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SRQ DAILY Nov 24, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"I get to create these shows that are used to inspire and motivate others by doing what I love which is just a huge blessing."

- Nik Wallenda, Aerialist.
 

[Arts & Entertainment]  SCD + WBTT Opens Next Week With Limited Run
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Sarasota Contemporary Dance and Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe are teaming up next week, with the opening of “SCD + WBTT'' this coming Thursday at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. A collaboration long in the works between SCD Artistic Director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and WBTT Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, the one-hour show promises to take audiences on a musical adventure through blues classics, Motown favorites, and even some a cappella gospel, all while exploring a range of modern dance and original choreography, including SCD’s first tap routines. “It’s such a rich show,” says Wilmott. “People are going to be snapping their fingers and moving their hips.”

The show opens with a group performance from SCD, set to an a cappella medley of older hymns and modern gospel by the singers of WBTT, marrying the human body to the pure musicality of its voice. “And I really wanted to highlight dance and song coming together in that way,” Wilmott says. From there, it’s a nonstop parade of music and dance, as “SCD + WBTT” crams a full 14 dance routines and musical performances into that one-hour show.

With the WBTT band taking the stage in full, audiences will recognize favorites such as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, The Thrill Is Gone, and more, including a whole trio of Temptations hits in Get Ready, Cloud Nine, and Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone. Accompanying each, original choreography composed by Wilmott and performed by the dancers of SCD. Largely solo performances—such as Monessa Salley’s solo to The Supremes’ Stop In The Name Of Love—or duets, the choreography is practically bespoke, says Wilmott, crafted to showcase the dancers chosen to perform them. “They’re smaller pieces that really highlight the dancers,” she says, “but also highlight the company’s range.” To that end, the show will also feature the company’s first tap choreography, including a tap quartet, as several of SCD’s dancers are now trained in the art. Melissa Rummel, Samantha Miller and returning SCD dancer Jahrel Thompson also have solos in the show.

Opening Thursday, November 30, in the Cooke Theatre of the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, the performance will be for four nights only, closing after the final show on Sunday, December 3. Opening night is in-person only, but a live-stream of the performance will be available for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows. Tickets are currently available.

“It’s a celebration of coming together,” says Wilmott, “and it’s pure fun.”  

Pictured: SCD dancers Samantha Miller and Monessa Salley flank WBTT's Nate Jacobs (left) and singer Zion Thompson. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

https://www.sarasotacontemporarydance.org/in-theater

[Arts & Entertainment]  Nik Wallenda's Brave New Wonderland

“I’ve been blessed with a career where now I don’t have to get invited to perform,” says Nik Wallenda, internationally acclaimed aerialist, 7th-generation member of the Flying Wallendas family and Sarasota native. “I’ve said many times that I’ve done the television specials and walked across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, so that I can be back in the big top doing what I love. Now, I get to create these shows that are used to inspire and motivate others by doing what I love which is just a huge blessing.”

Wallenda, widely known as The King of the Wire, is back home in Sarasota to collaborate with the Circus Arts Conservatory on his latest show, A Brave New Wonderland. Wonderland, which premiered on November 18 and will last through December 31, is a holiday spectacle that will feature a blend of unique circus acts capped off with a high-wire act from the Wallenda family. “This is our playground – we get in the ring and this is our passion. This is what we love doing,” says Wallenda. “And it’s not just me, Johnny Rocket, our main comedian, his family has been performing for generations and my wife, Erendira, she comes from seven generations of performers on one side and eight on the other.”

The inspiration for Wonderland originates from Wallenda’s wife, Erendira, who came to him three years ago with the idea of a holiday show that could include all three of the major wintertime holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Through the use of multiple circus acts, the show follows the journey of a young orphan who “sneaks” into the circus and learns about the various holidays and cultures that celebrate them. Wonderland is meant to invoke the spirit of inclusivity, which to Wallenda, is what the circus is all about. “The circus has always been about welcoming everybody, no matter what your differences were,” says Wallenda. “It’s meant to bring everybody together and show the world that we can all love each other, no matter what we look like or act like, what we eat or how we think, we don’t have to agree with each other but we can still love each other. To be able to show that, in my hometown, with my family and friends through what I love, there’s no better feeling than that.”

November 18 through December 31, 195 University Town Drive, Sarasota, 941-355-9805. 

Pictured: Ermiyas Muluken performing in the show, A Brave New Wonderland.

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  Soundbox Ventures Season Opener of its Listen Hear Series Launches with Preludes with Marisa on December 16

 Soundbox Ventures opens its season of the “Listen Hear” Salon Concerts at St. Boniface Episcopal Church with “Preludes with Marisa,” Saturday, December 16, 7 p.m. The program features the world premiere of the young Catalan composer Marc Migó’s “L’illa deserta,” a collection of 12 preludes for solo piano performed by the Paris-based American pianist Marisa Gupta. The concert also showcases Stravinsky’s “Divertimento” for violin and piano, an arrangement of “The Fairy’s Kiss” ballet, to be performed by Marisa Gupta and Soundbox’s artistic director Max Tan. The musical performances will be preceded by a fireside-styled chat hosted by Tan with Gupta and Migó on the question: Why do composers dedicate music to other people? A light reception with the artists follows the performance. The program is free; registration is required. Register at www.soundboxventures.org/events. St. Boniface Episcopal Church is located at 5615 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key.  

[Arts & Entertainment]  Art Center Sarasota's New Exhibitions

Art Center Sarasota’s 2023-2024 exhibition season continues with four exhibits, November 27-January 13. “Of Mementos and Fetishes” features oil paintings and quirky wood “vessels” by Aimee Jones that investigate the history of collecting objects and question the status quo. (An Artist Talk is scheduled for Friday, January 5, 5:30-7 p.m.) Ethan Fielder’s “Beyond the Sidewalk” showcases a new body of ceramic sculptures and vessels inspired by urban decay, with an emphasis on fire hydrants. (An Artist Talk is scheduled for Thursday, January 11, 5:30-7 p.m.) Tom Casmer’s “ges•talt” displays abstract, assembled wood sculptures inspired by the human figure, nature, and machine-made elements. (An Artist Talk is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, 5:30-7 p.m.) “Still Life” is a group show juried by Mara Torres. This exhibit invites artists to present their formal and conceptual notions of the contemporary still life format. (A juror critique with Mara Torres is scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, 4 p.m.) The opening reception for all four exhibits is Thursday, December 7, 6-8 p.m. Works on display will be available for purchase. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032. 



[HOTY]  2024 Home of the Year is Live!

SRQ Magazine is calling home builders, architects, landscape architects and interior designers to submit their projects from the past year. The winning entries are awarded Home of the Year Platinum, Gold, and Silver Awards and the winning entries are published in the March 2024 awards edition of SRQ Magazine. 

Enter Here!

[SOON]  GALA: Celebrate 75 Gala and Concert , February 15, 6pm
Celebrate 75 years of inspiring music all season long, and our Celebrate 75 special concert and gala experience will be the party to top them all. We invite you to support 75 more years, and beyond, of enriching lives through music by purchasing tickets to Celebrate 75. For access to the best seats and the full celebration, opt for a Gala ticket, which includes pre-concert cocktails and a gourmet dinner after the performance. Concert-only tickets are also available for purchase. The concert program, led by Creative Partner Peter Oundjian, captures all the euphoria of reaching this milestone in our history as Florida’s oldest continuously operating orchestra. After two stirring fanfares written by Aaron Copland and Joan Tower, legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins Sarasota Orchestra for the monumental Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff. Paired with An American in Paris by Gershwin, a rhapsodic portrait of a stroll through the City of Lights, this one-night-only program promises to thrill. Gala begins at 6:00 pm, and concert begins at 7:00 pm. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, sarasotaorchestra.org.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , February 11 – June 30, n/a

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe as the eighth iteration of its annual Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, which examines the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature. The exhibition, which will be on view from February 11 through June 30, 2024, at Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, will explore the unexpected yet profoundly impactful mentoring relationship that developed between iconic artists Yayoi Kusama and Georgia O Keeffe. The theme of the upcoming Goldstein Exhibition is the latest announcement of programming planned for Selby Gardens 50th anniversary season. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  SPORTS: 47th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run , December 9, 8am

Kick off the holiday season by participating in the 47th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run at Siesta Beach, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8am. Register by Nov. 17 to guarantee the best price, along with receiving a long-sleeve performance event shirt and runner swag. For more information, or to register, visit runsignup.com/47thannualsandyclawsbeachrun.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Holiday Gems at The Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota , December 5, 7:30pm

The Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota will open its 2023-2024 season with Holiday Gems on December 5, 2023 at 7:30pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota located at 2050 Oak Street. The annual holiday program, conducted by music director Robert Vodnoy, includes music by Debussy, Vivaldi, Mahler, and Tchaikovsky, plus holiday favorites. Featured soloists include harpist Giuseppina Ciarla and mandolinist Rafael Ramirez. Tickets are $39 for adults and $5 for students. A series ticket for all three orchestral concerts is priced at $105, and includes an invitation to a pre-concert reception. More information and tickets are available online at www.chamberorchestrasarasota.org, or call 219-928-8665.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe Presents Joyful! Joyful! , November 29 – November 30

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is gearing up for the holidays, ready to celebrate the season with its holiday production and Christmas card to the community, Joyful! Joyful! Theater fans of all ages and religious backgrounds are invited to celebrate the season with high-spirited, uplifting songs as only WBTT’s singers, dancers and musicians can perform them. The show runs from November 29-December 30, 2023. The original musical revue – created, adapted and directed by WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and performed for the first time in 2021-features a blend of new takes on traditional holiday tunes, gospel-infused classics and pop songs. The show will include Joy to the World, an O’Jays-inspired take on Carol of the Bells, a gospel-infused rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, African Drummer Boy and many more. For more information, visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Second Installment of Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens , November 30, 5pm

The second installment of this season’s Hermitage Sunsets at Selby Gardens series will take place on Thursday, November 30th at 5pm at Selby Gardens Historic Spanish Point campus with a panel discussion featuring Hermitage National Curatorial Council member Nataki Garrett, Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer Tom Kirdahy, and President of the Manasota Chapter of ASALH David Wilkins. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org, $5/person registration fee.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Wellen Park Group Fitness , October 15 – December 16, 8-9am

Starting the week of Oct. 15, a dynamic lineup of weekly fitness activities for the community will begin. Groups will meet in Downtown Wellen, in front of Kind Vibes Outfitters. Yoga and Zumba classes meet on the Great Lawn. Walking Group Meet-Up, every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Cycling Group Meet-Up, every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. Running Group Meet-Up, every Monday at 6 p.m. Yoga, every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Zumba, every Monday from 8 to 9 a.m. For more information, visit wellepark.com.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Orchid Show 2023: A 50th Anniversary Celebration at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , October 7 – November 26, n/a

The Orchid Show 2023: A 50th Anniversary Celebration will be on view October 7 through November 26 at the Downtown Sarasota campus. Since its establishment in 1973, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has formed the best scientifically documented collection of living orchids in the world. The Orchid Show 2023, presented by Better-Gro, will celebrate Selby Gardens 50th anniversary and highlight spectacular orchids from the living plant collection for which it is known across the globe. The Orchid Show 2023 will include a horticultural display in the Tropical Conservatory and an exhibition in the Museum of Botany & the Arts. Orchids of various shapes, colors, and patterns will abound in the Conservatory, illustrating the beauty and diversity of one of the largest and most beloved families of flowering plants. The Museum exhibition will present a selection of rare artifacts and historical images to help tell the rich story of Selby Gardens’ first 50 years, with emphasis on the plants and people who have made it such a special place. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sights and Sounds at Waterside Place , July 28 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Head out to Waterside Place for a rocking evening as part of the Lakewood Ranch Sights and Sounds Program. Enjoy a live concert in partnership with Easterseals and EveryoneRocks, featuring artists who are rocking their spectrum. This event is free and open to the public; there is limited seating at the Plaza, but attendees are welcome to bring their own seats. Food and beverages will be available from numerous Waterside Place merchants. For more information on shows, dates, and times, visit lakewoodranch.com/sights-sounds/. Waterside Place, 1560 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

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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