Summer Performance Season Kicks Off!

stage_curtainIf you think the best time to catch a play or attend a concert on the Gulf Coast is during the winter months, then you are in for a sunny surprise! The area’s cultural institutions are creating as much action this summer as the sand on Siesta Key. We wanted to share our list of recommendations from an international music festival to a variety of plays to a cabaret performance this weekend not-to-be-missed! (And since I consider myself to be rather immersed in the local arts scene, I am also providing you with my own insider knowledge on why you should go!)   Asolo Repertory Theatre: The world premiere of Noah Racey’s Pulse, followed by the regional premiere of My Brilliant Divorce which stars Tony-nominated actress, Mary Testa, are both must-sees for the summer season. You’ll be glad you enjoy year-round status after a trip to see these productions at Florida’s premiere professional theatre.

  • Why go? Read my review of Pulse to learn why you will walk out of the theatre with a smile on your face and a skip in your step.

Sarasota Music Festival: The Sarasota Music Festival, organized by the Sarasota Orchestra, brings internationally recognized guest artists and student musicians together to study and perform chamber music for three weeks each June. Nearly 500 students from top music programs at colleges and conservatories world-wide audition to participate but only 60 are accepted. An exceptional series of functions will showcase these performers alongside 40 music masters from June 3 – 22.

  • Why go? Student performers are a sponge for new ideas, interpretations, and enthusiasm. I’d recommend that you buy the full festival pass that covers all three weeks of events, classes, orchestra and artist rehearsals, and ensemble coaching at a discounted, flat rate.

Vocal Vixens: This Saturday, June 8th , take in a cabaret featuring Lyn Purmort, Hannah Jae, and Michael Saunders & Company blogger/songstress extraordinaire, Kathryn Parks! We will be celebrating artists that include Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf, Sarah Brightman, Whitney Houston, and Judy Garland. This one-time performance will be at 7:30pm at the downtown Sarasota hotspot, The HuB. For more information click here.

  • Why go? Beyond the obvious reason, this one time event is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a variety of your favorites songs performed by some serious local talent. Young singer Hannah Jae is already being approached by national talent scouts and recording producers – catch her now while she’s still here!

The Players Theatre Summer Sizzler Shows: The Players Theatre kicks off their summer season with The Sunshine Boys on June 13 followed by a 70’s-inspired review, More Than A Feeling, then The Boys Next Door by

Photo couresty Players Theatre

Photo couresty Players Theatre

Tom Griffin, and Thousand Oaks which runs through August 11.

  • Why Go? The Sunshine Boys opens next week; go to see local power-house actors, Bob Trisolini and Dan Higgs, who are sure to entertain and amuse you as an estranged vaudeville duo.

Florida Studio Theatre: FST is producing its Summer Mainstage series including The World Goes Round, The Underpants, and South Beach Babylon. Then FST Summer Improv gets underway June 8th through August 14th with an Improv Festival July 12 – 13 for two dasys on non-stop comedy.

  • Why Go? The musical revue, The World Goes ‘Round, launches their summer season. Go to listen to the music of Kander and Ebb, the song-writing duo who wrote American musical theater mainstays, Chicago and Cabaret.

Banyan Theatre Company: The mission of this professional theatre company is to produce intelligent, significant plays in the summer, showcasing the works of both classic and contemporary playwrights. This season they have scheduled three provocative plays, Painting Churches which opens June 27, Heroes, and Time Stands Still. Learn more on the Banyan’s website.

  • Why Go? This theatre produces consistently riveting, thought-provoking material and features some of the best local and out-of-town actors around.

Venice Theatre Summer Cabaret Festival: Venice Theatre is kicking-off its inaugural Summer Cabaret Festival from July 19 – August 25. Separate distinctive entertainers will be featured throughout the festival.

  • Why Go? Venice Theatre is a true gem in our area. They deliver high quality productions and make a significant impact in the greater community. Their inaugural cabaret series will no doubt be a treat amidst the summer months.

  Got any plans to attend these events or know of any upcoming performances I missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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