Jan. 10-March 28
“The course of true love never did run smooth,” Will Shakespeare cautions us, and that’s especially true in this vibrant new stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film that opens the Asolo Rep’s repertory season. Award-winning Chicago-based director Rachel Rockwell says the story is a romantic comedy and more; it’s about the importance—and power—of art in society.
Now thru Feb 18
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents this play by Katori Hall that speculates on the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, when an encounter with a mysterious maid at Memphis’ Lorraine Hotel prompts him to examine his mortality. Starring as King is Abdul-Khaliq “A.K.” Murtadha, who made a splash in recent Asolo Rep productions of The Great Society and All the Way.
Broadway legends Chita Rivera (she was the original Anita in West Side Story) and Tommy Tune (the seven-foot-something dancer/singer/choreographer/director who’s won 12 Tony Awards) team up at the Van Wezel for this evening of music from their long stage careers. Expect hits from Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Will Rogers Follies, and many more.
The renowned conductor and violinist Pinchas Zuckerman brings Britain’s great Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to the Van Wezel with works by Beethoven, Dvořák and Carl Maria Weber. It kicks off the Sarasota Concert Association’s Great Performers Series.
In the orchestra’s latest Masterworks series, guest pianist Lukáš Vondráček performs Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1. Vondráček has performed at the Ravinia Festival and the New York International Piano Series as well as in concert halls throughout Europe. Also on the program, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1. (Are you sensing a theme?)
With scores of No. 1 hits from “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In” to “Stone Soul Picnic” and “One Less Bell to Answer” and 20 million records sold worldwide, The 5th Dimension was the soundtrack of so many baby boomers’ lives. One show only Monday night at the Van Wezel. Everybody now: “Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon…”
The legendary opera star returns to the Van Wezel for a concert of light classical and popular works. But hurry; it’s nearing a sell-out. Fleming joins the cast of a new production Rodgers & Hammerstein’s glorious Carousel next month.
Xavier Jara, first place winner of the 2016 Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition, opens Guitar Sarasota’s season with a performance at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota. Jara’s current tour includes not only Sarasota, but also Carnegie Hall.
St. Armands Circus Ring of Fame induction ceremony
Free Windjammer Sailor Circus Concert and Circus Acts
The Windjammers—those musicians from all over America dedicated to the preservation of traditional circus music—are back in Sarasota for their 46th annual convention, and you have two chances to experience the fun: first, at the Circus Ring of Fame induction ceremony on St. Armands Circle Saturday at 1:15 p.m.; and on Sunday afternoon, a free band concert along with circus acts at the Sailor Circus Arena. (Donations are accepted, and proceeds benefit Sailor Circus.) Learn more about the Windjammers, and how they got their name, here.