Highlights: Kay Kipling's arts and entertainment calendar for May.
VENICE ART CENTER. The center's Guess What: The World of Abstraction show ends May 8; it's followed by the South Sarasota County Schools show, May 13-22. 485-7136.
ART CENTER SARASOTA. Continuing here through May 10: North Sarasota County Schools Spring Art Show. Coming up May 21 through June 26: Confluence: France, featuring artists from the Catalan region of that country; Collective Paper Aesthetics, a community project using materials designed by Netherlands-based artist Noa Haim; MASHterpieces, a collaboration between the center, Goodwill Manasota and TWIS.com; and I'll Be the Judge!, an open, all-media exhibition. 365-2032.
LONGBOAT KEY CENTER FOR THE ARTS. The Florida Artist Group exhibition continues through May 14 here. 383-2345.
RINGLING MUSEUM OF ART. Continuing are these exhibitions: Re:Purposed, centering on pieces created from cast-off materials, through May 17; Fan-Tastid, presenting the museums collection of fans, through June 28; and Trenton Doyle Hancock, presenting the artist's mythological work, through Sept. 13. 359-5700.
SELBY GALLERY. The Annual Ringling College Senior Thesis Exhibitions in the field of illustration open here May 1 and continue through May 7. Next up: the gallery's annual community exhibition, featuring the works of Women Contemporary Artists, May 15 through June 5. 359-7563.
ALFSTAD&. This Rosemary District arts space, on Fifth Street, presents Kevin Dean: Extra Ordinary, an exhibition of the late artist's work, opening May 8 to run through June 5. 366-6400.
DOWNTOWN SARASOTA CRAFT FESTIVAL. Returning to the Central Avenue/Five Points Park area, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 9 and 10. (813) 962-0388.
LYNN TREFZGER. Humorist Trefzger brings her trunk full of comic characters to the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, at 8 p.m. May 14. 552-5325.
SARASOTA BALLET. Salute the close of the ballet season and the wild genius of Vaslav Nijinsky with performances of Les Sylphides, VApres-midi d'un Faune and Petrushka, May 1 and 2 at the Sarasota Opera House. 359-0099 ext. 101.
THREADS. A week of community activities, lectures and performances that is based on quilts and presented by Fuzion Dance Artists. Former Dance Theatre of Harlem company member Anjali Austin created the dance performance, which was inspired by the 33 quilts made by her grandmother. Onstage May 6 and 7 at New College of Florida Black Box Theater in Hamilton Center. 345-5755.
POETRYLIFE WEEKEND. This festival celebrating the power of words returns May 1 and 2, with appearances by Billy Collins (U.S. Poet Laureate 2001-03), Marie Howe, and Tracy K. Smith (Pulitzer winner for poetry in 2012). There's lots more, too, including a Young Voices Poetry Reading and a Community Favorite Poem Reading. All events take place at Florida Studio Theatre, with Sarasota's downtown Bookstore 1 the guiding spirit. 366-9000 (tickets) or 365-7900.
INSPIRESARASOTA! The Arts & Cultural Alliance's brand-new festival is a celebration of the arts here, whether visual, dance, drama, literature or music. It takes place May 2 downtown at Selby Library and Five Points Park, and especially focuses on youth performances and presenters in its first year. For complete info, visit inspiresarasota.net.
FOOD AND WINE ON PINE. Enjoy food, wine, beer, art, music and more at this one-day event starting at 11:30 a.m. May 2 along Anna Maria's Pine Avenue. foodandwineonpine.com
VENICE SYMPHONY. AmoVenezia ("I Love Venice") is the focus for the orchestra's final concert of the season, highlighting music from The Godfather and favorites like O Sole Mio and Come Back to Sorrento. May 1 and 2 at the Venice Performing Arts Center. 207-8822.
RICH AND BRANDON RIDENOUR/MARA BONDE. Trumpeter Brandon, pianist Rich and soprano Bonde team for a concert featuring classic work by Ravel, Prokofiev and Chopin, among other composers, May 2 and 3 at the Historic Asolo Theater, in an Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota offering. 360-7399.
ORCHESTRA IN THE OUTFIELD. Hometown girl (and Broadway performer) Syesha Mercado headlines this pops concert from the Sarasota Orchestra, set for 7:30 p.m. May 9 at Ed Smith Stadium. Fireworks follow. 893-6300.
BIT'S HEROES. Local jazz prodigy Bit Risner presents the music that influenced her: work by Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and more. At 8 p.m. May 30 in the Glenridge Performing Arts Series. 552-5325.
LISA UNGER. Novelist Unger kicks off the Manatee Performing Arts Center's new Arts and Lecture Series (sponsored by the Manatee Library Foundation), at 6 p.m. May 4. For complete info, call 748-5875.
THEATRE ODYSSEY TEN-MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL. The fest celebrating short works continues with plays by area playwrights, May 1, 2 and 3 at the Cook Theatre. (A bonus play at each performance: the winner of this year's student playwriting festival, Julien Freij's As Long as the Moon Shines.) 799-7224 or theatreodyssey.org
YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY. The final play of the Players season is this Charles Ludwig comedy, a Cinderella story set in Greenwich Village (with some twists), ending its run May 3. 365-2494.
CHICKEN SHOP. The brand-new downtown company, Urbanite Theatre, closes this inaugural production of an Anna Jordan play, on May 3. 321-1397.
SPUNK. Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe closes its season with this musical adaptation of three short stories by Zora Neale Hurston. Continuing through May 17. 366-1505.
MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT. This musical comedy hit continues to pop up around town, with the latest version at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, through May 17. 748-5875.
CHAPATTI. A tender romance between two lonely people set in Dublin, this piece by Christian O'Reilly continues through May 30 in Florida Studio Theatre's Gompertz Theatre. 366-9000.
NEVER MARRY A GIRL WITH COLD FEET; AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS FROM VAUDEVILLE. This original FST revue saluting the heyday of vaudeville continues with shows through June 7 in the John C. Court Cabaret. 366-9000.
LUCK BE A LADY: THE ICONIC MUSIC OF FRANK LOESSER. Celebrate the career of composer-lyricist Loesser with this brand-new musical, conceived and directed by Gordon Greenberg. It takes to the Asolo Rep mainstage May 1-24. 351-8000.
THE MIRACLE WORKER. William Gibson's hit about the life-changing relationship between Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, returns to the Venice Theatre mainstage, with performances May 5-24. 488-1115.
THE MURDER ROOM. This Jack Sharkey spoof of crime thrillers closes out the Island Players' season, May 21-31. 778-5755.
WOODY SEZ. Another Asolo Rep musical, this one a theatrical concert featuring the music of singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie. Four actor/musicians play 15 different instruments in this tribute to the father of American folk music, May 30 through June 21. 351-8000.