Josephine opens at Asolo Rep
This world premiere musical about the great African-American singer-dancer-actress Josephine Baker officially opens Friday night, and it stars recording artist and Broadway actress Deborah Cox in the lead. Joey McKneely, who helmed West Side Story here earlier this season, returns to direct and choreograph, with songs by Stephen Dorff and John Bettis. Through May 29; get tickets at asolorep.org.
Downtown Bradenton’s Pickin' Picnic
Live music, craft beer, an epic food truck battle, artists from Village of the Arts selling their wares and lots more are on tap when the Pickin’ Picnic returns to downtown Bradenton’s Riverwalk Saturday. This celebration of local music will feature six bands from 3 to 10 p.m., including Dropin Pickup, shown here. (And P.S.: Our own Cooper Levey-Baker is one of the judges for the food truck battle!) realizebradenton.com/events
Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest
Grab your pail and shovel and head to Siesta Beach Saturday for the 44th annual amateur sand sculpture contest. Free to enter and everyone’s welcome. The festivities start at 8:30 a.m., with judging at 1 p.m. This is serious fun, folks; cash prizes will be awarded in various categories, thanks to the Friends of Sarasota County Parks and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce.
May 6-June 25
Selby Gardens’ Juried Photographic Exhibition
Feast on beautiful nature photos, all taken at Selby Gardens, during this 36th annual juried show, opening Friday and running through June 25 at the site’s Museum of Botany and the Arts. It’s part of the gardens’ ongoing 40th anniversary celebration. A very nice thing to do for Mom on Mother’s Day Sunday, when you can catch the last Garden Music concert of the season, too. Shown here, the Best of Show-winning photograph by John Zeiss. selby.org
Sarasota Succulent Society Mother’s Day sale
There’s still time to get Mom that special Mother’s Day gift, and if she loves plants then you should head to the big Sarasota Succulent Society sale this weekend—bargain prices on lots of interesting plants. sarasotasucculentsociety.org.
Food and Wine on Pine
No excuse is ever needed to visit beautiful Anna Maria Island, but Saturday’s Food and Wine on Pine celebration is a great one. This annual street festival celebrates the best food, wine, art and music the island community offers. foodandwineonpine.com
Through May 7
"Latin Nights" with the Sarasota Orchestra
Man of La Mancha, La Bamba, even a tribute to Miami’s pop diva Gloria Estefan—they’re all on the program when the Sarasota Orchestra concludes its Great Escapes series of the season with a concert it’s calling, “Latin Nights.” Portuguese-American conductor Jacomo Rafael Bairos will be making his Sarasota Orchestra debut. At Holley Hall.
Through May 13
Ringling College Annual Senior Thesis Exhibitions
The 2016 annual Ringling College senior thesis exhibitions are under way; your chance to visit one of the nation’s finest art colleges and see the excellent work of the students who will be graduating soon. ringling.edu
Free Comic Book Day at Sarasota County Libraries
Kids 5 to 18 who visit any Sarasota County library Saturday will get a free comic book while supplies last, in honor of International Free Comic Book Day. (What, that wasn’t on your calendar?)