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SRQ DAILY Jun 16, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"There's a lot to celebrate and there's a lot to remember and appreciate."

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

[Arts & Entertainment]  WBTT Launches First Annual Juneteenth Arts Festival
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is lifting its voice and singing this Sunday with the arrival of its first annual Juneteenth Arts Festival. Located at the WBTT campus off North Orange, the one-day celebration includes not only a main stage full of the high-energy musical performance that the theater is known for, but also spoken word performances, film screenings, and a walking festival full of local vendors, food trucks and more. “There’s a lot to celebrate,” says Nate Jacobs, founder and artistic director of WBTT, on the creation of the Juneteenth Arts Festival, “and there’s a lot to remember and appreciate.”

Free to attend, the festival begins this Sunday at 1pm, where the WBTT campus will play host to a variety of local and regional black-owned businesses, including self-care shops like KB in Bloom and Lavender Hands Spa, health and fitness brand SWOLL Camp, and food trucks like G’s Southern Kitchen and Nunn Better BBQ & Catering. At the same time, film screenings will begin in both WBTT’s Donnelly Theatre and Howard J. Millman Blackbox Theatre.

In the Donnelly Theatre, audiences will have a chance to see feature-length films, such as Playing Through, the 2022 film about Ann Gregory, the first African American woman to compete in a national USGA championship, and Hidden Gems, a documentary by local filmmaker Marquis Dawsey, highlighting the efforts of black entrepreneurs in the community. “The film counteracts the stereotypes that say black men are not progressive or upwardly bound,” says Jacobs. “All of these guys started from nothing and built businesses in our community.” In a similar vein, there will also be a 1pm showing of This Light of Mine, the PBS documentary about Jacobs and the founding of WBTT itself. Meanwhile, in the blackbox theater, a selection of seven short films from local filmmakers will be shown on rotation, so that audiences can filter in and out on their own time.

But it wouldn’t be a WBTT event without some live performances and that’s where the main stage comes in. The show begins at 1:30pm with movement and dance by Monessa Salley + Natalie Aceves, followed by an official Juneteenth Welcome and remarks at 2pm, and then a musical performance from WBTT’s own Stage of Discovery youth artists. At 4pm, Melanie Lavender, Eric Morris and Whitney Mays take the stage for a trio of spoken word performances, followed by music from former Stage of Discovery artist Astrid McIntyre, and then the show comes to its climax with a mini-concert from the featured artist of the night: R.A.D., a local supergroup comprised of WBTT stars Raleigh Mosely II, Ariel Blue and Derric Gobourne Jr.

And for Jacobs, seeing the festival take shape on the campus and with the community he helped build over so many years only drives home what Juneteenth is all about. “For a black man like me to have a black theater institution downtown in a predominantly white community,” he says, “I stand on the shoulders of people who fought and held up the banners for freedom. There’s a lot to celebrate.” 

Pictured: Raleigh Mosely II, Ariel Blue and Derric Gobourne Jr. of R.A.D. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Dance Like Everyone Matters at SCD
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Sarasota Contemporary Dance continues to bring fresh new choreographers to the Sarasota dance floor this weekend with the June performance of its summertime In The Round series. Starting at 7pm in the company’s Rosemary District location, the performance will feature new works-in-progress by three up-and-coming choreographers—Jeanne-Marie Branche, Madeleine Wilcox, and Elizabeth Zuccaro—and give audience members the opportunity to offer their own feedback and opinions on the developing work. SRQ caught up with Branche to talk about the debut of her piece, Causal Nexus.

“I wanted to portray that everyone in this world and this life has an important role,” Branche says. And so she found inspiration for Causal Nexus in, of all things, Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is, in its way, perhaps the simplest formulation of a much grander proposition that Branche truly believes and wants to bring forward in her choreography. “Everyone impacts everyone and everything,” she says. “And everyone matters.”

It's a weighty proposition and an even weightier task to put across in dance what philosophers and theologians have struggled to argue through entire books. But that’s perhaps the benefit of dance: the ability, when done right, to cut through all the words and convey the ineffable through a bend of the leg or tilt of the head. That Branche had less than a week to finalize the choreography, work with the dancers, design the lighting and fit the costumes, certainly doesn’t make the task any easier, but that’s just what a summer intensive is. At least she wasn’t alone.

A strong believer in collaboration, an important part of Branche’s process involves allowing the dancers themselves to have a role in the choreography. After all, everyone matters. Working with six dancers, ages ranging 15-42, she wants each of their personalities to come through, to complement the piece. She’s not looking for that synchronized swimming effect, where the individual is subsumed by the whole and cast like clones, but something more organic and simply human, where variation is not the same as imperfection. “Movement is just even more beautiful when each dancer individualizes the choreography,” Branche says. “And they all created the piece with me.”

After each performance, SCD Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott will join the choreographer onstage and lead a discussion about the new work, allowing audience members to chime in on what they felt, what they liked and what they may suggest as an improvement. But even if there is room for improvement, Branche hopes the central message of Causal Nexus shines through.

“Everyone matters,” she says. “And I hope people leave the show translating that into life.”

In The Round: June begins tonight at 7pm at Sarasota Contemporary Dance. A virtual presentation will be available June 19 at 7pm. 

Pictured: Jeanne-Marie Branche.

For ticket information click here

[SRQ Book Club]  New Fiction Book Review of Hope: A Novel
Bookseller Roxanne Baker, BookStoreOne Sarasota

Hope: A Novel by Andrew Ridker impressed me. Let me count the ways:

First, the novel’s plot bloomed like an onion and kept me guessing what direction lay ahead.

Second, Ridker dissects the family of four into a granular life choice saga that even at 432 pages never felt sluggish. For anyone who has ever come to a halt in ife and questioned, ‘how did I get here?’, Ridker shows us the evolution of the characters’ decisions.

Last, while sticking the landing with open ended closures, Ridker finishes with plenty of rich experiences from questions of careers (medical and publishing specifically) and ethical decisions within, sexual preferences, open vs monogamous marriage and generational gaps. Hope: A Novel is a book to be enjoyed by any gender and any age.

Hope: A Novel by Andrew Ridker Publication Date: July 11, 2023 ISBN: 9780593493335.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Divas Three, A Celebration of the Great Female Vocalists from the 60s Through the 90s

FST’s next Summer Cabaret is Divas Three, a dynamic music revue featuring four decades of hits by some of music’s most influential women. With songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Carole King, and more, this original revue pays tribute to the artists whose musical impact has earned them the coveted title of “diva.” Created by Nancy Allen Productions, Divas Three begins playing July 11 in FST’s Court Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. 

Pictured: FST cast of Divas Three. Photo courtesy of FST.

[Holiday Dining]  Brick's Honors Fathers on Father's Day, June 18

Celebrate Father’s Day at Brick’s Smoked Meats with a special treat for Dad on June 18th. Each Dad enjoys a complimentary Draft Beer or House Margarita with their meal. Serving Brunch and Dinner. We will be featuring specially for this occasion, a “Dino Rib”-Brick’s rendition of a slow smoked beef rib sure to satisfy any appetite! Dino Ribs with one house made side for $22.00 Or choose from our extensive menu of smoked and non-smoked meats. Pair it with one of our craft cocktails for an extra special treat. Let Brick’s do the smoking and grilling and let Dad relax and enjoy.

Brick's Smoked Meats, 1528 State St., Sarasota, 941-993-1435. 

[Feature]  Overcoming Fear
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Overcoming Fear | Michael Ian Cohen's documentary tackles the issues facing humanity through the eyes of skateboarding enthusiasts across the globe, May/June 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Friday Fest featuring Kettle of Fish , June 16, 5-9pm
Friday Fest, the free, outdoor summertime concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall returns this year with an exciting lineup of bands who will bring the audience to their feet! The events run from 5-9 p.m. and are located on the lawn of the Van Wezel. Opening the Friday Fest series on June 16 is returning favorite, Kettle of Fish. Kettle of Fish plays festival music that features blues, soul, and funk with the energy of rock n roll. They make old songs new again, and their originals sound like classics. Kettle of Fish is one of the hottest live acts in southwest Florida, headlining to thousands, and opening for such acts as Eddie Money, Marshall Tucker, Elvin Bishop, Dickey Betts, and many more. Bring blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors. Bringing in food, beverages and coolers from outside Friday Fest is prohibited. For additional information, visit VanWezel.org.
[SOON]  SEMINAR: The Radiant Tarot, Pathway to Creativity at Hermitage , June 16, 6:30 pm
The Radiant Tarot, Pathway to Creativity with Hermitage Fellow Tony Barnstone, will be held on Friday, June 16. The Hermitage is about creating new works. When in conversation with Hermitage Fellow and creator Tony Barnstone and The Radiant Tarot, Pathway to Creativity an entirely new, yet ancient, approach is revealed. Inspired by the words of Rilke and William Blake amongst many other artists and practitioners, the artwork and guidebook of this Tarot deck are aimed at awakening creativity and personal growth. In this program, Barnstone, author of the guidebook, will illuminate some of the impulses behind its creation, its potential interpretations, and the creative projects it has already inspired. Hear from this multidisciplinary author of more than 20 books and begin to uncover the connections in the cards. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org $5 per person registration fee. Hermitage Beach, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Gothic Library, Three Classic Tales of Terror Brought to Life by Live Radio Theatre , June 16 – June 17, 8 to 9pm
Join us for an evening of classical gothic storytelling. By way of live radio theatre performed in the loft, watch and listen as a professional cast, with the help of a sound effects operator, dramatizes three stories by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, and M.R. James. Tickets for this live performance are $15. The Gothic Library is an immersive audio experience designed to ignite the dark side of the imagination. This performance features moments that may prove too intense for younger guests or those with a sensitive disposition.Registration can be found here, https://www.sarasotabooks.com/events, or call 941-365-7900. Bookstore1Sarasota, 117 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.
[SOON]  FILM: Script to Screen Movie with Post Film Talk , June 17, 7pm

Join BookStore1 Bookseller and Film Critic Roxanne Baker to watch and discuss the 2022 Palme DOr Nominated Film Eight Mountains. Eight Mountains explores the lifelong friendship between two very different men, one who is apathetic to the Alps hiking of his father and the neglected boy who thrives on climbing endurance. The novel, Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti, was adapted to the screen by husband and wife team Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch. The book is available at BookStore1 Sarasota 117 S. Pineapple Ave. Sarasota www.sarasotabooks.com and the film showing and talk take place at Burns Court Theater and tickets are available at www.filmsociety.org or at the box office at 506 Burns Lane Sarasota.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Juneteenth Arts Festival , June 18, 1 to 9pm

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is proud to host its first-ever Juneteenth Arts Festival. On Sunday, June 18, from 1-9 p.m., WBTT will host numerous businesses, organizations and food trucks, screen films and film shorts from local filmmakers as well as students from Ringling College of Art and Design, and present spoken word and live music on an outdoor stage. Takes place at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe,1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota. Entry to all events is free. For more information, call 941-366-1505 or contact Perterly Baptiste at pbaptiste@westcoastblacktheatre.org.

[SOON]  FILM: Summer Movies at CoolToday Park featuring Top Gun Maverick , June 18, 5pm

Summer movie nights are back at CoolToday Park. Top Gun Maverick 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]  GALLERY: 55 Frida Project , June 18 – August 18, Various times

Maverick, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo painted 55 self-portraits in her short and tragic life. View the commemorative exhibit by artist Beck Lane of her work at UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, her artwork merges extraordinary creative vision and innovative technique and has been collected and shown in pop-up galleries, solo shows, galleries, and private collections in Boston, California, New York City, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, Brussels, Switzerland, South America, and Israel. On her YouTube Channel, Catalyst and Co., Beck records herself painting live, while offering encouragement to fellow artists, and sharing her experiences as an artist and her painting process and techniques. These mixed medium works pulsate with powerful, vibrant energy, fluid color and rare style. On Sunday, July 16, Lane will be painting live from 12-2 pm at the Lexow Gallery. UUCS Lexow Wing Gallery, 3975 Fruitville Rd., www.uucsarasota.com, www.becklaneartist.com.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Summer Circus Spectacular , June 9 – August 12, Various times

Circus fans of all ages, from near and far, can beat the heat this summer at reasonable prices while experiencing the best of the circus arts, thanks to the continued partnership of The Circus Arts Academy and The Ringling. The Summer Circus Spectacular returns this year, with exciting acts signed on for the one-hour, action-packed show. The 2023 Summer Circus Spectacular, which has become a seasonal highlight for locals, visitors, families and groups alike, takes place from June 9 through August 12. Tickets are $20 for adults, $13 for children 12 and under, and tickets for the 7 p.m. opening night performance and celebration on Friday, June 9, which includes a gala reception with the artists, are $50. To complete their circus experience, Summer Circus Spectacular patrons can enjoy access to the Circus Museum on the day they attend a show for an additional $5. Visit Ringling.org or call the Box Office at 941-360-7399 to purchase tickets and learn more. The Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  DANCE: Saltare Mortis In Studio Series at Sarasota Contemporary Dance , June 9 – July 17, 7pm
At the Saltare Mortis In-Studio Series, come take a glimpse into our lives as detectives as we attempt to solve a mystery in a town where crime is next to none. Though detectives in training, we have many tools up our sleeve to help us solve the mystery. But we could use your help. Put your detective skills to the test to help us unmask the criminal. You never know what surprises we will run into along the way. Shows will run in person on June 9 and 10 and July 14 with virtual options on June 19 and July 17. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sarasotacontemporarydance.org.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Surfer Boys at Florida Studio Theatre , June 13 – August 13, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre kicks off its Summer Cabaret Series with The Surfer Boys,an energetic tribute to the music of The Beach Boys. Featuring such hits as California Girls, Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, and Surfin USA, The Surfer Boys is filled with the honey-tinged harmonies and unforgettable melodies that defined 1960s California and pop music. The Surfer Boys begins playing June 13 in the FST Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: 8 Track, The Sounds of the 70s in Concert , June 8 – June 18, Various times
Get your platform shoes out and brush up on your favorite disco moves because June 8 through 18 the 8-Track, The Sounds of 70s in Concert is coming to The Players Centre. Get ready to boogie down through 10 years of groundbreaking music. With its propulsive rhythms and dazzling harmonies, 8-Track is a fast-paced musical romp through one of the most impassioned decades of the 20th century. This concert features the music of The Emotions, The Carpenters, Labelle, Barry Manilow, Marvin Gaye, The Doobie Brothers, The Bee Gees, Helen Reddy, KC and the Sunshine Band, and more. Rediscover the heart and soul of the forgotten decade with this joyously rousing, moving, and often downright hilarious musical in concert. 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Ste. 1130, Sarasota, theplayers.org.
[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.

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: That Must Be The Entrance To Heaven , June 9 – July 9

THAT MUST BE THE ENTRANCE TO HEAVEN by Franky D. Gonzalez. A World Premiere. June 9 - July 9, 2023. Urbanite Theatre. Glory. Survival. Legacy. Citizenship. Four Latino boxers all chase a world title to achieve their personal versions of heaven. But to get there, they must battle each other, their own battered bodies, and the universe itself. All four men walk the line between life and death in this poignant, poetic collision of combat and cosmos. For tickets and info contact - phone (941) 321-1397, email info@urbanitetheatre.com, website www.urbanitetheatre.com.

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[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]  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]  THEATER: Shear Madness , May 31 – July 16, Various times

There has been a murder in a local hair salon, and it is up to the audience to solve the crime. Everyone is a suspect when the old lady living above Shear Madness salon is mysteriously offed. Join two police officers to piece together the clues behind this strange, scissor-stabbing homicide. Chock full of up-to-the minute spontaneous humor, Shear Madness has slayed the hearts of audiences around the world. Now it is up to Sarasota audiences to outwit the suspects and catch the killer in this interactive comedy whodunit. FST Gompertz Theatre, 1265 First St.
Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.

[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.

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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