The Ringling Museum of Art continues its patriotic season with "An American Anthem: 300 Years of Painting from the Butler Institute of Art," all summer through Sept. 8. Everything from Colonial portraiture to the Hudson River School of landscapes to 20th-century modernism is touched on in this show, with artists including Rembrandt Peale, Edward Hopper and Andy Warhol. Call 359-5700 for more info.
Claudia Shear scored a hit on Broadway with "Blown Sideways Through Life," an endearing one-woman comedy about surviving more than 64 odd jobs in the course of her career-including waitress, nude model and bordello receptionist. Now the show gets its Sarasota premiere in Florida Studio Theatre's summer season, starting July 4 and running through July 20. Call 366-9000 for tickets.
Patriotism will be out in full force once more this Fourth of July, with perhaps a bit of added spirit. WWSB Channel 40 and Sarasota Ford are co-sponsoring the fireworks near downtown's Bayfront Park beginning at dusk. Selby Gardens is one great place to view them while munching on picnic food, and the Sarasota Concert Band will present lots of all-American music there, too. Siesta Beach will also be a spot to look up in the sky that night. And the Downtown Association promises a festival of food, entertainment (from Big Z and the Sophistikats), and play activities for kids starting at 4 p.m. at Bayfront Park. Call the latter at 951-2656 for more info on that.
The Sarasota Ballet's September Dance Festival offers audiences a combination of performances of differing styles of dance, accompanied by discussions of the backstage elements involved in the production of a ballet. Choreographer James Buckley's Scottish work, "Fortified," will be featured as well. At 8 p.m. Sept. 27 and 28 and also at 2 p.m. Sept. 28, at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, call 351-8000.
Sonnet Gallery. Continuing through July 4 here is "Abstracted Politics: Dedicated to Venezuela," showcasing paintings by Moravia. Coming up July 5 through Aug. 1: "Mi Pueblo," images of Spanish and Latin-American villages by Adrian Serrano. "Too Hot for Clothes II," described as "Hot Summer Cool Nudes" paintings by Antek, are on view Aug. 2 through Sept. 5. And opening Sept. 6 to run through Oct. 3 is "Fragile," blown glass works by K. Fernandez dedicated to the events of 9/11. Information: 955-6433.
Selby Gallery. "Multiple Visions III," featuring works by artists who have taught in the past at the Ringling School, continues through July 26. "The Chair Show" runs Aug. 9-Sept. 13, followed by "Subverting the Dominant Order: Art of Nancy Spero," Aug. 31-Sept. 29. Information: 359-7563.
Orlando Museum of Art. On view through July 28: "Currents Series 8," presenting the paintings of Frank Moore. "Ancestors of the Incas: The Majesty of Ancient Peru," opens July 20 to run through July 20, 2003 here, and includes more than 250 objects made by all of the ancient cultures of the Central Andes region. Scheduled to open Aug. 10 to run through Nov. 3: "Holocaust Project: From Darkness Into Light," an exhibition by Judy Chicago and photographer Donald Woodman that takes a journey through this period of history in works of stained glass, tapestry, paint and photos. Information: (407) 896-4231.
L'Attitude Gallery. Continuing through July at this Anna Maria gallery is "Small Stuff," featuring the jewelry of a variety of artists. Opening Aug. 1 to run through Aug. 31: "Tactile Textures," offering Tim Harding's silk tapestries, Dale Gottlieb's rugs, Becky Stevens' abstracts and Dick Stevens' woven table runners. And coming up Sept. 1-Oct. 31: an "Outdoor Show" highlighting works in steel, glass and stone by Boogaerts, Erickson, Braun, Peirick, Marcus, Fine, Gibbs and Vogt/Turula. Information: 779-1600.
Galleria Silecchia. Zen-inspired abstract paintings by Ron Strong and ceramics by Yasuko Nakamura fill the gallery through July 31, followed by works by Glenna Goodacre, Flo Perkins, Homero Aguilar and David Gerstein Aug. 1-Sept. 30. Information: 365-7414.
South Florida Museum. "Potters in Paradise: Old Florida Pottery 1859-1966," featuring the work of 12 historic Florida potteries with special emphasis on Manatee River Pottery and Graack Pottery of years past, continues through Sept. 2 at the Bradenton museum. Information: 746-4131.
Salvador Dali Museum. On view through Sept. 8: "Forms of Cubism: Sculptures and the Avant-Garde, 1909-1918," with works by Picasso, Braque, Brancusi and Archipenko, among others. Information: (727) 823-3767.
Chasen Galleries. An "American Salute to the Arts," featuring 34 of the galleries' top artists, runs July 1-31. Coming up in August, a "Summer Showcase" focusing on florals, landscapes and originals by Howard Behrens, Aug. 1-31. Information: 366-4278.
Palm Avenue Gallery. Paintings by Connie King are on view July 1-31, along with papier-mâché masks by Sergio and Massimo Boldrin. Featured Aug. 1-31: watercolors by Pepsi Freund. And coming up Sept. 1-30: "Whipple's Wimples," prints depicting nuns in whimsical settings by Frank Whipple, and digital artwork by Steven Ehre. Information: 953-5757.
Apple & Carpenter Galleries. On view July 1-Aug. 31, an exhibition of American and European paintings (1850-1950). Information: 951-2314.
Palm Avenue First Friday Walks. Enjoy "An American Salute," July 5; "A Midsummer Night's Stroll-An Evening of Classics" Aug. 2; and "September Swing," Sept. 6. Each stroll lasts from 6 to 9 p.m. and features live entertainment. Information: 951-2314.
Art Center Sarasota. A Juried Summer Open to All Show opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. July 6 and continues throughout the month. The Art Center will be closed for renovations during August. Information: 365-2032.
Towles Court Gallery Walk. From 6 to 10 p.m. July 19, Aug. 16, and Sept. 20. Information: 955-0050 or 362-0960.
Museum of Fine Arts. "Red Grooms: The Complete Graphic Works," opens Sept. 29 and runs through Jan. 5 at the St. Petersburg museum. The exhibition covers 40 years of printmaking by Grooms, with 110 wall pieces and 15 pedestal pieces in all on display. Information: (727) 896-2667.
St. Armands Circle. The shopping destination's annual sidewalk sale commences at 10 a.m. Sept. 1, followed by a Classic Antique Car Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 7, with autos dating from 1900 on. Information: 388-1554.
Billy Ray Cyrus. Now that he's a "Doc" on TV, Cyrus can fix his own "Achy Breaky Heart," I guess. He'll be singing songs from his latest, "Southern Rain," when he turns up at the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. Aug. 18. Information: 953-3368.
Symphony of the Americas Summerfest. The Florida-based Symphony brings its performances of the music of great composers to the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. Aug. 19. Information: 953-3368.
Florida Brass Quintet, Florida West Coast Chamber Players. In concert with an octet by Schubert, a quartet by Telemann and selections by J.S. Bach, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Holley Hall. Information: 953-3434.
Sarasota Red Sox. Get into the minor league spirit with ball games throughout the summer at Ed Smith Stadium; call 365-4460 for ticket and schedule information.
Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix. Festival highlights include the Bed Races, Parade of Boats and Block Party (all on July 4), Powerboats by the Bay (July 5, 6 and 7), the Offshore Poker Run (July 6) and finally the Grand Prix, starting at 11 a.m. July 7. For complete info call 371-2827.
Arcadia Bulls-and-Barrels. It's not a full rodeo, but for those who like a little of that ridin' and ropin' action, step up to the Arcadia arena around 2 p.m. July 4. Information: (800) 749-7633.
World's Richest Tarpon Tournament. Those who reel in the big fish will also reel in the big bucks (with $250,000 in prize money in all), down in Boca Grande July 10-11. Information: (941) 964-0568.
SmARTalk. The Ringling Museum's John Wetenhall, Aaron DeGroft and Michelle Scalera will give us the scoop on "The Renovation of Cà d'Zan: Past, Present and Future" in this Sarasota County Arts Council offering, beginning at 11:15 a.m. July 23 on the 11th floor of Northern Trust. Information: 365-5118.
Sophie Tucker. Kathy Halenda returns to Florida Studio Theatre's cabaret stage for a short run of this show about the legendary entertainer, through July 7. Information: 366-9000.
Lost in Yonkers. Neil Simon's play about two young boys, their wistful aunt and their stern grandmother continues through July 14 at the Lemon Bay Playhouse in Englewood. Information: 475-6756.
Bye, Bye Birdie. Conrad Birdie heads off for the Army once more in this '60s-era musical, onstage July 2-Sept. 1 at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. Information: 366-5454.
Blown Sideways Through Life. Onstage July 4-20 at Florida Studio Theatre. Information: 366-9000.
The Play's The Thing. The Players of Sarasota return with their new play reading festival, set for July 8-13. Call 365-2494 for play titles; curtain times is 7:30 p.m.
Taming of the Shrew. Last year, the Island Players scored a summer hit with "A Midsummer Night's Dream," so they're bringing back Shakespeare with this classic battle of the sexes. Onstage July 11-14 and July 17-20. Information: 778-5755.
Dirty Blonde. This Claudia Shear Broadway hit about two people, each obsessed with Mae West, is tentatively scheduled for American Stage in St. Petersburg July 12-Aug. 4. Information: (727) 823-7529.
Tony & Tina's Wedding. This popular interactive show turns up at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre this summer and includes spaghetti and meatballs at the nearby Twin Dolphin after the "wedding." Performances are July 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28, and be prepared to participate. Information: 748-5875.
Filumena. A comedy by Eduardo DeFilippo about a scheming woman's desperate efforts to rekindle her lover's passion, onstage Aug. 1-17 at Florida Studio Theatre. Information: 366-9000.
Full Moon Rabbit Dance. The Players of Sarasota present a new play by Sylvia Reed, Aug. 1, 3 and 4. Information: 365-2494.
Phoenix Park. One of veteran playwright Jack Gilhooley's latest, onstage at the Players of Sarasota Aug. 2, 3 and 4. Information: 365-2494.
Manatee Players Summer Musical Revue. The annual summer show featuring well-known show tunes, Aug. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. Information: 748-5875.
Florida Playwrights Festival. New works by our state's toilers in the theater, presented in staged readings Aug. 11, 18 and 25 at Florida Studio Theatre. Information: 366-9000.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The stage adaptation of Ken Kesey's work about mental patient Randle McMurphy and his epic battle with Nurse Ratched and authority, onstage at the Players of Sarasota Aug. 22-25. Information: 365-2494.