Things to Do in Sarasota in January and February

Your arts and entertainment calendar.

January 3, 2024 Published in the January/February 2024 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, on stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Feb. 21-25.

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, on stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Feb. 21-25.

Top Tickets

The Lehman Trilogy

You likely remember the role Lehman Brothers played in the 2008 financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession, but this multigenerational epic fills in the company’s fascinating backstory, starting in 1844 when a Bavarian immigrant arrives in New York and sets about building an empire. Runs Jan. 31-March 24. 366-9000,

Colson Whitehead will speak at the Library Foundation for Sarasota County's annual author luncheon on Feb. 9.

Colson Whitehead

The acclaimed author of The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys, Harlem Shuffle and Crook Manifesto, Whitehead will speak at a luncheon benefitting the Library Foundation for Sarasota County on Feb. 9 at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. 404-3139,

Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe

In the 1950s, Japanese artist Kusama struck up a correspondence with legendary painter O’Keeffe, which inspired Kusama to move to the United States to pursue a career in art. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens celebrates their connection and artistry at its downtown campus Feb. 11-June 30. 366-5731,

Sarasota Opera

Catch Georges Bizet’s canonical 1875 opera Carmen Feb. 17-March 22 and Gaetano Donizetti’s dramatic masterpiece Lucia Di Lammermoor Feb. 24-March 23. (941) 328-1300,

Remnant City by Christopher Skura, part of Social Studies, on display at Art Center Sarasota Jan. 25-March 2.

Remnant City by Christopher Skura, part of Social Studies, on display at Art Center Sarasota Jan. 25-March 2.


Art Center Sarasota

On display through Jan. 13: artwork by Aimee Jones, Ethan Fielder and Tom Casmer, plus Still Life, a juried show. On view Jan. 25-March 2: Brian V. Jones’ Finding Home, work by Carole Lyles Shaw, Christopher Skura’s Social Studies and the center’s annual juried members’ show. 365-2032,

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Clyde Butcher: Nature Through the Lens collects large-scale prints of Butcher’s photographs, which document Florida’s amazing flora and fauna. On display at Selby’s Historic Spanish Point campus through Aug. 31. 366-5731,

The Ringling

Guercino’s Friar With a Gold Earring: Fra Bonaventura Bisi, Painter and Art Dealer collects oil paintings, drawings, prints, metalwork, writings and more through Jan. 7. Also on view through Jan. 7 is 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. 500 Years of Italian Drawings From the Princeton University Art Museum showcases 95 works from the late 15th century to the early 20th, through Jan. 21. Working Conditions collects images of labor and working people from the museum’s photography collection, through March 3. A solo show by author and multimedia artist Michele Oka Doner is on display through June 2. Mountains of the Mind: Scholars’ Rocks From China and Beyond features stones collected from remote areas and then carved, polished or inscribed, plus related paintings and prints, through June 23. Large-scale sculptures and smaller works by contemporary artist Shinique Smith, meanwhile, will be on view through Jan. 5, 2025. 359-5700,

Sarasota Art Museum

Exhibitions to see here through Feb. 11: Juana Valdés’ Embodied Memories, Ancestral Histories, an exhibition of works made with fabric, ceramics and new media, and Contemporary/Traditional: Selections From the Basch Glass Collection, which highlights more than 20 works by leading glass artists. On view through March 24 is Judy Pfaff’s Picking up the Pieces, an installation made with materials like steel, wood, foam, plastic, neon and more. 309-4300,


Ringling College of Art and Design’s fine arts seniors present a pop-up show in this gallery on Jan. 12. From Feb. 2 to March 6, Babs Reingold offers Under My Skin, which collects sculptures, drawings and installations. 374-3492,

Books and Talks

Ringling College Library Assocation Town Hall

This speaker series always brings in big names, and this year is no exception. The lineup includes former Rep. Liz Cheney (Jan. 16), former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch (Feb. 5) and actor Stanley Tucci (Feb. 26). 309-5100,


McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre

Upcoming performers at the downtown club include Dean Napolitano (Jan. 3-7), Ryan Belleville (Jan. 11-14), Carlos Mencia (Jan. 19 and 20), Monty Franklin (Jan. 25-27), Dale Jones (Jan. 31-Feb. 4), Bobby Collins (Feb. 9 and 10), Orny Adams (Feb. 16 and 17), Yakov Smirnoff (Feb. 23 and 24), Bob Marley (not that Bob Marley, Feb. 26 and 27) and Lynne Koplitz (Feb. 28-March 3). Other shows include drag queen bingo, burlesque performances and open mic nights. 925-3869,

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Humorous happenings on tap at the hall include the comedy dog show Mutts Gone Nuts (Jan. 13), comedian Robert Dubac’s Stand up Jesus (Jan. 18) and hypnosis comedians Colin Mochrie and Asad Mecci (Jan. 21). 263-6799,

Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, an all-male comic ballet company, comes to the Van Wezel on Jan. 14.

Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, an all-male comic ballet company, comes to the Van Wezel on Jan. 14.



This Sarasota Contemporary Dance production is a collaboration between choreographer and dancer Alyson Dolan, composer and musician Drew Silverman, artistic director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and New College of Florida student Lindsey Jennings. Takes place at FSU Center for the Performing Arts’ Cook Theatre Jan. 18-21. 260-8485,

Graziano Celebrated

Sarasota Ballet’s season continues with a program that features three works by Ricardo Graziano and music by Antonín Dvořák, Franz Schubert and Philip Glass, Jan. 24-29. 359-0099,

Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo

Celebrating its 50th anniversary season, this all-male comic ballet company comes to the Van Wezel on Jan. 14. 263-6799,


Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota

On tap in this music series: pianist Jonathan Mamora at the Historic Asolo Theater on Jan. 9, the flute and guitar Cavatina Duo at Plantation Golf and Country Club on Jan. 17, pianist and singer Chelsea Guo at Sarasota Yacht Club on Feb. 1, the Empire Wild trio at Selby Gardens on Feb. 21 and pianist Lin Ye at Church of the Palms on Feb. 24. 306-1200,

Choral Cinemagic!

Choral Artists of Sarasota presents a show highlighting beloved songs from movies and soundtracks at First Presbyterian Church on Feb. 4. 387-4900,

Florida Studio Theatre

The Up on the Roof cabaret show highlights the music of songwriters associated with the Brill Building, like Carole King and Gerry Goffin and Burt Bacharach and Hal David, through Feb. 4. Take It to the Limit runs through April 7 and showcases the music of The Allman Brothers Band, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and other ’70s rock titans. The Flip Side, meanwhile, features classic comic songs of the 20th century, from Feb. 7 to June 16. 366-9000,

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center

Folk singer Nellie McKay performs here Jan. 11, followed by Paul Thorn (Jan. 12), Hannah’s Whirl (Jan. 14), Claudia Schmidt with Alice Howe and Freebo (Jan. 19), Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris (Jan. 20), Jazzmeia Horn (Jan. 27), Susan Werner (Feb. 3), Twisted Pine (Feb. 4), House of Hamil (Feb. 9) and Steve Forbert (Feb. 22 and 24). 894-6469,

Guitar Sarasota

Catch Croatian classical guitarist Lovro Peretić on Jan. 6 and Canada’s Drew Henderson on Feb. 3. Both shows are part of Guitar Sarasota’s International Concert Series and take place at Riverview Performing Arts Center. The organization’s Emerging Artist Series continues with Richard Johansson on Jan. 15 and JP Castillo on Feb. 19. Those shows happen at St. Paul Lutheran Chruch. 260-3306,

La Musica Chamber Music Festival

The festival’s 2024 program starts with a performance of two piano trios by Franz Schubert on Feb. 4 at Riverview Performing Arts Center. 347-9656,


On tap at the Bradenton café and bar: an evening of metal with What We Seek, Royal Hearts, Ceraburial and Scapeghost on Feb. 1. Other shows are still being announced, and brunchtime music performances take place some Sundays. 201-4950,

Sarasota Concert Association

 The association presents the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra at the Van Wezel on Jan. 15, the Harlem Quartet at Riverview Performing Arts Center on Jan. 24 and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Van Wezel on Feb. 19. 966-6161,

Sarasota Orchestra

The orchestra’s 75th season continues with several series of concerts. The Masterworks calendar includes Friends and Inspirations, with music by Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Claire Assad, Jan. 5-7; Titans, with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gustav Mahler and Kevin Puts, Jan. 26-28; and Smoke and Fire, with music by Rachmaninoff, Sergei Prokofiev and Carl Nielsen, Feb. 8-11. The Chamber Soirées lineup, meanwhile, includes String and Piano Quartets, with music by Florence Price, on Jan. 21; and Heavenly Harmony, with music by Jules Massenet, Albert Roussel and Mozart, on Feb. 25. The Pops series features Broadway Showstoppers on Jan. 19 and 20, and the Great Escapes series continues with By Special Arrangement, which recognizes the art of music arrangers Jan. 10-14, and Revolutionary Music, which highlights groundbreaking work from Ludwig van Beethoven to The Beatles, Jan. 31-Feb. 4. 953-4252,

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Upcoming concerts at the venue include The Four Phantoms (Jan. 17), Yacht Rock Revue (Jan. 24), The Guess Who (Jan. 25), The Simon and Garfunkel Story (Feb. 6), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Feb. 8), Gipsy Kings with Nicolas Reyes (Feb. 13), David Foster and Katharine McPhee (Feb. 14), Chris Botti (Feb. 17) and Celtic Woman (Feb. 29). 263-6799,

The Venice Symphony

The symphony partners with Michael Feinstein to present Hooray for Hollywood on Feb. 9 and 10; collaborates with Lauren Jelencovich on Tall Tales and Treasure on Jan. 12 and 13; and presents a tribute to Disney composer Alan Menken on Feb. 23 and 24. Shows happen at the Venice Performing Arts Center. 207-8822,


Florida Studio Theatre

The classic musical Little Shop of Horrors takes the stage here through Jan. 7. Pictures From Home, meanwhile, is a comedic portrait of a family based on Larry Sultan’s photo memoir of the same name. It runs through Feb. 18. Red Riding Hood is a children’s show that will be presented Jan. 7-Feb. 10. 366-9000,

Fully Committed

Sarasota Jewish Theatre presents this one-person show in which actor Doug Shapiro plays 40 different characters. Shows take place at The Players Centre Studio 1130 Jan. 31-Feb. 4. 365-2494,


Urbanite Theatre presents this world premiere about a woman dressed in drag and posing as William Shakespeare, Jan. 5-Feb. 18. 321-1397,

Manatee Performing Arts Center

On the schedule at the center’s Bradenton Kiwanis Theater: Crimes of the Heart (Jan. 11-21) and Oklahoma! (Jan. 18-28). 748-5875,

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

There’s lots to see at the hall, including The Cher Show (Jan. 10-12), Hadestown (Jan. 30-Feb. 4) and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations (Feb. 21-25). 263-6799,

Venice Theatre

Calendar Girls tells the story of women daring to pose nude to raise money for a good cause (Jan. 12-Feb. 11), Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville contains plenty of Buffett’s best tunes (Jan. 19-Feb. 18), The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On highlights the music of 1960s and ’70s girl groups (Feb. 23-March 17) and The Silver Foxes present their annual mix of song, dance and humor (Feb. 27-March 3). 488-1115,

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.

A Soldier’s Play depicts the investigation into the murder of a Black sergeant on a segregated Army base in 1944 (Jan. 18-Feb. 18), while Ruby is a world premiere of a musical about the murder of a white doctor by a Black woman in Live Oak, Florida, in 1952 (Feb. 28-April 7). 366-1505, 

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