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SRQ DAILY Aug 24, 2018

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"If Gilbert and Sullivan hadn't taken opera and pulled it in this direction, we wouldn't have Cole Porter, we wouldn't have George Gershwin, we wouldn't have Rodgers and Hammerstein."

- Erik Schroeder, artist

[Theater]  Who Lampoons the Lampooners?
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Through comic operas like Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan gained international and lasting renown as great democratizers of the form, lampooning an upper crust audience under the protection of endless earworms. Great mischief-makers of the stage, they boldly stole into the keeps of high society, only to reflect it back as through a funhouse mirror for everyone to enjoy—absurd, distorted and more than a little lumpy. But did they go far enough? As accessible, catchy and hilarious as something like H.M.S. Pinafore may be, it is, after all, still an opera. With Gilbert and Sullivan Unplugged, now playing in Florida Studio Theatre’s John C. Court Cabaret, creators Erik Schroeder and Matt Kahler take the operation one step further, reimagining the pair’s classic tunes in a stripped-down folk style that everyone can stomp their feet to.

It’s a coup for Schroeder, who first fell in love with theater through a summer performance in a local production of Penzance, later devouring Gilbert and Sullivan’s collected works and today holding them in the highest esteem. “They’re like Shakespeare,” he says. But beyond their idiomatic contributions to the language, it’s their music and lyrics that Schroeder wants to celebrate with Unplugged. Populist and revolutionary, he says, “They literally are the bridge between opera and contemporary music in theater.”

And Unplugged keeps the music front and center, playing out more like a troubadours’ concert than any sort of opera. Pulling from not only the Big Three—Pinafore, Penzance and Mikado—but also some “deep cuts” from the catalogue, the cast of five performs each through a lens of folk, bluegrass or rock and roll, replacing Sullivan’s careful orchestral instrumentation with guitars, fiddles and mandolins. The effect is not only a new appreciation for the sheer energy sometimes hidden beneath Victorian trappings, but a revelation of the impact their work had on those that came after. The chord progressions, counterpoints, melodies—all contributed to a new foundation for music in theater. “If Gilbert and Sullivan hadn’t taken opera and pulled it in this direction,” says Schroeder, “we wouldn’t have Cole Porter, we wouldn’t have George Gershwin, we wouldn’t have Rodgers and Hammerstein.” And as the musicians spontaneously break ranks into something a bit more contemporary, the audience will see just how far that impact spread. Between songs, the cast will also share stories about the famous pair.

As the playbill says, it may not be your grandmother’s Gilbert and Sullivan, but Unplugged undoubtedly embodies the same spirit. And although Sullivan was famously precious about his compositions, Schroeder thinks he would likely understand. “Gilbert and Sullivan would get a big kick out of the way that we have lovingly lampooned their work,” says Schroeder, “just by turning it on its head a little bit.”

Gilbert and Sullivan Unplugged runs through September 23 in the Court Cabaret at Florida Studio Theatre. 

Pictured: The cast of "Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged." Photo courtesy of FST.

[Government]  Sarasota County Issues "No Swim" Advisories

As a precaution, Sarasota County health officials have issued "No Swim" advisories for the following beaches: Lido Casino Beach, Brohard Beach, Venice Pier Beach, Siesta Beach and Longboat Key Beach. The amount of enterococcus bacteria found during water quality testing on Thursday, August 23, was outside acceptable limits. The beaches remain open, however, wading, swimming and water recreation is not recommended as long as there is an advisory in place. Enterococcus bacteria can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources. These include pet waste, livestock, birds, wildlife (land-dwelling and marine), storm water runoff, and human sewage from failed septic systems and sewage spills. No sewage spills have been reported within one mile of the beaches in the past month. The rapid response teams from Sarasota County and the City of Venice have determined the cause of the elevated bacteria levels is likely due to natural sources. Testing has revealed bacteria levels within acceptable limits at the following area beaches: Bird Key Park, South Lido Park Beach, North Lido Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty Beach, Blind Pass, Manasota Key Beach, Turtle Beach, Service Club Beach, Caspersen Beach and Venice Beach. 

Sarasota County Beach Water Test Results

[Business]  Chamber Announces Leadership Sarasota 2019 Class

Leadership Sarasota County, a program of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, has announced the Adult Class of 2019. Class members include Priya Acharya of Pranila, Charlene Altenhain of The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, Craig Badinger of Hermitage Artist Retreat, Alicia Chalmers of Jr. League of Sarasota, Kelly Duyn of Venice Theatre, Rebecca Ferda of State College of Florida, Robbie Gronbach of Willis Smith Construction, Jennifer Johnston of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Kari-Jo Koshes of JMX Brands, Nan Morgan of Planned Parenthood of SW and Central FL, Laura Randall of Sarasota Christian School, Allison Whitten of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and more. Leadership Sarasota County is a series of county-wide programs designed to enhance participants awareness of the community and its needs by examining how leadership in the historical, geographical, educational, economic, governmental and cultural segments work together to perpetuate and advance the Sarasota County community and its citizens. 

Leadership Sarasota County

[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 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: 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: 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

[WEEKEND]  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.

[WEEKEND]  FESTIVAL: The German American Social Club of Sarasota presents Sommerfest , August 25, 6pm-10pm

Join the German American Social Club of Sarasota for the first annual Sommerfest, hosted at Music Compound and benefiting students studying German both here and abroad. The money raised at this event will be distributed among German students applying for a scholarship to further their German studies. The cost of entry includes music (German and American), dancing, an authentic German meal and two drink tickets for soda, water and beer.

Music Compound, 1751 Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

[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

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Real Men Wear Pink Reveal Party , September 29, 5pm-7pm

Join the American Cancer Society as they reveal the 2018 Real Men Wear Pink of Sarasota–Manatee. The candidates will participate in a fashion show, hosted by the tenants of the Mall at University Town Center. Come out and see which men in our community are dedicated to raising funds and awareness to help fight breast cancer. Light refreshments will be served.

The Grand Court at The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALA: 2nd Annual Taste of New Orleans Benefit Dinner , September 22, 6pm-9pm

Truly Valued presents its 2nd Annual Taste of New Orleans Benefit Dinner, at Michaels on the Bay at Selby Gardens with speaker Captain Todd Shear of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and a night of entertainment with NuJazz. All proceeds support Truly Valued's mission of building self-esteem, confidence and character to promote a positive self- image, positively impact educational and career aspirations and improve academic achievement in adolescent girls. Dinner is complimentary and an opportunity to make a financial gift will be extended during the event.

Michaels on the Bay at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens', 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: iconcept jr: The Future of Fashion , September 23, 12pm

25 designers ages 8–16 are encouraged to use repurposed/recyled materials in their creations. Most of them will also wear their outfits in the runway show, adding self-confidence and stage presence as skills gained. The participants are treated to a professional fashion photoshoot for the program guide, as well as professional hair and makeup stylists backstage to complete their look. Proceeds from the event benefit the expansion of the Art Center's youth art education programs and help students who are in need of financial assistance receive scholarships.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

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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