Get ready for the annual onslaught of brand-new features, documentaries, shorts and more at this year’s fest, opening Friday night at the Van Wezel with the film, Other People, starring Molly Shannon and Jesse Plemons. The festival runs through April 10 with most screenings at downtown’s Hollywood 20. Among the visiting luminaries are Olympia Dukakis, Rosie Perez, Treat Williams, Matthew Modine and George Hamilton. Freebie alert: the heartwarming family film, Dolphin Tale, will be screened outdoors at Lido Beach Saturday evening as part of SFF’s Moonlight Movie series. And Thursday evening, March 31, the festival teams with the Van Wezel as the hall presents An Evening with Sophia Loren; the incomparable Oscar-winning actress will share tales and film clips.
Live long and prosper, everybody. The South Florida Museum celebrates the Bishop Planetarium’s 50th anniversary with a screening of Star Trek: The Motion Picture Friday evening. Two more upcoming dates for sci-fi fans to note: the April 8 screening of Star Trek: Wrath of Khan, and the April 15 screening of Star Trek: The Search for Spock. Tickets are just $5 for museum members; $7 for non-members.
The fourth annual Wine Walk to Ca d’Zan is a self-guided wine tasting tour along the drive to John and Mable Ringling’s historic mansion overlooking Sarasota Bay. Guests will receive a signature "Wine Walk" wine glass before they stroll The Ringling estate, taste fine wine and delight in delicious food pairings and entertainment inspired by the four seasons. The evening will conclude on the bayfront with live music and entertainment. Tickets: $120 for members; $135 for non-members.
Asolo Rep artistic director Michael Donald Edward helms the company’s production of this Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony-nominated play by Ayad Akhtar. It’s set at a dinner party where the guests make the mistake of discussing politics and religion, leading to fireworks that threaten the hard-won success of a Muslim-American lawyer and his wife. Onstage through April 24 at the Historic Asolo Theater.
Finnish pianist Antti Siirala, first prize-winner of three international piano competitions, performs Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Sarasota Orchestra in its last Masterworks concerts of the season. Friday night at Neel Performing Arts Center, and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
March 31-April 9
More than 100 talented youngsters will delight and amaze you with their mastery of the trapeze, silks, unicycles, juggling, clowning and a whole lot more at the 67th annual edition of the Sailor Circus spring performances at the Sailor Circus Arena on Bahia Vista Street. Eight shows only through April 9.
April 3 and 5
Gloria Musicae presents the Florida premiere of Libby Larsen’s Barnum’s Bird, an operatic concert that delves into the relationship between “Swedish Nightingale” Jenny Lind and circus impresario P.T. Barnum. Larsen is one of America’s most prolific and performed contemporary composers. April 3 at Neel Performing Arts Center; April 5 at Venice Performing Arts Center.
Chris Botti plays the Van Wezel
Contemporary jazz trumpeter Chris Botti returns to the Van Wezel with tunes from his 10 hit solo albums.