+ Getting the hang of things …
Let’s just say this reporter didn’t attend Apple Jelly Studios’ unforgettable evening of food, fun and fantasy Tuesday, June 14, thinking the night would conclude with her swinging from a pole.
After one of the sexiest, sweatiest routines by Steven Retchless, who caught the eye of PerezHilton.com for his performance in Polesque 2010 and most recently on PerezFit.com for his performance in The American Pole Fitness Championships, where he garnered the title, “First Male American Pole Fitness Champion,” guests were invited to climb the poles.
The first girls to the poles were dressed in skirts, but that barely got a reaction from this group after Retchless’ routine. The girls yanked themselves up the pole by their arms and extended their legs into the air, while those watching either followed suit or stood there smiling, wishing they had the guts.
+ Local artist spreads wings for exhibition
Ten years ago, Renee Vickery took part in a two-year Chinese brushstroke painting course at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, in Singapore. Last year, she taught Chinese brushstroke painting classes at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts, a Division of Ringling College of Art and Design. In June, she entered her painting, “Wide Spread Wings,” in the American Sumi-e Society 2011 Juried Exhibition and won the “Long Island Chapter” Award.
+ Asolo’s ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ to make a killing on Broadway
Last year, Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan kept Sarasota on its toes with bloody scene after scene in “Bonnie and Clyde,” at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. This fall, the slaying duo is headed to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater, in New York City.
The Broadway production of “Bonnie and Clyde” will be directed by Jeff Calhoun, who directed and choreographed the film when it premiered in 2009, at the La Jolla Playhouse, in California.
The set, designed by Bill Atkins and Joann Waters-Atkins, at the Asolo Rep Scenic Studio, was shipped from Sarasota to New York City. It’s likely that most of it will be used on Broadway.
Keep your eyes peeled — Asolo Rep organized a trip to New York City when “A Tale of Two Cities” opened on Broadway, so fans should look for another adventure later this year. “Bonnie and Clyde” begins with previews Nov. 4 and is scheduled to open Dec. 1.
+ Strauss finally relinquishes creative control
Every year, Barbara Strauss threatens to wash her hands of the Sarasota Blues Festival and do something different. But, every year, she’s committed herself to running the show from sun up to sun down — every year until now, that is.
Since its inception in 1991, the festival has featured everyone from Solomon Burke, to Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Delbert McClinton and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue.
“I am very excited to pass the torch to ExtremeTix and Three Zebras,” Strauss said. “I have been ready to move on to other projects for a long time. Finding a team as committed to blues and live music as ExtremeTix and Three Zebras is a dream come true for myself and Sarasota.”
Strauss will continue as executive producer of the festival this year and then act as a consultant for future festivals.
‘The Soul Crooners’: This summer, the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will have you rocking in your seats with a soulful serenade by an all-male ensemble. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at 1646 10th Way, and features more than 40 sweet soul hits from artists including The Stylistics, The Commodores, The O’Jays, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and more. Call 366-1505 for information.
Sarasota Improv Festival: Bring your funnybone to Florida Studio Theatre’s third annual improv festival, which runs July 15 and July 16, in the Florida Studio Theatre’s Goldstein Cabaret Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave. For two nights only, hang with 10 of the hottest groups from New York City to Miami. The festival also features improv workshops taught by professionals. Call 366-9000.
Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected].