A look at our favorite events taking place this week.
YPG After Hours
5:30 p.m. at Michael’s Wine Cellar, 1283 S. Tamiami Trail
$15; Free for members
Let’s face it, it can be hard to make friends as a young adult living in Sarasota. That’s where The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Sarasota Young Professionals Group comes in. The organization hosts monthly happy hour events for members and anyone interested in meeting new people to sip some adult beverages, network and get to know points of interest throughout the city. Light bites will also be served.
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
It’s almost the weekend — you can do this. Reward yourself with some laughs courtesy of award-winning comic Tommy Savitt. His “Who Wants Me Now!” comedy CD is one of the most-requested on satellite radio, and he’s the winner of the 2007 Boston Comedy Festival, 2008 Seattle Comedy Competition and several other honors, so this eclectic comedian is well-equipped to end your work week on a positive note.
8 p.m. at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road
$15; college students free
The Ringling’s hippest event is back this year, and will continue to combine live music and experiential art. Enjoy performances by Jordan Esker & The Hundred Percent, Lemón Royale and Lobo Marino, along with visual artwork on display by Savannah Magnolia, Aliesha Prather, Abeer Obadio, and Andrea Morganstern. This month’s event will also include a cash bar and offer access to select Ringling galleries.
8 p.m. at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail
Experience cutting-edge theater in an intimate black box setting at this Backstage at The Players production. This Lanford Wilson play follows four friends reconsidering their personal identities and relationships with others after the death of a young LGBTQ dancer. This impactful work will have audiences pondering many of life’s toughest questions through Feb. 17.
Carter Wentworth Solo Exhibition Opening
6 p.m. at 530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Lane
Start your weekend by pondering the interweaving nature of plant growth and its larger implications. Carter Wentworth’s art represents the patterns, layers, and details he notices in nature and uses color, line and texture as metaphors for the story he wants to portray. Sip some wine and nibble on some light bites at this opening for this solo exhibit running through Feb. 20.
8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
“When You Talk About Love,” you’ve got to be talking about Patti LaBelle. This queen of the City of Brotherly Love returns to the Van Wezel by popular demand to perform several of her soul, R&B, pop, blues and spiritual hits, all of which showcase her versatile range. Take a trip back in time to the days of the girl group Patti LaBelle & The Bluebells before following her musical path to becoming a chart-climbing solo artist.
8 p.m. at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
$26.10 to $85
Asolo Repertory Theatre touches on the forever timely topics of race, class and human relationships in this Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which was also nominated for a Tony Award. Lynn Nottage’s gripping work is set in the heart of working-class America — the steel town of Reading, Pa., in 2000. The story follows Tracey and Cynthia, best friends with steady factory jobs and a tight bond to keep life happy. But when layoffs and protests threaten to tear them apart, their once seemingly simple lives turn into a fight for survival. Runs through April 13.
31st Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts
10 a.m. in downtown Sarasota, 1718 Main St.
There will be much more to look at than just beautiful clothes and tasty food in downtown Sarasota this weekend. This festival hosts more than 250 artists annually, all of whom come to show and sell work ranging from sculptures to jewelry. Shop and meet the artists in person to learn what inspired their works. Runs through Sunday.
Food Truck Rally
5 p.m. at Big Top Brewing Co., 6111 Porter Way, Unit B
Join the food truck craze and head to this monthly event for grub from several local mobile vendors, Big Top Brews (along with cider, wine and soda) and live music by South Trail Band (music until 9 p.m.).
7 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.
Giacomo Puccini’s last opera returns after making its Sarasota Opera premiere in 2013 with sold-out performances. The plot follows Prince Calaf, a royal in exile, as he attempts to solve three riddles and win the hand of Princess Turandot. Runs through March 22.
Don't Miss: Marcin Dylla — Classical Guitarist
You know you’re in for something good when the artist you’re seeing has been called “among the most gifted guitarists on the planet” by the Washington Post. Enjoy this GuitarSarasota performance by Polish guitarist Marcin Dylla, a member of the world’s elite classical guitar players. Audiences will learn firsthand why he won 19 first prizes from 1996-2007 at several of the most prestigious international music competitions in the world.
If You Go
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way
Tickets: $35 to $39; students $5 at door, cash only
Info: Call 260-3306.
‘Thrill of a Lifetime’
7:30 p.m. at Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton
Everyone’s teenage years are marked by milestones, from getting their driver’s license to applying for college. Local teen cellist Jack Gallahan can soon add “played as a soloist with the Sarasota Orchestra” to his list. The first half of the program showcases Gallahan, winner of the 2018 Edward and Ida Wilkof Young Artists Concerto Competition, and the second half is the orchestra playing with the Sarasota Youth Orchestra.
3 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St.
In need of something relaxing to do on a Sunday afternoon (no, naps don’t count)? Check out this performance by Suncoast Concert Band, a local performance group featuring retired professional musicians and band directors alongside engineers, teachers and performers from various other professions and all walks of life united by their love of concert music.
‘Tomorrow’s Voices Tonight’: Student Scholar Soiree and Recital
6 p.m. at BMO Private Bank, 240 S. Pineapple Ave.
Key Chorale is more than just Sarasota’s symphonic chorus. It’s also an organization that values young talent. This fundraiser is a way for Key Chorale Student Scholar program participants to showcase their skills with a program including everything from choral classics to Broadway hits. Drinks and light bites will be served.
Czech National Symphony Orchestra
7:30 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
$30 to $90
Join Sarasota Concert Association on a musical journey featuring Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 and several works by Leonard Bernstein. Conductor John Mauceri will lead both the Czech National Symphony Orchestra — one of Europe’s top symphonic ensembles — along with Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard of The Metropolitan Opera in this spirited display of musical versatility.
Nik’s Pick: ‘Railroad 150’
Did you know this year is the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Point, Utah? Contemporary music group ensemblenewSRQ is celebrating this historical milestone with a program that looks at the profound effect of trains and railroads on human travel and lifestyle.
If You Go
When: 8 p.m. Monday
Where: First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave.
Info: Call 772-834-7173.
‘Real Fashion Photography’
Noon at Lois and David Stulberg Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, 1188 Martin Luther Jr. King Drive
What if fashion photography reflected everyday life? This mixture of photographs that have appeared in periodicals along with some that have appeared in galleries does just that. “Real Fashion Photography” introduces viewers to a diverse collection of creative voices from both inside and outside the fashion industry — from those whose lives and careers revolve around it to those who consume and critique its ideals. Consequently, the exhibit presents the genre of fashion photography as a product of today’s socio-economic norms, diversity, lack of originality and dynamic technologies. Runs through March 16, noon-3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
‘Straight White Men’
8 p.m. at Keating Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave.
$18 and up
Try not to laugh when reading the name of this play — we dare you. The regional premiere of this sharp-witted play by Obie Award-winning playwright Young Jean Lee will capture audiences with its desensitized take on the American father-son drama. Runs through March 2.
Michael Bolton: The Symphony Sessions
8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
Michael Bolton has helped a lot of people through great loves and terrible heartbreaks. From “When a Man Loves a Woman” to “How am I Supposed to Live Without You” and more, this tender-voiced Grammy Award-winner has plenty of hits to share with Sarasota fans. Enjoy an evening ranging in style from pop and rock to soul and classical, specifically arranged for symphony orchestra.