Weekend Planner

Your Top 8 Things to Do: Jan. 3-9

Jay Leno, Itzhak Perlman, Something Rotten! and more.

By Ilene Denton January 3, 2019

Jay Leno

Jay Leno

Jan. 3

From longtime Tonight Show host to stand-up comic, Jay Leno brings the funny to the Van Wezel. Tickets are going fast.

Itzhak Perlman

Perlman Music Program/Suncoast 15th Anniversary Celebration Concert

Jan. 5

The acclaimed PMP Music Program/Suncoast winter residency—two weeks of music making with Itzhak Perlman and 31 of the world’s most talented young musicians—wraps up with Perlman leading the PMP String Orchestra and Patrick Romano leading the PMP Chorus. At the Sarasota Opera House. 

Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks: Summer to Winter

Jan. 4-6  

Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes—who happens to live in Bradenton—performs Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.1 when the Sarasota Orchestra presents its next Masterworks concerts at Neel Performing Arts Center and the Van Wezel. Anu Tali conducts.

Laura Rook, Coburn Goss and Amanda Fallon Smith in The Crucible.

Image: John Revisky

The Crucible

Jan. 11–March 10; Previews Jan. 9-10

Asolo Rep continues its 60th anniversary season with Arthur Miller’s timeless, Tony Award-winning parable about the dangers of fear and hatred of the unknown, inspired by the “witch hunt” atmosphere of the McCarthy era.   

The cast of Something Rotten!

Something Rotten!

Jan. 7-8

The musical comedy about two playwrighting brothers stuck in the shadow of William Shakespeare comes to the Van Wezel for two hilarious performances.  Nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Image: John Revisky


Jan. 2-20  

Next up for the talented FSU/Asolo Conservatory acting students: Henrik Ibsen’s moody morality play about a 19th century Norwegian family that confronts the late husband’s murky past.

The Available Cupholders

The Available Cupholders

Jan. 4-5  

A fan favorite at Florida Studio Theatre’s Sarasota Improv Festival each summer, this Austin, Texas-based improv troupe returns with two shows in FST’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre, plus three workshops for aspiring improv comedians. 

Lakewood Ranch Music on Main

Jan. 4

Thomas Wynn & The Believers headline this month’s free concert and block party on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

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Jay Leno

$37-$112 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The late night TV legend returns to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Classical Music

Perlman Program Suncoast 15th Anniversary Celebration Concert

$40, $60, $80 Sarasota Opera House

Toby and Itzhak Perlman's residency program for gifted string students culminates in this celebration concert.

Classical Music

Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks 3: Summer to Winter

From $34 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes joins Sarasota Orchestra for Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1.



FSU Center for the Performing Arts

The FSU Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training presents the Henrik Ibsen play.


The Available Cupholders Improv Troupe

Florida Studio Theatre

Sarasota Improv Festival favorite, The Available Cupholders, returns to Sarasota from Austin, Texas for a special series of performances.

Special Events

Lakewood Ranch Music on Main

Free Lakewood Ranch Main Street

A free concert series and block party for the public held every first Friday of the month.