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SRQ Daily Mar 15, 2019

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"Rafiki is a character that I aspired to be."

- Buyi Zama, actor

[Theater]  Feeling the Love at the Van Wezel
Jena Robustelli

Continuing with its international tour, The Lion King opens at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall this week, running March 14–31 and performing the classic tale of the circle of life. For 22 years, the traveling production has successfully kept audiences’ favorite characters alive, in part because the performers behind the characters love them too, such as Buyi Zama, who has played Rafiki since 2003. “Rafiki is a character that I aspired to be,” she says, “She is friendly, she is wise, she’s a person who you’d like to be your friend.”

Getting into character before any kind of performance requires a great deal of skill. And since many of the Lion King main characters are nonhuman, actors’ costumes consist of different puppets and parts to help the characters come to life. For Rafiki, extended fingers are used to give the illusion of long arms and represent an ape-like figure. Where some actors get scared from extensive outfits, Zama enjoys it. “I always wished I was taller,” she says. “So, when I put the fingers on, I feel like it’s happening now.”
And while the Rafiki costume doesn’t consist of large puppet parts, those for characters like Nala and Mufasa do. For some performers, acting opposite puppets can seem a challenge but, to Zama, nothing changes. “You don’t pretend to see just a puppet or person,” she says. “you see both.” And main characters aren’t the only cast members with props and puppets, as members of the ensemble use puppets to play multiple roles, even the grassland itself or an elephant’s leg.

Since the late ‘90s, The Lion King has something fundamental to it that draws people in. Whether it’s the music, the characters or the production, fans still come to see the classic tale. “It reminds us that good always reigns over evil,” says Zama, “it’s all those good things that reassure us.”

Currently onstage at the Van Wezel, The Lion King runs through March 31. 

Pictured: Buyi Zama as Rafiki in "The Lion King" North American Tour. Photo by Deen van Meer.

[Music]  Within EarShot Part 4: Krists Auznieks & "The Crossing"

Four select composers come to Sarasota this month for a musical milestone, as the EarShot initiative, dedicated to identifying and promoting promising musical talent, teams up with the Sarasota Orchestra. Chosen from 127 applicants, Krists Auznieks, Nicky Sohn, Sam Wu and Kitty Xiao will spend a week in workshop with the musicians of Sarasota Orchestra, as well as three visiting mentor composers and LA-based conductor Christopher Rountree, all leading to a concert on March 16, where the young composers will hear their music performed by a full orchestra for the first time. In this four-part series, SRQ meets the minds behind the music.

Krists Auznieks has been featured by The New York Times and heard his work performed across the globe, from The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to Shanghai City Theatre and the Royal Danish Theatre. He finds both spiritual and musical inspiration in the work of Morton Feldman, as well as the likes of Ravel and Stravinsky. Of contemporary composers, he keeps an ear out for Liliya Ugay and Dylan Mattingly. His composition is entitled Crossing.

What was the inspiration for your composition? Auznieks: The term Crossing comes from Harold Bloom, who uses the term to denote rhetorical disjunctions. But it is also a search for the Emersonian crossing that Bloom traces in Wallace Stevens' Snow Man. Bloom argues that Stevens transports us to the Emersonian bare place after line 12.

What was your biggest challenge in this piece? Keeping up with the mercurial pace and the quick rate of change of my materials. The only task that was perhaps even more demanding was finding an ending that manages to eat up the rest of the piece in a balanced manner.

Do you have a favorite instrument to write for? I enjoy writing for instruments that have percussive attack but with the possibility of sustain, like a drop falling in water with endless ripples. Endlessly pedaled piano, harp, vibraphone with pedal, gongs. I also love viola. It sounds like wisdom: it has a tone of someone who has already lived and is looking back at their beautiful life.

What does it mean for you, to take part in the EarShot initiative? It is a culmination of endless hours of solitary work, and, hearing it come together in a beautiful place being surrounded by a marvelous community, it is very healing.

Where do you hope to take your art in the future?
 Maybe a four-hour work for orchestra in a villa inside a forest (and an ocean view and fog-machine and paintings by Agnes Martin or Jānis Avotiņš with curated wine and Italian meal preceding and following? The audience is seated on a fluffy carpet and the orchestra surrounds it. It’s early spring somewhere in Arizona or Sardinia. The concert starts at dusk and ends at night.) 

Pictured: Krists Auznieks.

[Government]  Manatee County Hosting Special Passport Application Event on Saturday

The office of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller is hosting a special passport application event at the courthouse on Saturday, March 16 from 8:30am to noon. This special event is designed to help those who work or attend school during normal business hours. Passport services are typically only available at Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller during weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm. For more information and documents needed to apply or renew a passport visit the website below. 

Manatee County Passport Assistance

[Business]  GCCF Hosts Workshop on Nonprofit Best Practices

Gulf Coast Community Foundation will offer a two-part workshop series geared toward emerging nonprofit organizations next month called Pathways to Excellence. Scheduled for 8:30am to 2pm on April 5 and 12, the training will address the skills and capacities that enable some nonprofits to grow and flourish while others fade. Over the workshop’s two days, participants will learn techniques to help build an engaged board with the skills and experience to advance their organization, develop a fundraising plan that supports growth, expand the organization’s value to donors and more. The series costs $50, which includes breakfast and lunch both days, and will take place at the Gulf Coast Philanthropy Center in Sarasota. Registration is required by April 3.

Pathways to Excellence is presented through Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Invest in Incredible initiative (I3), which provides resources, training and consulting to help regional nonprofits improve their operational effectiveness and board governance. This two-part series will be led by three of Gulf Coast’s experienced I3 consultants: Betsy Steiner, James Rollo, and Neil Comber. More information and registration is available on the Gulf Coast website. 

Pathways to Excellence

[Real Estate]  Holleran-Bouck Team Earns Five Star Award

For the 13th consecutive year, the Holleran-Bouck Team at RE/MAX Alliance Group has earned the prestigious Five Star Real Estate Agent award. Fewer than 1 percent of all agents have received the award for 13 consecutive years. Based on an independent survey of recent homebuyers and industry peers, the Five Star Award is presented to fewer than 7 percent of real estate agents in a given market. Homebuyer clients are asked to evaluate agents based on customer service, integrity, market knowledge, communication, negotiation, closing preparation, post-sale service, finding the right home, marketing of the home and overall satisfaction. Agents also must receive a favorable regulatory and complaint-history review. Industry peers (mortgage professionals, insurance professionals and real estate professionals) are asked to evaluate agents based on industry expertise, customer service skills, market knowledge and negotiation skills.

Consisting of Joe and Virginia Holleran and Lisa Bouck, the Holleran-Bouck Team also received the RE/MAX Gold Club Award based on 2018 production. 

RE/MAX Alliance Group

[Spring Home Portfolio]  SRQ Magazine | Spring Home Portfolio

SRQ MEDIA connected with local designers and providers for trends on what’s hot in home design, materials, finishes and landscaping this spring. Be sure to check out our special section, Spring Home Portfolio on issuu.com to read about what you need to know to be impeccably prepared for your next renovation, expansion or move. 

Click here to view the feature

[TODAY]  BUSINESS: SRQ MEDIA's SMARTgirl Mentorship Summit, Applications Open , March 15, 9:30am to 1:30pm

Applications are open for this year's SRQ Magazine SMARTgirl Mentorship and Leadership Luncheon taking place on Friday, March 15, 2019 from 9:30am-1:30pm at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. The free program provides 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls attending school in Sarasota and Manatee counties with career pathway exploration, STEM coding workshops and a luncheon featuring speakers presenting on the topic of overcoming challenges, being a leader and achieving success. The sessions and workshops are led by some of the community’s top women leaders including the ambassadors of the Hear Me Roar Leadership Circle.

Free program, no cost to apply or attend. Submit your application online at SRQMAG.COM/SMARTGIRl by Thursday, January 31, 2019 to be considered. All materials for the conference will be provided, including lunch and snacks. Limited spots available, apply early.

Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Stan Kenton All Star Big Band , March 17

With a 17-piece orchestra, the program includes such well-loved favorites as “Here’s That Rainy Day,” ”September Song,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Minor Blues,” “Artistry in Rhythm” and many more from the American popular music and jazz artist.

Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Mallets and Forethought , March 21

A percussionist of great versatility and virtuosity, George Nickson brings the marimba to the fore in this concert that includes selections from Debussy’s “Children’s Corner Suite” and “Over The Rainbow” by Harlan/Oetemo. Principal percussionist for the Sarasota Orchestra and founding member of ensemblenewSRQ, Nickson has been hailed across the country, including as “a performer handling his role with ease and flair” by The New York Times.

Michael's on East ballroom, 1212 South East Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: Ain't Misbehaving , March 21 – April 7

A musical tribute to the black musicians of the Harlem Renaissance and the new “swing” beat, experience the jazz scene—uptown, downtown, raffish and startling beautiful atmosphere. Come, swing and jive to such songs as “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “I’m Going To Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” “The Joint is Jumpin’” and, of course, “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

Stone Hall: Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W, Bradenton

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: A Doll’s House, Part 2 , March 22 – March 23

In the final scene of Ibsen's 1879 groundbreaking masterwork, Nora Helmer famously slammed the door on her marriage and family life, leaving her husband and children behind. What happened to the iconic heroine next? This snappy sequel imagines her 15 years later as a successful writer and independent woman, but a skeleton from her past has her returning home to the one man who can help her. Universally acclaimed during its recent run on Broadway, this smart and sophisticated new comedy raises fascinating questions about marriage and the ways the roles of women have – and have not – changed. (Please note: you will enjoy this play whether you are familiar with Ibsen or not!) 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  THEATER: Cirque Des Voix , March 22 – March 24

A Key Chorale special event, Cirque des Voix is a performance unlike any other. See world-class circus artists combine with the 100+ voices of the Key Chorale and the musical mastery of the 40-piece Cirque Orchestra to produce one of the most unforgettable productions you’ll ever experience.

The Mall University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota,

[SOON]  GALA: HospitaBull , March 26

Enjoy a night of exquisite dining while supporting USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Hospitality Management program. This dining experience is organized, prepared and served by USFSM students and faculty. Students in the restaurant management, event management and food prep courses organize, plan and execute each aspect of the event from start to finish.

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

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Piano Pizzazz Meets Fiddle Finesse , March 26

Good food and great music is always a perfect pairing. In this performance, enjoy a "West Side Story Medley", "Sweet Georgia Brown", "And I Love Her", "Fiddler on the Toof Medley" and a nod to the classics with "Beethoven With a Twist!"

Plantation Golf & Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Collaboration Celebration , March 26, 11:30am – 1pm

How does a place create a community? We know from research that a person’s zip code is a more reliable determinant of health than their genetic code. Why then, do we still struggle with poverty, addiction and homelessness in this region of beauty and prosperity?

Join us for our annual luncheon in March, where guest speaker Elma J. Felix-Lamontagne, AICP, will deliver a presentation about how places help to shape the identity of a community.

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

[SOON]  FOOD: Wine Walk to Ca' d'Zan , March 29, 6:00PM

This is a wine pairing experience unlike any other. Each individually themed station features exciting food and wine pairings along with activities and entertainment throughout the Ringling estate. Taste a variety of wines from Total Wine & More and engage with their wine experts while enjoying culinary delights from Sarasota's top caterers.

The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

[SOON]  GALA: Meow Masquerade , March 29, 6:30 PM - 10:00PM

Cat Depot’s Mardi Gras-themed, Meow Masquerade, will take place at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota on Friday, March 29, 2019 from 6:30-10 p.m. Guests will be treated to a variety of entertainment featuring performances by The Circus Arts Conservatory, Gumbo Boogie Zydeco Band, and DJ Jay. The good times will roll with a delicious plated dinner, handcrafted cocktails, premium raffle, and silent auction. Enjoy an interactive photo booth with TapSnap, and face painting by Pixie Painting. Tickets are $150. Please email claudiah@catdepot.orgor call 941-366-2404 for more information. Tickets available online – www.catdepot.org

Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota FL

[SOON]  HEALTH: Women & Medicine Educational Luncheon , March 29, 10:30AM - 1:30PM

This year marks the 7th Anniversary of Women & Medicine and will support the Internal Medicine Residency Program at SMH. This educational luncheon features informative presentations and discussions from Sarasota Memorial Physicians. The topic of this luncheon will be, How to Be A Parter in Good Health [Making the Most of Your Physician Relationship]

Michael's on East, 1212 East Avenue, Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: Beer, Bands, and BBQ , March 30, 11:00AM - 4:00PM

The Music Compound’s 5th annual Beer, Bands & BBQ is back on March 30, 2019 from 11 am - 4 pm. It will be hosted at a new location, the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, 821 Apricot Ave. Sarasota.

Look forward to 10 bands including Kara & Kaleidogroove, students from Music Compound will perform between sets. Food trucks and beer will be available throughout the day.

Admission is free and you are encouraged to bring your own lawn chair.

VIP wrist bands are available for $15 and include food samplings and a beer.

The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Circus Angel Scavenger Hunt , March 30

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Join us for the Greatest Circus Scavenger Hunt in Sarasota!  Fun for all ages, The Circus Angel Scavenger Hunt is a benefit for the Showpeople's Winter Quarters, established in 2015 by The Circus and Traveling Shows Retirement Project, Inc.a 501 (c) (3) organization which helps provide affordable housing assistance for elderly or infirm circus performers in the Southwest Florida area.

The scavenger hunt  includes 6 circus theme stops, live entertainment , giveaways and gift bags. You will have enough time to enjoy each stop, solve riddles with clues to find the little circus angels missing wing. The Grand finale is at 2:30 back at the registration hall at St. Martha's Church on Orange Avenue in Sarasota where the “All Aboard” Grand Prize package, a gourmet dinner served in the private "Silver Car'  on an Original Circus Train, will be awarded to the winning team of up to 6 people. 

Scavenger Hunt is by auto, in and around 5 miles of downtown Sarasota. Important: this is not a race. Tickets are reserved by emailing srqlynn@gmail.com  and are available for purchase from The Circus and Traveling Shows Retirement Project, Inc. on Venmo  via Lynn McDonald @ Lynn-McDonald-16384.  $25 per person. Two to six people per car to qualify. 

[SOON]  THEATER: Wednesday's Child , April 3 – May 24

A world premiere from Mark St Germain, when a young surrogate mother is found dead, a police investigation explodes the lives of everyone who knew her. As Detective aleece Valez and Walt Dixon begin to put the pieces together, secrets surface, alibis weaken, and lies are uncovered. This dramatic new play explores motherhood, passion, and the thin line between right and wrong.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Cake in the Cook Theatre , April 5 – April 28

Faith, family and frosting collide in this heartfelt new comedy. Thirty-something Jen wants her deceased mother’s best friend Della, a struggling baker, to create her wedding cake. She returns from New York with her betrothed to her North Carolina hometown and finds that Della will honor her wish, until she discovers that there are two brides. Moral quandaries and lots of butter collide in this new play told with generosity, humor, and more than a few surprises.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: TGIF 2019 Best of SRQ Local Party , April 5, 5-8pm

Join us to experience an evening of award-winning bites and imbibes as voted on by the readers of SRQ Magazine in this annual TGIF Best of SRQ Local Party on Friday, April 5th from 5-8pm at the Aloft Sarasota Hotel in Downtown Sarasota. 15+ Restaurants. Cocktail Samplings. Live DJ in the Courtyard. Celebrating the best locally owned establishments in the region, SRQ MEDIA asks our astute readers to vote for their favorite local eats, shopping, arts, luminaries and hotspots culminating in the buzzworthy special "Best of SRQ Local" awards feature published in the April edition. Celebrate your TGIF with the best our region has to offer—we will highlight local experiences—from new restaurants to the memorable theatre productions, from our community's best achievements to seriously talented chefs. Tickets on sale at SRQMAG.COM/BestOf.

Aloft Sarasota Hotel, 1401 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, FL

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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