Scene & Heard


Scene & Heard


Date: June 6, 2012
by: Heidi Kurpiela | Observer Staff



+ Sarasota couple hits the ‘Little Big Leagues’
Dhakeria Cunningham and Will Little are one of those couples for which people love to root. They’re sweet, gifted and ambitious.

The couple hatched a plan to form a production company back when they were freshmen at Howard University. Now that they’ve had a few years to hone their act on stages all over Sarasota, including the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Florida Studio Theatre and the Asolo Repertory Theatre, they’re ready to tackle their loftiest project to date: Little Big League Productions.

The duo will host a fundraiser this month for the non-profit arm of their company.

The event, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. June 29, at the WBTT Theater, will feature work by visiting dancers, actors and fine artists, as well as a snippet from Little’s new one-man show, “Bare” — an autobiographical companion piece to Cunningham’s tender one-woman play, “Naked.”

Spoiler alert: Neither piece involves nudity. For more info, call 363-1246.

+ Booker High grads’ acting careers on fire
If only I went to Booker High School as a kid, I might be singing on Broadway by now. Or, better yet, kicking alien butt alongside Will Smith.

Bah. Who am I kidding?

I can’t sing, and aliens freak me out.

So, instead, I leave the singing to 2005 Booker grad Syesha Mercado, who after almost winning “American Idol” in 2008 landed the part of Deena in the Broadway revival of “Dreamgirls.”

As for the acting, I leave that to 2006 Booker grad Charlie Barnett, who after graduating from The Juilliard School, nabbed a part in “Men in Black III.”

Barnett also landed the part of a rookie firefighter in “Chicago Fire,” a drama produced by “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf. The show is set to air this fall on NBC’s Wednesday night lineup.

+ FridayFest opens with Yesterdayze
Attention locals: Now is your time to capitalize on the Sarasota County Tourist Development tax … by grabbing a folding chair and heading to the Van Wezel’s free outdoor music series on the bay.

FridayFest opens June 8 with Yesterdayze, a local band of tie-dye-wearin’ hippies who came of age when Jimmy Hendrix was king.

The group consists of Marylu Kinlaw on guitar, flute and vocals; Alex Kinlaw on keyboard and vocals; Marty Bednar on bass; “Howlin” Bob Fieberts on lead guitar; and Johnny Moore on drums.

The music starts at 5 p.m. Call 953-3368.


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