Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sneak peak at new ArtCenter Manatee cookbook

ArtCenter Manatee is launching a new cookbook with its upcoming art show "Art a la Carte." The book features art and recipes by art center members and friends. Read my colunm about it in the Bradenton Herald's A&E section Sunday. In the meantime, enjoy these works of art from the book! -January Holmes

Jerome Chesley's "Doughnuts"

Jean Morey's "Still life with Blue Plate"

Ruthy Hyatt's "New Leeks"

Terry Denson's "Italian Gold"

Joanna Coke's "Bananas and Mangoes"

Maryjo Floryjanski's "Pineapple"

Friday, February 19, 2010

REVIEW "Curtains"

Manatee Players' latest musical, "Curtains," has some endearing performers that make the comedy twinkle. But even with dazzling moments of stage revelry, there are times when the show loses luster.

"Curtains,” directed and choreographed by Rick Kerby, takes audiences to the Colonial Theater in Boston, during the premiere of a bound-for-Broadway musical called “Robbin’ Hood!” The new country western musical is run into the ground by its lead actress Jessica Cranshaw (Trina Rizzo). As she proudly takes her curtain call at the end of “Robbin’ Hood!” She gets sick and later dies — to the acting troupe’s joy.

But her death is ruled a homicide. Enter Lieutenant Frank Cloffi (Steve Dawson), who puts the entire theater company under suspicion. His love for community theater and blossoming affection for company actress Niki Harris (Dianne Dawson) sometimes gets in the way of his investigation.

“Curtains” wins favor with its catchy lyrics and witty dialogue, which are employed particularly well by Manatee Players newcomer Nancy Denton, who plays the brash producer Carmen Bernstein, and Rodd Dyer, who plays the prim-and-proper director Christopher Belling. . . .

Read the rest of my review in Saturday's paper on page 2A

Bands gather in New Port Richey Feb. 28

Remember our local metal band, The Stand? I received an email from band member Chaz McKell about their recent success playing the State Theatre. They were offered the opportunity to perform in the venue again for a show with Saliva in May.

Chaz also dropped a note about a Feb. 28 concert at New Port Richey's Bourbon Street Night Club featuring local band The D.O.O.D. (Distinguished Order Of
Disobedience) and other area musicians. He wanted me to share this:

Coming up on Sunday, February 28th is another show music lovers in the Tampa Bay
area cannot miss out on. The Sammus Theory will be gracing the people of New Port Richey at Bourbon Street when they play host to a long list of amazing local bands you all should have at least heard of: The DooD, From This Fire, Nine Mile Drive and Meet Me Overboard.

For those who are not familiar with The D.O.O.D., please stop and take a listen. (www.myspace.com/jointhedood)
This is one of the hottest bands in the Tampa Bay Area and arguably, the most popular band of the Bradenton/Sarasota area. The Distinguished Order Of Disobedience has been melting faces and turning heads since 2006. Since the release of their latest EP, The Dood has been playing all over Florida promoting it. They have had the opportunity to play with such bands as Neurotica, Crossbreed and Cold so they are no strangers to the stage. Now, they are about
to add The Sammus Theory to their already impressive resume.

Also providing backup to The Sammus Theory on February 28th will be the skyrocketing
band, From This Fire (www.fromthisfire.com), who just last night topped the charts on the worldwide radio program Rock Solid Pressure with their song 'When All Is Said and Done'. These guys are one of the most popular bands in the Clearwater area and judging from the voting last night on the RSP show, their fan base is exploding fast and furiously.

Also check out the other local bands who will be playing, I have not personally seen them perform but their music is great. This is undoubtedly the "can't miss" event of the month.

The event is at 4331 US Hwy 19 in New Port Richey. Tickets are $10. The doors open at 8 p.m. the bands start at 9 p.m. Please support our hard-working local musicians as they entertain the masses.

-January Holmes

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Local audition call

The Players Theatre in Sarasota is looking for talented teenagers for its upcoming run of "The Who's Tommy." Hopefuls can audition at the theater from 3-5 p.m. Feb. 27. Call 365-2494 to RSVP. Come prepared with a one-minute song and dance.

If chosen, rehearsal will begin March 8. Performances are April 22-May 2. The theater is at 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Energy and fun surround "Lend Me A Tenor"

I missed the opening show of the Players Theatre's "Lend Me A Tenor" last week because I was ill. Then a busy weekend out of town kept me away from the theater. So I made arrangements to see Tuesday's show.

I was surprised at the turnout for a weekend night performance. It was one of the largest crowds I had seen in a while at the theater, which usually pulls fairly good crowd numbers. Last night's crowd was more than I expected, though.

After the show began, I could see why attendance was high. "Lend Me A Tenor,"directed by Roberta MacDonald, is a marvelous comic production. There's never a dull moment as the energy remains high from beginning to end.

"Lend Me A Tenor" is set in a snazzy hotel room where Cleveland Grand Opera company general manager Saunders (Bob Trisolini) and his geeky assistant Max (Jeffery Kin) eagerly await their superstar guest Tito Merelli - the world famous opera singer. Through a series of off-the-wall events, Tito passes out before his all-star performance of "Otello." No, that's not a misprint. There really is an opera called "Otello." It's the opera version of Shakespeare's play "Othello." With Tito out of commission, Max goes on stage in his place, pretending to be him. The fun really begins after the opera is over, when Tito, not knowing Max and Saunders' plan, walks around in a hilarious daze of confusion.

The cast members are a delight to watch in this show - everyone from the bellhop (Toph McRae) to the glittering Julia (Patti O'Berg). It was especially grand to watch Tito (Berry Ayers) and his wife Maria (Kaylene McCaw) converse on the stage with their comic appeal and Italian accents. Kin played the nervous, underconfident Max to a T while Trisolini had a great command of the stage as the no-nonsense Saunders. Rounding out the cast was Lilian Moore, who plays the saucy soprano and Andrea Kinal who plays Max's girlfriend. Together, they bring a quirky element to the play.

Audiences will thoroughly enjoy "Lend Me a Tenor," as well as the exetremly entertaining surprise at the end, too. It's worth seeing.

- January Holmes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sale-A-Bration @ Island Art League

Make you way to Anna Maria Island Art League from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday for the Demo/Sale-A-Bration event. Activities include three one-hour demos by local artist and Anna Maria Island Art League instructors Nancy Law, Cheryl Jorgensen and Marie Garafano.

Law will demo painting florals with acrylics at 1 p.m., Jorgensen will demo painting coconuts at 2 p.m. and Garafano will demo creating with collage art. Also, Frank Perry and Natasha Joffers of Keeton's Office and Art Supply will present other demos, samples and show specials. There will also be a drawing and the first 75 guests will receive a free gift. No RSVP needed.

The art league is at 5312 Holmes Blvd., Anna Maria. For more info, call 778-2099.

Know that song "Livin' On A Prayer"?

Okay Bon Jovi fans, here's your chance to step into the lime-light. Bon Jovi and his band recently announced that they are seeking fans from around the world to highlight during their "The Circle" tour, which hits Tampa April 17.

All you have to do is upload a video of you performing the band's 1986 hit "Livin' On A Prayer." The best of the bunch will be featured on the giant screens as the band performs the song during each of their 135 shows in 30 countries. As a bonus, the video winner in each city will also get a deluxe prize package with a VIP bag filled with souvenirs.

To learn more about the contest, visit http://prayer.bonjovi.com.

- January Holmes

Friday, February 12, 2010

'Wicked' offers magical night at theater

“Wicked,” the Broadway phenomenon, has been performing its magic for six years. Many fans have already flocked to the return of this Tony Award-winning show at the David A. Straz, Jr. Performing Arts Center in Tampa. The plot of Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman musical is enough to lure any fan of the classic tale of “The Wizard of Oz,” as the show takes audiences back to the unlikely friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, who becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West.

There’s much more to love in “Wicked” than the moving, fun-loving multi-layered story. Theater-goers will be captivated by wonderful set designs, great music and memorable performances.

The show opens with Glinda’s (Chandra Lee Schwartz) announcement that the Wicked Witch is dead. As everyone celebrates, someone questions Glinda’s past relationship with the witch. That’s when time flashes back to the mysterious beginning of Elphaba (Donna Vivino) and her handicapped sister, Nessarose (Brynn O’Malley). When they are older, they are sent off to school. Elphaba immediately feels like an outcast because of her green skin. She’s shunned by nearly everyone, including Glinda — the most popular girl in school.

Through a series of unlikely events, Elphaba and Glinda become good friends.

To read the rest of my review, pick up a copy of Saturday's Bradenton Herald. Look for it on page 2A.

- January Holmes

Senior Talent show this weekend

Spend your Valentine's Day afternoon watching singers and musicians perform at the Senior Citizens Talent Show 2 p.m. Sunday at Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th Street W., Bradenton

Tickets are $6 at the door. Doors open between 1:15 and 1:30 p.m.

For more information, call 345-1375.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shark Lady book signing at Mote

Shark lovers won't want to miss the Saturday's meet and greet/book signing with Mote Marine's founding director Eugenie Clark, also known as the "Shark Lady."

Clark will promote the new edition of her book "The Lady and the Sharks" at the Books with Bites event, hosted by the Friends of the Mote Library. The new edition celebrates Mote's 55th anniversary as well as Clark's 88th birthday.

The book talks about how Clark, a local legend, started the Mote Marine Lab in the 1950s. The new edition features a chapter on Clark's life since the book was originally released in 1977 - read about her swimming with more than 50 whale sharks and other aquatic feats.

The event is from 2 to 6 p.m. in the New Pass Room on the third floor of Mote. Other fiction and non-fiction authors there include Pat Gussin of "The Test," Karen Rose of "I Can See You" and "Kill for Me," Don Burns of "Stuff To Spy For" and "Bahama Burnout" and Leslie Glass of the April Woo series. Glass will debut her new book "Sleeper."

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For more information, call 923-6399 or visit Mote Library. Mote is at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota.

- January Holmes

Opera 2010-2011 Save the date

The Sarasota Opera announced its new season for next year. The season includes the popular "La boheme" along with "Don Giovanni." There's also Rossini's version of the Cinderella story, "La Cenerentola." For the first time, the opera will start a new inititative called American Classes, featuring "The Crucible."

Here's what to look forward to:

2010 Fall Opera Season
"La Cenerentola"
Opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini. Libretto by Jacopo Feretti
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Performances (6): October 29, 31m, November 2, 4, 7m, 10
Evening performances at 8 p.m., matinees at 1:30 p.m.

2011 Winter Opera Festival
"La bohème"

Opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa after Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger.
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Performances (11): February 5, 8, 13m, 16, 19, 24, 27m, 6, 11, 15, 19
Evening performances (except opening night February 5) at 8 p.m.
Opening Night February 5 at 5 p.m.
Matinees at 1:30 p.m.

"Don Giovanni"
Drama giocoso in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Performances (9): February 12, 15, 17, 20m, 23, 25, March 4, 12m, 18
Evening performances at 7:30 p.m., matinees at 1:30 p.m.

"I Lombardi"
Opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Temistocle Solera
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Verdi Cycle
Sarasota Opera Premiere
Performances (7): February 26, March 1, 3, 6m, 9, 12, 20m
Evening performances at 8 p.m., matinees at 1:30 p.m.

"The Crucible"
Opera in four acts by Robert Ward. Libretto by Bernard Stambler after the play of the same name by Arthur Miller.
Sung in English with English supertitles
American Classics
Sarasota Opera Premiere
March 5, 8, 10, 13m, 16, 19m

"The Verdi Concert"
Verdi Cycle
March 20 at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Students, the Sarasota Film Festival wants you!

Young Filmmakers Showcase Call for Entries
Deadline: March 1, 2010

In Competition - Lights, Camera, Local
Student filmmakers (age 18 and under) from the state of Florida are invited to submit a short film completed any time within the past two years. Limit 2 entries per director. Selected films will be screened and juried during the festival. Promising Young Filmmaker Award and scholarship prize awarded to the winning films at the Hollywood Nights youth event.

Out of Competition - International Showcase
Student filmmakers (age 18 and under) from around the world are invited to submit a short film completed any time within the past two years. Limit 2 entries per director. Selected films will be screened during the festival. Recognition at the Hollywood Nights youth event.

Submission Guidelines:

  • No submission fee
  • Submitting via Withoutabox.com is preferred. Submissions not entered through Withoutabox.com will be considered only if programming space remains open after all WAB submissions have been considered. Must include a contact e-mail address and phone number.
  • Deadline: Must be recieved (not postmarked) by March 1, 2010. Films will be selected and entrants notified by March 6, 2010.
  • Maximum Total Run Time: 10 Minutes (including credits)
  • Send TWO discs with project in Qui cktime Format (.mov); DVD format accepted as a supplement. Must include Title, Director, School, Total Run Time, and Without A Box Submission Number (or Telephone Number) on disc.
  • Must include a photocopy of current student identification card or name, address, and phone contact for current school

    Mail submissions to:
    Outreach and Education
    Young Filmmakers Showcase
    c/o Sarasota Film Festival
    332 Cocoanut Ave.
    Sarasota, FL 34236

Students and teachers can also check out the FREE student film classes being offered at http://www.sarasotafilmfestival.com/2010/festival/youthfest/. They include film screenings, screenplay writing and much more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Local metal band plays State Theatre

One of the best birthday presents Manatee County resident Chaz McKell, Jr. received yesterday was having his band's music played on mainstream FM radio for the first time. The band was featured on Tampa Bay's 97X during its Sunday night local music hour. Fans of the station must have loved them - they were the highest rated group of the night, McKell said.

The 25-year-old has a lot more to be excited about this week, as his Palmetto-based metal band The Stand is playing its first major headliner concert at the State Theatre in St. Pete on Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $8. McKell is stoked.

"As far as local bands go, you can't get a better venue than the State Theatre," McKell, the song writer of the group, said when we chatted today via phone.

The Stand got the gig when a national act that was set to appear at the venue canceled at the last minute, McKell said. Band members Parrish Holmes, Chris Potter, Jereme Valentine, Rick Svec and McKell will share Saturday night's stage with several area bands, including two Bradenton-based bands - The D.O.O.D. and The Fight for the Crown - along with From This Fire and Sons of Vengeance.

They have been promoting Saturday's concert pretty hard - putting promos out on local radio stations, the Internet and METV. Word of mouth has spread fast.

At a glance, The Stand is inspired by all-time favorite metal bands such as AC/DC, Metallica and Led Zeppelin, but they walk a musical path that's all their own. For instance, their Myspace page reads:

"While mainstream music today is inundated with sex, drugs, and generally just a small, hedonistic, and selfish worldview, we focus on filling people with hope when there is none, strength when others are weak, determination to actually finish what has been started, and courage that when many cower before the greatest of foes, a few will take their STAND."

That mantra has paid off. Since they started playing full time last May, the band members have seen their popularity grow fast and furious. ReverbNation - a Web marketing tool used by hundreds of independent music artists - logs the group as the No. 1 metal band in the area, topping several St. Petersburg's bands like Lugubrious Descent and Fatal, and Sarasota bands like Atheist.

McKell, who was laid off from Sears last year, equates the band's budding music success to the birth of his two children - it's something he can't express in words. He just hopes the success can keep going to where he can make a decent living for his family and inspire as many people as he can with his songs.

Check out the band at www.myspace.com/wearethestand, www.reverbnation.com/wearethestand and www.facebook.com/wearethestand. For tickets to Saturday's show, call (727) 895-3045. The State Theatre is at 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

- January Holmes

A musical revue to love

Thanks to a successful, sold out run, the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe just announced it's adding more shows for "The 60s Motown Revue."

New performances will be 2 p.m. Feb. 14 and 8 p.m. Feb. 17, 19 and 20. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 366-1505 or www.wbttroupe.org.

- January Holmes