Arts Update

Van Wezel, WBTT and Sarasota Orchestra Announce Changes

More cancellations and rescheduling due to COVID-19.

By Kay Kipling March 24, 2020

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

More fallout from the coronavirus pandemic affecting local arts groups—the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and the Sarasota Orchestra have all made announcements regarding the cancellations or rescheduling of upcoming shows and concerts.

First, the latest from the city-owned performing arts hall. In addition to previously announced cancellations or rescheduling of shows including An Evening with Bruce Hornsby, The Pointer Sisters, Jackie Evancho, Terry Fator, Reza: Edge of Illusion, Johnny Mathis, An Evening with Chris Botti, and Brian Culbertson, the touring production of A Bronx Tale, originally set for April 21 and 22, has been canceled. At this moment, however, the tour of the Broadway musical Come From Away, April 28-May 3, has not been canceled.

One Night of Queen, originally set for May 6, is now May 15, 2021, and The Bachelor Live on Stage, planned for May 7, was canceled. Stay informed at

The Sarasota Orchestra has canceled concerts, events and meetings scheduled through April 26, 2020. That includes an April 2 Classical Conversations, a Masterworks concert, April 3-5, Pops concerts set for April 17 and 18, the Sarasota Youth Orchestra’s year-end showcase concert, and the Chamber Soiree concert April 19. Concerts for May and June are still planned at this point. A donation of tickets or credit towards subscriptions or tickets for the 2020-2021 season can be achieved by calling 955-3434 or emailing [email protected].

The orchestra does invite listeners to tune in today at 7 p.m. to Classical WSMR 89.1 to hear a recorded broadcast of a Sarasota Orchestra concert featuring Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Work is underway to bring a wide range of music online by orchestra musicians to music lovers.

Meanwhile, WBTT has canceled the remainder of its 2019-2020 season, including the world premiere musical Ruby and the season’s closing production, Flyin’ West. Ruby will be slotted into the 2020-21 season in place of the planned production of Eubie! The regular season shows, running from October 7, 2020, through June 6, 2021, will now be Broadway in Black, Ruby, Pipeline, and Smokey Joe’s Café, with the holiday show of Black Nativity as well.

WBTT still hopes to hold its rescheduled April Fools Fete May 18, along with its Stage of Discovery musical theater camp in June, but will monitor the coronavirus situation to determine if these programs are possible.

The WBTT box office is closed, but you can still gain info on refunds and donations of canceled tickets by calling 366-1505 or emailing [email protected]

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