune art critic Marty Fugate says ambitious new exhibition of Florida Highwaymen’s work goes a long way in helping viewers appreciate black artists who built their careers selling painters at highway intersections . “We Dream A World: African American Landscape Painters of Mid-Century Florida, The Highwaymen” is on display at the Selby Botanical Gardens Museum of Botany and the Arts through September 26. The exhibit also recognizes Zanobia Jefferson, an art teacher at Lincoln Park Academy, who has helped develop the talents of young black students. The exhibit is included with Selby’s regular admission to 1534 Mound St., Sarasota. For more information:

Nicholas Mangiardo-Cooper, left, and Timothy C. Goodwin star in the Florida Studio Theater production

Lights up at the Florida Studio Theater

The Florida Studio Theater has something to do in every performance space this week, starting with its latest entry, Richard Dresser’s comedy-drama “Rounding Third” at the Gompertz Theater, 1265 First St., Sarasota. He joined a list of other FST shows, including “My Lord, What a Night” by Deborah Brevoort at the Keating Theater; “Big balls of fire”; a cabaret tribute to the career of rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis at Court Cabaret; “Shades of Buble,” a three-way tribute to the music of Michael Buble in the Goldstein Cabaret; and “Life’s a Beach,” the Saturday night show offered by FST Improv at Bowne’s Lab Theater. For more information on the four shows: 941-366-9000;

The Punta Gorda Symphony hosts a summer concert series in August.

Music for August nights

The Punta Gorda Symphony, conducted by Raffaele Ponti, hosts a series of concerts in August. It begins Saturday at 7 p.m. with a performance of the string quartet performing works by Mozart, Johann Strauss, Puccini and Verdi. The quartet includes violinists David Qi and Cindi Qi, violist Rafael Ramirez and cellist Shea Kole, who appeared on the soundtrack of the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit”. At 7:00 p.m. on August 28, the Symphony Orchestra’s Percussion Ensemble will take center stage with an array of instruments performing rarely heard live music. Performances take place in the auditorium of the Charlotte Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College, 26300 Airport Rd., Punta Gorda. Tickets cost $ 30 each, but a 20% discount is available for those who purchase tickets for both programs. For more information: 941-205-5996;

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