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SRQ Daily Aug 4, 2018

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"It gives people pause about their own lives, because they see their own reflections on the face of a fairy tale character."

- Brad Wages, Venice Theatre

[Theater]  All Peach and No Pits at the Players Theatre
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

The students take over the stage tonight at The Players Theatre, where four weeks of hard work by the young actors, dancers and singers training this summer will finally pay off in a one-night-only production of James and the Giant Peach Jr. A play off the Broadway musical version of the Roald Dahl classic, the show begins at 7pm. Tickets are $15, and proceeds go to economic assistance for next summer’s aspiring actors.

For four weeks the 40 students involved have been preparing, says director Sunny Smith, an acting teacher from Booker High School who has taken the production under her wing, and the results have been “amazing.” For the first week, Smith and staff led the camp in audition prep—teaching them how to present themselves and their skills—before hosting the audition itself and casting the roles. Every student gets a part, with the nine leads focusing on one role, while others may tackle as many as seven. “But they have fun,” says Smith, “because they love to change into the different costumes and do different voices.” And week two is all about character development, musical skills and dancing. Week three brings rehearsal and acting workshops, while week four sees the addition of costumes, props, lighting and sound, all leading to the final production.

It’s a lot of work, says Smith, but towards a good cause and a good show. Not only is James and the Giant Peach “super-hot” right now, thanks to Broadway fame, and the kids enjoy singing along, but it also provides a positive message and characters for the children to explore. At its heart the story of a boy who has lost his family, the story doesn’t coddle its young charges, but urges them onward. “He’s making his way in the world with a lot of positivity,” says Smith, “even in light of all that negativity.” It’s a message kids could use these days, she says.

Seeing the students perform a matinee for other children from groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast, Smith knows the four weeks have come to a close, but that her young performers have come a long way. “It’s a big accomplishment,” she says, and looks forward to doing it all again next year. “Most definitely,” she says. “I hope next year I get to see them all again.”

James and the Giant Peach Jr. opens tonight at 7pm at The Players Theatre. Tickets are $15. 

[Stage]  Stepping Into The Woods with Venice Theatre
Kate Antolak

Venice Theatre’s Summer Stock program, an opportunity for young actors to perform while not in school, is back with an exciting new show. Into the Woods, a musical with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, opens tonight at 7:30pm and will run every night but Monday for the next week. 2pm matinees have also been scheduled for this Sunday, as well as next Saturday and Sunday.

The show centers around iconic characters from Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack the Giant-Slayer, and the wants of the characters within those stories. The first act follows four protagonists into the woods as they pursue those wishes and the expected “happily ever after” beyond them. But things take a darker turn in the second act as Sondheim asks, “At what price do you achieve happily ever after?” As director and choreographer Brad Wages says, “The first act is for children; the second act is for adults.”

The cast of the show, high school and college-age performers, all conducted some of their own research during the rehearsal process. From historical research on the life of the composer to societal conflicts at the time of the play’s conception to the analysis of meaningful lyrics, young actors in the Summer Stock program are asked to find meaning in the show, as opposed to merely soaking up its limelight. Bringing contemporary issues to the rehearsal process has helped the cast see past their fairy tale roles, says Wages. “It deepens their feelings toward the show,” he says.

And if you think this is just a fairy tale, think again, says Wages. “It’s thought provoking; it’s humorous,” he says. “It gives people pause about their own lives, because they see their own reflections on the face of a fairy tale character.”

This production is not recommended for children under 10, and parental discretion is advised. Tickets for the opening show, tonight at 7:30pm, can be purchased at venicestage.com. 

[Business]  Hope Joins First Watch as Chief Financial Officer

First Watch has announced that Mel Hope has joined its executive team as the company’s new chief financial officer. This week, the organization welcomed Hope, who brings decades of experience leading complex public organizations like Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. as well as entrepreneurial start-ups. Hope will lead the company’s finance department and projects, including long-term strategic financial planning, transactional negotiations, financial reporting, P&L budgeting and other corporate priorities, as necessary. Hope succeeds Paul Hineman, who worked for the organization for four years. While serving as Popeyes’ chief financial officer for 10 years, Hope oversaw mergers and acquisitions, financial reporting and technology conversions. He worked alongside the company’s board of directors and senior management, to develop and implement the successful strategic plan that saw the brand’s market cap grow from $315 million to more than $1 billion while achieving five consecutive years of same store sales increases. Hope was most recently a partner in Genesis Real Estate Advisers LLC, serving as the company’s managing director and chief operating officer. 

First Watch

[Business]  Brooke Chase Places Douglas with Hafele America

Sarasota-based executive search firm Brooke Chase Associates has announced the successful recruitment by its executive recruiter, Richard Miller, of Ryan Douglas as director of project business with Häfele America. Douglas will be responsible for the successful implementation of the Project Business strategy and lead the Project Sales Business Unit, including resource planning and development of the team members. He will be responsible for the hotel projects of the dedicated key accounts for all relevant Häfele solutions, technology and product categories within the architectural hardware, electronic access control, sliding hardware, furniture hardware and LED lighting area. With an extensive background in Operational Management and Sales, Ryan most recently held the position of Vice President of Operations with OpenKey where he lead the day-to-day operations while working with pre-sales to help translate project requirements and define implementation plans. 

Brooke Chase Associates

[TODAY]  THEATER: Wakey, Wakey , August 3 – September 2

How do we confront the uncomfortable inevitability of death? Obie-award-winning playwright Will Eno chooses to celebrate life’s lingering gifts with an uplifting mix of gratitude, absurdity and humor in a profound rumination on life and humanity.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota

[TODAY]  MUSIC: Brothers in Song , August 3, 7:15pm

“Brothers in Song” features longtime collaborators/composers Ralph Farris (strings, voice, percussion) and Robert Mirabal (Native American flutes, voice, percussion) performing music from various indigenous traditions and works in progress. The evening will begin with a collaboration with fellow Hermitage artist, poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and will close with a sunset meditation. Guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs, snacks, and refreshments. Reservations are strongly encouraged. 

The Hermitage, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, FL.

[WEEKEND]  THEATER: The Music of the Night , July 17 – August 19

The Swingaroos return to the cabaret with an all-new show—Music of the Night. Offering their swingin'est versions of songs embraced by the worlds of theatre and jazz, this hit show overflows with hits by the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, Kander & Ebb and many more. With a touch of 30s and 40s flair and bold arrangements, The Swingaroos lend a spirited voice to the most-cherished American songs and personalities of the past century. 

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[WEEKEND]  GALLERY: "40 by 8" , June 25 – August 31

True to its name, the summer exhibit, curated by Mark Ormond, features 40 works by eight artists, including Luisa Basnuevo, Jean Blackburn, Luis Delgado, Daphne Gamble, Leslie Lerner, Melissa Meyer, Helen Shulman and Joyce Ely Walker. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, 1288 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL, 34236.

[SOON]  THEATER: On Golden Pond , August 8 – August 19

This 1979 play by Ernest Thompson focuses on aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. The play explores the often turbulent relationship between a daughter and her father growing up, and the difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage. It is the winner of numerous Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: The Turn of the Screw , August 7 – August 26

1840: an era charmed by superstition, madness, and the writings of Sigmund Freud led Henry James to write one of the most chilling ghost stories of all time. A young governess arrives at a seemingly idyllic country house to look after two orphaned children. But shortly after her arrival, she realizes they are not alone. She risks everything to keep the children safe, until she begins to question her sanity, and the children’s innocence.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  BUSINESS: YP Summit: "Thrive" , August 10, 8am-12pm

The third annual Young Professionals summit is a half day conference geared toward helping local young professionals develop personally and professionally as leaders in the community. The summit will feature keynote speaker Trey Lauderdale, founder and CEO of Voalte, speaking on the work/life balance. In addition to the keynote presentation, attendees will select breakout sessions from two tracks: personal development and professional development. 

The Westin Sarasota, 100 Marina View Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  GALLERY: VOLUMES , August 12 – October 9

This summer light and sound come into play with a special installation by the artist Ezra Masch. VOLUMES harnesses the speed of light to reveal the volume of sound and space. This immersive audio and visual installation will feature a 3-d grid of LED lights that will fill the interior of the Ringling’s Monda Gallery.

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Ricky Nelson Remembered , August 18

Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Ricky Nelson emerged from “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” to establish himself as one of the most important rock artists and influential musicians of the last 50 years, selling over 140 million recordings. The Nelson Family Legacy continues as Ricky’s twins Matthew and Gunnar Nelson present an interactive, multi-media rock & roll concert experience, taking the audience on a musical journey down memory lane. 

Sarasota Opera, 61 North Pineapple Ave, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged , August 21 – September 23

Pour the pirate sherry, braid the raven hair, polish up the handle of the big brass door, and celebrate Gilbert & Sullivan’s most beloved songs. Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged has delighted audiences across the US with lovingly loopy renditions and joyfully irreverent excerpts from HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance. Last seen at New York’s 54 Below, this isn’t your grandmother’s Gilbert & Sullivan!

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Making Strides Kick Off Celebration , August 23, 5:30pm-7pm

Don’t miss the 2018 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kick off Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Celebrate survivors, hear from Team Leaders and learn more about the mission of the American Cancer Society. If you have been thinking about starting a team, becoming a sponsor or you just wish to know more about the programs and services the American Cancer Society provides in our community, the Kick Off celebration is the place to start. Light refreshments will be served and complimentary valet parking is available.

Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: German American Social Club Sommerfest, August 25 , August 25, 6:00 PM

This is one party you won’t want to miss! Come down and celebrate everything you love about summer at this shindig hosted by the German American Social Club of Sarasota. Enjoy friendly conversation with other Sarasota locas. Kick your feet up and relax with an ice-cold beer. Enjoy lively dancing and music provided by DJ Bustin Justin. You’re guaranteed to have a good time at this casual summer bash! Authentic, delicious German food will be provided by the Schnitzel Trailer, and proceeds will go toward benefiting students studying German both here and abroad. You can purchase tickets in advance on their website.

Music Compound, 1751 Cattlemen Road Sarasota, FL 34232

[SOON]  GALLERY: Elsewhere , August 30 – October 5

This juried exhibition opens with a reception on August 30th.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  MUSIC: Friday Fest: Dr. Dave Band , September 14, 5pm-9pm

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is wrapping up their Friday Fest summertime concert series this September with the Dr. Dave Band. A Bradenton favorite performing for more than a decade as a top-choice house band, this group knows how to wow a crowd with high-energy Southern Rock blended with bluegrass banjo and fiddle. During the show, don’t forget to indulge in the refreshments provided by Van Wezel, including local food trucks and popular beverage vendors. Bring a blanket, lawn chairs and settle in for a good time.

Van Wezel, 777 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Dining for a Difference , September 20, 5pm-10pm

Join the Designing Daughters for Dining for a Difference, a community wide, dine out event featuring 20+ local Sarasota and Manatee County Restaurants who will donate a portion of all sales made on September 20 back to the Designing Daughters Grants Program for local Children and Family charities. Simply grab your friends, colleagues and neighbors, pick a participating restaurant and enjoy a meal. No ticket, no fancy clothes, just a night out with your favorite people.This simple act will make a huge impact for local families in need.

Multiple locations, Multiple locations

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine and edited by Senior Editor Phil LedererNote: 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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