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This Week
Arts and Entertainment Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021 7 months ago

This week in A+E: Dec. 30 to Jan. 6

New Year's celebrations, plays, concerts and comedy dot the calendar in the first week of January.
by: Spencer Fordin A+E Editor


Sarasota New Year's Eve Pineapple Drop Party

1 p.m. on Friday to 1 a.m. on Saturday at Downtown Sarasota



Celebrate the New Year with your closest friends and neighbors. The festivities will start with amusement rises and games at 5 Points Park at 1 p.m., and live music will be played at Main Street and Lemon Avenue starting at 9 p.m. The event promises food, drinks and full bar concessions. Big Night Out, Randy McNeeley and the Dr. Dave Band are scheduled to play, and the New Year will be punctuated by a firework display over Sarasota Bay.


Al Romas

9:30 p.m. at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.



Romas began as a comedian while in the straight-laced and uniformed world of the U.S. Navy, and he's worked rooms as disparate as Radio City Music Hall and the ESPY Awards in Las Vegas. Romas' set will last until around 11:15 p.m., and then McCurdy's will prepare a champagne toast for the New Year.

Romas will also be playing multiple shows at McCurdy's from Jan. 6-9.


Jefferson Starship will rock Sarasota on New Year's Eve. (Courtesy photo)

Jefferson Starship

8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Centre, 777 N. Tamiami Trail



Enter the stratosphere with Jefferson Starship. The band arose from the ashes of Jefferson Airplane and has gone through many lineup changes over the years, but the latest version includes founding member David Freiberg and drummer Donny Baldwin, who began playing with Jefferson Starship in 1982. Keyboardist Chris Smith, guitarist Jude Gold and lead singer Cathy Richardson round out the band. The band found its greatest success with the album Red Octopus in 1975, which ultimately went double platinum.



Lights in Bloom will remain on display for two days in 2022. (Courtesy photo)

Lights in Bloom

6-9 p.m. at Selby Gardens, 1534 Mound St.

Members: $20; Adults: $25; Ages 5-17: $7


A Sarasota holiday tradition will continue for two days in 2022. The Selby Gardens' downtown campus is illuminated by more than 2 million lights, lending a festive air to the property's gardens and walkways. 



Bayfront Garden Tour

10:30 a.m. at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road

Members: $10; Non-member adults: $15


Get a walking tour of the Ringling's famous Bayfront Garden led by volunteer guides who can tell you about the property's incredible diversity. The arboretum is home to more than 2,300 trees. The tour takes 90 minutes and you will walk approximately one mile as you learn about the landscape. The tour is also available Monday at 10:30 a.m.


Southern Buffet Gospel Brunch with Truality

11:30 a.m. at Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth St.

$24.95 brunch, $12 for kids 12 and under


Authentic Southern comfort food will be paired with live gospel music and contemporary spirituals as Truality hits the stage at Blue Rooster. Truality was reformed in 2014 and have specialized in gospel and family-friendly music.

Whitney James will play the Jazz Club of Sarasota's Monday Night Jazz series. (Courtesy photo)


Jazz Cabaret: Whitney James

7:30 p.m. at John C. Court Cabaret, 1265 First St.



Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the sinewy singing of Whitney James will begin an hour later. James, a California native, has split time between New York and Florida since 2007, and she turned in her debut album, "The Nature of Love," in 2021. James has also worked as a DJ for All Night Jazz on NPR, and in 2019 she began pursuing a master's degree in music and jazz voice performance at the University of North Texas.

Shawn Lane will join forces with two other bluegrass virtuosos at Fogartyville. (Courtesy Photo)




Bennett, Lane and Walker Bluegrass Trio

Separately, they've achieved great heights.

But together, they make beautiful music.

Shawn Lane, a founding member of Blue Highway, will play with Richard Bennett and Cory Walker at Fogartyville.

Lane, who plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar, played with Ricky Skaggs early in his career and was named the 2015 Songwriter of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Bennett has been a member of J.D. Crowe and the New South, and Walker has performed with The Dillards.

When: 7 p.m., Jan. 5

Where: Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court

Tickets: $20 members; $25 non-members




Blithe Spirit

7:30 p.m. at 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria

Continues through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. 



The Island Players will stage Blithe Spirit, written by Noel Coward and directed by Jeffrey Stiger in January.

The play is a comedy about marriage and a seance that goes horribly wrong, and it was originally staged in 1941.

The play stars Jan Wallace and Mark Shoemaker, and it will run at Island Players through Jan. 23.

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