Bonnie Greenball Silvestri's Blog (67)

Kicking off a Balmy Sarasota Holiday Season with Victorian Winters at the Sarasota Ballet

With “Victorian Winters,” the Sarasota Ballet took the audience on an elegant journey back in time celebrating the grandeur of belle époque choreography.

 

“Les Patineurs,” choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton to depict a Victorian skating party, was a gorgeous production. Kate Honea and Kaitlyn May were a lovely duo as Blue Girls; and I especially enjoyed watching them tiptoeing on toe gingerly across the “ice.”

 

We saw “Les Patineurs” a few years ago featuring…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 18, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments

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

"Masters of Dance" - a Sarasota Ballet showcase featuring guest artist Mathias Dingman

We weren’t sure we could make it to this week’s performance of “Masters of Dance,” but the stars aligned. I am thrilled I had the chance to be introduced to Mathias Dingman, principal dancer of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, dancing the role first created by Sir Frederick Ashton for Mikhail Barshnikov.

 

For “Rhapsody,” the Sarasota Ballet secured the original sets from the Royal Ballet; and the exquisite dancing before the regal Greek columns had me enraptured from start to…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 23, 2018 at 10:00am — 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

Enjoy a Renaissance for Children's Theatre with "The Jungle Book"

We are living through a renaissance for children in Sarasota. A decade ago, our decision to start a family in town seemed an unusual step, but now everywhere you look offerings for children can be found in nearly every part of the local arts and culture scene.

 

Florida Studio Theatre recently concluded a second full season of children’s shows and is offering a summer cabaret. Currently, Asolo Repertory Theatre has embarked on its third major children’s show, “The Jungle Book,”…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on June 18, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

"Soul Man" Delivers Feel Good Entertainment with a Side of Education

“Soul Men” closes out the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s “change is gonna come” season with all the style and pizzazz we have come to expect from productions at the little theater that could. Indeed change has come to WBTT, which has just opened its beautiful new education and outreach space and has plans underway to add additional seating and restrooms to the theater space. This has been a tremendous season, and I look forward to what is in store for the fall.

 

In the…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on May 7, 2018 at 8:00pm — No Comments

"Ragtime" - Exactly the Show We Need Right Now

“Ragtime,” reimagined on the Asolo Repertory stage, is a triumph of musical theater and truly defines the American Character, which was the theater’s theme for five years ending last season.

 

This season, I have been missing that common thread of the American Character theme, which the company handled so masterfully for half a decade. Yet this latest production is the culmination of everything that is both beautiful and profoundly discouraging about the American experiment –…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on May 6, 2018 at 5:30pm — 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

"Roe" Examines Vulnerable Supreme Court Case with Revelatory Performances

“Roe,” which opened this week at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, brings the most famous case in Supreme Court history to life. “Roe” playwright Lisa Loomer has gained national recognition for transforming difficult subject matter into theatrical performances, and examining the controversial case, which rendered first-term abortions legal, is her latest endeavor.

 

Rather than focusing on the details of the case that has been at the centerpiece of the culture wars in this country…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on March 18, 2018 at 7:56pm — No Comments

“Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill”

When I learned that now six-time Tony award winner Audra McDonald was going to portray one of my favorite singers of all time, Billie Holiday, I became obsessed with the chance to see “Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill” on Broadway. The show was going to be in mid-winter in New York City; but I was willing to brave the cold for what I was certain would be a life changing performance.

 

What I didn’t realize was that Billie…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on March 10, 2018 at 9:30am — 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

Let A.K. Murtadha and Emerald Rose Sullivan Deliver You to "The Mountaintop"

Watching Abdul-Khaliq “A.K.” Murtadha portray Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in “The Mountaintop” is a bit like being visited in a dream by Reverend King himself. “The Mountaintop,” staged by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, imagines the slain civil rights leader’s last conversation at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Emerald Rose Sullivan stars as Camae, a maid at the motel who is sent to serve the Reverend King a cup of coffee as he composes another of his rousing…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 15, 2018 at 8:00pm — 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

Not Your Mother's Evita - Rhodes Production is a Masterstroke

Asolo Repertory Theatre has demonstrated another masterstroke with “Evita,” which opened last week. The casting, costumes, staging, and choreography all smashed through the barriers of the more traditional Broadway staging of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic. The action begins with Evita lowered from the ceiling on an aerial silk during a screening of a film. You know you want to get to know someone lionized as Evita was in Argentina.…

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Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 27, 2017 at 10:13pm — 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 (photo…

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

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