Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 07.22.10

Posted July 21, 2010 at 6:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Golden Apple show becomes a sleeper hit
When the times get tough, the tough get drowsy: The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre certainly has a summer blockbuster on its hands.

“The Drowsy Chaperone,” which opened June 4, was originally scheduled to run through the end of last month, but the musical comedy was raking in such high ticket sales that the theater decided to extend the show through July 18.

To the delight of the struggling dinner theater, phone lines lit up for days following news of the extension. Last week, the company announced it was holding over “Chaperone” again –– through Aug. 1 –– due to popular demand.

Below: Lauren Clark, Scott Vitale and Erik Emmerson perform in “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

+ Barbershop singers perform at Songfest
Sarasota’s music world works in mysterious ways.

After last weekend’s Vinyl Music Fest and this weekend’s Summertime Songfest, we can safely say that Sarasota is a mecca for both barbershop quartets and techno music.

Catch local quartets The Truetones, So Much More and the Bowery Boys as they perform barbershop harmonies Saturday, July 24, at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center. The Golden Apple’s Bob Turoff will emcee the festival and his son, Ben Turoff, Glenridge manager and the butler in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” will scoop free Italian ice in the lobby after the show.

For tickets, call 552-5323 or visit

+ Jazz Juvies get rock-star treatment
Last we heard from Jazz Juvenocracy, the band was headed to Switzerland for the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival.

Well, the kids are back.

They returned last Thursday to Sarasota, jet lagged and buzzing with remarkable stories, including one that involves jamming with an 18-piece big band from Australia until 3 a.m. on a hotel rooftop.

“The people on the ground didn’t care at all,” said 13-year-old trumpet player Bit Risner. “If we had been in Sarasota, the cops would probably be after us.”

Risner and company –– Austin Parker Gill, Alex Hernandez, Brent Layman, Rodney Rocques and Tommy Silverman –– not only played Montreux, which took place July 2 through July 17, they also performed at Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival and France’s Jazz à Vienne.

They played the biggest stage at Umbria, a 37-year-old festival that has drawn such big-name performers as B.B. King, Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Sting and Van Morrison.

Further proving that Jazz Juvenocracy is wise beyond its years, after noticing that the crowd at Umbria was younger and hipper than the crowd at Montreux, the band decided to ditch its Duke Ellington standards for an unrehearsed funk-fusion jazz set –– and the Italian crowd went wild.

According to band den mother Lisa Risner, so many enthusiastic fans swarmed the kids after their Umbria gig that four security guards had to escort them to dinner that night.

The highlight of the trip –– other than swimming in Lake Geneva and engaging in spontaneous snowball fights on long drives through the Swiss Alps –– was the hour-and-a-half they spent backstage with jazz musician Marcus Miller and his band.

“They told us if we love the music, we should definitely become professionals,” Risner said. “That was a dream for us.”

The Jazz Juvies return to Gulf Gate’s Irish Rover Aug. 8, for their regular 6 p.m. Sunday show.


Below: The band received a standing ovation from people on the street after their first gig was at a jazz club in Lyon, France.

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