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Asolo Rep presents Lypsinka as Joan Crawford

Asolo Rep presents Lypsinka as Joan Crawford

Sarasota, FL -- With uncanny precision and unforgettable pizzazz, John Epperson - also known as Lypsinka - pays homage to ultimate screen-queen Joan Crawford.

Using the actress' own words, The Passion of the Crawford is a fantasia on the persona of this 20th Century cultural icon.

Washington City Paper has called Lypsinka "certifiably fabulous," while the Los Angeles Times dubbed her "a geyser of glamour!" Daily Variety raved: "Watching a Lypsinka show is like channel-surfing in Heaven."

Reserved concert seating at Venice Community Center expanded

Reserved concert seating at Venice Community Center expanded

For the fans of the concerts performed at the Venice Community Center, finding a good seat for the show is a top priority, but purchasing a season ticket eliminates the need to stand in line and race to find a good seat in the auditorium after the doors open.

Reserved seating available only with a season ticket is so popular that an additional reserved seating section has been added for the 2012 concert season for each of the five shows on the schedule. Unless otherwise noted, all shows are in the calendar year 2012.

The 2012 show lineup includes:

The Diary of Anne Frank opening soon at Venice Theatre

The Diary of Anne Frank opening soon at Venice Theatre

The dramatic play The Diary of Anne Frank opens on Venice Theatre’s MainStage Tuesday, May 10 and runs through Sunday, May 22, 2011. Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets range from $12 - $27 and can be purchased at www.venicestage.com or by calling the box office at (941) 488-1115. The Diary of Anne Frank is generously sponsored by Venetian Dental. The Jewish Federation of Sarasota Manatee has provided media sponsorship.

An impassioned drama about the lives of eight people hiding from the Nazis in a concealed storage attic, The Diary of Anne Frank captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence – their fear, their hope, their laughter and their grief. Wendy Kesselman’s updated adaptation of the play based upon “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl” was hailed by The New York Times as “undeniably moving.”

Venice Theatre granted $30,000 to fund “Director of Diversity"

Venice Theatre granted $30,000 to fund “Director of Diversity"

Venice, Florida -- The Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice is helping Venice Theatre make a dramatic impact on the lives of more people. Gulf Coast has granted Venice Theatre $30,000 to hire a “Director of Diversity.” Kristofer Geddie, who has been working with the theatre as an actor, has been selected to fill the new position.

Geddie will use his background in arts administration to bring greater diversity to Venice Theatre’s base of volunteers, patrons and students. He will also work with the theatre’s artistic staff to expand programming to include a wider variety of shows and events.

Geddie holds a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Mars Hill College with a concentration in Arts Administration. He began his career with the non-profit Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre and has worked in the entertainment field for 15 years at companies based in North Carolina, New York, Miami, New Orleans and Honolulu. For the past several years he was the company manager of Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Vote now on Sarasota's 2011 "One Book" selections

Vote now on Sarasota's 2011 "One Book" selections

Sarasota, Florida -- In coordination with National Library Week, the Sarasota County Library System announced the book candidates for the 2011 "One Book, One Community" program on Friday, April 15, on the program website, www.onebooksarasota.com.

Voters can start voting now from six titles, three fiction and three non-fiction. Ballots can be filled out at the website above.

In addition to online voting, ballot boxes and paper ballots will be available at all Sarasota County libraries, some Sarasota County High School media centers, the Senior Friendship Centers, the Jane Bancroft Cook Library of New College of Florida, Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus and the State College of Florida Venice campus.

Sarasota Opera and Film Fest pair up for panel discussion on censorship

Sarasota Opera and Film Fest pair up for panel discussion on censorship

Sarasota, FL – Sunday, April 17, at 1 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, The Sarasota Opera and the Sarasota Film Festival will present a panel discussion on Censorship and Cinema: The Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist, thanks to the generosity of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice. 

This will be the final installment in a series of educational events designed around Sarasota Opera’s 2011 production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible.  The esteemed panel will include Peter Askin (Director, TRUMBO) David Fear (Editor, Time Out New York Film) Joshua Marston (Director, MARIA FULL OF GRACE, THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD) Dr. Howard Pollack (John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Music, The University of Houston) Reid Rosefelt (Film Publicist, Essayist) and Alex Ross (Music Critic, THE NEW YORKER Magazine). 

"The Drowsy Chaperone" comes to Venice Theatre

"The Drowsy Chaperone" comes to Venice Theatre

Venice, FL -- On the heels of the smash success of The King and I, Venice Theatre brings another popular musical to its MainStage with the 2006 Tony Award Winner, The Drowsy Chaperone.

Winner of five Tony Awards, The Drowsy Chaperone is a loving spoof of the musicals that were popular after World War I when war-weary Americans kicked up their heels and rebelled against the past.

1920s musicals tended to be escapist, frothy fare with memorable songs, silly stories and lavish production numbers.