Featured Blog Posts (52)

Toe-tapping Joy in Re-Imagined "The Music Man" at Asolo Rep

From the minute the curtain went up, it was clear Asolo Repertory’s tap infused “The Music Man,” directed by Tony-nominated Jeff Calhoun, was going to be something special.

 

A group of salesmen on a jittery train introduce us to the tall tale of Professor Harold Hill, who is prone to skipping town once he has made his sale. The salesmen move up and down and sway a little until they reach a turn and then they gently lift their chairs and guide them around the bend simulating…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 25, 2018 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Iconographic - a Triumphant Launch for the Sarasota Ballet 2018-2019 Season

The Sarasota Ballet officially launched its 2018-2019 season with “Iconographic,” an evening featuring three major works each introducing the audience to a very separate and distinct picture of time and emotion.

 

When the company of radiant female dancers in white and gold tutus entered the stage adorned simply with chandeliers, I felt a sigh of relief come over me. At the conclusion of yet another difficult news week, punctuated with familiar but continuously unthinkable…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on October 29, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Two MVPs Exit Stage Right as New Stars Emerge in the Spotlight

As football fans focus on the draft, this week’s Sarasota Ballet performance gave balletomanes a chance to bid some MVPs a fond farewell and to begin to connect to newer recruits who are emerging in the spotlight.

Logan Learned in "Tarantella" (photo by Frank…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on April 29, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments

High Powered One Two Punch with Ballet Hispanico and Dreams of Nature at Sarasota Ballet

Once a season for the past several years, Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb gives his hard-working dancers a chance to rest and settle into their seats to watch a guest ballet company perform. This is an equally pleasant opportunity for Sarasota audiences to check out a traveling company as a unique part of their season subscription.

 

Sure, our community has Sarasota Contemporary Dance making a splash on the arts scene as well a few companies occasionally visiting at…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on February 26, 2018 at 7:30pm — No Comments

"Moving Identities" is truly spectacular!

If it’s possible, the Sarasota Ballet just stepped up another notch with “Moving Identities” ushering in 2018, which is certain to be an epic year on many fronts.

 

The evening program was truly spectacular and sealed the ballet’s fate to rank highly among some of the best traveling companies I have seen in my decades as a lover of dance. The company has successfully combined some of the strongest veteran dancers such as Ricardo Graziano (2010) and Victoria Hulland (2007) with…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 28, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments

What's in a Name? Shakespeare in Love explores the Making of William Shakespeare

What’s in a name? Before William Shakespeare became the most famous playwright of all time, he was Will, a struggling poet with writer’s block. “Shakespeare in Love,” a play within a play, imagines young Will’s transformation into the immortal William Shakespeare.

 

“Shakespeare,” based on the Oscar-winning film, is currently playing at Asolo Repertory Theatre starring Jordan Brown, as the love-besotted Will, and Laura Rook, his thespian muse. The two have a nice easy…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 15, 2018 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's "A Motown Christmas" - the best place to get in the holiday spirit!

The Christmas season is in full swing, and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has outdone itself once again with this year’s “A Motown Christmas.” When performed in 2015, I really enjoyed the show, which was a nice balance of a mini-history lesson of the significance of the Motown sound in our musical lexicon and the Christmas spirit. This year’s production was largely the same as in 2015, but the performance felt entirely fresh and new.

 

Since they last performed the same mix…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 4, 2017 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Sarasota Ballet's Metropolitan - a Night to Remember

The Sarasota Ballet’s production “Metropolitan” opening on December 1st was a night to remember. The evening was billed as a tribute to New York and although the connection among the pieces was a bit tenuous (all were choreographed by or for New Yorkers), they shared in common a complexity and sophistication befitting Manhattan.…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 4, 2017 at 6:30am — No Comments

Sarasota Ballet makes a triumphant return for its 27th season with "The Secret Garden"

The Sarasota Ballet made a triumphant return for its 27th season with the magical production “The Secret Garden” choreographed by Will Tuckett. The ballet was choreographed for the Sarasota Ballet and was first performed three years ago. Time to grow is good for any garden, and this one was more lush and elaborate with the passage of a few seasons. “The Secret Garden,” with its timeless message about the healing powers of nature, seems particularly well suited to the Sarasota Ballet nurtured…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 6, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments

"In the Heights" - a tour de force production exploding with heart!

Every once in awhile a show comes along that grips you from start to finish; and the Westcoast Black Theatre Company’s latest show “In the Heights,” which opened October 14th, was a tour de force production exploding with heart.

 

Before the show began, Nate Jacobs, Founder and Artistic Director, explained that years ago he couldn’t afford to go to Broadway to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakout production “In the Heights,” but that the Latin inspired musical that…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on October 15, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Dog Days Theatre - Inaugural Season Off to a Steamy Start With Relatively Speaking

Dog Days Theatre a new series presented by the FSU Asolo Conservatory is a welcome relief for sleepy Sarasota summers. Season can be such a whirlwind when the Sarasota arts scene kicks into high gear, but now even Sarasota summer has much to recommend it.

 

Kelly Elizabeth Smith and Wyatt C. McNeil…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on July 23, 2017 at 7:24pm — No Comments

"Broadway in Black" steams up the summer on the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe stage!

Just when the doldrums of the steamy summer sets in, Sarasota audiences can count on the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to provide a much-needed jolt with their annual summer musical revue. “Broadway in Black” opened June 24th and runs through July 23rd featuring just over 50 musical numbers!

 …

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on June 26, 2017 at 6:39pm — No Comments

Asolo Rep takes Sarasota audiences "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" through July 1st

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s latest foray into theater appropriate for children is a thrilling ride taking the audience “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” For Sarasota, a town punctuated by many beautiful bodies of water and home to a world-class sanctuary for sea life, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, this play is the perfect entrée to the Jules Verne classic – fun and lighthearted but with an important message.…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on June 15, 2017 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Eerie charm in store in world premiere of "Beatsville"

“Beatsville” is a hip new musical making its world premiere at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. The Asolo tends to explore new musicals in late spring; and I applaud the theater’s efforts to support something so crucial to musical lovers like me – new productions. The theater world places a heavy emphasis on revivals such as the first production of the Asolo season, perhaps the most perfect Broadway musical, “Guys and Dolls," which are as they say, "s'wonderful," it is also critical to expand…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on May 17, 2017 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Brash bold and bombastic “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” delights at Asolo Repertory Theatre

Brash, bold and bombastic- "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity" by Kristoffer Diaz is a truly original theatrical experience produced by the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Directed by the indomitable Jen Wineman, the black box Cook Theatre was transformed into a wrestling arena complete with laser lighting and rock music to pump up the excitement.…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on April 16, 2017 at 9:32pm — No Comments

"Girl Groups: The ‘60s Explosion” at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe is one of the company’s best performances!

“Girl Groups: The ‘60s Explosion” at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe was my favorite show of the season and one of the company’s best performances. This show has everything Sarasota audiences love about WBTT. Artistic Director Nate Jacobs regularly designs shows that reintroduce some of the greatest songs ever written, interpreted by Broadway caliber performers for the WBTT’s loyal and adoring audiences.…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on March 18, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Ed Gero as Scalia wins hearts and minds in "The Originalist"

In these heady times where the Constitution is on everyone’s minds and lips, it was an unexpected pleasure to watch “The Originalist,” a play about famed and recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, which premiered at Asolo Repertory Theatre on inauguration day.

 

Scalia’s death last year has thrown the Supreme Court into the forefront of political discourse. “The Originalist,” written by John Strand, premiered in Washington, D.C. while he was still alive. Edward…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 30, 2017 at 8:15pm — No Comments

Asolo's The Great Society is a poignant and important history lesson

At a time when our nation is riveted to partisan politics, it is refreshing to take a page out of history with the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s “The Great Society.” Last year, the Asolo began our journey with President Lyndon Baines Johnson with the fabulous production “All the Way.” That production introduced us to the intriguing tête a tête between Martin Luther King Jr. and LBJ. In the “The Great Society” the two continued their dance - each one needing each other, slightly loathing each…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 17, 2017 at 8:30pm — No Comments

"Jewels" - a perfect gift for the holiday season!

I have been eagerly anticipating the opening night of “George Balanchine’s Jewels” when all three pieces, “Emeralds,” “Rubies,” and “Diamonds” would be performed on one night; and the Sarasota Ballet delivered in spades.

 

Victoria…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 17, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments

The Grand Tour through a Decade with Iain Webb

The Sarasota Ballet started off the season with a wonderful opener, “Walsh, Tudor, Graziano, and Layton.” To honor Iain Webb's 10th season with the Sarasota Ballet, the company restaged the classic “Wolfgang for Webb,” choreographed by Dominic Walsh. This was the first piece Webb commissioned for the Sarasota Ballet, so it was a fitting beginning to his decade celebration. This relatively exotic piece began with a diaphanous tarp covering the stage and our beloved dancers lifting…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 1, 2016 at 9:01pm — No Comments

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