What To Do in Sarasota This Weekend

Making your weekend plans? Check out Sarasota Magazine's Weekend Insider, chock-full of information about Sarasota events and much more.

By Megan McDonald November 15, 2012

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Your Weekend Top 5

1. The Asolo Rep opens its much-anticipated “All-American Character” season Friday night with the Tony Award-winning musical 1776. Directed by Tony winner Frank Galati (who directed the Asolo’s triumphant My Fair Lady last season), it’s a lively look at the events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence—a fitting balm after our acrimonious presidential election. Thru Dec. 22; tickets at

2. Curtains up for the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, too. The new season opens Friday night with Nate Jacobs’ ’50s Jukebox Revue, a tribute to Fats Domino, Muddy Waters and more great artists of the 1950s. Thru Dec. 16; tickets at

3. When the Hermitage Artist Retreat asked flutist Claire Chase to give a mini-concert at its annual Artful Lobster party, little did they know that a short time later she’d be named a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award recipient. Meet and hear Chase, receive a complimentary CD, and enjoy a whole lotta lobster Saturday afternoon on the beautiful beachfront grounds of the Hermitage. Details at

4. More contemporary music from the New Music New College series Saturday night: the JACK Quartet tackles works by four New College grads who’ve gone on to win major prizes and commissions. At the Sainer Pavilion; $15 tickets at

5. Check out the Historical Society of Sarasota’s beautifully restored Crocker Church Saturday at its Designer Tag Sale (tons of high-style bargains donated by area designers—cash and checks only) and Ye Olde Book Sale, and the first Historic Downtown Sarasota Trolley Tour of the season. The open-air trolley, departing at 10 a.m., costs $25 and reservations are a must; call (941) 364-9076.

Next Week

Smokey Joe’s Café continues to rock Florida Studio Theatre with all those great ’50s and ’60s hits by the songwriting duo Leiber and Stoller. Our own Kay Kipling calls it “an engaging evening of entertainment.” Read her review here.

If you’re not hosting your own Thanksgiving dinner, area restaurants offer lots of choices: Dine at Libby’s and get a “to-go” bag for turkey leftovers the next day. The Ritz-Carlton offers a sumptuous brunch (we counted two dozen desserts alone). Or reserve your Thanksgiving Feast To-Go from Mattison’s Forty-One by Nov. 18; call (941) 921-3400.

And next week—and every week—think about how thankful you are for your good life and share your good fortune with others. Visit to connect with dozens of area nonprofits seeking volunteers. The handy website is presented by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

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Free and Freeish

Celebrate our beautiful natural environment Saturday  at the inaugural Sarasota Bay Water Festival sponsored by the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program at Ken Thompson Park. Five local bands, food trucks, a Ski-a-Rees show, 70-plus exhibitors of all things water sports and ecology related and—yes, it’s true—Sarasota Bay’s first “iceberg.” Festival-goers can even take a water taxi from Marina Jack, shown here. See you there!


See the newest party looks from Diane von Furstenberg, Halston Heritage, Valentino Red and more when The Met Fashion House hosts its Party Dressing Cocktail-to-Black-Tie stock show today through Saturday.

The public is invited to the Longboat Key Club & Resort’s “Big, Big Sidewalk Sale” Saturday and Sunday at the Islandside golf pro shop; up to 70 percent savings on golf and tennis equipment, spa products and resort wear.

Bring an unwrapped toy to Michael’s Wine Cellar Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. (and also Saturday, Dec. 8) as entry to its annual Holiday Open House wine tasting. More than 60 fine wines will be yours for the sampling. All toys will be donated to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

You're Invited: Sarasota Magazine Sponsored Events

Nov. 28

Join us Nov. 28 for the first of five musically delicious Guest Conductor Dinners produced by the Sarasota Orchestra featuring some of the world’s most distinguished conductors in an intimate dinner setting. The inaugural event showcases the talents of guest conductor Thomas Wilkins at Art to Walk On, catered by Michael’s On East.

Nov. 30

Designing Women Boutique celebrates its 10th Anniversary Gala Nov. 30. Michael’s On East will be transformed into a winter wonderland for a fabulous evening of dinner, dancing and fashion.

Dec. 15-Jan. 3

The “Holiday Splendor at the Payne Mansion” Designer Showhouse returns to Selby Gardens Dec. 15-Jan. 3. The Showhouse coincides with Selby Gardens’ spectacular “Lights in Bloom,” featuring life-size garden-themed holiday lights and nightly live entertainment for all ages to enjoy. For details, visit

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