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SRQ DAILY Jan 4, 2022

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"The theme of this season is 'And Still We Rise' and we are hopeful we will do just that in 2022"

- Julie Leach, WBTT Executive Director

[The Dish]  A Distinction That Might Not be Worth Making
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

Strombolis and calzones both effectively serve as pizza-derivative bites that allow one the flexibility of enjoying similar ingredients in a handheld form. Dough, cheese, sauce and any number of typical pizza toppings one would find on a pizza pie come either folded in a football-shaped pocket much like an empanada or rolled into a loaf of sorts like a poppy seed roll. For Italians and Italian-Americans, hackles may or may not be raised on account of the calzone’s origins in Italy and the stromboli’s origins in South Philly—but conversations about “authenticity” are, ultimately, fruitless anyway. What’s more important than any minor distinctions is how each of these are experienced once they enter the mouth.

Once they pass that toothy crucible, any difference between the two vanishes. At Pizza N’ Brew on Main Street, both the calzone and Stromboli (pictured) come stuffed with cheese—ricotta in the former and mozzarella in the latter—and are surrounded by an exquisitely baked, egg washed pizza dough seasoned with fresh herbs. The Stromboli looks like the fever dream of a fasting monk, glistening with the comfort and joy of a pizza while evoking the sublime safety of fresh bread. When dipped in the housemade marinara, the difference between a Stromboli and calzone (and pizza, for that matter) is a distinction that might not be worth making. And certainly not when both start at $8.

Pizza N’ Brew, 1507 Main Street, Sarasota.


Photo taken by Andrew Fabian

For full menu click here

[Housing Assistance]  Manatee County Makes $900,000 Available for Housing Rehabilitation and Replacement

Starting today, low- and very low-income homeowners in Manatee County can apply for financial help for housing rehabilitation and replacement assistance from the Manatee County Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity (REO) Department. Through January 28, qualifying Manatee County residents can submit entry forms through the Housing Rehabilitation/Replacement Program. The program provides 0% interest-deferred payment 30-year loans to make code-related repairs to single-family homes or replace dilapidated single-family housing structures. Housing conditions can be corrected and modified to improve the health, safety and welfare for the people who live there. Program entry forms will be available today on Manatee County Rehabilitation/Replacement Program webpage. Those who need help completing and submitting an online entry form can call 941-749-3029. The total funding of $904,344.80 is expected to help a dozen local households. The deadline for entry forms is January 28 at 5 p.m. On February 4, REO staff will use a lottery-style drawing to determine which applications to review first. Funding will be awarded to households who meet the eligibility requirements until all funds have been committed. To be eligible, households must be located in unincorporated Manatee County or City of Palmetto and be within the program standards for very low/low income and property value. 


For more information click here

[Scholarship Opportunity]  Scholarship Opportunity for Local Area Teachers

The Van Wezel Foundation (Foundation) is now accepting applications for the Appleton Arts Integration Teacher Merit Scholarship. The Foundation, in partnership with the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, is committed to supporting meaningful, high-quality arts integration across the region. The Appleton Merit Scholarship recognizes the achievements and potential of educators using arts integration in their classrooms or community. Recipients receive a scholarship to attend an approved national conference in arts integration or a local or virtual conference. It is open to all full-time teachers/educators serving the scope of the Van Wezel’s work (Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto or Charlotte County). Deadline for submission is January 7, 2022, and applicants may apply via this linkThe awards will be announced and the winners formally recognized at the Foundation’s Inspiration Gala on Thursday, January 27, 2022. This annual scholarship is made possible by a legacy gift to the Foundation from Louise Appleton, a local philanthropist who had a passion for arts and its connection to education.

[Performance rescheduled]  WBTT Delays Opening of World-Premiere Musical, ‘Ruby’

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s world-premiere musical “Ruby,” which was originally scheduled for the 2019-2020 season but delayed due to COVID-19, has been pandemic-delayed once again. Due to positive COVID-19 tests among the production crew of WBTT’s holiday show, “Joyful! Joyful!” that show’s final three sold-out performances were canceled and rehearsals for “Ruby” were put on hold in order to follow CDC guidelines for quarantine and retesting. As of press time, performances of “Ruby” will now begin on January 26. In addition to delaying the opening of “Ruby,” WBTT has decided to cancel the planned January 17 live performance of its annual “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Celebrating His Legacy” program. Instead, WBTT will offer free streaming video from a previous celebration; the show will be available on its website (westcoastblacktheatre.org) from January 17-31.

“The positive COVID-19 tests in the final days of ‘Joyful! Joyful!’ were certainly disheartening, especially as we were seeing the return of sold-out shows,” says WBTT Executive Director Julie Leach. “But we are determined to be flexible and ready for whatever comes, sticking to our #SafeArtsSarasota protocols and doing what we can to keep putting on shows. The theme of this season is ‘And Still We Rise’ and we are hopeful we will do just that in 2022.” 

Pictured: Reverend Charles McKenzie performing excerpts from speeches and writings of Dr. King during a past WBTT celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Photo by Sorcha Augustine

For more information click here

[Musical Production]  An American in Paris is Coming to The Van Wezel Stage

Tony award-winning Broadway production An American in Paris is set to perform on the Van Wezel stage on Wednesday, Feb. 2 and Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Inspired by the Academy Award winning film, An American in Paris transports the audience to post-war Paris, where romance is in the air and youthful optimism reigns. In this poignant production, legendary composer Ira Gershwin’s soaring melodies are matched by gravity-defying dance as the world rediscovers the power of love.  Hoping to start a new life, World War II veteran Jerry Mulligan chooses newly liberated Paris to try and make his mark as a painter. Jerry's life becomes complicated when he meets the mysterious Lise, a young Parisian ballet dancer with a haunting secret who, like Jerry, is yearning for a new beginning.

Big League Productions, Inc.’s 2022 national tour of An American in Paris will dazzle patrons in an all-new production directed by Jeffrey B. Moss, featuring breathtaking new choreography by Bob Richard. Scenic design is by Randel Wright, with costume design by Costume World, lighting design by Steve O’Shea, video design by Jonathan Infante, sound design by Don Hanna, orchestrations by Matthew Lowy, and casting by Alison Franck. Tickets are $42-$107 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

To learn more, visit

[New Exhibition]  Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica Returns to Selby Gardens' Downtown Sarasota Campus

The beloved Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica exhibition returns to Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus in January. The 18th annual exhibition and sale showcase art from the Indigenous Boruca tribe in Costa Rica, where traditional mask making is a way of life. Guests will experience (and be able to purchase) vibrant, hand-carved and painted balsa wood masks featuring the stunning flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest. This year’s Rainforest Masks exhibition also spotlights the Borucan tradition of textile making. Borucan weavers use natural resources such as leaves and plant seeds to dye their cotton material, and the display will include several dried plant specimens from the Selby Gardens Herbarium that are found in their region. Proceeds from mask sales support the Borucan village and also benefit Selby Gardens’ education, research, horticulture, and scientific work. 

Preview Event: Friday, January 7, 2022. Visitors have two options to gain early access to this breathtaking show and participate in the mask sale before the general public. Capacity is limited. Early Admission: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. $55 for Selby Gardens members, $60 for non-members. Regular Admission: 2 – 6 p.m. $25 for Selby Gardens members, $30 for non-members. January 8-9: Opening Weekend and “Pop-Up Shop”. During the exhibition’s official opening weekend, the Museum of Botany & the Arts will offer additional handmade items, such as jewelry, for sale. 

Pictured: Rainforest mask carver. Photo courtesy of Selby Gardens.

To learn more click here

[SRQ Competition]  Best of SRQ Voting Round Update

The voting round for SRQ Magazine's Best of SRQ Competition will now open next Wednesay, January 12th. With the kids out of school for another week, we didn’t want our readers who were still on holiday to miss out on the launch of voting for the 2022 Best of SRQ Local. Come ready to vote and to vote often! 

[SOON]  THEATER: FSU/Asolo Conservatory: Belleville , January 4 – January 23, Varies.

Young Americans Zack and Abby have the perfect ex-pat life in Paris: a funky bohemian apartment in up -and-coming Belleville; a stable marriage; and Zack's noble mission to fight pediatric AIDS. But when Abby finds Zack at home one afternoon when he's supposed to be at work, the questions and answers that follow shake the foundation fo their seemingly beautiful life. Belleville will take place from January 4, 2022 at 7:30pm to January 23, 2022 at 2pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: McCurdy's Comedy Theatre: Al Romas , January 5 – January 9, 7pm, 6:30pm, and 8:50pm

A McCurdys favorite ….Al's TV credits include "Standup Spotlight, "Evening at the Improv" + Comedy Central, just to name a few. Al Romas will perform from January 5 to 9 at 7pm, 6:30pm, and 8:50pm in The Green Room.

[SOON]  GALLERY: The Ringling: Heart Gallery's Faces of Foster Care , September 15 – January 5, Museum hours.

FREE Event, Special Exhibition that will be on display until January 5, 2022, to view this exhibition, please ask for a Community Gallery wristband in the Visitors Pavilion upon your arrival. Please note that this Exhibition is not open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays; including Veterans Day, Nov 11, Thanksgiving break Nov 24-28, Christmas break Dec 24- Jan 1, and MLK Day Jan 17. The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit created to showcase portraits of children in the foster care system. Local photographers capture the child’s character and spirit to attract the attention of prospective forever families. Many of the children featured in Faces of Foster Care are at risk of aging out of the foster care system or are part of a large sibling group that makes them harder to place. The Ringling is honored to showcase the first Heart Gallery exhibit since the pandemic. For more information visit: www.heartgallerysarasota.org. To view this exhibition, please ask for a Community Gallery wristband in the Visitors Pavilion upon your arrival. Once you enter the education building, check-in at the security desk before viewing the exhibition.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel: Renee Fleming , January 5, 8pm

Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time. Winner of four Grammy® awards, and recipient of the US National Medal of Arts, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, Renée brought her voice to a vast new audience as the only classical artist ever to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Renée’s 2020 schedule includes a Europe and US recital tour with pianist Evgeny Kissin, and she will bring her lauded portrayal of Margaret in The Light in the Piazza to Sydney, Australia, in August, having performed the role in London, Los Angeles and Chicago in 2019. Last year she also sang world premieres by André Previn and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, and appeared opposite the actor Ben Whishaw to open The Shed at New York City’s Hudson Yards. She earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Carousel. Her latest album Lieder: Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler was released by Decca in June. She was heard on the soundtracks of the 2018 Best Picture Oscar winner The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Show on January 5, 2022 at 8pm.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Masterworks: Ohlsson Plays Rachmaninoff , January 7 – January 9, 8pm and 2:30pm

This program features two jewels of the Romantic repertoire on Friday, January 7 at 8pm, Saturday, January 8 at 8pm and Sunday, January 9 at 2:30pm. Brahms' bucolic Second Symphony is a sunny, optimistic work that boosts the spirit. Legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson returns to Sarasota to awe audiences with Rachmaninoff's towering Piano Concerto No. 3. A fiendishly difficult work, the piece demands extraordinary technical prowess and stamina from the soloist. Jeffrey Kahane, Sarasota Orchestra's Artistic Advisor, leads the orchestra in this memorable collaboration.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Hermitage Artist Retreat: Journeys of Identity in Poetry & Music , January 7, 5pm

Journeys of Identity in Poetry & Music With Hermitage Fellows Chet'la Sebree and Wang Lu will take place on Friday, January 7 at 5pm at The Hermitage Beach (Manasota Key), 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. Wang Lu's Hermitage Residency generously sponsored by Ina Schnell in memory of Susan Brainerd. This event on the Hermitage campus will be held outdoors. In the event of inclement weather, the program may be cancelled or moved online. Registered guests will be notified via email by 3pm on the day of the program in the event of cancellation or other changes. 

[SOON]  MUSIC: Jazz Club of Sarasota: Jazz at Two: Dan Miller Lew Del Gatto Quartet , January 7, 2pm

Internationally renowned artists, Dan Miller, trumpet and Lew Del Gatto, tenor sax headline this event with bassist Brandon Robertson and Tony Vigilante on drums. For a number of years, Miller was a lead player with the Harry Connick Jr band, performing in concert and on numerous CDs and TV specials. Del Gatto was a longtime member of the Tonight Show band and the Saturday Night Live orchestras. He also performed in concert bands for many top artists. The quartet features jazz standards and music from the American songbook. This show will take place on January 7 at 2pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict , January 7, 6:30pm

A colorful character who was not only ahead of her time but helped to define it, Peggy Guggenheim was an heiress to her family fortune who became a central figure in the modern art movement. As she moved through the cultural upheaval of the 20th century, she collected not only art but also artists. Her colorful personal history included such figures as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp as well as countless others. A collector of art and artists, Peggy Guggenheim fought through personal tragedy to build one of the world’s most important collections of modern art, now enshrined in her famous Venetian Palazzo. The film is a compendium of famous 20th century painting and sculpture mixed with the wild and iconoclastic life of one of the most powerful women in the history of the art world. Art Addict will show on January 7 at 6:30pm at the Historic Asolo Theater.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Fresh Fridays: Dance Under the Stars , January 7, 8pm-11pm

To help usher in a new year of joy and success, Fresh Fridays presents DANCE UNDER THE STARS on January 7th from 8-11pm. 2022’s first big first Friday event of the year will take place on Palm Avenue between the Palm Ave parking garage and Main Street, and will feature dance showcase/ /instruction in three different styles. Led by decorated competitive dancer Maks Lototskyy of Dynasty Dance Clubs, attendees can participate in ballroom from 8-9 p.m., country/Western from 9-10 p.m., or disco from 10-11pm. Guests are encouraged to patronize downtown restaurants and merchants the day of the event, making attendance at the Fresh Fridays program an easy walk. As with previous events, the first arrivals will get a free party favor to adorn their evening. Ample parking is available in the Palm Avenue parking garage and State Street parking garage, as well as street-side on Palm Avenue, Gulfstream Avenue, Main Street, Pineapple Avenue, and Cocoanut Avenue. 

[SOON]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre: Hare & Tortoise , January 8 – February 26, Varies.

Hare & Tortoise is a whimsical retelling of one of Aesops best-known fables about two friends who have opposite approaches to just about everything. Hare wants nothing more than to speed through everyday life and make time pass faster. Tortoise prefers to take her time, tending her garden and celebrating each season of life. This fun, treasured tale tells a timeless story of friendship, change, and the excitement of growing up. Hare & Tortoise, by Brendan Murray, will play Saturdays and select Sundays from January 8, 2022 - February 26, 2022 in FST's Bowne's Lab. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale and can be purchased by clicking the button above or by calling the Box Office at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival , January 8 – January 9, 10am-5pm

Whether you are an art collector, need artwork for your home or office, or merely wish to support the arts, join us in downtown Sarasota on January 8-9, 2022 for the 8th Annual Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival. As a result of your gracious support, this event has grown to become one of the most powerful and successful fine art festivals in Florida and ranks among the nation's top fine art shows. This fine art festival is held in downtown Sarasota in JD Hamel Park at Gulfstream and Main Street. The event is produced by Paragon Festivals and hosted by the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association. The 8th Annual Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival is open Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission is free. Bring your sense of discovery and appreciation of the beautiful.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime: Bubble Festival Starring Blaise Ryndes , January 8, 10am-3pm

The Bubble Festival starring Blaise Ryndes will take place on January 8 from 10am to 3pm. He performed his bubble act on America’s Got Talent. This is going to be a big event, so don't miss it.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Guitar Sarasota: International Concert Series: Johan Smith - Switzerland , January 8, 7:30pm

GFA winner Johan Smith kicks off Guitar Sarasota’s 15th season on Saturday, January 8, 2022 at Riverview Performing Arts Center at 7:30pm. Winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) competition in 2019 and defined as the “Classical Guitar Revelation 2017” by the french magazine Guitar Classical Magazine, Johan Smith has been invited to perform in renowned festivals, as concert and soloist, with orchestras such as the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra. He is currently preparing the recording of his second album (Naxos, 2020), as well as a tour that will bring him to perform in the United States, Canada, Mexico and in the Carnegie Hall in New York.

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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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