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SRQ DAILY Jan 12, 2018

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"It's an argument for the existence of the arts, more specifically for live theater, and the transformative effects it can have on the people who see it."

- Jordan Brown, actor

[Theater]  How a Chicago Actor Finds Shakespeare in Sarasota
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

When Asolo Repertory Theatre chose to produce Shakespeare in Love for its 2017-18 season, actor Jordan Brown had many reasons to be interested. A fan of the source material (in both senses of the phrase) and his potential collaborators in director Rachel Rockwell and playwright Lee Hall, who adapted the Oscar-winning film for the stage, Brown had also heard only good things about Asolo Rep. The only daunting bit was the idea of playing a figure so iconic but still largely unknowable—Shakespeare himself.

Currently onstage at the Asolo, Shakespeare in Love takes the audience back to the days when William was just Will and no more than a promising playwright juggling the demands of dueling theaters and a massive dose of writer’s block. With the arrival of Viola, he may have found his muse, or bitten off more than he can chew. An ambitious production with a large cast and lots of moving parts, Brown expressed elation at performing under Rockwell’s guidance again, calling her a “big draw” to the project. “I love her work,” he says. “She knows exactly she wants, and it’s good to have a director who is very clear on her vision.” And while this allows Brown to dive into his own private world to explore character subtleties, Rockwell remains a “born collaborator,” open to suggestions from all sides. “But she is also a very good captain of the ship,” he says, “and keeps things moving.”

A Chicago actor making his Asolo Rep debut with the production, Brown was also intrigued hearing stories about the theater from fellow actors. Returning to the Windy City from sunny Sarasota, they spoke highly of both the theater itself, and the people who call it home. Today, at least in Brown’s circles in Chicago, the Asolo Rep enjoys a quality reputation that draws talent. Combine these with a script from Hall, and Brown knew he had to throw his hat in the ring. “It was all of those elements coming together,” he says. “And the chance to play Will Shakespeare.”

Simultaneously daunting in his iconic nature and liberating in the fact that little is known about Shakespeare the man, the role certainly presented a challenge. But what Brown didn’t know about being a 16th century British playwright, he did know about how it felt to be a starving artist, which is where the audience finds Will. “You lock into some commonality and go from there,” says Brown. “Let your imagination fill in the gaps and try to make it as honest as possible.” Still a daunting task, “that typically means you should go for it,” he continues. “A little fear is a good thing.”

Currently on stage at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare in Love runs through March 28. 

Pictured: Laura Rook and Jordan Brown in Asolo Repertory Theatre's "Shakespeare in Love." Photo by John Revisky.

[Gallery]  530 Burns Welcomes Tommy May for Sarasota Debut
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

530 Burns Gallery brings the West Coast to Sarasota with its latest exhibit, Tommy May: Emerging Spaces, showcasing the work of California artist Tommy May. Opening tonight at 6pm with a reception with the artist. Featuring 15 pieces ranging from large-scale to small-scale, but all in the artist’s trademark abstract expressionist style, the exhibition and work selected offer an almost biographical sketch of their creator.

An avid outdoorsman, May’s biggest inspiration comes from the natural environment he finds himself in. Inspired by topographical views and landscapes, he riffs off the cubist approach by merging human and birds-eye perspectives as he imagines the world from a celestial vantage. Tracts of land, as viewed from a descending airplane, appear as swaths of color in his mind, or, to put it another way, as brushstrokes.

May’s process is “explosive,” he says, playing off these initial impressions and expressing himself quickly on 20 or more canvases at a time, moving from one to the next as the spirit takes him and with no time for thinking. The thinking comes next, as May revisits each piece again and again, this time almost decoding his initial expression as he adds guiding lines and splashes of color to accent his imagination. “It’s kind of an exploration,” he says. “It’s me exploring an immediate response.” Building layer upon layer, “it’s almost like putting a puzzle back together after breaking it down,” he says, “and then doing it all over again.”

Though first appearing as completely abstract, a closer look reveals much about May and his travels. The predominance of the color blue, for example, comes from days gone past, fishing and sailing with his parents in Martha’s Vineyard. Or more recent memories of the Pacific Ocean as viewed from Venice, CA. “The ocean and being close to it is a very important part of my inspiration,” he says. But the growing intrusion of pinks and sandy colors reflect a growing influence from the California desert. Working largely in acrylic, accents made with an alcohol-based paint pen belie appreciation for and adaption of graffiti styles as well.

But even without inside knowledge, May remains confident that audiences can see through his abstractions. The goal was never a literal translation of the message and it doesn’t really matter if the viewer knows exactly what bit of land (or sea) the piece represents, but rather that they take the time to appreciate where they are and that it too could look so beautiful. “I hope they can see their own landscape in what I’ve created,” says May, who has always found solace in both nature and the studio.

Tommy May: Emerging Spaces opens tonight at 530 Burns Gallery with an opening reception at 6pm. May will also be speaking beforehand at the gallery’s Curing, Caring & the Arts speaker series, beginning at 3:30pm, to talk about the studio as a place to be free from anxiety. 

Pictured: "Wading in the Cove" by Tommy May. Image courtesy of 530 Burns Gallery.

[SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight ]  Give Gratitude, Grateful Patient Program

If you have been a patient at Sarasota Memorial, perhaps you can look back to when the care you received exceeded your expectations. Maybe it was kind words from a doctor or nurse, the patience of a technologist who took the time to explain a procedure, or a volunteer, housekeeper or food service staff who went the extra mile to ensure you or a loved one felt cared for. If so, you are not alone. The Give Gratitude, Grateful Patient Program gives patients and their families the opportunity to make a donation, share a memorable experience and show gratitude in a meaningful way.

Whether you choose to honor your doctor, nurse or an entire department, acknowledging them for the extraordinary care they have provided to you is a meaningful opportunity to say “thank you”. When you make a gift, the SMH caregiver or department you or honoring will receive a certificate of appreciation by the Healthcare Foundation along with your personalized note, if you choose to include one. You can honor your caregiver and Give Gratitude by visiting smhf-givegratitude.org or by contacting the Healthcare Foundation at (941)917-1286. 

Give Gratitude

[Opening]  Gomez Opens Martial Fusion Budo Center in Sarasota

Guillermo Gomez—creator of Martial Fusion, founder/director of United States AIKIKAI and the producer of Budo Expo—has relocated to Sarasota to open the region’s first Martial Fusion Budo Center, located at 2902 Hyde Park Street. Gomez designed the center from the ground up as a multi-dimensional training space, where he offers programs and classes geared towards business professionals, entrepreneurs, CEOs and those seeking to develop their leadership and conflict resolution skills, and build confidence, a stronger self-image and overall self-awareness. Gomez teaches Aikido as the primary martial art in his trainings because of its practical and philosophical qualities. Martial Fusion Budo Training is a concept developed by Gomez based on Aikido, kickboxing, yoga, qigong and zen meditation. The aim is to cultivate and improve health, longevity, flexibility, vitality, energy, stamina, posture, alignment, strength, coordination, agility, adaptability, balance, focus, clarity, inner development and spiritual awareness. A fifth-degree black belt by Hombu Dojo Japan, Gomez started training in martial arts and other healing arts at the age of 10. Fluent in English and Spanish, Gomez has worked with thousands of students, private companies, law enforcement agencies, military personnel, SWAT teams and corporate groups, teaching seminars and workshops around the world. Gomez has traveled to over 30 different countries, from the Amazon jungle in search of healing and shamanic rituals, to training with the monks in China's legendary Shaolin Temple. 

Martial Fusion

[Education]  Manatee County Accepting Name Nominations for New Middle School

The School District of Manatee County is now accepting name nominations for a new “East County Middle School” scheduled to open in August 2019. The construction process is just beginning on the new school, which will be located just east of Gullett Elementary School. Gullet Elementary is located at 12125 44th Ave. E. The District’s Communications, Family and Community Engagement Department is collecting name nominations. The deadline to submit nominations is Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Name nominations may be submitted by email to the following address: communications@manateeschools.net. They can also be mailed or delivered in person to the School Support Center at: New Middle School Name Nomination, School District of Manatee County, 215 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34205. Once the name nomination period expires, the list of names submitted will be sent to the School Board for review. The School Board will publicly discuss and consider the name nominations and then make the final decision on a name at a regularly scheduled School Board meeting. 

School District of Manatee County

[Recognition]  Station 400 Awards First "Teacher of the Month!"

The newest Station 400 Breakfast & Lunch eatery, located in South Sarasota at the Landings plaza, has partnered with Phillippi Shores Elementary School, to recognize a hard working teacher once a month with "Teacher of the Month!" The teacher chosen will receive brunch for four people delivered to the school or a $50 gift certificate. "We hope this monthly recognition will inspire others to show their support for the teachers of Sarasota County,” say Station 400 owners Deen and Kelly Fox. The first recipient of Station 400's "Teacher of the Month" is Amanda Kushner, a Phillippi Shores kindergarten teacher. Kushner chose to share the prize of delivered brunch with three of her colleagues. 

Station 400 at the Landings

"Islandream" by Syd Solomon; Allyn Gallup Contemporary.

[TODAY]  BUSINESS: Emily Larned , January 12 – March 17

This exhibition celebrates the ten-year anniversary of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA), a social engaged art project founded in 2008 to investigate labor, time, and what we value. A selection from the first ten years of the project will be featured, and ILSSA co-founder Emily Larned will be in-residence in the gallery for the first two weeks of the show.

Ringling College of Art and Design Gallery, 2700 N. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[WEEKEND]  GALLERY: createSRQ High School Juried Arts Exhibit , January 13 – January 15

Created to elevate arts education, createSRQ has become the area’s preeminent high school arts competition. The exhibit of over 200 pieces of art submitted by Sarasota County high school students will be on display at the Roskamp Exhibition Hall at Ringling College of Art + Design. The free exhibit is open to the public daily from 12pm to 4pm.C

Roskamp Exhibition Hall, 2700 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[WEEKEND]  GALA: The Hospital Gala , January 13, 6:00PM

Join us for the 2018 Hospital Gala at the Rtiz Carlton to raise funds for the Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Emergency Services team. All proceeds work to ensure that our families and communities receive the best care and that the accidents or traumas people suffer from can have their urgent medical needs be addressed.

The Ritz Carlton, 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive Sarasota, Florida 34236

[WEEKEND]  MUSIC: Fred Johnson Jazz Quartet , January 13, 8pm

Fred Johnson is an accomplished musician who has toured with the likes Aretha Franklin, Chick Corea and Miles Davis. A jazz, world music singer, and percussionist, Fred has been collaborating with Tampa Bay musicians for a series of performances with the theme of unity. Don't miss the evening of inspirational poetry, music, and art.

Fogartyville Community Media & Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota

[WEEKEND]  FESTIVAL: We Love Israel Shuk & Fair , January 14, 12pm

This event celebrates Israel's 70th anniversary of statehood. Attendees will be able to enjoy entertainment, food trucks and have the chance to purchase Israel-made products. Additionally, activities for children and educational opportunities are available. Admission is free and open to the public.

Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, 580 McIntosh Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: SWAC Speaker Series , January 17, 6:30PM

The Sarasota World Affairs Council Lecture Series is a collective of local discussions on world issues. It will continue in January with Raymond Baker. Baker is an author, businessman, and CEO who will be speaking at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion on global financial integrity. More specific topics which will be covered include how dirty money affects less-developed countries, human rights abuses, and economic inequality.  

Mildred Sainer Pavillion, 5313 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  THEATER: Singin' in the Rain , January 18 – February 4, 2pm or

Don Lockwood, with humble roots as a musician, dancer and stuntman, must navigate his movie studio’s transition into “talkie” production. Lockwood falls in love with Kathy Selden, the lovely back-up singer dubbing over the tone-deaf Lina Lamont. A classic love-battle ensues and will determine who shall have their happy ending, as if audiences don’t already know.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: Nosh & Knowledge , January 23, 7:00PM

Join the Jewish Housing Council Foundation over dinner on January 23 at Michael’s on East for the conclusion of Nosh and Knowledge. Investigative journalist and author, Carl Bernstein, will be here to share his experience reporting on the Watergate scandal with Bob Woodward as well as participate in audience Q & A. 

Michael’s On East, 1212 S East Ave Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  THEATER: Native Gardens , January 24 – March 25, 2pm, 3pm, 7pm or 8pm depending on day

When lawyer Pablo and his pregnant wife Tania move into a new house next to Frank and Virginia, two members of the community, a dispute over a longstanding fence spirals out of control into a battle of comical proportions. Clashing on everything from taste and privilege to accusations of entitlement, when a molehill becomes a mountain, nobody wins.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Amadeus , January 24 – January 27, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, and 8pm

The maniacal and quirky music prodigy stereotype exists for a reason. From Mozart’s impishness to Schubert’s obsessive work habits, this presentation explores the intriguing and outrageous stories behind many of the best known musicians and composers. Guest conductor Stefan Sanders will be joined by operatic tenor Jason Collins and Principal Bass John Miller.

Holley Hall, 709 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: A New Beginning , January 25, 10:30 AM

Join Selah Freedom for the Fifth Annual "A New Beginning" Fashion Event on January 25th. The event will feature a runway show showcasing stunning fashions, a champagne luncheon, sip & shop, and inspirational survivor stories.

Selby Five Points Park, 1331 1st St Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  DANCE: Dance Makers –12th Annual concert , January 25 – January 28

Sarasota Contemporary Dance's annual concert featuring imaginative dance pieces by internationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers.

Jane B Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: SB2 Luncheon: State of the Region and LOCALPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARDS , January 25, 11:00am-1:00pm

Join SRQ Media for the next installment of the 2017-2018 SB2 Luncheon Symposia series with SB2: State of the Region on Thursday January, 25 2018 from 11:00am-1:00pm at The Francis, Downtown Sarasota. Local experts will explore the economic link and symbiotic relationship between entrepreneurship and tourism in the Sarasota and Manatee region. The luncheon will culminate with the presentation of the SRQ LOCALPRENEUR OF THE YEAR awards honoring area trailblazers whose initiative and business savvy are helping our region grow.

Guest Panelists include: Elliot Falcione, Executive Director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; Virginia Haley, President of Visit Sarasota County; Mark Huey, President and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County; Brian Mariash, Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor of Mariash Lowther Wealth Management; Jeff Mayers, General Manager of the Resort at Longboat Key Club; Rick Piccolo, President and CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

Tickets are $65/per person, which includes a mouth-watering plated lunch provided by The Francis. Reserve your spot online at SRQSB2.COM

The Francis , 1289 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Moving Identities , January 26 – January 29, 2pm and 7:30pm

Opening with another company premiere, Paul Taylor’s Airs kicks off the night with a beautiful and flowing performance that showcase the choreographer’s passion for modern dance and ballet. Following Airs, Sarasota Ballet Resident Choreographer Ricardo Graziano brings the return of his Valsinhas, which premiered in 2013.  

Sarasota Ballet, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Northside Hollow , January 26 – March 11

Trapped underground after a deadly collapse, a coal miner finds his salvation in the arrival of a young and inexperienced first responder. While they wait for additional rescue assistance, they discover they have a curious amount in common. As the men confront mortality, their connection may unearth a deeper revelation about acceptance and spiritual refuge. For more information please visit www.urbanitetheatre.com for show times and tickets.

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 Second Street, Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Dance Makers 12th Annual Concert , January 27, 7:30PM

Join Sarasota Contemporary Dance for their annual concert featuring imaginative dance pieces by internationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers. Performances will be held at FSU Center for the Performing Arts and continue for several nights. 

Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N Tamiami Trl Sarasota, Florida 34243

[SOON]  MUSIC: Tango!! , January 28, 3pm

All the way from Buenos Aires, Latin Grammy-winning pianist and composer Pablo Ziegler celebrates the tango in all its forms in an intimate chamber music setting. Ziegler brings his own compositions, as well as works of tango legends such as Ángel Villoldo, Gerardo Matos Rodríguez and Ástor Piazzolla, for whom Ziegler served as pianist for many years and iconic recordings. 

Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice

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.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. 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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