A look at our favorite events taking place this week.
‘The Fence’ Sarasota
6 a.m. at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle
Photography is a part of everyone’s lives with cameras built into our phones, but shows like this are keeping it an art form. “The Fence” is a large-scale traveling photography exhibit of works printed on vinyl mesh and installed outdoors in seven cities. Sarasota is one of the newest — and the only city in Florida where it will be installed. Runs through Jan. 31.
Lights in Bloom
6 p.m. at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave.
$25; $20 for members; $7 for children; free for children under 5
Selby Gardens never disappoints with its annual Christmas display, which includes more than 1 million lights illuminating the grounds. Bring the family and enjoy a visit from Santa and his elves, children’s arts and crafts activities, games and live entertainment provided by SoulRCoaster. Grilled food available for purchase. Runs through Jan. 6.
Comedy Open Mic Night
7 p.m. at JDub’s Brewing Co. & Tap Room, 1215 Mango Ave.
Think you have what it takes to make a room of brew enthusiasts laugh? More power to you — that confidence will earn you half-off beers for the evening. Whether you’re an aspiring comic or just need a good chuckle, check out this new open mic series. Sign-ups start at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Now taking place every fourth Thursday of the month.
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
Need a break from all the Christmas hoopla? Laugh off the holiday stress with this evening of comedy with stand-up comedian Valarie Storm, most noted for her appearances at Boston Comedy Festival and on “The Bob & Tom Show.” Runs through Sunday.
Karaoke Night at The Mable
9 p.m. at The Mable, 2831 N. Tamiami Trail
Every Thursday night is karaoke night at the iconic local haunt-turned new hangout, and with The Reverend DJ Lalo offering a plethora of songs to choose from for your most Snapchat-able karaoke performance, there’s plenty of fun to be had.
Jazz At Two: Jazz Club Scholarship Winners
2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road
$10; $20 for nonmembers
Jazz Club of Sarasota spices up every Friday afternoon with a concert by either a local favorite or up-and-coming music star. This event highlights the group’s 2018 scholarship winners. The student musicians will perform in concert and jam-session format backed by a trio of local musicians. A dollar of every admission goes to the Jazz Club Scholarship Fund.
7 p.m. at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail
As part of the The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast’s winter residency, students from Sarasota and throughout the state of Florida, ages 8 through 18, audition for the chance to share the stage with young virtuosos from around the world. Watch these music stars in the making perform side-by-side with the PMP String Orchestra under conductor Itzhak Perlman.
Capitol Steps: ‘Make America Grin Again’
8 p.m. at Venice Theatre, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice
Ponder the meaning of “covfefe” while poking fun at the political climate in this satirical music show. “Make America Grin Again!” by political comedy group Capitol Steps will parody several real-life scenarios (through song-filled skits) that have made headlines since President Trump took office. Runs through Monday.
New Year’s Eve at Selby Gardens
8 p.m. at Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave.
Ring in 2019 while dressed to the nines at this black tie event. Journey through tropical holiday light displays and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a four-course dinner, live entertainment and dancing at Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens.
New Years Eve Keg Drop 2019
8 p.m. at Big Top Brewing Co., 6111 Porter Way, Unit B
Toast to a new year at perhaps the only NYE party in town where you can get 22 local craft brews on tap and free Champagne (the latter just for toasting though — remember, you’re at a brewery). Big Top will have WC Sounds Event Services playing the best dance hits and Smokin Momma Lora’s BBQ Mobile will be on-site giving you the chance stuff your faces before it’s time for the New Year’s resolutions to start.
BCSK’s Winter Wonderland NYE 2019
8 p.m. at Beach Club Siesta Key, 5151 Ocean Blvd.
$35 for open bar on domestics, wells and wines; $55 premium open bar
Want the most bang for your buck this New Year’s Eve? Grab some friends and head to The Beach Club for a $35 open bar that includes a Champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, a winter costume contest and a cash balloon drop — not to mention a night of dancing to live music by pop/rock/EDM artist TL Jentgens. Cash prizes will be given to the best masks of the evening.
Sarasota New Year’s Eve ILLUMINATION Party
9 p.m. at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail
Start 2019 in style at this event. For the third year in a row, Full Moon Productions offers this red carpet affair for those interested in bottomless Champagne, a top-shelf open bar, a DJ-run dance floor and live music by Jonathan Cortez and Mylon Shamble. This event benefits the Arts Alliance of Sarasota County.
7:30 p.m. at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
Sometimes all it takes is a small group to create big drama. This five-person cast of performers from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training offer a twisted, high-intensity ride with revelations that cannot be unseen. The setting is 19th century Norway, and Mrs. Alving is desperately trying to maintain her late husband’s positive reputation, which was tainted by several of his flaws. After she sends her son off to a school far from home, she builds an orphanage dedicated to her late and “great” husband. But secrets soon come to the surface that change everything. Runs through Jan. 20.
9 p.m. at Court Cabaret,Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 First St.
Doo-wop is a 1950s musical genre born in the streets East Coast cities. It lives on through productions such as this original show by Rebecca and Richard Hopkins. Bop along to favorites such as “Blue Moon,” “16 Candles” and “Save The Last Dance” Runs through March 17.
‘Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert’
7 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
This Sarasota holiday tradition has been going strong for 23 years. Enjoy the romance of operetta, the grandeur of ballroom dance and the elegance of ballet as a way to start your 2019 on the right foot.