2017-05-18 / Arts & Entertainment News


COURTESY PHOTO COURTESY PHOTO Concert raises funds for wounded vets

The Englewood Event Center kicks off Armed Forces Day, May 20, with country music artist Trey Colton. This is the first concert of a free six-concert series that will raise funds for Operation Second Chance, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping our wounded vets and their families. Doors open at 7:15 p.m., with the opening band, Just Thomas, performing at 8 p.m. Trey Colton takes the stage from 9:15 to 11 p.m., ending the night with a fundraiser of a signed guitar for Operation Second Chance. For complete information on the entire series, visit www.englewoodeventcenter.com/osc.html.

Improv group comes to comedy diner

WIT Improv, a professional improvisational troupe from Tampa, will perform at the Comedy Diner in Port Charlotte on Saturday, May 20. The venue is located inside the Charlotte Players’ Langdon Playhouse at 1182 Market Circle.

Theatre Tampa Bay calls WIT Improv “the most outrageous improvised comedy troupe in Tampa Bay since 2005.” That was the year WIT Improv was founded by five friends from Busch Gardens. They adopted the group’s name, WIT, from “Whose Idea was This Anyway?” a MAD TV parody of “Whose Line is It Anyway?” the popular Drew Carey show that made short-form improvised comedy famous.

WIT Improv members performing at the Comedy Diner include founding members Scott Swenson, Billy Martinez and Vinnie Natale, as well as Eric Hughes and Seth Keith. Swenson studied improvisational comedy with Chicago’s Second City and Jim Belushi and served as associate artistic director for Chi-Town Puppet Theater. He has performed at both Busch Gardens theme parks, in several television commercials, training films and live theater productions.

Martinez, a performer for more than 39 years, has worked in film, television, radio and stage, both as an actor and a musician. Natale is a 25-year stage veteran who spent time as a stand-up comedian opening for such headliners as Mr. Carey, J.J. Walker, Martin Short and Kevin James.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $19 for Charlotte Players members and $10 for students, and may be ordered at www.charlotteplayers.org or by calling 255-1022.

WIT Improv offers the following words of wisdom — with wit — about its performance: “Since 100 percent of our show’s content comes from audience suggestions, adult language and situations may be portrayed on stage. If you are offended, blame the person next to you. If children are present in the audience, however, we are perfect angels.”

For more on WIT Improv, visit www.witimprov.com.

Bluegrass bands to perform at bash

Three top-rated bluegrass bands are scheduled to perform at the Heartland Bluegrass Bash on Saturday, May 27, at Craig’s RV Resort, 7895 N.E. Cubitis Ave., Arcadia.

This month’s featured bands are Blue Grit, If & When, and the Heartland Jam Band. The music starts at 1 p.m. in the air-conditioned recreation hall at Craig’s RV.

The Heartland Bluegrass Bash takes place the fourth Saturday (except the fifth weekend in December) of every month, year ’round. Admission is free for members of the Heartland Bluegrass Association. A $7 per person donation is requested of non-members. The membership fee to join the Heartland Bluegrass Association is $25 per household per year.

Come for the day or bring your RV to Craig’s RV and participate in the bluegrass jams that take place on Friday and Saturday night. Camping at Craig’s is $20 a night for campsites with electric and water hookups.

Asolo Rep presents Men Who Cook & Brew

Asolo Rep will host its seventh annual Men Who Cook & Brew event at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at Mattison’s Bayside at the Van Wezel, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. This year’s event, sponsored by Mattison’s Restaurants & Catering, ABC 7, STYLE Magazine, and Gulf Coast Community Foundation, will feature craft beer from local vendors, along with Sarasota’s and Bradenton’s finest guest chefs who will prepare a dinner filled with their favorite recipes. The final fundraiser of Asolo Rep’s 2016-17 season will also feature a raffle for gourmet cooking classes, awards for best table décor and “People’s Choice” best chef, live music, the parade of chefs and more.

Individual tickets are $200 and are available online at www.asolorep.org/menwhocook or by emailing SpecialEvents@asolo.org or calling 351.9010, ext. 4702. ¦

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