Students are preparing to head off of the New College (NCF) campus, toward internships, jobs and family vacations. It can only mean one thing – summer has arrived. Here is a guide to what to look for in the world of arts, sports, and, for those staying in Sarasota, the community that surrounds NCF.
The last Palm Court Party – the last day of the spring semester – occurs on Friday, May 24. Two days later, kicking off the summer season, Netflix will be unveiling the fourth season of “Arrested Development,” the Emmy Award-winning, fan-favorite sitcom that aired its last season back in 2006. All episodes will be available at once.
That day will also feature the premiere of HBO’s highly-anticipated television film “Behind the Candelabra,” which stars Oscar winners Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and depicts the five-year relationship between Liberace and his lover, Thorson. Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh helmed the film in what is rumored to be his final picture.
Other television highlights, following the eventful May 26, include John Oliver temporarily taking over for Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” (June 10), the new season of the highly-rated “True Blood” (June 16), the final season of “Dexter” (June 30), and perhaps the most awaited return, the last eight episodes of Emmy-winner “Breaking Bad” (August 11).
Unlike summer television, known for niche cable programming, cinema in the offseason is known for box office giants, and that trend looks to continue starting with the new Superman film, “Man of Steel” (June 14), which features big name actors like Russell Crowe and Amy Adams. Other notable blockbusters include the Channing Tatum-led “White House Down” (June 28) and “The Wolverine” (July 26), with Hugh Jackman reprising his role once again.
Animated favorites from years past are returning with sequels, too – “Monsters University” (June 21), the sequel to “Monsters Inc.,” “Despicable Me 2” (July 3), and “The Smurfs 2” (July 30).
Big comedies set to debut include “The Internship” (June 7) with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson – reteaming after “Wedding Crashers” – and “This is the End” (June 12) a comedy that stars James Franco, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and other celebrities as fictional versions of themselves.
Lower-budget, more critically-acclaimed fare set to premiere during the summer includes “Fruitvale Station” (July 12), which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival; “The Bling Ring” (July 14), Sofia Coppola’s newest film starring Emma Watson; and “Laurence Anyways” (June 28), the picture that won the Jury Prize last month here at the Sarasota Film Festival.
Coming off of his critically acclaimed album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” in 2010, Kanye West’s newest album leads the pack in this summer’s music offerings. His yet-to-be-titled album is tentatively scheduled for a June 18 release.
Many popular artists are back in the game this summer as well, including – but certainly not limited to – John Legend (June 25), Laura Marling (May 28), Primal Scream (June), and the 20-year old Wu-Tang Clan (July, tentatively).
In the world of theatre, Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the Tony Awards for the third consecutive year on June 8. Actors nominated for awards this year include Tom Hanks and Cicely Tyson. Nora Ephron, the now-deceased screenwriter of hits like “When Harry Met Sally,” is posthumously nominated for her final play, “Lucky Guy.”
If more inclined to check out summer sports, Major League Baseball (MLB) will dominate ESPN and the like, as the National Basketball Association wraps up the playoffs in early summer and the National Football League prepares to start in August. Events like the All-Star game, the Trade Deadline and Interleague Play will keep MLB fans busy.
Opportunities are aplenty for anyone staying in Sarasota, as the community promises a great number of events this summer.
Starting it all off will be the Sarasota Music Festival from June 3-22. A nationally-recognized event, the Festival brings together guest musicians and the most talented students from all over the world. It is presented by the Sarasota Orchestra.
For foodies, the Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week should be an immediate draw. For two weeks in June, casual and top-notch restaurants across Sarasota participate in providing three-course meals at reasonable rates. In other words, it is the best time for students to experience the finest cuisine in Sarasota.
Craft festivals are also held in June, and can be found on St. Armand’s Circle or in Downtown Venice. Each run for two days, featuring jewelry, ceramics and fine art up for sale or, for the student on a budget, a nice look.
Fourth of July in Sarasota is characterized by the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix, in which visitors from around the globe join in a boat parade, watch exciting powerboat races and watch the spectacular Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration at Island Park.
The Asolo Repertory Theatre will also end its season with “My Brilliant Divorce,” an acclaimed comedy that will air throughout June.
No matter where summer is taking NCF students, there appears to be a place that anyone can escape to – the movie theatre, the baseball field, and for those sticking around, the vibrant Sarasota community.