An ogre sings outdoors in ‘Shrek’
“Shrek, the Musical,” the stage version of the hit animated film, is usually produced with a cast of roughly 30 playing everyone from the green ogre named Shrek to dozens of fairy tale characters. All of them will be on hand, but in a different way in a new outdoor production presented by the Dingbat Theatre Project. All the actors play multiple characters and manipulate a variety of puppets. It is staged by founder Luke Manual McFatrich (he also plays Dragon) and is choreographed by Brian Finnerty (who also plays Lord Farquaad). Cory Woomert plays Shrek, Alyssa Goudy is Princess Fiona and Derric Gobourne Jr. is Donkey. The cast also includes Noelia Altamirano, Amanda Heisey and Jamie Molina. Performances are outdoors at the Bazaar on Apricot and Lime, 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and May 13-15. Tickets are $25 or $50 for blanket seating for up to four people. For more information: dingbattheatre.org
Orchestra finds its ‘Moments in Time’
New and old music blend in the Sarasota Orchestra’s latest chamber program “Moments in Time,” which will be performed live today through Sunday in Holley Hall and then presented for home streaming May 13-18. The season finale features Jeffrey Kahane, artistic advisor to the orchestra, playing Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 14. It also includes Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte” for string orchestra, and Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Op. 40. This weekend, you can also enjoy home streaming of the “Latin Grooves” concert featuring music from Spain and Latin America and such hits as “The Girl From Ipanema,” “Tico-Tico” and “La Bamba,” Argentina tangos by Astor Piazzolla and selections from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen.” Video is available through Tuesday. For ticket information: 941-953-3434; sarasotaorchestra.org.
Talking books online
Book lovers have a chance to discuss new and recent work with online programs through Bookstore1Sarasota. At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Mysteries to Die For Book Club, led by Elsie Souza, discusses Flynn Berry’s “Northern Spy.” A fee of $33 is required for participation and includes a copy of the book. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the store marks the launch of Mary Alice Monroe’s new book “The Summer of Lost and Found,” which is officially published May 11. She will be interviewed by Elin Hilderbrand. The event is free, but the store offers an option for a $7 charge to defray costs. Hilderbrand has her own novel, “Golden Girl” to be published June 1. And, at 2 p.m. Wednesday the Poetry Book Club, led by Doug Knowlton, will discuss Ellen Bass’ “Indigo.” For more information: Sarasotabooks.com
Photographer tackles big issues
Ringling College highlights the work of one of its graduates, Curtis Anderson, in the exhibit “The Story I’ll Tell: The Mixtape.” Anderson, who earned a degree in advertising design, is now a portrait photographer. His show looks at the intersectionality of being Black and Christian and asks the question: “How do I exist in my skin and as a follower of Jesus.” The exhibit features several mini-portraits as it focuses on nationalism, race, identity, unite and life in Jesus Christ. The show is on display at the Patricia Thompson Gallery 2621 Bradenton Road, Sarasota through July 31. Appointments are required. 941-359-7563 or send an email to [email protected].
Folk Legacy Trio at Venice Theatre
There are pop standards and then there are folk standards, the kind performed by the Folk Legacy Trio in “The Great American Folksong Book” this weekend at Venice Theatre. The group features George Grove, a longtime member of the Kingston Trio; Rick Dougherty, a member of the Limeliters and Kingston Trio, and Jerry Siggins, the former lead singer of The Diamonds. They perform hits by The Weavers, The Kingston Trio, The Limeliters, Peter Paul & Mary, The New Christy Minstrels, The Brothers Four, Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel and John Denver. Performances are in the Jervey Theatre, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and Monday and 7;30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $35. Seating is socially distanced and masks are required. 941-488-1115; venicetheatre.org
Opera at home
The Sarasota Opera’s spring season has come to an end with live performances of two rarely seen one-act works. But opera lovers can still see them via home streaming of Rossini’s “Il signor Bruschino” and Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.” both productions were recorded during performances inside the Sarasota Opera House. They are now available for viewing at home through May 26. For ticket information: 941-328-1300; https://tickets.sarasotaopera.org/events
Musicals at the Music Compound
During her many years at the Sarasota Academy of the Arts, Julie Rohr McHugh never did anything small. At the Music Compound, she is bringing together 45 students for two different musicals in the midst of a pandemic. Middle and high school show choir/musical theater class students present “42nd Street¨ at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, at 1751 Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota. The following weekend, the kindergarten through fifth grade musical theater class will present “Seussical Jr.” Tickets for “42nd Street” are $15-$25. Tickets for “Seussical” are $10-$15. For more information: 941-379-9100; musicompound.com/musical
Framing is the art
Artist Krystiano Da Costa showcases his unique style of framing in a show this weekend at the Wyland Galleries, 314 John Ringling Blvd., on St,. Armands Circle. Da Costa grew up in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro and became a scenic artist at Walt Disney World. Since then he has developed art and furniture that combines natural elements with European textures. He has recently been exploring fine art on metal. You can see what he has produced Friday and Saturday. For more information: 941-388-5331; wylandgalleriesofthefloridakeys.com/wyland-gallery-sarasota-2
Women of the Book
Women writers are the focus of May’s selections for the People of the Book series presented by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. There are three book talks scheduled Monday through Wednesday. Pamela Nadell will discuss her book “America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today” at 2 p.m. Monday. Janice Kaplan talks about her book “The Genius of Women” at 2 p.m. Tuesday and Bill Haltom discussing “Why Can’t Mother Vote?” at 7 p.m. Wednesday. To register: jfedsrq.org/books
Roy Lichtenstein meets Monet at Selby
Art and nature combine once again in the colorful new Selby Botanical Gardens exhibit, “Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop.” Continuing through June 27, it features Lichtenstein’s takes on garden paintings by Claude Monet, and both artists are represented around Selby with a variety of outdoor exhibits and plant displays in the conservatory. Previous artists featured in the Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which began in 2015, include Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol and Paul Gauguin. Selby is at 1534 Mound St., Sarasota. For more information: 941-366-5731; selby.org
WBTT rides the ‘Pipeline’
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents a video production of Dominique Morisseau’s timely drama “Pipeline” which is available fhome streaming through May 23. The play was filmed inside the theater without an audience. It is about an inner-city public high school teacher whose son is threatened with expulsion from an elite private boarding school after he attacks a teacher. It features some new and familiar WBTT performers and is directed by L. Peter Callender. Tickets are $20. This weekend, in the theater’s parking lot, WBTT opens the musical revue “Sistas in the Name of Soul,” featuring Ariel Blue, Syreeta Shontée, Delores McKenzie and Stephanie Zandra performing hits by Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Gladys Knight and more legendary female singers. It runs through June 6 at 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota. Tickets are $40. For more information on both: 941-366-1505; westcoastblacktheatre.org.
Best of Ringling College shows
Each year, Ringling College highlights outstanding work produced by its students in the Best of Ringling showcase and the annual Senior Thesis Exhibition. Because of the pandemic, they are once again available for viewing online this year. The Best of Ringling show features work in all disciplines, from computer animation to fine arts. It opens at 5 p.m. today, with an awards ceremony at ringling.edu. The Senior Thesis Exhibition will be be published at 4 p.m. Friday at ringlingthesis.com. It includes wall-based virtual exhibitions and one-time-only computer animation and film screenings. For more details contact [email protected].
A musical look at marriage
Two of the busier local community theater actors are living out married life together in the Manatee Players production of “I Do! I Do!” Sarah Cassidy and Chris Caswell depict the years-long relationship between Agnes and Michael, from wedding day through child-rearing into retirement and old age. The musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (creators of “The Fantasticks”) includes the song “My Cup Runneth Over.” “I Do! I Do!” runs through May 9 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave., West, Bradenton. For ticket information: 941-748-5875; manateeperformingartscenter.com
Cabaret shows blossom at FST
It’s almost like normal times at Florida Studio Theatre where two new cabaret productions are running. But instead of performances in the company’s two cabaret spaces, they are being presented in mainstage theaters to allow for social distancing. Singer Carole J. Bufford is holding forth with her latest show “Vintage POP!” in the Keating Theatre, where she has been extended through May 9. Her show features pop hits that cover most of the 20th century. And in the larger Gompertz Theatre, Nygel Robinson, Madlyn McHugh and Michael Maricondi star in “Three Pianos,” a tribute to pianist-singer-composers, like Elton John, Billy Joel, Carole King and Sara Bareilles. The show has been extended through May 2. For tickets: 941-366-9000; floridastudiotheatre.org
Blue music at Sarasota Art Museum
You can take a break from the art work to enjoy some free music in the plaza at the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Ariel Blue, a favorite performer at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, will be singing a variety of music, from jazz, pop, soul and classic R&B from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information: sarasotaartmuseum.org
Ringling presents varied exhibitions
There’s a lot of recently added artwork to experience at The Ringling, led by “Graphic Awakening,” an exhibition of work by Saitō Kiyoshi. It is comprised of recent donations of Saitō works from Charles and Robyn Citrin to The Ringling and other collections. It is the first comprehensive exhibit of the artist’s work in the United States and focuses on prints created in the 1940s and 1950s. After World War II, Saitō became one of the main figures of the modernist Creative Print movement. This new exhibit joins three others that recently opened: “Frans Hals: Detecting a Decade,” “Larry Rivers: Boston Massacre” and pieces by abstract artist Sam Gilliam. 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota. For more information: ringling.org
An outdoor Leonard Bernstein tribute
Leonard Bernstein had a love affair with New York. He led the New York Philharmonic and the city was the subject or backdrop for several of his Broadway musicals. St. Petersburg’s freeFall Theatre explores that relationship in the revue “Leonard Bernstein’s New York,” which is presented as a drive-in concert, with patrons watching from their cars. It features songs from “West Side Story,” “On the Town,” “Wonderful Town” and more. Artistic Director Eric Davis directs Emanuel Carrero and Julia Rifino. Michael Raabe is the musical director. “Leonard Bernstein’s New York” runs Friday through May 9 at 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $75-$99 per car (with up to four occupants). Solo tickets are also available for $35 the day prior to each performance. 941-727-498-5230; freefalltheatre.com
Jay Handelman, arts editor and theater critic, has been an editor and writer at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune since 1984. Read more of his arts and entertainment stories. And please support local journalism by subscribing to the Herald-Tribune.