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SRQ DAILY Jun 2, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"The minute the audience was invited to be a part of the play, their observations and influence made a serious story very funny. "

- Bruce Jordan, Director, Shear Madness.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Give ‘Em Something To Talk About
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

While the words “card game night” typically evoke images of poker chips and cigars and the kinds of people who think it’s ok to smoke cigars indoors, Sarasota artist Samantha Wuerfel and her partner, Michael Donahue, have something very different in mind with their newest creation: a not-quite-card-game-but-more-conversation-deck called Hio.

Hot off the press, a Hio deck comprises 54 cards, each with a single philosophical/introspective question printed on it. And… that’s it. Less a game and more an operation in curiosity, exploration and empathy, the goal is to spark the kind of conversation that doesn’t always crop up naturally while rehashing the day’s news or recalling the latest episode of whatever, but that almost always results in the sort of evening that everyone agrees “We should do more of.” So while the cards provide some targeted jumping off points for conversation—“Who were you before you were told who you should be?” “How do you think your reality differs from others around you?” “If you could relive any moment, what would it be?”—it really is up to the participants to bring the rest and engage with the questions in an open and honest way. The results, says Wuerfel, could be surprising.

She speaks from experience, having taken a similar “question deck” on a cross-country trip she and Donahue took in the summer of 2021, transporting a friend’s RV from California to Rhode Island. For six weeks, the pair were on a bona fide adventure, camping in national parks, making new friends by the fire and generally doing their best to experience the breadth of what this grand and bizarre nation had to offer. And along the way, in between landmarks and campsites, when the cell service was gone and the horizon stretched out forever, Wuerfel and Donahue went through the deck. “And even though we’d been dating for years,” she says, “we learned so much more about each other.”

In the two years since, the pair have been curating their own deck, asking the questions that they think need asking, pushing the buttons they think need pushing. The result is Hio. “And everywhere we’ve taken our prototype deck,” Wuerfel says, “the responses have been amazing.”

Currently available via the Hio website, the inaugural run will be limited to only 100 decks, as Wuerfel and Donahue already have plans to refine and re-release. They have more decks in the works, as well, including a deck for couples, one for young families, and another based on conspiracy theories. (“Choose who you want to use these decks with,” laughs Wuerfel.) And that’s just to start. Wuerfel and Donahue plan to see how far they can go and just how much a deck of cards can really do.

“So many of us are seeking connection and wanting to learn more about ourselves and the people we surround ourselves with,” says Wuerfel, “and it’s funny to think that a simple deck of questions can be so effective in discovering each other and ourselves.”


[Arts & Entertainment]  Shear Madness at Florida Studio Theatre
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

When Bruce Jordan and Marilyn Abrams saw a production of Paul Portner's Scherenschnitt in Düsseldorf in the 1970s, they had no idea of just how much the play would change their lives. “The play was a very dark murder mystery, completely free of humor,” says Jordan. “What struck me was the production’s potential for comedy–the minute the audience was invited to be a part of the play, their observations and influence made a serious story very funny. In 1976, I was performing a very serious translation of Scherenschnitt in a dinner theater in Lake George, New York, and I wrote to Marilyn saying that we needed to turn the play into a comedic murder mystery localized to the setting that the production was airing in.”

In 1978, Shear Madness was born–an interactive comedic murder mystery in which the audience works with the cast to solve the murder of the lady living above the Shear Madness salon. Since then, Shear Madness has become the longest-running, nonmusical play in American Theater history, with 12,610 consecutive performances in Boston, 9,850 consecutive performances in Washington, D.C. and countless other productions around the world. This summer, Shear Madness comes to Sarasota with a slot in Florida Studio Theatre’s Summer Mainstage Series. The production, which airs from May 31 to June 25, is returning to FST for the first time since its two year run from 2010 to 2011. “Even though we last did this play at FST over a decade ago, to me it’s like it happened yesterday,” says Jordan, who will direct this summer’s production at FST. “Normally when you act in a play, you know exactly what your trajectory is going to be. But when you act in Shear Madness you don’t know whether you’re gonna be guilty that night or innocent, what questions people might ask you or what relationships they might bring up. It’s such a fun thing to perform because it’s constantly changing.”

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. 941-366-9000. 

Pictured: Shear Madness 6: (Pictured – Left to Right): Jordan Ahnquist (Tony Whitcomb), Lisa McMillan (Mrs. Shubert), Shaun Memmel (Mikey Thomas) . Photo by John Jones..

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  Art Center Sarasota Winners Announced

Art Center Sarasota’s 2023 exhibition season continues with its annual regional exhibit, the largest juried exhibition of the year. “Identity: Exploring the Human Condition,” highlights the diverse talents of artists from across the southeast region of the United States and is on display in all four gallery spaces. On view from June 1-August 5, the opening reception is Thursday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. The juror is Christy Paris, an art professor and PhD candidate in the College of Education at the University of South Florida. A “Juror’s Critique,” with Paris, will take place on Tuesday, June 6. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032. 

Pictured: Regional Exhibit, Roses on Grey by Eva Bejar, Merit Award. Photo courtesy of Art Center Sarasota.

[Summer Style]  Dressing for Summer with Casa Del Sol
Kendall Stone, kendall@moteltherapy.comom

Summer is right around the corner and wearing the proper fabrics and protective accessories is essential in beating the heat. Locally owned boutique, Casa Del Sol, has got you covered… literally.

Casa Del Sol is a new boutique in the Siesta Key Village, established in 2023. They specialize in timeless beachwear for both men and women. Fashion buyer and co-owner, Erika Schmidt, has done a beautiful job sourcing both trend-forward and classic styles with practical fabrication for a life in the sun. Casa Del Sol's summer collection features lightweight linens, breathable cotton’s and rayon blends with minimal prints and neutral color palettes.

Linen and cotton are both well known for their sustainability and wearability in the heat. Rayon, also known as viscose, might be lesser known. Rayon has recently become a popular fabric in the fashion industry as it’s more sustainable than polyester and can often be made to imitate silk. Rayon and viscose can give you that expensive look without the price tag and work well for Florida temperatures. At the boutique, you can find styles like wide leg pants, breezy tops, flowy dresses and seamless tanks. They also recently launched a new women’s loungewear collection made with a cooling, buttery soft bamboo fabric. In the men’s section, you’ll find a variety of cotton t-shirts with vintage inspired graphics, lightweight button-down tops along with shorts meant for both the beach and every day wear. Casa Del Sol believes in a life under the rays. They make your days under the sun more enjoyable with their made-for-Summer accessories. They offer UPF sun hats, sweat resistant jewelry, protective sunglasses and oversized beach bags for commuting. They also have a skin care collection designed to keep tanned summer skin healthy and glowing. The Cooling Lotion from Project Reef Sunscreen is a customer favorite. All of their skincare products are sustainable, all natural and reef friendly. Feel confident knowing that both you and our oceans are protected.

I’ll leave you with a note from Co-Owner Erika, “Wherever your Summer takes you, don’t forget to make your own rays!”

Kendall Stone is the Owner and Fashion Buyer of Motel Therapy Boutique, 532 S. Pineapple Ave Sarasota. @moteltherapy. 

Pictured: A Look Inside the Women’s Section at Casa Del Sol Boutique Photo Credit: Erika Schmidt

[Celebration]  Temple Sinai Celebrates Pride Month

Temple Sinai welcomes the whole community to celebrate Pride Month with a special welcome reception, Shabbat service and dinner on Friday, June 16, 2023 beginning at 5:00 p.m. Temple Sinai is located at 4631 South Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota (enter only from Proctor Road). Reform Jews are committed to the full participation and affirmation of people identifying as LGBTQ+ in synagogue life as well as society at large, and Temple Sinai will celebrate their commitment to inclusion with a special Pride Shabbat featuring guest speaker, Jason Champion, an LGBTQ leader within Sarasota County who sits as Board Chair of Project Pride and President of the SRQ LGBTQ Kickball league. He will share his thoughts about issues facing the LGBTQ+ community and how their challenges in some ways mirror the challenges faced by many Jews. Chazzan Abramson believes that we are created b'tzelem Elohim (in the image of God) and said, “Almost eighteen years ago, as I was making my decision to become the chazzan at Temple Sinai, I was moved by the message on our synagogue’s website about the meaning of the prayer, “Shema Koleinu” (Hear All Our Voices), a supplication to God to hear our collective voice, to grant us all compassion and mercy. I never forgot those words and they remain a defining principle at Temple Sinai today.” A welcome reception with light refreshments and beverages will precede the service and a festive Shabbat dinner will follow. The evening is being generously sponsored by Chazzan Abramson, members of Temple Sinai and friends from the community. Please pre-register for the dinner by Wednesday, June 14 at: templesinai-sarasota.org.For more information, visit templesinai-sarasota.org or call 941-924-1802. 

[Feature]  A True Leading Lady
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

A True Leading Lady| Who Can Turn the World on with Her Smile? Mary Tyler Moore! Being Mary Tyler Moore, a new HBO documentary directed by James Adolphus premiered on April 1st, May/June 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Fridays , June 2, 7-10 pm
The Downtown Improvement District Fresh Fridays organizers work to jumpstart the summer season with a festive block party full of live music, lawn games, BBQ, and more for its final event of the season. Bay Kings Band will provide live entertainment. Local downtown restaurant, Bricks Smoked Meats, will be cooking up mouthwatering BBQ. Attendees will have the chance to meet and hang out with players from the Sarasota Paradise pre-professional soccer team. Continuing in the spirit of summer, the party will have a gaggle of fun backyard lawn games. Partygoers can participate in friendly competitions of Cornhole, oversized Connect Four, and Jenga. Show up early for signature giveaways and come hungry to taste a variety of light bites and beverages from local downtown hospitality partners, including the Art Ovation Hotel and Azul Steak and Sushi Lounge. Upcoming dining destination Beso will have a specialty sangria bar for attendees to enjoy. The event will take place rain or shine back on Palm Avenue. Parking will be available at Palm Avenue and State Street parking garages. Palm Avenue, Sarasota.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Grand Carnival by Project Pride SRQ , June 3, 7-10pm

Project Pride SRQ will host the 2nd annual Grand Carnival, themed Diamonds are Forever on June 3rd at the Circus Arts Conservatory. This unique event will knock you off your feet, showcasing Honorary Chair Donna Koffman and Family and featuring exciting visuals by Botanica Design Studio and live performances on the main stage by Ada Vox of American Idol and Queen of the Universe plus surprises you must see to believe. The 21 and up ticketed event will feature live music, delicious lite bites from Sage, Tsunami Sushi, 1592 Wood Fire Kitchen, Florence and the Spice Boys and more local community partners. All are welcome. The Circus Arts Conservatory, 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, www.ppsrq.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Comedy Lottery at Florida Studio Theatre Improv , June 3 – July 29, 7:30pm
It is the lottery where everyone wins. Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team by selecting the nightly lineup of games. Our cast of funny people are off to the races spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. Bownes Lab, 1265 First St., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.
[SOON]  FILM: Summer Movie Nights at CoolToday Park featuring Shazam, Fury of the Gods , June 4 – July 30, 5pm
Summer movie nights are back at CoolToday Park. Shazam, Fury of the Gods will be shown on the scoreboard and will begin at 5pm each night. Children ages 3 and under will receive free admission, while tickets for ages 4-9 are only $3, and ages 10 and up are $7. Tickets are available now at the CoolToday Park box office, online at cooltodaypark.com/movies or by calling 941-413-5004. Parking is free, seats will be available in the seating bowl. No outside food or beverages are chairs are allowed inside the stadium. The Superior Pools Tomahawk Tiki Bar and Grill will be open for full dinner service. For more information on the 2023 Movie Nights, or CoolToday Park, visit www.cooltodaypark.com , email springtraining@braves.com, or call 941-413-5000.
[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]  MUSEUM: From the Chambers Honoring John Sims at Ringling Museum , May 6 – August 6, Museum hours

In December 2022, the innovative artist, activist, writer, and filmmaker John Sims passed away suddenly at his studio in Sarasota. The tragic loss of Sims left a deep impact on the art world. His art, informed by mathematics, design, sacred symbols, and poetic text, boldly confronted white supremacy, the Confederate flag, and the deep disparities and division within our society. The Ringling is honored to have had the opportunity to work closely with Sims, who was their artist in residence in 2020. The exhibition From the Chambers, Honoring John Sims brings those two works together, on view publicly for the first time, in conjunction with John Chamberlain’s sculpture Added Pleasure. The exhibition serves as just one part of the significant legacy the artist leaves behind, in Sarasota and beyond. On view May 6 through August 6, 2023 in the Searing East galleries. Ringling Musuem, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org

[SOON]  GALLERY: Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch Art Exhibition , May 8 – July 31, 9 am-5 pm
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 is 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 Lakewood Ranch, 9040 Town Center Pkwy, Lakewood Ranch, comcenters.net.
[SOON]  FOOD: SIN Nights at Geckos on Hillview , May 12 – August 31, 10 pm to midnight

Enjoy SIN Nights for Geckos Hospitality and Service Industry Colleagues. Join Geckos on Hillview Street in Southside Village and let us serve you late at night after your shift on Friday and Saturday nights. We will keep the light on late for you and offer Geckos food and drink specials just for you from 10-Midnight. Come in wearing your uniform or bring in your schedule and enjoy the camaraderie of friends at Geckos on Hillview. 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota, www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  FOOD: Savor Sarasota , June 1 – June 14, Various times
Mark your calendars for the most delicious time of the year in Sarasota, the 18th annual Visit Sarasota County’s Savor Sarasota. Beginning Thursday, June 1st through Wednesday, June 14th, visitors and residents alike will be able to wine and dine their way around Sarasota area restaurants relishing multi-course meals. Savor Sarasota restaurant week is a two-week dining program that offers artfully crafted prix-fixe menus for both lunch and dinner. Lunch menus feature a two-course menu for $25 per person, and dinner menu features three courses for $40 per person. Many restaurants will also offer menu upgrades and wine and spirit pairings to elevate the experience. Visit https://www.visitsarasota.com/savor-sarasota/restaurants for an up-to-date restaurant list.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Identity, Exploring the Human Condition , June 1 – August 5, Gallery hours

The 2023 exhibition season continues with Identity, Exploring the Human Condition, which highlights the diverse talents of artists from across the southeast region of the United States and will be on display in all four gallery spaces. On view from June 1-August 5, the opening reception is Thursday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. The juror is Christy Paris, an art professor and PhD candidate in the College of Education at the University of South Florida. A Juror’s Critique, with Paris, will take place on Tuesday, June 6. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Small Works Show , May 27 – June 30, Gallery hours
The artists at Art Uptown Gallery will present Small Works Show, showcasing small framed pieces of their original art. Meet the artists at the First Friday public reception on June 2 from 6-9 p.m. All of our award-winning artists are local, full-time residents of Sarasota. The exhibit opens on Saturday, May 27 and runs through Friday, June 30. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes patrons and friends at 1367 Main Street where the diverse work of regional award-winning artists is exhibited. artuptown.com.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Laser Light Nights at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature , May 25 – September 2, 7pm and 9pm

Break out the big hair and acid-washed denim because Laser Light Nights are back at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from May 25 through September 2, we are rocking out to some of your favorite artists in the Planetarium! A variety of food options and drinks are available for purchase onsite with cash or card. Tickets are $15. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.

[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]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Music Festival , June 5 – June 24, Various times

The Sarasota Music Festival returns for the 2023 Festival season, centering around a special theme that ties together the 12 concerts highlighting the power of storytelling through music. Student fellows, who come from top conservatories and music schools, are afforded the opportunity to perform alongside world-renowned faculty artists on Friday and Saturday evening concert programs. The three-week Festival runs from June 5 to 24 and features a schedule of 12 different concerts, as well as a wide range of masterclasses, coaching sessions, and rehearsals. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.sarasotaorchestra.org/festival.

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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