What To Do in Sarasota This Weekend: 12/6/2012

By Megan McDonald December 6, 2012

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Your Weekend Top 5

1. The Van Wezel opens its Broadway season tonight and tomorrow with the national touring production of Catch Me If You Can. The Tony Award-nominated musical relates the wild adventures of con man Frank Abagnale, who, in pursuit of the good life, poses as an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. Based on the hit film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, it has a book by Terrence McNally (The Full Monty, Ragtime) and a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray). Tickets, and details about the complete  Van Wezel Broadway season, are at

2. We’re suckers for Christmas lights, and a really good display can always be found at the Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, taking place Saturday night on Sarasota Bay. Great viewing at Marina Jack, Centennial Park, Bayfront Park and City Island (which you can read all about in our December issue). Afterwards, head to Marina Jack, where the decorated boats will be on display together for an awards presentation.

3. Fill your stocking with fun, creative gifts at the Atomic Holiday Bazaar, Sarasota’s original indie arts and crafts fair, this weekend at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium.  New this year: an opening party with live music Friday night at Clothesline Gallery in Burns Square. Preview vendors and their wares at

4. The Ringling Museum travels back a few centuries for an important exhibition of the work of Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese. More than 50 works have been assembled from private collections and from major museums like the National Gallery of Art, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and our very own Ringling. The exhibition opens Friday.

5. Now to the art of nature. The Friends of Myakka River host their annual Seriously Southern Soiree Saturday afternoon at the park’s south pavilion. Good to the Bone performs, and there’s plenty of great eats from Madfish Grill. Tickets must be purchased in advance; call (941) 316-8139.

Next Week

Help light the nine-foot sand-sculpture menorah (hey, we’re in Florida!), enjoy latkes and live music, and meet Judah Maccabee himself at the big community Chanukah celebration Monday evening at Lakewood Ranch Main Street, sponsored by Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. And happy Chanukah to all our Jewish Insider friends.

Here’s your chance to be part of a national radio audience when the Artist Series Concerts brings NPR’s “From the Top” program to the Opera House Tuesday night. This live showcase features three pre-collegiate musicians who will perform and share their personal stories. Pianist Christopher Riley hosts. The show will be taped for later airing on 224 NPR stations across the country.

Ringling Museum’s Holiday Splendor is Thursday evening, Dec. 13. Tour the Ca d’Zan, beautifully decorated for the holidays, and sing along to favorite carols performed by local school choirs. Your admission: one unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots—a good deed for a great event.

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Free and Free-ish

A Santa parade, caroling sing-along and Christmas tree lighting ceremony  are all part of the festivities Friday when St. Armands Circle presents its 34th annual Holiday Night of Lights.  The free fun starts at 6 p.m.

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