The best shows to see this month.
Catch Me If You Can
The Steven Spielberg movie turned-Broadway-musical shows up at Van Wezel Dec. 6 and 7, telling the tale of charming con man Frank Abagnale Jr. and his determined FBI agent pursuer. 953-3368; vanwezel.org
Perlman Music Program/Suncoast
The renowned program returns for its winter residency, with talented students and faculty providing multiple chamber, orchestral and choral music opportunities, many of them free. Dec. 20 through Jan. 5. 955-4942; perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org.
Bradenton Blues Festival
If you haven't already gotten your tickets to this first-ever downtown Bradenton blues fest, what are you waiting for? It takes place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at the new Riverwalk and welcomes such artists as Ruthie Foster, Kenny Neal (pictured), Dave "Biscuit" Miller and many more. Check out bradentonbluesfestival.org.
Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks
Indulge in a little sonic stargazing with the orchestra's presentation of both Gustav Holst's The Planets and Mozart's Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter), Dec. 1 and 2 at Van Wezel. Guest conductor is Thomas Wilkins from the Omaha Symphony. 953-3434; sarasotaorchestra.org
Lights in Bloom/Rooms in Bloom
"Mr. Illuminator" Bob McComb once more transforms Selby Gardens into a holiday wonderland with a beautiful light display. Plus food, drinks, games and more, Dec. 15-23, 26 and 27. While you're there, stop by the ASID Payne Mansion Showhouse to see the latest creative ideas from area designers. 366-5731; selby.org
Sarasota Ballet's The Nutcracker
In this brand-new premiere of the holiday classic, young Clara runs away with the circus—the Ringling Bros. one, of course—after spotting the circus train on a 1930s Christmas Eve in New York. Matthew Hart supplies the choreography, Peter Docherty the design. Onstage Dec. 14 and 15 at Van Wezel. 359-0099 ext. 101; sarasotaballet.org
Jazz Juvenocracy/Ellington Nutcracker Suite
For another take on The Nutcracker, head to Glenridge Performing Arts Center to see talented young musicians Jazz Juvenocracy, with the Imaginique Contemporary Ballet Company, offering up Duke Ellington's 1960 jazz/swing version of the piece. Performances Dec. 21, 22 and 23. 552-5235; gpactix.com
Paolo Veronese: A Master and his Workshop in Renaissance Venice
The Venetian Renaissance giant of painting gets his due in an exhibition at the Ringling Museum, Dec. 7 through April 14. Along with the Ringling's own paintings by the great artist, you'll see his altarpieces, portraits, theatrical set designs and also etchings by others modeled on Veronese pieces. 359-5700; ringling.org
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