After a quick dinner, we were off for our evening's entertainment -- a concert by Valerie Sneade. The venue was a bit odd -- the Kings Gate retirement community clubhouse (complete with, well, lots of very retired people). I have to admit that if I had actually understood where we were going, I would have chosen something else -- and we would have missed a fun show. Sneade has a great voice and she definitely knows how to work the audience. Her band -- led by musical director Michelle Kasnofsky -- was fabulous. Sneade and her Turning Leaf Productions are definitely worth putting on your radar screen.
Asolo Repertory Theatre -- to see the Tony-nominated "Good People" by David Lindsay-Abaire. (If Lindsay-Abaire's name sounds familiar, he also wrote "Rabbit Hole," a play that was made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman.) I had heard great things about the show in general and the Asolo's production specifically, and we weren't disappointed. The play deals with issues of class and relationships through the lens of a group of "Southies" who grew up together outside Boston. There's lots of humor, but lots to think about as well. The cast was terrific, with Denise Cormier debuting at the Asolo in the role of Margie and Tim Grimm (who wrote the music for last year's production of "Grapes of Wrath") as Mike. If you're in the area, the show runs through March 1. I highly recommend it.
While Reese Witherspoon got top billing in the movie, it is actually the four "lost boys" (one of whom is a girl) who are the stars. I didn't learn until the credits rolled that all four were Sudanese refugees in real life and that two had been child soldiers.
|Set design in progress|
As we headed home from Sarasota, Ellen commented that it was going to be hard to go back to New York. She wasn't referring to the weather, but to the number of fun and interesting cultural events in our area. Mission accomplished.