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Music, Movies, and (Some of) Romeo and Juliet, All Coming Up

A virtual happy hour concert, Shakespearean monologues, and an all-new Sarasota Film Festival.

By Kay Kipling April 14, 2020

You may not be able to stroll beautiful Selby Gardens in person just now, but you can be uplifted by monologues from Romeo and Juliet recorded there by FSU/Asolo Conservatory students.

The urge to create—and the urge to be entertained—continues to be fed with a few more of the “on with the show” variety of virtual events on the Sarasota arts scene. A few that are coming up soon:

A concert by area reggae band Jah Movement will be streamed on the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s Facebook page,  during a Virtual Happy Hour at 6 p.m. Friday, April 17, paired with cocktails (with and without alcohol) and snacks by chef Paul Mattison. Who wouldn’t appreciate all that at the end of a tough week?

When COVID-10 concerns caused the cancellation of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory’s season-closing production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet outdoors at Selby Gardens this month, the conservatory’s MFA students and patrons were devastated. Now the gardens and the conservatory are offering students performing three famous monologues from the tragedy, directed by Jonathan Epstein at Selby Gardens within the Native Florida section of the gardens. Take a look and a listen to Romeo’s “He jests at scars that never felt a wound,” Juliet’s “Oh, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” and Mercutio’s “Oh, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you” via Facebook, Instagram and youTube, You get Shakespeare and beautiful natural surroundings in one go. The monologues will be viewable indefinitely.

Last but certainly not least, the Sarasota Film Festival, canceled from its original dates, is now launching its first-ever virtual fest, including feature-length films, documentaries, shorts, student films, conversations, Q&As and more, April 27-May 3. The festival will include an Audience Award competition for feature-length films, voted on by online viewers, with one film being awarded. A jury of local and national judges, to be announced at a future date, will also present awards to the shorts and student feature films.

A full detailed lineup of the festival, along with costs, will be released in the coming weeks. Stay up to date at

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