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The best things to do in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat for April 18-24

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  • | 10:00 a.m. April 16, 2024
Eddie Alarcon and 8-year-old Leyla Alarcon head out on a free kayaking trip April 22, 2023, at Earth Day at The Bay.
Eddie Alarcon and 8-year-old Leyla Alarcon head out on a free kayaking trip April 22, 2023, at Earth Day at The Bay.
Photo by Ian Swaby
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Thursday, April 18

40th Annual Richard and Betty Burdick New Play Festival
3 p.m. at FST’s Keating Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota

The festival presents three staged readings of new works by contemporary American playwrights. This year’s selections are “How to Draw a Triangle” by Jake Brasch, “Daring Dames of the Silver Screen” by Carole J. Bufford and “The Fifth Domain” by Victor Lesniewski. Continues April 26 and May 3.

Don Winslow Book Signing
5 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 4010 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Bestselling author Don Winslow will sign copies of his new book, “City in Ruins,” which completes his trilogy about Irish and Italian mobsters during the 1980s and 1990s. Winslow will also hold a Q&A. 

The Canadian comedy troupe La Famille Goldencrust comes to the Historic Asolo Theater from April 18-22.
Image courtesy of Nicolas Descoteaux

La Famille Goldencrust
7:30 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bayshore Road, Sarasota

This Quebecois comedy duo sends up French-Canadian snowbirds with their hilarious trailer-park extravaganza. Runs through Monday.

‘It’s A Brave New World’
7:30 p.m. at SCF Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton

The SCF Bradenton Symphony Orchestra and SCF Symphonic Band play a concert inspired by composers’ journey to faraway lands, including Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9.

‘The Spitfire Grill’
7:30 p.m. at Venice Theatre’s Raymond Center, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice

Based on the film by David Lee Zlotoff, “The Spitfire Grill” is described as a folk musical in the tradition of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Brad Wages is director and Michelle Kasanofsky is music director. Runs through Sunday.

Deykyi Ronge and Alex Pelletier start as two longtime friends in Urbanite Theatre's "Westminster."
Image courtesy of Sorcha Augustine

7:30 p.m. at Urbanite Theatre, 1487 Second St., Sarasota

Directed by Urbanite Artistic Director Summer Wallace, “Westminster” tells the story of a woman who receives a rescue dog as a surprise present. The gift triggers unexpected consequences. Runs through April 28.

Friday, April 19

Suncoast Boat Show 
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota
$19; children 15 and under free

The Suncoast Boat Show, now in its 42nd year, features vessels in the water and on land such as power boats, motor yachts, center consoles and sportfishers, as well as marine products and retail items. Kids Fishing Clinics also available. Runs through Sunday.

Jazz @ Two: Fred Johnson and Friends
2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalists of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota

Jazz Club of Sarasota presents Fred Johnson and Friends. Johnson has toured with B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis and others and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest vocal jazz improvisers.

Carlos Acosta: 'On Before'
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

Carlos Acosta is visiting the U.S. for the first time since 2018 and will be performing “On Before,” the story of a doomed relationship set to a repertoire ranging from Handel to Cuban contemporary composer Omar Puente. Runs through April 20.

Capathia Jenkins joins Sarasota Orchestra April 19-20 for "She's Got Soul."
Courtesy image

'She’s Got Soul'
7:30 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
From $41

Vocal powerhouse Capathia Jenkins joins Sarasota Orchestra for an evening of soulful hits from Adele, Toni Braxton, Chaka Khan and more. Runs through April 20. 

Saturday, April 20

St. Armands Circle Cars and Coffee
8-10 a.m. at Lynches Pub and Grub, 19 N. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands Key
Call 388-5550.

Join Lynches for Cars and coffee on St. Armands Circle. Free coffee from Lynches Pub. No need to register. All makes and models are welcome.

Zakylee Elliott, Zynylah Elliott, Nikolas Cotirla, Ava Colindres and Nikolas Cotirla learn about composting at the Sunshine Community Compost station at The Bay's Earth Day celebrations on April 22, 2023.
Photo by Ian Swaby

Earth Day at The Bay 
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Common Ground, The Bay Park, 1055 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota

A series of family friendly activities showcases nature, art and science. Activities include exploration of fruits and vegetables and metamorphosis by the Sarasota Butterfly Club, Earth Day science experiments and the city of Sarasota Earth Day Celebration Tabling Event. 

Grand Opening of Waterside Park
Noon to 3 p.m. at Waterside Park, 7301 Island Cove Terrace, Lakewood Ranch

Join Lakewood Ranch Communities for the official grand opening of the park. The event on the 8-acre island community park on the shore of Kingfisher Lake will include local food trucks, live music by the Jesse Daniels Band, a photo booth, caricaturists, inflatables, face painting and more activities for kids. The park includes a splash pad, volleyball courts, an event lawn, walking paths, exercise pods, hammocks, pavilions and restrooms, and is connected to Waterside Place by a pedestrian bridge.

Spring Concert
7 p.m. at St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, 40 N. Adams Drive, St. Armands Key
$25; students free
Call 388-1234.

Join Maestro Andi Zdrava and the Illyrian Symphony Orchestra for the last concert of the season. It will feature pianist Youngqiu Liu, winner of the Carles and Sofia International Piano Competition, who will perform Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor K466, M. Treni Gavotte and Intermezzo (Premiere) and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 5. 

Andrea de Vitis
7:30 p.m. at Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota
$37- $41

Guitar Sarasota presents Italian guitarist Andrea de Vitis, who has won more than 40 prizes in international competitions.

‘Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul’
7:30 p.m. at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota

Sheldon Rhoden reprises the title role in “Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul,” which was written, adapted and is being directed by WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. Gaye was a trailblazer in Black music with musical partner Tammi Terrell at Motown before touching a nation with haunting solo ballads like “What’s Going On?” that still resonate today. Runs through May 26.

Sunday, April 21

Sarasota's Survivors in Sync 200-meter dragon boat team stretches before a race at the Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival on July 10, 2021, at Nathan Benderson Park.
Photo by Ryan Kohn

International Dragon Boat Festival
6 a.m. at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

The 2024 Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival, hosted by Nathan Benderson Park, is a chance for both established and entry-level dragon boat teams to compete against clubs from around the world. Sport division boats will compete in 200-meter, 500-meter and 2K races, while Community division boats will compete in 3x500-meter races. On-site parking is $10. 

Suncoast Concert Band
3 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota

The Suncoast Concert Band wraps its 91st season with a program that includes “Cumberland Cross,” “Toward a New Life” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Reserve your tickets in advance.

Monday, April 22

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

The Jazz Club of Sarasota presents The Thomas Carabisi Quintet. Doors open at 6:30 for dinner and drinks.

Tuesday, April 23

An opening reception for Ania Mohrbacher’s "Nature and Fairy Tales" will be held at Fogartyville Tuesday, April 23.
Courtesy image

Opening reception for ‘Nature and Fairy Tales’
5:30 p.m. at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota

Fogartyville hosts a reception for “Nature and Fairy Tales,” Ania Mohrbacher’s exhibition of watercolor paintings inspired by Gulf Coast flora and fauna and classic characters and themes from fairy tales.

Wednesday, April 24

'Fantastic Voyage'
5:30 p.m. at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
From $47

Christopher Confessore conducts the Sarasota Orchestra in a musical journey featuring Strauss’ “Blue Danube” and works by Puccini and Elgar. Concertmaster Daniel Jordan marks 25 years with the orchestra with a performance of Johan Svendsen’s “Romance for Violin and Orchestra.”

Sarasota Bay Chamber Orchestra Concert
7 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota

The program includes “Sinfonia in G Major” by Johann Stamitz, “Quiet City” by Aaron Copland, Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok and “A Downland Suite” by John Ireland.


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