Your source for news on arts and culture around Sarasota County.
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens season with The Color Purple
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its 2015-2016 season with The Color Purple, with a run of Oct. 14 – Nov. 21. This inspiring musical tells the story of an unforgettable woman who triumphs over adversity and discovers her unique voice in the world.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film), the play chronicles Celie’s 40-year evolution from near-enslavement to enlightenment through heartfelt letters to God and her long-lost missionary sister. With a jubilant score of roof-raising gospel, jazz, and throaty blues, The Color Purple is the tale of an everywoman triumphing over adversity, and a testament to the power of hope. WBTT founder and artistic director Nate Jacobs is thrilled to bring this production to Sarasota. “We really wanted to continue to raise the bar, especially after our 15th anniversary season, which definitely took our organization to another level,” said Jacobs. “The Color Purple is so beloved by readers and audiences of the film and musical that I thought it was time to bring its compelling story to our stage. It’s a large and challenging piece but we’ve got a great director, James Harkness, who has an incredible understanding of what this show is all about. I think audiences will be blown away.”
Starlite Players presents four short comedies collectively titled “Two By Two & TV Too” on Oct. 10 and 11 upstairs in The Starlite Room. Three of the plays deal with duos in one capacity or another. The fourth, “How I Met the Sopranos,” presents a skewed look at the unreality of reality TV programs and news shows.
The four comedies feature talented theatre professionals from this area, sometimes serving as actors in one play and directors for another. Three of the four playwrights (Marvin Albert, Jo Morello, Irene L. Pynn) and a director (Tim Guerrieri) make return engagements while Clearwater author Richard J. Budin makes his Starlite debut. A number of well-known area favorites are involved with the October plays
Jazz Club of Sarasota resumes Jazz at Two concerts on Oct. 16
he Jazz Club of Sarasota resumes Jazz at Two, its longstanding series of weekly concerts, on Friday, October 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road. The 2015-16 concerts are presented on Friday afternoons through April 15 according to Peg Pluto, Jazz Club president. The admission charge of $10 for Jazz Club members and $15 for nonmembers includes a one-dollar contribution to the Jazz Club Scholarship Fund, Pluto says.
Here’s the October schedule:
October 16—Synia Carroll and the Bob Miner Quartet kick off the series with Synia’s vocal renditions inspired by the jazz legends of the’40s,’50s and’60s. Her voice carries hints of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan as she sings tunes that range from sultry to raucous to up-tempo swing. Accompanying her are Miner on saxophone, Joe Bruno on bass, Shawn Doolittle on drums and Bill Buchman on piano. Synia and Bob Miner also have teamed to play at the Blue Rooster on October 7 as part of the Jazz Club’s Oktoberfest Pub Crawl.
October 23Reedman Tony Benade headlines his group for the Jazz Club, bringing a broad musical background that began in Chicago. He played with the Tex Beneke Orchestra, toured the U.S., worked for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, was featured in the Fallbrook Jazz Festival and the Temecula Jazz Festival. He also played backup for the Temptations, Four Tops, Steve Allen and others. A gifted teacher and composer, he currently performs with the Sarasota Jazz Project and will play music for The Color Purple at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe in October and November.
October 30Lorri Hafer’s quartethusband Mike Hafer on piano, son Paul on bass and Dave Dunscombe on drums–present music from the Great American Songbook and songs of the Big Band era. The daughter of musicians, Lorri began her career at 5 on the Guy Mitchell record “If You Ever Go Away” and was lead vocalist with the Hillside Singers. She and her mother later recorded Coca-Cola’s song, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” She toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, was featured vocalist with Les Brown’s Band of Renown and guest vocalist with Buddy Morrow and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. She appeared on the PBS Special “This Land Is Your Land” with the Rooftop Singers, Sandpipers, Mamas and the Papas, and Trini Lopez and was also the opening act for Bob Newhart. The Hafers were headliners on “Music Of Your Life” and jazz cruises for almost a decade and continue to perform in major U.S. clubs. Nominated as Best Jazz Vocalist in Tampa Bay, Lorri sings frequently at the Palladium in St. Petersburg and will join Ellington bassist John Lamb at the Suncoast Jazz Classic. She is also weekend morning host on the “Music Of Your Life” Radio Network heard in the Tampa Bay area on WTAN 1340 AM.
Oct 15 through 18 at New College of Florida Black Box Theater in Hamilton Center enjoy an intimate view of Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños’ choreography, this performance puts audience members in the midst of dancing bodies they hear the dancers breathe, see their strength, feel the energy of their collaborative power. This exhilarating event features favorites from the 2006 Cuban Art Exhibit collaboration at the Ringling Museum and Ms. Bolaños’ acclaimed “Aftermath,” performed at the Kennedy Center.
The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County is developing a monthly Artist Walk at UTC. Stores at University Town Center are inviting artists to create, demonstrate, or perform in host stores within University Town Center Mall one Saturday afternoon per month. Participation is open to stores and artists who are members of the Arts and Cultural Alliance. There is no charge to artists to participate. Work and exhibit space varies with each host. With host store permission, artists will be able to sell their work in the store.
Artists interested in participating can complete an Artist Profile at HERE. The first Artist Walk at UTC will be in September.
The SARASOTA CULTURE COLLECTIVE gives those interested in the arts (ages 21-39) the chance to experience Sarasotas world-class organizations at a dramatically discounted rate and exclusive access to pre- or post-show mix and mingle events. This can include cocktails, appetizers, a chance to schmooze with the younger set in Sarasota and a short up close and personal presentation by a performer, director, etc. from the arts organization. Memberships are $99, which gets you:
ONE ticket to ONE performance at each of the following organizations: Asolo Repertory Theatre, The Sarasota Ballet, Circus Arts Conservatory, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Orchestra and The Ringling.
Discounts to other arts organizations in the area.
Meet up events hosted by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.
Sound good to you? Snap up your membership today. Art just isnt the same with out the audience.
Elizabeth Smart Bookstore1Sarasota
Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.
Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart will tell her story and present her book, My Story. Sudakoff Center on the New College campus. Sponsored by Designing Women Boutique. The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. She was abducted on June 5, 2002 and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Hear Elizabeth Smarts story of incredible bravery and learn how Selah Freedom is confronting sex trafficking in our own community, and why Designing Women Boutique is partnering in this local effort. For tickets and sponsorship information go to www.SelahFreedom.com or call 941-366-5293.