Scene & Heard


Scene & Heard


Date: November 2, 2011
by: Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor



+ Olivia Thorning Little’s star continues to rise
Last we heard from budding country singer Olivia Thorning Little, she had traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to record a single with Jamie O’Neal.

That was more than a year ago. Who knows, by now Little could be opening for Taylor Swift.
Well, not yet.

The 14-year-old Little, now a freshman at Cardinal Mooney High School, did just return from another trip to Nashville, where she co-wrote three songs with superstar songwriting team Keith and Adrienne Follese.

Keith Follese wrote Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That” and Faith Hill’s “The Way You Love Me,” among other hits.

“When the time is right, all the stars will align for us,” says Little’s mom, Sarasota jeweler, Tina Little, owner of Queen’s Wreath Jewels. “We’ve got the luxury of being in the right hands. She’s still developing as an artist, and we’re not pushing her to be a star.”

In the meantime, Little will headline a concert at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre.

The event, which is sponsored by Queen’s Wreath Jewels and Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, will feature a panel discussion with Little’s vocal coaches, soprano Jeanette LaVoy and rocker Twinkle.

Those of you who are country-music buffs should check it out. Little and guitar player Bo Gilmour will debut the three songs the singer penned last month with the Folleses in Nashville.

+ Asolo Rep’s ‘My Fair Lady’ serenades the press
Last year, the Asolo Repertory Theatre kicked off its fall season with a splashy (and bloody) new musical about Depression-era outlaws.

This year’s season-opener, “My Fair Lady,” is decidedly less gritty, although no less splashy, because it packs an impressive cast and an even more impressive director –– Tony Award-winner Frank Galati.

Galati, who staged “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Ragtime” on Broadway, also directed last year’s “12 Angry Men.”

Lucky for Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards, the veteran stage director now lives in Sarasota, which makes it easier to snag him for local productions.

Galati discussed the show alongside a dozen cast and crewmembers at a media luncheon held last week at the theater.

“It’s about a girl who’s practically homeless, incredibly poor and desperately needy,” says Galati. “Yet she has a sense of herself and a sense of ambition that drive her to become what she really is all along.”

There was nothing desperate or needy about actress Andrea Prestinario’s starry-eyed performance of “I Could Have Danced All Night.”

The singer broke into song just before lunch was served, proving that Eliza Doolittle is just as endearing today as she was when Julie Andrews first played her in 1956.

+ Florida Studio Theatre pulls last season’s skeletons out of its closet
Florida Studio Theatre, how dare you wait so long to share your paranormal activity! You know I’m a sucker for backstage gossip and even more of a sucker for ghost stories.

So, in the spirit of Halloween, I’m leaking some of the creep-tastic things I heard that happened in the spring on the set of Michael Hollinger’s “Ghost-Writer.”

The play, which was about a ghostwriter who continues to write the book of a New York novelist even after he dies, called for a typing chair, desk lamp, bookshelf and teacup. All of these pieces inexplicably broke during the production.

What’s more, a gramophone trumpet, barn door and bathroom sink all fell during performances. And on closing night, a flash of light was seen upstage center followed by an eerie humming sound.

Um, it sounds like FST needs to get its hands on an EMF meter. Either that or the scenic carpenters totally botched the set.

+ Lego artist rumored to pop in for Sarasota Season of Sculpture
Enough about Lego Man, already.

Have we all turned in to 8-year-old boys?

Because all anyone seems to be talking about lately is the 8-foot-tall “Ego Leonard” that washed up on Siesta Key Beach last week, I thought I’d inform you that the Dutch rabble-rouser responsible for creating the fiberglass behemoth has requested to attend the Nov. 11 Sarasota Season of Sculpture ribbon cutting.

According to SSOS Board President Susan McLeod, “On behalf of all of us at Sarasota Season of Sculpture, we welcome him to our area and invite him to apply for our 2014 exhibition. Maybe we can save him a spot.”

“Unconditional Surrender” never looked so inconspicuous.



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