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SRQ DAILY Aug 12, 2016

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"WBTT wants to be a net to reach out and grab all this incredible talent. We are so very excited to get back to that mission."

- Nate Jacobs, WBTT

[Theater]  WBTT Summer Intensive a Success
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

With the big show just a couple days away, the rehearsal at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is rocking. Roughly 20 young performers crowd the stage, belting in unison and harmony as WBTT founder Nate Jacobs directs from the front. Heads bob in the makeshift audience, but something isn’t quite right and Jacobs signals LaTerry Butler, pianist and longtime WBTT collaborator, to stop the music. “Give me the top one,” he says, and Butler plunks a high pitch. Jacobs holds the note, instructing his sopranos to follow suit. A choreographer works through a few moves with a girl up front. Jacobs continues from group to group, ensuring each performer has found their pitch, before returning to the front. “Again!” he says, and the stage comes alive.

These are the closing days of Stage of Discovery, the summer musical theater intensive from WBTT introduced this year to bring underserved or underprivileged children from the community into the world of theater to discover their hidden talents. Underwritten by the Robert E. Dods Family Foundation for this pilot year, WBTT hosted 25 students ranging from middle school to just entering college free of charge. Beginning July 20, students met five days a week to work with vocal coaches, choreographers and dance instructors, rehearse their scenes and even construct the sets, props and costumes. Culminating in a production of Rockin’ Down Fairytale Lane, written and directed by Jacobs, on August 14 and 15, the experience has been “over the top and past my expectations,” says Jacobs.

It’s been a project long in the making, he continues. Jacobs prides himself on the “homegrown” nature of WBTT’s stars—all plucked from the community before moving on to become industry professionals—and that means working with local talent and taking the time to groom the next generation of artists. “That’s the heartbeat of what I do,” Jacobs says, and he’s encouraged by what he sees at Stage of Discovery. “We’ve been driving these kids and they have embraced everything,” he says. Some have already requested the intensive begin earlier next year and occupy more of the day.

For Mya Perez, an incoming 8th grader at Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences (SSAS) and the actress playing Snow White in this weekend’s Rockin’ Down Fairytale Lane, Stage of Discovery represented an opportunity to expand on the passion for musical theater engendered at school. It’s been a tough intensive and Perez’ eyes widen a bit when asked about her daily schedule, full of rehearsals and instruction and even a little behind-the-scenes work building props. But she enjoys it, she says, and even signed up for the bi-weekly dance classes also offered at WBTT. Key for her, Perez says, has been learning to project her voice and how to properly get into a character. Her biggest takeaway? “Being more confident,” she says. “I’m hoping that will make a change when I go back to school.” With SSAS putting on a production of Hairspray this coming year, Perez hopes to bring her newfound skills to bear on landing a meaty part.

With the pilot year already considered a success, Jacobs is confident that the program will continue next year and possibly even expand. It’s been too long since WBTT could actively engage in such outreach and on such a scale, he says, and it feels good to get back to it. “WBTT wants to be a net to reach out and grab all this incredible raw talent,” Jacobs says. “We are so very excited to get back to that mission.”

Rockin’ Down Fairytale Lane opens August 14 at WBTT Theatre at 7:30pm, with a second showing August 15 also at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. 

Pictured: The students of Stage of Discovery. Photo by Don Daly Photo.

[Good Bite]  Truck Dynasty
Aviel Kanter, aviel.kanter@srqme.com

Charlie and Soomi Chi don't need much to create greatness. In fact, the aromatic tendrils of Korean spice billow out from the teeny grill within their food truck to blanket the entire Tuttle roundabout. Through the window of the itty-bitty truck, you'll see diced chicken, beef and pork spitting on a grill and a box full of sauces ranging from a vinegar-soy concoction to Korean sweet sriracha to a spicy-hot-wing-esque marinade. While the bulgogi is the main draw to the Chi's truck (currently located at the West Coast Church of the Cross on Tuttle and often found at bars around town such as JDubs), their newest addition adds a new delight to their traditional menu. Mandu, or dumpling, filled with marinated pork and veggies sit atop a bed of dangmyeon cellophane noodles tossed in sesame oil and the Korean sauce of your choice. The perfect lunch portion, the golden, pan-fried dumplings are clearly free of MSG and light enough not to weigh you down for the rest of your day. Go for the bulgogi, stay for the mandu—the picture doesn't do them justice.  

BulGoGi Sarasota, 3005 South Tuttle Ave., Sarasota.

[Recipe]  Soul Fly
Diana Morales

A rum lover, Ernest Hemingway is something of a legend—after trying his first daiquiri, he infamously said, “That’s good, but I prefer mine with twice the rum and no sugar.” And thus, the Classic Hemingway Daiquiri was born. Bartender Rudy Kranz at Pangea recreates this refreshing cocktail, Soul Fly, with a modern twist to make for a summer favorite by the pool.

Ingredients: 0.5 oz. aged rum, 0.5 oz. silver rum, 0.5 oz. honey, 0.5 oz. luxardo cherry liqueur, 1 oz. kina liqueur, 1 oz. fresh lemon, 0.5 oz. spritz of barrel aged cachaca

Combine all the ingredients and shake until chilled. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist. 

Pangea Lounge, 1568 Main St., Sarasota, 941-953-7111.

[Hires]  Cline As VP Of Strategic Philanthropy

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County announced Camille Cline as vice president of strategic philanthropy. Cline's background as a book editor in New York and as an advancement officer in higher ed, make her a great addition to Sarasota County's mission, guiding values and goals toward partnerships and investment.  

Education Foundation of Sarasota County

[Hires]  Seeking New Members At Loveland Center

A nonprofit that proves educational, vocational and residential services for individuals with developmental disabilities, the Loveland Center is recruiting new board members. The Loveland Center currently has a 12-member board. The board of directors is responsible for supporting the organization’s mission, vision, goals, policies and programs as well as being an advocate for the nonprofit throughout the community.  

The Loveland Center

[Exec Moves]  Transformation of Great Room by the Bay

Michael’s On East, culinary partner of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, has released the design concept drawings demonstrating the anticipated improvements to the special events facility at the Selby Gardens. The 4,800 square foot space will incorporate theatrical lighting and audio/visual systems, allowing for indoor seating for up to 350 seated guests.  

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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