Winter events preview for 2017
Arts, festivals, plays and black tie events
It is that time of year when more events are scheduled and they seem to sell out quicker. With that in mind I present my annual pick of favorites for winter 2017 so you can begin reviewing your selections and start booking today. And if there is something that you know about, but don’t see, you can always look on our calendar of events where I express a wider variety and likely find it there. I am breaking them out by category of black tie benefit events, art festivals, plays, the finer arts and the best at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.
Black tie affairs are charity events associated with a non-profit that benefits the community. A portion of the ticket costs and proceeds from silent auctions are donated. To start, former TODAY show co-host Ann Curry will give the keynote speech at a luncheon, February 10, at the Ritz-Carlton to benefit the Tidewell Hospice program. Two events are inspired by the French Riviera. The following day on Saturday the Orchid Ball benefiting Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will be held on the great lawn starting at 6 p.m. The une soirée en fleurs will provide a glimpse of their new exhibit The Color of Dreams. The annual gala to benefit the Asolo Repertory Theatre, La Fête de Monte Carlo, will be held March 4 at the Ritz-Carlton.
I support four organizations that help local children. They are the Sarasota Adopt-A-Family, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Suncoast, Forty Carrots and the Child Protection Center. Two of them have nice annual events that support their organizations. On April 1 the annual Firefly Gala at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club is a benefit for the Forty Carrots Family Center and features hip-hop artist Flo Rida from Miami. The Child Protection Center will hold its annual benefit on April 19 at Michael’s on East. A portion of the ticket price and a live auction at the Blue Ties and Butterflies affair will provide a good foundation of funds for the 2017 operating budget.
The Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival this past weekend kicked off a series of festivals devoted to the arts. This Saturday Art Antiques will be on sale at the Municipal Auditorium downtown. The weekend of January 28-29 the Winter Art Festival will be held in St. Armands Circle, followed by the Winter Fine Art Festival on Lido Beach the first weekend in February. If you miss the winter fine art festivals you can connect with the Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival on Gulfstream Avenue March 11-12 followed next month on April 8-9 by the Spring Fine Art Festival on Lido Beach. The Suncoast Blues Festival is January 27-28 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Campsites are available for overnighters.
There are plenty of quality plays in the area. The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is now running its show The Piano Lesson, now through February 18. Girl Groups, the 60s Explosion, that runs from March 1 to April 8 was created by founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs with songs from the great female recording stars including The Shirelles, The Marvelettes, The Supremes and The Shangri-Las. I interviewed Nate in REALTALK #101. Also currently running but ending in January are the plays Stalking the Bogeyman at the Florida Studio Theatre, Little Shop of Horrors at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, Sweet Charity at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, and Moon Over the Brewery at the Players Theatre.
The performances that currently are on a longer run include Sister Act, based on the movie with Whoopi Goldberg, through runs February 5 at the Venice Theatre. The comedic play, Clever Little Lies, runs through March 4 at the Florida Studio Theatre and the play, The Great Society, is getting wonderful reviews. Running now through April 2 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, this play follows the years of Lyndon Johnson during his White House years as President. There is a meet the actors night following the performance January 22. The Originalist starts Wednesday at the Asolo Repertory Theatre and follows the national discourse of thought that was created by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The play runs through March 7 and stars Edward Gero as Justice Scalia.
The oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida, the Sarasota Orchestra continues its tradition of first-class live music and musical education. Its series of classical, pops and family concerts are under the new direction of Anu Tali who has considerable experience as a concert and opera conductor overseas. A close up conversation with Anu and musicians is sold out on January 31 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. In addition to the Masterworks and Pops series, the orchestra combines for over 100 performances a year and includes Chamber Soirees and Great Escapes.
The Masterworks 4 concerto, Tchaikovsky to Tüür, was composed for Anu and will be performed February 2-5. The Masterworks 5 concerto series, Estonian Voices, a chorus by the Grammy Award winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir will be featured February 23-26. Titan, in Masterworks 6 provides a rare opportunity to see a flugelhorn performance of Tchaikovsky variations by Sergei Nakariakov, from March 17-19. Everything seven is in the Magnificent Seven, Masterworks 7, March 31 through April 2, in which Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 builds to its magnificent climax. In each of the Masterworks series the first night performance will be held at the Neel Performing Arts Center at the State College of Florida in Bradenton but the following performances will be held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Andrew Lane, principal pops conductor leads a series of concerts and Saturday matinees including the first series January 20-21. This tribute to the Songs of Elton John and Others is performed by Grammy and Tony Award nominated piano man Michael Cavanaugh. The Leading Ladies of Broadway puts the spotlight on star Susan Egan. Other Broadway stars Liz Callaway and Deedee Magno Hall join Susan on stage for shows March 3-4 in the Pops 2 series. The Music of Sinatra April 21-22 in Pops 3 features Ol' Blue Eyes with movies and the silky voice of jazz vocalist Michael Andrew. Each Pops series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has one show on Friday and two shows on Saturday at 2:30 and 8 p.m. A special Outdoor Pops: Hits and Home Runs will have performances May 12-13 at 8 p.m. each day at Ed Smith Stadium.
Only special ticket seating is available for the annual Van Wezel Foundation Gala, this year starring comedic legends Steve Martin and Martin Short in tandem on stage with the Grammy award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers bluegrass band. Proceeds support its Schooltime Performance program. Other concerts at the Van Wezel this month include Zoltán Mága: From Budapest with Love, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the leadership of musical director Wynton Marsalis, and six incredible consecutive nights of music legends, January 27 through February 2 with a lineup of Kenny Rogers in his final tour, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, National Symphony of Ukraine, Boz Scaggs, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and finishes with Keith Lockhart & The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Riverdance is in town January 24-25 and spend the night with comedian Billy Crystal January 26. The concert by Engelbert Humperdink scheduled for tonight was canceled due to sickness.
I hope your holiday today was a good one. I am still celebrating my successful year of record sales in 2016 with over $77 million in volume by listing seven new properties for sale last week, all on Longboat Key with ranges starting at $3.295 million to $479,000. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.
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|638 Bayview Drive||$2,595,000||Video||Photo Slideshow|
|7100 Longboat Drive East||$1,695,000||Video||Photo Slideshow|
|3261 Bayou Sound||$1,395,000||Photo Slideshow|
|1965 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #401/403||$1,100,000||Photo Slideshow|
|604 Buttonwood Dr||$599,000||Photo Slideshow|
|5841 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #245||$479,000||Photo Slideshow|
Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing