Weekend Planner

Your Top 9 Things to Do: Feb. 15-21

Barry Manilow at the Van Wezel, Orioles Sarasota Springfest, Thunder by the Bay and lots, lots more.

By Ilene Denton February 15, 2018

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Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

Feb. 16

The Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning superstar showman makes his Van Wezel debut in support of his newest album, This is My Town: Songs of New York. Buy a ticket for the concert only, or splurge and attend the Van Wezel Foundation gala, which includes prime seating, an elegant pre-show dinner and post-show party. See what he talked about with our own Kay Kipling here.

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Ed Smith Stadium

Orioles Sarasota Springfest at Ed Smith Stadium

Feb. 17

Spring is in the air, and that means spring training baseball. The Orioles invite everybody out to Ed Smith Stadium Saturday morning for its annual Springfest. Watch pitchers and catchers in action on the back fields, catch a Q&A with 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Finalist Trey Mancini, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the ballpark and try your hand in a “Pitch for Charity” benefiting All Faiths Food Bank. Oh boy! Free admission.

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Thunder by the Bay

Feb. 15-18

Get ready. The full-throttle motorcycle festival hits the Sarasota County fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday with a classic bike show, stunt riders, a Miss Thunder by the Bay contest, live music, food and more. To get you in the mood, the Born to Be Wild kickoff party is Thursday night at Michael’s On East and there’s a Bikes on Main block party Friday night on Main Street in downtown Sarasota.

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Chris Tipp and Alexis Hyatt in Constellations.


Opening Feb. 21

Florida Studio Theatre’s intriguing, edgy Stage III series continues with this two-character drama billed as an “unusual love story of infinite possibilities and the difference between choice and destiny.” The New York Times calls it “a magnificent work.” Through March 16 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre. 

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Tenor Cody Austin as the soldier Don José and mezzo soprano Lisa Chavez in the title role of Sarasota Opera’s production of Carmen.

Sarasota Opera presents Carmen

Opening Feb. 17

George Bizet’s gorgeous opera about the ill-fated, all-consuming love between a spirited gypsy and a corporal. If you know only a couple of opera songs, you certainly know “The Toreador Song” and Carmen’s famous “Habanera.” 

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Gil Shaham

Gil Shaham and Akira Eguchi

Feb. 21

More first-class classical music from the Sarasota Concert Association’s Great Performers Series Wednesday evening at the Van Wezel: Grammy Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham and rising star pianist Akira Eguchi in a program that includes works by Prokofiev and Bach.

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The Hot Sardines

The Hot Sardines

Feb. 18

Hot jazz from this rollicking eight-member musical ensemble, making their Van Wezel debut.

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Ringling New Stages: Somi – Petite Afrique

Feb. 16-17

This year, the Ringling Museum’s New Stages performance series focuses on world music, and this vocalist/songwriter, born to Rwandan and Ugandan parents and founder of the nonprofit New Africa Live, is a perfect example. Two performances Friday and Saturday evening in the Ringling’s Historic Asolo Theatre.     

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Andrew Hardaway in The Rehearsal.

The Rehearsal

Feb. 20-March 11

Next up for the talented actors of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training: The Rehearsal, Jean Anouilh’s The Rehearsal, a comedic satire about class, love and sex in the French aristocracy. Tuesday night is the “pay what you can” preview performance.

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Barry Manilow

Editor’s Pick $56 - $256 Concert only Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The pop music legend makes his Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall debut.


Baltimore Orioles Sarasota Springfest

Editor’s Pick Free Ed Smith Stadium

The Orioles invite fans of all ages to celebrate the start of Spring Training at Sarasota Springfest, a free family-friendly event at Ed Smith Stadium.


FST presents "Constellations"

Florida Studio Theatre

Part of Florida Studio Theatre's Stage III series.


Sarasota Opera Presents Carmen

Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Opera's 2017-2018 season continues with George Bizet's Carmen.


The Hot Sardines

Editor’s Pick $21-$61 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Music first made famous decades ago comes alive with The Hot Sardines at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall .


The Ringling Presents SOMI

$30, $10 with Student ID Historic Asolo Theater

Part of Ringling's New Stages series, "A World of Music."


"The Rehearsal"

FSU Center for the Performing Arts

An FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production of the Jean JAnouilh play.