The Bradenton-Sarasota area has an astounding variety of quality choices of performing arts, but if there’s one art form that you might want a lot more of, it’s top-quality dance. Sarasota Contemporary Dance and Sarasota Ballet both do great work, but they’re just two companies, and between them they only stage a dozen or so performances a year.
Carmike Royal Palm 20 Cinemas in Bradenton has been hosting some great performing arts events on its big screens. They’re mostly opera and some theater, but the venue has just announced it will be screening performances from the Bolshoi Ballet this season. The schedule features several lesser-known ballets, which a lot of connoisseurs will appreciate, but there are also the requisite productions of “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Nutcracker” that will appeal to broader audiences.
The ballets are all screened at 12:55 p.m. on Sundays. Here’s the schedule:
▪ “The Golden Age,” Oct. 16
▪ “The Bright Stream,” Nov. 6
▪ “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 18
▪ “The Sleeping Beauty,” Jan. 22
▪ “Swan Lake,” Feb. 5
▪ “A Contemporary Evening,” March 19
▪ “A Hero of Our Time,” April 9
Tickets are $14-$16 and they’re on sale now. Call 941-752-3796.
Mozart at the movies
Speaking of which, Carmike Royal Palm 20 has performances from the Metropolitan Opera slated for the next two Wednesday evenings: “La Boheme” July 12 and “Cosi Fan Tutte” July 20. They start at 7 p.m. and tickets are $12.50.
A few weeks back, when We the Kings were getting set to play at the Vans Warped Tour in St. Petersburg, we mentioned their new-ish single, “The Story of Tonight” (from the musical “Hamilton”) and their new greatest hits album, “So Far.” The band’s publicist quickly emailed to tell us they have another new single, called “Sad Song” that’s a huge viral hit. It has more than 30 million YouTube views and more than 15 million Spotify streams. That’s impressive. It’s a pretty song, and it features Elena Coats, a frequent collaborator who opened for the Kings at the State Theater in St. Petersburg back in March. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the band — and even if you’re not.
Bye, bye Batman
If you were planning on seeing “One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody” at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, you’ll have to change your plans. The show, which was scheduled for July 21-23, has been canceled. The official reason for the cancellation is “scheduling conflicts.” It’s a little odd that no one notices the conflict until 1 1/2 weeks before opening night, but the reason doesn’t matter much.
If you bought your ticket with a credit card, your money will be automatically refunded. If you paid with cash or a check, you should get your refund in the mail within a week or two. If you want to call the box office, the number is 813-229-7827.
The Players New Play Festival finished up on July 1. Five plays by local writers made the initial cut and got readings on stage at the Players Centre for Performing Arts.
On Friday, the Players announced the winner. Prominent local playwright Connie Schindewolf won for her play “Mammoth Bones.” It’s a story about an emotionally troubled man who starts hearing the sounds of ancient mammoths after he unearths a strange bone in his back yard.
As always, the festival’s winning play will get a full production from the Players. “Mammoth Bones” will be presented in August 2017 in the Backstage Studio of the Players Centre.
Meanwhile, the 2015 winner, “Why Can’t I Be You” by Llywelyn Jones, runs Aug. 23-28 this year. The story is about a rock star who wakes up after a night of partying to find a stalking fan in his bedroom.