Planning to Party this New Year's Weekend

New Year's Eve

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY DEC 29, 2017

With the New Year right around the corner, that means New Year’s Eve is even closer and time is running out to plan a weekend of optimal fun that takes advantage of all the region has to offer. And between annual celebrations and local theater productions, there’s more than enough going on this weekend to close out 2017 with a bang.

Come tonight, the official New Year’s Eve celebrations haven’t kicked off yet, but the theaters are still open. At The Players Center for Performing Arts, for one-night only, vocalist and impressionist Jimmy Mazz takes the stage for Legends and Laughter, channeling everyone from Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin to Prince, David Bowie and Johnny Cash, not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. And over at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, it’s a last chance to see the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, traveling the world on its 25th Anniversary Tour, with two performance slated. Venice Theatre opens its three-day run of The American Swing Experience, bringing local singers David and Michele James-Pruyn and a 15-piece orchestra to the stage for a salute to the Swing Era.

Florida Studio Theatre pulls out all the stops throughout the New Year weekend, running multiple shows Friday through Sunday, including the Irish musical romance Once in the Gompertz Theatre, the oddball comedy Heisenberg in the Keating Theatre, the Bobby Darin tribute Mack the Knife in the John C. Court Cabaret, the rock ‘n’ roll revue Blue Suede Shoes in the Goldstein Cabaret and the improv antics of Resolution Rewind in Bowne’s Lab Theatre. All show at least once each day, but are selling out fast.

On the educational side, at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, Mark Rodgers returns to Bradenton for another adventure back to the Renaissance with DaVinci and Michelangelo: The Titans Experience, closing Dec. 30.

Not to be forgotten, the area’s annual festivities are back in full swing, including the Downtown Sarasota Pineapple Drop. Beginning at 1pm, Downtown Sarasota’s Main Street turns into a block party with live music, food and games, all culminating in the famous midnight Pineapple Drop. And for those looking for explosions in the sky, Marina Jack’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks show returns, with special menus at the restaurant and vantage points all across the Bayfront. For those farther south, Sharkey’s on the Pier will host its annual fireworks show as well, along with live music from Chameleon. And over at Historic Spanish Point, the Starlight and Fire Family Party features all sorts of fun for the kiddies, like marshmallow roasting at the bonfire, apple cider and craft activities, as well as a “100% chance of snow.”

For perhaps the funkiest New Year’s Eve celebration, check out WSLR’s Surf Bash at Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, featuring live surf music from the Surf Tones.

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