Editor’s note: In-person events are subject to change. Please check before venturing out.
Asolo Rep: Our Town
Jan. 14-March 26
Asolo Rep launches into its 2022 rotating repertory season with this Thornton Wilder classic, set in a small New Hampshire town, but telling stories of people and lives that are universal. For tickets, call (941) 351-8000 or go to asolorep.org.
Florida Studio Theatre: The Play That Goes Wrong
Jan. 19-March 13
Another new stage opening, this one of a comedy by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer about an opening night that goes, well...spectacularly wrong in every way. Onstage in the Gompertz Theatre; for tickets, (941) 366-9000 or head to floridastudiotheatre.org.
Embracing Our Differences
Jan. 15-April 10
The annual outdoor exhibition promoting diversity and inclusion opens once more in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park, with 50 billboard-sized works of art on display, each accompanied by an inspirational quotation. The exhibit features award-winning pieces by some local artists, in addition to pieces from around the world. (941) 404-5710 or embracingourdifferences.org for more info.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Jan. 18 and 19
If you’re a King fan (and who isn’t?), and you haven’t yet seen this Broadway theatrical version of her career, now’s your chance, for two shows at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. So many of the songwriter’s hits are there, including “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You’ve Got a Friend” and more. (941) 263-6799 or vanwezel.org
If comedy’s more your thing, the Van Wezel also plays host to Jay Leno, often described as “the hardest working man in show business.” He entertains at 8 p.m. Saturday; for tickets, head to vanwezel.org or call (941) 263-6799.
Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival
Jan. 14, 15 and 16
Downtown Sarasota’s JD Hamel Park is the setting for this sixth annual event, presenting a wide menu of foods cooked on site, along with drinks and music by the likes of Billy Rice Band, Kettle of Fish, Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio, Selwyn Birchwood and more. For more info, head to paragonartevents.com.
Under the Big Top: A Tribute to the Circus
Jan. 14 and 15
The Venice Symphony delivers a salute to the circus and its role in Sarasota, with a concert featuring video and images from the Ringling Circus Museum. Expect to hear music from Gypsy, The Lion King and The Greatest Showman. Guest soloist is Coya Bailey Jones. At the Venice Performing Arts Center; call (941) 207-8822 or go to thevenicesymphony.org.
Venice Theatre: Ain’t Misbehavin’
Jan. 14-Feb. 6
Also opening in Venice this weekend is this perennial favorite revue centered on Fats Waller’s hits, including the title tune, “Honeysuckle Rose,” “The Joint Is Jumpin’” and many more. Tickets available by calling (941) 488-1115 or visiting venicetheatre.org.
Walk On Through
That’s the title of a new work in progress by Tony Award-winning actor Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, The Book of Mormon), who’s also a songwriter. A Hermitage Fellow, Creel offers selections from his new creation, inspired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collections. At 5 p.m. at the Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Road, Englewood. Register at hermitageartistretreat.org.