A look at our favorite events taking place this week.
Thursday, Dec. 6
5 p.m. at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road
Free with one unwrapped toy per guest or $15 adults; $5 children aged 6-17
Get in the holiday spirit and give back at this festive evening in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots (serving Sarasota and Manatee counties). The Ringling will offer extended evening hours so visitors can enjoy holiday music performances by local students and explore both museums, the Ca’ d’Zan and Tibbals Learning Center on self-guided tours.
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
Whether you know him as the pathological liar Tommy Flanagan from “Saturday Night Live” or Jay Sherman from the animated series “The Critic,” this beloved comic knows how to make both live and at-home audiences laugh. Runs through Saturday.
‘Tis the Season’
7:30 p.m. at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail
Principal Pops Conductor Andrew Lane will make sure there are no Scrooges in the house by the time they leave this Sarasota Orchestra concert. This Great Escapes 2 performance features everything from Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” (from “The Nutcracker”) to everyone’s Christmas favorite, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Runs through Sunday.
‘All Shook Up’
7:30 p.m. at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail
$27; $14 for students and $32 for premium
What happens when you combine Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” with all the Elvis Presley hits? One rocking musical. Enjoy classics like “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog” and many more in this show fueled by burning love. Runs through Dec. 23.
‘Voices of SCD’
7:30 p.m. at Cook Theater, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
From $10 to $45
This annual show is back to show the physicality and thought that goes into choreographing a contemporary dance number. Every work presented is original — some reflective, some purely joyous — and choreographed by either a Sarasota Contemporary Dance performer or emerging choreographers chosen from SCD’s summer intensive. Runs through Sunday.
Friday, Dec. 7
Opening Reception - St. Armands Gallery
11 a.m. at Clyde Butcher Photography, 55 S. Boulevard of the Presidents
See Dalí from a local perspective at this traveling show. Photographer Clyde Butcher’s acclaimed “Visions of Dalí” exhibit will reopen in his St. Armands gallery for residents and locals alike to experience his images of Dali’s homeland. These nature-focused photos of Spanish landscapes are on display through Jan. 28.
First Friday Art Night — Valerie Gallery
6 p.m. at Valerie Gallery in The Jewel Building, 1301 Main St., Second Floor
Artists with unique methods tend to have interesting influences, and that couldn’t be more true for Jamie Kirkell. About 35 years ago, the artist moved to the Indonesian island of Java to study batik, a cloth-dyeing technique. Now, he’s a guest artist at Valerie Gallery showcasing his own method of painting on silk through his 2019 Floral Paintings and Silk Scarf Collection.
Music on Main: Rebel Heart
6 p.m. on Lakewood Main Street
Lakewood Main will turn into an outdoor concert venue for this free monthly music series open to the public (and pups). Head to Lakewood Main Street for a block party featuring beer trucks, food vendors, rides and kids activities and, of course, live country, rock, pop and blues music by Rebel Heart. This event will benefit the American Cancer Society.
‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’
7 p.m. Booker High School VPA Theater, 3201 N. Orange Ave.
$15; $5 students
Call 355-2967, Ext. 65211.
This might be the most uniquely Floridian Christmas performance experience in town. Only in the Sunshine State can you hum along to the sensational sounds of the season at an outdoor musical (without freezing your face off, that is). This new Booker High VPA tradition features beloved holiday songs played on a variety of instruments. Runs through Saturday.
Saturday, Dec. 8
Lido Beach Holiday of the Arts
10 a.m. at Lido Beach, 400 Benjamin Franklin Drive
Ring in the holiday season with a weekend of original artwork. Whether you’re gift shopping or treating yourself, there’s something in every price point at this festival of handmade pieces by 80-some artists from across Florida and the nation. Runs through Sunday.
‘Beauty & the Beast’
2 and 6 p.m. at Braden River High School, 6545 E. State Road
Tickets $18; children 12 and under $12
Need a break from all the Santa-centric shows? Help local dance studio Dance Artistry celebrate its 10th anniversary by attending a performance of “Beauty and the Beast.” This beloved fairytale will be portrayed through the art of movement by dance students of varying ages — many of whom have earned top accolades at regional and national competitions.
‘Christmas in Venice’
3:30 and 7 p.m. at Venice Presbyterian Church, 825 The Rialto, Venice
Key Chorale wants to help you get over your case of holiday stress — yes, that means put down the shopping list — and remember what this season is about. Organist Craig Williams, flutist Betsy Traba and more will join this program of carols and seasonal music including works by Dale Warland, Mack Wilberg, Ola Gjeilo and Stephen Schwartz.
Ugly Sweater Crawl — Sarasota
5 p.m. at Evies Tavern, 1560 Main St.
Email [email protected].
Just because we don’t get a winter wonderland doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. Grab the Christmas sweater only your mom finds cute and cross your fingers that it’s not too hot to wear it. Oh, and look out for drink specials at every bar.
Sunday, Dec. 9
Nik’s Pick: ‘Hi, I’m Rich ...’ Holiday Show
This is not your average holiday concert. While many programs in town feature many of the same holiday tunes, there doesn’t seem to be another funny man like Rich Ridenour behind anyone else’s piano. The Pops Orchestra is featuring the local pianist, often called the Victor Borge of his generation, along with singer (and Ms. Florida Pageant second runner-up) Lauren Nielsen. Runs through Monday.
If You Go
When: 3 p.m. Dec. 9 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10
Where: Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way (Dec. 9) and Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton (Dec. 10)
Tickets: From $20
Info: Call 926-7677.
4 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
Yes, you could bring the kids to see “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” but why go the the movies when you could watch a live performance of perhaps the world’s most famous ballet? Sarasota’s own School of Russian Ballet is taking the classic back to its roots with a highly technical production fueled by the magical music of Tchaikovsky.
Don’t Miss: ‘Rejoice!’
Choral Artists of Sarasota has a lot to be jolly about — and that joy will be reflected in its concerts well after the Christmas ornaments and menorahs are put away. Artistic Director Joseph Holt is celebrating 10 years with the choir, and he’s marking the occasion with a concert featuring “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” four pieces from “The Nutcracker” arranged for chorus and more.
If You Go
When: 4 p.m. Dec. 9
Where: First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave.
Tickets: From $20
Info: Call 387-4900.
Monday, Dec. 10
‘Going Baroque at Christmas — AGAIN!’
7:30 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave.
From $25; students free
With a pun like that title, who could resist this concert? Musica Sacra Sarasota is opening its 2018-2019 season with this festive program featuring Heinrich Schütz’ “The Christmas Story” and J. S. Bach’s Cantata 140 “Wachet Auf,” all for chorus and orchestra.
Tuesday, Dec. 11
‘A Classic Crosley Christmas’
Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
7:30 p.m. at The Powell Crosley Estate, 8374 N. Tamiami Trail
This performance, presented by Powel Crosley Theater, features a series of holiday performances in various rooms inside the estate, including holiday songs, an interactive version of “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens and your choice of viewing a live performance of “The Gift of the Magi,” “Belle’s Story” or “A Visit from Saint Nick.” Runs through Dec. 23.
Wednesday, Dec. 12
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
Experience the Nativity story through the African-American lens at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s annual holiday tradition. Runs through Dec. 21.
‘Straight White Men’
8 p.m. at Keating Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 241 N. Palm Ave.
$18 and up
Try not to laugh when reading the name of this play — we dare you. The regional premiere of this sharp-witted play by Obie Award-winning playwright Young Jean Lee will capture audiences with its desensitized take on the American father-son drama. Runs through March 1.