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THE ILLUSIONS OF COPPERFIELD

Master Illusionist David Copperfield presents “An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion” at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall today and Friday.

Audience members will get to make their dreams — along a few nightmares — come true as Copperfield brings them to life, dazzling with the brand of magic and wizardry that has made him a household name for years.

Performances are 6 and 9 p.m. today and 3, 6 and 9 p.m. Friday. Ticket prices are $43-$63.

The venue is at 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

For more information, call 955-7676 or visit www.vanwezel.org.

FRIDAY

AUGUST WILSON’S KING HEDLEY II

Continuing August Wilson’s 10-year cycle of famous plays, American Stage Theatre Company presents “King Hedley II,” opening 8 p.m. Friday.

In the play, directed by Bob Devin Jones, King Hedley II has recently been released from jail. With hopes of finding the American dream for himself and his family, he tries to earn money to buy a video store by selling stolen refrigerators. When he begins to reach the road to prosperity, a ghost from his past pays a visit, forcing Hedley to confront the violence and self-destruction that lingers in his life.

The show continues various times through Feb. 15 with sign language interpretation on Friday, Saturday and Jan. 30.

Tickets are $24-$39. The theater is at 211 Third St. S., St. Petersburg.

For more information, call (727) 823-7529 or visit www.americanstage.org.

SHAKESPEARE’S WINTER’S TALE

The Asolo Repertory Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s classic “The Winter’s Tale” takes a flower child spin in this groovy re-telling, which opens at 8 p.m. Friday

King Leontes suspects his wife of betraying him with a family friend. His jealousy becomes so bitter that it sends his kingdom into disarray. Are his feelings telling him the truth or are they leading him to disaster?

Michael Donald Edwards, Asolo artistic director, directs this play of love, insecurities and death that he says he’s sure will move audiences.

“After an intense and powerful first half, the play suddenly jumps ahead in time and morphs into a kind of musical comedy before shifting yet again to a form of magical realism,” he notes in the playbill of the program.

The show — held at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota — continues through May 16.

For more information and ticket prices, call 351-8000 or visit www.asolo.org.

SATURDAY

FINDERS KEEPERS

The new exhibit at the South Florida Museum is a collection of the history of collecting itself. From baseball cards to coins, find out why people have a tendency to collect items and what they are likely to collect through “Finders Keepers: Collectors and Collections.” Besides discovering the ins and outs of collecting, visitors will get to see samples of various collections, including tortoise shells objects d’art, illuminated manuscripts, Steuben glass animals, Florida fossils, toasters and transistor radios.

The exhibit opens Saturday and continues through March 8.

Admission is $15.95 adults, $13.95 seniors, $11.95 children ages 4-12. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is at 201 10th St. W., downtown Bradenton.

For more information, call 746-4131 or visit www.southfloridamuseum.org.

If you have an interesting collection, e-mail January Holmes at jholmes@bradenton.com. The best and most quirkiest collections will be highlighted in the Herald for a future story.

RINGLING CELEBRATES THE CIRCUS

The John and Mable Ringling Museum will pay homage to all things circus during its Celebrate Circus Day on Saturday. The fun-filled family day begins at 10 a.m., with plenty of circus-themed activities, story times and crafts. There also will be 30 circus model builders from across the country who will show off their unique model circuses. Howard Tibbals, builder of the world’s largest miniature circus — on display year-round at the museum — will be on-site to sign copies of his book “The Circus in Miniature: The Howard Bros. Circus Model.”

From 2 to 3 p.m., special musical guest Windjammers Unlimited will perform a concert of early 20th-century circus music.

The celebration lasts until 5:30 p.m. Admission to the museum is $19 adults, $16 seniors, $6 for students and teachers and free for children ages 5 and younger.

The museum is at 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. For more information, call 359-5700 or visit www.ringling.org.

COUNTRY MUSIC BENEFIT

Local and national recording artists will come together for a “Celebration of Life” concert to benefit guitarist Dan Toler’s brother, Frankie, who is recovering from an organ transplant. Frankie is a former drummer/percussionist who has performed with Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Marshall Tucker, Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers bands.

The musical line up for the benefit features The Outlaws, The Toler Townsend Band, the Johnny Hiland Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, Chaz Trippy and Michael Allman, the Fogt’s Allstars and others.

Concessions will be available throughout the evening. There also will be a live and silent auction featuring autographed celebrity photos and other memorabilia.

The event will be held at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium at 1005 First Ave. W., with activities ending at 1 a.m.

Advanced admission tickets are $25 per person.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.frankietoler.com. Tickets can also be purchased at Hooters of Bradenton and Sarasota.

SUNDAY

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

Ever wished that when you played the soundtrack of your favorite musical, it would come to life before your eyes? Well it does in the 2006 Tony Award-winning hit “The Drowsy Chaperone,” coming 7 p.m. Sunday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The show opens with a die-hard fan who plays his favorite musical from 1928 and finds himself surrounded by his beloved characters.

Tickets are $50-$80. The venue is at 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

For more information, call 955-7676 or visit www.vanwezel.org. MONDAY

LOST VOICES OF DARFUR

The University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus will host an art exhibit featuring the drawings of Darfuri refugees and displaced Chadian children.

These drawings have a unique history behind them. They were the result of a fact-finding mission to Eastern Chad in 2007 by the advocacy group Waging Peace, who, when gathering testimonies from adults in the region discovered how the children had memories of the assault against their villages, too. The children, ages 6 to 18, were asked to draw memories of the act. Their drawings were used as evidence in the International Criminal Court in the Hague as contextual evidence of the crimes in Darfur.

The exhibit, which runs through February, features large reproductions of these drawings. Because of their graphic nature, the pictures may be unsuitable for young children.

Waging Peace founder and journalist Rebecca Tinsley will open the exhibit at 4 p.m. in the Selby Auditorium with a lecture on the “Genocide in Darfur: Lessons from Rwanda and Uganda.” This will be followed by a performance from Fuzion Dance Artists.

The event and the exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, call 359-4243.

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