A look at our favorite events taking place this week
‘Symphony to Serenade’
5:30 p.m. at Holley Hall,
709 N. Tamiami Trail
The Sarasota Orchestra’s Chamber Soirées series offers this unusual program of works written for larger ensembles. It begins with Jan Koetsier’s Brass Symphony, Op. 80, written for 10 brass instruments. Then it gets lighter with Jacques Ibert’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp. Dvořák’s “Serenade for Strings” combines nine stringed instruments. A second performance will be 4 p.m. Sunday.
7 p.m. at FST’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre, 1265 First St.
William Kunstler was one of the first celebrity lawyers of the TV age. This play imagines him justifying his career choices. In doing so, it provides fodder for thought about personal conviction and the effects of the modern age on our moral bearings. Runs through March 13.
‘Head Over Heels’
7:30 p.m. at The Players Centre
for Performing Arts,
838 N. Tamiami Trail
This jukebox musical, built around the hit songs of The Go-Go’s and solo hits by lead singer Belinda Carlisle, is a farcical tale about a royal family desperate to preserve its kingdom. With songs including “We Got the Beat” and “Vacation,” we’re not talking about high drama palace intrigue. Runs through March 8.
‘The Lifespan of a Fact’
7:30 p.m. at Asolo Repertory
Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
Should the news report just the facts, or is there room from dramatic license? And who gets to draw the line? Based on true events, this story pits a star journalist against a meticulous fact-checker, with their editor acting as referee as they wrestle with these questions.
‘Your Arms Too Short to Box with God’
7:30 p.m. at Westcoast
Black Theatre Troupe,
1012 N. Orange Ave.
$45; $25 students
and active military
The title should be familiar; the show has been around since 1976. What most people don’t know is it has a subtitle, “A Soaring Celebration in Song and Dance.” This energetic musical is an interpretation of the Book of Matthew through gospel music. It tells the story of Jesus, his apostles and the key women in his life. Runs through April 5.
Jazz at Two: Fred Johnson & the Michael Ross Quartet
2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road
Bay Area jazz legend Fred Johnson brings his dynamic vocals together with The Michael Ross Quartet. Johnson has toured the world in the company of B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Chick Corea and Miles Davis. Michael Ross has been a fixture on the local jazz scene for nearly 40 years, the past 20 with his Michael Ross Quartet, featuring Daniel Jordan, sax and flute; LaRue Nickelson, guitar; and Walt Hubbard, drums.
‘Roméo et Juliette’
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
What light through yonder window breaks? Tis the Sarasota Opera, with Charles Gounod’s operatic treatment of Shakespeare’s immortal tale of youthful passion. Treat your valentine to the greatest love story of all time, after your own, of course. Runs for nine performances through March 20.
Missy Andersen and Her One Man Band
8 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center,
525 Kumquat Court
$15; members $12
Vocalist Missy Andersen is a two-time Blues Music Award nominee, known for her expressive, deep soul style. Her one-man band, husband Heine Andersen, has a unique guitar-playing style. He plays lead, rhythm and bass lines — simultaneously.
Fairy and Gnome House Festival
Noon at Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey
Bring the kids out for a day of interactive activities in a magical kingdom where nature is the focus. Tour the four elemental “lands” — air, earth, water and fire — and visit fairy and gnome houses. Runs through Sunday.
Paul Taylor Dance Co.
2 and 7:30 p.m. at FSU Center
for the Performing Arts,
5555 N. Tamiami Trail
Several elements in the Sarasota Ballet’s season have been in tribute of the late choreographer Paul Taylor, who for 64 years played a large role on shaping modern dance. The ballet is welcoming the Paul Taylor Dance Co., a frequent guest, for this program that will include three of Taylor’s masterpieces: “Cloven Kingdom,” “Polaris” and “Syzygy.” Runs through Monday.
3 and 8 p.m. at FST’s Gompertz Theatre, 1265 First St.
A separated couple’s 18-year-old son is missing. As they wait in a Miami police station for some word as to what happened to him and whether he’s even alive, racial issues both personal and societal add to the tension. Runs through March 22.
‘Thrill of a Lifetime’
7:30 p.m. at Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way
It’s as if a professional sports franchise let blue-chip high school athletes play in a game just to see what it’s like. Once a year, the Sarasota Orchestra shares the stage and plays shoulder to shoulder with its Youth Philharmonic. This year pianist Marco Jimenez, 17, and clarinetist Lenora Galeziowski, 16, are performing as soloists.
1:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
It’s a story almost as old as youth itself, of starving artist types getting by mostly on dreams, passion and convictions. In a setting like that, romance blooms, burns brightly then succumbs to reality. It’s been a popular story for generations. And Puccini’s operatic telling of that tale is practically required listening. Runs through March 21.
Author Jane Plitt
2 p.m. at Bookstore1Sarasota,
12 S. Palm Ave.
Jane Plitt had a national reputation as a consultant, an advocate for small business and women before she became so impressed by a single story that she set all that aside to write “Matilda Harper and the American Dream: How One Woman Changed the Face of Modern Business.” She’ll talk about these issues and sign copies of her book.
‘Symbols — Expressions of Culture’
2 p.m. Sunday Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way
The Tamburitzans have been taking audiences on cultural tours onstage for 80 years. Their elaborately staged shows present traditional Croatian, Georgian, Nordic, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Polish, Celtic and Russian cultures through costumes, music, dance and acrobatics.
10:30 a.m. at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road
SILL’s Music Mondays series welcomes Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke, graduates of the Juilliard School and Peabody Conservatory, whose impeccable musicianship mixed with off-the-wall humor have earned them 100 million social media views playing the melodica — a cross between a keyboard and a harmonica blown through a tube.
Russian National Ballet: ‘Cinderella’
7:30 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
Variations of Cinderella’s story have been told in cultures all over the world for centuries. She’s rarely had it so good as in the hands of Sergei Prokofiev, who is considered one of the great composers of the 20th century. He wrote in several genres, but this two-act balletic version of the classic children’s story is considered one of his best works.
Celtic Woman Celebration: The 15th Anniversary Tour
7 p.m. at Van Wezel
Performing Arts Hall,
777 N. Tamiami Trail
Celtic Woman has provide the siren’s call to the Emerald Isle to the tune of more than a billion online streams and 10 million albums sold. Erin
go Bragh! Original Celtic Woman Chloë Agnew has retuned for this anniversary tour. Just sit back, close your eyes, and think of Ireland.