Editor’s note: In-person events are subject to change. Please check before venturing out.
Feb. 11-March 6
The Big Top is b-a-a-c-c-k-k! Get ready for this season’s circus, at Nathan Benderson Park. You’ll be entertained by ringmaster Joseph Bauer Jr., daredevils Bello and Annaliese Nock, hand balancers the Alexis Brothers, speed juggler Nilson Escobar, the Pompeyo Family Dogs and more in performances aimed at children of all ages, as they say. For tickets and more info, call (941) 355-9805 or visit circusarts.org.
Sarasota Opera: Tosca
Feb. 12-March 19
The opera is back, too, planning a full winter festival season that opens with Puccini’s classic tragedy about love, jealousy and murder. At the Sarasota Opera House; for tickets call (941) 328-1300 or go to sarasotaopera.org.
Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry and Light
Feb. 13-June 26
At long last the next exhibition in the Goldstein series at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens opens, and it promises original photos by the late Mapplethorpe, poetry, lyrics and music by Smith, and new horticultural displays inspired by the artists’ work. Learn more at selby.org, or call (941) 366-5731.
Asolo Rep: The Great Leap
Feb. 11-April 2
Canceled nearly two years ago because of the pandemic, this play by Lauren Yee finally bows at Asolo Rep, the third and final show of the winter rotating rep season. The comedic drama focuses on Manford Lum, who finds his home on the basketball courts of San Francisco’s Chinatown and wisecracks his way onto a college team headed to Beijing. It’s a story of family as much as sports. Get tickets by calling (941) 351-8000 or heading to asolorep.org.
The multiple Tony Award-winning singer and actress returns to the stage of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, at 8 p.m. Friday, and she’s bound to make your spirits soar. For tickets, call (941) 263-6799 or go to vanwezel.org.
Bradenton Area River Regatta
There’s something for just about everybody at this seventh annual regatta, including a fishing tourney and a family fun zone for kids, a flyboarding champion at work, live music on two stages, powerboat racing, plenty of food and a fireworks spectacular over the Manatee River. Attendance is free, and all day long; for the complete schedule (and info on the closing of the Green Bridge), go to bradentonarearegatta.com.
Key Chorale: A.D. 387
Feb. 11 and 12
What, you may ask, took place in the year 387? Well, according to legend, the famous Te Deum was spontaneously composed by St. Ambrose and St. Augustine on one night in that year. Several well-known soloists (Suzanne Karpov, Blake Friedman, Jamal Sarikoki and Amy Connours) join the symphonic choir to celebrate with a program featuring music by Handel, Haydn, Bruckner, Dvorak and more, at Church of the Palms. For tickets, call (941) 552-8768 or visit keychorale.org.
Perlman Music Program Alumni: Around Town
More classical music is on tap with Music from the Heart, featuring a six-piece chamber ensemble including Perlman Music Program Suncoast alum Max Tan on violin. At 7 p.m. at Temple Sinai, on Lockwood Ridge Road. For tickets, head to perlmansuncoast.org.
The Oshima Brothers
For a more pop music sound, tune into this Maine-based indie duo, delivering vocals, live looping, foot percussion, electric and acoustic guitars, vintage keyboard and bass, at 8 p.m. Friday at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center downtown. Advance tickets available at wslr.org.
Jazz Brunch with Hot Club of SRQ
We’re not leaving out the jazz lovers this weekend, either. Enjoy gypsy jazz style live music by Hot Club of SRQ, along with food from Hamlet’s Eatery, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. In the outdoor courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, 821 Apricot Ave. Find out more at hamletseatery.com or by calling (941) 445-1938.
Hermitage Artist Retreat: Pen to Paper
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive, The Baltimore Waltz) turns up in a free community program at 5 p.m. Friday in the outdoor courtyard at Booker High School, leading a writing “bake-off” in which the audience collectively creates and designs a short play. It’s part of the Hermitage @Booker series; check it out at hermitageartistretreat.org.