Arts & Entertainment
February 8, 2024 at 1:59 p.m.
The Venice Concert Band presents “Have Passport, Will Travel” on Monday, February 19 at 7pm at the Venice Performing Arts Center, One Indian Avenue, Venice. This internationally inspired program will take you on a whirlwind tour and you will hear the symphonic sounds of many different cultures from Britain to Italy, France, Japan, and Cuba. Thailand’s stop will be a medley from “The King and I”. Tickets are available for online purchases at VeniceConcertBand.com. Tickets may also be obtained the night of the concert at the box office of the Venice Performing Arts Center for $14 cash purchases only. Pictured here is artistic director and conductor Bob Miller.
Concert in the Park
On the second and fourth Fridays of the month, Venice Mainstreet presents Concert in the Park from 7 to 9pm. The concerts are free and open to the public. Bring your own seating. The scheduled performer for the Friday, February 9th concert is the Seamus McCarthy Band. On Friday, February 23 Bridget Phillips will be on stage. Go to visitvenicefl.org for more information.
Winter Concert Series
Charlotte County Libraries & History will host four quality concerts at three locations this winter. The first concert will be Russian Duo on Saturday, February 10 at 5pm at the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library, 401 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda. Russian Duo is an international collaboration with Oleg Kruglyakov and Terry Boyarsky on balalaika and piano, with an eclectic repertoire of Russian folk music, romances, and classical gypsy melodies. David Pedraza, a violist who has performed at the White House & the Kennedy Center, will present classical pieces on Thursday, March 7, 6pm, at the Port Charlotte Library, 2280 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte. Registration required by calling 941•764•5562. On Friday, March 8 at 5pm, Emily Ann Thompson and her husband Kelly, perform Celtic fiddle music at the Port Charlotte Library, 2280 Aaron Street, Pt. Charlotte. Registration required by calling 941•764•5562. Living by the Stream, a creative mix of violin, guitar & vocals, presents various styles of music, including jazz, folk, bluegrass & pop, at the Tringali Community Center, 3460 N. Access Road, on Saturday, March 30 at 11am. Concerts are free, and everyone is welcome.
Artist Colony Dinnertime Concert is Rescheduled !!!
Due to the cold weather on Tuesday, February 13, our Dinnertime Concert was cancelled and has been rescheduled. Our Artists will gather at Pioneer Plaza, 325 W. Dearborn Street. Wednesday February 21st from 10-3pm. In addition to the artists, the Artist Colony Ensemble will perform their Concert Program with guest musicians at 1pm. Bring your chairs and refreshments. Come early and visit with our Artists. The Ensemble will entertain you with a mix of music including classical, jazz, Broadway, opera, and easy listening. Guest musicians and dancers are invited to join them on stage. Bring your own seating, dinner/snacks, and enjoy a great evening of music at this free concert. Follow The Artist Colony in Englewood, Florida on Facebook. The next Dinnertime Concert is March 12th 5-7pm.
Venice Musicale’s February variety concert asks, “Will You Be My Valentine,” celebrating all things love. Co-concert Chairs, Nancy diSisto and Barbara Koning, have assembled an array of musical selections ranging from classical through the Great American Songbook, and some also from film and theatre. Besides some favorite Venice Musicale “regulars,” the guest performer will be violinist Andrii Padkovskyi, the 2023 Middle School level Scholarship winner. The concert will be staged at 3pm on both Thursday, February 15 and Saturday, February 17 at the Venice Public Library, 300 Nokomis Avenue South, Venice. Solos, duets, and instrumental selections will be included in the program. The concerts are free and open to the public, but seats are limited. For information about the organization, go to venicemusicale.org. Andrii Padkovskyi is pictured here.
Icons of Country Music Show
The popular country music tribute show, Icons of Country Music, returns to VFW Post 10178, 550 N. McCall Road, on Friday, February 16 at 6pm. The show stars Tim Sells as Kenny Rogers, Michael Sugg as Toby Keith, and Tom Davis as Garth Brooks. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased by contacting the Post at 941•474•7516. There will be a limited food menu and cash bar.
Country Jam Fest
Get ready for an incredible evening of Country music on Friday, February 16, 6 to 11:30pm, when Country Jam Fest comes to the Charlotte County Fairgrounds, 2333 El Jobean Road, Pt. Charlotte. Scheduled performers are Drake Milligan, American Made, and Tobacco Road. Tickets start at $30 and may be purchased online at Eventbrite.com. This event is by Big Boy Toyz Expo and they will have an expo at the fairgrounds the rest of the weekend. The Expo will have boats, trucks, RVs, ATVs, tractors, lawn equipment, apparel companies, and other vendors. See details on the Big Boy Toyz Facebook page or get your tickets at eventbrite.com.
National Art Exhibition
The Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda invites you to visit and see the National Art Exhibition 2024 on display in the gallery Friday, February 16 through Friday, April 12. The exhibit is one of the nation’s most prestigious displays of traditional 2D media. The winners will be announced on Thursday, February 22 at 6pm. Free. Hours are Monday & Friday, 10am to 4pm, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 10am to 7pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Guided docent tours are available – call 941•639•8810 for schedule. The Visual Arts Center is located at 210 Maud Street in Punta Gorda.
On Friday, February 23rd at 5pm in Sarasota, Hermitage National Curatorial Council Member Limor Tomer, founder of the Live Arts Department at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, will share the unique challenges and opportunities of transforming the hallowed halls of museums into community gathering spaces for performance. She is joined by The Ringling’s own Curator of Performance, Elizabeth Doud, who is responsible for the internationally sourced “Art of Performance” series. Their insights into this growing field and its unique place in the artistic landscape will take place under the banyans on the grounds of The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Registration is $5 pp and can be made at
The Mersey Beatles
Beatlemania comes to Englewood on Saturday, February 17th when The Mersey Beatles – 4 Lads from Liverpool take the stage at the Englewood Elks, 401 N. Indiana Avenue. The group bills themselves as the world’s most authentic and only Liverpool born Beatles tribute band and were the resident band for over a decade at the world-famous Cavern Club, where the Beatles got their start. Showtime is 7:30pm and the first half of the show will be the songs from A Hard Day’s Night album, followed by a trip to “Pepperland” and a walk down Abbey Road in the second half. Tickets are $40 and may be purchased at tickettailor.com/events/elkslodge2378/
Party on the Plaza
The BStreetBand will perform at Wellen Park’s Party on the Plaza on Saturday, February 17 at 7pm. The BStreetBand is the first band to do a unique tribute to a live performer – Bruce Springsteen. The concert will be on the plaza located in front of CoolToday Park, 18800 S. West Village Pkwy., Venice. Bring your own seating. Gates open at 5pm. General admission ticket is $15. Purchase tickets online at cooltodaypark.com or call 941•413•5004.
See working artists creating their artwork when you visit The Artist Colony on Wednesday, February 21st at Pioneer Plaza, 325 W. Dearborn Street. Along with the regular artist participants, new and returning artists will display & sell their original art. Some artists use their space as a temporary studio, visiting with shoppers as they create their next work. Bring a chair and enjoy live music when the Artist Colony Ensemble, consisting of local musicians, performs a variety of music genres on the Dignam Family Stage throughout the day. Hours are 10am to 3pm. Follow The Artist Colony in Englewood Florida on Facebook. “Octopus” by Jeremy Reed is pictured here.
Basch Glass Exhibit Tour
Climb abroad a chartered bus with the Englewood Art Center for a trip to two of Sarasota’s premier art institutions: The Ringling College of Art + Design and the Sarasota Art Museum on Thursday, February 22, 8:30am to 5pm. Immerse yourself in the world of contemporary glass when you tour the Basch Glass Exhibition, led by renowned collector Barbara Basch. Contemporary/Traditional: Selections from the Basch Glass Collection features contemporary glass art from the late 20th & early 21st centuries from the collection of Barbara and Richard Basch. Cost is $80 for EAC members; $100 non-members. The cost includes bus transportation, museum fee and tour, and lunch. For more details and to register, contact Englewood Art Center, 350 S. McCall Road, at 941•474•5548.
I Love the 80s!
Lemon Bay High School Theatre’s Spring Musical Cabaret is back on Friday & Saturday, February 23 & 24 at 6:30pm. The choir and musical theatre classes are combining to bring you a fun night of 80s rock and roll featuring Rock of Ages: Youth Edition! Come on out for a night of fun and rock and roll as the cast take you back to the 80s! Set on L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip in 1987, Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, a city boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, who have both traveled to L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big and fall in love. This classic love story is set against the troubles at the Dupree Room, a “legendary temple of rock ‘n’ roll excellence”. Trouble brews as Drew abandons Sherrie for his dream of stardom; rock ‘n’ roll bad boy Stacee lures Sherrie away; and the Dupree Room is surrendered to developers. Tickets are $15, which include dessert, and can be ordered at lbhstheatre.net. Lemon Bay High School is located at 2201 Placida Road.
The Heartland/Southwest Florida Bluegrass Association will hold their February Bluegrass Bash on Saturday, February 24th at Craig’s RV Resort, 7895 NE Cubitis Avenue, Arcadia. Guest performers will be “Keith Bass & the Florida Bluegrass Express” and “Williamson Branch” from Nashville. Concert schedule: Noon: Open Mic/Jam Band. 1pm and 3pm: Keith Bass & The Florida Bluegrass Express. 2pm and 4pm: Williamson Branch. The concert is free for Association members and a donation for all others. Weekend camping sites available. For concert questions, call Mark Horn at 941•219•2256.
If you are a fan of the music from Disney’s movie classics like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty & the Beast, you won’t want to miss Magical Maestro: A Tribute to Alan Menken at the Venice Performing Arts Center, Friday & Saturday, February 23 & 24. Alan Menken is the award-winning composer of the music you love in those shows. Performance times are Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 3:30pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are $38-$70 and may be purchased at veniceperformingartscenter.com. The Venice Performing Arts Center is located at One Indian Avenue, Venice (Venice High School campus).
The Wilburys Tribute
Englewood Elks, 401 N. Indiana Avenue, invites you to attend The Wilburys Tribute Show at the lodge on Saturday, February 24 at 7pm. Their show includes popular hits from The Traveling Wilburys, a band of rock stars with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online at tickettailor.com/events/elkslodge2378/
Angel Land Food Forest is offering another watercolor class with local artist Gela Gallant on Saturday, February 24, 11am to 3pm, at the Englewood Chamber of Commerce, 601 S. Indiana Avenue. No experience is necessary – you will have your own completed painting to take home at the end of the class. The cost is $45 – pay at the door. Call to register: 941•909•0500. The class is a fundraiser for Angel Land Food Forest; learn more about this charity at angellandfoodforest.org.
The ever-popular John Tuff and Friends return for their ninth appearance on the Lemon Bay Playhouse stage on Saturday, February 24 at 7:30pm. You can look forward to a fantastic evening of music consisting of classic country hits of the past, including legends like Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, George Jones, Johnny Horton and more. The emphasis is on old-time country music. Tickets are on sale now for $25 and may be purchased online at lemonbayplayhouse.com or by calling the box office at 941•475•6756. LBP is located at 96 W. Dearborn Street.
“Calendar Girls” is now playing through Sunday, February 25th at Charlotte Player’s Langdon Theatre, 1182 Market Circle, Port Charlotte. The play and its subsequent movie are based on the true story of a group of women in Yorkshire England who decided to make a risqué calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation. Performances are 7:30pm evenings and 2pm for Sunday matinees & Saturday, February 24. Tickets are $27 for adults & $14 for students. Purchase tickets online at charlotteplayers.org or call 941•255•1022. While you are at the show, purchase a Calendar Girls 2024 calendar, a fundraiser for Charlotte Players. Cast photo: First row (l-r): Sue Howell, Joanne Stratos, Debrah Brandal, Terri Williams, Jeanne Marquez, and Tammy Madden McKee. Second row (l-r): Kevin Higgs, Justin Price, Aaron Gibbs, Adian Tatro, and Taylor Dixon. Photo credit: Steve Lineberry.
The Silver Foxes on Stage
The “youngest” cast in town will once again regale you with song, dance, and ribald humor in the 30th edition of The Silver Foxes at Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Avenue West, Venice. Being mature never looked and sounded so good. Performances are Tuesday-Saturday, February 27-March 2 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 3 at 2pm. Ticket price is $15-$26. Purchase tickets online at venicetheatre.org or call the box office at 941•488•1115.
Stories in Light and Sound
2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize finalist Maura Brewer and returning Hermitage Fellow David “Doc” Wallace will present Stories in Light and Sound at the Hermitage Beach (6660 Manasota Key Road) on Friday, March 1st at 5:30pm. At the intersection of subject and audience, an artist selects techniques to emphasize elements of a narrative. Will they sustain a particular note in a moment of suspension or communicate power with a low camera angle? A visual and multimedia artist, Brewer uses video and images to explore and uncover stories about the world, while Wallace expertly blends sounds and music to engage in the present like only a gifted musician can. Hear from both artists and engage with selections of their work. $5 registration at hermitageartistretreat.org.
The Lehman Trilogy at FST
The Lehman Trilogy is playing at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota now through Sunday, March 24. Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Play, The Lehman Trilogy is the story of a family and a company that changed the world. In 1844, a Bavarian youth stands upon a New York dock, envisioning a fresh start in the unfamiliar land of opportunity. Accompanied by his two brothers, an American saga unfolds. 163 years down the line, the company they founded – Lehman Brothers – dramatically crumbles into bankruptcy, sparking the largest financial crisis in human history. Show time is 7pm Tuesday through Saturday with weekend matinees at 1pm. Tickets are $39-$56 and may be purchased online at floridastudiothreatre.org or by calling 941•366•9000. Florida Studio Theatre is located at 1241 N. Palm Avenue in Sarasota.
Plays at Sarasota Jewish Theatre
Sarasota Jewish Theatre announces the following upcoming productions. The Florida premiere of M*A*S*H writer Larry Gelbart’s Better Late is the last play written by one of television’s most recognizable names. Gelbart’s riff on a December-December-December romance bristles with biting humor. When Nora’s ailing ex-husband moves in with her and her second husband to recover following a stroke, sparks fly. What should have been a short, sweet visit becomes an extended test of wills and patience. The play runs Wednesday, March 13 through Thursday, March 21. Running Wednesday, May 1 through Sunday, May 12, Mark Harelik’s The Immigrant is a timely true story of a life fulfilled in the “Golden Land”. A Russian immigrant finds himself at the Port of Galveston in 1909. A vulnerable and gentle man who speaks only Yiddish, he finds a way to build a new life relying on his strength of character and the kindness of strangers. Evening performances for both plays start at 7:30pm with a Sunday matinee. Productions are held at The Players Centre Studio at the Crossings at Siesta Key Mall, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $36 and may be purchased at sarasotajewishtheatre.org or call 941•365•2494.
Get your tickets now for The Dallas Brass who will be in Venice on Thursday, March 21st. One of America’s foremost musical ensembles, they will be at the Venice Performing Arts Center (One Indian Avenue, Venice) on Thursday, March 21 at 7pm. Venice High School Band students will be joining them in the concert. Tickets are $20-$75 and may be purchased at veniceperformingartscenter.com.
Piano Classics Remade
Celebrated concert pianist and composer Conrad Tao will perform at Selby Gardens in Sarasota on Thursday, March 28 at 7pm. This internationally renowned Hermitage Fellow has been known to play everything from Gershwin & Rachmoninoff to his own compositions with his uniquely energetic style. Join Tao as he pays homage to the music of the past and offers a look into the future of music during Piano Classics Remade. There is a $5 registration fee. Register online at hermitageartistretreat.org. Selby Gardens is located at 1534 Mound Street in Sarasota. This event is a partnership between the Hermitage Artist Retreat and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Sea Grape’s Featured Artists
Sea Grape Gallery will be featuring two of their artists, Jim Beech, watercolorist, and Jan Pronko, clay artist during the month of February. Jim focuses his creative energies on working as a watercolor artist. Landscapes and unusual buildings are some of Jim’s most favored paintings. However, he also enjoys adding boats, ships, and other watercolor scenes to his “story telling” subjects. Jim is a proud Signature Member of the Florida Watercolor Society. Jan Pronko loves to create whimsical sea life creations using stoneware clay. She often uses components like driftwood and jute to enhance her whimsical creations. Her hand-built clay art pieces range from ornaments to sculptures, totems, wall hangings, sea life, and birds. These artists’ creations are prominently on display this month in the Gallery, but you can also view their and other artists’ works at seagrapegallery.com. Sea Grape Gallery is located at 113 W. Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda, and can be reached on 941•575•1718.
Patriotic Pops Concert Announced
For those who plan ahead: save the date for The Venice Symphony’s Patriotic Pops and Fireworks Concert – American Heroes, on Saturday, May 25 at 7:30pm. Music Director Troy Quinn will lead The Symphony in a concert of great American music, including a salute to the Armed Forces. Liberty Voices, an eight-part a cappella group, will perform, and a spectacular fireworks display will follow the concert. The concert takes place at CoolToday Park, 18800 S. West Villages Pkwy, Venice. Individual tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 20th and range from $15 to $55 plus fees. Purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling the CoolToday box office at 941•413•5000.
School of Architecture Exhibit
The Venice Museum is exhibiting the story of modern architecture in the City with Florida Modern: The Sarasota School of Architecture in Venice. Using many images found in the Venice Historical Resource’s collection, visitors will be surprised to learn about how many buildings were designed here by such prominent architects, such as Victor Lundy, Paul Rudolph, and Ralph Twitchell. This exhibit shows off some of the more well-known places, such as the Herron House. Florida Modern runs through January 15, 2025. The Venice Museum is located at 351 Nassau St. South, Venice. Hours are Monday-Wednesday, 10am to 4pm, and the first and third Saturdays of the month, October through April, from 11am to 3pm. For more information, visit venicemuseum.org or call 941•486•2487.
These entries are as accurate as possible. Please call the listed numbers for confirmation and further information. If you have an art event or happening you would like to have considered for “Art Chat,” please send information and/or photo to The Englewood REVIEW, 370 W Dearborn St, Suite B, Englewood, FL 34223, or email: [email protected]. Visit our website at www.englewoodreview.com and check out our interactive calendar where you are invited to add your event.