While I often focus on theater and other performing arts in my work, we can never overlook the world of visual art that is also key to the vibrant arts scene in the Sarasota area.
This week, art critic Marty Fugate takes a look at five art shows you should see this fall at The Ringling, Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College, Ringling College of Art and Design, Art Center Sarasota and Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus.
And those are just a few of the many other exhibits on display at those venues and others in the months ahead.
The change of season, also brings us closer to the heart of the arts season in our region, and the number of new programs is increasing by the day.
On Saturday, the Sarasota Orchestra begins its new season with a Discoveries concert focused on the connections between Mozart and Tchaikovsky. These Discoveries concerts are meant to provide a bit more context to the music and make it all more accessible to those who haven’t made concertgoing part of their routine.
Last week, I got to see the Manatee Players’ production of “Rent,” Jonathan Larson’s opera-inspired rock musical that broke new ground when it opened off-Broadway in 1996. Director Danae DeShazer and her cast bring spirit to the production, even if some of the performances don’t always mesh musically or emotionally. The cast sounds strong when they're all singing together, and there are some fine individual performances, led by Jason Ellis in his return to the local stage as would-be filmmaker Mark Cohen. Unfortunately, the production uses a pre-recorded musical track, which takes away some of the punch of the music. The cast members also perform without microphones (a rare thing in the theater today), but some are better than others at projecting, even in the small Kiwanis Studio Theatre.
The Sarasota Opera, which opens its fall season in late October with the rarely seen “The Secret Marriage” by Richard Strauss, has announced the leading cast members who will be featured this season. There are a few notable debuts and a lot of familiar performers among the singers.
Sarasota Jewish Theatre is preparing for its third season with an expanded slate of shows, an area debut and some real-life figures among its subjects. The company perform again at Players Centre’s home in the Crossings at Siesta Key shopping center.
Florida Studio Theatre has announced the hiring of a new associate director, Sean Daniels, who will be overseeing a lot of programs, involving new play development and a new Recovery Project that will use theater and education to deal with addiction and recovery issues. Daniels is currently the artistic director of the Arizona Theatre Company in Phoenix.
Later this week, we will be launching a new monthly guide to the arts, covering everything from dance to theater, concerts and visual arts.
I hope you find something fun to see this week.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Arts in Sarasota-Manatee newsletter