The recent closing of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus led a lot of people, in the media and elsewhere, to opine that the circus is dead. A preposterous statement, of course, and one of the strongest arguments to the contrary is coming up in Washington, D.C.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a celebration of circus arts. The festival has selected 17 circus groups from around the country to perform, and three of them — Sailor Circus, Circus Arts Conservatory and Cirque des Voix — are based in Sarasota.
Before the young performers hit the road, Sailor Circus will give local audiences a sneak peak at what they’ll be doing in Washington.
The local performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Sailor Circus Arena, 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota. Tickets are $10 (or $50 for a VIP package that includes lots of extras) and the money goes to help pay for the trip.
The festival is slated for June 29-July 4 and July 6-9 on the National Mall. The Sailor Circus could be performing for more than a million people.
Other acts at the festival include some of the biggest companies in circus (e.g., Big Apple Circus) and some that have performed in recent years in the Bradenton area (e.g., UniverSoul Circus and Wise Fool New Mexico).
The Sailor Circus could be performing for more than a million people.
The original premiere of a musical adaptation of the cult classic film “Heathers” is coming to the Starlite Room this week. The story revolves around an especially vicious high school clique. The cast and creative team includes a lot of Manatee Players regulars (performers Sabrina Bowen, Brian Craft and Alexander Zickafoose among them).
It runs June 20-July 2. The Starlite Room is at 1001 Cocoanut Ave., Sarasota. Tickets are $20-$35, and you can get them through heathers.ticketleap.com.
NEA for WBTT
Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts are extremely difficult to get, but Sarasota’s Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has landed one.
On Thursday, WBTT announced that it had garnered a $10,000 Arts Work award from the NEA to help underwrite its 2018 production of “The Mountaintop,” a fictional account of the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. The funds will also be used to underwrite costs of community outreach activities related to the play.
WBTT announced that it had garnered a $10,000 Arts Work award from the NEA to help underwrite its 2018 production of “The Mountaintop.”
The outreach activities include two free performances of “The Mountaintop” for low-income residents, one specifically for school-aged children, community discussion about the play and Dr. King’s leadership in the civil rights movement and readings from “The Mountaintop” for area high school students.
“The Mountaintop” will be a WBTT mainstage production running from Jan. 10-Feb. 17.
Some recently announced shows coming within an easy drive of Bradenton:
- John Mulaney, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Sept. 28;
- Naked magician, Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Oct. 12 (a rescheduling of a show that was postponed because of an injury);
- Demitri Martin, Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Nov. 5;
- Bruce Hornsby, Nov. 7; Ben Folds, Straz Center, Nov. 11.