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The best things to do in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat for July 4-10

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  • | 10:00 a.m. July 2, 2024
Ken Ludwig's wartime romance "Dear Jack, Dear Louise" runs through Aug. 11 at FST's Keating Theatre.
Ken Ludwig's wartime romance "Dear Jack, Dear Louise" runs through Aug. 11 at FST's Keating Theatre.
Image courtesy of John Jones
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Thursday, July 4

‘Rhinestone Cowgirls’
7 p.m. at FST’s Goldstein Cabaret, 1239 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota

Created by Nancy Allen Productions, this musical tribute to some of the first ladies of country features such classics as Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” and Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name.” Runs through Aug. 4. 

‘The Music of Laurel Canyon’
7 p.m. at FST’s Court Cabaret,1265 First St., Sarasota

If you know, you know. But not everyone knows about Laurel Canyon, the neighborhood above West Hollywood's Sunset Strip that became home to folk musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young and The Mamas and the Papas. Runs through Aug. 25. 

‘Dear Jack, Dear Louise’
7 p.m. at FST’s Keating Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota

Acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig tells the story of his parents’ courtship during World War II. The play follows U.S. Army Capt. Jack Ludwig, a military doctor stationed in Oregon, who begins a life-changing pen-pal relationship with Louise Rabiner, an aspiring actress living in the Big Apple. Runs through Aug. 11.

Friday, July 5

The Summer Circus Spectacular runs at The Ringling's Historic Asolo Theater through Aug. 17.
Courtesy image

Summer Circus Spectacular
11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota
$20; kids $15

If you’ve never seen a performance in The Ringling’s jewelbox venue, the Historic Asolo Theater, here’s your chance. Presided over by Ringmaster Jared Walker, the Summer Circus Spectacular includes contortionist Uranbileg Angarag, acrobatic hand balancers The Bello Sisters, hair hang artist Camille Langlois, slack wire performer Antino Pansa and clown Renaldo, a veteran of the Big Apple Circus. Runs through Aug. 17.

Michael Robinson's inventive quilts will be on display during his July 5-8 residency at Art Ovation Hotel.
Courtesy image

Opening reception for 'Global Rhythms' quilt exhibit
5-7 p.m. at Art Ovation Hotel, 1255 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota

Bradenton artist Michael R. Stevenson brings his bold quilts to the Art Ovation Hotel for a four-day residency. Stevenson comes from four generations of quilters, but did not take up his textile art until retiring as a professor. His meticulously crafted quilts incorporate pieces he has collected from his travels over the years. Following the opening reception, Stevenson will be in residency each day from 4 to 8 p.m. through July 8.

Music on Main
6-9 p.m. at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch

Frisson is the featured band at the monthly concert and block party series. Proceeds benefit MVP Sports' Feel Good Fund. The event includes local food vendors, beer trucks, sponsor booths, and games and activities for the kids (presented by Grace Community Church).

Classic Movies at the Opera House: ‘On the Waterfront’
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

Escape the summer heat with an air-conditioned screening of Elia Kazan’s classic film “On the Waterfront” at the Sarasota Opera House. The film’s stars, Marlon Brando and Eve Marie Saint, look different on the big screen than they do if you stream the gritty tale on your laptop. The famous words, “I coulda been a contender” take on a whole new meaning. 

Saturday, July 6

"Radical Clay," an exhibition of female Japanese ceramic artists, opens at The Ringling on Saturday, July 6.
Courtesy image

‘Radical Clay’ 
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Ringling Art Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota
Free with admission

Like women in other parts of the world, Japanese female artists have historically faced opposition to pursuing careers. “Radical Clay,” an exhibition of 41 ceramic sculptures by 36 contemporary artists, includes the works of veterans such as Mishima Kimiyo and Tsuboi Asuka and relative newcomers Mori Aya and Kawaura Saki. The show is drawn from the collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz. 

Hot Dog Day 
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hamlet's Eatery, 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota

Enjoy a wide variety of hot dog toppings, with meat and vegan hot dogs, and listen to live music, as Hamlet's Eatery celebrates Hot Dog Day. 

Food Truck Festival
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota

Celebrate the holiday with the Suncoast's Largest Food Truck Festival, which features more than 60 food trucks, trailers and pop-up vendors. 

‘Freedom The Musical’
7:30 p.m. at FST’s Bowne’s Lab, 1265 First St., Sarasota

Feeling patriotic but looking for a laugh? Florida Studio Theatre Improv explores "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Laughter" in this one-night only performance that promises to reveal the secret history of the American Revolution. 

Sunday, July 7

HD at the Opera House: ‘The Sleeping Beauty’
1:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

Watch a film of the Royal Ballet’s timeless production of “The Sleeping Beauty,” the enduring collaboration between composer Tchaikovsky and choreographer Petipa starring Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov. The fairy tale-inspired ballet is accompanied by the orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Koen Kessels. 


Monday, July 8

The Sarasota Players New Play Festival
7:30 p.m. at 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130, Sarasota

Not only is Sarasota a hotbed of live theater, it’s an incubator for playwriting, especially during the steamy summer months. For more than two decades, the Sarasota Players has hosted its new play festival, a week of readings of never-heard-before works with local directors and actors. Playwrights compete for the opportunity to have their plays produced with full sets, costumes, lighting and sound. Runs through July 12. 

Wednesday, July 10

Jazz Happy Hour
6 p.m. at Geldbart Auditorium, Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota
Free with reservation

The Sarasota Music Archive presents the Kevin Celebi Septet, “Hamonic Sanity.” Light refreshments are available.

Steve Hytner
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

Film and TV actor Steve Hytner brings his considerable talents to stand-up comedy in this special one-night show. Hytner is well-known to TV sitcom fans for his appearances in “Seinfeld,” “Modern Family,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and many other hits. Hytner has also appeared on the big screen in films such as “Forces of Nature,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “The Haunted Mansion." 


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