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SRQ DAILY Dec 23, 2022

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"Lights in Bloom is just a beautiful way to see our bayfront sanctuary in a completely new way during these winter evenings."

- Greg Luberecki, Vice President of Strategic Communications, Selby Gardens.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

This holiday season, head down to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ downtown Sarasota campus to check out their annual holiday lights show, Lights in Bloom. The show, which is on during select nights through January 5th, features more than two million lights illuminating the gardens and walkways and is a repeat winner in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights. “Lights in Bloom is just a beautiful way to see our bayfront sanctuary in a completely new way during these winter evenings,” says Greg Luberecki, Selby Gardens’ Vice President of Strategic Communications. “For the past 19 years, it’s become a wonderful holiday tradition in the Sarasota region. We have multiple generations of families that come back year after year and every year the lighting designers (Affairs in the Air) not only outdo themselves by coming up with new displays but also repeat the old favorites that repeat visitors love to see. It’s also a way that new guests get to learn about Selby Gardens.

Some of the new attractions include the transformation of the historic Selby mansion into a gingerbread house as well as a unique photo opportunity in the butterfly garden. “The lighting designers added lights and decorations to make the house look like a gingerbread house but with a little bit of a tropical twist. Additionally, the butterfly garden has a new photo opportunity with giant butterfly wings – they almost look like stained glass lit up within the frame of a giant butterfly,” says Luberecki. “Another new touch is a string light tree by the bay front where visitors are encouraged to step inside and get a picture under the sparkling lights.”

One of the returning old favorites is the Bromeliad Tree, which stands at over 20 feet tall and is constructed of nearly 800 individual colorful plants. “You can see the Bromeliad Tree in natural light and then when it's lit up at night it’s absolutely stunning – it’s constructed of three separate pieces – the horticulture team uses heavy equipment to stack each piece on top of one another once they are all decorated,” says Luberecki. “Bromeliads are one of the signature plants that are displayed and studied here at Selby and the Bromeliad Tree is really where the horticulture team gets to flex their creativity and challenge themselves to come up with a new design.”

Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota Campus, 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, 941-366-5731. 

Pictured: The Bromeliad Tree is a favorite in the Lights in Bloom Show. Photo by Cliff Roles.

To learn more click here.

[Arts & Entertainment]  New Fiction Review of Stella Maris
Bookseller Roxanne Baker, BookStoreOne Sarasota

Confession: I had never read Cormac McCarthy before. Sure, I saw the film Old Country for Old Men (with my eyes squinted shut for the scary scenes) and I heard about how depressing The Road (his Pulitzer Prize winning novel was), but Stella Maris, his most recent novel, is the one for which I finally screwed up my courage.

And guess what? No violence. I won’t spoil any other specifics for you, but this book is obviously by ‘the Grandpa who’s finally mellowed out’ and that’s said with zero ageism and 100% respect and revelry.

Here’s the plot’s skeleton: a young female mathematician checks herself into a Wisconsin psychiatric hospital. Stella Maris details weeks of her conversation with an older male psychiatrist. Counseling plots are my jam (Listen to The Marriage being another of my staff picks and most of the reason I bought into the Sopranos with the great Lorraine Branco as Tony’s shrink). So, it’s not for readers hell bent on action, but rather those who enjoy the slow burn of questions: is she or isn’t she mentally scrambled in combination with why did the therapist say that?

This novel is heavily laden with math theories and a unique way of looking at whose judgment mental illness belongs to, as well as where the origin of mental illness began.

Stella Maris is available for pre-sale now at www.sarasotabooks.com and in store on December 6th at BookStore1 117 S. Pineapple Ave. Sarasota. Publication Date: 12/6/22. , ISBN#: 9780307269003. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Presents Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy

Returning to a live format for the first time since 2020, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe invites the community to celebrate the rich legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during an inspirational performance. The production, titled “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Celebrating His Legacy in Spoken Word and Song,” will feature re-enactments of Dr. King’s speeches, song and dance. The show, which is arranged and directed by WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, takes place on Monday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House (61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota). Program highlights will include excerpts from Dr. King’s speeches and writings, re-enacted by Reverend Charles McKenzie, interspersed with singing and dancing by some of WBTT’s most popular professional performers as well as students from WBTT’s Stage of Discovery youth training program. Additionally, the 2023 winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay writing contest will be announced. Presenting sponsor is Community Foundation of Sarasota County; collaborating sponsor is the Sarasota County Bar Association Council for Diversity & Inclusion. Tickets are: $35/orchestra and mezzanine, $25/balcony, and $15/students (ages 25 and under with valid ID); prices include all applicable fees. For tickets and information, call the Box Office at 941-366-1505 or visit westcoastblacktheatre.org. 

Pictured: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe – led by Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs (front, center) – will present its celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 16 Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

[Arts & Entertainment]  FST Opens 2023 Stage III Series With NNPN Rolling World Premiere of BABEL

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) kicks off its 2023 Stage III Series with Babel by Jacqueline Goldfinger, a dark comedy probing the world of modern eugenics. In the play’s version of the not-so-distant future, expectant parents learn within the first few weeks of pregnancy which traits their child will have and what behaviors it is likely to exhibit. If the parents learn that their future child doesn’t have the purest genetic traits, they are encouraged to terminate the pregnancy and start over. Babel follows the extreme lengths two couples go to in order to have a baby. Called “Intriguing from start to finish” by Talkin’ Broadway, Babel begins playing January 18 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Babel is part of a three-show subscription package. Also included in the Stage III subscription package is the Regional Premiere of The Last Match, a fast-paced drama diving into the world of professional tennis, and the World Premiere of Paralyzed, a striking story of fate, guilt, and the power of forgiveness. Subscriptions for all three Stage III shows can be purchased for as little as $49, and single tickets for Babel range from $18-39. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica Exhibition Returns to Selby Gardens in January

The popular Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica art exhibition will return to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus from January 7 to 22, 2023. Featuring the traditional art of the Indigenous Boruca tribe of the Costa Rican rainforest, the show will include more than 400 colorful masks and other hand-crafted pieces on display inside the Museum of Botany & the Arts and available for purchase by visitors. A ticketed preview on January 6 will give a limited number of attendees the first opportunity to view and purchase artworks in the 2023 exhibition. The annual Rainforest Masks show is a collaboration between Selby Gardens and Lucuma Designs, a Sarasota-based wholesale fair-trade partner that represents artists and artist cooperatives in Costa Rica and Peru. Since 2004, Selby Gardens has showcased the masks of the Borucan tribe, bringing their traditional art and its themes of heritage, nature, and sustainability to a wider audience. The show also empowers the artists through income from mask sales that helps support their village and their growing conservation efforts. The exhibition will run from Saturday, January 7, through Sunday, January 22, and access is included with general admission to the Gardens. On Friday, January 6, Selby Gardens will host a special ticketed preview, during which visitors will be the first to see this year’s masks and get first dibs on purchasing their favorites. (Purchased masks and other items will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. Pick-up or shipping after the show’s completion can be arranged at the time of purchase.) Tickets for the limited-capacity preview event are available on the Selby Gardens website at selby.org. 

Photo by Lucuma Designs.

[Holiday Event]  New Year's Eve at Mattison's

All three Mattison’s Restaurants will be open on New Year’s Eve featuring festive food and drinks, live music, and fun for everyone to welcome 2023! Mattison’s Forty-One will feature their regular menu with a Chateaubriand for Two special. The Randy Stephens experience will provide entertainment. Open 4-midnight. Reservations 941-921-3400 or mattisons.com. Mattison’s City Grille will be a great spot to see the Pineapple Drop at midnight and enjoy the entire day of fun for the whole family with a block party featuring top 10 country artist Chas Collins taking the street stage at 8 pm in front of City Grille at Lemon Avenue and Main Street. Open 11am-2am. Reservations 941-330-0440.Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille in Bradenton will ring in the New Year with local favorite Avalanche guaranteed to get you up and dancing. Enjoy a special menu for dinner. Open 11- midnight. Reservations 941-896 9660. Everyone dining at Mattison’s on New Year’s Eve can enter to win a fabulous gourmet gift basket filled with a $100 Mattison’s Gift Card, Mattison’s Swag and a complimentary hotel stay at a local star-rated hotel. No matter which restaurant you choose for the celebration, Mattison’s has the night covered for your family, group of friends, or for and your special someone! Join us to say farewell to 2022 and ring in 2023 with festivities and delicious food and drinks. On behalf of Paul Mattison and his entire staff we wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday Season and Wonderful New Year! For more information visit mattisons.com. If you are choosing to stay in or have a private party for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, Mattison’s Catering has several options to help you plan a stress-free party with custom menus and pick-up, delivery, or full-service options. Call 941-921-3400 for catering information. 

[Weather]  Cold Weather Shelters Available in Manatee County

Manatee County's Emergency Management Division has coordinated with The Salvation Army to open cold weather shelter space at their Manatee County location: 1204 14th St. W., Bradenton. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and there will be space for an additional 50 people. In addition to their daily sheltering program (with space for 60 individuals overnight) during regular and high temperatures, the Salvation Army provides cold weather shelter for Manatee County’s homeless. They monitor the weather for expected drops in temperature and prepare extra bedding to increase their sheltering capacity. For more information about Manatee County Government, visit mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ManateeGov. 

[35 Under 35]  35 Under 35 Honoree - Joseph "JT" S. Grano, III at Next-Mark!

Meet the region's 35 Under 35 Awards Honorees for the 2022 program produced by SRQ Magazine to recognize young professionals who are taking a leadership position at their company and in the community. Learn more about Joseph "JT" S. Grano, III, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Next-Mark!


JT collaborates with businesses locally and nationally in bridging the gap between marketing communications and CRM software. His ability to customize and manage end-to-end Salesforce implementations has helped Next-Mark increase its revenue and build new levels of engagement with clients. JT graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN where he double majored in marketing and finance. Before joining Next-Mark, he gained corporate experience in IT project management, marketing communications and also worked in professional sports with the Indiana Pacers. JT grew up in Sarasota, attending the Out of Door Academy. When he’s not helping clients maximize their reach and profits, you can find JT on the golf course, at home with his wife, Nicole, or leading the Next-Mark team at downtown Sarasota’s Fresh Fridays events. 

To read the full article, click here.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Farmers' Market at Lakewood Ranch , January 2 – December 25, 10am-2pm

The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch is home to more than 90 curated vendors of the region’s best food and flavors, located at Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch. It takes place every Sunday from 10am to 2pm at Waterside Place. It’s your weekend destination for organic produce, meat, poultry, seafood, bread, pasta, juices and prepared foods. Stay up to date on vendors and events by visiting TheMarketLWR.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST - A Place in the Sun - A Tribute to Stevie Wonder , November 16 – April 16, Varied

A Place in the Sun – A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, will begin playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret on November 16, 2022. The new music revue celebrates the legendary musician whose catalogue spans six decades and multiple musical genres, taking audiences through the beloved songbook of musical pioneer, Stevie Wonder. Created by Jason Cannon, Richard Hopkins, and Sarah Durham, this all-new Cabaret features such timeless hits as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Isn’t She Lovely?,” and “Superstition.” Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  FOOD: Make Your Christmas Feast Easy and Delicious! , December 6 – December 25

Holiday roast pre orders are now open! You can now order everything you need for your holiday feast! Tenderloin, Wagyu and Rib Roasts, Tomahawks, Turkeys, six home made take and bake side items, sauces and Der Dutchman Pies! Also featuring our Warface Marinated Tenderloin Roast!

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Festive Food and Drink at the Ritz Carlton , December 31 – January 1

Festive Food & Drink This year, the resort will be bringing back its lavish Grand Ballroom festive dining experiences – a guest and local favorite. The experiences will kick off with a Christmas Day Brunch featuring a traditional feast curated by the resort’s master chefs. Followed by an exquisite Christmas Grand Ballroom Brunch featuring chef-attended action stations. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners are also available for guest reservations at Jack Dusty and Ridley’s Porch, both serving seasonally themed menus. In the lobby, overnight guests can indulge in daily surprise and delight experiences including culinary creations from the resort’s talented chefs, après-sun hand-shaved ice-cold snow cones, decadent holiday-inspired shooters, morning fresh squeezed juices, and more. Club Lounge guests will enjoy exclusive culinary programming and offerings like Autumn Sangria, cookie decorating and hot cocoa, twelve-days of Christmas champagne pairings, and more.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Ring In the New Year At the Waterside Place Plaza , December 31 – January 1, 6:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Join us at the Waterside Place Plaza on December 31st from 6pm – midnight to ring in the New Year! DJ Truth will be spinning tunes and food will be available to purchase at Good Liquid Brewing Co., KORE, and participating food trucks. Beverages will be available to purchase and enjoy from participating BITS program merchants.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: This Lakewood Ranch Expo Will Help You Keep Your Health and Wellness New Year's Resolution , January 7, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Join us on January 7th to kick off the new year with the "New Year, New You" Health and Wellness Expo, presented by Lakewood Ranch Medical Center! Visit vendors from Sarasota and Manatee counties and enjoy the speaker series at center court, complete with various doctors and wellness professionals from a wide range of specialties, kicking off every hour from 10am-3pm. This event is free to the public!

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 6 - La Sylphide , March 24 – March 25

The Sarasota Ballet is excited to announce the Company’s 2022 – 2023 Season. Over seven programs, The Sarasota Ballet will perform 15 works by some of the most celebrated and prestigious choreographers and composers of the ballet world. Program 6 - La Sylphide. March 24-25, 2023. At the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. La Sylphide (Company Premiere) Choreography by Johan Kobborg after August Bournonville, Music by Herman Severin Lovenskiold. For more information visit www.sarasotaballet.org, Box office 941.359.0099

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall , 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Rep: Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help , March 15 – April 22, Varied

Take a trip back to 1973 with the Irish Catholic OShea family in the uproarious INCIDENT AT OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP. This boisterous and moving new memory play introduces us to young Linda, as she recalls a week she’ll never forget. When Linda’s mother instructs her to tell her sister about the birds and the bees, things quickly snowball into a potential crisis after the conversation is overheard by the parish priest. Secrets are unintentionally revealed, and a quick-witted group of women realize what really matters as they work to protect their family reputation and each other. This wild and tender comedy directed by Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director Celine Rosenthal explores the foolishness of first love, the pains of Catholic guilt, and ultimately, the power of family.  

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Man of La Mancha , May 10 – June 11, Varied

Considered by many to be one of the best musicals of all time, MAN OF LA MANCHA is brilliantly reimagined with a contemporary urgency by celebrated director Peter Rothstein, who immerses us in Miguel de Cervantes’s retelling of Don Quixote and his quest. This epic and poignant journey celebrates the perseverance of one man who refuses to relinquish his ideals and who is determined to see life not as it is, but as it ought to be. The winner of five Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, and featuring a soaring score, including “Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)” and one of theatre’s most beloved songs, “The Impossible Dream,” this classic musical celebrates the power of theatre, the bravery of holding strong to our dreams, and the resilience of imagination.

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Cabaret , November 16 – December 31, Varied

Willkommen to Kander and Ebb’s iconic CABARET, which transports us to 1939 Berlin and the dynamic and pleasure-filled Kit Kat Klub. As a dark shadow falls over the city and the power of the Third Reich begins to mount, the Klub’s performers and patrons must decide if they’ll wake up to the evil on their doorsteps or continue to escape to the alluring fantasy world of the cabaret. Since its debut in 1967, this classic musical has won countless awards, including the Tony Awards® for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Revival of a Musical. Packed with vibrant and beloved songs like “Willkommen,” “Maybe This Time,” “Money,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” and, of course, “Cabaret,” this timely masterwork will burst to life on stage under the direction of Broadway and Asolo Rep favorite Josh Rhodes. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Players Centre: Proof , January 12 – January 22, Varied

Proof by David Auburn. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, Proof tells the story of Catherine, a troubled young woman, who has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death and on the eve of her 25th birthday, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit? January 12-22, 2023 For tickets visit theplayers.org, Ph. 941-365-2494, email BoxOffice@ThePlayers.org

The Players Centre For Performing Arts, Performance Venue & Box Office The Crossings at Siesta Key 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130 Sarasota, FL 34239

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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