Scene & Heard


Scene & Heard


Date: February 15, 2012
by: Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor



+ Boca Grande actors give WBTT some love
OK, so they’ve missed the Valentine’s Day cutoff, but it’s never too late for a little romance, right?

Boca Grande actors Ann Fletcher and John Shaw will bring their production of the two-person romance, “Love Letters,” this month to Sarasota as a fundraiser for the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.

Fletcher has been itching to perform the show for charity since she and Shaw first appeared in it two years ago at the Royal Palm Players in Boca Grande.

The play, which follows the lives of two characters as they recite letters they wrote to one another over the course of 50 years, earned Fletcher critical acclaim during its sell-out run at the Royal Palm.

A Sarasota resident for 30 years, Fletcher ran an interior design business before retiring 10 years ago to Boca Grande with her husband.

Lucky for WBTT, the actress’ BFF is Christine Jennings, who introduced Fletcher to the theater company when she came on as the troupe’s executive director a few years ago.

“You may have seen ‘Love Letters’ done by very famous people,” Fletcher says. “But you’ve not seen it done the way this director (Orlando’s Tad Ingram) has interpreted it.”

The play opens at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center. For tickets, call 552-5325. All proceeds benefit WBTT.

+ Hollywood choreographer scouts Sarasota for ‘East Side Story’
David Winters’ name might not sound familiar, but his credits will: “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and “A Star Is Born” to name a few.

The British-born dancer/actor/choreographer appeared as Baby John in the original Broadway production of “West Side Story,” as well as the film version of the musical.

The 72-year-old shot to superstardom after nabbing that role.

As a choreographer, he worked with Ann-Margret, Raquel Welch, Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand. As an actor, he appeared on “Perry Mason” and “The Milton Berle Show.” As a director, he worked with Paul Newman, Alice Cooper, Kirk Douglas and The Monkees.

Have I made my point?

He’s a big deal, and he was in town last month scouting locations for his feature film, “East Side Story.”

With Sarasota actress and producer Dayle Hoffmann as his guide, he dropped in on various locations, including the Van Wezel, the Lakewood Ranch Country Club, the Sarasota Opera House, Apple Jelly Dance Studio and the Longboat Key Club, and scouted nearby attractions and amenities that might work within the movie.

Hoffmann estimates the project will employ 300 local cast and crew members, in addition to luring notable actors to the area. She says production could start as early as May.

According to the film’s Facebook page, “East Side Story” is a coming-of-age dance/musical in the spirit of “Dirty Dancing” and “Viva Las Vegas.”

Dubbed the “hip-hop dance film of the century,” it follows the life of a young girl who falls in love with a street dancer while visiting her wealthy father in Miami.

Will Sarasota fit the bill? Only our incentives will tell. Hey David: We’ve got plenty of dance doubles in this town. No need to look further.

+ Sarasota Opera Association hatches ‘Pot of Gold’ fundraiser
I preface this item by saying I think the Sarasota Orchestra Association’s latest philanthropic enterprise sounds like a good idea. It’s simple, to-the-point and doesn’t require a cocktail gown.

Dubbed the “Pot O’ Gold” fundraiser, the concept sounds fancy and appropriately themed for St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s really just a hybrid raffle/lottery drawing.

Cooked up by SOA as a way to raise a fast $50,000 for the Youth Orchestra, the fundraiser will sell 1,000 contest entries priced at $100 each.

The contest ends March 17, or when 1,000 entries have been purchased. The winning ticket will receive half of the “Pot O’ Gold.” The rest of the cash will fill the coffers at the Youth Orchestra.

Remember: You’ve gotta be in it, to win it. To buy an entry, visit

Bora Yoon at the Historic Asolo: It’s hard to pin down Bora Yoon’s work. She’s a musician, composer, performance artist and singer/songwriter. Her Wikipedia page refers to her as a “multi-instrumental sound architect.” So, there ya have it. She composes experimental music using her viola, Tibetan singing bowls, cell phones, walkie-talkies and shortwave radios. She’s performed in everything from a Samsung commercial to the Guggenheim Museum, plus she’s the only Hermitage fellow to nab a residency this year at the Ringling Museum. The 31-year-old artist will discuss her latest project during a special program at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16, at the Historic Asolo Theater. Tickets are $5. Students with ID are free. For more information, call 360-7399. 

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