Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 07.01.10

Posted June 30, 2010 at 7:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Losey’s ‘Harp Dreams’ air on national TV
Sarasota Orchestra’s principal harpist, Cheryl Losey, got some serious face time in last week’s PBS documentary “Harp Dreams.”

Losey, a Maine native, who joined the orchestra in 2008, was one of a handful of harpists profiled in the film.

Those who tuned in to catch the 26-year-old musician were in for a sweet treat as cameras documented much of Losey’s participation in the 2007 USA International Harp Competition, in Bloomington, Ind.

Less than two minutes into the film, Losey is filmed shopping for the perfect harp dress at a little boutique near the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was a student at the time.

Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Susanne Schwibs and narrated by actress Blythe Danner, “Harp Dreams” was shot so long ago Losey had forgotten about it –– until she got an e-mail from the producer a couple weeks ago announcing the June 23 air date.

Though Losey only makes it to round two of the prestigious harp competition, the documentary ends with the update that she joined the Sarasota Orchestra a year later.

Filmmakers even traveled with Losey when she left Cleveland for Chicago to get her harp repaired. The footage is now a bonus DVD feature titled, “Cheryl Gets Her Harp Repaired.”

+ Neil Diamond tribute singer stars in local film
Although Neil Diamond himself won’t be here this summer, the next best thing to Diamond will –– crooner/impersonator/tribute singer Jay White, a former Las Vegas performer who played Diamond in the 2009 Ron Howard film “Frost/Nixon.” His next film project is “Beautiful Noise,” a musical drama being shot entirely on location in Sarasota and Myakka City.

Directed and written by Sarasota resident Steve Tatone, founder of Midnight Pass Productions, “Beautiful Noise” is the story of a young singer who seeks the blessing of an aging rock icon so that she may record his unreleased lost album.

It also stars 18-year-old Booker High School grad Danielle White, the 2003 winner of the “American Idol” spin-off show, “American Juniors.”

To help raise money to cover production costs and to generate buzz for the film, Tatone announced plans to host a benefit concert headlined by White Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium.

Good news for Tatone: The last film that shot exclusively in Sarasota (“Deadly Closure”) enjoyed several sold-out screenings at the Sarasota Film Festival.

Good news for local Diamond fans: White is ranked the No. 1 Diamond tribute artist in the world.

+ Finally, WBTT gets its own Sarasota venue
Somebody please throw the members of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe a housewarming party.
After 10 years of performing in venues that belonged to other arts groups, the WBTT has finally got a place of its own.

The troupe’s executive director, Christine Jennings, announced last week that the troupe had signed a lease on a new building at 1012 N. Orange Ave.

The space is large enough to hold a black-box theater, dressing rooms, rehearsal space, restrooms and a lobby concession stand. The company plans to build a stage with stadium seating on three sides. And with no other group sharing the venue, the troupe can increase its performance schedule from four to seven shows a week.

Property owner Jim Robinson described the venue as “deserving of the incredible, explosive talents of one of Florida’s finest theater groups.”

WBTT will kick off its summer series by bringing back its beloved “Motown ’60s Revue” July 22 to July 25. For tickets, call 366-1505.

Below: Jnana Wilson in “The Motown ’60s Revue.”

+ Hot tickets
Ringling International Arts Festival: Get ’em while they’re hot. RIAF single tickets and festival passes are now on sale. The five-day arts extravaganza features performances by Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Jasperse Company, Sanda & The Takeishis and jazz singer/musician Kate Davis. RIAF takes place Oct. 13 to Oct. 17, at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. For more information, call 360-7399 or visit


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