As snowbirds flock to their northern nests, the locals step into the sunshine spotlight, ready to take back the formerly traffic-clogged streets and tourist-ravaged beaches for three precious months of sinful summer bliss. From aquatic adventures to fireworks and free love, and from fine dining to fine theater and even the perfect cocktail for a rooftop rendezvous at sunset, these summer sizzlers remind everyone this season that it is far better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

PHOTO BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

PHOTO BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

ANYTHING’S POPSICLE

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

PHOTO BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

Unwrap gut-friendly, melt-in-your-mouth treats from local vendor, POPCRAFT and St. Augustine staple, THE HYPPO. These leading popsiclists deliver fresh fruit, spices and herbs in frozen form as gourmet all-natural ice pops—a refreshing wholesome snack on a stick. As the seasons change, so do their flavors, dependent on locally-grown produce, and summer seems like the perfect time to start taste-testing that cooler full of flavor combinations! Veer off to Pop Craft at the entrance of Siesta Key for a Key West Lime, Mexican Chocolate or Tangerine Dream, before heading out to the beach for the day. Or if you find yourself strolling around St. Armands Circle, stop in to The Hyppo and prepare yourself for some mouth-watering flavors—seasonal favorites at the moment include Watermelon Chia, Mango Mojito or Pineapple Jalapeño (just to name a few!). Pop Craft, 2095 Siesta Dr., Sarasota, 941-706-3231. The Hyppo, 1429, 438 St Armands Cir., Sarasota, 941-388-3330  –B.Mattie

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

PHOTO BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.


Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

CLOCLWISE: SELVA’S MAYA SHRIMP CEVICHE AND ARROZ CON PATO, LOLITA TARTINE’S CRèME BRULéE PISTACHIO AND MUSSELS MARINIèRE AND JPAN’S POKE BOWL. PHOTO BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

BAYFRONT PLANNING

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

PHOTO BY EVAN SIGMUND.

After years of anticipation, the planning process for 42 publicly-owned acres on Sarasota Bay enters its final stretch this summer. Consulting group Sasaki has already posted some concept plans at thebaysarasota.org—based on the input of more than 7,500 people—that show possibilities of everything from floating stages to pedestrian bridges and public swimming holes. “We’re at a really critical time in the process,” says Bill Waddill, managing director for The Bay. The development process for master planning stretched through most of May, and a final master plan is expected to be developed following workshops on June 25 and 26 before Sasaki prepares its final proposal, which Sarasota City Commissioners will vote on come September 6.  –J.Ogles


A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR

THROUGH AUGUST 6Travel back in time to mid-20th century musical theater, when a young costume designer named Miles White took the world by storm and revolutionized the business. His secret? More than a decade as costume designer for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where he custom-made outfits both extravagant and showy enough for the Big Top, yet functional and fitting enough for serious performance. With more than 50 original drawings and sketches on display, as well as photographs and production notebooks and even a few full original costumes, Ringling Museum’s summer exhibition, A Kaleidoscope of Color, brings White’s genius, and good humor, into sharp relief. “The most fabulous thing to see is Miles White’s sense of humor,” says Ringling Curator Jennifer Lemmer Posey. “He took the circus as a fabulous backdrop to be whimsical.” The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, 941-359-5700 –P.Lederer


SUMMER FISHING REPORT 

A good fisherman never gives away his best fishing spots, but the charter captains with CB’s Saltwater Outfitters will offer weekly reports on what’s biting. Company owner Mason Tush says part of the deal for captains working through outfitters is the promise of weekly fishing reports on the company website. It helps potential adventurers know what to look for in local waters. And as summer arrives, Tush says fishermen should know what they are looking for lest they end up all day in the hot sun with no chance of finding the catch they want.  TARPON Tush says June is the time for tarpon fishing, with Sarasota Bay particularly active. “Sarasota’s migratory tarpon are here from the middle of May through the middle of June.”  SNOOK This fish can be found in most bountiful numbers from June through August, Tush says. “They go off the beach to spawn in the summers,” he says. Sometimes you can fish at the shore and find them during this time.  TROUT AND REDFISH Find where the local oyster beds lay and you’ll find trout nearby. Numbers for trout and redfish pick up more in July and they stick around through September, Tush says. CB’s Saltwater Outfitters,  1249 Stickney Point Rd., Siesta Key, 941-349-4400 –J.Ogles


MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR

Corresponding with the Sarasota Farmers Market, the 2nd annual woodstock revival calls all hippies to the stage for some flashback fun. Bringing the peace and love, Manasota Air Cooled V-Dubbers pull up to display vintage Volkswagens buses. Also flower-powering the streets will be models of tiny homes, along with multiple food vendors. The big stage will be located on 1st Street, cranking out live music to recreate the Woodstock sounds from performers like Joe Cocker and Jimi Hendrix. Continuing as a free, family event for the community, it includes kids’ activities such as ‘paint your own peace sign,’ and definitely don’t miss out on the chance to dust off your tie-dye headbands, John Lennon glasses and fringe for the best dressed contest, featuring the best of the most 60s/70s- inspired outfits. Manager of Sarasota Farmers Market Phil Pagano clued in, “Look out for it some time in mid-August.”—Right on, man. Sarasota Farmers Market, Downtown Sarasota, 941-225-9256 –B.Mattie


WORLD OCEANS DAY 

JUNE 2 Each year, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium invites the community, young and old, for a day of marine appreciation at the World Ocean’s Day Family Festival. This one-day festival highlights not only the thrilling creatures and fascinating habitats held just out of sight below the waterline, but also the deep connection every living being holds with this watery eco-engine and the importance of protecting and conserving this great natural resource. With booths and activities bringing everything from educational adventures for all ages to hands-on arts and crafts for children and their parents, a special focus this year will be the growing problem of micro-plastics in ocean waters, even here in the Gulf. Celebrated internationally, children can go home knowing that not only did they learn a little something for themselves, but by doing so joined minds with inspired and curious little tykes all around the globe. Mote Marine, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota, 941-388-4441 –P.Lederer


TURTLE TIME

JUNE 2 Lovers of marine life know the Gulf Coast is home to more than resort-goers. Groups like Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch help ensure the beaches here remain home to indigenous wildlife, namely the sea turtles that breed and nest on the shores here. Suzi Fox, director of the Anna Maria program, oversees a team of volunteers that checks on nests in the early morning and ensures the safety of eggs up until the time they hatch and crawl into the sea. “We don’t go down at night because we would chase mothers away and they won’t lay their eggs,” Fox explains. Many snowbirds come to town ready to “save the world in seven days,” Fox says, but the program requires a commitment to be in the area from May through October, and for volunteers to undergo state-mandated training. But visitors can attend Turtle Talk events on Tuesdays at the waterline Resort in Holmes Beach if they just want to learn the habits of the hard-shell sharers of the sand, and sometimes Turtle Watch will allow interested individuals to walk along the beach in the early hours. Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, 941-778-5638 –J.Ogles


SARASOTA POWERBOAT GRAND PRIX

JUNE 23–JULY 4 The powerboat world converges on Fourth of July Weekend for the Hotelplanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, and while 65 million households can watch the event live on CBS Sports this year, locals can head to the shore to watch the races in person. For the first time this year, Race World Offshore will collaborate with Powerboat P1 in a convergence of the sports biggest players. “Powerboat racing is a tradition for our race site and the large powerboats are what race fans look forward to seeing each year,” says Lucy Nicandri, festival organizer. “By facilitating this collaboration with Powerboat P1 and Race World Offshore, our race site hopes to enhance the sport of powerboat racing for spectators whether they watch from the beach or on television. This year, race fans can expect to see a very strong fleet of powerboats competing for the checkered flag off Lido Beach and also the best in AquaX racing.” The event, as always, will benefit the Suncoast Charities for Children, and last year brought a $37.7 million economic impact to Sarasota County.  –J.Ogles


GONE BOWLING

As popularity grows, endless POKE BOWL variations swim to the surface. The tropical dish, generally made with diced raw yellowfin tuna, is coming of age with expanding adaptations from the Hawaiian roots of this Japanese-inspired dish. Find how easy and fun making your own at home can be! Buy some fresh sushi-grade tuna at trusted spots like Walt’s Fish Market, Big Water Fish Market or Detwiler’s Farm Market. Start with a bed of rice, noodles, romaine or cabbage, and include fixings as far-ranging as you’d like—avocado, mushrooms, pickled jalapeño or ginger, edamame, cilantro, pineapple, cucumber, Limu (algae), green onions, sesame seeds, seaweed, Roe (fish eggs), wasabi, toasted macadamia nuts, candied cashews, wontons, dried or fresh chilli—the list goes on and on. Then dash some condiment on, like sriracha aioli, teriyaki, miso dressing, ponzu or soy sauce. Out to dinner and craving one? These sea-to-table bowls can be found around town too—reel them in at Surf Shack, Libby’s, Oak & Stone, JPan and Atlantic Beer & Oyster. –B.Mattie


WALKING ON SUNSHINE

The last thing we want you to do is burn the bottom of your feetsies on the hot pavement in pursuit of the sandy beaches that lay ahead. These SUMMER SANDALS will take you safely (and stylishly) from the fiery igneous street to the Sunday drum circle, and even to downtown’s bar scene. Stay on trend with assorted modes for transport to every occasion this season: Fly London Weel Wedge Sandal $198, Whin Wedge Slide, $175 and BedStu Seneca Gladiators, $139, T.Georgiano’s, 1409-B 1st St., Sarasota, 941-870-3727. Teva Women’s Midform Universal Geometric Sandals in Birch, $85 and Men’s Original Universal Premier Sandals, $60, Sandal Factory, 5232 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key, 941-217-4249. Reef Fanning Bottle Opener Flip Flop, $55, Havianas, $18-$26 and Birkenstock Arizona Essentials, $40, Flip Flop Shop, 9 North Boulevard of the Presidents, Sarasota, 941-388-1777.  Olukai U’i Women’s Sandal, $90, Swim City, 50 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-954-8800. –B.Mattie


JAM PACKED GOODNESS

Supporting local farmers and produce alike, SUNSHINE CANNING out of Bradenton creates canisters of specialty jams made only from local, seasonal and organic produce. With many artisanal flavors unheard of, what really makes it more exclusively desirable is the small batch aspect—often no more than five or six jars at a time are handcrafted, keeping the freshest of ingredients intact, with no added preservatives. Jam shopping aside, you can also take one of their classes on how to preserve your own harvest at home. Canning can be intimidating, but these classes demystify the process, covering safety concerns, equipment and different preserving techniques to safely prepare your own jams at home. Pick up a new hobby this summer and test out some wacky flavors such as Sunshine Canning’s Blueberry Lavender or Pineapple Ginger Rum. Track them down at every market around town including Sarasota Farmers Market, Bradenton Farmers Market and Corey Avenue Market.  Sunshine Canning, 2505 Manatee Ave. East, Bradenton, 941-376-0912 –B.Mattie


MIXED NUTS

As the name would suggest, Florida Studio Theatre’s MIXED NUTS summer program defies expectations. With a little bit of improv, a little bit of sketch comedy, a few monologues, musical numbers and even one-act plays thrown into the mix, this biweekly production keeps audiences guessing—and laughing—as the students of FST’s many workshops and classes hone their skills onstage and show off their latest projects. And if it looks like they’re having too much fun without you, sign up for a class and join them up there next year. “There’s nothing like being in front of a live audience and getting that immediate reaction,” says FST Associate Artist Jason Cannon. “It’s one of the best feelings in the world.”. Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-9000 –P.Lederer


EGG HUNTING WITH TIM AND CHELSEA

The average egg found on a grocery store was laid 90 days before hitting the freezer shelf, according to Tim Clarkson, co-owner of GROVE LADDER FARM. But anyone who buys eggs at the Sarasota family farm will get them fresh, and even if they buy them at any of the farmers’ markets where Grove Ladder sells, the eggs won’t be more than a week from the nest. After that, consume at leisure. “Our eggs will keep three and a half to four months in the fridge,” Clarkson boasts. Combined with the nutritional density, solid shells and flavor that comes from non-GMO feed for the fowl and you understand the high demand for these good eggs. Clarkson and wife Chelsea started harvesting eggs at their homestead in 2015 and since then have grown it to a full-time farm on 10 acres. In that time, the company has expanded from four chickens on a quarter-acre to about 1,000 egg-laying hens that migrate all around the property to keep the grass fresh and the birds happy. The couple sells about 1,600 dozen eggs each month and still faces demand at markets in Downtown Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Phillippi Creek. More recently, the Clarksons have taken to raising some chickens on one feed and another set on another kind so they can serve a population looking for soy-free eggs. Grove Ladder Farm, 1500 Lena Ln., Sarasota, 941-928-5891 –J.Ogles


METAL MUGGING

The Gulf coast’s favorite beach tumbler just found a place at the bar. As TERVIS celebrates its 50th anniversary in Osprey, employees can now raise a brew in the newest company product, the Tervis beer mug. “Now beer lovers can enjoy their beer perfectly chilled, in a mug that’s made just for them, right here in America,” says Rogan Donelly, Tervis president. “Our fans have been asking for a beer mug and we’re both proud and excited to give them what they want.” The mugs, still assembled in North Venice, will have Tervis’ signature double-walled insulation to keep frosty beverages cold. Like Tervis’ tumbler line, the mugs come with a variety of logos and can be customized in special orders. If you want to make things really trippy, get the limited edition “Augmented Reality Beer Pong” glass and try some virtual gaming. Tervis Tumblers Headquarters, 201 Triple Diamond Blvd., North Venice, 941-966-2114  –J.Ogles


GLOBAL GRUB

Take your palate on a trip around the world while staying within budget. savor sarasota restaurant week, a much-anticipated culinary celebration, began in 2005 and has grown to include many of Sarasota’s acclaimed and diverse restaurants. With dozens of options to choose from, visit Peru at Selva Grill and feast on maya shrimp ceviche, arroz con pato and a coconut guava gelato with rum pineapple sundae. For those looking for French flavors, jet across the world (or across Pineapple Avenue) to Lolita Tartine, for beets and goat cheese Napoleon, mussels marinière and crème brûlée pistachio. Make sure to come back home to Siesta Key Oyster Bar for some Sarasota classics, including oysters, tuna poke bowls and, of course, key lime pie. Each destination includes a three-course prix-fixe meal—just $16 per person for lunch, and $32 per person for dinner. For more information and to reserve a spot, head to the Visit Sarasota website, and plan for two weeks of culinary adventures June 1–14.  –T. Allen


FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS

Sarasota is the perfect city to witness a spectacular FIREWORKS show, and nothing compares to kicking back on the beach, sand between your toes, with a cold lemonade or beer in hand and being greeted with such a bombastic display of bright lights and booming sounds on the Fourth of July. Shows around town that you won’t want to miss include an early display at Nathan Benderson Park on Saturday, July 1, followed by productions all across town on July 4th, with excellent viewing from Siesta Key Beach, Island Park downtown, along the Bradenton Riverwalk or at the stunning South Venice Jetty. Downtown Fireworks at Marina Jack’s remains a seasonal favorite, with regulars and tourists alike covering every patch of prime real estate with lawn chairs and beach towels as they stake out their claim for the coming show. Or maybe try something a little wilder this year and experience the magic unfolding within the beautiful surroundings of Marie Selby Gardens and good friends. “The appeal to Fourth of July at Selby Gardens is it is a classic cookout with a family-friendly atmosphere,” says Selby Gardens’ Mischa Kirby, “but without all the work.”    –M.Head


ART GUY WORKSHOP

For Valerie Bernhard, the signature TURKISH TOWELS bearing her son Arthur Guy’s name represent more than nice beach supplies. The New Orleans native views this product line as her own new chapter in life. The Louisiana mother gave birth to her son prematurely in 2015, and, after health scares passed with her infant, she was hospitalized with life-threatening complications from the birth. Facing death at 36 years old with an infant at home, Bernhard spent weeks in the hospital and begged to go home to heal with her family around. “I said then, I’ve got to slow down and enjoy the time I’ve been given with my baby,” she says. After her recovery, she turned away from full-time graphic design work and moved with her husband and child to Sarasota. She now runs the Art Guy Workshop from home, screening towels with logos and mindful statements. As for the product itself, Bernhard got introduced by her sister to Turkish towels and thought the lightweight product seemed perfect for baby time or beach use. She found a family-owned business in Turkey to supply the woven materials, and now sells towels, bags and ponchos, with special round towels becoming a sort of signature part of the line. She’s started attending flea markets but sells most of her wares online at artguyworkshop.com.  –J.Ogles


DANCE INTENSIVE

Miami-based choreographer Sandra Porter-Andreau kicks off the Sarasota Contemporary Dance SUMMER INTENSIVE with a performance that seeks to shine a light on body identity for women and will incorporate her recent film into the presentation. The fifth year of the eight-day, immersive Summer Intensive program will allow for dancers ages 14 and older to reach their full creative potential with dancers from Sarasota Contemporary Dance and special guest dancers who will guide them along the way. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend a Repertory Showing with an artist Q&A session. For participants from out of town, dorm housing will be available for $40/night. “As a dance student, I have had some of the most memorable experiences and networking opportunities at summer intensive,” Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, the artistic director at Sarasota Contemporary Dance, says. “I personally know the positive impact it will have on the lives of the attendees and our community who will benefit from attending open rehearsals.” Sarasota Contemporary Dance, 1400 Boulevard of the Arts, Suite 300, Sarasota, 941-260-8485 –M.Head


GULPING GRAVITY

Ever wonder how you’ll be able to get your greens when you move to Mars? No worries, CROP’s got it figured out with their BLAST OFF! JUICE—made of 100% USDA-certified organic produce and cold-pressed into those signature glass bottles. The nutrient-dense bev comprises microgreens, spinach, cucumber, turmeric, lemon, black pepper, 12 cups of leafy seasonal greens and the main attraction—Tokyo Bekana Cabbage. The Asian cabbage is grown locally/exclusively for CROP, and also grown on the International Space Station by astronauts as part of their Veg-03 experiment—ultimately aiming to “put salad on Mars.” That’s one small step for CROP, one giant leap for Expats. Resources are dwindling, as this cabbage grows mostly in winter/spring—so stop by ASAP to grab your juice before it goes into hibernation this summer. CROP Juice, 1605 Main St. #108, Sarasota, 941-954-8728 –B.Mattie


RVS AND MUSIC

JULY 27-29  Sarasota’s first annual Sun N Fun music festival will rock the town and its RVs. Taking place at Sun n Fun RV Resort on Fruitville Road, acts will include the painted faces and tribute to rock of KISS America, the Shane Duncan Band (for Sarasota’s country lovers) and Rush Hour, an intriguing cover band of Countdown Reloaded, itself a cover show. This three-day event will have everything that a food festival needs: food trucks, vendors, attractions for the kids and, of course, alcohol packages that include all-you-can-drink well liquors, draft beer and house wine for guests staying in the park. “There really isn’t very much musically going on in Sarasota as far as festivals,” organizer Whitney Clark says, noting that most of south and central Florida’s big musical events take place in Tampa and Orlando. “We hope that our guests enjoy the music, the food and vendors and all the promotional swag we have ready for the weekend- and that next year is even bigger.” Sun N Fun RV Resort, 7125 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941-371-2505 –M.Head


ART OF THE CUT OUT

Striving for a bikini body is overrated. Lately, there have been all kinds of cutouts and variations on the standard one-piece design that put spins on the classic ONE-PIECE SWIMSUIT. Swim City got on board with this revival and offers dazzling cutout one-pieces. All black and cut out along the front, with a high-waist and low cut, Kenneth Cole’s Hall of Fame Suit will wow wearers and onlookers alike, and it’s only one of the many Swim City offers. The cutout one-piece trend can readily take you from the beach to brunch once you pair it with the right shorts or wrap. 2018 is the year for Sarasota’s one-piece wearers to rock retro and sexy looks poolside or on deck.  Swim City, 50 North Tamiami Trl., Saarsota, 941-954-8800 –M.Head


73º FLEA MARKET

The bohemian-style market shifts to nights as the days grow longer! Continually located at one of the breweries around Sarasota and Bradenton, this summer packs a few new surprises, including Yolkers Wilde Dairy Goats, bringing goat’s milk and cheese from the family farm. “Along with adorable baby goats to cuddle with,” reveals manager of 73º, Farrel Hansen. Family-friendly, dog-friendly and free to enjoy—the market continues to foster a community experience by featuring varied local artists and makers, while food trucks park for on-the-go bites and live music provides the outdoor soundtrack. With those balmy nights in Florida peaking at 73 degrees, look forward to wandering the eclectic scene each month this summer. And come thirsty. “As always, the cold beer will be flowing at our partnering breweries, including a new line-up of 15-25 handmade vendors, vintage resellers, designers and community nonprofits,” says Hansen. “Most importantly, come show your love for local!” –B.Mattie


INCOGNITO AT THE URBANITE

JUNE 8–JULY 8   A pathologist steals the brain of Albert Einstein. A man loses all memory after an operation—except the love he holds for his girlfriend. A neuropsychologist reassesses her own identity as she embarks on a new relationship. From the playwright behind the Broadway hit Constellations, which saw a successful run at Florida Studio Theatre this past February, comes another highly original and mind-bending (or -unraveling) tale in Nick Payne’s Incognito. Utilizing only four actors in a blackbox setting, and with only light and affectation to move from scene to scene and story to story, three thematically related storylines and 21 characters interweave for an exploration of memory, identity and questions of the self.  Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota, 941-321-1397 –P.Lederer


JUNGLE BOOK AT ASOLO

JUNE 6–24  The minds that brought the high seas to the Asolo Repertory Stage last year with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea return this summer, but this time taking audiences deep into the heart of the jungles of India with The Jungle Book. Going back to Rudyard Kipling’s original stories (sorry, Disney), co-writers and co-directors Craig Francis and Rick Miller consistently meld the old and the new, like bringing in forgotten aspects of Kipling’s tales, such as the many poems and songs often ignored but this time put to music from composer Suba Sankaran, then turning around and introducing modern artifacts like texting between characters. Asolo Repertory Theatre. 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-351-9010–P.Lederer


KARAOKE KICKBOX

This new fitness center, ILOVEKICKBOXING, is taking the Rosemary District by storm with plentiful all-intensive classes to shuffle into anyone’s schedule. The teachers here are guaranteed to get you punching out stress and sweat—a lot—all the while teaching you focus and discipline. Owner John Vargues’ mantra: “Take no prisoners! Leave it all on the mat! Invest in your health and join our Fitfam—you will not regret it!” By joining the ‘Fitfam,’ you become part of an uplifting group of motivators who enjoy weekly events such as DJ Night and ILKB Idol. That’s right, kickboxing and karaoke—get ready to take center stage and command the floor for some major fun and mic-dropping results. iLoveKickboxing, 1454 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, 941-803-8483  –B. Mattie


DINNER THEATER

JUNE 6–9 at 6:30PM | JUNE 10 AT 2PM  First performed in New York in 1985, Tony and Tina’s Wedding changed the game for the immersive theater experience with its over-the-top and unapologetic nature. Audiences will not soon forget this show as they take part in the live experience of an Italian-American wedding, delicious food included. Last performed in the area 15 years ago—but requested ever since—Manatee Performing Arts center brings back the interactive theatre of Tony and Tina’s Wedding due to popular demand. Producing Artistic Director Rick Kerby saw the success of the show’s New York performances firsthand and eagerly awaits the upcoming revival, even, or especially, in the off-season. “We’re not just about the snowbirds anymore,” Kerby says. “We want to have things for our audiences year-round.” Guests will start in the smaller theater for the ceremony, take part in a receiving line that goes down the lobby and then be whisked away to the ballroom for the reception.   Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 3rd Ave. W, Bradenton, 941-748-5875 –M.Head


JON LOVITZ

JULY 27–29  From the historic halls of Saturday Night Live to the scribbled walls of cartoon animation in The Critic, and even the silver screen (Happiness, The Producers, Southland Tales), Jon Lovitz became a household name with a paradoxically harmless, but in-your-face rendition of the beleaguered everyman. This summer, Lovitz brings the same eternally boyish charm to McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre this July for four performances over the course of three days. A special event, tickets remain in high demand and secrecy paramount. Will the comic unveil new material, reveal new projects, bring the roof down, literally? Only those in attendance will ever know.  McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941-925-3869 –P.Lederer


SUMMERTIME OPERA

AUGUST 18  Between the HD at the Opera House series bringing international ballet, theater and opera to the Sarasota Opera House screen, and the Classic Movies at the Opera House programming bringing great films like Gone with the Wind and North by Northwest back to the big screen, it’ll be hard to stay away from the Sarasota Opera House this summer. Add on to that the debut season of a brand new series of live musical performance, Sarasota Opera House Presents, and this cultural institution becomes a midsummer night’s dream. Beginning with Tony Danza’s Standards and Stories this past May, the new series continues with a performance of Ricky Nelson Remembered—a tribute show from the iconic performer’s twin sons—this August. “It’s important to highlight what a wonderful venue the Opera House is for live music,” says Richard Russell, Sarasota Opera executive director. “I’ll be looking for other kinds of musical performance as well.” And two days prior to Ricky Nelson Remembered, catch Nelson onscreen at the opera house with a screening of Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo. Sarasota Opera, 61 North Pinepple Ave., Sarasota, 941-328-1300 –P.Lederer


VOLUMES AT THE RINGLING MUSEUM

AUGUST 12–OCTOBER 9  Light, sound and space collide in this immersive installation from acclaimed contemporary artist Ezra Masch. Uniting the artist’s love for music and architecture, this fourth iteration of Volumes, a project evolving since 2011, sees Masch crafting a site-specific and sound-responsive three-dimensional grid of flashing lights within the Ringling Museum, just down the way from the Turrell Skyspace and next door to the contemporary collection—and that’s only half of the project. A responsive installation, the lights—and the exhibition—doesn’t really come to life until the music starts. Installing a drumset in the museum, volunteer and professional percussionists will all take their turn throughout the exhibition’s run, each putting their own spin on Masch’s composition and giving Volumes new life. That’s the thrill of collaboration, says the artist, and perhaps the most exciting part of the project. “I have no idea what’s going to happen,” he says. “It’s literally in their hands now.” There will also be eight ticketed shows featuring musicians handpicked by Masch, such as drum virtuoso Brian Blade, whose collaborations include work with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock.   Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, 941-359-5700  –P.Lederer


TAKE THE BITE

Get your fill of summer sweets and treats at this beloved, local creamery. Known for delicious, homemade and innovative ice cream flavors such as the SHARK’S TEETH—vanilla malted ice cream chock-full of chocolate chips—the banana chunk, the peanut butter and jelly cone and the white chocolate macadamia nut, Venice Avenue Creamery brings both cool and cutting edge vibes from up north to Sarasota. “[The owners] keep an eye on all of the New York flavors that are coming out,” says Stacy Purvis, social media coordinator for Venice Avenue, “so they have unique stuff that sometimes we’ll dabble into.” Even the pickiest of eaters will find something to love, not only are the banana splits impeccable but the chocolate-covered bananas heavenly. Also for chocolate lovers, the key lime pie and cheesecake comes dipped in delectable chocolate.  Venice Avenue Creamery, 249 West Venice Ave., Venice, 941-488-0332 –M.Head


SHARK TOOTH DIVING

In the world of shark tooth collecting, nothing beats a “Meg,” a tooth from the near-mythical MEGALODON sharks populating the oceans and feasting on whales 2.6 million years ago. But, as it happens, bountiful supplies of fossils from the Miocene-era beasts lay in the waters and sands of Venice, a community that hosts annual festivals around the dental wonders of the sea. Don’t count on this treasure washing ashore, though. Serious hunters scavenge to the ocean floor in search of famed Megs to add to personal collections at Venice Dive Center. Manager Stephanie Schultz says the best way to find the best teeth means getting SCUBA gear and diving. She also sells special mesh baskets that hook to wetsuits so people exploring underwater can slip findings inside without fear of a small current taking the goods away. The less adventurous can simply get snorkel equipment and go out to sand bars, sometimes bringing sifters to sort through the shallows. Mike Konecnic, owner and captain for AquaNutz, takes divers to sea regularly to find goods. Some will bring sand rakes to use underwater. Some serious hunters who travel to find teeth will go to underwater ledges in international waters off North Carolina and will even use powered sand scooters to sift through the earth, but the places AquaNutz goes lay in state waters where the use of such environmentally disruptive equipment remains forbidden by Florida law. Konecnic, though, recommends people pay more attention to the weather than on ways to scatter dirt underwater. If you go after a good storm when the sands have been blown and allowed to settle, the sharp-eyed diver will find Megs sitting on the seabed. On rare occasions, Konecnic will find four or five Megs in a single dive that way. “The best hunters just swim in the area, look for gravel, small rocks and rubble,” he says. “If you find some fossilized whale bones, you’ll likely find some shark teeth as well.” Venice Dive Center, 902 South Tamiami Trl., Nokomis, 941-497-5985. AquaNutz, 344 Beverly Rd., Venice, 941-961-2235  –J.Ogles


SUNSET SUPREME

Ascend to the 19th floor of the Westin Sarasota to experience laid-back sophistication and prime real estate at the entrance of John Ringling Bridge—the breathtaking panoramic views of Sarasota Bay, The Marina, The Gulf of Mexico and the city are unmatched. At THE ROOFBAR & EATS, poolside attire is encouraged and this elevated hangout becomes an oasis above the hustling downtown streets below. The Roof is indisputably the most ideal spot for uninterrupted and soulful sunset gatherings, whether you witness the green flash or not. Try a light bite on the ‘Sundown Menu’ while sipping on the Aha Yeto Reposado Tequila Mojito, Bacardi 8 Old-fashioned or Caorun Gin Brambled. After a couple of specialty cocktails, an easy breezy night under the stars awaits. The Westin, 1175 North Gulfstream Ave., Sarasota, 941-217-4777  –B. Mattie


PASS THE MOSA 

Good Liquid Brewing Co., a husband and wife owned/operated craft microbrewery in the heart of Bradenton, takes you on a wave of seasonal and experimental brews. But perhaps a “good liquid” you haven’t heard about yet? BEERMOSA. Choose your favorite style beer and top it off with some fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice for a summer libation that will make your taste buds sing. “We will have a great variety of summery beers, from a light and crisp Kolsch to fruity wheat ales,” Sandra Krail, owner of Good Liquid divulges. “We always have a great selection of classic pale ales, IPAs and dark beers too!” Offering 25+ taps of in-house brews plus an additional 10 guest taps of local cider and wine to choose from, catch the celebrity appearance of the Beermosa only on the weekends! Try the fun concoction with the Berliner Weisse—a wheat-based sour ale brewed with Florida starfruit and pineapple puree, or the Belgian Peach Saison with fresh peach puree.   Good Liquid Brewing Co., 4824 14th St. West, Bradenton, 941-896-6381 –B.Mattie


THE LAST STRAW

Put your party hat on—peak season has come and gone and the dog days of summer are here! Cover your cranium from the harsh southern beams, while emanating some serious head swagger. These STRAW HATS stood out as finds worth finding—brimming with protection from the sun’s UV rays, meticulous close-weave stitching and fine detail for comfort and cool: Roxy Tomboy Straw Hat, $26 and Quiksilver Perside Straw Hat, $20, Swim City, 50 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-954-8800. Hemlock Hat Co. The Flock Hat + Bottoms Up Lifeguard Hat, both $32, Compound Boardshop, 3604 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-552-9805.  Caribbean Joe Hampton Palms Hat, $20, Alvin’s Island, 462 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 941-388-1160. CC Exclusives Beach Face Floppy Straw Hat, $20, Terra Nova, 351 St Armands Cir., Sarasota, 941-388-0410.  Tommy Bahama Open Weave Ivory Safari Hat, $128, Tommy Bahama Store, 371 St Armands Cir., Sarasota, 941-388-2446.–B.Mattie


SIPS OF LEMON 

Nothing beats cool and refreshing lemonade in the Florida heat. La Creperie Caffe in St. Armands is known for its Dino’s Lemonado, a frozen lemonade, while Fresh Start Café off South Orange Ave. offers a delicious lemonade selection and, for the local-centric, Sarasota Farmer’s Market staple, Leah’s Lemonade, offers a choice that lemonade lover’s can feel good about. Leah Cole makes her products with Florida spring water, Florida organic lemons (when they are available), with the goal of having a low carbon footprint and the initiative to give a percentage of profits to feeding programs at home and abroad. For the adults, Evie’s has a couple of lemony offerings, including Eddy’s Lemonade and the Absolut Lemon Drop Martini. Office Bar also serves up citrusy concoctions, Blackberry Lemon Drop and the Florida Girl, which is 44 North Nectarine Vodka, fresh orange juice and ginger beer. Daring drinkers can check out Daiquiri Deck’s Terminal Velocity—a combination of “Electric Lemonade, Deck Diesel and strawberry, topped with light rum”—and Gecko’s Lemonade of the Gods, charged with Absolut Citron Vodka, Absolut Mandarin Vodka, strawberry puree and, of course, lemonade.  –M. Head