Weekend Planner

Your Top 6 Things to Do: Oct. 12-18

Willie Nelson at the Van Wezel, RIAF returns to The Ringling, the Selby Gardens Orchid Show opens and more.

By Ilene Denton October 11, 2017

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eVenti Verticale, opening the 2017 Ringling International Arts Festival.

Ringling International Arts Festival

Oct. 18-21

From the Italian duo, eVenti Verticale, who will perform their zany escapades on a giant vertical screen in the Ringling Museum courtyard, to contemporary dance troupes, a female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe and much more, this year’s Ringling International Arts Festival promises four days and nights of novel artistic experiences. Discover more here

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A scene from last year's Orchid Show at Selby Gardens.

The Orchid Show at Selby Gardens

Oct. 12-Nov. 26

“Earth, Air, Fire and Water” is the theme of this year’s blockbuster Orchid Show at Selby Gardens, opening Thursday. Thousands of orchids, including rare ones from the Gardens’ international collection, will be on display. Lots of special events around the show. And mark your calendar for an Oct. 26 walk-n-talk tour. 

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Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson & Friends

Oct. 17

The Redheaded Stranger returns to the Van Wezel after a long absence with his legendary outlaw country tunes and a passel of friends and family to perform them with.  

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Mike from Monsters, Inc.

Howl-O-Ween Movie Night Spooktacular: Monsters, Inc.

Oct. 14

Get in the Halloween spirit Saturday night at this free open-air screening of Monsters, Inc. at Ed Smith Stadium. It’s brought to us by the Baltimore Orioles, the Sarasota Film Festival and Sarasota County. Gates open at 5 p.m. for children’s games and a costume parade led by the Orioles’ Bird; the movie starts at 7. Attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food donation for All Faiths Food Bank. 

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Sarasota Contemporary Dance

Sarasota Contemporary Dance + Piazzolla

Oct. 12-15

Time to tango when the dance company opens its season with a program inspired by tango composer Astor Piazzolla. It’s a first-ever collaboration with former Boston Symphony harpist (and Sarasota resident) Ann Hobson Pilot and violinist Tai Murray. Four performances at the FSU Center’s Cook Theatre. 

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Tarra Conner jones.

Tarra Conner jones at WBTT

Oct. 15-16

Tarra Conner jones (yes, the “j” is lower-case) made a big splash with her big voice last year in Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She returns to WBTT for two nights in her solo cabaret show, Here is Love. It’s part of WBTT’s occasional Young Artists Programs.

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Special Events

Ringling International Arts Festival: Wanted

Ringling Museum of Art

Featuring the event of first night of the festival, WANTED by eVenti Verticale.


Willie Nelson & Friends

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Presented by the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall


Sarasota Contemporary Dance 12th Main Stage Performance Season

FSU Center for the Performing Arts

Featuring Sarasota Contemporary Dance and Piazzolla.


WBTT's Young Artist Program: Tarra Conner Jones

Editor’s Pick General Admission: $25; VIP: $100 West Coast Black Theatre Troupe

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents its first young artist performance of the season.