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Scene & Heard

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  • | 5:00 a.m. December 26, 2012
Teresa Stanley in “Rock of Ages” Courtesy
Teresa Stanley in “Rock of Ages” Courtesy
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+ She’s a Broadway baby once again
Teresa Stanley is known around Sarasota for being one of the founding Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe members. But she’ll be heading to New York City where she was cast as Justice/Mother in the Broadway production of “Rock of Ages.”

The production will be at the Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 W. 44th St., starting Jan. 21. So, if you’re in New York with an itch to catch a Broadway show, be sure to see Sarasota’s very own Stanley.

This will be her second time on Broadway; she was previously cast in the same role for the first national tour.

“I’m really looking forward to being on stage again in this exciting and fun role,” Stanley says in a press release. “Looking back on my career, I have to say that everything I needed to get to this place was a result of those early years with WBTT.”

+ Three Bobs wrap up third year
How many Bobs does it take to put on a musical? Three: Director Bob Trisolini, assistant to the director Bob Nosal and Musical Director Bobby Brader.

Many people are familiar with “The Bobs” (Trisolini and Nosal), the partners who moved in 1998 to Longboat Key and have been responsible for about 25 productions around Sarasota (it’s hard to know exactly, they’ve lost count).

“The Bobs” became “The Three Bobs” in February 2009, when they worked together on “Titanic.” It was Brader’s second show he was in charge of music directing at The Players Theatre.

“It’s very fun,” Brader says. “We’re very aggressive. Both sides know what we want to see and hear. And we have the same work ethic.”

On Dec. 23, they wrapped up “Annie” at The Players, and beginning Feb. 21, the three Bobs open “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” at Manatee Players.

Patting Brader’s face, Nosal says, “And (Bobby’s) got such a great smile; look at it!”

Not missing a beat, Brader chimes in with a quote from Annie: “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
Asked what production is on their wish list, all three name “Blood Brothers.” How appropriate.

+ Spoiler alert: the finale of ‘The Nutcracker’
I wrote a Diversions cover feature Nov. 1, about Sarasota Ballet’s “John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker,” and even though clowns tend to freak me out, the event made it on my “must see” list. The production was truly a gift to the community — there was even a city proclamation sealed and signed by Mayor Suzanne Atwell thanking the ballet for its gift to SRQ.

The story focused on the creation and plot and how Artistic Director Iain Webb and Choreographer Matthew Hart imagined “The Nutcracker” storyline as it ties to John Ringling’s story — set after Mable Ringling’s death. In October, they asked me not to give away the ending before the performance.

The addition of Mable Ringling to the ballet was unique to this version of “The Nutcraker.” It starts when a “Christmas Angel” doll, representing Mable Ringling (danced by Victoria Hulland), is given to the hotel manager to be placed on the top of the tree. Once Clara falls asleep, this doll comes to life. She haunts John Ringling (danced by David Tlaiye) throughout the two acts, until the very end.

When interviewing the John and Mable Ringling Museum’s rose garden curator, Loretta Bestpitch, in June, she told me that she once saw a ghost in a long white gown at the pavilion in the center of the garden, and when she looked again, the ghost was gone. Caretakers of Mrs. Ringling’s garden are said to have seen the same figure.

I found it interesting that in the ballet, there’s a dance of the roses. In that dance, Mable is in a long white gown. She dances in the center gazebo, and John Ringling can’t seem to get to his lost love’s ghost.

John Ringling passes down his cape and hat to his nephew, John Ringling North. It coincides with the real-life story, when Ringling gives his nephew the circus. Then he joins Mable on a moon, and you see the couple atop the Christmas tree when Clara wakes up. It’s a beautiful love story brought to life by the historical-fiction Nutcracker.

Hot Ticket
‘Viagra Falls’ — The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, 25 N. Pineapple Ave., is back with “Viagra Falls,” which opens at 7:20 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. The play that stars co-writer Lou Cutell, Robert Pine and Teresa Ganzel about two men, a call girl and a little blue pill runs through Feb. 24. Tickets are 34 to $37.50. Call 366-5604.

‘August Wilson’s Jitney’ — A group of unlicensed cab drivers in 1970s Pittsburgh strive to find honor and accomplishment in Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s production of “August Wilson’s Jitney.” It opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, at WBTT Theatre, 1646 10th Way, and runs through Feb. 3. Tickets are $28. Call 366-1505.


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