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The best things to do around Sarasota for July 28 to Aug. 3

Dance takes center stage in Sarasota this week, and there's also art, theater, music and comedy on tap at local venues.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. July 26, 2022
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Movie Matinee: 'Julia & Julia'
1 p.m. at The Paradise Center, 546 Bay Isles Road
Members free; nonmembers $10

Enjoy an afternoon movie at The Paradise Center. This week's showing is 2009 film "Julia & Julia," a biographical comedy-drama on Chef Julia Child and author Julie Powell. Fresh popcorn and soft drinks are included.

Students from the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory dance in a past edition of Images of Dance. (Photo Courtesy of Frank Atura)
Students from the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory dance in a past edition of Images of Dance. (Photo Courtesy of Frank Atura)

7:30 p.m. at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
$25-$35, $10 children

This select group of student dancers came to Sarasota from ballet schools all over the country, and they've spent the last several weeks working with the highly skilled instructors of the Sarasota Ballet. Now's their chance to take everything they've learned and show it to the world in four performances. Continues 2 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Carl Rimi
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.

Carl Rimi has been touring the country for two decades, and he's taken his act to clubs and cruise ships all across America. He'll play five shows at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, beginning on Thursday and ending his run with a pair of shows on Saturday evening.


The collected work of the late Eleanor Merritt is on display at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art until August 21. (Courtesy photo)
The collected work of the late Eleanor Merritt is on display at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art until August 21. (Courtesy photo)


Eleanor Merritt: 'Remembrance'
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road
Free with museum admission

The rich and colorful palette of the late Eleanor Merritt, who moved to Sarasota in the 80's and created decades worth of her work here, is entering its final month on display at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Merritt, a former board member of The Ringling, was named "Artist of the Year" by the Sarasota Visual Arts Center in 1994. Her work will be on display until Aug. 21, and the exhibit will take you from work she created in the 1950's all the way through to her final painting, Blue Embrace, in 2018.

Music at the Plaza
6-9 p.m. at Waterside Place, 1561 Lakefront Drive, Lakewood Ranch

Musician/songwriter Frankie Lombardi will provide the live music on Friday as those who visit Waterside Place enjoy sunset views of Kingfisher Lake, fun at the hub's small parks or dining at the various restaurants. On Saturday, musician/singer Billy Lyon provides the entertainment.

‘The Manager’
7:30 p.m. at Studio 1130, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail

This isn't the Bad News Bears. This brand new play is about a middle-aged Little League manager who is facing a divorce and the final season coaching his son in youth baseball. Will his family turn out to be safe at home? Runs through July 31.

U2 Laser Lights
7 p.m. at Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 Tenth St. W.

They want to run. They want to hide. They want to use all the walls to show laser lights. The rich and deep catalogue of U2 hits will get the laser light treatment at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, and you can be up close and personal to sing along with Bono. It's the only U2 show left on the schedule; a Bob Marley showing at 9 p.m. has already sold out its allotted tickets. 



Francisco Serrano and Charlotte Tonkinson of The Royal Ballet will join the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School for a performance on July 30. (Courtesy photo)
Francisco Serrano and Charlotte Tonkinson of The Royal Ballet will join the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School for a performance on July 30. (Courtesy photo)

Excerpts from 'Le Corsaire'
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.

The talented student dancers of the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School will take the stage with guest artists Francisco Serrano and Charlotte Tonkinson from The Royal Ballet and Ariel Martinez from The Washington Ballet. Former SCBS students who are now professional dancers will also participate in the show, which features excerpts from the full-length ballet "Le Corsaire."



Summer Garden Concert
4 p.m. at St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, 40 N. Adams Drive

Enjoy the Island Swing Band playing traditional jazz and dance songs in the garden.

Jazz Club Scholarship Awards Presentation
4-6 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court
$15, $5 students

They've worked hard to master their instrument and to move on to the next step in their lives and their careers. Now you can help them celebrate. Fogartyville will serve as the host for the Jazz Club of Sarasota's annual scholarship presentations, and several of the winning artists will be on hand to perform with a trio of talented local musicians. 

Beneva Fruitville Drag Queen Bingo
8 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre

This is the final show and farewell performance for Beneva Fruitville's Drag Queen Bingo, which has been on stage for 12 yeas in Sarasota and for seven at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre. Beneva Fruitville will be back at some point as a visiting artist, but this is her final performance as a Sarasota institution.



Flora Imaginaria
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Selby Gardens, 1534 Mound St.
Free with museum admission

Come see the art of floral photography through the lens of some of the world's most foremost photographers. The Selby Garden exhibit will be open until September 25, and you'll be able to stand amongst the foliage and peer deeply through the lens of the many different ways that photography can distill the image of the flower. 



Summer Circus Spectacular
11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bayshore Road
$18, $12 children

Step right up and watch the super-talented cast of the Summer Circus Spectacular, which will blow your mind with an incredible combination of strength, dexterity, artistry and flexibility. You'll see balancing artists, contortionists and even some comic relief from Chris Allison, a graduate of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.

Classic French Cooking Class
6 p.m. at Publix Aprons Cooking School, 2875 University Parkway

Learn how the great chefs make classics like French Onion Soup, Ratatouille, Beef Bourguignon and Creme Brulee at this cooking class, which takes place at the Publix location on University Parkway. This is a hands-on cooking class, which means you'll split time behind the grill and in preparing ingredients with your classmates, and you'll receive instruction from the Aprons chefs.

Featured Artist: Larry Paul
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Island Gallery West, 5367 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach

Larry Paul is the featured artist for Island Gallery West in the month of August, and you can see his colorfully abstract paintings that pay tribute to the colorful sunsets of Anna Maria Island and the historic village of Cortez. The artist will be on hand at the gallery on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions about their work.



'Smoke and Mirrors'
8 p.m. at FST’s Gompertz Theatre

How does a top Hollywood director gets what he wants when a movie's screenwriter stands in the way? Smoke and Mirrors. This story, penned by Will Osborne and Anthony Herrera, centers on a director's quest to get a movie under their umbrella and the nefarious lengths they'll go to do it. Runs through Aug. 21

Met Summer Encore: 'La Boheme'
1 and 6:30 p.m. at Regal Hollywood, 1993 Main St.

Here's your chance to visit Lincoln Center without leaving Sarasota. Relive the experience of seeing one of Puccini's classics, "La Boheme," with the star-studded cast of a Metropolitan Opera production from 2018. Soprano Sonya Yoncheva stars as Mimi and tenor Michael Fabiano stars as Rodolfo.


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