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SRQ Daily Aug 17, 2018

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"We're painting a real rollercoaster of a picture."

- Brendan Ragan, Urbanite Theatre
 

[Theater]  Urbanite Ruffles Feathers (Or Not) with "Wakey, Wakey"
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

For most theater professionals, not to mention the director of the show currently on stage, waking up to find a one-star review sounds like a nightmare. But not for Brendan Ragan. As cofounder of Urbanite Theatre, it’s practically in the mission statement to push boundaries and buttons, and as director of Wakey, Wakey, the Obie Award-winning latest from acclaimed playwright Will Eno, part of him had to know it was coming. Eno himself famously remarked on the lack of middle ground in his works’ reception. So when the Urbanite received, after three years of operation, its first one-star review, Ragan couldn’t help but smile. “I did wear it with some pride,” he admits. But still, there it sat—one star, no comment. The theater responded, contrite and asking if there was anything the staff could do. But maybe they’d already done enough.

Clocking in at a relatively brief 70 minutes with no intermission, Wakey, Wakey packs a punch nonetheless, as Eno drops the audience into the protagonist’s life at a supreme moment of vulnerability. Exploring this vulnerability becomes the drama, and comedy, of the show, as Eno’s everyman leads the audience through all the ramblings and inner workings of a mind grasping at meaning. “It’s funny in unexpected ways, and it’s uplifting in surprising ways,” says Ragan. “It filled me with such optimism, even though it’s about something potentially tragic.” And, as director, finding that balance became the primary focus, a task made easier with the casting of Pittsburgh actor James FitzGerald as the lead. “It would have been very easy to lose track of the heavier stuff and make it all a joke,” says Ragan. “But that was the great part about working with him.”

Meeting eight years ago as actors in Baltimore, Ragan knew he wanted to work with FitzGerald again. The latter was tackling two shows at once—playing the title role in an uproarious comedy on one stage and then delivering heavy Shakespeare on the other. “Once we officially got word that we were doing Wakey, Wakey,” says Ragan, “he was the first actor that jumped into mind.” Not only was Ragan sure that FitzGerald could handle the different layers of comedy, from dry irony to slapstick clowning, but that he could land that “gut punch” when necessary. “He has a deep emotional well to draw from,” says Ragan, “and we’re painting a real rollercoaster of a picture.”

And Ragan admits that roller coaster can be a difficult one, with “ample opportunity” for tears to be shed. Audience reaction has been emotional, he says, but largely positive. That one-star review stood out. “It’s not going to be for everyone,” he reminded himself. Then he received the phone call. The reviewer had seen Urbanite’s response and taken a second look at her review, and was mortified. It was supposed to be a five-star review, she said, but was apparently bungled. With a little help, she set it right.

As for Ragan, he can live with the five-star review, most likely, even if it has been its own miniature rollercoaster. “Will Eno has a real knack for subverting your expectations,” he says, “as both a viewer and reader of his work.”

Wakey, Wakey is currently onstage at Urbanite Theatre and runs through September 2. 

Pictured: James FitzGerald in Urbanite Theatre's production of "Wakey, Wakey." Photo by Dylan Jon Wade Cox.

[Music]  Key Chorale Announces New Executive Team

Key Chorale has announced its new executive team, board of directors and business manager, who will lead the organization in its ambitious 34th season. Jennifer Williams joins the Key Chorale staff as business manager, where she will manage Key Chorale's program operations and support Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins in expanding the organization's programming and outreach. Williams has worked with several leading nonprofit organizations through the years, and, from 2012-2017, was employed as a care advisor with the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson's, and helped launch and oversee the Off-Key Chorale, a therapeutic singing program for individuals with Parkinson's, done in partnership with Key Chorale. Larry Patton, who will serve as board president, practiced law and served in leadership roles in local professional, religious, relief, and social organizations in his native Oklahoma from 1967 through 2014. He is now a performing member of Key Chorale. Lydia Johnston, retired HR Director at Fredrick Derr & Company, is also a singing member of Key Chorale who has served for the past year as a board member and chair of the volunteer Chorale Committee, and will return to the board as secretary this year. New to the board of directors this year and assuming the role of vice president is Bob Wennberg. Also returning to the board this season are Treasurer John Daniels, Judy Egan, Lee Holden, Dr. George Mims, Lorraine Murphy, and Judy Plerhoples. 

Key Chorale

[Law]  Fergeson Skipper Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers

Five attorneys from Sarasota’s Fergeson Skipper have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019This prestigious listing has been regarded as one of the most reliable, unbiased sources for legal referrals for over a quarter century. The 2019 edition is based on more than 4 million detailed evaluations of lawyers submitted by other lawyers in the same or related specialties. The included attorneys are as follows: James O. Fergeson, Jr., J. Ronald Skipper, Richard R. Gans, Matthew B Mayper and E. Ralph Tirabassi. The 2019 listing is a first-time honor for Ralph Tirabassi, who currently serves as President of Fergeson Skipper. The other four attorneys have been included in Best Lawyers listings from previous years, and all are board-certified by The Florida Bar in their areas of expertise. 

Fergeson Skipper

[Healthcare]  Coastal Orthopedics Hires Bernier, Promotes Converse

Coastal Orthopedics has hired Iris Bernier as the director of revenue cycle and promoted Jo-Ellen Converse to the Ambulatory Surgery Center director. Bernier brings more than 25 years of in-depth management knowledge in all aspects of revenue cycle management and accounts receivable operations to Coastal Orthopedics. In her new role, she will be responsible for managing all aspects of the billing cycle for Coastal Orthopedics. Most recently, she managed the day-to-day functions as the director of operations for a health care solutions provider in Missouri. With more than 24 years of experience, Converse has worked as a registered nurse in Coastal Orthopedics’ East Surgery Center since August 2017. She has specialized in critical care, cardiac catheterization, interventional radiology and pre-post ambulatory surgical care during her health care career. In her role, she is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the center within the authority of the governing board by performing duties personally or through subordinate supervisors. 

Coastal Orthopedics

[Law]  Bentley Named to "Best Lawyers in America"

Morgan R. Bentley, managing partner in the commercial litigation law firm Bentley & Bruning, was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 25th edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Litigation - Real Estate. Bentley has received the Best Lawyers in America award numerous times. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. For the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, 7.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in nearly 60,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, nor can lawyers nominate themselves; therefore, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. 

Bentley & Bruning



[TODAY]  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

[TODAY]  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.

[TODAY]  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

[TODAY]  THEATER: Other People's Money , August 1 – August 19

Fast-talking Wall Street shark Lawrence Garfinkle has his sights set on taking over the undervalued stock of New England Wire and Cable. It is up to Kate Sullivan, a determined big-city lawyer, to stop Larry from gutting the company. Loaded with conflict, comedy, and a touch of romance, Other People’s Money delves into the seedy and deceptive world of business.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[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]  GALLERY: Possibilities , July 19 – August 17

This members only, juried exhibition opens July 19th with an opening reception from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Approximately 250, two- and three-dimensional works in a wide variety of media will be on display throughout all four galleries. Juror Vicki Chelf is a fine art graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design and also studied classical drawing at the Southern Atelier in Manatee County. Chelf derives much of her inspiration from spontaneous thoughts and unplanned drawings, as well as current events. 

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

[TODAY]  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.

[TODAY]  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

[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

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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