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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 February.

By Kay Kipling February 1, 2022

Orchid by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1987.

 All events subject to change.


The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Open for extended viewing are Rhodnie Desir: Conversations 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. 359-5700;

Art Center Sarasota

Remaining on view here through March 5 is Visions in Black, a juried exhibit showcasing work by artists of African descent in Florida. It’s a partnership with the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative; learn more at

The Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College

Remaining on view here through April 2: Judith Linhares: The Artist as Curator. Danner Washburn’s Effigy: Hemric, fabricating the lives of North Carolina tobacco farmers, continues through May 8. 309-4300;

The Ringling College Galleries

On view at campus galleries over the next few weeks are works by Tom and Peggy Root; Ligature XI; A Few of Our Favorite Things; and glass art by Therman Statom. 359-7563;

Selby Gardens

The new exhibit Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry and Light fills the downtown campus, combining the flower photography of Mapplethorpe, the poems and lyrics of Smith and live horticultural displays, Feb. 13-June 26. “An Evening with Patti Smith,” Feb. 15, also features a lecture/performance by the singer-songwriter-author. 366-5731;


Dancing with the Stars: Live!

An all-new onstage production featuring familiar names—and feet—from the hit TV show. At 8 p.m. Feb. 17 at Van Wezel. 263-6799;

Circus Sarasota performer Bello Nock.


Circus Sarasota

Excitement under the Big Top (pitched this year by Nathan Benderson Park’s Regatta Island) returns, with a lineup that includes Sarasota’s own Bello and Annalise Nock, equestrian Caleb Carinci, juggler Nilson Escobar, trapeze artist Maria Chimeno, hand balancers the Alexis Bros., the Pompeyo Family dog act, and slack wire performer Evgeny Vasilenko. Shows are Feb. 11-March 6; for tickets call 355-9805 or go to

Audra McDonald, in concert Feb. 11 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.


Emanuel Ax

The acclaimed pianist returns to Sarasota in a Sarasota Concert Association event, Feb. 1 at Van Wezel. 966-6161;

Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks

Yaniv Dinur conducts, violinist Augustin Hadelich guests, with a program including works by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 4). Feb. 3-6. 953-3434;

The Venice Symphony

Time to celebrate “A Night at the Oscars” with renditions of music from Titanic, Braveheart, Forrest Gump and more, Feb. 4 and 5 at the Venice Performing Arts Center. Piper Eric Rigler joins the orchestra for these performances. 208-8822;

Rene Izquierdo

Cuban guitarist Izquierdo guests in the Guitar Sarasota series, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Riverview Performing Arts Center.

Key Chorale

The symphonic chorus presents A.D. 387, an exploration of the Te Deum, from its origins in Gregorian chant to interpretations by Bruckner and Dvorak. Feb. 11 and 12 at Church of the Palms. 552-8768;


The Sarasota Opera returns for its winter festival season, complete with a full-length, full-cast production of Puccini’s masterwork about diva Floria Tosca, lecherous Baron Scarpia and painter Mario Cavaradossi. Onstage at the Sarasota Opera House Feb. 12, 16, 20, 22, 24, 27, and March 11 and 19. 328-1300;

Audra McDonald

The multitalented, multiple Tony-winning actress-singer returns to the Van Wezel for a night of song, at 8 p.m. Feb. 11. 263-6799;

Gladys Knight

The woman famous for such hits as “Midnight Train to Georgia” and “If I Were Your Woman” sings for us at 8 p.m. Feb. 15 at Van Wezel. 263-6799;

The Daughter of the Regiment

Donizetti’s comedy, set in the Napoleonic War era and focused on young lovers Marie and Tonio, bows Feb. 19 to continue Feb. 23, 26, and March 1, 3, 6 and 18 in a Sarasota Opera production. 328-1300;

Choral Artists: A Night at the Opera

Soprano Adelaide Boedecker and bass Calvin Griffin join forces with the ensemble on favorite arias and choruses, Feb. 20 at Church of the Palms. 387-6046;

EnsembleNEWsrq/Chroma Trio

A world premiere of Tyson J. Davis’ String Trio leads a concert including other works, at 8 p.m. Feb. 21 at the First Congregational Church.

Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks

“Fairy Tales and Fireworks” offers music by Ravel, Gershwin and Rachmaninoff, with pianist Aaron Diehl and conductor JoAnn Falletta. Feb. 25-27. 953-3434;

The Venice Symphony

“Superheroes and Schumann” mixes work by contemporary and classic composers, from Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 in D to stops in the Marvel and DC universe and The Dark World of Thor. Feb. 25 and 26 at Venice Performing Arts Center. 207-8822;


People of the Book

Authors Eddie Shapiro (Wonderful Guy) and Laraine Newman (May You Live in Interesting Times) are on tap for February’s lecture series from the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, Feb. 8 and 19, respectively. For full info, head to

Ringling College Library Association Town Hall: Ronan Farrow

Hard-hitting journalist Farrow is up next in the lineup, with two talks Feb. 21 at Van Wezel. 309-5100;

Giles Davies stars in Urbanite Theatre's The Smuggler.


Ain’t Misbehavin'

The Fats Waller musical brings back the heyday of Harlem’s Cotton Club, through Feb. 6 on Venice Theatre’s mainstage. 488-1115;


The “Little Tramp” gets the musical bio treatment in this production, through Feb. 6 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. 748-5875;

The Smuggler

A one-man, rhyming verse comedy by Ronan Noone about an Irish immigrant struggling to be a writer in his new home in America. Through Feb. 20 at Urbanite Theatre. 321-1397;

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

The late great Billie Holiday is recalled in this Lanie Robertson play, set in 1959 in Philadelphia. A Venice Theatre Stage II production, through Feb. 20. 488-1115;

America in One Room

The world premiere of Jason Odell Williams’ play about eight strangers trying to bridge the political divide continues through Feb. 27 in Florida Studio Theatre’s Keating Theatre. 366-9000;

The Play That Goes Wrong

The title says it all, but this comedy about a truly atrocious opening night has more laughs to offer. Onstage at FST’s Gompertz Theatre, through March 13. 366-9000;

Our Town

Thornton Wilder’s classic, set in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, continues in an Asolo Rep production through March 26. 351-8000;

Friends in Low Places

Celebrate the music of country artists Garth Brooks, George Strait and others in this show at FST’s Goldstein Cabaret, through March 27. 366-9000;

Grand Horizons

This work by Bess Wohl finds a long-married couple, just settling into Florida retirement, at a crossroads when the wife wants out. Running in rotating rep at Asolo Rep through April 1. 351-8000;

An American in Paris

Revel in all that great Gershwin music (“I Got Rhythm,” “But Not for Me”), some outstanding dance numbers and the story of romance in the air in post-World War II Paris with the Sarasota premiere of this touring Broadway show. Onstage at the Van Wezel Feb. 2 and 3. 263-6799;


Sarasota Jewish Theater kicks off its second season with this one-woman play starring Carolyn Michel as a survivor of the devastation of Nazi-ruled Europe. Onstage at the Players Centre space in the Crossings of Siesta Key Mall, Feb. 2-6.

The Great Leap

Postponed from an earlier run due to Covid-19, Lauren Yee’s work about a young athlete headed to a “friendly” exhibition basketball game in Beijing takes the Asolo Rep stage at last, Feb. 9-April 2. 351-8000;

Laughing Matters

FST plans a return of its musical sketch comedy show with plentiful updates, Feb. 9-June 19, in the Court Cabaret. 366-9000;

Beehive: The 60s Musical

Tune in for “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Me and Bobby McGee” and more female-led hits, Feb. 16-27 in a Players Centre offering. 365-2494;

The Learned Ladies

FSU/Asolo Conservatory tackles Moliere’s comedy about—what else?—love, marriage and meddling in affairs of the heart. Onstage in the Cook Theatre, Feb. 22-March 13. 351-8000;

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Belle and her beast boyfriend are joined by dancing, singing kitchen props in this Venice Theatre mainstage show, playing Feb. 25-March 27. 488-1115;

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