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This Week in A+E: June 2-8

Comedy, improv and laser light shows are all on the schedule this week, and Sarasota will also have its usual heaping helping of art, music and theater.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. May 31, 2022
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Thai Rivera
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.

He's claiming superlatives for himself. Thai Rivera's official website bills him as the "Absolute Best LGBTQ Comedian in the World," and he'll be gracing the McCurdy Comedy stage for six shows between Thursday and Sunday. Rivera has honed his act in front of hostile audiences, and he's made people laugh in Australia, Singapore, China and beyond.

Diego Figueiredo
8 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court
Tickets $20 members, 
$22 non-members

This man plays guitar so well that he inspires other guitarists. Figueiredo has been called one of the world's greatest guitarists by jazz virtuoso George Benson, and he was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2020 for his arrangement, instrumentation and vocals on his track, "Marry Me A Little." Settle in and watch him work the frets at Fogartyville. 

Bathers at Eagle Pond by Susan Stewart is one of the entries in the exhibit at Art Center Sarasota. (Courtesy photo)
Bathers at Eagle Pond by Susan Stewart is one of the entries in the exhibit at Art Center Sarasota. (Courtesy photo)


Opening Night Reception: Regional Juried Show

It's the best of art from artists all around the Sarasota region. Join Art Center Sarasota for the opening night reception of their Regional Juried Show, entitled Faces and Places.

The Art Center regularly showcases local and regional artists in one of their four galleries; Each of the artworks at the show is available for purchase; and while there is a theme to the show, the artists are free to choose their own subjects.

Amanda Cooper, chief curator at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, will select the winner of the regional juried show, and visitors to Art Center Sarasota will have an opportunity to visit the exhibit all the way until August 6.

When: 6-8 p.m. June 2
Where: Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail
Tickets: Free



Music on Main
6 p.m. at Lakewood Ranch Main Street, 8100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

It's the First Friday of the month, which means that Lakewood Ranch Main Street will be the scene of another block party. FUSE will be the featured act for Music on Main, and they'll be bringing their pop cover hits from the 70's to today. The streets will be lined with food vendors and beer trucks, and proceeds will benefit Friends of the East Manatee Library.

Asolo Repertory Theatre
8 p.m. at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail

You've seen the story of Robin Hood. But have you seen it reimagined as a musical? Hood, an original adaptation by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, will begin its preview run at the Asolo Repertory Theatre on June 3. The show, which previously ran in Dallas, has been further developed for its Sarasota run. Flinn wrote the music and lyrics, and Beane, a five-time Tony nominee, wrote the book. The show's official opening night is June 11; it will run until June 26.

Fakespeare: Improvised Shakespeare
7:30 p.m. at the Bowne’s Theater Lab, 1265 First St.

Don't try this at home. Expert improv troupe Available Cupholders will come to Florida Studio Theatre and make up a Shakespeare play on the spot. This will be the first time the troupe has performed this show in public. They'll improvise new characters, dialogue and plots, and the audience will tell the performers when to jump into and out of Shakespearean style.

Laser Light Nights
7 p.m. at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 
$25 adult, $16 children

Get your rock and roll on at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. The Bishop's Planetarium is hosting Laser Light Nights three nights a week all the way into mid-August, which means you'll have a chance to see some of your favorite bands playing with a dazzling array of lights supporting the music. Led Zeppelin's Friday night show is sold out on June 3, but there are still tickets for you to hear the guitar heroics of Van Halen with laser lights to boot.



Christie Lenée 
8 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court
$18 members, $20 non-members

It's a folk artist with incredible dexterity and skill at playing guitar. Christie Lenée is known for her fingerstyle playing, and she was named the Acoustic Guitarist of the Year by Music Radar Magazine in the United Kingdom in 2019. She's playing at Fogartyville for one night only, so here's your chance to appreciate a virtuoso up close.

Available Cupholders are in town to demonstrate the art of improv. (Courtesy photo)
Available Cupholders are in town to demonstrate the art of improv. (Courtesy photo)

An Improvised Play

Sure, the play's the thing. And Available Cupholders have already taken on Shakespeare. But now they're creating a full-length play completely from scratch.

The FST audience will control the troupe's destiny by choosing the title of the play, but then Available Cupholders will create the plot, the characters, the dialogue and intrigue on the spot.

It's a master class in improv and a good time to boot. 

The Austin, TX-based improv crew will also hold a few workshops while they're in town for the FST audience, passing on pointers on succeeding at improvisation.

When: 7:30 p.m. June 4
Where: Bowne’s Theater Lab, 1265 First St.
Tickets: $20



'Ring of Fire'
2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Gompertz Theatre, 1265 First St.

Scott Moreau stars as The Man in Black in this musical tribute to the music of Johnny Cash. More than two dozen of Cash's songs will be featured in this play, which was conceived by William Meade and created by Richard Maltby Jr. 



Gallery Talk with Mohsen Azar
10:30 a.m. at the Ringling Museum of Art
Free for members

Artist Mohsen Azar will speak about his work with photography and metadata as exemplified in the Ringling exhibition entitled Metadata: Rethinking Photography from the 21st Century. Azar takes images and then uploads and downloads them to Instagram thousands of times, and eventually, the images transform into unrecognizable abstractions.

Soulful Strings
8 p.m. at Selby Gardens, 1534 Mound St.
$5, registration required

Hermitage Fellow Ashley Jackson will display her dexterity on the harp at this outdoor Selby Gardens event. Jackson's performance is the first show in the new Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage. Jackson is prepping to release her first solo album, "Ennanga," and she is committed to diversifying the classical musical canon.

Jim Breuer
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.

Jim Breuer probably won't tell you the story of Goat Boy, but he'll launch new bits and dredge up old laughs from his decades in standup comedy. Breuer, a former regular on Saturday Night Live, is perhaps best known from his role in the film "Half Baked," but he's been touring the country and making audiences crack up for decades.



'Rabbit Hole'
7:30 p.m. at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Studio 1130, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail

The Players is heading down the "Rabbit Hole." This play, written by David Lindsay-Abaire, concerns a couple who are trying to recover from the tragic and unexpected death of their young son. What happens when grief manifests in very different ways? Will it ruin a relationship or ultimately make it stronger? Runs through June 19.


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