There ain’t nothing like the real thing when it comes to Marvin Gaye, but beloved Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe member Sheldon Rhoden is pretty close.
However, the star of WBTT’s “Marvin Gaye: Prince of Soul” never expected to become a musical theater artist who would sell out shows. Before going into theater, Rhoden was known around Sarasota and Bradenton as a talented church soloist, Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs said in a release. He pursued a recording career but it didn’t work out, so when the two met at a funeral where Rhoden was singing, Jacobs tried to get him to be in the WBTT show “Soul Crooners.” He wasn’t interested, yet when the company was later short a male singer for the last show of that season, “Dynamic Duets of the ’70s,” Jacobs called him. Within 20 minutes, Sheldon was at rehearsal. The rest, as they say, is history.
In our Nov. 8 column, we reported The Ringling was seeking its first-ever Keith D. and Linda L. Monda curator of modern and contemporary art. The museum’s search has since ended successfully, and Ola Wlusek has taken on the full-time position. It was announced Dec. 5 that her first exhibit as curator, “Order Systems,” will be a solo show by Canadian artist Natasha Mazurka on view March 18 through Sept. 8 in the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art.
Florida Studio Theatre had a great deal to report last week, starting with the extension of FST original music revue “Unchained Melodies” until March 17 and mainstage production “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” until Jan. 13. The theater group also announced the lineup for its 2019 Stage III Series, which starts with “Hand to God” by Robert Askins Jan. 16 through Feb. 8, continues with “Cherry Docs” by David Gow Feb. 20 through March 15 and ends with “Buyer & Cellar” by Jonathan Tolins March 20 through April 12.