Friday, August 31, 2012

Rapper 50 Cent sues Bradenton company Sleek Audio over headphone deal

Gangsta rapper 50 Cent has a beef with a Bradenton company.

The hip-hop heavyweight has sued Sleek Audio LLC for a $285,000 promissory note he loaned the company in April 2010, which remains unpaid, court records show.

The partnership originally resulted in the "Sleek by 50" wireless headphones that were announced at the 2011 CES convention in Las Vegas and written about in Rolling Stone Magazine and other national publications.

Read more.

—Photo shows 50 Cent in Chicago promoting his new cologne, Power by 50 Cent,. (Luis Arroyave/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gloriana has new date at Joyland in Bradenton

County music trio Gloriana has a Nov. 10 date at Joyland in Bradenton after canceling in July because Tom Gossin, lead singer, had been put on vocal rest until further notice.

Read more here:

Gloriana's single "(Kissed You) Good Night" is at No. 5 on Billboard's Top County Songs chart.

Band member Rachel Reinert used to live Sarasota and has family there, Gossin said when I talked to him in July.

Tickets for the July 13 date will be honored.

Details: 7 p.m. (doors) Nov. 10, Joyland, 5520 14th St., Bradenton. Tickets: $10 (advance); $15 door. Info: 941-756-6060 or

Read more here:

—Publicity photo of Gloriana with (from left) Tom Gossin, Rachel Reinert and Mike Gossin.

Read more here:

Bradenton band HGWT summer tour continues with more dates across Southeast

Bradenton-based Americana act Have Gun Will Travel has just announced more dates for its summer tour that started in June.

In March, the nationally acclaimed band played the new Gasparilla Music Festival in downtown Tampa.

Read more here:

HGWT is touring in support of its latest full-length, the highly recommended "Mergers & Acquisitions," which can be purchased here.

8/31 - Atlanta, GA @ Smith's Olde Bar
9/01 - Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
9/02 - Greenville, SC @ Radio Room
9/04 - Nashville, TN @ The End
9/06 - Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre (FREE Rooftop Show)
9/07 - Knoxville, TN @ The Well
9/08 - Nashville, TN @ National Underground
9/10 - Asheville, NC @ Jack of the Wood
9/11 - Winston-Salem, NC @ The Garage
9/12 - Charleston, SC @ Tin Roof
9/13 - Raleigh, NC @ Slim's Downtown
9/14 - Wilmington, NC @ The Whiskey
9/15 - Gainesville, FL @ High Dive (formerly Double Down Live)
9/16 - Jacksonville, FL @ Burro Bar

—Publicity photo, from left: Matt Burke, J.P. Beaubien, Daniel Burke, Scott Anderson.

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Surfers, storm damage on Anna Maria Island

Boat crashes against Bradenton Beach city pier as Tropical Storm Isaac stirs up Gulf of Mexico waters. WADE TATANGELO/BRADENTON HERALD

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I spent Monday on Anna Maria Island, hanging with surfers at Holmes Beach and later sprinting through 50 mph winds to get a picture of a boat that had just slammed into the Bradenton Beach City Pier.
Despite strong rip currents, tornado warnings and rain, surfers from across the state gathered on Holmes Beach to enjoy waves whipped up by Tropical Storm Isaac.
But it wasn't all fun Monday on Anna Maria Island.
Businesses closed or struggled to attract customers while 50 mph wind gusts slammed a boat into the Bradenton Beach City Pier later in the day.

Read more of my front page story "Surfers from across Florida flock to Anna Maria Island to enjoy waves from Tropical Storm Isaac."

Photo gallery: Anna Maria Island after Tropical Storm Isaac 

Photo gallery: Surf's up on Anna Maria Island

Surfers and others check out the waves on Anna Maria Island on Monday morning. WADE TATANGELO/Bradenton Herald.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

UPDATED 8/28: Damon Fowler hosting 'hurricane party' at Aces Live, Bradenton

UPDATED 8/28: Damon Fowler Group on stage at Aces Live:
From left: Damon Fowler, Sam Farmer, Chuck Riley. WADE TATANGELO/
Damon Fowler on Bradenton Beach by TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/

This week's edition of Damon Fowler's Sugar Shack Mondays at Aces Live in Bradenton features a full evening of Blind Pig recording artist the Damon Fowler Group.

Bradenton Beach resident Fowler has dubbed tonight's event a "hurricane party" in light of Tropical Storm Isaac.

"We'll have the essence of the storm but without the fear of anyone dying," Fowler said. "So come on down."

See you at Aces or watch online. Both options free.

Damon Fowler's Sugar Shack Mondays
Showcasing the best in touring talent
8:30 p.m. Mon., August 8 with special guest:
Damon Fowler Group 
No cover

Click to watch the performances at
8:30 p.m. Monday, August 27

Watch live streaming video from sugarshackmonday at

Bradenton welcomes RNC guests from Tampa

Surfers gather on Holmes Beach, near White Avenue, to take advantage of waves churned up by Tropical Storm Isaac. WADE TATANGELO/Bradenton Herald.

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The Republican National Convention has taken over Tampa.

And much of St. Petersburg.

It's a big mess of traffic jams and maybe even mayhem courtesy of those pesky anarchists.

But south of that big bridge called the Skyway, which spans Tampa Bay, it's business as usual in the Bradenton area.

(OK, Isaac might have made things a little wet and wacky, but it's quite sane here compared to life north of the Skyway this week.)

So, let me offer some suggestions for visitors to Manatee County.

Read more

Photo gallery: Surf's up on Anna Maria Island

Read more here:
Six Tampa happy hour spots to visit during RNC

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota 2012-13 season announced

Sheryl Crow, the singer-songwriter who has garnered nine Grammy Awards and survived breast cancer, finally has a date in Sarasota.

Her Van Wezel debut, in February, is the foundation gala centerpiece of the performing arts hall's eclectic 2012-13 season.

Single tickets for Crow and all the other upcoming shows, which range from pop vocalists and classical orchestras to contemporary dance companies and Broadway blockbusters, go on sale Sept. 8.

"She's just the coolest lady," Mary Bensel, executive producer of the Van Wezel, said of Crow. "She's a celebrity who supports wonderful causes and we're so thrilled to have her for our gala."

R&B singer John Legend, hip-hop artist/actress Queen Latifah and actor John Lithgow are also among the Sarasota premieres during the Van Wezel's 43rd season.

Glen Campbell, the singer of such classic recordings as "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Southern Nights" and "Galveston," is scheduled to perform Nov. 4.

"It was really important for us to get him," Bensel said. "His agent say he's doing brilliantly and that this is so good for him, to see his fans and play his music."

Read more here:

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—Publicity photo of Sheryl Crow.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Santana postpones Tampa show

Santana’s show Sunday (Aug. 26) at the Ask Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa has been postponed.

Tour dates on Friday and Saturday at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla., have also been postponed.

"It is with great regret that the upcoming performances featuring Carlos Santana and the Santana Band have been postponed due to circumstances beyond our control," reads a news item on the  Santana website. 

"Universal Tone Management is working diligently to reschedule these performances. We would like to thank all of the fans in Florida for your patronage, and we look forward to bringing you the music of Carlos Santana in the very near future. Ticket refunds are available at point of purchase."

—Carlos Santana illustration/Ware — MCT.

Lynyrd Skynyrd opens RNC concert series in Tampa; Kid Rock, Trace Adkins also scheduled to perform

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose original members formed in Jacksonville more than four decades ago, kick off the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Sunday (Aug. 26).

The band will perform as part of the fundraising event Citizens Helping Heroes presents "Southern Tribute IV Honoring America’s Heroes."

The concert, like the rest in the RNC series at Liberty Plaza, 180 S Morgan St., Tampa,  is only open to paid sponsors and their guests.

Lynyrd Skynyrd will also perform inside the convention center on Monday as Ann Romney is introduced to the attendees.

Skynyrd performed at the Republican National Convention in 2000 as well as at various campaign stops for President George W. Bush and again at the RNC in 2004.

Grammy-winning country crooners The Oak Ridge Boys will perform the national anthem on Monday and be attending various other special events during the RNC, according to publicity material. They performed at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans in 1988 and at White House event on numerous occasions.

Known for his patriotic anthem “God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood will perform twice on Monday (Aug. 27) at events outside the RNC — one private show for convention guests and one show open to the public both at the Hard Rock Cafe beginning at 9 p. m.

The private Liberty Plaza concert series also includes country singer Trace Adkins (Tuesday) and rock/rap/country party starter Kid Rock (Wednesday).

Randy Travis replaced by Wyclef Jean at Tampa benefit show during RNC 

—Publicity photo of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Monday, August 20, 2012

UPDATED 8/21: Bikini-clad Bradenton woman on cover of People magazine with interview, photos

Bradenton resident Michelle Mohr is on the cover of the current issue of People magazine (top right).

It's a story offering "tricks and tips" from individuals who lost 100 pounds.

Michelle Mohr. Photo provided.
Mohr, in a bikini, is pictured right next to super-celeb Jennifer Aniston.

"I was in pure shock when I saw it," Mohr told the Bradenton Herald this afternoon.  "I had no idea I would be on the cover."

Mohr graduated from Manatee High School (2003) and the University of South Florida (2007), according to her Facebook page.

She's the outreach coordinator at Manatee Sarasota  Eye Clinic in Bradenton.

Adam Carolla says 'rich people are smarter and harder workers'

Adam Carolla, the former star of "The Man Show," "Loveline" and "Crank Yankers," has the most downloaded podcast on the Internet.

He credits the success of "The Adam Carolla Show" to hard work.

"I've done the show not once a week, or twice a week or when I have a good guest on the show, but every (week) day for over 3 and a half years," Carolla said. "I've never stopped doing it."

On Saturday, the man who recently caused a stir for telling a reporter "that dudes are funnier than chicks," will be at the Straz Center in Tampa.

Carolla will be joined on stage by Dennis Prager for an evening of debate and discussion plus a Q&A session with the audience.

Prager is a conservative radio talk show host and columnist famous for championing Judeo-Christian values.

Carolla is an atheist.

"I love that guy," Carolla said of Prager. "I think he has something called wisdom, which is in short supply. We have nothing in common but I'm a fan of his wisdom and he's a fan of my comedy and common sense."

Read more. 

—Publicity photo of Adam Carolla provided by ABC.

Read more here:

The Fresh Market in Bradenton: Our new favorite food spot

Sure, the drive to University Parkway isn't bad.

But we wanted to frequent the new store in our neighborhood.

So for months we glanced over at the construction at the Northwest Promenade in the 6700 block of Manatee Avenue West.

And counted down the days.

On Wednesday morning, it finally happened.

We joined thousands of other foodies for the grand opening of The Fresh Market.

"It's like Christmas," my fiancee whispered to me moments after we entered.

And like wide-eyed children surveying a living room full of presents, we walked the aisles of the gourmet grocery store.

Read more of my Sunday column.

—Photo of the bakery a The Fresh Market, 6701 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton, by Wade Tatangelo.

Friday, August 17, 2012

REVIEW: 'Legally Blonde' at Manatee Players in Bradenton allows young stars to shine

The Manatee Players typically stage musicals that are older than a good percentage of the performers on stage.

Not so with “Legally Blonde,” which opened the Bradenton company’s 66th season Thursday.

Based on the 2001 hit movie of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon, the musical proved the ideal vehicle for the community theater’s young stars.

The entire cast deserves praise but the show wouldn’t be nearly as commendable if not for the performance by Cassandra Caballero as Elle Woods.

Judiciously borrowing only a few of Witherspoon’s trademark mannerisms, the Sarasotan made the charming character her own indelible creation.

From delivering comedic one-liners to dealing with an unwanted sexual advance, Caballero displayed serious acting chops.

A fine dancer, the recent University of Miami graduate also sang with the strength, range and sensitivity of a polished professional.

Like the movie, “Legally Blonde” finds pretty sorority sister Elle being dumped by her UCLA boyfriend Warner and then following him to Harvard Law School.

Elle’s fellow graduate students are appalled by her pink attire and pampered Chihuahua.

(Yes, there’s a real dog on stage, actually two, and they’re both adorable).

But, you guessed it, Elle eventually wins the stuffy Harvard students over and proves to be much brighter than the brainless blonde they thought her to be.

Unlike the movie, Elle’s Delta Nu sisters serve as a Greek chorus that specializes in suggestive dance moves and references to naughtiness that may, or may not, offend certain audience members.

On balance, though, “Legally Blonde” is two hours of harmless, frothy fun teeming with a refreshingly youthful exuberance.

—Photo: Warner Huntington lll, played by William Masuck, talks with Elle, played by Cassandra  Caballero, in a scene from the Manatee Players' production of "Legally Blonde" at the Riverfront Theatre in Bradenton. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

Details: Through Sept. 2; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre, 102 Old Main St., Bradenton. Tickets: $26 (adults), $15 (teachers) and $13 (students). Information: 941-748-5875 or

Thursday, August 16, 2012

WEEKEND: 'Legally Blonde' at Manatee Players in Bradenton, Fabulous Indepedent Film Festival, D.L. Hughley and more

The movie "Legally Blonde" has been charming audiences ever since hitting cinemas a decade ago.

The equally popular musical ran on Broadway (2007-08) before touring North America (2008-11).

The show opens the Manatee Players' 66th season today in downtown Bradenton.

Recent University of Miami graduate and Sarasotan Cassandra Caballero (pictured) landed the lead role of Elle.

Read more here:

Continue reading.

Read more here:
Fabulous Independent Film Festival in Sarasota opens with 'Sassy Pants': interview  

D.L. Hughley headlines comedy show at The Mahaffey in St. Petersburg 

'Countdown to the Blues' in Bradenton continues with Nitro and Sarasota Slim

And more in Weekend.

Photo — Elle, played by Cassandra Caballero, in a scene from the Manatee Players production of Legally Blonde at the Riverfront Theatre. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald GJEFFERIES@BRADENTON.COM

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Randy Travis replaced by Wyclef Jean at Tampa benefit show during RNC

Randy Travis will not perform as planned at the veteran-focused Got Your 6 benefit concert during the Republican National Convention, reports

The disgraced country and gospel singer I wrote about Sunday will be replaced by hip-hop star Wyclef Jean, who first came to fame as the lead rapper and sometimes guitarist of the Fugees.

Willie Nelson and fellow country singer/songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker were originally expected to appear at the event, but canceled due to scheduling issues.

—Photo: Randy Travis exits the Grayson County jail Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012, in Sherman, Texas, after being arraigned on charges of driving while intoxicated and retaliation. (AP Photo/The Herald Democrat, Chris Jennings)

Read more here:

Anita Baker cancels Sarasota show

Anita Baker’s Florida tour has been canceled, reads an email from the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall..

The multiple Grammy Award-winning soul singer's Nov. 18 show at the Sarasota venue was scheduled to go on sale Friday (Aug. 17).

Baker's website also lists a performance at American Airlines Arena on Nov. 15.

Tickets for John Legend’s Oct. 19 performance at the Van Wezel will still go on sale 10 a.m. Friday (Aug. 17), as previously reported.

For more information contact the Van Wezel Box office at 941-953-3368 or

—Anita Baker photo courtesy of the Van Wezel.

Monday, August 13, 2012

UPDATED 8/15: John Legend, Anita Baker playing Van Wezel in Sarasota; tickets for both shows on sale Aug. 17

Neo-soul singer, pianist and songwriting star John Legend will make his Sarasota debut Oct. 19 as the first act of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall's upcoming season.

R&B/pop great Anita Baker brings her amazing alto to the venue on Nov. 18. Canceled.

Tickets for both shows go on sale 10 a.m. Aug. 17.

Legend tickets are $30-$125 while Baker's are $30-$110.

For more information and to buy tickets, contact the Van Wezel Box office at 941-953-3368 or log onto

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Randy Travis: From country hero to worldwide joke to redemption?

Does the Grammy-winning country and gospel singer Randy Travis deserves better than to be a punch line or in some silly online poll with the likes of Paris Hilton?

Read about the disgraced Nashville star, and his chances of a comeback, in my Sunday column.

RNC performer Randy Travis arrested naked, charged with DWI  

—Randy Travis photo provided by the Grayson County, Texas — AP Photo

Friday, August 10, 2012

FRIDAY LIVE: Jimi Hendrix, Feb. 24, 1969, Royal Albert Hall, London

If you believe the rumors about bootlegs, this famous recording of the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing in London comes from the guitar hero's pal Eric Burdon (The Animals, War).

"Mastered from Eric Burdon's safety copies of the original master recordings, and produced by Burdon himself and originally sold by mail-order through his website," reads the post over at The Clock That Went Backwards Again.

Regardless of how this show circulated, it's superb; an excellent soundboard recording of Hendrix creating mind-blowing, spine-tingling sonics that guitarists still can't duplicate four decades later. He's also in good voice, which the recording captures wonderfully as well.

As for context, Hendrix had released "Electric Ladyland," his third and final album with the original Experience, the previous October. "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," though, is the only song from the record performed at this Feb. 24 show in London. A large chunk of the set list comes from the group's masterful 1967 debut album "Are You Experienced?"

Other highlights include "Little Wing" from the album "Axis: Bold as Love" (also released in 1967), a killer cover of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" and a show closing "Star Spangled Banner," which is just about every bit as potent as the one Hendrix performed later that year at Woodstock.  

Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Date: Feb. 24, 1969
: Royal Albert Hall, London
Lineup: Jimi Hendrix (guitar, vocals), Noel Redding (bass/backing vocals) and Mitch Mitchell (drums).

Setlist: 1. Lover Man
2. Stone Free
3. Hear My Train A Coming
4. I Don't Live Today 
5. Red House
6. Foxey Lady 
7. Sunshine Of Your Love 
8. Bleeding Heart 
9. Fire 
10. Little Wing
11. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
12. Room Full Of Mirrors jam
13. Purple Haze
14. Wild Thing
15. Star Spangled Banner 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

WEEKEND: Caroline Rhea at McCurdy's, Sarasota (interview), Jerry Garcia Tribute, Jason Aldean and more

Caroline Rhea has been all over television for the past two decades.

But the 48-year-old Canadian also stays busy pursuing her first love, stand-up comedy.

"It's like you're having a dinner party and have to make a connection," Rhea said by phone. "I'm old school, I want people to feel entertained."

Read more here:

Continue reading my interview with Rhea, who performs Aug. 10-12 at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre in Sarasota.

Jerry Garcia tribute concert by WSLR in Sarasota with Uncle John's Band

Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan at Ask Gary Amphitheatre, Tampa

Jason Mraz at Ask Gary Amphitheatre, Tampa

And more in Weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

RNC performer Randy Travis arrested naked, charged with DWI

Randy Travis, who is scheduled perform at a private benefit show during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

The country singer also threatened law officers after crashing his car and was found naked at the scene, the Associated Press reports.

It was the second Texas arrest this year for Travis, who was cited in February for public intoxication.

Travis is scheduled to perform during the RNC at a fundraiser for a non-partisan organization working to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life called Got Your 6 . The fundraiser will be held Aug. 29 at the Dallas Bull.

Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker were originally scheduled to perform at the event.

Photo —This April 18, 2010 file photo shows singer Randy Travis at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Dan Steinberg, file — AP Photo.

Read more here:

UPDATED 8/19 with interview: Cutting-edge comic Doug Stanhope to play Tampa Improv

Brilliant, brutally honest comic Doug Stanhope's newly announced "Big Stink"tour will make a stop Aug. 19 at the Tampa Improv.

His dark, hilarious Showtime special, "Doug Stanhope Before Turning the Gun on Himself," started airing Aug. 3. 

(I watched it again last night and again laughed loud enough to scare the dogs and sleeping fiancee).

Stanhope, who could be the breakout comic of the year, digitally released the album "Before Turning The Gun On Himself" in March and it immediately reached No. 1 on the Billboard, iTunes and Amazon comedy charts. Recorded in Salt Lake City at The Complex, the live companion CD/DVD will be out Nov. 6.

"Before Turning the Gun on Himself" track listing:

1. Hangover
2. Dr. Drew is to Medicine what David Blaine Is To Science
3. AA Is A Poorly-Constructed Cult And Doesn't Work
4. Just Move
5. My P--- Stinks
6. Simple Man
7. Keynesian Economic Theory As Applied To Private-Sector Independent Contracting
8. Giant Black C---
9. It's A Party, Not Daycare, A------
10. Bisbee Thrill Ride
11. Art & The Unfortunate State Of The Japanese Undercarriage
12. Remember When I Used To Give S---?/Killer Closer

Tour Dates With Carlos Valencia and Junior Stopka:

8/7/2012 Lindsay Street Hall Chattanooga, TN
8/8/2012 Relix Variety Theatre Knoxville, TN
8/9/2012 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
8/10/2012 Music Farm Charleston, SC
8/11/2012 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
8/12/2012 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC
8/14/2012 The Worm Hole Savannah, GA
8/15/2012 The Underbelly Jacksonville, FL
8/16/2012 Orlando Improv Orlando, FL
8/18/2012 Culture Room Fort Lauderdale, FL
8/19/2012 Tampa Improv Tampa, FL
8/21/2012 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA
8/22/2012 Handle Bar Pensacola, FL
8/23/2012 One Eyed Jacks New Orleans, LA
8/24/2012 Zydeco Birmingham, AL
8/25/2012 Relapse Theatre Atlanta, GA

Tampa Improv

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Country singer Gretchen Wilson to play Manatee County Fairgrounds near Bradenton

"Redneck Woman" Gretchen Wilson has a date at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto, according to the country singer's official website.

More details to follow.

—Photo of country singer Gretchen Wilson by Tami Chappell / Reuters.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sheryl Crow has date at Van Wezel in Sarasota

After nearly two decades in the spotlight, Sheryl Crow will finally make her Sarasota debut on Feb. 15 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Sept. 8.

The "All I Wanna Do" singer/songwriter/roots-rocker has garnered nine Grammys during a career that kicked off with her mega-selling 1993 debut album "Tuesday Night Music Club."

She's performed duets with everyone from Emmylou Harris to Mick Jagger while releasing a total of seven studio albums that have sold more than 35 million records worldwide.

For more information and to buy tickets, which range from $30 to $110, contact the Van Wezel Box office at 941-953-3368 or

DESTINATION SPOT: Star Fish Company in Cortez near Bradenton is Old Florida at its finest

Many people, even true Floridians, don't believe in eating outdoors here in the summer.

At least not for lunch when the temperature stays around 90 degrees.

I disagree.

Especially if seated along the water, in the shade, with a pleasant breeze blowing in from the Gulf.

At an Old Florida jewel like the Star Fish Company in Cortez.

At the cash-only counter, I had placed an order for two "highliner" dishes:

Sea scallops ($12.50) and blackened grouper ($12.95).

Read more.

Read more here:

—The uncovered seating area of Star Fish Company Dockside Restaurant in Cortez. Photo by Wade Tatangelo.

Read more here:

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The Straz Center of Tampa announces full 2012-13 season

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the longest running venue of its kind in Florida, will celebrate its 25th anniversary season with an eclectic program of fresh attractions and fan favorites.

There will be touring Broadway hits.

An opera and dramatic play series.

Plus a slew of dance, comedy, music and educational events.

Highlights range from the return of Jerry Seinfeld to "Flashdance -- The Musical," the new stage adaptation of the 1983 hit film that will begin performances on Broadway in the fall.

Hot tickets also include another run of "Wicked," a return by comedian/TV star Louis C.K. and the regional premiere of "American Idiot," the rock musical based on the best-selling Green Day concept album of the same name.

Read more.

Full, chronological list of shows.

Friday, August 3, 2012

FRIDAY LIVE: Jerry Garcia Band, Sept. 6, 1989, Uniondale, New York

In honor of Jerry Garcia, who would've turned 70 on August 1, here's audio (very good) and video (average) of him performing with his solo band in 1989.

Garcia's other group, The Grateful Dead, were stadium-filling superstars at this time thanks to two-decades-plus of touring and recording boosted by the bestselling 1987 album "In the Dark," which contains the band's sole Top 10 hit "Touch of Grey."

But Garcia largely skips the Dead stuff, opting for gorgeously arranged and passionately performed covers of songs by the likes of Bob Dylan ("I Shall be Released," "Tangled Up in Blue"), The Beatles ("Dear Prudence"), Chuck Berry ("Let it Rock") and Jimmy Cliff ("The Harder They Come").

Performances from this tour appear on the highly-recommended official live releases "Jerry Garcia Band" (1991), "How Sweet It Is" (1997) and my personal favorite, "Shining Star" (2001).

Artist: Jerry Garcia Band
Date: Sept. 6, 1989
: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Lineup: Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), John Kahn (bass), Melvin Seals (keyboards), Jaclyn LaBranch (backing vocals), Gloria Jones (backing vocals), David Kemper (drums). 

Setlist: 1. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
2. Stop That Train
3. That's What Love Will Make You Do
4. Mississippi Moon
5. I Second That Emotion
6. And It Stoned Me
7. Deal
8. Harder They Come
9. Dear Prudence
10. I Shall Be Released
11. Let It Rock
12. Evangeline
13. That Lucky Old Sun
14. Tangled Up In Blue

WANTED: Nature photos for South Florida Museum in Bradenton

The South Florida Museum has extended its deadline for submitting photos to coincide with its exhibition, "Preserving Eden: Clyde Butcher's Florida Photographs," which is on display through Aug. 26.

The Bradenton museum seeks photographs of a natural place that is important to you and that you think others might find inspiring, as well.

Send a photograph along with a short explanation (200 word maximum) of why this place matters to you to

At the end of the submission period, which has been extended through August, a selection committee will choose the photographs and stories it finds inspiring and will host them in an exhibition at the South Florida Museum.

Photos must be 8x10 at 72dpi in jpg format, no more than 3 MB in size. Place text in the body of your email.

Read more here:

The South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, 941-746-4131 or

Read more here:

—Photo by Scott F. Odell courtesy of South Florida Museum.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

WEEKEND: Chris Tucker, Have Gun Will Travel, Wiggles, WMNF Fest and more

  • Chris Tucker at The Mahaffey in St. Petersburg 
  • WMNF Americana Fest at Skipper's Smokehouse 
  • Tampa Identity electronic dance music festival at Ask Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa 
  • The Wiggles perform after Ray-Orioles game at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg 
  • Actress Robin Givens stages her play 'Joy in the Morning' in Bradenton with Manatee Players 
  • Bradenton bands rock to raise money for Manatee Players 
  •  Bradenton band Have Gun Will Travel with Matt Woods at Aces Live in Bradenton 

—Publicity photo of Rebekah Pulley, who will be performing at WMNF's Americana Fest.

Asolo Rep adds 'My Brilliant Divorce' to its 2012-13 season in Sarasota

Asolo Repertory Theatre announced today the addition of "My Brilliant Divorce" to its 2012-2013 lineup. The one-woman comedy by Geraldine Aron will have its regional premiere at the Sarasota company from June 26 to July 14 with preview performances June 23 and 25. "My Brilliant Divorce" will be directed by Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Edwards.

“A script like 'My Brilliant Divorce' comes along once in a lifetime,” said Edwards in a statement. “The whole notion that a divorce, probably one of the single most painful and traumatic experiences anyone can have in life, could actually be ‘brilliant,’ really intrigued me. The play is grounded in elements of a genuinely lived experience, though it’s not autobiographical, and the character’s ‘voice’ is very authentic. It deals with an emotional subject with humor and humanity.”

The play is part of the Asolo Rep’s new American Character project.

“It’s important that she be American, that she’s an American ‘out of water’ – coping with London, with a British husband, with the reality that even her daughter is a little alien to her because her daughter’s more British than she is," Edwards said. "The openness, the ease, the lack of guile in the British world is part of what it is to be an American, and at first it puts her at a disadvantage in coping with the charged emotional layers of complication in British life, but in the end it’s to her advantage. It’s her American character that pulls her through the experience.”

Set in present-day London, the story revolves around American expatriate Angela, a middle-aged woman who is blindsided by her British husband’s sudden decision to leave her. Adrift in a sea of bizarre dates, shifty lawyers, phone-in helplines and impending poverty, Angela somehow finds the strength to live anew and find what she needs most. The play has been lauded for being intelligent and funny, "a highly entertaining exploration of divorce, dating and the search for love," reads the publicity material.

"My Brilliant Divorce" had its premiere in 2001 in Galway and was later transferred to London’s West End, where it was nominated for the 2004 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. It will be the final production of 2012-13 Asolo Rep schedule.

Single tickets will go on sale to the public online only Sept. 30 and by phone and in person Oct. 1.

Information:  941-351-8000 or

Asolo Repertory Theatre announces 2012-13 season 

—Publicity photo of the Asolo Repertory's Mertz Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency 2012-2013 season announced

The  ninth annual The Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency will take place Dec. 20 through Jan. 5.

Founded by Toby Perlman, wife of internationally acclaimed concert violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman, it offers musical training for students ages 12 to 20-plus who play the violin, viola, cello, and bass. Itzhak Perlman leads the first-class faculty.

PMP/Suncoast’s winter residency is hosted in partnership with the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. The public is invited to attend more than 20 free events, including orchestra and chorus rehearsals, master classes, and works-in-progress recitals. Most of these events take place in a heated outdoor performance tent on the grounds of the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

The general public is invited to pick up free tickets in person at the USF Sarasota-Manatee Rotunda, December 1-10. Advance tickets are available for PMP/Suncoast members and sponsors beginning in November. More information about membership and sponsorship opportunities can be found at or by calling 941-955-4942.

The program culminates with the “Celebration Concert" at the Sarasota Opera House, 5 p.m. Jan. 5. Tickets are $40, $60, $80 and are on sale starting Oct. 1 at the Sarasota Opera House’s box office at 941-366-8450. Advance ticket sales for PMP/Suncoast members and sponsors begins August 15. The “Perlman and Pearls” gala dinner event, immediately following the concert, celebrates the Perlmans, faculty, students, and PMP/Suncoast sponsors and patrons. For gala tickets and information, call 941-350-2338.

PMP/Suncoast presents the Sarasota Winter Residency as only one part of a year-round program. Now in its fourth year, PMP/Suncoast’s Education Outreach Program brings PMP alumni into area schools as professional teaching artists throughout the year. This year, the internationally celebrated Ariel Quartet will present interactive performances and hands-on training for area music students and their teachers. The Quartet will spend three weeks teaching and performing locally: November 1-7, 2012; February 21-27, 2013; and May 1-7, 2013.

This season’s program will serve 12 schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and reach approximately 4,000 students, grades 5 through 12. The Ariel Quartet will also perform three free, public concerts as part of PMP/Suncoast's Emerging Artists Performance Series. Dates and venues will be announced soon. This three-week, in-school residency is entirely funded by PMP/Suncoast through grants, sponsorships and individual patrons.

The Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency is only one part of a year-round New York-based music education program of The Perlman Music Program (PMP) providing mentoring, coaching and guidance for an exclusive group of string musicians of unique and special talent chosen from applicants from around the world.

Each summer, PMP students convene on Shelter Island, New York, to participate in the six-week Summer Music School and two-week Chamber Music Workshop under the guidance of Toby and Itzhak Perlman and an equally exceptional faculty roster. Regular mentorship opportunities are offered throughout the school year for students and alumni including concert series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Neue Galerie.

For more information about The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast, visit or call 941-955-4942.

--Photo of Itzhak Perlman in rehearsal with PMP orchestra students by Barbara Banks.