“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.

Sarasota Ballet Continues to Delight Digital Audiences with Program 3

As we face a daunting pandemic and civic unrest, I find myself thirsting for artistic expression now more than ever. In these unusual times, the Sarasota Ballet’s digital performance season is comfort food for arts lovers. Among the most enjoyable pieces of the digital 3 production was a bravura performance by Ellen Overstreet, who once […]

Hot, hot hot – Sarasota Ballet Turns in One of its Finest Performances of the Decade

“Redefined Movement” began with “Les Rendezvous” – a gorgeous, frothy confection by Sir Frederick Ashton that, as Marie Kondo would say, truly sparks joy. Dreamy crisp white costumes were punctuated with pink ribbons on the female dancers and blue accents on the males. This was also the first of three performances by relative newcomer Ivan […]

A Tremendous Triumvirate Cast Bring a Lyrical Essay to Life

As we crest into the 2020s, John Adams’ famous incantation that “facts are stubborn things” has never been more relevant. As a result, Asolo Repertory Theatre’s latest production “The Lifespan of a Fact” has been my most highly anticipated show of the season. We are living through an era where, depending on your point of […]

All Aboard for Fresh and Engaging Murder on the Orient Express

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 […]

A Stellar Night at the Sarasota Ballet with “Symphonic Tales”

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 […]

“In a State of Weightlessness” Caps a Night of Tribute to Graziano

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 […]


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