MARIE J. KILKER, PH.D. – BACKSTAGE BYTES – Fall ’18 into Winter
SARASOTA’S LA MUSICA has great new website graphics. Take a look: LaMusica Festival.org. If you go to it now, you’ll see new board members and pix of returning musicians and two new ones, including impressive Ann Hobson Pilot. The harpist, who has spent 40 years with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will display her talents at La Musica’s concert on Sunday, April 14, 2019, 3 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House. La Musica’s early “season” work is “Sonata a Due” on Dec. 4th at The Field Club–Sarasota, of course.
WELCOME AT FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE to Lydia Baxter as the new marketing person. She worked as an Intern and was able to step into her new job quite impressively. As a reviewer, I’ve also welcomed “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”–which I doubt has been better done by anyone than FST.
FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE’S “Write a Play’ Program has begun another year. It’s administered by Caroline Kaiser, FST Director of Children’s Theatre, all of which keeps getting better and better Teachers and educational personnel who’d like to have their students writing plays in FST’s program should contact Hannah Bagnall, who handles scheduling, etc.
JO MORELLO HAS A NEW BACKSTAGE ROLE: She’s a producer of JoMo Productions, Inc. You may remember when she produced The Starlite Players, to which she still holds the rights. But now she’s written “Lil & Louis” about the world of Lil Armstrong, second wife and devloper to fame of Louies Armstrong, which will have a workshop production at West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, March 4 and March 5 at 7:30 p.m. It will be done book-in-hand in WBTT’s Binz Building at 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, as an exciting extra, separately ticked event, of Sarasota Jazz Festival. WBTT is the reading’s in-kind sponsor and the show will be directed by its frequent artist Chuck Smith, who’s also resident at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. With all these great “names”, be aware there’s limited seating, so call 941-366-1505 or go to westcoastblacktheatre.org to reserve yours.
SARASOTA OPERA has a new backstage helper. Bill Oser, long an opera expert and former singer himself, will bring his critical faculties to help the opera. That probably means he won’t be reviewing its productions for Talking Broadway, for which he writes of productions of plays and musical events created from Venice through to Tampa and St. Pete’s. I don’t know how he gets his energy, but I admire him for using all his talents here.
IF YOU MISS THE HOLIDAY THEATER that started last year at The Starlite Room, it’s because the troupe has been disbanded. David Coyle, who managed and publicized its few offerings, tells me things “just didn’t work out.”
BACK IN 1988, Maureen Martin worked in marketing at FST, where Jo Ann Lordahl, Ph.D. was a visiting writer of poetry and working on a play. Maureen staged at her home a reader’s theater performance of what became FOUR WOMEN’s voices. I was one of those voices and after she left Sarasota, Jo Ann wrote me that “it was really fun to see what you did with some of the pieces” and she was mulling over the tape of it. (I must tell you that I am absolutely no actress but I am a trained performer of reading, at least of poetry.) I just came across Jo Ann’s letter recently and contacted her via her Amazon page, noting all the books she’s published. One contains “the” play. In mentioning this to Maureen Martin, I have discovered that Maureen kept in contact with JoAnn and is helping her edit her Memoirs. Wow!
MAUREEN MARTIN ia quite the busy lady these days. She has resumed writing theater reviews for the Herald-Tribune, She works box office at Sarasota Opera. She is helping JoAnn Lordahl with her autobiographical book. And, if I know Maureen, she also has some other writing of her own in the works. Nice.
GOTTA GIVE VENICE THEATRE CREDIT for its full program, not only of its own productions but also its concerts and special events. I was amazed to see it got Eric Waters’ Dame Edna show, said to be on one of Dame Edna’s last tours. I remember that one of the last times my late husband and I were in NYC, we felt lucky to get tickets for the “great dame” on Broadway. It was so easy in November in Venice! At the end of ’18, VT hosts the Capital Steps and then returns to “Make America Grin Again” on March 3 to 5 of 2019.
JACK GILHOOLEY’S PLAY “XXX GENIUS” is the 2018 Free Speech Contest Festival winner. I wrote about this when it had a first book-in-hand reading in Pennsylvania. Now it’s also been in The Villages, Florida, and may be on its way elsewhere.
ELLIOTT RAINES WILL BE STILL BE DIRECTING “A View From the Bridge” by Arthur Miller for his Two Chairs Theatre at The Players next April 25-May 5. But it won’t be the last show at that theater before it heads to its new home. The Players is extending its stay at its present location on North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota for a year beyond its previously announced departure. Want to bet Elliott will be directing a Two Chairs Theatre show there in 2020?
WELCOME TO HANNAH LEVITE AT ASOLO/FSU CONSERVATORY. She’s the new press rep and marketing person for the Conservatory, its productions, its students, and other news. Her enthusiasm for the program may well be catching.