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The best things to do in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat for March 14-20

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  • | 10:00 a.m. March 12, 2024
Catara Brae plays a woman accused of murdering a doctor in Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's original musical "Ruby," which runs through April 7.
Catara Brae plays a woman accused of murdering a doctor in Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's original musical "Ruby," which runs through April 7.
Image courtesy of Sorcha Augustine
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Thursday, March 14

Art Center Sarasota Opening Reception 
6-8 p.m. at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Celebrate the opening of four exhibits at Art Center Sarasota. The artworks on display and for sale are Natasha Dikareva’s ceramic sculptures, Angela Pilgrim’s prints, paintings and mixed-media pieces, and Michael Kinsey’s photographs. The fourth show, “Great Artists Steal,” is an open, juried exhibit in which works are inspired by famous artists and artworks. Runs through April 20.

‘Born with Teeth’
8 p.m. at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

A tale of rival playwrights Shakespeare and Marlowe, “Born with Teeth” offers an alternative to the conventional wisdom with plenty of court intrigue thrown in for good measure. Runs through March 29.

7:30 p.m. at Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton

Rarely produced by a community theater, the Manatee Players' production of the musical “Parade” features a cast of 24 characters. Directed by Scott Keys, it is based on the real-life story of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager accused of murdering a young female employee. Runs through Sunday.

One of Verdi's lesser-performed operas, "Luisa Miller" plays at the Sarasota Opera through March 24.
Image courtesy of Rod Millington

‘Luisa Miller’
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

One of Verdi’s lesser performed operas, “Luisa Miller” returns to the Sarasota Opera for the first time in 25 years. The tale of forbidden love that leads to tragedy is filled with unforgettable arias and passionate ensembles. Runs through March 24. 

7:30 p.m. at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota

WBTT's homegrown musical "Ruby" tells what happened when the black-owned Pittsburgh Courier sent Nora Zeale Hurston to Live Oak, Florida, to report on a prosperous black woman accused of murdering a white doctor. "Ruby" is directed by WBTT founder Nate Jacobs, who wrote the book with his brother, Michael Jacobs, who wrote lyrics. Through April 7. 

Hermitage Sunsets @ Nathan Benderson Park: More Than Music
6:30 p.m. at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

Hermitage alumna Kamala Sankaram, an opera composer, and 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize finalist and Guggenheim Fellow Etienne Charles, a trumpeter and composer, come together for a memorable evening exploring different cultures and musical styles. 

Sarasota Contemporary Dance will perform "Dance Makers" March 15-16 at the Jane B. Cook Theatre.
Image courtesy of Sorcha Augustine

‘Dance Makers’
7 p.m. at Jane B. Cook Theater, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Sarasota Contemporary Dance presents a fusion of styles with Frances Bradley-Vilier's tap, Courtney Jones' jazz and Andrea Ward’s interdisciplinary work. The program closes with Vincent Hardy’s “Justice,” a triumphant piece that explores the challenges of building equality in a world recovering from a pandemic. Runs through Saturday. 

Dennis Blair
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

An 18-year veteran of George Carlin’s tour, Blair has performed on “The Tonight Show” and at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Runs through Sunday.

Pianist Michelle Cann will be the soloist for Sarasota Orchestra's Gershwin concert, "Rhapsody in Blue @ 100."
Courtesy image

Masterworks 6: Rhapsody in Blue @ 100 
7:30 p.m. at Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St W., Bradenton
From $35

It’s a double anniversary as the Sarasota Orchestra celebrates its 75th birthday while honoring the centennial of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Creative Partner Peter Oundjian conducts the orchestra as it performs a classic of American music with pianist Michelle Cann, who also plays Florence Price’s Piano Concerto. Moves to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall March 15-17.

Neil Berg’s 114 Years of Broadway
7:30 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Neil Berg’s annual tribute show returns with some of Broadway’s brightest stars singing songs from the Great White Way’s most beloved musicals. 

Strings Con Brio Chamber Ensemble
7:30 p.m. a Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota

Conducted by Kenneth Bowermeister, Strings Con Brio Chamber Ensemble will play pieces from the Baroque era and Broadway medleys from “The King and I” and Disney’s “Aladdin.” Andi Zdrava, conductor of the Illyrian Symphony Orchestra, is featured as a pianist in Ernest Bloch's Concerto Gross No. 1 for Strings and Piano Obbligato.

Friday, March 15

Ron and Sandy Marchini, and Donna and Don Fraser on March 17, 2023, at Shamrock Pub's St. Patrick’s Day party.
Photo by Ian Swaby

Shamrock Sessions: St. Patrick’s Day Weekend
Noon at Shamrock Pub, 2257 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

Shamrock Pub is switching its annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party to a cozy three days indoors this year — "just craic and shenanigans all weekend." Live music from piper Mark MacPhee beings at noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hobson's Choice BBQ will be serving corned beef and cabbage Saturday and Sunday. 

10-year-old Kylie Ung, 12-year-old Isaiah Edwards, 11-year-old Isariah Edwards and 13-year-old Isaialyah Edwards at the 2023 Sarasota County Fair.
Photo by Ian Swaby

Sarasota County Fair
5-11 p.m. at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
$12; children ages 6-12, adults 55 and older, and military $6; children 5 and under free

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sarasota hosting a fair. Enjoy 10 days of events and fun activities, including rides, crafts, horticulture, science fair, livestock and auction. The benefits of this annual event go to promoting the 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Runs through March 24.

‘Deceit Outwitted’
7:30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

In “Deceit Outwitted,” making its Sarasota Opera premiere, the peasant Filippo (David Walton) prays his daughter Sandrina (Yulan Piao) will marry the wealthy farmer Nencio (William Davenport) rather than her true love, who is poor. All is resolved through comic twists that include disguises in Hadyn’s lesser-known comedic opera. Runs through March 23. 

‘Intimate Apparel’
8 p.m. at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Hermitage Fellow Lynn Nottage, “Intimate Apparel” tells the story of an early 20th-century Black seamstress longing for love. Her correspondence leads to a marriage proposal from a foreign stranger while she is drawn to a Jewish shop owner who’s bound to another. Runs through April 18. 

Saturday, March 16

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

Join for Cars and Coffee on St. Armands Circle. Free coffee from Lynches Pub as part of this free event. No need to register. All makes and models are welcome.

Josephine Elliott found gold with Hallie and Lily Gray at Children's Garden's Leprechaun Hunt on March 13, 2021.
Photo by Harry Sayer

Annual Leprechaun Hunt
10 a.m. at The Children's Garden and Art Center, 1670 10th Way, Sarasota
Free with admission

Leprechauns have hidden treasure around the garden. Visitors can hunt for and find the gold and trade it in to receive lucky leprechaun loot.

Art in the Park
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at University Park Country Club, 7671 The Park Blvd, University Park

More than 60 artists will exhibit more than 160 works of art in painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed media at the 24th annual Art in the Park event that is free and open to the public. Continues Sunday.

Downtown Sarasota Fine Art and Craft Fair
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1788 Main St., Sarasota

This festival brings together sculptures, paintings, jewelry, photography and ceramics. Discover an array oaf artisanal works, created by some of the most talented artists and crafters in the country. The fair also includes a green market filled with eco-friendly products. 

St. Patrick's Shamrock Bar Crawl 
3-9 p.m. at Raffurty's, 1888 Main St., Sarasota
$19.99; VIP $29.99

Registration includes a welcome shot, bar crawl koozie, discounted drink specials at participating bars, Bar Crawl USA lanyard and bar crawl map. The fun kicks off and finishes at Raffurty's and includes stops at Office Bar SRQ, Evie's Tavern, Molly's Pub, Joe's on Main and Brewster's.

Yesterdayze is performing at the Town Center Green for the Savor the Sounds concert series.
Courtesy image

Savor the Sounds Concert Series
5:30-7 p.m at the Town Center Green, 600 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key
$25; $35 at the door
Call 383-2466.

Yesterdayze will be performing in the Savor the Sounds concert series. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Mike Sales will be performing from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. as people come in. VIP tickets for a table of eight are available for $250 for advance purchase only. Otherwise, people are welcome to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets. Tickets are available at the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, 5390 Gulf of Mexico Drive Suite 102. 

St. Patrick's Day Block Party
8 p.m. to midnight at Gator Club, 1490 Main St., Sarasota

This annual event is headlined by 22N, "the ultimate party band." Enjoy live music, food trucks and more. 

Roy Book Binder
8 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota

Blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Roy Book Binder will mesmerize you with his virtuoso finger-picking and storytelling. He will be joined by Sarasota’s Pedro Arevalo, who plays electric and contrabass, resonator guitar, lap steel guitar, Puerto Rican cuatro and electric slide guitar.

FST Improv Presents ‘Life’s A Beach’
8:30 p.m. at FST’s Bowne’s Lab, 1265 First St., Sarasota

Whether you’re a snowbird or a native, you’ll get a kick out of FST Improv’s show poking fun at the rituals of life in Sarasota. Leave your surfboards and fishing rods at home, but dress the part of Florida Man (or Woman) to liven up the evening. Runs Saturdays through March 23. 

Sunday, March 17

St. Paddy’s Day Bash
11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Clancy's Irish Sports Pub, 6218 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

The Eric Von Band, the Irish Dance Academy of Sarasota and West Bound & Down are among the performers who will present continuous entertainment under the tent. Traditional Irish fare such as corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and beer will be for sale.

St. Patrick’s Day at Main Street
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Lakewood Ranch Main Street

McGrath’s Irish Ale House and Ed’s Tavern go green with a St. Patty's block party. Enjoy Irish food and beer, dance performances and kids activities.

Celtic Pops
3 p.m. at Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota

Directed by Robyn Bell, the Pops Orchestra will be accompanied during the course of the show by Scottish bagpipes, soprano Johanna Davis, and bold Irish and Highland dancers. The show continues at 7:30 p.m. Monday at SCF Neel Performing Arts Center.

The Magic of Pop, Rock and Broadway Concert
7 p.m at at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key
$36; VIP $75
Call 383-3428.

Temple Beth Israel presents the sixth annual Florence Katz Memorial Concert. The concert will feature music from Abba, Leonard Cohen, Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Simon and Garfunkel, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Lowe. Maury Azerad will sing songs by Billy Joel. This concert is in memory of Florence Katz, Judy Katz Vigder and Robert Vigder. Reservations are required by noon on March 15. 

‘Belles of Broadway’
7:30 p.m. at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe young artist Delores McKenzie pays tribute to some of the iconic women of Broadway with her renditions of hits from “Wicked,” “Chicago,” “Hamilton,” “Waitress: The Musical” and many more. Continues Monday. 

Monday, March 18

Paul Taylor Dance Company
Courtesy image

Paul Taylor Dance Company
7 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to the Van Wezel with Taylor’s iconic “Promethean Fire,” choreographed after 9/11. Also on the program is Taylor’s "Gossamer Gallants,” where dancers perform as insects battling for supremacy, and the Florida premiere of "Echo," from the company's resident choreographer Lauren Lovette.

Wednesday, March 20

‘Women of Resistance' Opening Reception
5-7 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota

Come celebrate the women who helped defeat the Nazis during World War II at this exhibition of paintings by Vicki Chelf. Among the female heroes portrayed in Chelf’s paintings are Nancy Wake, Josephine Baker, Hedy Lamarr and Lee Miller. An artist talk is followed by a performance from Ballet Endedans and live music. Exhibit runs through April 14.


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