A look at our favorite events taking place this week.
‘An Improv to Murder’
2 and 7:30 p.m. at Powel Crosley Theater, One Seagate Drive 8374 N. Tamiami Trail
Cue the “Law and Order” dun dun. Scary meets hysterical in this spooky multistory production by The Crosley Theater Players. See “Murder by Six Degrees of Murder,” “Murder by Death,” “Murder by Musicals” and more crime-solving tales all in one mysterious evening that might even offer an opportunity for audience participation. Runs through Jan. 27.
Danny Barnes, Joe K. Walsh and Grant Gordy Trio
7 p.m. at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court
$15; $18 day of
You’ve never heard the banjo like this (if you’ve ever heard a live banjo, that is). Steve Martin’s Prize for Excellence in Banjo winner Danny Barnes is partnering with mandolinist Joe K. Walsh and guitarist Grant Gordy to perform a dynamic concert as a trio with influences ranging from electronic and rock to bluegrass and jazz.
7:30 p.m. at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail
$27; premium $32 and students $14
There’s only one musical with dance numbers as big as its hairstyles, and this is it. Hop on this fun-filled journey with teen dreamer Tracy Turnblad, whose feet can’t stop the beat and whose eyes are on the Corny Collins Show, which she hopes to racially integrate. Enjoy this winner of eight Tony Awards — including best musical — based on the John Waters film, both of which will welcome you to the ’60s. Runs through Feb. 3.
‘Ax Plays Beethoven’
8 p.m. at Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton
Experience one of the world’s greatest pianists, Emanuel Ax, with the city’s own Sarasota Orchestra. Anu Tali conducts this hearty concert, which includes Verdi’s La Forza del Destino Overture, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. And Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. From a powerful testament to the human spirit to an ode to happiness, this emotional show will leave you uplifted. Runs through Sunday.
‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’
8 p.m. at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
$29 to $90
This Asolo Repertory Theatre play is for anyone who’s ever underestimated the extraordinary strength of women. At the end of Norwegian Playwright Henrik Ibsen’s groundbreaking work “A Doll’s House,” lead Nora Helmer walked out on her marriage and family life. This play explores what happens next. After 15 years, Nora is a successful writer and all-around independent woman, but finds herself returning home to the one man who can help her get rid of a skeleton from her past. Runs through March 31.
Don't Miss: Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival
Enjoy some of Sarasota’s best (and most fresh) catches at this now three-day festival. Whether you want grouper, mahi-mahi, stone crabs, oysters, shrimp or a different marine delicacy, it’s bound to be offered. Stick around for the drinks and musical acts Free Coasters, Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio, the US Stones, Kettle of Fish, CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion, Reverend Barry & The Funk, The Bob Marley Tribute Band, Endless Summer, Sarasota Steel Pan Band, Big Night Out, Billy Rice Band and the Caribbean Chillers. Runs through Sunday.
If You Go
When: 4 p.m. Friday
Where: Downtown Sarasota, 33 S. Gulfstream Ave.
Tickets: Free; VIP $75
Info: Call 487-8061.
The Michael Ross Trio: ‘As Good As It Gets’
5 p.m. at Longboat Key Education Center, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive Suite 212, Longboat Key
$30; members $25
Jazz up your weekend with this trio consisting of bassist Michael Ross, sax and flute player Daniel Jordan and vocalist/percussionist Fred Johnson. Hear both original compositions and jazz standards improvised straight from the heart. With talent such as that of Johnson (who’s performed with the likes of Miles Davis and Aretha Franklin), Ross (who has four CDs) and Jordan (who’s toured with Natalie Cole and Maynard Ferguson), this concert is sure to be as good as it gets.
Art Walk with Debbie Dannheisser Fine Art Threads
5:30 p.m. at Towles Court Artist Colony, 1938 Adams Lane
Every third Friday, enjoy a stroll through the Towles Court Artist Colony for food, various types of art and live music by Latin Rendezvous. For the first art walk of 2019, painter and fashion artist Debbie Dannheisser will sell “Paws & Claws for Good” leggings and capris, the sale of which will directly benefit the Animal Rescue Coalition.
7 p.m. at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave. Building 5, Venice
A troupe of misfit artist friends who started as a street theater group in Vancouver — what could sound more inviting than that? This unusual show is a dynamic mix of artists, singers, musicians and a dancer who have performed for the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Steve Forbes, General Colin Powell.
Nik’s Pick: The Party
A new kind of music event is coming to Sarasota. On Jan. 18, White Buffalo Saloon will be transformed into a hip-hop nightclub for The Party, a one-of-a-kind night of entertainment that will feature dancers, strobe lights, VIP sections and a showcase of more than 50 local hip-hop artists (one of which is Sarasota native Swag Hollywood). Organizer and performer Shahid Avraham is also dropping his new album, “Some Real Quality,” at the event.
If You Go
When: 7 p.m Friday
Where: White Buffalo Saloon, 377 McIntosh Road
Tickets: From $10
Info: Call 401-1243.
7:30 p.m. at The Reserve, 1322 N. Tamiami Trail
Sometimes even big-city dwellers need an escape from the hustle and bustle — and what better way than with a performance in slower-paced Sarasota. Los Angeles-based rock musician Amanda Abizaid is one such artist. Abizaid has a single, two EPs and one LP, has worked with musicians Eric Dover, Brian Tichy (drummer for Ozzy Osbourne) and more, and she remains an avid supporter of women in music. Abizaid was also on a compilation CD of women around the world called “Females on Fire.”
Jane Seymour Art — Up Close and Personal: The Open Hearts Philosophy
Noon at Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton
$35 to $50
Jane Seymour is a true renaissance woman. This performance artist known for her roles on Broadway and in Emmy and Golden Globe-winning projects has quietly taken on the visual arts via painting, and locals get a front-row seat at the transition that began 27 years ago. Come see her show at The Studio at Gulf and Pine, then head to Manatee Performing Arts Center to hear her speak about her jewelry line Her Open Hearts, her charitable organization The Open Hearts Foundation and her museum-represented artwork that served as a form of healing and expression during a time of personal challenge.
Healy Guest House ‘Cocoon House’ Tours
1 p.m. at Coccon House, 3575 Bayou Louise Lane
$40; members $30; students $20
Sarasota is a hub of modern architecture, and one of the crown jewels is architects Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph of the Sarasota School’s 1950 Healy Guest House, also known as Cocoon House. Tour this masterpiece of the Sarasota School of Architecture on Siesta Key’s Bayou Louise Lane to explore the two bedrooms, one bathroom and the rest of the 760-square-foot cottage built as a guesthouse for Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Healy. Learn how the house got its name and much more on these new Sarasota Architectural Foundations tours.
2 p.m. at Pinkerton Stage,
Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice
Venice Theatre’s Youth Production Company takes center stage in this hysterical play that takes place in — you guessed it — a town called Almost, Maine. Almost is aptly named, it turns out, because it’s so far north that it’s almost in Canada, and its few residents are so unorganized it almost didn’t ever exist. But one night when the jaw-dropping northern lights take over the nighttime sky, residents suddenly begin falling in and out of love with eachother. Runs through 20.
Sarasota’s Monthly Food Truck Rally
5 p.m. at JDub’s Brewing Co. & Tap Room, 1215 Mango Ave.
Join the food truck craze and head to this monthly event for grub from several local mobile vendors (K-Nam Style, The Groovy Grill Bus., Smokin Bowls, Smokin Momma Lora’s BBQ Mobile, Vanchetta Food Truck, Stocking Stuffers, Code941 and Island Boys Caribbean BBQ & Seafood) and live music.
Clara Silverstein Chat and Book Signing
2 p.m. at Bookstore1Sarasota,
12 S. Palm Ave.
Sometimes books are meant to make us uncomfortable because they reflect the shocking realities of our past. This is one such book, which gives readers an unusual look at the complicated relationship of a young mother and the enslaved woman whom she owns. Set in Richmond, Va., as the Confederacy is about to crumble, “Secrets in a House Divided” is a story of risks, consequences and overcoming adversity to protect what you cherish the most.
‘MLK: Celebrating His Legacy in Spoken Word and Song’
7 p.m. at Booker High School, 3201 N. Orange Ave.
$15; students $5, sponsor tickets with preferred seating $35
January marks more than just the first month of a new year — it marks the birthday of one of America’s most important historical figures. To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will again put on this special performance featuring re-enactments of King’s speeches by The Rev. Charles McKenzie, singing and dancing by WBTT performers and the announcement of Sarasota County Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Booker High School’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest winner.
8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail
Get ready for an epic fist bump, because Howie Mandel is coming to town. Whether you know him from the Emmy-Award-winning “St. Elsewhere,” the international animated children’s series “Bobby’s World” or the popular game show “Deal or No Deal,” this acclaimed comic is sure to make you laugh.
‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
8 p.m. at Gompertz Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 First St.
$29 to $49
When Christopher Boone attempts to investigate the bizarre death of a neighbor’s dog, the result is a series of events that expose far greater mysteries than the simple everyday interpretations he’s already ill-equipped to comprehend. This winner of five Tony Awards is a study of family secrets, gifted minds and the complicated relationship many of us have with the world. Runs through March 23.