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The best things to do in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat for July 11-17

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  • | 10:00 a.m. July 9, 2024
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will host "Make Room for Me," its annual Stage of Discovery student showcase, on July 12-14.
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will host "Make Room for Me," its annual Stage of Discovery student showcase, on July 12-14.
Image courtesy of Sorcha Augustine
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Thursday, July 11

Recreational Dance for Tweens and Teens
10 a.m. at the Lakewood Ranch Library, 16410 Rangeland Parkway, Lakewood Ranch

The Lakewood Ranch Library hosts a free Recreational Dance for Tweens and Teens event. Join others on the library rooftop and learn how to move to the beat. Jazz, Latin, hip-hop and more styles of dance are taught. The class is open to all dancing abilities and no dance experience is needed. Aimed for kids 8-18.

Jazz Thursday at SAM
5:30 p.m. at Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Up to $20

The Jazz Club of Sarasota teams up with the Sarasota Art Museum for an evening of jazz on the museum’s Michael and Marci Klein Plaza. Watch Darcie Allen and the Five Points Quintet and enjoy extended hours in the museum’s galleries, shop and bistro.

"Rhinestone Cowgirls" runs through Aug. 4 at FST's Goldstein Cabaret.
Courtesy image

‘Rhinestone Cowgirls’
7:30 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" runs through Aug. 25 at FST's Court Cabaret.
Image courtesy of John Jones

‘The Music of Laurel Canyon’
7:30 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’
8 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 12

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

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.

"All Play," the annual finale performance of the Sarasota Improv Festival, shown in 2023.
Courtesy image

14th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival
6 p.m. at Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota
General admission $10; two-day festival passes $75; Friday $49; Saturday $59

Florida Studio Theatre’s downtown Sarasota campus becomes a hotbed of improvisational comedy as visiting acts join the resident FST Improv for a jamboree of laughter and unexpected fun. Chile’s Lospleimovil troupe makes its debut at this year’s festival, which will be headlined by Impro Theatre, a Los Angeles group that gins up full-length plays inspired by the world’s greatest playwrights. Returning are fan favorites Available Cupholders, Big Bang Improv, Dad's Garage, Parallelogramophonograph and North Coast. Don’t miss the grand finale, when more than 80 festival artists unite on FST’s Gompertz Theatre stage for an unscripted show. Runs through July 13. 

Movie in the Park
7 p.m. at Waterside Park, 7301 Island Cove Terrace, Lakewood Ranch

"A Bug's Life" is the feature in the monthly event, Movie in the Park. Besides the family-friendly movie, the event includes concessions from We B’ Poppin Popcorn and Kettle Corn, inflatables for the kids and a free Siesta Pop for the first 300 attendees. The event is sponsored by Grace Community Church. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will host "Make Room for Me," its annual Stage of Discovery student showcase, on July 12-14.
Image courtesy of Sorcha Augustine

Stage of Discovery Showcase: 'Make Room for Me' 
7:30 p.m. at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota

“Make Room for Me” showcases students in Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s seventh annual summer musical theater program. The show represents the culmination of WBTT students’ five-week experience developing their musical, writing and dramatic talents. The student performances will be accompanied by a live band led by WBTT Resident Music Director Matthew McKinnon. Runs through July 14.

Saturday, July 13

Image via Paolo Villanueva

Taylor Swift Eras Party
2-4 p.m. at the Braden River Library, 4915 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton

The Braden River Library presents a Taylor Swift Eras Party for those ages 10 and up. It's a call to all Swifties. Join the crowd for an afternoon of all things Taylor Swift. The event includes crafts and activities, light snacks and drinks.

Sunday, July 14

Clyde Butcher: Nature Through the Lens
10 a.m. at Selby Gardens Historic Spanish Point campus, 401 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis

If you haven’t seen the breathtaking exhibition of photographer Clyde Butcher at Historic Spanish Point, why not take a morning drive to the 30-acre compound overlooking Little Sarasota Bay. Dotted throughout the campus are large-scale prints of Butcher’s black-and-white photographs of Florida’s flora and fauna. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, July 15

Jazz Jam SRQ
5:30 p.m. at Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota

Jazz Club of Sarasota presents an open mic jam session for professionals and amateurs alike sure to be enjoyed by the listening audience.

Newish Jewish Plays: 'Dancing on Glass'
7 p.m. The Players Centre, Studio 1130, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
$12; $30 for three-play series

If it’s summer in Sarasota, it’s time for play readings. The Sarasota Jewish Theatre enters the derby with Newish Jewish Plays, a three-play series on three consecutive Mondays. First out of the gate is Gary Morgenstein’s “Dancing on Glass,” about the firing of a Jewish teacher of Israeli-Palestinian studies for not being “balanced enough.” This ripped-from-the-headlines production will be directed by Blake Walton, managing director of SaraSolo Productions and an award-winning multi-hyphenate performer. 

Wednesday, July 17

Movie Matinee
1 p.m. at The Paradise Center, 546 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key

Enjoy some fresh popcorn during a free showing of "The Highwaymen." In this 2019 film, two former Texas rangers come out of retirement to apprehend the two famous outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde. 


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