Black tie 'Crystal Gala' to open Manatee arts center

July 18, 2013 

Black-tie 'Crystal Gala' to open Manatee arts center

BRADENTON -- Nearly five months after its first show, The Manatee Performing Arts is finally ready for its grand opening.

The Manatee Players will celebrate the grand opening of the center at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 3 with a "Crystal Gala," which includes a reception with hors d'oeuvres and an open bar, followed by entertainment from John and Alexandra Nock, contestants on "America's Got Talent" this season.

After the performance, dinner will be prepared by Pier 22, followed live music and dancing.

The Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W. in downtown Bradenton, opened in March with a production of "Miss Saigon." The first full season in the center begins Aug. 8 with "Les Miserables."

Tickets, $175 per person, are available at or by calling 941-748-5875. Black tie preferred.

-- Marty Clear

Bradenton's Rodgers-Cromartie: 'Stop Violence'

SARASOTA -- Bradenton native and Denver Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Sarasota native and Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields will speak at noon Thursday at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St. about their "Stop the Violence" celebrity basketball fundraiser promoting non-violence.

Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino will attend.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. Friday at Booker High School, 3201 N. Orange Ave. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Admission is $5. Proceeds will fund youth programs at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.

For more information call 941-954-4182.

Free screening of 'Food Matters' scheduled July 25

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Healthsource will present a free screening of the documentary "Food Matters" at 7:15 p.m. July 25 at the Lakewood Ranch Cinema on Main Street.

Food Matters features interviews with leading medical experts from around the world who discuss natural approaches to preventing and reversing illness and many chronic health conditions.

RSVP by calling 941-755-9355 by Tuesday.

Knight backs Brothers and Sisters Doing Right Thing

SARASOTA -- Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight presented $3,000 check Tuesday to students from Brothers and Sisters Doing the Right Thing, a Sarasota nonprofit tutorial service and summer camp.

Brothers and Sisters Doing the Right Thing, based at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center in Sarasota, is dedicated to keeping children in school by "keeping them actively engaged in new experiences and offering them opportunities that will lead them far beyond their present ten block boundaries."

"I'm always happy to support organizations that provide positive, character building activities for young people," said Knight. "When we can use money seized from criminals to better our community and support programs for young adults, we're also doing the right thing."

Munchtime Musicales collect $1,500 grant

SARASOTA -- The Thomas and Lola Seligman Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County granted the Sarasota Concert Association $1,500 to help fund "Munchtime Musicales," a series of free lunch-time concerts from November through April, featuring performances by high-caliber, area-based artists. The series offers a variety of music, including classical, folk, and jazz, and features vocal and instrumental performers.

The 2013-2014 Munchtime Musicales concert season features concert pianist, Grigorios Zamparas, performing works by Bach, Ravel, Debussy and Liszt Nov. 20; Bill Schustik, the "American Troubadour," Dec. 11; the Jerry Eckert Jazz Trio Jan. 15; Lee Dougherty Ross and Joe Holt Feb. 19; studio artists from the Sarasota Opera March 19; and the Gloria Musicae Singers April 16. All performances are at noon at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

-- Herald staff reports

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