New on stage in the Sarasota area: Oct. 24-30

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New on stage in the Sarasota area: Oct. 24-30
© RENEE MCVETY PHOTOGRAPHY/PROVIDED BY VENICE THEATRE From left, Darah Woomert, Kim Kollar and Andrea Keddell star in a new production of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” at Venice Theatre.

Singing about life at Armadillo Acres 

New on stage in the Sarasota area: Oct. 24-30
© PROVIDED BY VAN WEZEL “Escape to Margaritaville” builds a story around the hit songs of singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet.

Armadillo Acres Trailer Park is back in business at Venice Theatre, where a new production of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” opens Friday. The show (and a holiday variation) has been a hit in several past productions, but this is the first time the musical has been presented on the mainstage Jervey Theatre. Luke McFatrich directs the production that  features some of the area’s most familiar performers, including Kim Kollar, DaNiesha Carr, Andrea Keddell, Darah Woomert, Steve O’Dea, Seth Bracewell and Colleen Buchmeier. Set in Starke, the show depicts the relationships among the trailer park residents, including a tollbooth collector, his wife who is devoted to Dr. Phil, and a stripper on the run. Michele Kasanofsky is the musical director. “Trailer Park” runs Oct. 29-Nov. 28. Tickets are $32 for adults, $20 for college students and $15 for youth through 12th grade. 941-488-1115; venicetheatre.org

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New season underway: Venice Theatre returns to a regular school 2021-22

New on stage in the Sarasota area: Oct. 24-30
© PROVIDED BY NEW MUSIC NEW COLLEGE The James Varnado Quartet performs for the New Music New College series.

Varnado improvises at New College

James Varnado, who has played with some of the great musicians in a wide variety of musical styles, is joined by his quartet for a salon performance for the New Music New College series at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Varnado, a Sarasota-based drummer, has shared the stage with Dickey Betts, Ted Nugent, Peter Frampton, ZZ Top and BB King. The program has a focus on improvised music, jazz and funk as the musicians explore new paths in their creativity. Tickets are $10. More information: newmusicnewcollege.org

Safety in the arts: New Sarasota COVID-19 arts safety protocols take effect

Music legend: Singer Patti Smith to perform Sarasota concert at Selby Gardens

‘Tootsie’ sings on stage

The Tony Award-winning musical version of the 1980s Dustin Hoffman film “Tootsie” is opening a new Broadway touring lineup at the Straz Center in Tampa. Drew Becker stars as Michael Dorsey, a struggling actor who becomes something of a star when he dons a wig and dress to play a woman in a new Broadway musical. Kathy Halenda, a favorite performer in her many appearances in Sarasota over the years, has a featured role in the show. Robert Horn won the Tony Award for best book of a musical for his adaptation of Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal’s film script, and the score is by Tony-winner David Yazbek (“The Band’s Visit,” “The Full Monty”). Oct. 26-31 at the Straz, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. More information: 800-955-1045; strazcenter.org

Van Wezel escapes to ‘Margaritaville’

The vibe at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall may be a little more “chill” Friday night when a touring production of Jimmy Buffet’s “Escape to Margaritaville” is presented at 7:30 p.m. The jukebox musical launches the new season of the hall’s Broadway series. The show is set in a place where people go to get away from all the troubles in their lives, where romance can blossom while you’re looking for a lost shaker of salt. The story is built around Buffet’s extensive song catalogue, and includes such hits as “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and the title song. Tickets are $42-$97. The Van Wezel is following #SafeArtsSarasota protocols, meaning patrons must show a negative COVID-19 test results (or proof of vaccine) and wear a mask indoors. 941-263-6799; vanwezel.org

New on stage in the Sarasota area: Oct. 24-30
© JARRETT HASS/PROVIDED BY AMERICAN STAGE Damon Dennin, left, as Oscar Madison, and Michael Burgess as Felix Unger in the American Stage production of Neil Simon’s comedy “The Odd Couple.”

Diversifying in ‘The Odd Couple’

One of the classic comedy of modern theater is back as American Stage in St. Petersburg opens its new season with Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” The theater says it will be a “contemporary, fresh and multicultural” interpretation of the comedy about two mismatched roommates trying to share a New York City apartment. The play replaces the previously announced “Around the World in 80 Days.” Adam Mace directs the comedy with Damon Dennin as the messy Oscar Madison and Michael Burgess as the tidy Felix Unger. Mace says it is a play about the oddity of friendship. “The Odd Couple” runs Oct. 27-Nov. 21 in the Raymond James Theatre, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg. 727-823-7529; americanstage.org

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: New on stage in the Sarasota area: Oct. 24-30

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