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Photography by Mike Short March 1, 2012

Sarasota has welcomed several baseball teams for spring training over the decades, including the New York Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Indianapolis Indians.Spring Training Play ball! A sure sign of spring is the return of the Baltimore Orioles (at Ed Smith Stadium) and Pittsburgh Pirates (at Bradenton’s McKechnie Field). The Orioles kick things off March 5 and play through April 1; the Pirates play March 2 through March 31. For Orioles tickets, (800) 745-3000; for Pirates, (941) 747-3031.

Sarasota Opera: Vanessa Kara Shay Thomson, who wowed audiences here as Tosca a few seasons ago, sings the role of a deluded woman awaiting the return of an old lover in this Samuel Barber opera with libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti. Performances March 10, 13, 15, 18, 21 and 24 at the Sarasota Opera House. 328-1300 or

Joffrey Ballet The acclaimed dance company (now based in Chicago) brings a program of choreography by James Kudelka (Pretty Ballet, to music by Martinu), Christopher Wheeldon (After the Rain, music by Arvo Part) and Julia Adam (Night, music by Matthew Pierce) to the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. March 29. Tickets 953-3368 or

Red John Logan’s Tony-winning portrait of the artist Mark Rothko as he takes on a new assistant and a memorable commission for Manhattan’s Four Seasons Hotel should pack a lot of punch in its Asolo Rep production, directed by Lou Jacob and onstage March 30 through April 22 at the Historic Asolo Theater. 351-8000 or 
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