A look at our favorite events taking place this week.
THURSDAY, JULY 12
11 a.m. at BookStore1, 12 S. Palm Ave.
Moms and anyone with a soft spot for our younger generation should come listen to children’s book author Mary Alice Deveny at this local book talk and signing. Deveny’s passion for helping children and young adults develop communication skills and confidence is evident in her latest story and activity book. “Pockets,” is recommended for preschool audiences.
Noon at various locations throughout the Florida Studio Theatre campus, 1241 N. Palm Ave.
Single tickets $10 to $25, passes $29 to $79
This year marks the 10th anniversary of one of the Sarasota comedy scene’s biggest — and certainly most unpredictable — annual events. Join the fun in this marathon of improv, featuring more than 75 artists and 28 performances over the course of three days. Chicago’s Baby Wants Candy, Madrid’s ImproMadrid and Los Angeles’ Improv Theatre are headlining, and local groups include FST Improv, St. Petersburg’s Hawk and Wayne and Tampa’s The Third Thought, along with many others.
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
$18 to $21
Professional comics from across the United States and Canada will descend on McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, the host venue, for this national event. Come watch hysterical comedians compete for a trip to Las Vegas in September for The Main Event. This touring show goes around North America in search of America’s next best comic — and the audience gets to vote and help the judges pick the winners. Runs through July 14.
Joe Orton’s risqué farce will take audiences on a wild and wickedly funny journey covering topics ranging from sex to psychiatry. Dr. Prentice’s private mental health clinic gets shaken up after he attempts to entice his prospective secretary when his wife walks in. This unwelcome interruption halts his shameful intentions and sparks a manic fury in his wife that entangles a state inspector, bellboys and more in a witty tornado of breakneck dialogue. This Dog Days Theatre production, presented by FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, runs through July 29.
IF YOU GO
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
Info: Call 351-8000.
FRIDAY, JULY 13
6 p.m. at The Founders Golf Club, 3800 Golf Hall Drive
Make this Friday the 13th especially memorable at this devilish dinner party. Dine with a killer amongst you as you follow the clues of this cast of characters to crack the case and name the hidden homicide enthusiast. Ticket includes admission to the show and a three-course dinner and glass of wine.
Who (pretend) sang it best? Come watch several area breweries battle it out with a microphone as their musical weapon to raise money for All Faiths Food Bank. Participating businesses include JDub’s Brewing Co., Motorworks Brewing, Naughty Monk Brewery and more. Munch on German grub from The Schnitzel Trailer, sip the newly released PB & J Pale Ale and donate $1 to fighting childhood hunger with each vote for your favorite contestant.
IF YOU GO
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Big Top Brewing Co., 6111 Porter Way, Unit B
Tickets: Free admission
Info: Call 371-2939.
9 p.m. at Brasa & Pisco, 8347 Lockwood Ridge Road
This Peruvian oasis on Lockwood Ridge Road heats up every second Friday of the month with a night of Latin dancing, drinks and food. Lace up your dancing shoes and salsa into a free lesson by Kery and Dario of DK Dance Creations, accompanied by the music of DJ TA. The dance floor doesn’t close until 1 a.m., so if you’re nervous, you’ll have plenty of time to sip and watch on the sidelines (aka gaining some liquid confidence to jump in).
SATURDAY, JULY 14
2 and 5 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road
$16, $12 for children 12 and under
Prepare to be amazed by how close you’ll get to the action at this show. Join The Circus Arts Conservatory and The Ringling Museum for an intimate circus experience with enough wow factor to pack a whole big top, but enough intricacies that you’ll be glad to be watching it at the museum’s Historic Asolo Theater.
SUNDAY, JULY 15
1:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
Umberto Giordano’s masterpiece made its début at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala in 1896, but the opera hasn’t been performed on the same stage since 1985. However, it was revived for this special performance, which stars Yusif Eyvazov as the lead alongside Anna Netrebko. Enjoy this verismo opera in four acts based loosely on the life of the French poet André Chénier, who was executed during the French Revolution.
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
Joe Lowers is the living, breathing (or wheezing after a good joke) example of a kid at heart. This comic took his high school award of Class Clown seriously and decided to earn a living by making people laugh and have fun — despite his teachers telling him goofing off 24/7 wasn’t a career choice.
7:30 p.m. at Westcoast Black Theatre, 1012 N. Orange Ave.
$15, $5 for students and active military (with valid ID)
Some of Sarasota’s best talent isn’t even out of school yet. Discover several of the area’s most talented up-and-coming artists at this performance, which is the culmination of five weeks of work through Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Stage of Discovery summer theater intensive. These students will take on the junior version of Nate Jacobs’ original production from last summer, “Broadway in Black.” This show features everyone’s favorite songs from breakthrough shows and roles that helped launch the careers of artists such as Melba Moore in “Purlie” and Jennifer Holliday in “Dreamgirls.” Also runs 7: 30 p.m. Monday, July 16.
MONDAY, JULY 16
10 a.m. at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road
Free museum admission with Florida ID
Channel the artistic gems around you and get your creative juices flowing at this weekly art-making event. Bring a pencil, sketchbook or notebook and head to the Ringling every Monday in July to join SRQ Plein Air Painters in creating works both inside and outside the museum. Pens, markers, paints, clay and easels are permitted only on the grounds.
TUESDAY, JULY 17
7:30 p.m. at John C. Court Cabaret, Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 First St.
Swing-era territory band The Swingaroos are back at Florida Studio Theatre. Jitterbug, Lindy hop and swing back into the glory days of the ’30s and ’40s with everyone’s favorite hits by the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and many more. This cabaret show combining the worlds of theater and jazz runs through Aug. 19.
8 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
Sissy walk into McCurdy’s and prepare to yell “YAS” at the top of your lungs, because it’s time for a face off between many of the area’s top entertainers (and their fabulous hairdos). Comic Jeff Klein and Sarasota’s go-to drag show host, Miss Beneva Fruitville, will emcee this show, which is put on by LDG Productions. The area’s funniest comics and most glamorous drag queens will battle it out using music, comedy and several surprises.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
11:30 a.m. at Bird Key Yacht Club, 301 Bird Key Drive
Pianist Stephen Fancher will perform at this music-filled Sarasota Opera Guild luncheon, which is part of a summer series highlighting masters of music. Fancher, who studied piano performance at the University of Connecticut, Trinity College of Music and at the Conservatory at SUNY, serves as assistant conductor and accompanist for Key Chorale and as a board member for Artist Series Concerts and Sarasota Music Conservatory.
Noon at Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, 1288 N. Palm Ave.
This summer art exhibit features more than 40 works by eight artists: Luisa Basnuevo, Jean Blackburn, Luis Delgado, Daphne Gamble, Leslie Lerner, Melissa Meyer, Helen Shulman and Joyce Ely Walker. From mixed media to calligraphic abstract paintings, this show has something for art lovers and collectors of all interests. Open every Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., through Aug. 31.