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Here Are The Best Things to Do in Sarasota This Month

A lineup of exhibits, concerts, plays and more to catch during October.

By Kay Kipling October 1, 2021

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Image: Jenny Acheson


Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College. Remaining on view here through Oct. 31: Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott, and Samo Davis: Happiness in ROYGBIV. Also, through Nov. 14: Charles McGill: In the Rough. Opening Oct. 9 (through March 20) is David Budd: Motion Within Stillness, showcasing works by the late painter, who had a Sarasota connection. 309-4300;

Ringling College of Art and Design Galleries. New shows opening Oct. 18 to run through through Dec. 10 on the campus are Lee Mayers’ Landscapes (Patricia Thompson + Skylight Galleries), Illest of Ill, a student illustration show (Willis Smith Gallery); Newtown Alive (Basch Gallery); and POW! The Comic Art of Mike Zeck from the Costas Collection, pt. 1 (Stulberg Gallery). 359-7563;

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. On view starting Oct. 31 here is Hard Bodies, the first-ever comprehensive exhibition of contemporary Japanese lacquer sculpture, with works drawn from the Clark Collections at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Through Jan. 23. 359-5700;



Sarasota Contemporary Dance. SCD kicks off its 16th season with Voices, showcasing new works by budding choreographers and movement makers, Oct. 14-17 in the Cook Theatre. 260-8485;

The Sarasota Ballet. The company leaps into the season with some new dancers and a world premiere by resident choreographer Ricardo Graziano, Oct. 22-24 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Also on the bill: Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, set to music by Aaron Copland. 359-0099;

De Paso. Sara Perez and Ruben Puertas team with four musicians for this new work in the art of flamenco, Oct. 30-Nov. 3 in The Ringling’s performance series. 360-7399;


Sarasota Orchestra Great Escapes. Take a trip back to “The Roaring 20s” with concerts Oct. 13-16 at Holley Hall, conducted by Steven Jarvi. 953-3434;

Noche Cubano Dance Party. Afro-Cuban artist Cimafunk returns to The Ringling courtyard on Oct. 15 for this event featuring his brand of funk, plus salsa dance lessons, Cuban food and more. Check it out at

Sarasota Orchestra Chamber Soiree. “American Lyric” focuses on Amanda Gorman’s poem, “In This Place,” and offers music by Amy Beach, Barber and Dvorak, Oct. 28 at Holley Hall. 953-3434;

The Silken Ladder. This Rossini one-act comic opera about a secret husband and would-be lovers who scale a ladder into and out of a lady’s room is the Sarasota Opera’s fall offering, with performances Oct. 29 and 31 and Nov. 3, 9, 11 and 13. 328-1300;


People of the Book Author Lecture Series. The series, presented by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, kicks off this month with planned, in-person appearances by magician/author Joshua Jay, Oct. 12, and cook and cookbook author Jake Cohen, Oct. 26. For more on how to participate, check at



Eubie. Continuing onstage at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe through Nov. 21 is this celebration of the songs of Eubie Blake, including “I’m Just Wild About Harry.” 366-1505;

Theatre Odyssey One-Act Play Festival. Catch four brand-new one-acts—Me Talking 2 Me, That Kiss, Census and Window Washer—Oct. 14-17, in the Bradenton Kiwanis Theater at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.

Mamma Mia! Yes, the ABBA musical about a young woman searching for her birth father, set on a Greek island, takes the stage at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, Oct. 14-31. 748-5875;

Escape to Margaritaville. We could all use a little escape right now, and who better than Jimmy Buffett to provide it, courtesy this musical set on a Caribbean isle? At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Van Wezel. 263-6799;

At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen. This Terry Guest play, laden with humor and choreography, celebrates the life of a late rural Georgia drag star as it opens Urbanite Theatre’s season, Oct. 29 through Dec. 5. 321-1397;

The Great American Trailer Park Musical. This musical comedy, set in the town of Starke, Florida, has been a huge hit for Venice Theatre in the past, not once, not twice, but three times.’s back on the mainstage Oct. 29 through Nov. 28. 488-1115;

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