Editor’s note: In-person events are subject to change. Please check before venturing out.
Escape to Margaritaville
At long last, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is back to presenting Broadway shows, and this Jimmy Buffett musical seems calculated to raise theater lovers’ spirits. The show features both original songs and popular faves like “Volcano” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” so Parrot Heads, unite! At 7:30 p.m.; call the box office at (941) 263-6799 or go to vanwezel.org to see what tickets remain.
The Silken Ladder
Oct. 29-Nov. 13
Speaking of being back onstage, the Sarasota Opera, which managed to present a season last year despite Covid concerns, kicks off its fall season starting this weekend. The production, Rossini’s The Silken Ladder, is a one-act comic farce revolving around a secret husband, would-be lovers, and a ladder that leads into and out of a lady’s room...sounds spicy. For performance times, tickets and more, head to sarasotaopera.org or call (941) 328-1300.
Sarasota Orchestra: Tovey: The Adventure Begins
Orchestra artistic director Bramwell Tovey leads his musicians (and guest violinist and friend James Ehnes) on a special concert to introduce himself to audiences in his brand-new capacity. Expect to hear Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del destino, Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Plus, there’s a Q&A after. At 7:30 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House; call (941) 953-3434 or go to sarasotaorchestra.org.
Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture
Oct. 31-Jan. 23
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art presents this exhibit (the first to date survey of contemporary Japanese lacquer sculpture in the country) in its Searing Wing. Expect to see some unconventional treatments of this ancient art; more than 30 works by 16 artists in all will be on display. Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. For more info, go to ringling.org.
Oct. 30, 31 and Nov. 3
Experience a unique approach to the flamenco tradition, created by Sara Perez and Ruben Puertas and performed with four musicians on the stage of The Ringling’s Historic Asolo Theater. Performance times are at 7:30 p.m.; call (941) 360-7399 or go to ringling.org for tickets.
FSU/Asolo Conservatory: Everybody
The Conservatory opens its live season (after last year’s virtual one) with this play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, based on the 14th-century morality play Everyman. It takes the audience on a journey through the meaning of life, and also of death, but in a way that promises to be entertaining as well as challenging for the MFA student cast: They select their roles through a random lottery at the start of each performance. Onstage in the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts; call (941) 351-8000 or head to asolorep.org/conservatory/season.
The Players Centre for Performing Arts continues its season with this production taking place at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. The musical, by William Finn and James Lapine, centers on Marvin, who leaves his family to live with his male lover but still wants to be able to sustain a relationship with his wife and son. Strong themes. For tickets, call (941) 365-2494 or go to theplayers.org.
The Great American Trailer Park Musical
Oct. 29-Nov. 28
Another community theater presentation for which audiences are asked to use discretion (Psst: It gets raunchy), this musical comedy, at Venice Theatre’s Mainstage Jervey Theatre, has been a hit in three runs at VT before. No wonder; you gotta love a show that features, among other things, agoraphobia, strippers, a broken electric chair (it’s set in Starke, Florida) and disco. Book your seats at (941) 488-1115 or go to venicetheatre.org.
Share the Shore
Nov. 1-Dec. 31
This exhibit of photographs by nature artist and writer Mary Lundeberg takes place at the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast’s Burrows-Matson House at Bay Preserve in Osprey, and it will give viewers glimpses of terns, black skimmers, snowy plovers, American oystercatchers and sea turtles in their threatened coastal habitats. Take it in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; there’s also an artist’s reception Nov. 17 and a virtual program Nov. 16, both of which require registration. Call (941) 918-2100 or visit conservationfoundation.com/events.