Scene & Heard


Scene & Heard


Date: July 18, 2012
by: Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor



+ RCAD grad animates monstrous project
As buzz over “Hotel Transylvania” starts to swirl this summer, remember to keep this fun little nugget in mind: The movie’s lead animator was a Ringling College of Art and Design graduate.

Joshua Beveridge, who won a Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2005, is one of those RCAD alums whose career path makes for good college recruitment fodder. An animator at Sony Pictures Imageworks, the 30-year-old Asheville, N.C., native already has several major films on his résumé, including Will Smith’s post-apocalyptic blockbuster, “I Am Legend,” and Tim Burton’s 2010 reboot of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Slated to hit movie theaters at the end of September, “Hotel Transylvania” is a 3D comedy about a five-star resort for famous monsters.

Voiced by Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez and Kevin James, the movie is bound to be a Halloween homerun.

Though its release is still months away, Beveridge has created a Transylvanian following on his Facebook page by posting pictures of the movie’s animation crew and linking to its trailer.

He says it’s the most fun he’s had animating a movie.

+ Still talking about it …
Last week, I talked with Nik Wallenda on the phone, or should I say “on the wire.” It has been more than a month since hundreds of Sarasotans crowded the streets near Mattison’s City Grille to watch a live stream of the Sarasotan daredevil’s 26-minute, 1,450-foot wire-walk across Niagara Falls. As Wallenda fist-pumped, stepping off the cable, the crowd cheered for its hometown hero.

Since then, he’s done “a million interviews” with outlets all over the world.

“The most gratifying part was the thousands of emails I received, and continue to receive, about how inspired people are to pursue their dreams,” he says. “That’s something I push with people: Pursue your dreams and never give up.”

Niagara Falls Canada Mayor Jim Diodati mentioned commemorating Wallenda’s stunt with a bronze sculpture to be located where he stepped off the cable — and into history.

Wallenda says: “It’s exciting, and it may be excessive, but it’d be quite an honor.”

He won’t be back in Sarasota until September. Until then, he’s got crossing the Grand Canyon in his sights and has been having meetings about the strunt. He’s also hinted about crossing from one continent to another at the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey.

+ Sarasota Opera seeks volunteers
Altos can’t change light bulbs because they can’t get up that high. But changing light bulbs isn’t the only thing for which The Sarasota Opera needs volunteers. One perk of volunteering: tickets to the dress rehearsals. If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in opera but can’t carry a tune, this might be a better option than climbing up on stage. Visit the “Volunteer Page” of for more information.

+ The write play will be chosen
The Sarasota Silver Stars are looking for the best playwright since sliced bread. The Sarasota Silver Stars will host a play reading festival Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 and are seeking one- to 10-minute-long plays that will be presented in a reader’s-theater style. Plays will be accepted until Aug. 15 and can be submitted to The Players, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information, visit

+ You say, ‘goodbye,’ and I say, ‘hello’
When Observer Media Group Executive Editor/Publisher Lisa Walsh told me Sarasota was the cultural capital of Florida, I immediately packed my bags and took the next flight out of St. Louis — I was sold.

Growing up in the type of family that sings eight-part vocal harmonies around the piano and as the girl who’s happiest on stage, in the seats of a theater or navigating art museums, it didn’t take me much time to understand that Lisa was spot-on. Ballet, opera, theater, orchestra, choruses, museums and galleries galore — holy Sarasota! I’m so fortunate to call this place home.

As the new arts and entertainment editor for The Observer, I’m looking forward to sitting next to you at performances, chatting with you during intermission and sharing my thoughts with you after the show. I can’t wait to introduce you to those I meet at gallery openings, on stage, backstage and at the forefront of the arts-and-entertainment scene. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to meet new faces and make new friends. Forget easing in with a big toe — I’m ready to cannonball into this scene.

So, please introduce yourself. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Ask me questions, share your thoughts or just say, “Hello,” because I’m anxious to know as many readers and fellow A&E-lovers as possible and for you to know me the way you’ve gotten to know former A&E Editor Heidi Kurpiela.

When I started at The Observer, I would read Heidi’s articles and column before any other content, even my own. I admire Heidi’s voice, photography, wit and the natural ease with which she produces stories. I realize I have some big shoes to fill as the new A&E editor, but I’m excited to do my best.

Follow me on Twitter @MalloryGnaegy and on my Facebook page, Mallory Gnaegy (Observer), to get the latest A&E scoop.

To submit A&E listings or news tips, call 366-3468, Ext. 364 or email me at


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