Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 08.19.10

Posted August 18, 2010 at 6:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ ‘Little’ singer’s star continues to rise
Remember Sarasota’s own LeAnn Rimes-in-waiting?

Olivia Thorning Little first lit up our radar in May when she headlined a solo concert at The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre to raise money for a summer trip to Nashville, Tenn.

The purpose of the trip was to record an original song with a famous singer/songwriter, whose identity Little’s mom, Tina, would not reveal.

Well, the wait is over. The 12-year-old Little, a student at St. Stephens Episcopal School, recorded a single with country singer Jamie O’Neal. Even more impressive, Little sang lead vocals and O’Neal sang backup.
A Los Angeles talent scout spotted Little last January. She leaves next month for a photo shoot in Atlanta, which really raises the stakes for back-to-school shopping.


+ The Players Theatre reveals its dark side
The crew at The Players Theatre is doggedly working on revamping the front lobby.

If you’ve recently used the remodeled ladies’ restroom, you likely noticed the changes.

Next on the agenda: painting the walls outside the box office black. According to Artistic Director Jeffery Kin, the theater is going for a sophisticated, yet simplified and understated, look.

Further earning his keep, Kin has volunteered to help paint the old lobby. The sprucing up will be finished by the start of The Players’ 81st season.

+ The Venue refreshes the Rosemary District
The coffee shop formerly known as the Sarasota Olive Oil Company and Felice’s Cafe has undergone a third reincarnation.

Say hello to The Venue, a place where foodies and musicians convene over paninis and pastries, a place with impressively long hours and an even more impressive (and friendly!) pastry chef named Andrew Ensign.

The new downtown hotspot celebrated its grand opening Aug. 13 with DJs Shock to the System, Kill Paris and local band HAITZ.

The Central Avenue eatery is open from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

+ Art Brawlers get ready to rumble
Art-and-music lovers will collide this weekend at Art Brawl 2.

The energetic and creative founders of fYfE, Zach Gilliland and Amanda Landesberg, have announced the lineup for their second music-meets-live-art event, starting with local band Firedoor.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Art Brawl concept, the event is structured as a competition of local artists competing against each another to the beats of high-energy music and crowd noise.

Featured artists include Anna Maria Island shopkeepers and artisans Justin and Rachel Noyes, clothing designer Austin Kowels, Barbara Gerdeman, Javier Rodriguez, Cheeta and Caitlyn Teagle.

Art Brawl 2: Beer Garden Throw down kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Cock & Bull Pub, on Cattlemen Road.

Get off the couch and get ready to tussle.


+ Hot tickets
WBTT’s ‘Sistas in the Name of Soul’: The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe continues its Summer Sizzler series with “Sistas in the Name of Soul.” The show, which features hits by Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Tina Turner, runs Aug. 19 through Aug. 22. For more information, call 366-1505 or visit

Banyan Theater Company’s ‘Side Man’: This weekend is your last chance to catch the Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated “Side Man” at the Banyan Theater Company. The show is up through Aug. 22, at FSU’s Cook Theatre. For more information, call 552-1032 or visit

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