Top Tickets

Here Are the Best Things to Do in Sarasota This Month

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

By Kay Kipling December 1, 2021

Sphinx, from the Sarasota Art Museum exhibition Judith Linhares: The Artist as Curator, now on view.


The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Continuing on view here through Jan. 23 is Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture. Also: Rhodnie Desir: Conservations, through April 3; and As long as there is sun, as long as there is light: Selections from the Bring Gift and the Ringling Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, through August 2021. 359-5700;

Sarasota Art Museum

Judith Linhares: The Artist as Curator continues here through April 2. Also on view, beginning Dec. 8 and running into May: Effigy: Hemric, works by Danner Washburn. And you can enjoy Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “candy spill” creation through May 15. 309-4300;

Percussion/movement ensemble Stomp returns to the Van Wezel Dec. 5.


Sarasota Contemporary Dance

The dance troupe celebrates the music of Duke Ellington, in collaboration with Shane Chalke B.E. Jazz, Dec. 1-5 at the Cook Theatre. 260-8485;


The international percussion ensemble arrives at the Van Wezel at 3 p.m. Dec. 5 for a performance using matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans and other unconventional noise makers. 263-6799;

The Sarasota Ballet

The full-length production of Sir Peter Wright’s Giselle takes the Van Wezel stage, Dec. 17 and 18. 359-0099;


Sailor Circus Holiday Show.

America’s longest-running youth circus performs once more at its arena on Bahia Vista Street, Dec. 26-30. 355-9805;

Martina McBride brings her "Joy of Christmas" tour to the Van Wezel, Dec. 4.


The Temptations and the Four Tops

Lots of musical memories on tap when these singing, moving ensembles perform, at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Van Wezel. 263-6799;

Sarasota Orchestra: Great Escapes

“Holiday Lights” are set aglow at these concerts, Dec. 1-5 at Holley Hall. 953-3434;

Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend

The festival welcomes such musicians as Bernard Allison, Latimore, Cece Teneal and Soul Kamotion and Annika Chambers, with performances Dec. 3, 4 and 5. The main attraction, the all-day fest on Saturday, takes place at LECOM Park. For full details, head to

Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas 2021

Country star McBride comes to town at 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Van Wezel, accompanied by a live orchestra and delivering lots of Christmas standards. 263-6799;

A Classic Christmas with Frisson

Eight-member ensemble Frisson (that means “thrill”) plays such holiday favorites as Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and more, at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Sarasota Opera House, in an Artist Series Concert offering. 306-1202;

An Intimate Evening with David Foster: Hitman Tour

Prolific songwriter and musician Foster tickles the ivories, joined by fellow musicians and vocalist Shelea, at 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at Van Wezel. 263-6799;

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Thorogood and his band make their Sarasota debut—part of the Good to Be Bad Tour: 45 Years of Rock—at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Van Wezel. 263-6799;

Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks

Conductor Teddy Abrams and guest pianist Conrad Tao join the orchestra, with works by Beethoven, Ellen Reid and Aaron Copland (Appalachian Spring) on the program. Dec. 10-12 at the Van Wezel. 953-3434;

Pops Orchestra/Ring Sarasota

Enjoy a holiday concert uniting the musicians of the orchestra with the Ring Sarasota handbell ensemble, Dec. 12 at Riverview Performing Arts Center and Dec. 13 at Neel Performing Arts Center. 926-7677;

Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony

Another Sarasota premiere, this one featuring best-selling soprano Brightman, accompanied by orchestra and choir on classics from the Christmas canon. At 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at Van Wezel. 263-6799;

The Venice Symphony

Joined by Key Chorale, the symphony delivers “Holly Jolly Holiday,” packed with favorites like “Sleigh Ride,” The Nutcracker, the “Hallelujah Chorus” and more. Dec. 17 and 18 at Venice Performing Arts Center. 207-8822;

Choral Artists of Sarasota

The ensemble focuses on “Bells and Brass” with a holiday program, Dec. 19 at Church of the Redeemer. 387-6046;

Sarasota Orchestra: Discover Mozart: Winter Dreams

Sameer Patel leads the musicians (with Geneva Lewis on violin) in concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Sarasota Opera House. In addition to Mozart, works by Debussy, Respighi, Vivaldi and Massenet are also on the bill. 953-3434;

Jefferson Starship

The band (“Miracles,” “No Way Out”) rocks audiences into the new year with a concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at Van Wezel. 263-6799;

Jonathan Fleites as Woof in Asolo Rep's Hair.

Image: Frank Atura



The Asolo Rep’s production of this game-changing rock musical continues through Jan. 1. 351-8000;

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story

If you haven’t yet seen this lively musical featuring the revolutionary hits of Buddy Holly, it’s still on at Florida Studio Theatre’s Gompertz, through Jan. 2. 366-9000;

Joyful! Joyful!

A brand-new holiday-themed musical revue from Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, onstage Dec. 1-30. 366-1505;

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Experience the magic of a young girl’s transformation once more, Dec. 2-19 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. 748-5875;

America in One Room

A world premiere by Jason Odell Williams, the play centers on eight strangers who come together, for better or worse, at a convention where their insecurities, strengths and beliefs spark both tempers and humor. Onstage at FST’s Keating Theatre, Dec. 8 through Feb. 27. 366-9000;

The Marvelous Wonderettes

Travel back in time to the 1950s with this musical starring four singing girls with big hopes and dreams. A Players production, Dec. 8-19, at Studio 1130 in the Crossings at Siesta Key. 365-2494;

A Christmas Carol

It’s time for Ebenezer Scrooge to be visited by three ghosts again, Dec. 10-20 in Venice Theatre’s Generation Series. 488-1115;

Show Comments