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SRQ DAILY Feb 17, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"When you play a character, however, you cannot judge them and you have to try to look for reasons behind why they do certain things."

- Carly Zien, Actress.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Carly Zien Shines in FST's Network
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

Although at this point it should come as no surprise, something new and exciting is bubbling up in the Sarasota theater scene. The cultural hub for art not just on Florida’s gulf coast, but in all of the southeast, Sarasota boasts an abundance of performing arts organizations, including the Florida Studio Theatre. This past week, FST extended their run of Network, the drama adapted for the stage by Lee Hall from Paddy Chayefsky’s Academy Award-winning screenplay. The period piece, which is set in 1976, follows struggling news anchor Howard Beale, who sees his ratings skyrocket once he unravels on live television.

Amongst the cast is Carly Zien, who plays Diana Christensen, the television executive at the fictional news outlet UBS, who convinces her fellow executives to keep Howard on the air amidst his raucous outbursts. “Network is essentially about the television industry and how exploitative it can be both on tv and behind the scenes,” says Zien. “The primary storyline is about Howard Beale who basically has a nervous breakdown on live television and Diana is the programming executive and producer who encourages the company to keep Howard on the air because the ratings skyrocket when he’s threatening to kill himself on live tv and just kind of rantinghis feelings about politics and the media and all of that stuff. The more he rants the better the ratings get and Diana uses that as an opportunity to keep viewership high.”

The play also features a romantic storyline between Diana and Max Schumaker, the head of News at UBS and Howard’s best friend, who’s opposed to how the network is exploiting Howard’s breakdowns to increase ratings. Although some might see Diana as a villainous character, a climber who’ll do anything to get to the top, Zien views her character in a slightly different light. “That’s the big question about her, like, does she have a soul?” Zien says, laughing. “She’s pretty ruthless and she takes over the Howard’s show from Max, so she basically steals his job but then continues to try to sleep with him. When you play a character, however, you can’t judge them and you have to try to look for reasons behind why they do certain things. I think for Diana it's easy for audiences to see a villain because she’s responsible for Howard’s rise and eventual demise, but when working on the character you have to understand why they’re driven to do these things and I think for her it’s this deep seated need for attention and to be seen and to be valued.”

Box Office: (941) 366-9000, 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, https://www.floridastudiotheatre.org/network. 

Pictured: Carly Zien and Rod Brogan in Network. Photo by John Jones.

For tickets and information click here.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Asolo Rep Presents Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Asolo Repertory Theatre proudly presents Katie Forgette’s Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help as the fourth and final play in its 2023 repertory season. This wild and tender comedy directed by Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director Céline Rosenthal explores the foolishness of first love, the pains of Catholic guilt, and ultimately, the power of family. Our Lady of Perpetual Help begins previews on March 15, opens on March 17, and runs through April 22, in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Audiences will travel back to the era of bellbottoms and The Partridge Family in the uproarious and inspiring  Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help . For one week in 1973, the O’Shea family faces a crisis of biblical proportions when a simple conversation about the birds and the bees threatens to turn into a parish-wide scandal. With their good name at stake, the quick-witted women of the O’Shea household must work together to preserve their honor and prove that nothing is stronger than a family bond.Our Lady of Perpetual Help  contains mature content and language.  Our Lady of Perpetual Help runs March 15 – April 22. Previews are March 15 – 16. Visit asolorep.org for a full performance schedule. Orchestra and Mezzanine seats start at $65 and Balcony seats start at $33. Tickets are available now in person at Asolo Rep's Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by phone at 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, or online at asolorep.org. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Opera Announces 2023-2024 Season

Sarasota Opera has announced the 2023-2024 Opera Season today in a press conference on the main stage of the Sarasota Opera House. It will include four exciting opera productions, with one company premiere, a revival of a Sarasota Opera favorite, and two works that have not been given in more than a decade. There will also be a return of a favorite concert with orchestra and the industry-leading Sarasota Youth Opera production. Emerging from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and two major storms last season, the company has decided to scale back the Fall Opera Season for one year. Instead of a fall production, the company will present two performances of a concert featuring the works of Giacomo Puccini, one of opera’sfavorite composers. This will be performed by five soloists and continues the partnership with the Sarasota Orchestra, conducted by Victor DeRenzi. The Sarasota Youth Opera will also present The Little Sweep by Benjamin Britten to the stage in a favorite production. The 2024 Winter Opera Festival, running from February 17 through March 24, 2024, will feature four productions. The festival will open on February 17 with Carmen by Georges Bizet, a company favorite, last seen in 2018. Gaetano Donizetti’s brooding masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor, last given in 2012 will return on February 24. Giuseppe Verdi’s Luisa Miller, last performed nearly 25 years ago will open on March 9. The festival will conclude with the Sarasota Opera premiere of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Deceit Outwitted (L’infedeltà delusa) a charming comedy, which has not had a fully-staged production in the U.S. by a professional American opera company since 1971. Subscriptions for the 2023-2024 Season will be available for renewal on Monday, March 20th online at SarasotaOpera.org and in the Sarasota Opera Box Office. Single tickets for the 2023-2024 Season will go on sale on September 1, 2023. For more information on the 2023-2024 season, please contact the Sarasota Opera Box office at (941) 328-1300, visit us in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue in Downtown Sarasota, or online at SarasotaOpera.org. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Players Centre Presents Mark Twain: They Told Me To Be Brief

The Players Centre presents the incredibly talented Allan Kitty in Mark Twain: They Told Me To Be Brief Feb. 16 through 18 at Studio 1130-The Crossings at Siesta Key (3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239). Alan Kitty began interpreting and presenting the character of Mark Twain in 1979. In 2009, he launched an Off-Broadway Showcase followed by a National Tour of Mark Twain’s Last Stand. Feb. 16-18 at 7:30pm; Feb. 18 at 2 pm.

Studio 1130 - The Crossings at Siesta Key, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 200, Sarasota. 

Pictured: Allan Kitty plays Mark Twain in They Told Me To Be Brief. Courtesy of The Players Centre.

For tickets and information click here.

[Arts & Entertainment]  On Your Feet! Comes to the Van Wezel

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall will present a brand new production of the smash-hit musical On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. This inspiring true story about heart, heritage and two people who believed in their talent—and each other—has already won the hearts of audiences and critics alike. On Your Feet! will play the Van Wezel from March 14-15, 2023. Tickets are $42-112 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. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. Pre-show dining is available through Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office. For more information, visit OnYourFeetMusical.com. Additional photos and video can be found here. 

Pictured: On Your Feet Ensemble. Photo by DJ Corey.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Orchestra March Concerts Swing, Groove, and Sing

This March, Sarasota Orchestra’s Pops and Great Escapes series feature many different flavors of American music, from swing to hip hop and from Dvořák’s “New World” to Copland’s “Simple Gifts.” A special performance by renowned touring ensemble the Sphinx Virtuosi presents a unique opportunity to hear music by diverse voices through the lens of classical tradition. The Masterworks series closes with a highly anticipated commission as part of the League of American Orchestra’s Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program.

Since 1949, Sarasota Orchestra has inspired and entertained music-lovers across the region and visitors from around the world. As the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida, each year the 76-member Orchestra performs more than 100 classical, pops, chamber music, and community outreach concerts. Sarasota Orchestra's acclaimed music education program includes the Sarasota Youth Orchestras, established in 1959. Sarasota Orchestra is also the parent program of the world-renowned Sarasota Music Festival, founded in 1965. For further information, please visit www.SarasotaOrchestra.org. 

To learn more click here.

[Event]  Big Top Brewing Co. Introduces New Beer

Big Top Brewing Co. will be releasing a new core beer to their collection. The first in several years. Now Introducing R-22 COLD IPA. It opens with a bright tropical hop aroma. Zesty notes of stone fruit, papaya, and mango combine with a crisp, light body and clean finish. This hoppy hybrid offers the enjoyable flavors of an IPA with the light, clean and crispy drinkability of a lager. Come step under our big top and see for yourself this Wednesday (2.22.23) for the Big Release Party. There will be FREE FOOD from 5:00-7:00pm, LIVE MUSIC by Matthew Johns Band from 6:00-9:00pm, R-22 Merch Giveaways, and a chance to win FREE BEER for a year!! For more information go online at: BigTopBrewing.com @BigTopBrewCo.

BIG TOP BREWING COMPANY HQ (941) 371-2939, 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. BigTopBrewing.com @BigTopBrewCo.


[Event]  SB2 Luncheon

Join us on March 7, 2023 at Michael's On East for a dynamic luncheon symposium centered on conversations focused on regional philanthropic topics. The luncheon will include a panel discussion to explore the ever-changing world of non-profits and honor outstanding individuals who have made a meaningful impact within the community. 

Reserve Your Tickets Here

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel Foundation Inspiration Gala with Kenny Loggins , March 10, 5 pm

Join us as we celebrate the 35-year partnership of the Van Wezel Foundation and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for an intimate experience featuring exceptional dining and Grammy-winning musician Kenny Loggins. Proceeds from the evening will the support the mission of the Van Wezel Foundation: to create and sustain a vibrant perfoming arts center, advance education, and enrich communities by inspiring minds through the power of the arts. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 5:00 Cocktails, Dinner & Program, 8:00 Live Performance. Gala co-chairs: Kathy Martella and Susan Travers. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Julie Schwartz at 941-271-4180 or jschwartz@vwfoundation.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Ken Ludwigs The Three Musketeers , January 11 – March 26, Varied

Adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. Directed by Peter Amster. Harrowing adventure, bravery, and friendship take center stage in Ken Ludwig's THE THREE MUSKETEERS, a thrilling adaptation of the popular novel by Alexandre Dumas. One of the world’s most enduring comedies, this classic tells the tale of a daring young man who finds himself in the company of the world’s greatest swordsmen, as well as some of the world’s most dangerous men and women. Directed by Peter Amster, who most recently directed Asolo Rep’s smash hit Murder on the Orient Express in 2020, this play promises to be a fast-paced, witty, swashbuckling good time. All for one, and one for all! 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks at the Bishop , January 11 – March 18, During museum hours

Get inspired to create your own ‘towers of tomorrow’ with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks available in hands-on construction areas. Young and old will be limited only by their imagination as they add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Silent Sky , January 19 – March 5, Varied

At the turn of the 20th century, years before women had the right to vote, one woman’s breakthrough changed our perception of the stars. Full of wonder, humor, and heart, SILENT SKY is the remarkable true story of Henrietta Leavitt, one of the pioneering women astronomers working at Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. You will be enthralled by the story of this extraordinary woman who took on the astronomy establishment in order to discover the mysteries embedded in the sky. Henrietta transcended the odds while navigating love, family, and the universe, going on to make a world-altering advancement to the field of astronomy that forever changed our view of the cosmos.  Written by one of today’s leading playwrights, Lauren Gunderson, this mesmerizing drama is directed by Seema Sueko, who recently brought this work to life at Washington D.C.’s Ford’s Theatre. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  MUSEUM: She Engineers at the Bishop , January 24 – July 30, During museum hours

SHE ENGINEERS is a bilingual (English and Spanish) poster exhibition highlighting eight women in various engineering fields. In their own words, the women share their passion and what inspired them to become engineers. If we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Elements by Cheryl Moody to be Featured at Art Uptown Gallery in February , January 27 – February 23

From January 27, 2023 to February 23, Art Uptown Gallery will exhibit Elements by Cheryl Moody. Cheryl loves being outdoors and painting subjects in oils that spark her interest, whether it's the way light filters through leaves, reflects on water, creates patterns of color in the landscape, or how palm fronds twist in the wind. Cheryl enjoys hearing from people saying they could “ feel the wind blowing” or “smell the salt air,” and knowing that they have been transported to her special places. Meet the artist at the gallery on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the monthly First Friday, 6 p.m. public reception on February 3. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street daily where the diverse art works of regional, award-winning artists are exhibited. Telephone 941-955-5409 or visit www.artuptown.com for hours and further information.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature , February 12 – June 26, During garden hours

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 2023 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature showcases the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, the exhibition highlights the inspiring connection between Tiffany Studios and the natural world through unique horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens, accompanied by seminal examples of Tiffany’s work on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. To learn more, visit selby.org. Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Reel Music at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 15 – June 25, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents the original music revue, Reel Music, celebrating the movies that helped create the soundtrack to the last century. Featuring classics like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Circle of Life,” and “My Heart Will Go On,” this new Cabaret traces how films—and the music highlighted in them—have evolved over the past one hundred years. Created by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Sarah Durham with musical arrangements by Jim Prosser, Reel Music begins playing February 15, 2023, in FST’s Court Cabaret. Single tickets for Reel Music
range between $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival , February 17 – February 19

The 25th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival. The iconic three-day Festival, organized by and benefitting Suncoast Charities for Children, is scheduled for February 17-19 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Continuous live music will be featured throughout the weekend, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for outdoor seating in front of the stage. The Festival plans to feature over 100 vendors, a 17-class bike show, a motorcycle stereo sound off competition, motorcycle freestyle demonstrations, a tented full bar area with seating, a “little riders” kid zone, a food court, “Thunder Alley” inside Robarts Arena and so much more!  For tickets, vendor information, sponsorship opportunities, and a complete listing of all Festival events visit: THUNDERBYTHEBAY.ORG | (941) 487-7904. 

Sarasota Fairgrounds

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Saint Barbara 2023 Sarasota Greek Festival , February 17 – February 19, Various times

The 39th Annual St Barbara Greek Festival “Glendi” offers three days of pure family fun filled with delicious Greek dishes, domestic and imported beverages, amazing pastries, live Greek music and The St. Barbara Hellenic Dancers and all things Greek. The tents will be filled with amazing Greek food, Greek drinks, pastries dancing, vendors and more, including a raffle. Visit stbarbarafestival.org to learn more.

Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Madama Butterfly , February 18 – March 24, Varied

Madama Butterfly is an Opera in three acts. Music by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. A young geisha known affectionately as Madama Butterfly is swept off her feet by an American Naval Officer. Left with a promise that he would return one day, Butterfly waits faithfully for three years, but is met with heartbreak in one of opera’s most enduring tragedies. Sung in Italian with Translations in English. February 18th-March 24 For tickets visit sarasotaopera.org or Ph. +1 941 328 1300

Sarasota Opera , 61 N Pineapple Ave. Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FOOD: Lapostolle Wine Dinner at Michael's Wine Cellar , February 22, 6 p.m.

Located in one of its country’s most famous valleys, the Colchagua Valley, Lapostolle Winery is an icon for wine production in Chile. Lapostolle strives to create world-class wines using French winemaking philosophy and the superb terroirs of Chile. Today, the vineyards span 188 hectares planted to Cabernet, Carmenere, Merlot, and Petit Verdot along with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Michael’s Wine Cellar is proud to feature one of Chile's greatest winemakers in this one-night-only, multi-course dinner event. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit michaelswinecellar.com. 

[SOON]  THEATER: The Last Match at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 22 – March 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents the Regional Premiere of The Last Match by Anna Ziegler, a fast-paced play diving into the intense world of professional sports. Set during the semifinals of the U.S. Open, The Last Match follows Sergei Sergeyev, an up-and-coming Russian phenom, and Tim Porter, a great American superstar in the twilight of his career, during one of the most important matches of their careers. Called “Exceptional” and “Highly Engaging” by the Wall Street Journal, The Last Match begins playing February 22 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Single tickets range from $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 5 - Dance Theatre of Harlem , February 24 – February 27

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 5 - Dance Theatre of Harlem. February 24-27, 2023 at FSU Center for the Performing Arts. The Sarasota Ballet Presents: Dance Theatre of Harlem. For more information visit www.sarasotaballet.org, Box office 941.359.0099

[SOON]  FOOD: Hound Happy Hour at Hamlet's Eatery , February 17, 5 to 8 p.m.

It's a paw-ty at Hamlet's Eatery! The award-winning permanently located food truck is staying open Fridays until 8pm for Hound Happy Hour.This Friday, Feb 17 features dogs from the Humane Society of Sarasota, live music by Chris Lincoln, and guest vendors. There will also be chair massage available. Bring your fur babies! Hamlet's offers traditional and vegan options. They now serve local craft beer, wine, and Prosecco on tap. Located outdoors with plenty of room under a covered patio. This is a great way to kick off your weekend. 821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information visit www.hamletseatery.com or call 941-445-1938

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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