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While Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” set in 1934 is perhaps the most famous of the murder mystery genre, I managed to walk into the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s play entirely spoiler-free. As a result, “Murder” was a fresh and engaging production.
Christie’s simple concept of placing a group of intriguing characters in close quarters when a murder takes place is positively brilliant and has spawned…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 13, 2020 at 6:00pm — No Comments
Despite my lifelong love affair with Broadway, I have never seen a professional production of “The Sound of Music.” I had the record as a child so I know nearly every song by heart; and, along with legions of fans, I believe the iconic film is the greatest movie musical ever made.
Throw in the chance to see another Josh Rhodes production at Asolo Repertory Theatre and my anticipation for this season’s…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 24, 2019 at 2:16pm — No Comments
The Sarasota Ballet is performing at optimal strength with its latest production “Symphonic Tales” - catapulting the company into ever more rarefied air in the dance world with three world-class pieces. “Symphonic Tales” featured two stunning ballets by George Balanchine as well as the groundbreaking “Las Hermanas” choreographed by Sir Kenneth Macmillan.
The Sarasota Orchestra accompanied the dancers with Orsmby…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 23, 2019 at 10:00pm — No Comments
Beloved principal dancer Ricardo Graziano, who has been dazzling audiences with his charismatic performances and generous partnering, was honored with a retrospective of his diverse choreography.
Eight years ago, Artistic Director Iain Webb suggested Graziano begin choreographing ballets – a wise move for a dancer of Graziano’s calibre to carry on his legacy. Great performers live on in our memories, yet dancer/choreographers solidify their place in dance history every time…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on October 27, 2019 at 2:00pm — No Comments
The Asolo Repertory Theatre’s latest installment in its foray into young people’s theatre was by far its strongest and most universally appealing. With a simplistic set design comprised primarily a sky-high stack of suitcases, a small smattering of very smart black umbrellas, and symphonic lighting entirely in tune with the performances, director Theresa Heskins took the audience on an epic journey across continents and cultures.
Phileas Fogg (Andrew Pollard), an eccentric…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on June 12, 2019 at 7:30am — No Comments
I’ll never forget my coloring book from my “very young dancer” phase that provided a short synopsis of the most famous ballets with a chance to color a scene. The scene of sweet, beautiful Giselle in her trademark yellow and brown dress captivated me, and yet it took decades until I had the chance to see the full ballet, which closed this year’s tremendous Sarasota Ballet season.
This was my favorite performance by Victoria Hulland, who captured the purity of Giselle’s…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on April 29, 2019 at 7:00pm — No Comments
“The Cake,” now playing at Asolo Repetory Theatre, was the show I was most eager to see on the theater’s schedule for this season. Bekah Brunstetter, who is also behind the wildly popular TV show “This is Us,” has written a masterpiece about the ways hearts and minds can be influenced, one person at a time, to create a more hopeful, inclusive world.
I often marvel that “This is Us” became such a sensation during the most divisive political period of my lifetime. People all…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on April 7, 2019 at 5:00pm — No Comments
Sarasota Ballet combined two key ingredients to the good life for the March performance - “Poetry and Liberty.” Poetry without liberty is heartbreaking; and liberty without poetry results in an unexamined life – together they proved electric. The company turned in a powerhouse evening with two major ballets, Sir Frederick Ashton’s “Apparitions” and George Balanchine’s “Stars and Stripes” representing the range of human emotions.
“Apparitions” is an unusual ballet that could…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on March 10, 2019 at 5:36pm — No Comments
Several years ago, the Sarasota Ballet began hosting a touring company early in the new year to give local audiences a greater breadth of experience with modern dance and to give the dancers a chance to relax in the audience for a change.
Local balletomanes have been treated to companies ranging from the well-known Paul Taylor Dance Company to, more recently, the less familiar Smuin Dance Company. This year, the Sarasota Ballet has hosted the grande dame of the dance world –…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on February 17, 2019 at 2:30pm — No Comments
“Sweat” by Lynn Nottage opened February 8th at Asolo Repertory Theatre. “Sweat” is considered the first play to speak directly to the Trump era because of its focus on a working class community in America’s heartland.
Pundits have spent the better part of nearly three years discussing the forgotten working class voters that have been touted as the key to Trump’s appeal. I was intrigued to see a play that would address head on a community impacted by the loss of…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on February 14, 2019 at 8:08pm — No Comments
Sarasota Ballet’s latest production “Transcending Movement” was an exciting mix of classic and modern featuring four divergent pieces that captured the spirit of what the company is all about.
The evening began with the delightful “Four Scottish Dances” by David Bintley – light and fresh with a particularly strong performance by Weslley Carvahlo, a coryphée dancer who brings leading male star quality to his role. Breezy and fun, this piece was a great aperitif for the rest of…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 26, 2019 at 3:00pm — No Comments
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” now playing at Asolo Repertory Theatre started simply with an unopened door signifying the threshold where we last saw housewife Nora Helmer in the classic Ibsen original. As the lights came up the infamous doorway itself was met with thundering applause from an audience that has clearly been hungering to learn what became of Nora, who, in 1879, defied convention by departing through that door leaving behind her husband and children.
Lucas Hnath has…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 21, 2019 at 1:30pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 18, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 25, 2018 at 7:30pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 23, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on October 29, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments
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,”…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on June 18, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments
“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.
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on May 7, 2018 at 8:00pm — No Comments
“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 –…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on May 6, 2018 at 5:30pm — No Comments
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.
It is no secret that I am a Logan Learned fan as the spritely and spirited dancer has…Continue
Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on April 29, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments