Your Weekend Top 5
1. At last, spring training starts this weekend, with the Baltimore Orioles squaring off against the Minnesota Twins Saturday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium, and the Pittsburgh Pirates facing the Atlanta Braves Sunday afternoon at newly renovated McKechnie Field. On Friday from 9:15 a.m. to noon, you can go out to Ed Smith and watch the Orioles’ pitchers and catchers work; it’s free. And also on Friday at noon, the Pirates play their intrasquad Black & Gold game; tickets are just $8 and proceeds benefit the Manatee Education Foundation and two local elementary schools. This is what we wait all winter for!
2. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ annual Plant & Garden Festival Saturday and Sunday is bigger and better than ever, with more plants, herbs and rare specimens for purchase; more horticulture demos and plant advice; and more garden-inspired dance, music and theater performances.
3. Music, dance, acrobatics and theater—they’re all part of the Berlin-based theatrical troupe Circle of Eleven’s show, Leo, part of the Ringling Museum’s New Stages series this weekend at the Historic Asolo Theater. Hailed as a “gravity-defying spectacle” by The New York Times, Leo won the Best of Edinburgh Award in 2011.
4. Time for another trip to Myakka River State Park Friday night for the next Moon Over Myakka concert, with headliners Willie Royal, the acclaimed violinist of Willie & Lobo, and the world-music group Lotus Fire. At the south pavilion; buy your tickets at the park entrance.
5. Stand-up comedian and actress Caroline Rhea headlines McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre for five shows Friday through Sunday.
The Van Wezel has added a 3 p.m. matinee of A Chorus Line Monday due to popular demand. Everybody, now: “One… singular sensation…”
Violin soloist James Ehnes, who’s been compared to the legendary Jascha Heifetz and Niccolo Paganini—and who happens to live in Bradenton when he’s not on international tour—headlines the next Sarasota Concert Association Great Performers concert Tuesday night at the Van Wezel.
If you’re looking for some ecumenical chuckles, The Golden Apple Celebrity Theatre Tuesday through Thursday presents Sister’s Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go to Heaven? It’s billed as a “sinfully funny” play about the origins of the Easter bunny, the Easter basket, and so on and so forth.
Free & Freeish
Shopping for your new Ferrari, or maybe his and hers Lamborghinis? Then head to St. Armands Circle Saturday for the Sarasota Exotic Car Fest St. Armands Concours, where lots of the hottest sports cars will be on display. With lots of parties all weekend long, the long-running Sarasota Exotic Car Fest benefits United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida.