In the often times ultra specific world of the performing arts, local performers can fall through the cracks. Where do the artistic polymaths go if they like to express and perform in multiple and underappreciated art forms in Sarasota?
Local stand-up comedian and actor Adam Garrison has created a platform for Sarasota's population of casual and consummate performers. “Adam’s Night Out,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 22, at the Players Theatre, is an entertainment open forum. Combining stand-up, musical, sketch comedy, impressions and pop standards, “Adam’s Night Out” is reintroducing the fun and frenetic antics of vaudeville to Sarasota.
“I’m grabbing people from all over Sarasota’s stages,” says Garrison. “I just met so many different comedians and performers who were wanting a place where they all could perform. I just pieced it together and created this space for them to entertain.”
Born in Sarasota, Garrsion grew up in the Atlanta area. He returned to his hometown and has been performing the Sarasota stand-up circuit for the past three years. During that time, Garrison had also gotten familiar with the Players Theatre and auditioned and performed several times in main stage productions in the past three years. The connection of a need and opportunity presented itself and Garrison took it.
“It was surprisingly easy to convince the theater that is was not only doable but fun,” says Garrison, “No one else is doing something like this. I just want the young and passionate performers and artists of Sarasota to get involved.”
Even though it is being held in a proscenium-style theater space, “Adam’s Night Out” is aiming for a lounge/cabaret mentality. With performers and audience interacting, laughing and performing together, the comedic mash-up will not only entertain but inspire community members to get up onstage for the next event slated for March.
This weekend’s festivities cover all the funny bone bases with Garrison performing his stand-up routine, vocal performances by Amanda Heisey and Eliza Engle, sketches by James Bryington and Loren Sletten, acting by Ren Pearson and Jean-Paul Monde, and with special appearances by vocalist Allen Kretschmar, impressionist Bill Peterson and singer-songwriter Benjamin Jacobs.
At the cost of a $15 admission, Garrison hopes the revue will continue and that audience members will be treated to an unpredictable array of fresh comedic and musical performances every single night.
“The night is the idea of collaborating and what the golden age of entertainment used to be like with all these different kinds of personalities collaborating and entertaining,” says Garrison.