World class “Giselle” at the Sarasota Ballet is a wonder of the holiday season

“Giselle” was a unique choice for the Christmas holiday season performance, and I cannot recommend the evening-length production enough. As I have been remarking since the live season began, the grandeur of such a sprawling piece on the sweeping Van Wezel stage is another remarkable step forward for the Sarasota Ballet. Although the audience’s faces […]

Day and Night with the Sarasota Ballet

Being back at the beautiful Sarasota Opera House after a two-year hiatus, you could feel the buzz of excitement. A season like no other is picking up the pace now, and it is clear we are all savoring every moment of renewal more than ever before. Even crossing the threshold into the remarkable downtown venue […]

Let the Sunshine In and Check out “Hair” at Asolo Rep

Fifty years is a fruitful passage of time to consider what the social and political revolution depicted in the hit Broadway musical “Hair” has meant to audiences around the world and how it can be interpreted through the lens of our current climate. Asolo Repertory Theatre’s decision to stage such a politically charged and emotionally […]

Sarasota Ballet is Live Again and It’s a “New World”

Sarasota Ballet’s 2021 season officially began with “New World.” So, it was time to cast aside my pajamas and chardonnay, and head back inside the Mertz Theatre for the company’s first live production. While it was incredibly impressive that the Sarasota Ballet nimbly pivoted to digital performances, seeing black clad balletomanes filing past the COVID […]

“Stand Back Sarasota” is Another Vaccine We Need Right Now

The Asolo Repertory Theatre’s latest production “Ana Isabelle & Friends in Concert: Stand Back, Sarasota” may go down in my theater-world annals as my favorite pandemic performance yet. For all of us who love live theater, it’s been painful thinking about what life must have been like for all the people we count on in […]

For a Brief Shining Moment, Sarasota Has Camelot

The beautiful production ended on a note of hope and glory and set just the right tone as we floated off to the parking lot singing the numbers quietly to ourselves after a fully contactless opening night. We got a taste of Broadway for a brief shining moment, and it was just the dose we needed to keep our spirits up until we can all gather safely once more.

“Fannie: the Life and Music of Fannie Lou Hamer” premieres at Asolo Rep

Butler fully embodied Hamer as she sang the civil rights leader’s favorite gospel songs interspersed with her wise words about the depth and breadth of the country’s original sin of white supremacy. The holistic view that we are all interconnected and our freedom is interdependent is modern indeed. Hamer bravely soldiered on in the name of freedom despite death threats, shootings, the death of a child, and brutal beatings at the hands of law enforcement.


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