More bang for Backstage at The Players
Last year was the inaugural Backstage at The Players season. It’s a series of edgier contemporary productions in the backstage studio that seats up to 60 people. This year, the productions have been extended to two weeks and the number of performances have been doubled.
The series kicks off Oct. 11 with the comedy “Zombietown: A Documentary Play,” directed by Linda MacCluggage. Also slated for this season is “Kimberly Akimbo,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Lindsay-Abaire. It’s a twisted comedy about a teenager aging five times faster than normal. “Oleanna,” by David Marnet, is a provocative and controversial drama about sexual harassment. Tickets are $15.
That old Scottish play
The old wive’s tale remains true: Don’t say “Macbeth” in the theater. For the two Asolo Repertory Theatre casts of “Macbeth,” it leads to a pandemic of sickness, broken toes and bangs and bruises, all in a matter of 48 hours.
This is just one bit of knowledge the audience picked up during the discussion portion of the program Oct. 4, following The Sound cast’s performance of Shakespeare’s bloodiest piece. The group performed “Macbeth” for the public that night, but typically performs for students from sixth grade to 12th grade. There are two casts, The Sound and The Fury, of third-year students in the FSU/Asolo Conservatory that will tour schools to bring a 60-minute version as part of the Asolo Rep Education and Outreach program. Last year’s performance of “Hamlet Redux” reached 12,000 students.
But the students won’t get to experience bagpipers playing as the show ends, like the Cook Theatre audience did.
Charlie Barnett is hot, and it’s not just his looks; he’s playing a firefighter on TV. The man who grew up on stages around Sarasota is coming to the big screen at 10 p.m. Wednesday in the drama “Chicago Fire” on NBC. He’s cast alongside Jesse Spencer, of “House,” and David Eigenberg, of “Sex and the City,” and his parents couldn’t be more proud.
“We’re very happy for him. He worked hard for it,” says his mother, Sarasota resident Danee Barnett.
His mother, father, Bob, and sister, Annie, and close friends plan to have a viewing party Wednesday at Patrick’s. It was where Barnett held his first job.
He’s been doing community theater in Sarasota since was 7 years old and was in a few Asolo Repertory Theatre productions before he attended Juilliard, where he graduated in 2010. He’s done several independent films and a few episodes of “Law and Order” since.
It’s a well-known fact that the arts and entertainment thrive in Sarasota, but what might not be so well-known is the impact arts have on the local economy.
The Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County and the Arts and Cultrual Alliance of Sarasota County are hosting Randy Cohen, of Americans for the Arts, to speak on this. He will reveal findings of a comprehensive study on the national and local economic impact of the non-profit arts and cultural industry. I’ll let you know what I find out, but in case you want to attend the event Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, you can register online at edcsarasotacounty.com/calendar.asp or call 309-1200, Ext. 103. Tickets are $45.
Tribute to musical man Daniel Moe
Conductor and composer Daniel Moe was the music director of Key Chorale until 2006, when he retired. The group pays tribute to the late Moe in the Key Chorale “Vast Voyages” season opener in “The Living Legacy of Daniel Moe” at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 4, at The Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road. Call 921-4845.
‘Stompin’ at the Savoy’: Hear The Sarasota Orchestra’s Great Escapes Series opener 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. The production, featuring swinging selections, such as Benny Goodman and George Gershwin, runs through Oct. 13. Tickets $26. Call 953-3434.
‘Let’s Twist Again: with the Wanderers’ — brings music of the 1950s back to life. In this production, developed by Richard Hopkins and Jim Prosser, with assistance from Rebecca Hopkins, the audience can expect classic songs with great harmonies such as “Barbara Ann” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” It opens Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. It runs through Jan. 13. Tickets range from $19 to $36. Call 366-9000.
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A fitting tribute
A day after receiving an Ageless Creativity Award from the Ringling College/Longboat Key Center for the Arts in honor of their late father, Ed Brickman, daughter Carol Diamant and son Eli Brickman held a celebration of life service Saturday.
Alma mater honors Harold Ronson
Philadelphia University presented Longboat Key resident Harold Ronson with its “Leadership in Philanthropy” award Oct. 11, at its Homecoming Dinner Dance.