Weekend Planner

Your Top 8 Things to Do: Jan. 26-Feb. 1

Gladys Knight and Kenny Rogers at the Van Wezel, the Suncoast Blues Festival and more.

By Ilene Denton January 24, 2017

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Gladys Knight at the Van Wezel

Jan. 28

Most of the Van Wezel’s shows over the next week are sold out, including Billy Crystal, Boz Scaggs, Johnny Mathis and Frankie Valli. But if you’re a fan of R&B, gospel and adult contemporary music you’re in luck, because—at least at press time—tickets do remain for the legendary Gladys Knight. Rolling Stone named her to its list of 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time. vanwezel.org 

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Kenny Rogers’ Final World Tour


Jan. 27

Country Music Hall of Famer Kenny Rogers knows when to fold ‘em, and after a nearly six-decade career, he’s visiting the Van Wezel Friday night on what’s being billed as his Final World Tour: The Gambler’s Last Deal. If you’ve been following Rogers’ career from his early days in rock throughout the decades of country/ pop, from “Lucille” to “The Greatest” and beyond, you won’t want to miss it. The Van Wezel performance also features Rogers’ guest Linda Davis. vanwezel.org

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Suncoast Blues Festival 

Jan. 27-28

Suncoast Blues Festival

The third annual fest takes over the Sarasota Fairgrounds Friday night and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., with the Balkun Brothers (shown here), Tommy Z, Charles Wilson, Studebaker John and Selwyn Birchwood. Food, drinks and other stuff for sale; you can even camp overnight Friday if you want. suncoastbluesfestival.com

Sarasota Orchestra Chamber Soiree: Sinking of the Titanic

Jan. 29

Incorporating bits of interviews with survivors, Morse code signals, an Episcopal hymn reported to have been played by the Titanic’s orchestra and sound effects reflecting the impact, the Sarasota Orchestra Chamber Soiree performance of Gavin Bryar’s Sinking of the Titanic promises to be most interesting. Two performances Sunday at Holley Hall. sarasotaorchestra.org

Sarasota Ballet presents Ashton, Graziano & Tuckett


Jan. 30

Good news if you couldn’t snag a ticket to the Sarasota Ballet’s sold-out performances at the FSU Center this weekend—they’ve added a 2 p.m. Monday matinee just for you. On the program are works by Sir Frederick Ashton (Valses nobles et sentimentales), resident choreographer Ricardo Graziano (Before Night Falls) and Will Tuckett (Changing Light). sarasotaballet.org

Urbanite Theatre presents Ideation


Opening Jan. 27

More edgy fare from this young theater company, as it presents this psychological thriller about a group of corporate consultants working together on a mysterious and ethically ambiguous project. Through March 12. urbanitetheatre.com/season

SaraSolo Festival


Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 3-5

Thought-provoking solo performances by 22 national and international storytellers, cabaret artists and comedians will fill the Crocker Memorial Church for this second annual festival of the solo performer. New this year is SaraSolo After Hours: three late-night cabaret shows in The Starlite Room. Details at sarasolo.org. 

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine 

Jan. 30

The Kiev-based orchestra, appearing at the Van Wezel Monday evening as part of the Sarasota Concert Association Great Performers series, is considered one of Eastern Europe’s finest. scasarasota.org

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