Friday, June 20, 2014

Sarasota's Asolo Rep adds new Nilo Cruz play

   Asolo Repertory Theatre has added a new play by Nilo Cruz, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for "Anna in the Tropics," to its 2014-15 season. Cruz, who won a Pulitzer Prize for "Anna in the Tropics," will co-direct with Asolo Rep's producing artistic director, Michael Donald Edwards.
   The play is called "Sotto Voce" and it'll run April 2-26 in the Historic Asolo Theater.
   "Sotto Voce" had its world premiere in New York in February and garnered great
Nilo Cruz
reviews there. The New York production moved to Miami in March, and the Miami Herald called Cruz' writing "poetic."
    The story concerns a German-born novelist named Bernadette who lost the love of her life when she fled Nazi Germany aboard a ship carrying Jewish refugees to North America. After the ship is turned away by Cuba and the United States, the ship returns to Europe, and many of its  passengers die in concentration camps. Sixty years later,aA young  Jewish-Cuban writer contacts the reclusive Bemadette to research the ship's tragic voyage. Their relationship deepens into a romance.
   For more information, call 941-351-8000 or go to


Monday, June 16, 2014

Lyle Lovett performs Oct. 17 at Van Wezel in Sarasota

   Lyle Lovett is coming to Sarasota.
   The phenomenal singer-songwriter, the winner of four Grammy Awards who was recently named the state musician of Texas, will be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Oct. 17. It's his first Van Wezel concert ever.
Lyle Lovett

   Lovett's usually considered a country artist, but his style is distinctive, and he blends folk and even jazz in his country-based tunes and often sardonic lyrics. His live shows are intimate, smart, funny and impossible to dislike or forget.
   Tickets go on sale June 20.
They'll set you back  $42 to $74. For more information, call  941-953-3368 or visit

Friday, June 13, 2014

'Camelot' visit to Sarasota delayed a week

   You'll have to wait an extra week for that "one brief, shining moment."
   The touring production of "Camelot" -- the classic Lerner and Loewe musical that was supposed to come to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Nov. 23 -- has been rescheduled for the following Sunday, Nov. 30.
  If you have tickets for the original date, they'll be good for the new date, and season subscribers will be contacted soon.
   For more information, call 941-953-3368 or go to

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Audra McDonald sets Sarasota concert date

Audra McDonald
   On Sunday, Audra McDonald became the first actor of either gender to win  a Tony Award in every major performance category  (Best Lead Actress in a Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical) and she became he performer with the most Tony Awards ever (six). She's won for Broadway shows as diverse as "Carousel,"  "A Raisin in the Sun," and, most recently, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill."
   You don't have to go to New York to see one of the most acclaimed stars in Broadway history. McDonald is coming to Sarasota for a concert at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets are on sale now, but you'll have to wait awhile for the concert. t's not until March 22.
   Tickets run $35-$70. For more information, call  941-953-3368 or go to

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bill Maher comes to Sarasota in October

 Photo by David Becker -WireImage
   Comedian/political pundit/author/movie producer Bill Maher is coming to Sarasota.
   Maher will bring his unrestrained stand-up comedy to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Oct.  26.
   Maher’s provocative comedy has brought him 32 Emmy nominations over the past 21 years for his shows "Politically Incorrect" and "Real Time."    

   In 2008, he produced, wrote and starred in "Reiglulous," an irreverent look at organized religion that became one of the most popular documentaries of all time. He's also written five best-selling books.
   But through it all he's continued to do stand-up comedy. He performs at least 50 dates a year across the country. 
   Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday,  June 13. They'll run you $35-$95. For information, call 941-953-3368 or go to

Chvrches to perform in Ybor City

   Chvrches, the wonderful new Scottish electronic-pop band, is coming to the Ritz Ybor.
From left, Doherty, Mayberry, Cook
   The show is Oct. 6. (That's a Monday, which is a lousy night for a concert, but this one ought to be worth it.) Tickets are $27.25 in advance.
    Chvrches (that's pronounced "churches") comprises singer Lauren Mayberry, keyboard player Martin Doherty and guitarist/keyboard player Iain Cook. They caused a sensation with their debut EP "Recover" last spring and they released an excellent  full-length album, "The Bones of What You Believe," in September of last year.
   Call 813-247-2555 for information. You can order tickets through Daddy Kool, but then you have to pick them up at will-call -- they don't mail them to you and you can't print them out at home. This one might sell out, so you're taking a chance if you decide to wait and get tickets at the door.

Friday, June 6, 2014

WSMR broadcasts live from Sarasota Music Festival

   You can experience the Sarasota Music Festival tonight without leaving your home.
Russell Gant
   Radio station Classical WSMR (89.1 or 103.9 on the dial, depending on where you live ) will broadcast this evening's concert live from the Sarasota Opera House. It starts at 8 p.m.
   Russell Gant, the classical music director of WUSF Public Media (of which WSMR is a part)
will be on stage interviewing performers during the Friday Festival Concert.
   The concert's called “Love,” and the program explores the various facets of love, with music by Glinka ("Trio Pathetique"), Richard Strauss ("Sextet from Capriccio") and Brahms ("Horn Trio in E-flat Major).
   This year marks the 50th anniversary of both WUSF and the Sarasota Music Festival.
  If you're not near a radio this evening, you can listen to the concert at
  And if you prefer to attend the concert in person, tickets are $25, $32 and $40. The Sarasota Opera House is at 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. For more information, go to Read my feature story on the festival in Sunday's A&E section in the Bradenton Herald.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sarasota Ballet holds vigil for young dancer

Pedro Pupa
   The Sarasota Ballet has scheduled a vigil Monday evening for Pedro Pupa.
   Pupa was a 20-year-old Brazilian dancer in the Sarasota Ballet's corps de ballet. Wednesday afternoon, he was riding his bicycle near the Ringling when a truck hit him. He died several hours later. The truck driver was cited,
   “Pedro was one of the nicest young men I have had the pleasure to know," said Mary Anne Servian, the ballet's managing director. "Always a smile, always a kind word. Pedro lived life to the fullest."
  The vigil is scheduled for 6:30–8:30 p.m. at The Ringling Ca’d’Zan, 5401 Bay Shore Drive, Sarasota, very near the scene of the accident.
   For more information go to or call 941-359-0099.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Theatre Odyssey reprises winning play in Anna Maria

   If you've got 10 minutes, you can take in a play Friday night.
   Theatre Odyssey presented its ninth annual 10-minute play competition in Sarasota a few weeks back, and the winner was "A Bottle of Vodka" by Connie Schindewolf.
   On Friday, Theatre Odyssey will reprise the play at an event called "Wine, Bites,

Walker and Aldrich (photo by Cliff Roles)
and A Bottle of Vodka" at the Anna Maria Olive Oil Outpost, 401 Pine Ave. in Anna Maria. 
   Two of the area's best actors, Don Walker and Jenny Aldrich, play alcoholics who find themselves in a room with a bottle of vodka that they cannot touch. Preston Boyd directs. It's $20, which is a lot for 10 minutes of theater, but you also get heavy appetizers and a selection of fine wines before and after the play. 
   You need reservations, because seating is limited. Email and indicate how many people are in your party. You can call 941- 896-3132, but the Theatre Odyssey people say they recommend that you email.