Top 5 Sarasota Events for January 2016

Our top picks for January.

By Kay Kipling January 1, 2016

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Sarasota—Glass Now, a Contemporary Art Glass Weekend

Lovers of art glass will have much to enjoy with an exhibition entitled Commentaries: Stories in Glass, Jan. 28 through Feb. 26 at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts, and this accompanying weekend, which offers tours of collectors’ homes, an art glass auction, a visit to the Ringling College’s Basch Gallery and more. 383-2345,



The Sarasota Opera’s final season of the Verdi Cycle commences with this work never before presented by the company, telling the tragic story of tangled love involving Ethiopian princess Aida, soldier Radames, and Egyptian royal Amneris. Opens at the Sarasota Opera House Jan. 30, with performances to come in February and March as well. 328-1300,

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Forks & Corks

The annual celebration of great food and great wine takes place this month, with winemaker dinners, a Forks & Corks University for those with a thirst for knowledge, and the Grand Tasting in the Ringling Museum courtyard all part of the experience provided by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals. Jan. 29-31; go to for ticket info.

SaraSolo 2016

After its inaugural season last year, this festival saluting the art of solo performances returns, Jan. 23-24 and Jan. 30-31 at the Crocker Church, with a Betwixt Week in between presenting classes and workshops, too. No announcements yet at press time of who would be taking the stage, but head to or call 323-1360 for up-to-date info.

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Renée Fleming

You may have to know somebody who knows somebody to score tickets to the opera star’s Sarasota debut with the Sarasota Orchestra at the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. Jan. 27, but if you can pony up enough money, maybe you’ll get lucky. Fleming will sing excerpts from Italian opera and Broadway musical classics in the concert, preceded by a gala dinner and followed by a meet-and-greet. For performance-only tickets, try 953-3368.

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All the Way

Robert Schenkkan’s Tony Award-winning play about Lyndon Baines Johnson (played here by Nick Wyman, whom Asolo audiences may recall from A Tale of Two Cities), Martin Luther King Jr., and other key figures involved in the battle to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act comes to the Asolo Rep mainstage, in rotating rep Jan. 8 through April 9. 351-8000,

My Pick

“Asolo Rep’s Living On Love [onstage Jan. 13 through Feb. 25], being directed by one of my favorite directors, Peter Amster. I go to see anything he directs.” —Teri Hansen, president and CEO, the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation

What I’m...

Listening to

“Bruno Mars. This kid is sensational; he’s a real entertainer. Every time I’ve seen him he blows me away. I am reading Sinatra 100; Frank was the reason I became a singer. We became friends and it was a relationship that I cherished.” –Frankie Valli, coming to the Van Wezel with The Four Seasons Jan. 28


Parenthood, the 2010 series created by Ron Howard, on Netflix. Other than the great writing and acting, the topics are socially relevant, and the raw and bittersweet emotions of family, from affection to jealousy, are depicted realistically. I [am] invested in each episode.” —Rebecca King, Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) coordinator, Booker High School


The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison, a young lawyer who’s published two previous novels. It’s a terrific thriller set against the backdrop of Somali piracy on the high seas. Also, Just Mercy, by Brian Stephenson, a great nonfiction story about his life as a public interest lawyer in Alabama.” —John Grisham, bestselling author, here for the Manatee Library Foundation Jan. 19

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