E. Faye Butler stars in Asolo Rep's new production of Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, opening this weekend.

Image: Cliff Roles

Editor’s note: In-person events are subject to change. Please check before venturing out.

Asolo Rep: Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer

Now through Feb. 27

Asolo Rep’s outdoor Terrace Stage is home to the rolling world premiere of this play by Cheryl L. West dedicated to the life and spirit of civil rights activist Hamer. E. Faye Butler (Queenie in Asolo Rep’s Show Boat a few seasons ago) plays Fannie; you can read more about the show here, and purchase tickets at asolorep.org.

Sarasota Opera: Maid to Mistress

Feb. 19-March 4 (selected dates)

The opera’s second production of the season brings Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s short opera—about a wealthy older bachelor (Stefano De Peppo) seeking a wife and the saucy young maid (Anna Mandina) who schemes for that position on her own behalf—to the opera house. Also known as La serva padrona, the opera will be sung in Italian with English surtitles. Check out tickets at sarasotaopera.org.

Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival

Feb. 19-21

Yes, this festival will take place as planned at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, with Southern rock band Molly Hatchet performing as the headliner on Saturday. There’s also the annual “Born to Be Wild” kickoff party Friday, a motorcycle ride Sunday and more, all to benefit Suncoast Charities for Children. For full info on Covid-19 safety protocols and restrictions, and for more info and tickets, visit thunderbythebay.org.

Hermitage Sunsets @ Selby Gardens

Feb. 24

The on-site event featuring cellist Dorothy Lawson of renowned quartet ETHEL, taking place at Selby Gardens in conjunction with its Roy Lichtenstein exhibit, is sold out. But you can register for virtual tickets to hear her share her music at hermitageartistretreat.org.

The Ringling: Sam Gilliam: Selections

Feb. 21-Aug. 15

Black American artist Gilliam, who will be honored with a career retrospective next year at the Smithsonian Institution Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, is the focus of this show, with works ranging from the 1970s to 2010, mostly drawn from local collections. Learn more about it at ringling.org.

Ring Sarasota: Highways & Byways

Feb. 21 (premiere)

If you’ve never heard this group of handbell musicians perform, now’s your chance, outdoors at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church at 5 p.m. Sixteen musicians, using 14 pairs of mallets, 95 handbells, 70 chimes and one keyboard, will take you on a musical tour through Texas, Broadway, California and yes, Sarasota, as well as other parts of our country. Weather permitting; masks required. Register here