April Highlights

By Kay Kipling April 1, 2012

Sergio Mendes PERFORMS AT THE VAN WEZEL ON APRIL 15. Tickets: 953-3368Art

Art Sarasota. International Fine Art Expositions’ second annual event aboard the megayacht SeaFair, docked at Marina Jack, continues through April 2, with 28 galleries presenting paintings, sculpture and more. Go to for more info.

Venice Art Center. The Members-Only All-Media Spring Show continues here through April 6; it’s followed by a Photography & Digital Arts show, opening April 13 to run through May 4. 485-7136.

Art Center Sarasota. It’s Who We Are, a members-only juried exhibition, continues through April 21. Coming up April 24 through May 12: the North Sarasota County Schools Exhibitions. 365-2032.

Ringling Museum of Art. On view through June 3 in the Searing Wing: Peter Paul Rubens: Impressions of a Master. Also in the Searing Wing, through Aug. 19, new work by Greenfield Prize-winning installation/video artist Sanford Biggers. 359-5700.

Longboat Key Center for the Arts. Works by artists who were turned loose in the wilds of Myakka to create are on display April 12 through May 25 in the center’s Durante Gallery and Cultural Media Room. 383-2345.

Selby Gallery. The 2012 Annual Ringling College Juried Student Exhibition takes place this month, April 13-21. The college’s senior thesis exhibitions will also be on view in a variety of campus galleries and offsite locations, April 27 through May 4. 359-7563.

Siesta Fiesta. The 34th annual juried outdoor art showcase takes place April 14 and 15 along Ocean Boulevard in Siesta Key Village; for more info, go to

YouthArts Fest. More than 500 area students showcase their talents in performances April 21 at Five Points Park, in a free event sponsored by the Arts and Cultural Alliance. Selby Library will also display a student art exhibit and student-made films. 365-5118 ext. 304 or



Sarasota Ballet. The company closes out its 2011-12 season with performances of Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and Balanchine’s Serenade, April 13 and 14 at the Sarasota Opera House, plus world premieres by dancers Ricki Bertoni, Jamie Carter, Ricardo Graziano and Kate Honea, April 27-29 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. 359-0099 ext. 101.

Burn the Floor. Twenty champion ball room dancers do just that in this Broadway show, featuring Anya & Pasha and Karen & Artem from So You Think You Can Dance. At 8 p.m. April 19 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.



Sarasota Film Festival. The 14th annual fest brings new features, documentaries, shorts and family-friendly films, April 13-22, along with some stars and filmmakers, an opening night party, the Cinema Tropicale Celebration, a Conversation Series, and more. Details still being finalized at press time; go to or call 364-9514.



Sailor Circus. The extravaganza featuring Sarasota students continues April 4-7 under the big blue tent on Bahia Vista. 361-6350.

Florida Winefest & Auction. This oenophiles’ delight returns, April 12-15, with winemaker dinners, a Beach Feast at Longboat Key Club & Resort, Sip & Shop on St. Armands Circle, a commemorative seven-course Titanic dinner, and the Grand Tasting, Brunch and Auction at the Polo Grill. For details, call 952-1109 or visit

Simply Sarasota Kitchen & Garden Festival. The Junior League of Sarasota presents this event, April 13-15, offering kitchen tours, floral arranging demonstrations and much more; for details call 953-5600 or go to

Cirque Dreams: Pop Goes the Rock. Another spectacle, this one showcasing the singers, dancers and musicians of Cirque Dreams performing to well-known, lavishly costumed pop numbers. At 7:30 p.m. April 16 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.



Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks. Guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen closes out the Masterworks season with violinist James Ehnes, April 1 at Van Wezel. On the program: Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 and Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin. 953-3434.

Conrad Tao. Amazing young pianist Tao performs in an Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota soiree, April 1 and 3 at the Weisenborne/Fischer residence. 360-7399.

Gloria Musicae. The choral ensemble presents “Mystical Sounds,” including Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, in concert with guest artists Marcus DeLoach, Leah Wool, Michelle Giglio and U.S. Army Chorus tenor Matthew Heil, at 7:30 p.m. April 2 at the Sarasota Opera House. For more information, 925-3183.

La Musica. The 26th annual international chamber music festival takes place April 3-18 at the Sarasota Opera House, with artists from Italy, Germany, Latvia and the United States performing works by Mozart, Shostakovich, Strauss, Bruckner, Faure and more; there are also open rehearsals at the Sainer Pavilion of New College of Florida and other venues. For performance tickets, call 366-8450 ext. 3; for more info, go to

Sarasota Orchestra Tribute to the Boston Pops. Pops icons Arthur Fiedler and John Williams receive their due in this concert at 8 p.m. April 14 at Van Wezel. 953-3434.

Sergio Mendes/Jon Secada. Get your fill of that Brazilian beat with longtime master Mendes and guest star, Grammy winner Secada. At 7 p.m. April 15 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.

Hope Koehler/Jim Douglas. Soprano Koehler teams with pianist Douglass for an Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota performance, April 15 and 17 at the Weisenborne/Fischer residence. 360-7399.

Sarasota Orchestra Chamber Soiree. Dirk Meyer leads the Chamber Orchestra in works by Brahms, Saint-Saëns and Schonberg, at 4:30 p.m. April 19 at Holley Hall. 953-3434.

Venice Symphony. The symphony presents its season-closing Spring Pops concert, April 20 and 21, at Church of the Nazarene. 488-1010 or 412-4725.

Mantra Percussion. The ensemble performs composer Michael Gordon’s new work Timber, at 8 p.m. April 21 at the Sudakoff Conference Center, as part of the New Music New College season. An artist conversation takes place at 3:30 p.m. April 20, also at Sudakoff. 487-4888.

Chicago. Will you be Wishing You Were Here at the Van Wezel when this long-running band performs its hits? Check it out, at 8 p.m. April 24. 953-3368.

Yanni. The New Age music maker performs songs from his latest album, Truth of Touch, at 8 p.m. April 25 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.

Sarasota Orchestra Journeys to Genius. Shostakovich: Truth or Consequences explores the turmoil of composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s life and work during the Stalin era, concluding with a performance of his monumental Fifth Symphony, April 28 at the Sarasota Opera House. 953-3434.



Noises Off. The Players Theatre production of Michael Frayn’s classic backstage farce continues through April 1 (with a possible extension through April 8). 365-2494.

God of Carnage. Asolo Rep actors David Breitbarth, Kate Hampton, James Clarke and Katie Cunningham tear up the stage in Yasmina Reza’s dark comedy, through April 6. 351-8000.

Avenue Q. This musical comedy featuring outrageous puppets and young New Yorkers seeking jobs and relationships has been very popular locally lately; it turns up again through April 15 at Venice Theatre’s Stage II. 488-1115.

Ring of Fire. Revisit the songs and the life story of the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, in this musical created by Richard Maltby Jr. and William Meade. Onstage through April 15 at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre. 748-5875.

Red. The struggles of artist Mark Rothko to create a series of large-scale paintings are dramatized by playwright John Logan in this award winner, running through April 22 in an Asolo Rep/Ringling Museum production at the Historic Asolo Theater. 351-8000.

Yentl. The story of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s heroine, seeking education and finding unexpected love, continues on the Asolo Rep’s mainstage through April 26 in this version featuring music by Jill Sobule. 351-8000.

Hamlet, Prince of Cuba. Director Michael Donald Edwards’ Latin-flavored take on the quintessential Shakespearean tragedy runs through May 6 at Asolo Rep. 351-8000.

Fallen Angels. Two close female friends, both in conventional marriages, discover they share a secret past—an affair with a dashing Frenchman—in this Noel Coward comedy, playing through May 13 at Asolo Rep. 351-8000.

Reel Music. Songs from great movies—think Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, etc—are reinterpreted in this revue onstage through June 3 at FST’s Goldstein Cabaret. 366-9000.

South Pacific. This production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is based on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater version; it’s onstage April 3 and 4 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.

Stand By Your Van. Venice Theatre comes up with a world premiere interactive play centered on a “touch-the-truck” competition, where the last man—or woman—standing wins the vehicle. Onstage April 3-22. 488-1115.

Cloud Nine. Caryl Churchill’s time-tripping, gender-bending play ranges from 19th-century Africa to the 1980s, April 3-22 in an FSU/Asolo Conservatory production at the Cook Theatre. 351-8000.

Jericho. Florida Studio Theatre presents a National New Play Network world premiere with this play by Jack Canfora about a widow and a survivor meeting in post 9/11 New York. Onstage April 4 through June 3 on Florida Studio Theatre’s mainstage. 366-9000.

Asolo’s Rep’s Unplugged. The third annual new play festival offers fresh works, presented in a staged reading format, April 6-20 in Asolo Rep’s Rehearsal Studio. 351-8000.

The Miser. Will Molière’s hopeful young lovers outwit the avaricious Harpagon in this 17th-century comedy? Find out April 19 through May 6 at Venice Theatre’s Stage II. 488-1115.

Blackbird, the Josephine Baker Story. The world premiere of a musical by Sherman Yellen and Wally Harper about the famous Bronze Venus, who took Paris by storm, runs April 20 through May 13 at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. 366-1505.

In the Mood. Get in the Big Band mood with this 1940s musical revue, at 7 p.m. April 22 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.

The Full Monty. Shield your eyes—or keep them wide open, depending on your preference—for this production of the musical about six unemployed steel workers who decide to bare it all for money. April 26 through May 6 (possible extension through May 13) at the Players Theatre. 365-2494.


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