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Arts and Entertainment Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 2 years ago

Looking Ahead: The must-see shows and other arts events in 2019

Here's a look at the events we think you should consider attending and the shows you should consider seeing in 2019.
by: Niki Kottmann Managing Editor of Arts and Entertainment

Well, we’re no mind readers, but we can say one thing for sure about 2019: You’re not going to be bored, art fans. As Sarasota continues to grow, so does its art scene, and it appears the new year will offer new acts for all tastes to enjoy.


‘Real Fashion Photography’

The exhibit will feature pieces such as this by team Reed + Rader. Courtesy photo

When: Jan. 18 through March 16

Where: Lois and David Stulberg Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, 1188 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Tickets: Free admission

Info: Call 359-7563.

What if fashion photography reflected everyday life? This mixture of photographs that have appeared in periodicals along with some that have appeared in galleries does just that. “Real Fashion Photography” introduces viewers to a diverse collection of creative voices from both inside and outside the fashion industry — from those whose lives and careers revolve around it to those who consume and critique its ideals. Consequently, the exhibit presents the genre of fashion photography as a product of today’s socioeconomic norms, diversity, lack of originality and dynamic technologies.


Art Battle

Image courtesy Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 26

Where: Selby Public Library, 1331 First St.

Tickets: $40; students $20

Info: Call 365-5118.

Live painting seems to be all the rage at events lately, so why not follow the American tradition of making everything competitive and watch top artists go head-to-head in a live painting challenge? Enjoy an evening of creativity and community at this tournament, which will showcase local artists doing what they do best: translating their personal vision into a visual manifestation for all to see. In just 20 minutes these creative masterminds will transform blank canvases into dynamic works of art, and you get to help choose the winner. Take in the excitement, then vote for your favorite, and if you’re feeling generous, bid for a work (or multiple) in the silent auction benefiting the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.



“Nabucco” hasn’t been performed by Sarasota Opera for 23 years. Courtesy photo

When: March 2-24

Where: Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.

Tickets: From $19

Info: Call 328-1300.

This beloved work by Giuseppe Verdi hasn’t been performed by Sarasota Opera since 1995, and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi said both he and the audience have been asking for it. The director told audiences at the season announcement Feb. 3 that he’s excited to show off the company in this piece about the king of Babylon, who takes the Hebrews into captivity after destroying their temple. While he’s off ruining lives, his rebellious daughter, Abigaille, plots to seize the throne and the affection of her sister’s lover. This causes Nabucco to declare himself god, and of course chaos ensues.


Whiskey Obsession Festival

Whiskey Obsession Festival is the largest world whiskey festival in the U.S., with four days of classes, tastings, panel discussions, VIP pours and more. Courtesy photo

When: April 10-13

Where: Various locations

Tickets: Varies from free (block party) to $195 (VIP grand tastings)

Info: Call 400-9889.

Whiskey Obsession Festival is back for its seventh year, and it’s maintaining its status as the largest festival of its kind in the nation. Last year, it attracted 3,500 attendees from 20 states and Canada, and this year organizer Turner Moore is hoping to attract even more. The festivities include classes, tastings, lunch and dinner pairings, panel discussions, VIP pours, a free live music-infused street party — Whiskey Rocks — and a grand tasting with hundreds of whiskies and cocktails to sip on. New this year is a sponsorship by Spirit Guide Inc., a nonprofit corporation allowing the festival to create new — and strengthen existing — community and industry partnerships.


‘The Cake’

"The Cake" runs April 13-28 at the Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Courtesy image

When: April 13-28

Where: Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail

Tickets: From $25.20

Info: Call 351-8000.

This heartwarming play by Bekah Brunstetter, the Emmy Award-winning writer/producer of the hit TV series “This is Us,” tells the story of Jen, a bride-to-be whose biggest wish is for her late mother’s friend Della, a talented but struggling baker, to make her wedding cake. The only problem is Della’s not too keen on the idea of baking a cake for a same-sex couple. This heartfelt play tackles the challenging topics of faith, family and, of course, love.



The theme of this season for Sarasota Contemporary Dance is “Rooted.” Courtesy photo

When: May 2-5

Where: Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail

Tickets: From $10

Info: Call 260-8485.

The final performance of the Sarasota Contemporary Dance season has become the group’s annual homage to the development of the company — particularly fitting for the 2018-2019 season, which is themed “Rooted.” This show will consist of diverse, fresh works by past company collaborators and/or dancers as well as popular works brought back to live onstage. This year’s production will feature Florida State University School of Dance Professor Emerita Gerri Houlihan; New York University Tisch School of Arts Academic Director and Associate Arts Professor Pamela Pietro; and an aerial work by SCD Co-Founder Rachael Inman.


Harvey Milk Festival

Physical Plant is one local group that has performed at the festival. Courtesy photo

When: May 4 and 9-11

Where: JD Hamel Park, 2 Marina Plaza

Tickets: Free on Saturday, various prices for different events on other days

Info: Call 228-4872.

The Harvey Milk Festival is celebrating a decade of queer advocacy through the arts this year, and you better believe it’s going to be fabulous. This three-day festival run by a nonprofit of the same name kicks off with a 5K run May 4, but the real heart and soul of the fest begins May 9 with an art exhibit detailing the history of the LGBTQ movement. Starting in 1920 and going through the age of Harvey Milk, this exhibit of archived material will be complemented with a panel discussion. The next day features a dance performance and the final day is what the festival is known for, a free outdoor concert featuring local artists and those from as far away as New York City.


‘La La Land in Concert’

Sarah Hicks will guest conduct the Sarasota Orchestra in“La La Land in Concert.” Courtesy photo

When: Jan. 11-12

Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail

Tickets: From $35

Info: Call 953-3434.

It’s another day of sun in Sarasota — particularly when there’s a “La La Land”-themed concert underway. Someone in the crowd might not have seen the movie (or get these movie references) but don’t worry, the Oscar-winning film will stream the whole time Sarasota Orchestra plays the songs from the soundtrack live. Enjoy this captivating story of an unlikely couple — an aspiring Hollywood actress and a wannabe jazz club owner — brought together by the magic of music and the City of Stars (aka the City of Angels). Those unfamiliar with the film will definitely come to understand why it won six Academy Awards, including Best Original Score.

I'm the Managing Editor of Arts & Entertainment here, which means I write, edit and share stories about our multifaceted A&E scene in Sarasota. I graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism and a French minor. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 356

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