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SRQ DAILY Dec 28, 2018

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"Society is built on the idea of charity."

- Michael Donald Edwards, Asolo Repertory Theatre

[Theater]  A Timely and Timeless Production on the Asolo Stage
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

In 1953, Arthur Miller stunned audiences and again cemented his reputation as one of the great American playwrights with The Crucible, a chilling drama set during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 but smacking of contemporary relevance at the height of McCarthyism. Now, Asolo Repertory Theatre brings the Tony Award-winning masterpiece to the Sarasota stage, under the direction of Asolo’s own artistic producing director, Michael Donald Edwards. And according to Edwards, it’s just as relevant as ever. “We’re not producing a classic,” he says. “We’re producing a hot, new play.”

Such is the power of the play and the legacy of such a “superb craftsman” as Miller, says Edwards, that no matter if its staged during the Red Scare of the 1950s, against the backdrop of the Stonewall Rebellion of the 1960s or even on the sandy shores of Sarasota in the year 2019, a certain relevance resonates regardless. “Whenever it’s performed,” he says, “it always seems contemporary.” And Edwards’ challenge, as director of something so iconic as The Crucible, will be to capture that and present it to the audience “filled with the heat and intention with which Arthur Miller wrote it.”

Part of this comes from what Edwards calls a “contemporary theatrical vocabulary”—a style and sensibility that will organically give this modern production its own personality—but also through careful identification of what lies at the core of The Crucible’s universality. For Edwards, the answer is simple: charity. It’s charity, he says, that allows empathy and encourages acceptance, “especially when you don’t get anything back, or it’s difficult,” he says. “Society, community, is built on the idea of charity, and when it’s broken it can lead to terrifying situations,” Edwards continues. “We need to be reminded at all times, but it feels especially potent right now.”

And so in accepting the challenge inherent in shepherding something as celebrated as The Crucible to the stage, Edwards issues his own challenge to the audience that comes to see it—“To be one of the people who helps create a world of charity rather than destroy it.”

The Crucible opens January 11 at Asolo Repertory Theatre. 

[ShopTalk]  Ready For Lift Off
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Houston, we have a novelty store in town serving Sarasota and Manatee counties, and it goes by the appellation RocketStar Records. Stationed Downtown on US 301, the fairly new record store sells, buys and trades used and new vinyl records, as well as CDs of all different genres of music, as well as comedy, Broadway Show Tunes and Motion Picture Soundtracks. If you’re any sort of audiophile who idolizes the pure vibrations of analog recordings and the nostalgic aesthetics of vinyl sleeve covers, this space-themed house of vintage has the one of the largest inventories and outstanding collections on the Suncoast of Florida. RocketStar Records even specializes in new and used sales and repair of turntables, stereo equipment and sound system speakers.

“There’s also another exciting side to our store,” says Peter Anthony, luminary and proprietor. “We’re going to be hosting ‘Open Mike’ nights at RocketStar Records twice a month on Thursday nights. We feel that this would be a great asset to the music community in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.”

Don’t be surprised if you end up engaging in coversation with Anthony on music's history and industry, while tapping his brain on his immense knowledge on record collecting. Stellar deals/sales are always available in store, leaving it quite difficult not to blast off out of there with an armful of bagged hidden gems, from Frank Sinatra to the Beach Boys, Prince and Whitesnake. To get lost in a starstruck universe of countless throwback wonders and coveted albums, land your rocketship here and be sure to allot an ample amount of time to sift through boxes upon boxes and more boxes. We’ll be right there with you, over the moon and jamming out to the eclectic songs vibrating throughout the store, for a time travel back to melodic generations past. 

Photo courtesy of Rocketstar Records, 404 North Washington Blvd., Sarasota, 772-985-6282.

[Philanthropy]  JFCS Receives HHS Grant for Healthy Families/Healthy Children

JFCS of the Suncoast’s Healthy Families/Healthy Children program continues to shine in the eyes of the US Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS), which awarded the program a $1.48 million grant for 2019. The recipient of HHS funding since 2006, Healthy Families/Healthy Children is a five-year, highly competitive grant, renewable each year, which supports adults ages 18 and up residing in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The $1.48m award completely funds the JFCS program, which provides skill-building services to promote healthy relationships and healthy parenting/co-parenting, while also empowering participants towards economic stability. This program is specifically targeted to serve low-income families. 

JFCS of the Suncoast

[Education]  Van Wezel Announces Appleton Endowment Teacher of the Year Contest

The Education & Community Engagement Department at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Van Wezel Foundation has announced the Appleton Endowment Teacher of the Year Award, celebrating excellence in arts education and honoring individuals who have promoted and demonstrated their skills in the area of arts integration. This award is made possible through a Legacy Gift to the Van Wezel Foundation from Louise Appleton.

Application Requirements are as follows: be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled pre-kindergarten through grade 12 teacher currently teaching in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, or Desoto County; intention to maintain active teaching status through the current and following school year; incorporate effective and innovative arts integration methods or strategies in conjunction with the classroom curriculum; inspire students of all backgrounds to develop art skills and an appreciation for the arts; have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues; and play an active role in the school and community, and be poised, articulate and have good communication skills.

The 1st Prize winner receives recognition at and two tickets to Van Wezel Foundation Gala, $1,500 for attendance at National Professional Development Opportunity for Arts Integration (i.e. Kennedy Center’s Arts Integration Conference or VSA Intersections), $1,000 for Arts Integration Project in coordination with Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and $500 for classroom supplies for Arts Integration instruction in the classroom. 2nd and 3rd prize will receive comparable awards as well. The deadline for application is January 15. Results will be announced by February 1. 

Appleton Endowment Teacher of the Year Award Application

[Education]  Brown Named Teach Sustainable Development Goals UN Ambassador

Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) teacher Todd Brown, PhD., creator of the SMA “Inspire Project” curriculum and winner of the “Ignite Innovation” award from the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, has been selected as a Teach Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador for the United Nations. Through this designation, Brown will report to the program director and the office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly for 2019. Brown is one of 100 people throughout 193 countries selected and is the only person from Florida, aside from the program director.

As a TeachSDG Ambassador, Brown will work to support and enhance the work of the United Nations’ efforts within K-12 classrooms through the organization’s 2030 agenda. Goals include advancing the work of the UN in relation to education through advocacy, outreach and informational services throughout the global community. 

Sarasota Military Academy

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Lights in Bloom , December 20 – January 6

For the 15th year, and with an expanded 15-night schedule, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will light up the holiday season with Lights in Bloom!  More than one million lights will illuminate the Gardens and walkways. The tropical holiday paradise will also include nightly live entertainment, games, crafts, and grilled foods from Michael’s on East. Celebrate the holiday season at Lights in Bloom! Event dates are December 20–23, 26–30, and January 1–6.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: The Music Man , November 17 – December 29

The winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this American institution with its one-of-a-kind score features fast-talking salesman Harold Hill, who brings trouble to River City, Iowa when he cons the townspeople into buying instruments for an imaginary band—but his plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when his heart is stolen by the town librarian. Tony Awarded-nominated Jeff Calhoun directs.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  MUSIC: 15th Anniversary Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency , December 20 – January 5

The 15th Anniversary Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency takes over USF Sarasota- Manatee beginning December 20, culminating with the Celebration Concert at the Sarasota Opera House on January 5. 20+ free events will be held in the Performance Tent, including orchestra and chorus rehearsals, master classes, and works-in-progress recitals. Super Strings, December 29, features Florida students performing side-by-side with PMP students under the baton of Itzhak Perlman. Complete schedule and tickets available online at PMPSuncoast.org.

USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Straight White Men , December 12 – March 1

Monty Navarro may be distant heir to the family fortune, but there are several deadly ways to jump the line of succession. All the while, Monty must juggle his mistress, his fiancée, and the constant threat of landing behind bars. Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea.

Florida Studio Theatre , 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens , December 31

This black tie event features a private journey through tropical holiday light displays, passed hors d’oeuvres, a seated four-course dinner, live entertainment and dancing, culminating with a champagne toast overlooking the fireworks on Sarasota Bay.

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Illumination , December 31, 9:00PM - 1:00AM

The most anticipated party of the year is right around the corner....NEW YEARS EVE!

Full Moon Promotions is bringing back THE Sarasota New Years Eve Party to the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium to ring in 2019. This will be THE Biggest & Best Ticketed New Years Party in the area! Tickets are all inclusive; open full bar, bottomless champagne, catered apps, live & DJ entertainment, and a huge dance floor and light show. Ring in the new year right at Sarasota Illumination!

Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Cirque Ma’Ceo , January 4 – February 3

The Magic of Ma’Ceo... described by the ocala star banner as an- “Equine Cirque du Soleil”! This theatrical European style, equestrian themed, cirque show tells a beautiful seamless story with a contemporary blend of Acrobatics, Aerial, Dance, and Equestrian Arts woven to the acoustic beats of rich Spanish guitar. This renowned show has toured the nation this past decade, recently performing in Honolulu, Hawaii, Alaska, and Las Vegas. For the first time ever, Cirque Ma’Ceo will be performing in front of their hometown crowd,Sarasota Florida! To make this occasion even more special, we will be offering a VIP ticket to purchase a Benefit Dinner with the rare opportunity to eat, drink, and personally get to know the cast of Cirque Ma’Ceo right under the Big Top! A large portion of the ticket proceeds will be directly donated to Big Cat Habitat and the animals who have filled our lives with joy.

Big Cat Habitat, 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Open House at Alfstad& Editions , January 4, 5–8pm

Come visit the new space and celebrate the opening of Alfstad& Editions, a collaborative fine art printmaking studio in the Rosemary District. Dedicated to the professional print process, Alfstad& Editions creates limited edition and original works of art, and offers private printmaking instruction, customized workshops and individual classes. Snacks, drinks, art and a live silkscreen demonstration included.

Alfstad& Editions, 1421 5th St., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: 15th Anniversary Celebration Concert , January 5, 5:00PM

The culmination and highlight of the 17-day Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency, the 15th Annual Celebration Concert at the Sarasota Opera House features the most gifted, young musical talents of our time. The PMP Chorus is led by Patrick Romano, Chorus Master and the PMP String Orchestra performs under the baton of Itzhak Perlman.

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Pirates of Penzance , January 10 – January 27

This rollicking, music-filled farce, which premiered in 1879, includes home-town references to our own Pittsburg Pirates. At eight years of age, Frederic was apprenticed to a group of fun-loving, soft-hearted pirates. Now 21, he decides to leave the pirates to lead “a blameless life.” He makes it his goal to eradicate these pirates. Fun and mayhem follow.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W, Bradenton

[SOON]  THEATER: The Crucible , January 11 – March 10

In the black of night, a Salem village reverend discovers a group of teenage girls dancing devilishly around a fire in the woods. When his daughter exhibits strange catatonic symptoms the following morning, the townsfolk are frenzied with rumors of witchcraft. Deep-seated jealousy, deadly accusations, and seething resentments pit neighbor against neighbor as a deeply religious community is thrown into turmoil, in this Arthur Miller classic.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Images- Who Stole the Mona Lisa , January 12 – January 13

“Who Stole the Mona Lisa?” is a whimsical and imaginative animated film that offers a delightful, multimedia, classical music performance presented in synchrony with a live performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from “The Firebird.” Live and visual pairings of “Babar the Elephant” and “Pictures at an Exhibition” complete the program. Alexandre Moutouzkine mans the piano while Edward Alley narrates.

Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: American Watercolor Society , January 15 – February 22

Artists are local, national and international, and Art Center Manatee is one of only five venues in the country to host the exhibit. Admission is $5. In a neighboring gallery, and on display for the same period of time, the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society will also be showing work from its member-artists.

ArtCenter Manatee, 209 9th St. W, Bradenton.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Hairspray , January 17 – February 3

“Welcome to the 60s” where Tracey Turnblad, a pleasantly plump teenager dreams of fame and fights to racially integrate the Corny Collins Show. This winner of eight Tony Awards (including “Best Musical”) is based on the John Waters film and proves that “You Can’t Stop The Beat.”

The Players Theatre, 838 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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