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The best things to do in Sarasota: Oct. 13-19

The fall entertainment season is underway in Sarasota, bringing theater, comedy, art exhibits and dance to a hungry audience.

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  • | 9:30 a.m. October 14, 2022
The Ladd Brothers are in town for the Scrollathon event. (Photo by Spencer Fordin)
The Ladd Brothers are in town for the Scrollathon event. (Photo by Spencer Fordin)
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Jazz Thursday: The Barker Project
5:30 p.m. at Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail

The Sarasota Art Museum is staying late, and The Barker Project will keep you grooving through the evening. The band is the vehicle of bassist and multi-instrumentalist Johnnie Barker, and they'll keep the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza rocking while you peruse the art galleries and dine on light bites at Bistro.

Xiao-Xuan Yang Dancigers, entering her eighth season with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, will choreograph one of the routines at the season-opening event. (Photo by Sorcha Augustine)
Xiao-Xuan Yang Dancigers, entering her eighth season with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, will choreograph one of the routines at the season-opening event. (Photo by Sorcha Augustine)


Voices: Rising Choreographers

Catch the rhythm of the world through the movements of some hungry choreographers. Sarasota Contemporary Dance begins its season by bringing tomorrow's routines to you today courtesy of dancers and choreographers Alexis Diggs, Rebecca Eurom, Matthew Sommers, Sarah Emory and Xiao-Xuan Yang Dancigers. The Sarasota Contemporary Dance Ensemble will kick off the show with steps choreographed by Laura Chambers.

When: 7 p.m., Oct. 13
Where: FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail
Tickets: $10-$45

Great Escapes: A Night at the Movies
7:30 p.m. at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail

The music moves you, and it propels you from scene to scene. But have you ever enjoyed it by itself? The Sarasota Orchestra, led by guest conductor Lawrence Loh, will take you through some of the best loved musical themes in movie history, including themes from "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Jaws," "Star Wars" and more.

'Little Shop of Horrors'
7:30 p.m. at Studio 1130, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail
$23 subscribers, $30 general admission, $13 student

Hurricane Ian threw The Players' schedule off a little bit, but "Little Shop of Horrors" will be available for an abbreviated stint running through Oct. 16. The musical — which made its Off Broadway debut in 1982 — is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and it remains an enduring classic.


Jazz at Two with the Ocean’s Eleven Band
2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road

Jazz season is back! The Ocean's Eleven Big Band, fronted by vocalist John Rinell, will be the first act of the Jazz Club of Sarasota's "Jazz at Two" season. Drummer Bryan Post leads the big band, which will play a bunch of favorites from the swing era including tunes made famous by Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

Sarasota Rocktoberfest
4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at JD Hamel Park, 199 Bayfront Drive

Food, big beers and live music. What more could you want for an October weekend? Paragon Festivals and the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association are teaming up for a three-day Oktoberfest experience that will feature the best of the wurst. Bring your dog and share a Schweinshaxe (roasted ham hock.)


‘Charlotte’s Web’
10 a.m. and noon at FST’s Keating Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave.

This isn't Animal Farm, although some themes may intersect between the two. "Charlotte's Web" explores the lives of animals on a farm and tells the story of Charlotte, a barn spider who makes it her life's mission to save a pig named Wilbur from slaughter. The book was written by E.B. White all the way back in 1952, and it was later adapted into a stage musical by theatre professor Joseph Robinette in 1989.

Fall Paint Around
2 p.m. at Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W.

Watch as five talented artists paint a beautiful watercolor picture right in front of you. Five artists — Sally Wooldridge, Karalee Hammes, Diane Simon, Sue Lynn Cotton and Joanna Coke — will produce an artwork within two hours at this event, and the results will be raffled off at the end of the night.

The Ladd Brothers are in town for the Scrollathon event. (Photo by Spencer Fordin)
Steven and William Ladd pose in front of their Sarasota art exhibit. (Photo by Spencer Fordin)


Community Celebration: Scrollathon

Come collaborate with Steven and William Ladd. The artist brothers conceived of Scrollathon as an opportunity for people to tell their own individual stories and share them with the world, and they've reached more than 10,000 artists over the 17 years of the event. This year, the Ladds will be here in Sarasota, and the local audience will help collaborate on a Sarasota masterwork. Visitors to the museum can also peruse Lead With a Laugh, which is an exhibit housing many of the works the Ladd brothers have created over the last decade.

When: 11 a.m., Oct. 16
Where: Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail
Tickets: Free with museum admission

Leanne Morgan: The Big Panty Tour
4 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail

This lady isn't getting too big for her britches. Leanne Morgan has established herself over two decades of work in the standup comedy game, and she has a notable appearance at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal under her belt. Morgan's special, "So Yummy," has reached more than 50 million views on YouTube.

The Cypress Brass In Concert
5 p.m. at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church

Cypress Brass, a group of professional horn players from the Tampa Bay area, will be the guests of honor at Pine Shores Presbyterian Church. You'll hear Baroque compositions and straight-up jazz, and the Cypress Brass counts Bach, Gabrieli, Ewazen, Gershwin, Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas as part of their repertoire.

Hard Heart Burlesque
8 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
Tickets $37

Miss Elaine and Karma Kandlewick are here to provide all the tricks and treats. Hard Heart Burlesque's October show will have a Halloween theme to it, and it will bring showgirls, vocalists and a few Vaudeville surprises. It's a night at McCurdy's where the laughs come with a side of titillation.


Monday Night Jazz at the Cabaret
7:30 p.m. at FST’s John C. Court Cabaret, 1265 First St.

Drummer and composer Paul Gavin will bring his band to entertain the crowd at Florida Studio Theatre's intimate John C. Court Cabaret. Gavin, a graduate of the University of South Florida, is based in the Tampa Bay area, and he's kept himself busy not only by playing several local clubs but also by teaching music.


'Stay Prayed Up'
7 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court

You can be a fly on the wall for the creation of a landmark album. Lena Mae Perry and The Branchettes entered the studio to record a fully live gospel album, and the cameras stayed rolling the whole time. Watch as they navigate the complexities of recording to put their art down for posterity.


Professors Talk Music Series: Dr. Robyn Bell
10:30 a.m. at Selby Library, 1331 First St.

You won't be graded on this lecture. Robyn Bell, conductor of the Pops Orchestra and director of Instrumental Studies at State College of Florida in Bradenton, will give you a quick symposium on music at Selby Library. Bell earned a doctorate in musical arts from Boston University in 2015.

‘Point of View’ by Leymis Bolaños Wilmott
6 p.m. at Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail

Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, the artistic director of Sarasota Contemporary Dance, will hold court at Sarasota Art Museum and chat about one piece in the museum's collection that inspires her. Museum guests are encourage to ask questions, to spark discussions and to generally experience art in ways they haven't before.

Janet Williams AKA The Tennessee Tramp
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.

Don't shoot the messenger. Janet Williams is described as "middle age, trailer trash" in her McCurdys program bio, and she's brought her Southern sass and charm to comedy clubs all over the country. Williams will play her first of seven shows on Wednesday, and she'll play six more shows running through Sunday night.


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