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SRQ DAILY Apr 14, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"The show is a revue of the maestro Fats Waller who was a very gifted musician and so incredibly unique in his time."

- Nate Jacobs, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Founder/Artistic Director.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Big Sexy Brings the Music of Fats Waller to Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

Big Sexy: The Fats Waller Revue was in large part inspired by an artist that I’ve been working with since he was a child, Leon S. Pitts II, who's now an adult with his own family and has built a brand and a name for himself on our stage,” says Nate Jacobs, founder and artistic director of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT). “We were joking around one day and he said 'you should write a show for me and call it Big Sexy.' Flash forward to a few years later and I told him I was going to do it.”

Big Sexy: The Fats Waller Revue, is WBTT’S tribute to Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller, a legendary American jazz pianist, singer, composer, and entertainer. Waller, born in New York City in 1904, was one of the most prolific songwriters of his time, copyrighting over 400 songs before his death at age 39 in 1943. A true musical pioneer, Waller’s innovations in the Harlem stride style of piano laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano.

“The show is a revue of the maestro Fats Waller who was a very gifted musician and so incredibly unique in his time–which Leon Pitts is to our company, he’s just a really gifted artist and always has been. They are similar in that they both exude this kind of effervescent and contagious likeability, especially when on stage,” says Jacobs. “Big Sexy, however, is more than just a showcase of  Waller’s most popular tunes. In addition to his most well known songs, such as Ain’t Misbehavin’, Honeysuckle Rose, Your Feet’s Too Big, and The Joint is Jumpin, the show will feature some of Waller’s lesser known songs as well as delve into the history of the man behind the music.”

WBTT's Donelly Theatre (1012 N. Orange Ave., Box Office: 941-366-1505, April 19-May 28.  

Pictured: Ariel Blue and Leon S. Pitts II star in WBTTs production of Big Sexy The Fats Waller Revue Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

For more information click here.

[Film]  Resilient Retreat to Host Special Movie Event on Sunday, April 30

Taking place Sunday, April 30, ‘Resilient Reels’ will be a unique partnership between Sarasota non-profit Resilient Retreat and Wingspan Productions, whose new film, Bridge to the Other Side, brings the timely and important topics of stress, trauma and compassion fatigue to the limelight. Two film screenings at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., a Q&A with the director and an after-party will not only support the non-profit’s fundraising efforts but also help raise funds for a free film screening exclusively for first responders, which will take place on May 2 at 3 p.m. Tickets and sponsorships are available at https://www.resilientretreat.org/events/ 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Sarasota Orchestra Closes 22-23 Season with Sizzling Final Programs in May

Sarasota Orchestra concludes its season with pizzazz. The Orchestra returns to the Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium for the 10th anniversary of Outdoor Pops, this time with a Motown theme. Acclaimed guitar virtuoso Bokyung Byun makes her Sarasota Orchestra debut in the final Discoveries series concert of the year, performing the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez.

Outdoor Pops: Music of Motown: Hear funky sounds from the height of the Motown era transformed into a symphonic experience with Sarasota Orchestra. The program features smash hits made famous by artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Temptations, and Stevie Wonder. Songs include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “My Girl,” “Superstition,” and more. Conductor Byron Stripling leads the Orchestra with a guest roster of three fabulous soloists: Chester Gregory, Michael Lynche, and Crystal Monee Hall. A spectacular fireworks display rounds out this evening of hits and home runs at the Orioles' Ed Smith Stadium. May 5-6, 8:00 pm; Ed Smith Stadium. tickets from $15, available at www.Orioles.com/arts or (941) 893-6312.

Discoveries 3: Musical Postcards: Sarasota Orchestra’s final concert of the season takes listeners on a whirlwind voyage, guided by guest conductor Joseph Young. Villa-Lobos traces connections between the German composer J.S. Bach and the music of Brazil in his Bachianas Brasileiras. The royal site of Aranjuez deeply moved Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo, whose alluring Concierto de Aranjuez has come to be the most famous work for guitar and orchestra. Korean guitarist Bokyung Byun, the first woman to win the prestigious JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, brings the work to life. Mendelssohn’s vacation to Italy led to the irrepressibly joyful "Italian" Symphony. May 13, 7:30pm, Sarasota Opera House, tickets from $32, available at www.SarasotaOrchestra.org or (941) 953-3434. 

[Cancellation]  Gordon Lightfoot Cancellation

Due to an ongoing illness, Gordon Lightfoot’s 2023 tour dates have been canceled including GORDON LIGHTFOOT: THE LEGEND IN CONCERT at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall scheduled for June 20. Patrons with tickets to Gordon Lightfoot’s show have received an email regarding the cancellation and their ticketing options. Patrons with questions regarding their tickets should call the Van Wezel Box Office at 941-263-6799 to discuss. 

[Virtual Session]  Women's Resource Center Presents Helping Women RISE

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is partnering with the nationally based The Mom Project to provide a free, virtual information session on its RISE scholarship program, Wednesday, April 26, noon-1 p.m. Chandra Sanders, the Vice President of RISE, is the speaker. The event is part of WRC’s Career Connections program that links women to quality jobs and funded training programs. Register at www.mywrc.org/RISE or call (941) 256-9721 for more information. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Local Art Group to Exhibit

ComCenter Lakewood Ranch hosts local art groups to exhibit in the main lobby area of the building. The exhibits are open to the public to view Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, and the majority of the art, with a few exceptions, are for sale. The artists are usually treated to a welcome reception by ComCenter as well. The exhibits continually change about every four to six months so there is always something new to see and our ComCenter clients and their clients enjoy the ever-changing exhibits. The next group, The Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch, will be exhibiting for the first time at ComCenter from May 8 through July 31. ComCenter, locally owned and operated since 1999, offers executive offices, various virtual office service plans, and meeting rooms and manages not only our main building in Lakewood Ranch but also has office space only at our Bradenton location. Our Business Is Helping You Simplify Yours. For more information, call 941-782-1234 or email us at info@comcenters.net. 

[SRQIST]  Shared Experience
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Shared Experience | After a two-year hiatus, the 10x10 speaker series returns, reuniting Sarasota's multi-faceted community, April 2023. 

Read Here!

[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]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association announces Free Music Matinees , January 4 – April 19, 12:00 PM

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its 2023 Music Matinees concert series. These four free noon-time concerts showcase exceptional regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles, including classical and folk music. Scheduled this season: Passerine; Wednesday, January 4 at noon. With inventive vocal harmonies and song-writing skills, supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that range from ballads to contemporary Americana. Duo Pianists Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro; Wednesday, February 22 at noon; The Baron-Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music, from classical to popular, for two pianos and piano four–hands with electric energy and melting lyricism. Their New York City debut as a piano duo at Carnegie Hall in March of 2022 was sold out and met with critical acclaim. Soprano Hein Jung and pianist Gregorios Zamparas; Friday, March 17 at noon Soprano Hein Jung has performed in recitals and with opera companies in major cities throughout the U.S, Italy and South Korea. She will be accompanied by pianist Gregorios Zamparas who has been praised for his versatility as a recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. Cellist Natalie Helm and Pianist Jesse Martins; Wednesday, April 19 at noon Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Natalie Helm is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator. For this performance she will collaborate with pianist Jesse Martins, who also serves as conductor and vocal coach with the Sarasota Opera. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org. Performances take place at David Cohen Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at 941-966-6161.

[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]  GRAB BAG: Resilience: A Guided Walking Tour Experience by Compass Rose History Experiences , February 25 – April 22, 3:30 p.m.

Compass Rose History Experiences announces the launch of Resilience: A Guided Walking Tour Experience. Guides Mimi Cirbusova and Andrea Knies will navigate attendees on a journey back in time down Main Street as we explore the resilience of the Sarasota community during the Great Depression and World War II. Locals and visitors alike will find inspiration from the stories of the people and places of Sarasota's past. Tours meet at Five Points Park in Downtown Sarasota and cover a distance of less than one mile over the 75-90 minute tour. All tours begin at 3:30 pm. Tickets cost $20.00 and must be purchased in advance. Guests purchasing both tours can receive a $10 discount by selecting the ticket package. Visit CompassRoseHistory.com to purchase your tickets or to learn more about Compass Rose History Experiences.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Shakespeare in the Gardens , April 4 – April 23, Various times

FSU and the Asolo Conservatory are thrilled to bring back the beloved Shakespeare in the Gardens series to The Ringling Museum grounds with the Conservatory production of Love's Labour's Lost. Originally performed at Selby Gardens, this year the production of Love's Labour's Lost will be set in the remarkable Ringling Museum of Art Bayfront Gardens, surrounded by a lush banyan grove, with views of the stunning Sarasota Bay. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, asolorep.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Beartoe at Oscura , April 15, Doors open at 7 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m.

Oscura presents a night of live music from folk, blues and soul musician Beartoe. All ages are welcome. No cover charge. Oscura, 816 Manatee Ave E., Bradenton, oscura.live.

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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