A look at our favorite events taking place this week
THURSDAY, DEC. 1
Art After 5
5 p.m. at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road
$15; free for members
Explore permanent and special-exhibition galleries, as well as the Circus Museum at a discounted rate.
5:30 p.m. at the Starlite Room, 1001 Coconut Ave.
This monthly gay happy hour will raise money for World AIDS Day and celebrate the launch of Sarasotaout.com, a new LGBT website. Evening features performances by Eduardo Correa, Spikey Van Dykey and Rockell Blu, as well as appetizers, drink specials and door prizes.
Chris Cope and J.B. Ball
7 p.m. at McCurdy's Comedy Theater, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
$15 to $19
Chris Cope and J.B. Ball co-headline this show. Cope is known for his sharp material and down-home Florida Cracker sensibilities; Ball, who has been featured on Comedy Central, MTV and CBS, has a flair for the ridiculous. Runs through Sunday.
7:30 p.m. at the Jane B. Cook Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
This annual performance features works by emerging choreographers, including members of the company, as well as featured guests. Runs through Sunday.
'Beauty and the Beast'
7:30 p.m. at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W, Bradenton
$27 to $37
The Manatee Players brings this classic fairytale story to life. Runs through Dec. 18.
9:30 p.m. at Tavern on Main, 1507 Main St.
Put your pipes to the test at this karaoke event. This week's theme is a little bit country and a little bit hip-hop.
FRIDAY, DEC. 2
American Fine Craft Show
10 a.m. at Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd.
$11; $10 for seniors; $6 for students; $13 weekend pass; Children free
The event, now in its eighth year, features works in ceramics, glass, leather, wood, painting, photography and sculpture by more than 100 national artists. Runs through Sunday.
The Austin Vickrey Bop Legacy Quintet
2 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road
$15; $10 for Jazz Club of Sarasota Members
The Jazz Club of Sarasota presents the Austin Vickrey Bop Legacy Quintet, which pays homage to jazz legends of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. Hear bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz and Latin jazz.
7 p.m. at Payne Park Auditorium, 2100 Laurel St.
Painters have 20 minutes to create their best work in this live art competition. Guests can enjoy the action up-close, moving around the easels to watch the creative process. Following each round, the audience votes on a favorite painting, which then goes up for bid in a silent auction.
7 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
$35 to $50
The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School premieres its holiday production, featuring dancing by the students and choreography by the school’s artistic directors Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez, master teacher Delia Ballart Arcia and resident choreographer Tania Vergara.
Masterworks II: 'The New World'
8 p.m. At the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
This masterworks concert features two iconic American works with greatly varying perspectives: Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Dvořák’s symphony From the New World. Featuring renowned violinist Vadim Gluzman. Runs through Sunday.
SATURDAY, DEC. 3
10 a.m. at Siesta Key Beach
Enjoy food, music, arts and crafts and libations at the Siesta Beach Seafood and Music Festival, which features seafood and drinks from top Siesta Key and Sarasota restaurants. The festival will also include performances by local and regional musicians. Continues Dec. 4.
Elkey Trio: 'Entre Mundos: Between Worlds'
7:30 p.m. at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road
Using a unique variety of instruments, including guitar, viola, charango and Andean panpipes, this trio plays classical and folk music from South America.
SUNDAY, DEC. 4
7 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
$20 to $45
Sarasota Dancing Stars presents this event, in which professionals and students dance to Broadway classics.
7:30 p.m. at the Gator Club, 1490 Main St.
Dig out those bell bottoms — LDG Productions presents this throwback party, featuring live music by The Hydramatic, plus funk and R&B by DJ Rus Deep.
MONDAY, DEC. 5
Festive Chamber Music Concert
7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave.
Sarasota Musica Viva presents this concert with special guest artist and Boston Symphony Orchestra harpsichordist, Mark Kroll, with flutists Betsy Hudson Traba and Linda Bento-Rei.
TUESDAY, DEC. 6
Guided Art and Backstage Tour
10 a.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
Take a rare look behind the scenes of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in this tour, hosted by the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota. See the movable orchestra pit, dressing rooms, hydraulic lifts and green room, where visiting performers relax between shows.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7
1 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail
$10 to $12
Robert de Warren, a ballet director, choreographer, designer and master teacher, draws from his collaboration and friendship with performers including Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Pavarotti, Mirella Freni and Maria Calas and Laurence Olivier, to provide an inside look at how masterpieces are born.
Great Escapes II: 'Sleigh Ride'
5:30 p.m. at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail
Get in the holiday spirit with the Sarasota Orchestra, who will present an evening of holiday classics. Runs through Dec. 10.
'Legally Blonde: The Musical'
7:30 p.m. at the Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail
$12 to $30
Follow Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. Along the way, Woods manages to surprise her contemporaries and stay true to herself. Runs through Dec. 23.