2017-07-13 / Arts & Entertainment News


Starring in Venice Theatre’s production of “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” are, from left: Bodhi Warner, Maddison Fountain and Logan Schultz. Starring in Venice Theatre’s production of “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” are, from left: Bodhi Warner, Maddison Fountain and Logan Schultz. Charlotte Players holds Open Mic Night

Charlotte Players is having a free Open Mic Night on Saturday, July 15, at the Langdon Playhouse, 1182 Market Circle, Port Charlotte. All talent is welcome — sing, read a poem, play the guitar, show us your best comedic efforts, play the piano, perform a little magic — and the stage is yours. Performers must be 18 and older. Sign up is at 7 p.m. and the event starts at 7:30 p.m. Beverages and snacks are available. For more information, call 255-1022 or visit www.charlotteplayers.org.

‘Relatively Speaking’ opens Asolo’s Dog Days Theatre

FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training kicks off the inaugural season of Dog Days Theatre — a new theater project offering smart, contemporary works just light enough for the dog days of summer — with Tony Award and Laurence Olivier Award-winning British playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s “Relatively Speaking.” Directed by former FSU/Asolo Conservatory acting professor Brendon Fox, the play’s press opening is Thursday, July 13, and the production runs through Sunday, July 30, in the Cook Theatre, located in the FSU Center for Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Ginny loves Greg and Greg loves Ginny. But before the young lovers can take their relationship to the next level, Ginny is determined to retrieve some compromising letters from her much older and very-much married former flame, Phillip. Under the guise of visiting her parents, Ginny sets out to confront Phillip, but Greg, in hopes of meeting and wooing his potential in-laws, surprises Ginny with a visit. Confusion and hilarity swiftly ensue in this beautifully crafted milestone of British theatre.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Single tickets for Dog Days Theatre’s summer season are $28 and two-play packages can be purchased for $45. Tickets are available now by calling 351-8000, visiting www.asolorep.org or visiting the box office.

Venice Theatre students present Disney’s ‘Pinocchio JR.’

Summer workshop students from Venice Theatre's Education and Outreach Department will present “Disney’s My Son Pinocchio JR.” Kelly Duyn directs the production, which will run for five performances July 13-16 on the theater’s MainStage, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice.

Inspired by the 1882 Italian fairy tale, the 1940 Disney film, and the 2000 TV movie, “Disney's My Son Pinocchio JR.” brings new life to the story of Geppetto and his beloved wooden puppet. Told from Geppetto's perspective, the new musical features familiar songs along with a host of new songs by Oscar- and Grammy Awardwinner Stephen Schwartz.

Showtime is 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are on sale now at www.VeniceStage.com or by calling 488-1115. Prices are $12 for students through 12th grade and $15 for adults.

Bluegrass bash on tap

Three top-rated local bluegrass bands are scheduled to perform starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the Heartland Bluegrass Bash, held at Craig’s RV Resort, 7895 N.E. Cubitis Ave., Arcadia. This month’s featured bands: The Pine Island Express, Alligator Alley, and the Heartland Jam Band. The music starts at 1 pm in the air-conditioned recreation hall at Craig’s RV.

Admission is free for members of the Heartland Bluegrass Association. A $7 per person donation is requested of nonmembers. The membership fee to join the Heartland Bluegrass Association is $25 per household per year. Camping at Craig’s is $20 a night for campsites with electric and water hookups.

Lemon Bay Playhouse announces new audition, season opener

The Lemon Bay Playhouse has decided to double-up auditions for six of the seven shows in its upcoming 2017-18 season — sometimes referred to as cluster auditions (auditioning multiple shows on the same date) — in order to remain competitive in casting its shows.

The first show of LBP’s 31st season will still have an individual audition. The auditions for “Annoyance” will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday, July 23 and 24, at the playhouse, 96 Dearborn St., Englewood. The show requires one female and two male actors.

“Annoyance” concerns a very annoying man who goes to see husband-and-wife therapists individually, with the hopes of his becoming less annoying. After driving each of them over the edge, the therapists join forces to rid the world of the obnoxious patient — but things don’t go as planned. The show will run from Sept. 6- 24.

The remainder of the season shows will have auditions that will be doubled-up. As in the past, all auditions will start at 7 p.m. Actors will have the option of auditioning for one or both shows, but because the shows run back to back, actors who are cast can only do one of the two shows. Scripts and sides will be available for perusal on our website (sides only) or at the box office. For more information, call 475-6756 or visit www.lemonbayplayhouse.com.

Friday Fest concert series continues

Friday Fest ’17, the free outdoor summertime concert series, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, continues with its family-friendly party of the summer from 5 to 9 p.m. July 21 on the Bayfront Lawn.

Kettle of Fish, one of the hottest live acts in Southwest Florida, will perform festival music that features blues, soul and funk with the energy of rock ’n’ roll. Kettle of Fish has opened for some notable bands on the road, including Roger Waters, Dickey Betts, Eddie Money and others.

Grab your blankets or lawn chair, take in the music along with the beautiful Sarasota sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors. Friday Fest ’17 will take place “rain or shine” and, in the event of inclement weather, will be moved indoors to the Grand Foyer or Main Stage of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Outside food and drink are prohibited; coolers and large umbrellas are also prohibited.

For more information, visit www.Van- Wezel.org or call 953-3368.

Players Centre offers auditioning workshop

The Players Centre for Performing Arts will present “Finding Your Best - Adult Audition Workshop” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 24, at 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Berry Ayers and Jeffery Kin will be holding this special interactive class, for ages 16 and up, to help attendees perfect both their musical and non-musical audition materials. In this class, the instructors will share their "best practices" that will allow each attendee to get the most out of their 16 bars and 1-minute monologues. This is a great brush up for anyone who needs a boost of confidence to snag great roles in the theater. Come prepared to play and learn and share.

The fee is $45. Call the box office at 365- 2494 to register.

The Ringling acquires Italian Baroque painting

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, has purchased a major portrait by Italian Baroque artist Giovanna Francesco Barbieri, better known as Guercino. Purchased at auction from Christie’s, “Portrait of Fra’ Bonaventura Bisi, called ‘Il Pittorino,’” is a 30¼-by-37-inch oil on canvas that dates to 1658-59. The painting is now on view at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in galleries custom designed in the 1920s to highlight the renowned European collection amassed by the couple. The portrait complements an important work by Guercino, “The Annunciation,” which was purchased by John Ringling.

Guercino (1591-1666), who was born in Cento, near Bologna and Ferrara, moved to Rome for commissions in 1621 and eventually back to Bologna in 1642. Inventive and prolific, Guercino — alongside Caravaggio, Guido Reni and Annibale and Ludovico Carracci — was one of the most influential painters of his time.

A fellow artist and friend of Guercino’s, Bisi was a Franciscan friar at a convent in Bologna. The naturalistic and insightful rendering of the friar near the end of his life is typical of Guercino’s later expressive style and virtuoso technique. In the half-figure canvas, Bisi appears in his study holding a drawing of his patron, Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena.

“Portrait of Fra’ Bonaventura Bisi, called ‘Il Pittorino’” was most likely a gift from the artist to Bisi, and subsequently became part of the Count Ulisse Aldrovandi collection in Bologna in the 18th or 19th century, before being acquired by an anonymous distinguished private collector in 1992.

“This intimate portrait from the Italian Baroque is a wonderful addition to The Ringling’s established strength in European Old Masters and is installed near other magnificent paintings in the collection, including works by Rubens, Van Dyke and Velasquez,” said Steven High, executive director of the museum. “It is rare for such an excellent example of European Baroque portraiture to become available, and thanks to our acquisitions endowment, we are able to share it and allow everyone to experience its visual brilliance and cultural relevance.” ¦

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