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Festival season: Something for everyone

by Roger Pettingell

Festival season: Something for everyone

October heats up the weekend schedules

Film, music, oddity and seafood festivals progress throughout the year

Upcoming events in Sarasota
Sarasota Oktoberfest - You may have missed the Oktoberfest in J.D.Hamel Park this weekend but there are plenty of festivals for your fall and winter plans

You may have missed some of the Oktoberfests the past few weeks, but not to worry as more are on the schedule in Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton this weekend. The local versions of the traditional German festivals set in motion a series of festivals in the upcoming months that are all well attended. These annual festivals include art, music and film celebrations with some created for seafood lovers. This is part two of the four-part series on local peak season events.

There are a couple Oktoberfests remaining, sponsored at local breweries. The Lucky Frog Restaurant on Cortez Road in Bradenton will present Bavarian music and feature a beer stein contest from 11 AM to 9 PM on Saturday. Music, beer and schnitzel will be served at the Naughty Monk Restaurant in Lakewood Ranch from 2 to 7 PM on Sunday.

With Halloween rapidly approaching the pumpkins are on the minds of those celebrating this holiday. So it follow that festivals cater to those setting up for Halloween and Thanksgiving. The 31st annual Pumpkin Festival at Fruitville Grove continues with the Pumpkin Fest Rally the next two Saturdays and the Around the World Festival the next two Sundays. Top-quality bands, along with magic shows, monster truck show, circus performances, motorcycle daredevils, jugglers, dog tricks and bicycle stunts are on the schedule for the final weekend of the 2019 Pumpkin Festival at Hunsader Farms in Bradenton.

The annual One-Act Play Festival runs five consecutive days at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, October 31 through November 3. Four plays were selected for this event that is a series of events, the Ten-minute Play Festival in May and the Student Ten-minute Play Festival, January 25 and 26, both in the Cook Theatre at FSU/Asolo Center for the Performing Arts on the Ringling grounds in Sarasota.

The Chalk Festival has a long history in Sarasota, with the past few years at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds. This year’s theme, Garden of Wonders, runs November 15-18. These amazing pavement artists gather in Sarasota from around the globe each year to participate in this juried competition. Spectacular 3D images on the their medium is incredible to watch and return for the final presentation. Local popular bands also perform in concert.

Upcoming events in Sarasota
St. Armands Art Festivals - Artists display their works for sale at multiple times throughout the year

Art festivals are plentiful in the fall and winter months. On the St. Armands Circle November 9 and 10, over 175 artists will display their wares on the circle. It coincides with the fall sidewalk sale, merchants selling their inventory with deep discounts in time for holiday gift shopping. The 17th Annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival returns January 25. The Sarasota Fall Art Festival, November 16 and 17, Winter Art Festival, January 11 and 12, and Spring Fine Art Festival, May 7 and 8, attract artists and shoppers to J.D. Hamel Park on the Bayfront Street. The Fine Art Fair with Craft Marketplace is in the parking lot for one day this Saturday at the University Town Center Mall. Lido Beach has local and North American artists displaying their works February 8 and 9 at the Lido Beach Fine Art Festival.

For the seafood lover in you, the fishing village of Cortez opens up the series with its Neptune’s Seaside Bash this Saturday at the Seafood Shack Marina and the 8th Annual Cortez Stone Crab and Music Festival at the Swordfish Grill, November 9. The history of Cortez as a fishing and seafood village continues its heritage with one of the most celebrated seafood festivals locally. February 15 and 16 is the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival which celebrates the heritage of Cortez, visited by thousands.

Away from Cortez, Lakewood Ranch continues the series with their Seafood Festival November 22 on Main Street. In December, the Siesta Beach Seafood and Music Festival is December 6 through 8, while the Coquina Beach Seafood and Music Festival stretches for three days the following weekend, December 13 to 15. Next year the St. Armands Seafood and Music Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 22 to 24, features top local bands on the circle and food entrees created by local restaurants.

This area has one of the most unusual festivals, the Shark’s Tooth Festival is a three-day celebration in Venice, a main location in the country for finding shark teeth on the beaches or in the depths off shore. This annual event will be held April 3 through 5 next year on the airport festival grounds in the proclaimed shark’s tooth capital of the world. As with other festivals expect plenty of good entertainment and your opportunity to see some massive historic megalodon teeth collected off the shores of Venice. There is a Shark’s Tooth 10K run on Saturday and a 5K Shark Fin run on Sunday.

Sarasota Oktoberfest
The Verge - Attendees danced to 70s tunes this past weekend at the Sarasota Oktoberfest

For two weeks at the end of March, Sarasota is transformed into a motion picture mecca highlighting some of the most celebrated international films. Compared with Cannes and Sundance, the Sarasota Film Festival opens with a red-carpet event at the Opera House, has a schedule of films highlighted at local downtown theaters, well-planned theme parties and closing night awards ceremony. Expect to see some celebrity actors and directors in some of the finest restaurants of Sarasota. The 22nd annual film festival begins March 27 and runs through April 5 of 2020.

Each May the Harvey Milk Festival honors the legacy of the gay rights activist with a series of parties and concerts around J.D. Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota. Its events are also coordinated with the Fabulous Independent Film Festival, five days of films in the Burns Court Cinema with a special movie screening the Beatrice Friedman Theater on the first night of the festival. The festival recently concluded the last week in September.

Sarasota swells with visitors each June for the Sarasota Music Festival. Hundreds of classic music students from around the globe audition the 62 slots, a continuation of training with some of the masters of classical music. During the weeks of the music festival visitors are invited to catch faculty performances with various themes Thursday through Saturday, with the fellowship participants performing on Sundays or invited to perform as guest musicians throughout the week. These events and many others are on my upcoming schedule page with a schedule that continues through June 27, 2020.

We continue to build our inventory of homes for sale during peak season. Last week I listed a stunning penthouse at L’Ambiance with sunrise-to-sunset panoramic views at this 4,900+ square-foot beach home. At 4325 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #604 is our Tiffany Plaza four-bedroom penthouse with more than 2,900 square feet of interior space. Grand Bay is one of my favorite communities on the bay and the new listing at residence 262 has panoramic sixth-floor direct bay views, something you will want to see for yourself. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
415 L'Ambiance Dr, #PH-F $7,495,000 Video    
4325 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #604 $1,795,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #262 $799,000   Photo Slideshow

 

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Peak season also means top entertainment

by Roger Pettingell

Local theater and the Van Wezel shows

First in a four-part series of festivals, dance, plays and classical concerts

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Concerts, performances and shows nearly every night in season.

Last week I discussed the homes that were activated for peak season, which is rapidly approaching us. That is the real estate market. The next three weeks in a series I will be discussing the entertainment in this area, a series that begins today with the long running theater plays and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall performances scheduled. In following weeks the festivals, cultural and upcoming black tie events will each have their day in the sun spotlight.

Nearly every day, November through May, the Van Wezel has top quality entertainment. With the Quay project looming and this iconic structure mixed in with the discussion, there may only be a few years left for the Van Wezel as we know it. The city has long thought of the structure as a cultural and architectural landmark since it was opened on January 5, 1970. It sits on part of the 52-acre land destined to become a Bayfront park, entertainment, restaurant and housing venue.

Until then we can continue to enjoy performances from world renown comedians and concerts from some of the best touring bands. This year will mark the 50th season of classical orchestra performances and 50th season of Broadway shows, celebrated through subscriptions to each. Last year the Van Wezel experimented a little by bringing in a short run of the Lion King.

The annual events that are popular are returning once again this year, starting with Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock ‘N Roll. This full cast of rock musicians and singers bring back the golden age of Rock and Roll on November 1. Around the holidays the special shows abound each year. There are two shows on December 28 of Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. Each year the Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert is a tradition, this year on January 2.

Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Back for a mini-run from January 7-12, The Book of Mormon returns to the Van Wezel with its musical comedy, the story of missionaries sent half-way around the world to spread their opposing views of the Lord’s message. From the creators of the show South Park, this sensational hit has been sold out in other performances so you may want to find out what all the fuss is about and order tickets for The Book of Mormon early.

The remainder of the schedule is filled in with comedians such as Steve Martin & Martin Short on January 23, returning by popular demand. Touring bands and tribute concerts to the greats are also on the schedule. This year they have scheduled a three-night run of the Waitress from January 24-26. Classical music is on stage with the Sarasota Orchestra November 8, The Great Performer Series with six concerts January 15 through March 30 and an Itzhak Perlman recital March 21. All these shows have the chance of selling out, order tickets soon online.

Local theater is thriving too, a continuation from the summer months. The quality of acting in Sarasota and Bradenton rivals some of the bigger cities. These are some of the reasons Sarasota and Bradenton were voted 1-2 respectively in American Style Magazine’s top arts destinations in the nation for populations of 100,000 or less.

The Underpants, a play written by comedian Steve Martin is currently running through October 20 at the Players Centre for the Performing Arts in Sarasota. Martin adapted the script from a 1911 German play by Carl Sternheim. This comedy “covers” unmentionables that exist under trousers.

Next up at the Players Centre for the Performing Arts, The Fantasticks is a Broadway musical to hit our stage October 23 through November 10. It tells the story of Luisa and Matt who fall in love on the urging of their fathers.

Venice Theatre celebrates 70 years in the 2019-2020 season. Now running is The Bikinis, songs from the Jersey shore in 1964, ending October 20. We all know that ABBA sang Mamma Mia and the Venice Theatre is bringing the musical set on a Greek island to the stage which runs from October 25 through December 1. Assisted Living the Musical is a comedy of the Home, for the Holidays starting November 29 and ending December 22. A Christmas Carol has been performed on the Venice stage for 20 years, a classic December 13-21.

Thursdays through Sundays, but not on Tuesdays, is the autobiographical story of journalist Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie which runs until October 27 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton. The story is actually about his former college professor Morrie Schwartz and his influence on the life of the journalist. The venue has two stages, Tuesdays with Morrie is on the smaller Kiwanis Theater with general admission festival seating.

On the larger Stone Hall stage beginning October 24 is Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. In his short, three year span he helped shape the history of Rock N Roll before his tragic plane crash in 1959 that also killed Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson, The Day the Music Died. The music doesn’t die on stage until the last performance on November 10. Get your tickets for all the performances at the Manatee Performing Arts Center here.

Back in Sarasota Antigone is set at a time in ancient Thebes and the death of Antigone’s brother, condemned without a burial for his alleged treasonous actions as ordered by King Creon. Antigone faces the consequences and the moral dilemma for his defiance by performing the sacred burial ritual. It runs October 30 through November 17 at the Asolo Conservatory.

Florida Studio Theatre
Florida Studio Theatre - Bright Star has a long run

Another Steve Martin comedy Bright Star is brought to the Florida Studio Theatre stage for a long run, November 8 through January 3. This is banjo and bluegrass in the Blue Ridge Mountains, whose stories by Billie are rejected by the editor of the Asheville Southern Journal. It has a happy ending with published stories and along with it a love affair with Alice, the editor.

Holiday shows emphasize the spirit of the season

One of the first holiday shows is The Thanksgiving Play at the Urbanite Theatre, November 8 through December 15. It is a satire on the Native Americans, Pilgrims and the annual tradition we have celebrated for a few centuries. Political correctness is overcome by the awkward actions of the all-white Thanksgiving pageant organizers.

If you can’t get enough of the classic It’s a Wonderful Life, the Jimmy Stewart movie of George Bailey’s tragic life and its turnaround, follow this musical twist to the movie in Stone Hall of the Manatee Performing Arts Center. This is a “wonderful” adaptation for the entire family December 5-22.

Coinciding with It’s a Wonderful Life in Bradenton, Every Christmas Story Ever Told runs in the Kiwanis Theater. Three actors perform every play, song and tradition of Christmas. And they do it in one night with limited engagements December 5-22.

Another adaptation, Radio Show Christmas Carol, the original Dickens story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three spirits who visit him to alter his perception of Christmas. This play is a narration by DraMature at the Carnegie Library in Palmetto, December 12-22. DraMature is the senior acting troupe of the Manatee Players and tickets can be purchased through the Manatee Performing Arts Center website.

Returning to the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe for six shows, but performed at the Sarasota Opera House, December 4-6 and December 18-20, is the popular A Motown Christmas. Created, adapted and directed by WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs, the revue blends traditional songs of Christmas with popular songs made famous by Motown greats.

There is plenty of holiday cheer at the Van Wezel starting with the Broadway musical Cirque Dreams Holidaze, two performances November 22-23. The popular and returning Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour features the Grammy nominated star and the musical talent that surrounds him for this one-night show November 29. The Celtic Angels Christmas on December 1 is Irish dancing, instrumentals and spectacular singing by five Celtic Angels. Dance to the Holidays is a first-time entry into the Christmas itinerary at the Van Wezel December 4. Under the Streetlamp: Hip to the Holidays is December 12 followed by The Ten Tenors – Home for the Holidays December 22. Ebenezer is back on stage for a Christmas Carol for one show the following night.

A new year and plenty to offer during the winter months

REALTALK interview with Nate Jacobs of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
Interview with Nate Jacobs of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe in REALTALK™ #101.

The plays pick up after the holidays with Caroline, or Change at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, January 8 through February 16. American race culture is questioned through this musical that portrays life in the South and the dead-end laundry job of Caroline Thibodeaux. The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is featured in this REALTALK™ #101 video.

In Gulf View Drive, relatives ascend on a couple’s Siesta Key dream home shortly after moving cross country. The play runs January 10-26 at the Venice Theatre. Menopause The Musical coincides with the running January 10 through February 2. They are followed up by Yard Sale, a musical about junk February 7 to March 8 and Guys and Dolls, February 21 to March 22.

We had Underpants with Steve Martin, Into the Breeches, women get to wear the pants to portray Shakespearean plays, normally performed by men. But this is 1942 in the fictional Oberan Play House while the men were fighting overseas in World War II. This play opens February 12 and runs through March 21 in the Asolo Repertory Theatre of the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Also get tickets for upcoming Asolo productions of The Sound of Music, Murder on the Orient Express, The Lifespan of a Fact and The Great Leap. These shows and many more can be found on our Upcoming Events page.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of any of our new listings or reactivated listings, or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

New Longboat Key north end dining options

by Roger Pettingell

North end revamps its dining experiences

Mar Vista renovates, Shore opens as two new classy waterfront spots

Shore Restaurant, Longboat Key
Shore Restaurant Opens - After a couple years of construction the old Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant opens with new owners on the waterfront

When the Shore held its soft opening, it marked the beginning of a new era for the restaurant chain. It also established the north end of Longboat Key as another center of great restaurants on the island. When Mar Vista completed its three-year renovation, the seafood restaurant now offers a stark difference between the old charm of Florida and the modernistic look of its neighbor the Shore. And yet a third new restaurant with a more casual deli look is taking shape at the Gulf of Mexico Drive and Broadway Street corner. Whitney’s Restaurant will transform an old gas station into a casual atmosphere where beachgoers can relax.

Shore restaurant seats about 185 guests. With multiple bars, outdoor patio seating, an upper level and indoor dining your mood can set the tone for your seating expectancies. Almost every seat has a spectacular view of Jewfish Key and the intracoastal boat traffic. There are 14 slips for large boats on a 300-foot dock and a valet car parking service.

Shore Restaurant - March 2019
Construction progressed quickly on the Shore Restaurant since this photo was taken in March 2019

It is on the previous site of Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, which closed in 2015 after 40 years of serving seafood on Longboat Key. Tom Leonard and Mark Caragiulo purchased the property for 3.2 million dollars and have put in a couple more million into its construction. If you are familiar with the Shore restaurant on St. Armands Circle, most of the menu items will carry over to the Longboat Key restaurant that the co-owners had a vision to create a special place on this island paradise. There will be local favorites that have been served in St. Armands Circle combined with creative recipes for variety.

The restaurant is operating under a temporary certificate of occupancy until it completes some final tasks required by building inspectors. Those should be complete by the end of the month. The owners have endured other setbacks. They wanted to have more parking so they requested this summer that Longboat Key vacate a portion of the sidewalk so they could have 14 additional spaces. That request was denied by the Planning and Zoning Board. Opening was also delayed when a fire destroyed the interior of the building during construction last fall.

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub, Longboat Key
Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub - Opening its doors, literally after renovation completed this year

The Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub opened its doors, literally, earlier this year after a three-year renovation process that added side doors for an open-air dining area. It kept its unique outdoor seating under buttonwood trees, with views of plentiful dock space, the water beyond and a new outdoor fireplace. On the interior there is state-of-the art kitchen, a renewed dining area and an extra capacity bar for its patrons. As with the Shore, Mar Vista has 14 dock slips and a beach to pull up your kayak or paddleboard.

The two-million dollar renovation that reopened earlier this year was the former home, rental, bar and bait shop until the 1980s when it was purchased by the Chiles Restaurant Group. The son of former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles, Ed Chiles is the founding member of the chain that includes the BeachHouse Restaurant on Bradenton Beach and the Sandbar Seafood & Spirits on the north end of Anna Maria Island. Chiles Restaurant Group also owns the Gamble Creek Farm, a supplier of fresh produce for the restaurants in the chain.

Serving portions of seafood are generous at Mar Vista. Whether you start with the smoked Florida fish board or calamari and continue with an entrée of scallops, shrimp and grits or even try one of the favorite mullet dishes, you can be assured the preparation is exquisite. There is a special Land Line menu with dishes that are served with fries. Leave some room for dessert. It received the 2019 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Also on the short road of Broadway Street, James Bearley is transforming an old gas station that had sit vacant for years at the Gulf of Mexico Drive intersection. The lighter deli menu at Whitney’s Roadside is expected to attract a beach crowd under its 2,128-square-foot building. Architects have worked in the old gas station design but removed the overhead canopy. The name is an honoring remembrance to Gordon and Lora Whitney who moved to Longboat Key in 1935 and ultimately built 13 cottages for the Whitney Beach village. Nearby Whitney Plaza is also named for the famous development. Two of the remaining cottages have been moved across Broadway Street from the old station awaiting funding to become a welcoming and historical center.

Contemporary style
I discuss the contemporary style of this home near Harry's Continental Kitchen in REALTALK™ #213

Your choices have expanded with the renovations and additions of these restaurants. For many years Longboat Key residents have had great choices on the northern end of the island. You can opt for the Longbeach Café and there is still fine dining at Harry’s Continental Kitchen, currently closed for vacation until October 2nd. These two dining locations have been local favorites for years. Harry’s Continental Kitchen started as a catering service with take-out and opened as a full-time restaurant in 1985. Longbeach Café has been serving breakfast and lunch for many years.

I have some excellent properties for sale on the northern end of the island. Fall in love with newer contemporary home living in a quiet, waterfront locale at 705 Jungle Queen Way near Harry’s Continental Kitchen. I may have something exactly what you are looking for, even if they are currently resting off the market. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

The classic and historic Sarasota Opera House

by Roger Pettingell

Opera House: More than just live opera

Film festivals, classic movies, concerts and more in downtown Sarasota

Opera and more in downtown Sarasota
Opera House - A venue for a variety of performances located at 61 N. Pineapple Ave., downtown Sarasota

The live opera season begins November 1 with six performances of Rigoletto and continues through March 22 with 41 days of opera, a five-opera season for the organization. This downtown venue is home to the Sarasota Opera, now in its 59th season. Opera was first performed in the Historic Asolo Theater on the Ringling grounds, but it wasn’t until 1982 that a permanent home was established when the former A.B. Edwards Theater was purchased and opened as the Sarasota Opera House.

The Opera House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, continues as host to a variety of events and live performances. In 2008 the Opera House underwent a $20 million restoration project to bring it up to its original glory of ornate fixtures, luxury carpeting and interior that brings out the classic opera look but presents itself as a 21st century structure. Under the artistic direction of Victor DeRenzi and Executive Director, Richard Russell, the cultural arts of Sarasota will be preserved for many years.

It has been the home of many different performances and movies, each year with a schedule of classic movies, concerts and lectures. Upcoming events this month include the 1948 classic movie, Key Largo, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, on August 23. On August 25 at 1:30 PM, the opera film Die Walkure is on the big screen.

Throughout the year there are more shows including the last classic movie of the summer season, Young Frankenstein, September 6 followed by the Nutcracker ballet on film that Sunday. Two weeks later, La Traviata, an opera film will be shown. There are other events too, the sixth annual Taste of Downtown is becoming a tradition in Sarasota. The September 21 event ends the summer in Sarasota with entrees prepared by downtown restaurants and craft beers from local breweries.

The concert East Marries West on October 4 brings together Pandit Shubhendra Rao on sitar, Vidushi Saskia Rao-de Haas on the Indian cello, and accompaniment of Aditya Kalyanpur on the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument with a set of drums played like bongos. This world-class performance at 7 PM has tickets available now through their box office.

In October there is a series of discussions with opera themes to help understand opera at the Kamlet Library, including a discussion on how things change have changed, ensembles in opera and Walt Whitman with his passion for the opera. The series of four sessions concludes with a discussion long-time opera fans Richard and Greg.

Opera and more in downtown Sarasota
2008 restoration - A return to the classic opera house

The Jonas Kamlet Library is one of six event spaces that includes the main William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre with its capacity of 1,174. The Kamlet Library is popular for business meetings with seats for 150 guests and a large-screen TV for presentations. The library and Felding Hall & Donna Wolf Steigerwaldt Courtyard with a 125-person capacity are both available rental venues in a stunning setting.

Three other rooms in the Opera House are lesser known. The Worthington Board Room has 24 seats for a reception or 40 seats set up in banquet style. The Joy Culverhouse Room has a capacity of 95 set up as a theater of 50 when arranged as a classroom. It makes a classic board meeting or retreat room. The large 339-seat Lee and Bob Peterson Great Room has a wide variety of uses for business or personal use such as wedding receptions.

Tours of the Opera House are scheduled on select days in November, February and March. Concerts at noon by apprentice and studio artists are scheduled in the Peterson Great Room, November and March. Visit the Sarasota Opera House website or call (941) 328-1300 for dates and times and to reserve a rental of these facilities, the theater or to rent a set and costumes.

The Sarasota Opera House has played a pivotal role in the annual Sarasota Film Festival, which will be in its 22nd year when it opens March 27, 2020. In past years, the Opera House has been the venue for the opening night film when the red carpet is rolled out for actors, directors and other dignitaries. The Opera House is host to other events during the 10-day festival. This year the Sarasota Film Festival starts out with three screenings this month at SFF Cinematheque, 500 Tallevast Rd, #105. Two classics, The Godfather movie appears August 24 and 2001: A space odyssey will be shown August 31. A special screening of Surviving Lunch is the fictional story of a girl who is moved to Florida by her mother following the death of her father in a mass school shooting. She takes on school bullies in this movie showing on August 24. Each of these SFF screenings is preceded by a film historian discussion and followed with a Q&A session.

Mezzanine level
Mezzanine level view - Total theater seating is 1,174

The Opera House is the place where The Greatest Show on Earth, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charlton Heston made its Florida premiere when the movie house was named the Florida Theatre. It was mostly filmed in Sarasota during six months of local production in 1950 and made its award winning debut in 1952. The premiere was reenacted in 2017 to kick off its classic movie series. Members of the Circus Arts Conservatory were on hand to perform before the movie. You could feel the excitement from the local audience guests, particularly when the circus made its way through Sarasota and evoked memories from some of the classic businesses shown in the scene.

As for live opera, there is no disappointment there. The Opera House has become world renown for its rejuvenation of classic opera and the Verdi Cycle, his complete works performed. It begins this year with Rigoletto, one of the greatest musical works by Giuseppe Verdi. Love is Dangerous starts a run of Love operas, the second La boheme with Love is Fragile, 13 shows February 8 through March 21. Romeo and Juliet, Love is Forever, February 15 with nine performances ending March 20. The Elixir of Love, Love is Intoxicating, runs February 22 through March 21, with the finale Love Hurts a new production that begins February 7 and ends March 22. Each opera is sung in Italian or French with subtitles flashed along the top of the stage. The complete set of performance dates are on our upcoming schedule of events.

If your passion is the love of the arts, Sarasota is at the center. Named by American Style Magazine as the top arts destination in the country for populations under 100,000, Sarasota produces theatrical arts in opera, orchestra, ballet, concerts and top-quality plays. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Sensational festivals, on sensational beaches

by Roger Pettingell

Our beaches, sunbathing and more

Events such as the Powerboat Grand Prix attract thousands to the area

Lido Beach fans
Powerboat Grand Prix - Thousands lined the beach of Lido Key with canopies to watch the races Sunday

There are many reasons why tourists visit Sarasota and it is rated as one of the best places in the country to retire. It is simple to argue that our beaches is the biggest draw. Just sticking your toes in the quartz-rich sand that reflects 99 percent of the sun is a delight in itself. But our beaches also attract thousands for some of the best events in the world.

Case in point is the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix this past weekend where eight days of land activities culminated in the races on the final day off Lido Beach. There thousands lined the sands off Lido Key for nearly a half mile of canopy tent next to canopy tent and nesting black skimmers to watch the spectacle over the water where powerboats screamed their engines traveling at speeds up to 160 mph. The spectators seemed unaware of the rain drops and cloudy skies to catch a full day of racing.

The events of the 35th annual Grand Prix attracted visitors to the hotels, restaurants and bars, last year bringing in $20 million to the area and tax benefits to local governments. This year crowd favorite Miss GEICO and the boat Victory flipped during the Class One last race on Sunday. The races will air on CBS Sports at 3 PM on August 4 and on Fox Sports at a later date to be announced. The races were sanctioned by the Offshore Powerboat Association and P1 Offshore.

The Tachi Palace World’s Strongest Man in Bradenton, Florida
The world took notice of Bradenton Beach during the Strongman competition on the beaches June 14-16.

The Grand Prix followed another world class event just weeks before on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. On the public Bradenton Beach, USA contender Martins Licis defeated Mateusz Kieliszkowski of Poland, reigning champ and Game of Thrones star Hafthor Julius Bjornsson representing Iceland, and Tom Stoltman of the United Kingdom in the World’s Strongest Man competition.

This multi-day competition enticed fans to downtown Bradenton, Coquina Beach and the finals on Bradenton Beach. For four days they threw kegs over banners, lifted immense weights and pulled vehicles downtown to a great demonstration of strength and endurance. A series of the competition will begin to air on the CBS Sports Network starting July 11 with the finals encore presentation on CBS, September 1.

Back to Coquina Beach on the south end of Anna Maria Island (AMI) where each Sunday there is a seasonal gathering of farm-grown produce and craft sales. The beach market is open 10 AM to 4 PM each Sunday November through July, excluding some holidays, and every Wednesday, December 18 through May 21. Pick up some good artwork by local artists and catch the AMI String Band performing in the market area. There is plenty of free parking and a free shuttle that connects all areas of AMI. The Coquina Café on the beach serves short-order food, soft drinks and beer.

But everyone knows the Number One rated beach in the world on Siesta Key and the annual Crystal Classic is circled on many calendars in the month of November. This year’s International Sand Sculpting Festival runs November 15-18. Not only do you see some of the world’s greatest sand sculptors, you can dance to local band favorites.

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition
The Siesta Key Crystal Classic master sand sculpting competition is held in November each year.

Master sand sculptors, led by local resident Brian Wigelsworth along with local Siesta Key organizations, founded the first Crystal Classic in November of 2010. It has grown to attract 35,000 attendees, half of which are from outside the area. In order to be considered for the master sculpting contest each artist must win a sanctioned amateur competition such as the 47th Annual Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest held on Siesta Beach. There are four categories of competition in this annual competition and one prize for an overall people’s choice award. The Castle Vader took first place in the individual award this year. Finding Nemo / Squirt took the award for the adult team competition and was the people’s choice overall winner in this year’s contest on May 4.

Siesta Key is also known for its drum circles each Sunday, beginning with the call of a siren approximately one hour before sunset. The crowd gathers in a circle to the sound of the drum beats and dancers quickly emerge in unison. Drum circles also form on Englewood and Nokomis. A couple groups have tried to form on Bradenton Beach each Friday so you may catch them gathering if you are visiting.

Another way to love the beach is to become a beachfront owner. Last week I listed a two bedroom, two bath sixth-floor residence at 1211 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #608 in the updated Promenade community on Longboat Key. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
1211 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #608 $759,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

A week filled with local activities

by Roger Pettingell

Festivals, Powerboats and Fireworks

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday with plenty of events in the Sarasota area

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico
Powerboat Grand Prix - Reduced to one day of racing this year as powerboats motor past Lido Key on Sunday

Although the annual Powerboat Grand Prix hailed its two preliminary events the past few days, the kickoff party on Wednesday will start the trend of thousands to visit Sarasota for the full festival and the traditional fireworks in the area. The crowds will descend downtown and Lido Beach will come alive for the 35th annual festival. With the races reduced to just powerboats, there will only be one full day of racing off Lido Beach to be held on Sunday.

As part of the Powerboat festival, eight days of events were initiated with the 4th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic on Saturday at The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota. Also completed was the Boat & Personal Watercraft fun run yesterday. It started at Marina Jack with a shotgun start and a variety of boats with travels to the Salty Dog, Bridge Tender and Tarpon Bay Grill. Proceeds benefited the Suncoast Charities for Children. A private event The Friendliest Catch fishing tournament is another Suncoast Charities for Children at the Sarasota Outboard Club on City Island Tuesday.

Many powerboat fans will be visiting the Grand Prix Kickoff Party in the grand foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Wednesday starting at 6 PM. The Caribbean Chillers, an international travelling Jimmy Buffett tribute band is the live entertainment for the night. Wear your patriotic apparel for this evening of fun and island style food.

One of many firework displays this week, the Bayfront Spectacular is part of the Grand Prix Festival. Prime viewing is from Bayfront Park, but anywhere downtown will be good with an open view of the bay. Should be great if you can find a location on a rooftop. The fireworks start at 9 PM on Thursday.

Miss Geico
Miss Geico returns with a completely new look and mechanicals. The Miss Geico boat finished first in the Unlimited class in last year's festival. Meet driver James Sheppard and throttleman Steve Curtis at the Hyatt Regency for a Meet and Greet on Friday.

Meet and Greet Who’s in the Driver Seat is an autograph signing event by the race team pilots. Those 18 and under are free, a five-dollar donation will be accepted for all other guests. It starts at 1 PM on Friday in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom downtown. The Boats on the Block follows at 6 PM and will be held on Main Street from Orange Avenue to South Palm Avenue. The powerboats will be on display for pictures, live music and great food will keep you busy for hours.

Two events on day seven start at 9 AM, the Car & Motorcycle Show at Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson, four hours of some of the best-in-show four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles. Remote Control Race Boats is a charity event on Saturday where competitors of all ages pilot their own boat modeled after those in the big race festival. It takes place at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill on the Bayfront from 10 AM to noon on Saturday.

Miss Geico returns, a crowd favorite powerboat, kicking off a single-day of racing in the Class 1-7 course off Lido Beach at 10 AM on Sunday. Also entered in the Class One performance boats are Victory, 222 Racing, Lucas Oil and Scuderia Cazzani. Class One boats are the largest of the races and travel at speeds up to 160 MPH. Superstocks, Super Vee Extreme and Prostock Vee begin their races at 11:30 AM. The Supercat style boats race at 12:30 PM, while the Class One and Vee Extreme finish the day of racing at 2 PM followed by an awards ceremony at 6 PM in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. Viewing is free on the beach, a special VIP area at the Sandcastle Resort has been sold out.

In 2018 the impact of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival generated an estimated $20 million to the local economy with over $2.657 million in hotel spending. Of the $721,753 sales tax collected, $69, 670 was reimbursed to the county. Sarasota County collected its own sales tax of $120,292.

Other Area Fireworks and Festivals, Wednesday and Thursday schedule

Fireworks on Thursday
Fireworks off Bayfront Park in Sarasota, part of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix this year.

Get an early jump on fireworks Wednesday at dusk with two local displays in Manatee and Sarasota counties. The Bradenton Marauders take on the Jupiter Hammerheads on Wednesday at LECOM park in Bradenton, followed by an Independence Day fireworks celebration. Before dusk at 7 PM, the Fireworks 4 Miler is a prelude to the fireworks that follow at Nathan Benderson Park.

But a majority of the fireworks are scheduled for Thursday, following a day of celebrations at parks around the area. A party in Bicentennial Park starts the day on Longboat Key as the Freedom Fest and the half mile Hot Diggity Dog Parade begins at the Suntrust Bank building on Bay Isles Road. Dress your pup in the best red, white and blue for a chance to win prizes in this annual event.

While the Freedom Fest starts at 9 AM, so does the Myakka River Kayak Festival as the two early morning festivals. Rent a canoe or kayak, then eat plenty and sample some of 30 different craft beers while listening to live Folk Americana music at Snook Haven in Venice.

Palmetto will hold its 9th annual Fourth of July Festival in Sutton Park followed by fireworks in Sutton Park, a full day of entertainment, music, food and drink. Rare Earth and Mark Farner’s American Band, two oldies rock favorites precede the fireworks over the Manatee River at the Green Bridge with good viewing from both sides of the river.

Privateers on Anna Maria Island
Break out your swashbuckling attire for the annual Privateers Fourth of July Parade.

If you are on Anna Maria Island Thursday you will undoubtedly find the Privateers Fourth of July Parade. The parade is a lengthy one which starts at Coquina Beach, 10 AM, and finishes on the north end of the island at the city pier. Stick around for the fireworks at the Sandbar Restaurant. The All-American Cookout at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens features food preparations from Michael’s on East, a family dance party, games and other activities before the Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular.

There are fireworks in the area that are not centrally tied to a community festival. The viewing area for the Siesta Key Community Fireworks on the beach opens at 6 PM, and areas around the south jetty in Venice are prime locations for the fireworks there shortly after sunset. The weather forecasts are typical for this time of year as the normal summer pattern spreads across the area, with little rain chances except for an afternoon shower. It shouldn’t dampen any of your plans. But for more local events, check out our updated schedule of events.

Last week I listed a private waterfront residence that is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac in the secluded Hideaway Bay community at 705 Hideaway Bay Lane. A tropical oasis, this 3BR home offers walls of lush foliage surrounding the property, complemented by pavered walkways, charming gardens, a hammock, plus newer dock and lift on sailboat-deep waters that enhance its seclusion. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy. Enjoy your Independence Day Holiday festivities.

 

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705 Hideaway Bay Lane $1,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

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Mote Marine changing quickly

by Roger Pettingell

Information update on the local facility

Research funding increases and Mote SEA gets closer to a start

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium - The programs started 64 years ago and the facility on City Island is receiving greater recognition at all levels.

Last year I did an update on Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. But events are happening quickly at the research facility on City Island and much of it has to do with the leadership of Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D. The President and CEO of Mote has been out in the community educating the public on the research while lobbying hard at all levels of government to fund programs to help revitalize the oceans and sustain life in the seas through its research.

The Waves of Support effort is a fundraising initiative to solicit the philanthropists of our world with seven different “Waves”, from Friends donating under $1,000 to those who make a significant donation of $75,000 or more and become members of the William R. Mote Guild. William R. Mote and family made large donations to the research facility that was renamed in his honor in 1967. It was founded in 1955 as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory and a vision of the “Shark Lady”, Dr. Eugenie Clark.

Problems in the seas these past decades is bringing together scientists to research programs, including 30 Ph.D. researchers at Mote studying different programs that require these skills. Florida appropriated $500,000 last year for coral restoration research. The goal was to restore 50,000 corals in the Florida Keys. It was a continuation of state funding for coral restoration. Last November three national organizations partnered to issue $1.5 million to restore 130 acres of coral reefs. The initiative brought attention to the program and multiple grants matched. Coral reefs grow slowly from polyps that attach themselves to subsurface natural structures and provide an environment for other life.

One of the many exhibits at the aquarium open to the public
Educational Exhibits - High quality displays at Mote Marine provide a vast amount of information.

Harmful algal blooms became a big concern in Florida starting with a major outbreak in 2017. Mote has become one of the nation’s leaders in the research because of the effect it was having on our coastal wildlife. Mote became a partial beneficiary of an $8 million federal appropriation and provided research to congress for the legislation to pass. Last year State Executive Order 18-221 directed $100,000 to Mote for its responses to marine mammal, sea turtle and other fishes affected by the outbreak. While Governor Scott was in office last year he directed $2.2 million to Mote Marine Research. Earlier in 2018 the state divided $1.6 million between and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Florida Wildlife Research Institute.

Mote has 22 different programs of research, each receiving its own funding of grants, appropriations and donations. Some of these research programs may seem obscure but are vitally important to the future of the oceans. Consider Benthic Ecology, or the study of organisms on the bottom of sea, led by senior scientist Jim Culter. The Ocean Technology Research program provides a database of local coastal environments and has deployed an optical instrument to detect algal blooms. The Ecotoxicology headed by Dr. Richard Pierce relies on the data to study harmful toxins. The Environmental Laboratory for Forensics in Dr. Dana Wetzel program has studied the effects of petroleum in the water and has received $16 million over 18 years. Dr. Catherine Walsh of the Marine Immunology program is responsible for the health of marine life.

The vast other programs mentioned above combine with different research programs for phytoplankton, dolphins, manatees, fish, rays, sea turtles, sharks: well, just about anything in the oceans. They do this from field stations around the globe.

Upcoming events at Mote support World Oceans Day

An array of events surrounding World Oceans Day starting Saturday will be held at Mote. The day before on Friday the International OCEAN FILM TOUR, volume 6 is a big screen presentation starting at 7 PM, a film for all who have a fascination with the ocean. Saturday events start with the FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop, hosted by Mote and held twice a year. It is followed by the World Oceans Day Family Festival 2019 from 10 AM to 1 PM. This is a full day of photo opportunities, vendor booths, presentations and entertainment. Check out all the events at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium website.

Update on the Mote Science Education Aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park

Mote SEA
Mote SEA - Dream gets stronger for education center

Last month more news of the Mote Science Education Aquarium surfaced when a construction management team was announced for the new site of the Aquarium to be built between the Mall at University Town Center and Nathan Benderson Park off Interstate 75 in Sarasota. The project is proceeding with Willis A. Smith Construction which has had previous projects with Mote. A national firm The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company with an office in Tampa will work with Massachusetts based architect CambridgeSeven as the second and third triad in its construction.

The 12 acres of Benderson Park was allocated in January by Sarasota County and has a request to fund $20 million of the estimated $130 million cost. Private donations have totaled $34. Manatee County is studying the legality and feasibility of providing $15 million from funds raised by a 5 percent tourism tax on hotel stays.

When finished the Mote Science Education Aquarium will be an icon for the two counties and the state. It will become an education and marine outreach center with displays that have originated from around the world. Over 1 million gallons of water will host aquatic life and technology used throughout the 110,000-square-foot facility to educate with labs and even on-site scuba diving training center.

The location was selected for its proximity to I-75 and the increased traffic that is brought in through shopping mall visits. Last month the Benderson Development Company announced plans for 1,750 apartments, office space and a 900,000 square foot entertainment center with multi-screen theater. Three hotels, restaurants and shopping stores are also planned in the East District.

Last week I listed a fabulous, coastal contemporary home at 658 Mourning Dove Drive with updates found throughout this Bird Key waterfront estate. It should be one of those on your list worth looking at. 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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658 Mourning Dove Drive $1,895,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

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Enjoy your holiday and prepare for the festival

by Roger Pettingell

Annual Music Festival starts Saturday

Sarasota Music Festival attracts artists and fans from around the world

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
Friday Festivals and Saturday Symphonies will be at the Sarasota Opera House on N. Pineapple Ave.

The annual festival that draws thousands of concert fans to Sarasota is ready to roll on Saturday, 21 days of classical music with students learning from the masters, mixing in with the artists and performing in three Rising Star concerts. But fans of the Sarasota Music Festival will also appreciate the chamber and orchestra concerts with a new twist for the 55th annual festival, an opening night performance on Saturday in Holley Hall, downtown Sarasota.

Saturday’s concert will feature Festival Music Director and Conductor Jeffrey Kahane on piano and acclaimed violinist Angelo Xiang Yu performing three of Johannes Brahms sonatas. The three romantic sonatas for violin with piano accompaniment are sonata No. 1 in G major, sonata No. 2 in A major and sonata No. 3 in D major. The program begins at 7:30 in Holley Hall. There is also an after concert reception for $25 with tickets available through the Sarasota Music Festival website.

For the next three weeks the concert schedule is filled Thursday through Sundays with Artist Showcases, Friday Festivals, Saturday Symphonies and Rising Star performances for a total of 50 classical works. Music scholar Robert Levin returns with his popular lecture on symphony and orchestra insights the last day of the festival June 22. For the artists it is seemingly a non-stop schedule of rehearsals and students pairing with master musicians to perfect their craft.

Rising Stars - Scholarships for Sarasota Music Festival
Rising Stars — Scholarships were offered to 60 students among the 500 musicians who auditioned for the 2018 Sarasota Music Festival. They will perform in the Rising Stars series and ensembles of acclaimed professionals throughout the festival.

These 60 students on the fellow roster arrive from the United States and international destinations from Eastern Asia countries. They apply online with entry deadlines in February and submit an audition video recording to be accepted. Applications for specific instruments of string, wind and piano require a choice of classical music in each category. They are paired in ensembles where they also perform at churches and community gatherings. A librarian fellow application requires a performance review, essay and basic skills test to be admitted to the music festival. The Rising Stars are in concert at 3 PM in Holley Hall on Sunday afternoons June 9 and 16 and Friday, June 20. The students pay for their meals, registration, housing and transportation.

Three Artist Showcases on successive Thursdays performed by an acclaimed staff of faculty members. In the Artist Showcase 1 on June 6 a combination of program of three works from German composer and pianist Robert Schumann, Paul Schoenfeld of Detroit and French composer Pierre-Octave Ferroud to combine for an evening of Fairy Tales and Fantasy.

Windfall is the theme for the second Thursday with two works written for the oboe and clarinet, a third by Ludwig van Beethoven composed for and performed by a string quartet. The evening begins with a sonata composition for the oboe accompanied with piano written by the French artist Francis Poulenc. A clarinet trio in A Minor, op. 114 composed by Brahms is the third in the showcase June 13.

Pianist and composer Fanny Mendelssohn, forbidden to have a musical career, is featured for a piano trio work in D minor, Op. 11. The program begins with a Beethoven string trio work and Austrian sextet composition by Austrian, Ludwig Wilhelm Andreas Maria Thuille. The Artist Showcases will be held in Holley Hall starting at 4:30 PM each week.

Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Artist Showcases and the Rising Star student series will be held at Holley Hall each week of the festival.

Friday Festivals in the Sarasota Opera House combine faculty with fellow artists for three evenings of chamber music, beginning with the Triple Crown where good things come in threes, started by Johann Sebastian Bach’s, triple concerto in D major. It is followed by a Antonio Vivaldi composition, concerto in A minor, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s oboe concerto in C major and Fanny Mendelssohn’s esteemed brother Felix composition with a piano trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66.

Return June 14 for Larger Forces, a Friday Festival performance that begins with a Jean René Désiré Françaix work Dixtuor. An octet in E-flat major, Op. 20 features the guest ensemble Pacifica Quartet with fellow artists is the second work for the night. A Brahms piano quartet in F minor, Op 34 completes the evening with Kahane on piano alongside the strings of the Pacifica Quartet.

If you are into Brahms and Beethoven, be sure to be in the opera house audience on June 21 for Friday Festival 3. Bebop to the Meeelaan composition by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, performed with a bassoon and four string instruments to start the evening. It is followed by Beethoven’s piano trio No. 6 in E-flat major, Op. 70 and Brahms’ serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11. All Friday Festivals begin at 7:30 PM at the Opera House.

Full symphonies take the Opera House stage for the Saturday Symphony series of three combining faculty with festival alumni, beginning with Four, Two, One on June 8. The configuration of four, two and one featured artists provide a full sound of symphonic music. Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s work, Concerto Grosso in B minor from L'estro Armonico, Op. 3, No. 10, RV. 580, opens the evening with four violins featured. Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major, K. 364, features a violin and viola, followed by the energetic and charismatic Jon Kimura Parker to perform Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 4.

Three Titans of classical music with the works from the father of the symphony, Franz Joseph (Papa) Haydn is the second work of the evening symphony No. 80. An octet in E-flat major, Op 103 work by Beethoven and a clarinet concerto in A major, K. 622 by Mozart begin and finish the second Saturday Symphony, June 15.

The festival ends with the finale of the Saturday Symphonies, Pianos Paired. What could be more fitting than to combine Kahane, Levin and the full symphony to perform Mozart’s piano concerto No. 10. Symphony No. 8 from Vienna born composer Franz Schubert follows. The festival ends with a Franz Schubert, II composition Overture to Die Fledermaus.

I listed three properties last week, all on Longboat Key. The home at 610 Bowsprit Lane in Country Club Shores is a newer south-facing waterfront home with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths and over 4,000 square feet of living space built in 2008. A Queens Harbour home with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 3,000 square feet of interior space at 3635 Fair Oaks Place overlooks a lake. The Longboat Key Towers residence at 603 Longboat Club Rd, #201N is on the beach with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Enjoy your Memorial Day holiday and 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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610 Bowsprit Lane $1,995,000   Photo Slideshow
603 Longboat Club Rd, #201N $1,195,000   Photo Slideshow
3635 Fair Oaks Place $995,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

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Sarasota fitness programs for seniors

by Roger Pettingell

Senior citizen health and fitness programs

SilverSneakers program included with many of the Medicare Plans

Anytime Fitness in Sarasota is open to the SilverSneakers program
Anytime Fitness - Broadway Promenade Plaza in downtown Sarasota serving SilverSneakers

In February I wrote about the programs on Longboat Key that help seniors stay healthy in their body and their mind. Centers at Bayfront Park, in the Centre Shops and Temple Beth Israel provide a healthy dose of yoga, Pilates, Zumba and stretching activities. They also introduce Asian techniques such as Tai Chi, Qigong and Nia. Throw in some meditation classes and you have a well-rounded support structure.

Although the median age in Sarasota is nearly 25 years younger, senior citizens still have a wide range of programs for that demographic age group. The SilverSneakers program is designed for those over the age of 65 and included with many of the Medicare Plans. It includes a network of over 16,000 fitness locations in the United States. There are several locations near downtown and off Fruitville Road to choose from.

In the Burns Court area there is the Senior Friendship Center that is listed as a SilverSneakers program facility. By the Publix near 10th Street and Tamiami Trail is Anytime Fitness and down by Bahia Vista Street on Tamiami Trail is Elite Health. There are a couple Sarasota Crunch Fitness, LA Fitness and Youfit centers in the program.

Eleven classes are taught through the SilverSneakers to build the mind, mobility and cardiovascular system. The Classic builds muscle mobility, Circuit concentrates on low-impact upper-body strength and the Cardiofit uses aerobics to maintain a healthy body. Two water programs, Splash and Water in Motion burn calories and are safe for those with no swimming ability. Muscle, Stability, Mind, Flex and Movement complete the series. Guests can choose one or all, contact your center for times and availability. Check the SilverSneakers website for program eligibility, locations and registration.

The two YMCA centers are membership sites that offer a series of programs for senior adults. The Frank G. Berlin, Sr. YMCA on Euclid Avenue and the Evalyn Sadlier Jones YMCA on Potter Park Drive are open seven days a week, including limited times on holidays. Although there are many programs for children, upcoming classes feature Arthur Murray Dance Lessons, dance parties and adult tap. Social interactive programs of Mah Jong card games are also provided. There is Medicare Insurance Counseling sessions by reservations at the Sadlier Jones center.

Most of the 55+, assisted living and nursing homes have programs geared for healthy, active seniors. Well trained staff members assist in group exercises while some also have fitness centers where individuals can direct their own sessions.

Personal trainers are very active for seniors in Sarasota. Knowing the certification training programs designed specifically for seniors is helpful when making your selection. American Senior Fitness Association (SFA/ASFA) has been certifying personal trainers since 1992 through its Senior Personal Trainer (SPT) certification. The American Sports Fitness Association (ASFA) offers a Senior Fitness Instruction Certification (SFIC) program for professional trainers. Continuing education, study support and fitness resources are available to personal trainers certified as an ACE Senior Fitness Specialist (SFS), accredited through the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). If you have a specific ailment you may be able to find a trainer specialized in its recovery.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

High quality theater options to consider

by Roger Pettingell

Catch live performances here in Sarasota

Different experiences of performing arts at local not-for-profit centers

Palmer Ranch entertaining center in Sarasota is an option when looking for a theater experience
Glenridge Performing Arts Center - Palmer Ranch entertaining center in Sarasota is one option

You are standing in line for a cocktail in the lobby of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the lights flicker with a signal that the show is about to start. You get your drink and head to your seat. It’s a good experience as it is in many of the live theaters here in Sarasota. And there are other theaters on school campuses and community centers that offer an option to the for-profit live performance halls that are well celebrated.

The Addams Family, a new musical just finished a short run at Glenridge Performing Arts Center (GPAC), concluding its third season of performances by the Rise Above Performing Arts group. A student cast of 43 members led a lively song and dance of this spooky and kooky family in New York.

The 260-seat GPAC theater is in the Glenridge campus of the Palmer Ranch community in southeast Sarasota near Honore Avenue and Palmer Ranch Parkway. It has state-of-the art lighting and sound, large screen and Schimmel grand piano. It is also ADA compliant with wheelchair accessibility and an induction loop for the hearing impaired.

The next season of Rise Above performances at Glenridge picks up again September 12-15 with School of Rock; Glory Days, a new American Musical November 1-3; the classic West Side Story January 3-5 and January 9-11; and the season finale, Bring It On, based on the popular 2000 cheerleading movie, April 23-26. This exceptional group of talented young performers compete nationwide, including its show choir that were the 2018 Grand Champions at OrlandoFest.

When Rise Above is not performing at GPAC, there are concerts and other professional performances. This year Patchouli and Terra Guitarra presented Landscape of Guitar, a music and art production. The Four Freshman has an annual spring concert at GPAC. This group started in 1948 at Butler University in Indiana, and has endured over the years with new talent and a legacy that continues to today. Nate Najar returns December 13 for his annual Jazz Holiday, this year with Daniela Soledade, Chuck Redd and Adrian Cunningham.

Looking for dinner and a pre-show cocktail? Although Palmer Ranch is somewhat in seclusion and known for its privacy with lush landscaping, there are plenty of restaurants on Clark Road to enjoy before or after the show. Rise Above is also looking to build a new performing arts hall. Its new undisclosed location may be closer to restaurants. You can get involved by texting to 44321, donate.

College and community sponsored recitals and concerts are scheduled in the Neel Performing Arts Center on the South College of Florida campus in Bradenton. Built in 1966 and remodeled in 1999, this auditorium has wheelchair accessibility and seating for 830 guests. It is also the home of the Elizabeth M. Eaton Memorial Pipe organ built by master craftsman Charles McManis.

To enjoy a cocktail and dinner before the show there are plenty of franchise restaurants near the campus on 14th Street (US 41) in Bradenton. The Italian cuisine restaurant Primo Ristorante and the popular Anna Maria Oyster Bar are a short drive away.

Neel hosts a variety of tribute concerts including the upcoming tribute to Pink Floyd, Pig Floyd, May 18; John Denver December 8; James Taylor February 9; Linda Ronstadt February 16; and Beach Boys March 22. There are other performances by the Diamonds, a Broadway musical salute on January 12 and Bill and The Belles, a celebration of vintage country music and vaudeville on January 26.

Riverview Performing Arts Center has live concerts, recitals and performances
Riverview Performing Arts Center in Sarasota

On the high school campus, the Riverview Performing Arts Center closer to downtown Sarasota is an elegant theater that seats over 1,000 patrons. The auditorium was built in 2009 when the new Riverview High School campus was constructed. It is equipped with superior lighting and sound technology. There isn’t a bad seat in the house from the individual seating with comfortable arm rests on each. Franchise restaurants are also on US 41 past Phillippi Creek near Proctor Road in Sarasota.

High school and community programs include concert, dance, lecture, plays and meetings year round. This week the high school presents its Choir Spring Concert on Friday, the Annual Recital will be held May 25. On August 2 the Peace & Love Tour is a 50th anniversary tribute to the Woodstock concert. Snatam Kaur will perform live with songs from her new album on October 23 as the winter season begins with a new slate of concerts.

Shows at the Venice Performing Arts Center (VPAC) on the high school campus brings together three different organizations for the arts and a variety of community events with 120 performances each year. The Venice Institute for Performing Arts was chartered as a non-profit on January 1, 2017 to help the community build on its strong arts tradition and to teach student skills that will last a lifetime.

VPAC has 1,090 unobstructed view seats that slope to the 2,000 square-foot stage and orchestra pit that can accommodate 50 musicians. Acoustics are exceptional based on surround-sound boards placed throughout the venue. Handicap seating is available on the main floor and balcony. The center itself is nearly 47,000 square-feet.

Timeless Country with the CJ Simmons Band is up next June 29 for its special monthly summer show season at VPAC. The All American Boys Chorus based in Costa Mesa, California performs July 27, followed by the Sandy Toes Stand-up comedy August 10. The winter season picks up strong with The Nutcracker, December 14, Decades Rewind December 31, Cash, Killer & the King tribute January 18. Broadway Boys January 24, movie music by Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, and Clairdee, January 30, and Beatles vs. Stones in the Battle of the Brits as the winter season continues February 1. More February, March and April tributes concerts and shows are on the VPAC website. One of the more popular annual events in Venice is the performance of Shen Yun, March 13-16 at VPAC, that celebrates 5,000 years of Chinese heritage.

VPAC is not to be confused with The Venice Theatre, just a few blocks from VPAC downtown near Centennial Park. The Venice Theatre hosts many events too including Honk!, a musical tale of the ugly duckling, May 10-19. There are plenty of good dining experiences available around Centennial Park with French, Italian, seafood and casual cuisine.

All of the performances and more can be found on our Upcoming Events page. This list is updated every Thursday and at current lists events, festivals and shows up to June 7, 2020.

These venues listed above are available to the public for rent. You may be able to find more throughout Sarasota, such as the Visual Performing Arts Center at Booker High School. I have many properties in my inventory, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

References to other entertainment venues in Sarasota

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About Roger Pettingell

Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.