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Performing Art
Maria Wirries
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, May. 4, 2011 6 years ago

Scene and Heard

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

+ Nobody packs a theater like Maria
Show your mother you care (and that have you have great taste in local talent) by taking her this Sunday to The Glenridge Performing Arts Center for Maria Wirries’ Mother’s Day concert.

The 13-year-old singing sensation has been wowing audiences for nearly three years with her “American Idol”-worthy lungs and emotional performances with the Jacobites Pipe and Drum Band.

An East County resident, she landed her first solo show in February at Faith Lutheran Church, in Sarasota, delivering songs in Italian, Gaelic and French. Not surprisingly, the concert sold out.

According to Wirries tireless mother, Jeaneen, the singer is planning to cover Dolly Parton’s “A Coat of Many Colors,” which Parton penned as a tribute to her mother who once stitched together a coat of rags for her daughter to wear when they were poor and living in Tennessee.

Get your tissues ready now. For tickets, call 552-5325.

+ Fab Lab debuts at G.WIZ
In a theater town such as Sarasota, it’s odd to be trumpeting the grand opening of a machine lab.
But this is no ordinary machine lab. This is the Faulhaber Fab Lab at G.WIZ Science Museum, paid for by Sarasota inventor and philanthropist Dr. Fritz Faulhaber, whose Clearwater company, MICROMO, is pioneering the field of miniature electric motors.

After undergoing construction all season, G.WIZ’s Fab Lab, short for “fabrication laboratory,” will open to the public May 6.

“The overriding reason for my wanting to bring this to Sarasota is because America has always been the land of invention,” Faulhaber says. “And we’ve kind of lost that, in my opinion. I’m hoping to reignite some of that Yankee ingenuity.”

+ Sarasota dancer spreads fairy dust
We all know Sarasota has dance fever right now (ahem, Sarasota Ballet, Carreño Dance Festival, Revelle Academy and Fuzión Dance Artists).

But what about the Sarasota dancers who are prancing off to Tampa to perform with the new Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory, in the Straz Center for the Performing Arts?

Dara Nicole, a North Sarasota resident, will perform Saturday, May 14, as a woodland fairy in Richard Cook’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

This marks the second performance to come out of the NGB school since it opened last year in the Straz Center under former Orlando Ballet School Director Peter Stark.

Nicole, 18, who performed in “The Nutcracker” earlier this season, says she’d love to land a part one day in a Dominic Walsh ballet.

Ironically, Walsh was just in Sarasota — choreographing last week’s Sarasota Ballet season finale.

+ Chalk it up to creative partnerships
You’ve seen “Madama Butterfly” in lights, now see her in chalk.

The Sarasota Opera has announced that it will partner with the fourth annual Sarasota Chalk Festival this fall to bring a special performance of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” to Burns Square.

The company will kick off its 2011 fall opera season Oct. 28, with the famous three-act opera, followed by a unique street performance Nov. 6 presented on a 3D chalk “set” designed by Baltimore artist Michael Kirby.

According to Kirby, who approached chalk festival founder Denise Kowal with the idea, the project will be “unlike traditional opera sets where the best seats are center and level to the stage. This set will focus on the floor paintings and the seating will be stadium-style.”

VT’s ‘The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood’: This new spin on an old tale runs May 12 through May 22, on the Pinkerton Stage, at the Venice Theatre. Witty, fast-paced and charming, this version of “Robin Hood” was penned by Mary Lynn Dobson and inspired by the comedic style of Mel Brooks. Directed by Allan Kollar, the play stars Eli Schildkraut, Michael Burke, Emma Bonham and Charlie Kollar. For tickets, call 488-1115 or visit


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