Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 03.25.10

Posted March 24, 2010 at 8:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ ‘High School Musical’ actress shines at premiere
OK. Let’s get this straight. There’s the Sarasota Film Festival, the Sarasota Fringe Film Festival and now Film Forecast, a film focus group launched earlier this month to provide feedback for new movies being screened in Sarasota.

Enter “Expecting Mary,” an independent, feel-good flick starring “High School Musical’s” Olesya Rulin, along with Elliott Gould, Linda Gray, Cloris Leachman, Della Reese, Cybill Shepherd and KISS frontman Gene Simmons.

Rulin, the film’s leading lady, attended the premiere screening Saturday night at the Historic Asolo Theater with producers Jim Casey and Kim Waltrip, who spoke briefly about “Mary’s” record 18-day shoot and about the difficulty of producing family-friendly films in an industry fraught with sex and violence.

“I did this film so my mom and her girls could go to the movies and have a good time,” said Casey, who got lucky when the up-and-coming Rulin was cast as Mary.

The 24-year-old Russian-born actress, who plays a runaway pregnant teenager who ends up bunking in an oddball trailer park, gave the movie’s best performance hands-down.

+ WBTT belts out birthday encore at ’40s music revue
The cast of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s “The Magnificent Music of the ’40s” surprised audience member Fred Costin Saturday night with an impromptu birthday serenade outside of Art Center Sarasota.
Costin was headed out the door following a nearly sold-out performance, when WBTT founder Nate Jacobs –– joined by cast members Leon Pitts II, Sheldon Roden and Earley Dean –– broke free from their post-concert receiving line to sing “Happy Birthday” at the urging of Costin’s concert companion, Judy Risner.

Coincidentally, Costin, who turned 69 on March 20, and Risner grew up in the same Ohio town as the Mills Brothers, the 1940s jazz/pop quartet that inspired WBTT’s 1940s tribute.

+ Developer turns to fiction in tough economic times
Sarasota entrepreneur Piero Rivolta has published his third novel, “The Castaway,” about a man adrift on a catamaran in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rivolta, the son of Italian industrialists known for building high-performance sports cars and motorcycles in the 1950s and 1960s, is the president of Rivolta Group. A self-described Renaissance man, Rivolta has designed Formula 1 race cars, raised thoroughbred horses, developed shopping centers and dabbled in yacht building.

His latest business indulgence is New Chapter Publisher, a Sarasota-based independent press, which has published books by five authors, including Rivolta. “The Castaway,” a sequel to “Sunset in Sarasota,” is available April 2.

+ Hot tickets

s/ART/q’s ‘Process’ exhibition: Looking for a clever way to break up Spring Break? Local arts group s/ART/q is offering a sneak peak into the artist’s world from inspiration to completion with its latest exhibition/installation at G.WIZ Science Museum. “Process” opens Friday, March 26, with a special reception from 5 to 11 p.m. The show is up through April 25 and offers art-lovers a glimpse at artists in the throes of creating, down to the paint-speckled duds they wear while they work.

Gloria Musicae’s ‘Petite Messe Solennelle’: Catch local soloist Michelle Giglio in the North American premiere of a new edition of Rossini’s “Petite Messe Solennelle” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 5, at the Sarasota Opera House. Presented by Gloria Musicae and with commentary by University of Chicago musicologist Philip Gossett and Gloria Musicae Director June LeBell, the concert lineup also includes performances by mezzo-soprano Leah Wool and United States Army Chorus singers Pablo Talamante and Robert McDonald.
 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

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