Plum Door Gallery. Home Is Where the Heart Is, featuring paintings by Debbie Dannheisser, continues through April 10. Also on view: work by Patricia Gawle, Zoe Von Averkamp, Elizabeth Van Riper and Ellen Kaiden. Information: 362-0960.
Tampa Museum of Art. CrossCurrents at Century's End: Selections from the Neuberger Berman Corporate Collection ends April 11. Coming up April 25-July 4: Tales from the Easel: American Paintings from Southern Museums, which includes works by Winslow Homer, Thomas Hart Benton and Jacob Lawrence. Information: (813) 274-8130.
Art Center Sarasota. Continuing through April 15: sculpture by Jack Dowd and a show from the American Pen Women. Opening April 19 to run through May 3: the Sarasota North County Public Schools Art Show, to run through May 3. Information: 365-2032.
Galleria Silecchia. Continuing through April 30: the Art Glass Invitational, featuring works by Hiroshi Yamano, Flo Perkins, Nick Mount, Duncan McClellan, Debra May, Joseph Rossano, Barry Sautner and others. Also oil paintings by William Whittaker. Information: 365-7414.
Beverly Fleming Gallery. Continuing through April 15: Tropical Waterscapes of Florida by Jean Trask Ehlis. Opening with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. April 16 to run through May 20: Tropics by Penny Brandon. Information: 365-8683.
Ringling Museum of Art. Renaissance to Rococo: Masterpieces from the Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum of Art, including works by Zurburan and Goya, continues through April 25 in the West Galleries. Information: 359-5700.
Museum of Fine Arts. Chihuly Across Florida: Masterworks in Glass continues its run at the St. Petersburg museum through May 30. Information: (727) 896-2667.
Salvador Dali Museum. Dali Centennial: The American Collection continues on view through Sept. 19. Information: (727) 823-3767.
Palm Avenue Gallery. Patricia Reeve Mead's watercolors of Martha's Vineyard, the Midwest and the Sarasota area are on view this month, April 1-30, along with ink sketches tied to musical performances by artist Sol Schwartz. Information: 953-5757.
Selby Gallery. The Ringling School of Art and Design's Annual Student Exhibition opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. April 2 and continues through April 30. Information: 359-7563.
Longboat Key Center for the Arts. An Animal Mania Exhibition opens 5-7 p.m. April 2 and runs through April 26. Also this month: jazz concerts at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 13; and the opening of a Women Contemporary Artists Exhibition, 5-7 p.m. April 30. Information: 383-2345.
Venice Art Center. The Members Spring Exhibition features work in all media, April 2-22. Opening April 28: the South Sarasota County Public Schools show, which runs through May 14. Information: 485-7136.
Pam Avenue First Friday Walk. From 6 to 9 p.m. April 2; call 373-9660.
Sonnet Gallery. Evolution of the Moment, photography by Steven Katzman, is on view this month. Information: 955-6433.
Manatee Community College Annual Art Student Exhibition. On view in the Fine Art Gallery beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. April 8 and continuing through April 29. Information: 752-5320.
Towles Court Third Friday Gallery Walk. From 6 to 10 p.m. April 16. Information: 362-0690.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. A musical by ArtsPower based on the classic book, onstage at 10:30 a.m. April 3 at Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Story Theatre. Adapted from stories from the Brothers Grimm and Aesop's Fables, this Venice Little Theatre Theatre for Young People production takes the stage April 29-May 9. Information: 488-1115.
Anne of Green Gables. Meet Anne, Gilbert, Marilla and the other residents of Avonlea, at 10:30 a.m. May 1 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In its 25th anniversary year, the contemporary dance company performs works by Lou Conte, David Parsons and other American choreographers. Onstage at 8 p.m. April 12 at Van Wezel, with a pre-show Curtain Call discussion. Information: 953-3368.
Sarasota Ballet of Florida. The company presents Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, at 8 p.m. April 23, 2 and 8 p.m. April 24, 25 and 26 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Information: 351-8000.
Venice Sharks Tooth Festival. Arts and crafts, food, live entertainment, kids' stuff, and, of course, fossils, from 4-10 p.m. April 2, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. April 3 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 4 near Venice Pier, on Harbor Drive. To benefit Sarasota County Special Olympics; call 412-0402 for more info.
Tartan Day. Sarasota once more celebrates its affinity with the Scottish settlers of the late 1880s with this April 6 Caledonian Club event, which includes a landing re-enactment downtown, a Scottish party (ceilidh) starting at 6 p.m. at the Sahib Temple, and entertainment by vocalists Doug and Lorraine Renfroe and the Brigadoons Ceilidh Band from Nova Scotia. Tickets $35 each; call 755-5052.
Cocktails at the Cà d'Zan. Sunsets, cocktails and entertainment from Shaman, from 6 to 9 p.m. April 15 on the Cà d'Zan terrace. Information: 359-5700.
Florida West Coast Symphony Masterworks Concerts. On the program: Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3, with guest artist Stephen Hough at the piano, at 8 p.m. April 1, 8 p.m. April 3, and 2:30 p.m. April 4 at Van Wezel, with another performance at 8 p.m. April 2 at Neel Performing Arts Center. Information: 953-3434.
Manatee Community College Chamber Orchestra. In concert at 8 p.m. April 1 at Neel Performing Arts Center. Information: 752-5252.
Ringling Museum Concert. The Bob Zimmerman Orchestra performs starting at 7 p.m. April 2 in the museum courtyard. Information: 359-5700.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Bluegrass music from Fleck and his group, at 8 p.m. April 2 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Selby Gardens Garden Music Concerts. Performing at the gardens are the Trio Viola (April 4), Irish harpist Olivia Swaan (April 11), the Florida Wind Quintet (April 18) and Dulce (April 25). All from 1 to 3 p.m.; call 366-5731 for more details.
Jazz Club of Sarasota Member Concert. Vocalist Tierney Sutton (Something Cool) and her band perform at 7 p.m. April 4 at the Sarasota Opera House. Information: 366-1552.
Gloria Musicae Silver Jubilee Concert. The ensemble marks its 25th anniversary with a concert featuring major choral works with orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. April 6 at the Sarasota Opera House. Included: Bach's Gloria in Excelsis Deo, Vivaldi's Gloria, and a new piece by Dick Hyman composed for the occasion. Information: 954-4223.
Melissa Manchester and Paul Williams. Pop songwriters Manchester and Williams entertain at 8 p.m. April 7 at the Van Wezel, and follow up the performance with a post-show Curtain Call discussion. Information: 953-3368.
Composer's Series: Heroic Beethoven. The great Ludwig van is paid tribute by soprano Twyla Robinson and Florida West Coast Symphony musicians with Leonore Overture No. 1, Fidelio Overture and more, at 8 p.m. April 8 at the Sarasota Opera House. Also, violinist Corey Cerovsek plays more Beethoven works, at 8 p.m. April 10, also at the Opera House. Information: 953-3434.
Concord Jazz Festival. Jazz interpreters Diane Schuur, Karrin Allyson, Oleta Adams and Sara Gazarek perform at 8 p.m. April 10 at Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
An Evening with Kenny Rogers. The Gambler rolls into town once more, at 8 p.m. April 13 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Venice Symphony. The symphony offers Masterworks concerts at 8 p.m. April 16 and 17 and also at 4 p.m. April 17 at the Church of the Nazarene. Information: 488-1010.
Key Chorale. The chamber ensemble presents Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah for chorus, orchestra and soloists, at 4 p.m. April 18 at the North Port Performing Arts Center and at 8 p.m. April 20 at the Sarasota Opera House. Information: 921-4845.
An Evening under the Stars. Music from the Venice Symphony graces Manatee Community College's Venice campus at this outdoor concert. For ticket info call 752-5390 or 408-1418.
George Benson. The ever-smooth Mr. Benson performs at 8 p.m. April 18 at Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Smooth Jazz on St. Armands: Fourth Friday with Style. This month's event offers the Mike Macarthur Group, from 6 to 9 p.m. April 23 on the circle. Information: 388-1554.
Florida Voices. The Voices, a chamber ensemble, are joined by the combined choruses of Riverview and Sarasota Christian high schools to perform Mozart's Requiem with orchestra; other works are on the program as well. At 4 p.m. April 25 at the First United Methodist Church. Information: 907-8257.
Sarasota Folk Club. The monthly Sailing Squadron concert features St. Augustine steel-string guitarist Sam Pacetti at 8:30 p.m. April 26. Information: 377-9256.
Manatee Community College Spring Fling Concert. Featuring the MCC choirs and ensembles, at 8 p.m. April 29 at Neel Performing Arts Center. Information: 752-5252.
Venice Symphony. Time for the symphony's Spring Pops Concert, at 8 p.m. April 30 and May 1 and also at 4 p.m. May 1 at the Church of the Nazarene. Information: 488-1010.
Sarasota Ski-A-Rees. Free water skiing shows, at 2 p.m. each Sunday through April 25 on City Island. Information: 388-1666.
Lettuce & Lectures. A Look at Retirement from educator-author Dr. Nancy Schlossberg and Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist Marjorie North, both of whom have written on the subject. At noon April 7 at Selby Library. Information: 365-5228.
Books & Coffee. New College prof Dr. Lee Snyder discusses Jarrel Diamond's Pulitzer Prize winner Germs, Guns and Steel, at 10:30 a.m. April 13 at Selby Library. Information: 365-5228.
SmARTalk. The Sarasota County Arts Council's focus this month is the theater, with luncheon at Michael's On East included along with the discussion. Set for April 20; call 365-5118.
The Millionairess. The Shaw piece about a woman whose money does not necessarily make her happy continues through April 3 at the Asolo. Information: 351-8000.
The Bully Pulpit. Michael O. Smith continues to impersonate Theodore Roosevelt in this one-man show, onstage through April 3 at Florida Studio Theatre. Information: 366-9000.
The Comedy of Errors. Shakespeare's early comedy about separated twins continues through April 10 at Venice Little Theatre's Stage II. Information: 488-1115.
Dirty Blonde. Two lonely Mae West fans come together in this Claudia Shear work, onstage through April 18 at Venice Little Theatre. Information: 488-1115.
Bells Are Ringing. The musical comedy about a bubbly answering service employee who gets way too involved in her customers' lives continues through May 2 at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. Information: 366-5454.
The Diary of Anne Frank. The harrowing story of the Frank family is onstage through May 22 at the Asolo. Information; 351-8000.
Hay Fever. Noel Coward banter fills the Asolo in this comedy about a veddy British theatrical family, through May 23. Information: 351-8000.
One-Hit Wonders. The title says a lot about this musical revue, which is bound to revive memories of groups and songs that had, well, short-term success. At FST's Goldstein Cabaret, through May 29. Information: 366-9000.
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Belgian songwriter Brel's bittersweet words and music turn the Players Theatre into a European cabaret, April 1-11. Information: 365-2494.
Kiss Me, Kate. The sprightly Cole Porter hit about love and life in the theater turns up April 5 and 6 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Jesus Christ, Superstar. A concert version of the rock musical, presented by St. Andrew Playhouse and Full Moon Theatre April 5, 6, and 7 at St. Andrew United Church of Christ. Information: 922-7595 or 350-7801.
Spunk. Three tales by longtime Florida writer Zora Neale Hurston (adapted by George C. Wolfe) comprise this Sarasota premiere, onstage April 8-18 in a Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe production at FST's Gompertz Theatre. Information: 954-4651.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown. She keeps a-floatin', April 8-25 at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre. Information: 748-5875.
Fosse. Dance meister Bob Fosse receives his due in this staging of some of his most famous routines, at 3 and 8 p.m. April 9 at Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? A comedy that addresses the battle of the sexes head-on, April 13-18 at in a Van Wezel show offered at the Players Theatre. Information: 953-3368.
Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins. Florida Studio Theatre offers the world premiere of a play by Brian Christopher Williams, set in the 1970s and focused on a teen struggling with culture clashes. Onstage April 13 through June 5. Information: 366-9000.
Cats. The Andrew Lloyd Webber hit returns to the Van Wezel stage, April 14 and 15. Information: 953-3368.
Arms and the Man. More Shaw onstage, with this one about a spoiled young woman who meets her match in pragmatic Swiss soldier Bluntschli, April 14-May 2, in the FSU/Asolo Conservatory's Cook Theatre. Information: 351-8000.
Much Ado About Nothing. American Stage's Shakespeare in the Park this month offers one of the Bard's best-loved comedies, accented with a "surreal, spicy Latin flavor." Performances run April 16-May 16 at Demons Landing Park in downtown St. Pete; call (727) 823-PLAY.
The Country Wife: The Musical: Onstage at the Neel Performing Arts Center in a Manatee Community College production, April 17-24. Information: 752-5252.
The Producers. The one you've been waiting to see, arriving April 20-May 2 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Information: (800) 955-1045.
My Cousin's Wedding. The comic trials and travails of attending a wedding, as seen through the eyes of Second City alums, April 23-25 in a Van Wezel show at the Players Theatre. Information: 953-3368.
Chicago. The razzle-dazzle musical heads to the Van Wezel stage, at 8 p.m. April 27, 2 and 8 p.m. April 28. Information: 953-3368.
Divorce Southern Style. A farce about a middle-aged divorcee, running low on cash, who decides may her ex wasn't so bad after all. Onstage April 28-May 16 at the Lemon Bay Playhouse. Information: 475-6756.
Sounds of the River
The words "rolling on the river" may summon up memories of the rock song Proud Mary; but try thinking of the river with a classical accent. That's what this year's La Musica International Chamber Music Festival does when it takes a look at the River of Music: The Danube and the Composers It Nurtured.
Naturally, that means Richard Strauss, who's represented by a piano quartet and his Capriccio for String Sextet. But composers influenced by the river over a musical "golden age" that lasted three centuries or so also include Mozart, Brahms, Shostakovich, Smetana, Schumann and Dvorak, among others.
As usual, the festival's musicians will be in residence at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion of New College of Florida beginning April 9, with rehearsals open to the public. Among favorites returning to the fest: violinists Federico Agostini and Isabelle Faust, violist Bruno Giuranna, cellist Alain Meunier, and pianists Derek and Wu Han.
Evening concerts take place at the Sarasota Opera House at 8 p.m. April12, 15, 18, 21 and 24; there are also pre-concert lectures, special performances for schoolchildren, and stageside chats at Sainer that delve further into the Danube mystique. For complete schedule information, call 346-2601; for tickets call 366-8450, and press option 3.
A Spunky Show
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has entertained audiences with the songs of Louis Jordan (Five Guys Named Moe) and Fats Waller (Ain't Misbehavin') and the poetry of Langston Hughes (Black Nativity) in its first subscription season at downtown's Gompertz Theatre (formerly Theatre Works). Now the company pays tribute to one more African-American talent with its final show of the season: longtime Florida resident Zora Neal Hurston, who'll be represented by Spunk, April 8-18.
Hurston was born in Alabama, but she lived for a number of years in the black community of Eatonville, where she collected tales of African-based folklore. She was also part of the famed Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and wrote short stories, essays and novels to some acclaim during the 1930s, followed by an autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, in the 1940s. In the wake of younger, angrier black writers, though, Hurston's works fell out of fashion, and she died in poverty in 1960.
Hurston was "rediscovered" by writer Alice Walker in the 1980s, however, and in 1990 director George C. Wolfe (The Colored Museum, Jelly's Last Jam) adapted three of her stories-Sweat, Story in Harlem Slang and The Gilded Six-bits-for the off-Broadway debut of Spunk in 1990.
In the cast of WBTT's production (which also features music by singer/songwriter Chic Street Man) are some favorites seen in earlier shows this season: artistic director Nate Jacobs, Michael Kinsey, Teresa Stanley and Jnana Wilson, who'll team under the direction of Van Huff. For tickets call 954-4651 or stop by Florida Studio Theatre's box office.