A look at our favorite events taking place this week.
Gods, Goddesses & Myths
10 a.m. at Key Culinary Tours, 301 John Ringling Blvd.
Ever wonder the story behind the statues on St. Armands? Sure, you can read the plaque, but this 90-minute tour will dive into the back story of these pieces, many of which date from the 1920s and were brought from Europe by John and Mable Ringling. Art, history and legend-lovers will thrive on this fun, educational tour.
Don't Miss: Grand Prix Festival Kickoff Party
Kick off the 34th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival with some live music by blues, soul and funk band Kettle Of Fish. Savor the food catered by Mattison’s Bayside at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and sip on cocktails at the open bar. The night will also include a silent auction and a 50-50 raffle, for which all proceeds benefiting Suncoast Charities for Children.
IF YOU GO
When: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
Info: Call 487-7904.
Comedy Open Mic —Every Fourth Thursday
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.
An Evening with Artist Jack Dowd
6 p.m. at Artists on Main Street, 1467 Main St.
Sculptor Jack Dowd’s artist statement says he strives to “bring to light the human condition.” He does so by creating a dynamic cast of characters that show both the comedy and tragedy of life. Meet Dowd and check out some of his new sculptures while sipping refreshments and munching on light bites at this gallery and gift shop.
7 p.m. at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail
Transport yourself back to 1980 with this performance by The Players Kids Summer Camp. This show is inspired by the 1980 film “Xanadu” and the 2007 Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical. “Xanadu Jr.” is a exciting tale of roller discos, a Greek muse and forbidden love. The show will include tunes from the original film and musical.
Pops Orchestra Summer Music Camp Concert
The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota
8 p.m. at Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W.,
This concert will showcase the work of The Pops 2018 Summer Music Camp students. The Pops’ one-week camp immerses high school band and string students into the intensive world of classical music. The recital will feature the students performing pops music, including movie soundtracks, Broadway show tunes and pop-culture songs.
Art Central — Open Studios
11 a.m. at Art Central, 1330 Central Ave.
Get an insider look at the studios of artists Kathy Wright, Wayne Eastep and Lucy Barber with this behind-the-scenes tour. Each professional artist’s working studio in the Central-Cocoanut Historic District will be open for guests to browse available works, meet the artists and exchange creative ideas.
Artist Spotlight: Will Ralston
Do you believe in the Kraken? All you need is a belief in art and beer to enjoy this event, but you’re in good company if mythical sea creatures intrigue you. Local artist Will Ralston is inspired by monster movies, Tolkien fantasy and all creatures of the ocean — both fictional and real — and much of his illustrations and paintings reflect that. But he also designs creative beer craft beer labels, so don’t worry, you’ll have something in common. Browse Ralston’s work, sip some brews and enjoy Solid Slab BBQ at this event for creative cravings.
IF YOU GO
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Calusa Brewing, 5701 Derek Ave.
Info: Call 922-8150.
FST Improv Presents: Comedy Freestyle
7:30 p.m. at Bowne’s Lab Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 First St.
These improv games have kept Sarasota smiling since 2001 — but now there’s a twist: no rules. This fast-paced, brand new style of FST improv is sure to keep audiences laughing with a mix of games, music and hilarious scenes — for one last night!
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Event Center, 600 N. Beneva Road
$10, $33.72 VIP
Head to the self-acclaimed largest dance floor in the Sarasota area to bust a move and enjoy live music by Reverend Barry & The Funk. These soulful jams and funky live horn section will keep you grooving through the night — and so will your first drink, which is free if your pay your $10 admission fee in advance.
Brenda Watty Performance and Album Preview
7:30 p.m. at The Reserve, 1322 N. Tamiami Trail
Come check out “It’s My Time,” the latest pop-rock, dance and R&B album by Brenda Watty, former member of the Motown group The Marvelettes. Watty will perform her music (and give guests the chance to sing along) rain or shine, so make sure to bring your umbrella and prepare your vocal chords. Happy hour specials on select craft beers and wines will also be available.
HD at the Opera House presents ‘La gazza ladra’
1:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
A servant named Ninetta takes center stage in this famed opera by Gioachino Rossini. Filmed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy, the melodrama follows a girl unfairly accused of theft. Enjoy the gripping voices of Rosa Feola, Michele Pertusi and many more.
Libby’s Revival Bash
6 p.m. at Libby’s Cafe & Bar, 1917 S. Osprey Ave.
Toast to the old Libby’s Cafe & Bar and get ready for the new before the restaurant gets a major makeover this summer. Join fellow Libby’s customers for passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations and an open bar for well drinks, house wines and domestic beers. The Southside restaurant and bar will close in July for a few months before it reopens near the end of 2018 with a new, open rotisserie-style kitchen. Reservations required in advance.
'80s Karaoke Night
7 p.m. at Escape Reality Sarasota, 6250 N. Lockwood Ridge Road
Plunge into the depths of your closet — or your local consignment shop — and grab the leg warmers, because it’s ’80s-themed karaoke time at Escape Reality. Hold on, ready or not because these two singing stations, food and drink specials and endless time-hopping fun will have you singing “Take on Me” all the way home. Admission gets you a free drink. Guests must be 21 or older.
‘Peep Show Deluxe’
7:30 p.m. at The Gator Club, 1490 Main St.
Add some razzle-dazzle to your pre-Independence Day festivities with Black Diamond Burlesque during this night of vaudeville entertainment. Join the Diamonds and special guests such as Fiona Frost, accompanied by DJ Rus Deep, and learn what the group’s “taste of the tease”-style show is all about. Show starts at 8:30 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave.
$35 advance; $40 at the door
This year, Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 90-minute musical celebration will be more than just a collection of patriotic hits. Maestro Joseph Holt is pulling out all the stops to create an uplifting holiday music experience that features a 100th birthday tribute to Leonard Bernstein, salute to the armed forces and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute narrated by Nate Jacobs to mark the 50th anniversary of King’s death