Thursday, January 31, 2013

WEEKEND: Village of the Arts in Bradenton hosts 'Sweethearts Artwalk'

Zoe Von Averkamp, right, serves visitors Eleanore Neumann and Dorothy Werner of Bradenton a little chilled sangria as they tour Averkamp's Divine Excess gallery and outdoor garden in during an Art Walk at Village of the Arts in Bradenton. HERALD FILE PHOTO

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Take a walk on the romantic side Friday and Saturday through the Village of the Arts in Bradenton during this month's Valentine Day's inspired "Sweethearts Artwalk."

Twenty galleries will be displaying pottery, jewelry, paintings, folk art, sculptures, art to wear in colorful 1920s cottages.

Looking for a romantic eating experience in the village? Check out one, or more, of the neighborhood's five dining destinations:

Arts and Eats, Charisma Cafe & Art, Downs' Bradentown Lunch & Dining House, Ortygia Ristorante, Sweets' Bakehouse.

All five restaurants will be open and offering specials Friday and Saturday.

Details: 6-9:30 p.m. Feb. 1 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 2, The Village of the Arts, located 4 blocks south of Manatee Ave. between 9th St. W. and 14th St. W. in downtown Bradenton. Information: 941-747-8056 or

Check out what else is going on in Weekend

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duane Allman box set 'Skydog' set for release

A seven-CD Duane Allman collection has been announced and it's easily the greatest document of the guitar hero's amazing career.

On March 12, Rounder Records will issue "Skydog - The Duane Allman Retrospective," produced by Duane's daughter Galadrielle Allman and Grammy Award-winning producer Bill Levenson.

The set ranges from Duane's early recordings with former Bradenton resident Gregg Allman in bands such as The Escorts, Allman Joys and Hour Glass to his studio work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs, Delaney & Bonnie, Ronnie Hawkins and many others including a live jam session with the Grateful Dead.

The 129-song set includes several unreleased performances, many classic Allman Brothers songs,  rare singles and long out-of-print album tracks. It also included a 72-page book with essays by Scott Schindler and Galadrielle Allman, many rare photographs, a replica of Duane's guitar pick, and a Skydog sticker.

 Disc One
1 THE ESCORTS Turn On Your Love Light 2:33
2 THE ESCORTS No Name Instrumental 3:13
3 THE ESCORTS What’d I Say 4:04
4 THE ALLMAN JOYS Spoonful 2:27
5 THE ALLMAN JOYS Gotta Get Away 2:38
6 THE ALLMAN JOYS Shapes Of Things 2:47
7 THE ALLMAN JOYS Crossroads 3:32
8 THE ALLMAN JOYS Mister, You’re A Better Man Than I 4:45
9 THE ALLMAN JOYS Lost Woman 5:23
10 HOUR GLASS Cast Off All My Fears 3:31
11 HOUR GLASS I’ve Been Trying 2:39
12 HOUR GLASS Nothing But Tears 2:29
13 HOUR GLASS Power Of Love 2:51
14 HOUR GLASS Down In Texas 3:08
15 HOUR GLASS Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) 3:01
16 HOUR GLASS B.B. King Medley 7:07
17 HOUR GLASS Been Gone Too Long 3:03
18 HOUR GLASS Ain’t No Good To Cry 3:08
19 31ST OF FEBRUARY Morning Dew 3:46
20 31ST OF FEBRUARY Melissa 3:12
21 THE BLEUS Milk And Honey 2:34
22 THE BLEUS Leavin’ Lisa 2:43
23 THE BLEUS Julianna’s Gone 2:59

Disc Two
1 CLARENCE CARTER The Road Of Love 2:54
2 CLARENCE CARTER Light My Fire 2:49
3 WILSON PICKETT Hey Jude 4:06
4 WILSON PICKETT Toe Hold 2:49
5 WILSON PICKETT My Own Style Of Loving 2:41
6 WILSON PICKETT Born to Be Wild 2:45
7 LAURA LEE It’s How You Make It Good 2:32
8 LAURA LEE It Ain’t What You Do (But How You Do It) 2:05
9 SPENCER WIGGINS I Never Loved A Woman (The Way I Love You) 3:01
10 ARTHUR CONLEY Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da 3:00
11 ARTHUR CONLEY Stuff You Gotta Watch 2:15
12 ARTHUR CONLEY Speak Her Name 2:39
13 ARTHUR CONLEY That Can't Be My Baby 2:22
14 WILLIE WALKER A Lucky Loser 2:20
15 THE LOVELLES I'm Coming Today 2:59
16 THE LOVELLES Pretending Dear 2:38
17 ARETHA FRANKLIN The Weight 2:53
18 ARETHA FRANKLIN It Ain't Fair 3:22
19 SOUL SURVIVORS Darkness 2:56
20 SOUL SURVIVORS Tell Daddy 2:30
21 SOUL SURVIVORS Got Down On Saturday 3:10
22 KING CURTIS Hey Joe 2:56
23 KING CURTIS Foot Pattin' 4:49
24 KING CURTIS Games People Play 2:46
25 KING CURTIS The Weight 2:47
26 THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS Get A Little Order 2:06

Disc Three
2 DUANE ALLMAN Goin' Down Slow 8:44
3 DUANE ALLMAN No Money Down 3:25
4 DUANE ALLMAN Happily Married Man 2:40
5 OTIS RUSH Me 2:55
6 OTIS RUSH Reap What You Sow 4:53
7 OTIS RUSH It Takes Time 3:25
8 THE DUCK & THE BEAR Going Up The Country 2:34
9 THE DUCK & THE BEAR Hand Jive 2:41
10 BOZ SCAGGS Finding Her 4:10
11 BOZ SCAGGS Look What I Got 4:13
12 BOZ SCAGGS Waiting For A Train 2:41
13 BOZ SCAGGS Loan Me A Dime 13:01
14 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Don't Want You No More 2:26
15 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND It's Not My Cross To Bear 5:01
16 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Black Hearted Woman 5:07
17 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Trouble No More 3:45

Disc Four
1 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Every Hungry Woman 4:13
4 RONNIE HAWKINS One More Night 2:22
5 RONNIE HAWKINS Will The Circle Be Unbroken 2:50
6 RONNIE HAWKINS Matchbox 3:05
7 RONNIE HAWKINS Down In The Alley 5:08
8 RONNIE HAWKINS Who Do You Love 2:13
9 LULU Marley Purt Drive 3:21
10 LULU Dirty Old Man 2:20
11 LULU Mr. Bojangles 3:08
12 LULU Sweep Around Your Own Back Door 2:40
13 JOHNNY JENKINS I Walk On Gilded Splinters 5:16
14 JOHNNY JENKINS Rollin’ Stone 4:56
15 JOHNNY JENKINS Down Along The Cove 3:02
16 JOHNNY JENKINS Voodoo In You 4:50
17 JOHN HAMMOND Shake For Me 2:42
18 JOHN HAMMOND Cryin’ For My Baby 2:39
19 JOHN HAMMOND I’m Leavin’ You 3:20
20 JOHN HAMMOND You’ll Be Mine 2:42
21 DORIS DUKE Ghost Of Myself 3:06

Disc Five
1 ERIC QUINCY TATE Comin’ Down (demo version) 2:52
2 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Hoochie Coochie Man (live) 5:00
3 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Midnight Rider 2:58
4 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Dimples (live) 4:59
5 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (live) 9:21
6 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Soul Shake 3:06
7 LAURA NYRO Beads Of Sweat 4:47
8 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ 3:28
9 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Living On The Open Road 3:03
10 ELLA BROWN A Woman Left Lonely 3:23
11 ELLA BROWN Touch Me 2:59
12 BOBBY LANCE More Than Enough Rain 5:51
13 DEREK & THE DOMINOS I Am Yours 3:34
14 DEREK & THE DOMINOS Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? 4:41
15 DEREK & THE DOMINOS Have You Ever Loved A Woman 6:52
16 DEREK & THE DOMINOS Layla 7:03
17 ERIC CLAPTON & DUANE ALLMAN Mean Old World 3:48

Disc Six
1 SAM SAMUDIO Me And Bobby McGee 3:31
2 SAM SAMUDIO Relativity 3:14
3 SAM SAMUDIO Goin' Upstairs 5:06
4 RONNIE HAWKINS Don't Tell Me Your Troubles 2:13
5 RONNIE HAWKINS Sick And Tired 2:45
6 RONNIE HAWKINS Odessa 3:19
7 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Gift Of Love 2:09
8 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Sing My Way Home 4:02
9 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Statesboro Blues (live) 4:17
10 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (live) 13:04
11 GRATEFUL DEAD Sugar Magnolia (live) 7:20
12 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND One Way Out (live) 4:57
13 HERBIE MANN Push Push 10:03
14 HERBIE MANN Spirit In The Dark 7:59
15 HERBIE MANN What’d I Say 4:57

Disc Seven
1 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Come On In My Kitchen (live) 3:42
2 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Going Down The Road Feeling Bad (live) 4:03
3 DELANEY & BONNIE & FRIENDS Poor Elijah / Tribute To Johnson (Medley) (live) 4:54
4 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND You Don't Love Me / Soul Serenade (live) 19:25
5 COWBOY Please Be With Me 3:41
8 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Blue Sky (live) 11:24
9 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Dreams (live) 17:56
10 THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND Little Martha 2:07

You can pre-order this collection at Hittin' the Note for the sale price of $99.99.

Nik Wallenda Sarasota skywalk coverage: story, photos, video, archive

Nik Wallenda looks up minutes before starting skywalk 180 feet over U.S. 41 in Sarasota. Photo by Wade Tatangelo

Nik Wallenda crossed roughly 600 feet of open space at a height of 180 feet Tuesday from a crane positioned by the Unconditional Surrender statue to the top of the Marina Tower building in downtown Sarasota.

Nik Wallenda overcomes '30-mph winds' during skywalk over U.S. 41 in Sarasota (final version)

Gallery: Nik Wallenda walks the wire in Sarasota

Videos: Nik Wallenda before his Sarasota wire walk

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sarasota set for Nik Wallenda sky walk over U.S. 41

Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope in the rain during a training session for his stunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Gary Wiepert / AP.

Sarasota is ready for its big day.

The city will close U.S. 41 between Ringling Blvd.and the John Ringling Causeway in downtown Tuesday while Sarasota native and world-famous aerialist Nik Wallenda walks over the highway from the bayfront to Marina Tower on a high wire without a safety harness.

The closure is expected to occur from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., with the event scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Traffic congestion is expected from 9 a.m. until noon. Road closure signs will be posted and motorists should follow the detour signs. Traffic will remain open to and from St. Armands Circle and the barrier islands.

Due to a public safety perimeter which will be established, public parking near the bayfront will be limited. Spectators are encouraged to walk to the event or park their vehicles in the Palm Ave. Garage. A free trolley also will shuttle spectators roundtrip from the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall parking lot at 777 N. Tamiami Trail to the event, with a drop-off at the intersection of Cocoanut Avenue and Gulfstream Avenue. The trolley will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Sarasota City Commission unanimously approved Wallenda’s skywalk without a tether during its last regular meeting this past Tuesday, providing Wallenda received approval from the Florida Department of Transportation which oversees U.S. 41., and offers a satisfactory statement indemnifying the City of Sarasota. The Commission also waived the special event permits for the skywalk totaling approximately $6,000-$8,000, according to a recent press release issued by the City of Sarasota.

Circus Sarasota is the sponsor of Wallenda’s "Sarasota Skywalk."

Aerialist Nik Wallenda to wire walk over U.S. 41 in Sarasota

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Manatee Players' remarkable run at Riverfront Theatre in Bradenton shouldn't be forgotten

Manatee Players production of "Cabaret" in 1988. Photo provided.

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In December 1953, the Manatee Players' brand new Riverfront Theatre in downtown Bradenton opened its doors with a production of the heartwarming play "I Remember Mama."

The troupe has continued performing at the venue on the waterfront in downtown Bradenton for nearly six decades, winning numerous awards including major ones on national stages.

Judging by the company's current, sold-out production of Cole Porter's musical "Anything Goes," which just last year could be seen again on Broadway, The Manatee Players will be entertaining audiences for many more decades.

But, as regular Bradenton Herald readers are well aware, that remarkable run at the Riverfront Theatre will end when the Manatee Performing Arts Center opens in March with a production of "Miss Saigon."

The new multi-use venue will surely be a huge boon for downtown Bradenton, but it's important we don't forget all the fabulous fun and hard work that happened inside the Riverfront Theatre.

To help preserve those memories, The Manatee Players and the Bradenton Herald are reaching out to all the actors, volunteers and board members from the community theater company's rich history for photos from past productions.

Email scanned photos to me at

That doesn't work for you?

Give me a call at 941-745-7057 and I'll see what can be done to get those photos saved for posterity and viewed by our fellow theater enthusiasts.

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PHOTOS: Bradenton-shot film 'Blind Pass' has special screening at Burns Court Cinemas

"Blind Pass" writer/director Steve Tatone with his co-producer and star Danielle White at Burns Court Cinemas in Sarasota for private screening of their film on Jan. 26, 2013. PHOTO BY WADE TATANGELO

"Blind Pass," the movie featuring an Armand Assante cameo that I watched being filmed about a year ago in Lakewood Ranch, had its debut screening Saturday at Burns Court Cinemas in Sarasota.

It's the latest by Sarasota-based independent film production company Midnight Pass Productions and the producing team of Steve Tatone and former Bradenton resident Danielle White, a past winner of Fox’s “American Juniors” reality show.

The duo got their start collaborating on the musical-drama “Beautiful Noise,” another locally shot film also written and directed by Tatone and starring White that sold out an unprecedented six showings at the 2010 Sarasota Film Festival.

Ed Lauter, second from left, participates in a post-screening Q&A.

In the thriller “Blind Pass,” 20-year-old White plays the daughter of a wealthy businessman played by Assante, who makes the most of minimal screen time. White's character is going blind from a rare disease and her mother sends her to a psychologist played by Chris McKenna, best known for his appearances on the CW series “90210.” The movie largely focuses on their rocky romance. 

Crowd gathers outside Burns Court Cinemas in Sarasota for screening of "Blind Pass."

Mike McGlone (“The Brothers McMullen,” “She’s the One”), Tampa-based Mary Rachel Dudley (“Dear John,” “Free Ride”) and up-and-coming child star Sydney Rouviere, a South Florida native whose appearances include “The Glades” TV series, also appear in “Blind Pass.”

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Veteran Hollywood character actor Ed Lauter (“Leaving Las Vegas,” “The Longest Yard,” “Seabiscuit”), who was in attendance Saturday, makes a most welcome cameo in "Blind Pass."

Ed Lauter at Burns Court.
State Sen. Bill Galvano, Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston, John Lakin, a judge of the Twelfth Circuit Court and Kathy Jordan, managing director at the Sarasota Film Festival, were also among those in attendance. 

The Saturday screening was designed to raise awareness of the new movie and encourage funding for the global marketing of “Blind Pass." The film has been entered into this year's Sarasota Film Festival taking place in April.

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WATCH: 'Blind Pass' trailer shot in Sarasota with Armand Assante scenes in Lakewood Ranch 

—All photos by Wade Tatangelo

Friday, January 25, 2013

Manatee Players announce cast for 'Miss Saigon,' which opens new theater in Bradenton

Holly Rizzo as Young Bonnie
The Bradenton area's most highly anticipated show of recent memory, the Manatee Players' production of "Miss Saigon" that will open the brand new Manatee Performing Arts Center in March, has been cast.

Holmes Beach resident and Manatee High School student Holly Rizzo, whose numerous theater credits include the Manatee Players' current production "Anything Goes" and Young Bonnie in the Asolo Repertory Theatre's 2010 regional premiere of the "Bonnie & Clyde" musical that played on Broadway, will play the lead, Kim.

Kim is the 17-year-old recently orphaned and forced to work at "Dreamland."

Billy Masuck, a Manatee Players veteran recently seen in "Legally Blonde," will play Chris, the American G.I. sergeant about to leave Saigon and return to America.

Brian Chunn, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in "Anything Goes," will play Chris' friend John.

Omar Montes, Billy Crocker in "Anything Goes," will play Engineer, a French-Vietnamese club owner.

"Miss Saigon" will be directed and choreographed by Rick Kerby, The Manatee Players' producing artistic director, with Aaron Cassette as musical director and costumes by David Walker.

Read more here:

Stay tuned for who will play the stripper Gigi Van Tranh, Ellen, Tam, Thuy and the rest of the famed roles.

Details: March 28-April 14, Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. Tickets: TBA. Information: 941-748-5875 or

Read more here:

—Photo of Holly Rizzo as Young Bonnie by CLIFF ROLES/Special to the Herald 

Gasparilla survival guide: 15 rules of partying at the day parade in Tampa

The Gasparilla Pirate Fest in Tampa is attended by more than 400,000 annually.

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The Gasparilla Pirate Fest, better known as the Gasparilla Day Parade, has been Tampa Bay's biggest annual party for decades.The Tampa parade officially takes place from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, but expect people to start showing up at dawn to reserve a spot along beautiful Bayshore Boulevard. Here are 15 rules for having a safe, fun day while surrounded by 400,000 party people.

1. Don't be a bead bully: If you get the urge to push over your neighbor in attempt to grab the shiny object being hurled from the float high above, remember, those beads are basically worthless.

2. Follow the rules of boozing: If you are age 21 or older with valid photo identification, beer along with Captain Morgan Rum and cola can be purchased at one of several Gasparilla Charity Beer Gardens located throughout the event. Despite what you will surely witness as flagrant breaking of the rules, attendees are not allowed to bring their own booze.

3. Bring water: There are more than 100 food, beverage and novelty vendors located throughout the event so you'll survive without packing liquids and lunch. But a couple water bottles and some beef jerky or trail mix stuffed in a pocket or purse always comes in handy. You just can't use glass containers, Styrofoam cups or coolers. Small soft-sided coolers and lunch bags are permitted for childcare needs and medical needs.

4. Bring cash money: All the vendors are cash only so come prepared. If you over-spend, though, there are mobile ATMs located throughout the parade route as well as a few banks and merchants close to or within the event site.

Read more.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

PHOTOS: 'Parker' movie shot in Sarasota opens Friday

Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis (TV's "The Shield") with University of Tampa film students Lauren Holloway (left) and Vicki Delisle Thursday at Ringling Museum of Art's Ca' d'Zan Mansion in Sarasota. BRADENTON HERALD FILE PHOTO

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Shrieks emanated from inside the mansion. A large group of wealthy party people dashed out the front door. The director yelled, “Cut!”

Extras on the set on "Parker" at Ringling Museum of Art’s Ca’ d’Zan Mansion in Sarasota.

The actors playing attendees at a charity auction waited to do the same scene all over again. And again. The shoot would last from 6 p.m. until an expected 6 a.m. back in September of 2011.

On set of "Parker" at Ca' d'Zan Mansion
The scene was to be part of the crime/thriller “Parker,” starring Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte and Michael Chiklis.

It was filmed at the Ringling Museum of Art’s Ca’ d’Zan Mansion in Sarasota.

Oscar-winning director Taylor Hackford spent a couple days working in Sarasota on scenes for “Parker,” the film based on novelist Donald Westlake’s namesake criminal protagonist.

About 300 people were cast as extras at a pay rate of $105 per day for the three consecutive days.

Fire truck scene from "Parker" shoot at Ca' d'Zan.

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Will any familiar faces or places make the final cut?

Find out Friday when "Parker" opens nationwide with local screenings at Oakmont 8, Royal Palm 20, Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, Hollywood  20 and Sarasota 12.

Taylor Hackford (red shirt) filming at Ca' d'Zan.

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 Lights, camera, action at Ca' d'Zan

PHOTOS: Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis and Oscar-winner Taylor Hackford on set in Sarasota

'Parker': Jason Statham steals the movie

—All photos by Wade Tatangelo/Bradenton Herald unless otherwise noted

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Aerialist Nik Wallenda to wire walk over U.S. 41 in Sarasota

Nik Wallenda in Niagara Falls, Canada, June 13, 2012.

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King of the High Wire Nik Wallenda has permission to wire walk over U.S. 41 and across the bayfront in downtown Sarasota Jan. 29.

The Sarasota City Commission approved the stunt at its last meeting. Wallenda's walk will cross roughly 600 feet of open space at a height of 180 feet in the air from the Unconditional Surrender statue to the top of the Marina Tower building, reports our partners at Bay News 9.

The anticipated Sarasota skywalk will be attempted without a net.

The Florida Department of Transportation will close traffic and allow the wire over the Tamiami Trail for the 10:30 a.m. event.

Wallenda, a Sarasota native who lives in the area, holds a $20 million insurance policy, claiming it covers mental distress if anyone witnesses him falling.

Wallenda is a six-time Guinness world record holder for aerial feats.

He wire walked across Niagara Falls last year.

'We could die,' Nik Wallenda, age 12, on life as a daredevil 

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AP story used in this report.

—AP Photo by David Duprey

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THEATER REVIEW: Manatee Players’ ‘Anything Goes’ is ‘easy to love’ in Bradenton

Omar Montes as Billy Crocker and Andrea Wright as Reno Sweeney in the Manatee Players production of "Anything Goes."

Talk about nice timing.

When the Manatee Players announced its current season last January, the critically acclaimed revival of Cole Porter's madcap classic "Anything Goes" was on Broadway, where it won a slew of trophies including the Best Revival of a Musical Tony Award.
Six months after the show closed, it’s the second to last production that the Manatee Players are to be staging at the Riverfront Theatre.

In March, the Bradenton community theater troupe plans to move to the new Manatee Performing Arts Center. The “Anything Goes” engagement that runs through Feb. 3, sold out before it opened Jan. 17. Those fortunate enough to have tickets, will find that the Manatee Players production of the musical that premiered on Broadway in 1934 still has plenty of kick, providing ample laughs of the screwball variety.

The show overflows with great tunes including the iconic "I Get a Kick Out of You," "You're the Top" and "De-Lovely," as well as lesser famous gems like the romantic “Easy to Love” and the funny “Friendship.”  

Andrea Wright as Reno Sweeney
A love boat journey from New York to England, "Anything Goes" finds Andrea Wright offering a sizzling performance as evangelist/nightclub singer Reno Sweeney. She has the hots for stowaway Billy Crocker (Omar Montes), even though he wants to hook up with Hope Harcourt (Melanie Bierweiler) on the eve of her wedding to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Brian Chunn ).

Michael DeMocko plays Moonface Martin, a gangster on the run and Brittney Klepper plays Erma, his sailor-crazy sidekick. Dan Coppinger plays perpetually-drunk rich man Elisha Whitney, who’s pursuing Caroline Cox’s character, Mrs. Harcourt. Society types hungry to hang with celebrities also populate the S.S. American. 

Yep, in many ways, it’s a timeless show. But it’s also probably a bit too silly for certain contemporary audience members. There’s a ridiculous manhunt, a stuffed pooch and goofball disguises. offensive racial stereotypes are also played for laughs.

Rick Kerby, The Manatee Players' producing artistic director, directs and choreographs. He does a commendable job throughout with his greatest accomplishment coming at the end of Act 1, when Wright and the ensemble sing and tap dance their way wonderfully through the title tune. But it would have been nice if some of the acting performances I watched Tuesday had been more nuanced. At times, the jokes were over-sold, as if the characters knew they were supposed to be harebrained, resulting in a diminished comedic return.

Aaron Cassette, the musical director and keyboardist, keeps the Porter classics peppy and fresh with trumpeter Victor Mongillo popping out of the pit to deliver a boisterous solo during “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.”

Details: "Anything Goes" runs through Feb. 3; 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

—Photos by TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Progress at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton: photos

The southeast side of the lobby, "the cabaret corner," of the Manatee Performing Arts Center.

Here's an update on the Manatee Performing Arts Center in downtown Bradenton, which is scheduled to open March 28 for the Manatee Players' production of "Miss Saigon" that runs through April 14.

The building is at 502 Third Ave. W.

The wall directly in front of the entrance with primer coat on it at Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton.

Denny Miller, marketing director of the Manatee Players, noted that the studio theater and lobby started receiving its first coat of paint Monday and will be finished early next week.

The ceiling grid in the lobby will be starting its installation on Monday as well. All counter tops bar/bathrooms/box office and dressing rooms have been ordered and scheduled for installation in less than four weeks.

The concession area of the Manatee Performing Arts Center. 

Chillers have been delivered and installed. Florida Power and Light has released and delivered all the wiring need for the first phase of hooking up to permanent power and an FPL certified sub-contractor will be trenching in front of the building to lay-in the lines.

The primer coat being applied in the Kiwanis Studio Theater of the Manatee Performing Arts Center.

Plumbing fixtures are on order and should be on site in days and the drywall in the administration wing started being installed Monday.

"All doors and hardware have been ordered a wonderful cheery wood color to match the wood work of the chairs in the main house," Miller noted.

Bradenton Herald archives for Manatee Performing Arts Center

—All photos provided by Manatee Players

Artists wanted for Bradenton grocery store exterior

The family of Minnie L. Rogers pose for a photo before the Minnie L. Rogers Plaza and Retail Center's groundbreaking ceremony on the grounds of the former 13th Avenue Community Center in Bradenton. BRADENTON HERALD FILE PHOTO

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Professional artists with experience are invited to apply to the Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Authority to design and build exterior art for the entrance to the Save-A-Lot grocery store to be built at Minnie L Rogers Plaza and Retail Center, 201 13th Ave., and/or a free standing panel for a bus shelter on the site.  

This location has 75 years of documented history as the site of an African-American educational, recreational, and community facility. It is particularly linked to the West Bradenton Womans Club, of which Minnie Rogers was a key founder and leader. 

Imaginative approaches are sought to interpret the African-American history of the site in a free standing form and materials that will be permanent in the Florida environment. Eligible artists must have a body of relevant, professional work and an affinity for working with historical source material.  Artists may apply for one or both.

For detailed description of the project and information on how to apply go to!minutes-budgets-notices/c17hk.  

The application deadline is Feb. 28.   

Address questions to Ann Wykell at:

Photo gallery: Groundbreaking for the Minnie L. Rogers Plaza and Retail Center

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bradenton area dogs have their day at Manatee County Fair

 Zoe Zimmermann and Stinky pictured center.
Stinky put on the brakes before she even reached the first bar jump.

Maybe the audience, which included throngs of people on one side and big bovines on the other, distracted the 4-year-old chihuahua.

But Zoe Zimmermann wouldn't let her little doggie give up during the agility round that opened the Manatee County Fair Dog Show Sunday.

The 12-year-old girl encouraged and encouraged and encouraged her fuzzy buddy until Stinky finally took a flurry of fast, tiny steps and went up and over the 8-inch bar; and then another and another and another brave bar jump.

Stinky even soared up the A-Frame. But she made the mistake, at the pinnacle of the structure that stood as

nearly as high as her beloved master, to stop and study her surroundings inside the Mosaic Arena.

Going down the steep decline must have appeared just too dangerous.
Bradenton area dogs have their day at Manatee County Fair

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Photo by Wade Tatangelo

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Derek Trucks wants Dickey Betts, who lives in Sarasota, to play with Allman Brothers Band

Here's an excerpt from my Derek Trucks interview/story running today that should interest my fellow Allman Brothers Band enthusiasts and fans of Sarasota County resident Dickey Betts:
The anniversary topic leads to the sticky issue of Allman Brothers Band founding guitarist Dickey Betts.The Sarasota County resident wrote, plays and sings lead on classic Allman Brothers recordings like "Ramblin' Man" and "Blue Sky. He's also the architect of the Allman Brothers' monumental rock instrumentals "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Jessica."
Gregg, Butch and Jaimoe fired Betts from the band more than a decade ago.
Derek and Dickey shared guitar duties in the Allman Brothers Band from 1999 to 2000.
Trucks confirmed a rumor this reporter has heard before that during the Allman Brothers' 2009 Beacon Run, which served as a 40th anniversary and tribute to original leader Duane Allman, Derek's hero, Betts declined an offer to join his former band mates on stage.
"Personally, absolutely whatever problems they have are not my personal problems," Derek Trucks said about Betts playing with the Allman Brothers. "The band reached out to him for the tribute to Duane on the 40th anniversary and a lot has gone on. But I feel for it to go out right, it's a natural thing to do, with everybody in the right spirit."
Trucks added, again with a nervous laugh, that Betts has his "vote, but I don't know if it counts."

Read more here:
Read more.

—Dickey Betts photo from Herald archives/

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Release date set for 'Spring Breakers' movie shot in Sarasota, St. Petersburg

Vanessa Hudgens (Candy) looks menacing, gracing the new teaser poster in her pink balaclava.

Last March teen queen Selena Gomez told her 10.6 million Twitter followers that she was “loving Florida” shortly before arriving on location at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota to shoot the controversial film “Spring Breakers.” has announced it will be showing the trailer for the movie at 7 a.m. Thursday. The movie's release date is set for March 22 in New York and Los Angeles, followed by a nationwide release the following week, according to the film's official website.

The latest by writer-director Harmony Korine (“Kids,” “Gummo”), "Spring Breakers" also stars Oscar nominee James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”), Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Heather Morris (“Glee”).

“Spring Breakers” is about best friends since grade school -- Brit, Candy, Cotty and Faith -- who live together in a boring college dorm and are seeking adventure.

“All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun,” the Muse Productions website reads. “A serendipitous encounter with rapper ‘Alien’ promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for.

“With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.”

Muse Productions, the production company behind "Spring Breakers," has also produced edgy features like “American Psycho,” “Buffalo 66” and “Spun.”

Korine co-wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed, highly controversial, unrated film “Kids,” which came out in 1995.

He also wrote and directed the equally divisive 1997 movie “Gummo,” rated NC-17.

—Photo from Muse Productions

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Blue Rooster in Sarasota ready for grand opening

Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones perform at The Blue Rooster on Jan. 18.

Fans of blues music and more have another destination spot. The Blue Rooster, which promises authentic Southern comfort food and original live music, has opened its doors in Sarasota next to Darwin's on 4th. The grand opening celebration is Thursday through Saturday.

Bradenton’s Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones will be performing their superb brand of swinging blues-rock on Friday. The group, which regularly tours nationwide, recently issued the acclaimed album “What’s It Gonna Take” on VizzTone.

Sarasota area multi-instrumentalist David Smash performs today and Americana act Passerine, also from Sarasota, plays Saturday.

The Blue Rooster boasts a fully stocked 50-foot-long bar and a part of the grand opening celebration will be offering all of its specialty Southern mixed drinks at half price.

Upcoming live music schedule:

Jan. 17: David Smash, 9 pm to 12 am, no cover
Jan. 18: Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones, 8:30 to 11:30 pm, no cover
Jan. 19: Passerine, 8:30 to 11:30 pm, no cover
Jan. 20: Walker Smith, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, no cover
Jan. 23: Fe Band, 8 to 11 pm, no cover
Jan. 24: Ted Stevens, 8 to 11 pm, no cover
Jan. 25: Selwyn Birchwood, 8:30 to 11:30 pm, $5 cover
Jan. 26: Schmitz Brothers, 7:30 to 11:30 pm, no cover
Jan. 27: Lauren Mitchell, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, no cover
Jan. 31: Baby Daddy, 8:30 to 11:30 pm, no cover
Feb. 2: Florida Mountain Boys, 8:30 to 11:30 pm, no cover

Details: The Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota. 941-388-7539 or

—Publicity photo of Doug Deming

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bradenton area’s Powel Crosley Theater cancels winter, spring shows

The Powel Crosley Theater, which is run by Manatee County’s Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, did not offer its traditional “A Victorian Christmas” production in December.

The theater will also not be producing shows this winter or spring.

Anne Van Wormer, the business manager for the Bradenton Area Convention Center and Powel Crosley Estate, said the county workers who run the theater “got too busy with other things this year.”

She cited the visitor bureau’s rebranding endeavor and renovation of the Bradenton Area Convention Center as the main reasons.

Productions at The Powel Crosley Theater will return this fall, Van Wormer said, with a 2013-2014 theater season starting with a performance based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

In December, the Crosley plans to bring back “A Victorian Christmas.”

Official site for the Crosley Theater

Bradenton-shot film 'Blind Pass,' starring Armand Assante, to be screened at Burns Court

Armand Assante in Lakewood Ranch on the set of "Blind Pass." PUBLICITY PHOTO

"Blind Pass," the Armand Assante movie I watched being filmed about a year ago in Lakewood Ranch, will be screened Jan. 26 at Burns Court Cinemas in Sarasota.

Sarasota-based independent film production company Midnight Pass Productions officially announced today that producers Steve Tatone and Danielle White are inviting members of the media, area film investors and select regional and government film supporters to the invitation-only private screening of their new feature length motion picture.

Yes, I'm attending.

The special event is designed to raise awareness of the new movie and upcoming MPP film projects and to encourage funding for the global marketing of “Blind Pass’.

Tatone, the writer/producer/director of “Blind Pass,” stated that his psychological drama, shot entirely on location in Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch as well as in Dublin and County Clare, Ireland, is set to be showcased on the 2013 international film festival circuit and to industry studio executives and distributors.

The Tatone/White producing team got their start with their collaboration on the musical-drama “Beautiful Noise,” a locally shot film also written and directed by Tatone that sold out an unprecedented six showings at the 2010 Sarasota Film Festival.

Other topics to be discussed at the Burns Court screening will be Tatone’s upcoming collaboration with White. “Serenade” is a new film expanding the “Beautiful Noise” storyline that will be shot later this year in Sarasota and Manatee counties as well as in Amsterdam and Greece.

Tatone also states there will be an update on a recent kickoff in Boston of a major film of his original screenplay “Turk.” He describes it as "a true-life sports/drama about the rise, fall and redemption of former Boston Bruin great Derek Sanderson."

The movie "reveals the incredible on and off ice exploits of Sanderson and his close relationship with hockey legend Bobby Orr."

Tatone is a member of the producing team bringing the film to the big screen and will be working with  Hollywood writer-director Doug Atchison (“Akeelah and the Bee”) and actor-writer Edward Burns (“Saving Private Ryan," "The Brothers McMullen"), who is playing Sanderson’s father and co-producing the film. “Turk” is scheduled to commence principal photography this spring in Boston and Canada.

In addition to Assante, “Blind Pass” features local resident White, past winner of Fox’s “American Juniors” reality show. Chris McKenna co-stars as her psychologist, with the pair spending about 80 percent of the film together, according to Tatone. He’s best known for his appearances on the CW series “90210.” Veteran Hollywood character actor Ed Lauter (“Leaving Las Vegas,” “The Longest Yard,” “Seabiscuit”), Mike McGlone (“The Brothers McMullen,” “She’s the One”), Tampa-based Mary Rachel Dudley (“Dear John,” “Free Ride”) and up-and-coming child star Sydney Rouviere, a South Florida native whose appearances include “The Glades” TV series, are also appearing in “Blind Pass.”

Read more here:

Read more here:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Leonard Cohen, Merle Haggard lead my must-see concerts list for Tampa Bay in 2013

Merle Haggard plays The Mahaffey in St. Petersburg on Feb. 8.

Master singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen back at the Straz Performing Arts Center.

Folk-rock titans Crosby, Stills & Nash have a Van Wezel date.

And pop-soul queen Alicia Keys' "Set the World on Fire" tour will stop at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

All three announcements came last week, making 2013 an exciting year for concerts even if my beloved Rolling Stones' soon-to-be-announced tour doesn't make it to Tampa.

The likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber are also coming this way in a few months.

But I'll happily pass on those freak shows and teen pop stars.

Here are five upcoming concerts that I would like to attend.

Sunshine Blues Festival (Vinoy Park, Jan. 20): I first witnessed guitar virtuoso and Allman Brother Derek Trucks join forces with singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2008 for a tent-raising rendition of The Band's "The Weight." Since then, the husband-wife team has gone on to form the multiple Blues Music Awards and Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, which will be joined at the beautiful Vinoy Park next Sunday by other personal favorites including Louisiana slide guitar great Sonny Landreth and New Orleans party-starter Big Sam and his Funky Nation.

Merle Haggard (Mahaffey, Feb. 8)
: I've been a huge Hag fan since my college days when I discovered his excellent box set "Down Every Road." Soon after, a smart editor lured me back to his publication with an interview offer. I had a long phoner with the honky tonk hero before he played a pretty brief but hugely satisfying show at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in February of 2002. I haven't seen Hag since, and that's a shame because his music means more to me every year.

Read more.

—Merle Haggard publicity photo

Straz Center bringing Broadway smashes 'Book of Mormon,' 'Once' and more Tony winners to Tampa

Musical theater enthusiasts, especially fans of smart, American prophet-skewering hilarity, have been stoked about "The Book of Mormon" coming to Tampa since July.

That's when the Straz Center announced that the show would be part of its roster for 2013-2014.

Turns out, the nine-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical phenomenon about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints kicks off the new Best of Broadway Tampa Bay season in November.

The season also includes the Tony Award-winning Best Musical "Once," the Tony Award-winning revival of The Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess," the new stage version of "Ghost," the revival of "Evita," and "We Will Rock You," which is propelled by the hits of Queen.

Judith Lisi, longtime president and CEO of the Straz Center, noted the slew of Tony Award winners taking the stage.

"With all of the great Broadway seasons we've had over the years, this could be the best one yet," Lisi said.

"Our 2013-14 Broadway season has the two most recent Tony Award-winning Best Musicals, the current Tony Award-winning Best Revival of a Musical and so much more. Tampa Bay audiences will be treated to a season that is both compelling and entertaining and spotlights the very best of musical theater."

All shows will be performed in the Carol Morsani Hall, the largest on the west coast of Florida with more than 2,600 seats.

"The Book of Mormon" (Nov. 12-24): Featuring book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, the religious satire that won all those Tonys including Best Musical in 2011 has been lauded as one of the funniest Broadway shows of all time. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark, envelope-pushing animated series "South Park" while Lopez is cocreator of the long-running hit musical comedy "Avenue Q."

Read more.

—"Book of Mormon" publicity photo

Saturday, January 12, 2013

REVIEW: Asolo Rep excels at selling 'Glengarry Glen Ross' in Sarasota

Jay Patterson (Dave Moss) and David Breibarth (George Aaronow) in the Asolo Repertory Theatre's production of "Glengarry Glen Ross."

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David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a mystery featuring scumbag real estate salesmen that doubles as an adroit examination of capitalism, gets my votes for the greatest play of the past 30 years. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get right. All those famed pauses and clipped sentences; the fusillade of foul language; the staccato, brilliance of the musical “Mamet speak;” it can fall apart at any moment and leave the audience at an utter loss.

The angular rhythms of the language have prompted countless pundits to liken the master contemporary playwright’s dialogue to jazz, but that’s misleading because it infers that there’s room for improvisation. For “Glengarry Glen Ross” to succeed, the director and actors must, among other things, be completely in sync with the text and all the deftly placed empty spaces that make the language come alive. One wrong pause can lead to catastrophe.

There’s another major issue when putting on “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Most people in the audience have already seen it staged and viewed the outstanding 1992 movie of the same name. Many, like me, have probably also read the play, hoping to gain greater insight to Mamet’s genius or just for the sheer joy of it. It’s an amazing read.

But the movie element presents the biggest problem for the men on stage. Although the awesome opening scene starring Alec Baldwin as Blake only appears in the film, the rest of the movie is pretty much the play opened up. It features killer performances by the likes of Jack Lemmon (Shelley “The Machine” Levene), Al Pacino (Ricky Roma), Ed Harris (Dave Moss), Alan Arkin (George Aaronow) and Kevin Spacey (John Williamson). These are performances not easily erased from one’s memory, especially, if, like me, you practically have the movie memorized.

Shelly Levene (Douglas Jones) attempts to bribe John Willimason (Jesse Dornan).

Despite all these challenges, the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s production of “Glengarry Glen Ross” is a tour de force that left me completely satisfied, almost giddy, following the opening night performance Friday. The first act’s 35 minutes flew by like a brilliant blur while the second and final 45 minutes were as gripping as anything I’ve seen staged. For me, at least, theater really doesn’t get any more entertaining.

Credit Michael Edwards, the Sarasota company producing artistic director, for choosing to stage this play from 1983 that’s still deemed controversial because of all the naughty words. Also applaud Edwards for picking an exceptional director in Carl Forsman (Dean of the University of North Carolina School for the Arts, he directed the Asolo's acclaimed production of "A Few Good Men" during the 2006-2007 season) and an equally talented cast consisting of guest artists and Asolo Rep regulars.

All seven men on stage were commendable with Jay Patterson, a New York stage, television, and film veteran who appeared in the 2005 Broadway version of "Glengarry Glen Ross," completely owning Moss, the driving force behind the office drama. David Breitbarth, in his 17th season with Asolo Rep, again astounded with his dexterity as Aaronow, the salesman with pitifully low self-esteem while Douglas Jones, in his 27th season with Asolo Rep, proved just as agile as aging, formerly successful salesman Levene.

“Glengarry Glen Ross,” one of the most important plays of our generation, has received a must-see production by the Asolo Rep.

Asolo Rep brings edgy Broadway hit 'Glengarry Glen Ross' to Sarasota: interviews 

Details: Jan. 11-Feb. 28, Mertz Theatre in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $20-$72. Information: 941-351-8000 or 

Photos by Cliff Roles provided by Asolo Rep

Read more here:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Manatee Players' 'Anything Goes' sold out for entire Jan. 17-Feb. 3 run in Bradenton

People gather outside the Manatee Players facility currently under construction in Bradenton for a press conference. BRADENTON HERALD FILE PHOTO

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The Manatee Players' production of "Anything Goes," Jan. 17-Feb. 3, is sold out, the Bradenton community theater company announced Friday.

There is a waiting list started at the box office one hour before curtain time of each performance. Being on the list does not guarantee a seat, "but every effort is made to fill unoccupied seats at curtain time," reads the statement issued by the troupe's marketing director.

Several performances of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," running Feb. 21-March 17 are also sold out. "Forum" was originally scheduled to close on March 10 but has been extended through March 17.

"There are still good seats available for March 12-17," the statement reads. "You certainly don’t want to miss seeing the last show in the old Riverfront Theater!"

The Manatee Performing Arts Center is scheduled to be open in time for the Players' production of "Miss Saigon" that runs March 28 to April 14.

Information: 941-748-5875 or

Katy Perry's parents at Bradenton church The Source

Katy Perry performs with dancers in a scene from her 3D film, "Katy Perry: Part of Me." Paramount Pictures/AP

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Katy Perry's parents, Keith and Mary Hudson, want you to meet them at a Bradenton church. That's right. The mother and father of the "I Kissed a Girl" singer will be at The Source, 5412 E. State Road 64, Bradenton.

"Two special opportunities to be up close & personal," reads the press release.

You can meet Mary on "She Night" (a ladies-only event) 6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 as the proud mom "talks on being bold trailblazers and think outside the box."

Then on Jan 27., join Keith and Mary, "as they encourage and motivate on reordering our priorities" at the 10 a.m. Sunday service, the email reads.

For more details visit

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Alicia Keys tour has Tampa date

Pop-soul queen Alicia Keys' 24-city North American tour in support of her new album "Girl on Fire" will make a March 24 stop at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Joining the star singer-songwriter on tour is rising R&B luminary Miguel, the "Adorn" singer who was recently nominated for five Grammy Awards including Song of the Year, Best R&B Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album.

Keys issued a statement about the upcoming tour, her opening act and latest album.

"I can feel the energy of this upcoming year building and I couldn’t be more excited to go on tour with the new album! Everything is new and this show is going to be so fresh and I’m thrilled to have the insanely talented Miguel join me,” Keys said.

“'Girl On Fire' has been such an empowering and freeing experience for me as an artist. I can’t wait to discover how the new and familiar faces I see on tour embrace the music and the journey we're taking.”

Tickets: Tickets for the event go on sale 10 a.m. Jan. 18 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Ticketmaster outlets and at  To order tickets by phone call 800-745-3000.  Ticket prices are $45.25, $55.25, $75.25 and $100.25. Prices do not include facility fee or service charges. 

—Photo: Alicia Keys arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images. View rest of photo gallery at

UPDATED 1/11: Crosby Still & Nash have Sarasota tour date at Van Wezel

UPDATED 1/11: Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Jan 18 for Van Wezel show.
Folk-rock greats Crosby, Stills & Nash will tour again this year starting with eight dates in Florida including May 8 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Sarasota venue confirmed today.

The tour begins May 5 at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando and also includes a May 7 date at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

The same players who accompanied Crosby, Stills & Nash in 2012 will be on the road with them in 2013: Todd Caldwell (organ), Shane Fontayne (guitar), Steve DiStanislao (drums), Kevin McCormick (bass), and James Raymond (keyboards).

"CSN 2012," a 25-song set presenting CSN's first live performance film in more than 20 years, was released last summer in Blu-ray and DVD/2CD versions. It features complete concert footage and bonus content—including a conversation with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash plus on-the-road interviews with the group's band and crew. 

—Publicity photo (from left): David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Leonard Cohen adds Tampa tour date

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leonard Cohen, the author of the contemporary hymn "Hallelujah" and numerous other masterful songs, will return to the Straz Center on March 18 after an acclaimed 3-hour show at the Tampa venue in 2009.

Regularly priced tickets start at $59.50 and go on sale at noon Jan. 18.

Cohen’s current group features former Sarasotan and Gregg Allman Band leader Neil Larsen (keyboards & Hammond B3 accordion), Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters (background vocals), Roscoe Beck (musical director and bass), Mitch Watkins (guitar), Javier Mas (bandurria, laud, archilaud, 12-string acoustic guitar), Rafael Gayol (drums, percussion) and Alexandru Bublitchi (violin).

Cohen's latest album, the excellent 'Old Ideas," features the poignant, humorous, heaven-bound farewell song "Going Home," which Rolling Stone ranks among the best of 2012.

Information: 800-955-1045 and

—Leonard Cohen file photo by Chris Pizzello — Associated Press

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Asolo Rep's 'Glengarry Glen Ross' preview performances start Jan. 9 in Sarasota

Jay Patterson (Dave Moss) and David Breibarth (George Aaronow) in the Asolo Repertory Theatre's production of "Glengarry Glen Ross."

Asolo Repertory Theatre's production of "Glengarry Glen Ross," the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play the great David Mamet opens Friday, Jan.11 at 8 p.m.

It's preceded by two preview performances on Jan. 9 and 10, both at 8 p.m. Carl Forsman, Dean of the University of North Carolina School for the Arts, directs the show, which runs through Feb. 28.

Read my feature story on the play, one of my all-time favorites, in Thursday's edition of Weekend.

Details: Jan. 9-10 (previews), Jan. 11-Feb. 28, Mertz Theatre in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $20-$72. Information: 941-351-8000 or

REVIEW: Asolo Rep’s ‘1776’ musical in Sarasota is a patriotic powerhouse 

Photo by Cliff Roles provided by Asolo Rep.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bradenton, Sarasota bands to play benefit show for singer’s mom at Hunsader‘s Rockin’ Ranch

Scott Murphy, lead singer of the local rock band Trigger Fish (pictured), has assembled popular Bradenton and Sarasota groups to play a benefit show for his cancer-battling mom.

The Susan Murphy Cancer Benefit Sunday ay Hunsader’s Rockin’ Ranch will feature performances by Cherry Bombs, Rye Road, Katalyst, Trigger Fish, Black Thorn Rose, Superbot, Whiskey Blind and Cross Fire.

“It has been unbelievable,” Murphy said of the outpouring of support for his mom. “Many of these people don’t even know her, just that she has cancer, and want to help.”

The benefit, from noon to 9 p.m., is designed for the entire family and will include a bounce house, water slides, volleyball, basketball, horse shoes and many animals for the children to pet.

A Budweiser truck will be present along with food vendors.

“Some think of melanoma cancer as skin cancer only but in this case has been found in Susan’s brain, lungs and leg,” Murphy recently wrote on Facebook. “Man, this isn’t easy to talk about being her son here on Face Book but (I) was told it’s a must by my closest friends!”

Details: 12 p.m. Jan. 13, Hunsader’s Rockin’ Ranch, 23810 53rd Ave. E., Myakka City. Admission: $10 suggested donation. Information: 941-730-8558 or 

—Publicity photo provided