Here's a look at what's happening on the arts and entertainment scene this week and beyond.
Making room for the visual arts
Ringling College of Art and Design will host a building dedication and ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. Dec. 9 for Phase II and the completion of its new Richard and Barbara Basch Visual Arts Center. The building replaces the former Selby Gallery, which was demolished in December 2015. The new center sits in the center of campus and houses spaces for woodworking, photography, printmaking, glass making, digital fabrication and sculpture.
The Final Curtain
Venice Theatre has put on a production of “A Christmas Carol” for 18 years, and this year — his 16th — Eric Watters will play Ebenezer Scrooge for the last time.
Director Murray Chase says it was when Watters took over the role that the show became a hit, and now it’s a full-fledged holiday tradition in Venice and for others in Sarasota County.
“I was about to give up until someone recommended Eric Watters to play Scrooge,” Chase says in a news release. “Bringing in Eric, and then Michelle as music director, brought the show to a new level.”
Watters never missed a performance from 2002 to 2016, even when he was undergoing cancer treatment a few years ago. He says that, at 70, his knees will thank him — but he’ll miss the role.
“Folks recognize me around town,” he says in the release. “They say ‘bah Humbug’ to me in the grocery store. I’ll miss that a little bit. And I’ll miss performing with the young people. I’ve seen a whole generation of actors grow up around me.”
Santé, C’est La Vie
Proprietors of C’est La Vie Restaurant & Bakery Geraldine and Christophe Coutelle will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their restaurant in downtown Sarasota at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Main Street location. For $35 per person (plus tax), guests can enjoy a French-style buffet dinner menu including assorted verrines, homemade foie gras, salmon, assorted mini-quiches, meats, salads, French cheeses, homemade breads, charcuterie and paté. The bite-size sweets C’est La Vie is known for will also make an appearance, along with plenty of wine and Champagne to toast with in honor of 20 years. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 906-9575.
Christophe and Geraldine Coutelle opened the first C’est La Vie location in downtown Sarasota in 1997 shortly after moving to the U.S. earlier that year. Their second location, C’est La Vie Shoppes at UTC, opened in September 2016, marking their first franchise.