Top Sarasota Events Picks: December 2015

Our top picks for December.

By Kay Kipling December 1, 2015 Published in the December 2015 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Bradenton Blues Festival


Grab your lawn chairs, your sunscreen, and get your party vibes on with this year’s blues fest, running all day (11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. or so) Dec. 5 at Bradenton’s Riverwalk. Playing and singing the blues: Girls with Guitars, Super Chikan and the Fighting Cocks, Larry Garner, Mike Zito and the Wheel, Joanna Connor, Rick Estrin and the Nightcats and headliner Janiva Magness (pictured).


WBTT Motown Christmas


Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe always scores big with audiences when it delivers Motown hits, and this world premiere crafted by artistic director Nate Jacobs is likely to follow that pattern, with holiday faves from the likes of The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and others delivered with zest by the WBTT cast. Onstage

Dec. 2-31. 366-1505,


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Lights in Bloom


Get your holiday twinkle going with the more than half a million lights bedazzling Selby Gardens this season, Dec. 18-30 (closed Dec. 24 and 25). For the 12th annual extravaganza, a new Tunnel of Lights takes you from the tropics to the North Pole. Music, food and drink and a Radiant Rainforest are part of the package, too. 366-5731,


Atomic Holiday Bazaar


You can definitely find some unusual and creative indie-craft gift items at this annual bazaar, slated for Dec. 12 and 13. This year (its 10th), the bazaar has spread out from the inside of the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, adding street vendors on Plaza de Santo Domingo as well. Fun and funky.


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Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota


Sounds of the season arrive courtesy of the quintet Axiom Brass, along with the Gloria Musicae Singers, in concerts Dec. 19 and 20 at the Historic Asolo Theater. Expect to hear Christmas classics and some pop favorites as well. 360-7399,


Sarasota Ballet’s John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker


Leave it to our ballet company and choreographer Matthew Hart to put a distinctive Sarasota twist on Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. This version, set in New York City in the glamorous 1920s and featuring John and Mable Ringling as characters, was a big success when introduced a couple of seasons ago; it’s back for performances Dec. 18 and 19 at Van Wezel. 359-0099,


She Loves Me


This tender and funny Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical is a version of the beloved Shop Around the Corner movie that starred Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as Budapest gift shop employees who don’t know they’re each other’s love-letter-writing partner. Here the lovers are played by Michelle Anaya and Matthew Ryder. Onstage at the Players for the first time in the theater’s history, Dec. 2-20. 365-2494,


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Photo by Mick Rock


Daryl Hall & John Oates


The dynamic duo, responsible for hits including Rich Girl, Kiss on My List and Private Eyes, is back in a performance at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Fans from the past and from today will rock on. 953-3368,


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