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Bob Brader in his autobiographical play Spitting in the Face of the Devil.

 

When you take a host of solo and theater artists and stir them together for a festival, you’re bound to find something on the schedule that appeals to just about everybody. At least that would seem to be the case with the SaraSolo Festival, returning for its third year with performances Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 4-5.

The line-up for this fest has just been announced, along with a new event venue, the Starlite Room on Cocoanut Avenue, to add a stage to the already familiar one, the Crocker Memorial Church on 12th Street. Another new twist to the schedule: SaraSolo After Hours, adults only mainstage performances at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 28, 29 and Feb. 4.

Artistic director Ann Morrison, herself a veteran of the solo show, and associate artistic director Blake Walton also bring back the “Betwixt Week” events for five weekday evenings between performance weekends, with workshops and performances upstairs at the Starlite Room. Morrison’s vocal performance master class and Walton’s solo playwriting workshop will be joined by “Flying Solo” works-in-progress performances and other performances TBA.

The festival will showcase an eclectic mix of 45-90-minute solo performances by 22 artists, some local, others from around the country and the world. Here’s a peek.

Eleven performers are new to Sarasota stages including New York humorous monologist Bob Brader, in Spitting in the Face of the Devil; Joseph Galata, a Roma gypsy artist in Starlight, Starbright: I wish I was a star tonight; Heather Massie in Hedy: The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr; Valarie David, with her award-winning The Pink Hulk: One Woman’s Journey to Find the Superhero Within; Adelaide Mestre, in Top Drawer: Dysfunction and Redemption from Park Avenue to Havana; comedian Stephen K. Davis with The Birth of Humor; Miami native Stephen Powell in A Stopping Place; director-poet-playwright Timothy McCown Reynolds in Syndrome; North Carolina storyteller and musician Frannie Oates in Sassafras-Skin; TV actress Beth Dzuricky in Bed Beth and Beyond; and playwright-actor Amy Oestreicher in her Broadway World nominated one-woman autobiographical musical, Gutless and Grateful.

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Joseph Galata in Starlight! Starbright! I Wish I Was a Star Tonight.

 

Tampa Bay area artists taking part in SaraSolo include radio/TV personality Lori Shannon, with Superwoman Died Tonight; St. Petersburg Opera and jazz chanteuse Paula Broadwater in You Are What You Think; and Sarasota artist Sharon Ohrenstein, with the Golda Meir show Golden Road; and jazz pianist Michael Royal with Freeplay.

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Heather Massie as Hedy Lamarr in Hedy! The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr.

 

Returning artists include actor Alan Brasington, with Words from the Heart; Clara Francesca with Becoming Mia Rose; storyteller Kaylene McCaw with Guidance on Demand; and Jan Wallace with Shirley and Me.

There’s more on the schedule as well; for complete info, head to sarasolo.org.

 

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