The Glenridge Performing Arts Center Announces its 2019 Season

Highlights include the game-changing puppet artistry of the Cashore Marionettes, the Eddie Metz Jazz Trio with Nicki Parrott,Johnny Rodgers, and The Four Freshmen.


(Sarasota, Florida) The Glenridge Performing Arts Center’s 2019 season, January 13-March 30, features more than 15 theatrical and musical performances. Highlights include a celebration of songwriter legend Yip Harburg with music historian Michael Lasser (January 26); the game-changing puppetry troupe, the Cashore Marionettes (February 5); the Eddie Metz Jazz Trio (February 13); celebrated singer-songwriter, pianist, and Broadway star Johnny Rodgers (Match 9), and The Four Freshmen (March 24). For more information about the Glenridge’s 2019 season and to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at 941-552-5325. The Glenridge Performing Arts Center is located at 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota.

Ben Turoff, the director of the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, says that he designed the 2019 season with diversity in mind. “We try to break the mold at The Glenridge,” he says. “We offer experiences you won’t find anywhere else. The 2019 season is a creative mix of innovative, cutting-edge, sometimes highbrow, sometimes lowbrow, but always entertaining performances.”

Upcoming events:

January 23, 7:30 p.m.“How Ira Gershwin and Friends Made Clichés Sing—It Wasn’t Easy” a lecture with Peabody Award-winning music historian Michael Lasser. Ira Gershwin wrote about how important clichés were to songwriters even though he also said he hated to use them. He and some of his best fellow lyricists did everything they could to avoid saying, “I love you,” even when they were writing love songs. It wasn’t easy, but their sense of language was so rich and witty that they usually managed to succeed.

January 26, 8 p.m.: “Over the Rainbow with Yip Harburg and Friends.” Michael Lasser returns with songstress Cindy Miller and pianist Alan Jones to celebrate Edgar Yipsel “Yip” Harburg, one of the legends of American songwriting, who was known for his social commentary, extraordinary wit, and liberal sensibilities. He wrote the lyrics to the standards “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (with Jay Gorney), “April in Paris,” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” as well as all the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including “Over the Rainbow.” Through music and song, Lasser and his friends offer an entertaining introduction to the amazing range of this American master of song.

January 27, 2 p.m.: Jeff Rupert Quartet with Veronica Swift: Jeff Rupert brings an all-star quartet and the award-winning vocalist, Veronica Swift, to Sarasota for a stop on their whirlwind Florida tour. This hard-swinging group has shared the stage for years, raising the bar for jazz in central Florida and beyond. Rupert has performed at the Blue Note, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Tokyo Forum, the National concert hall of Taipei, Taiwan, and at jazz festivals in Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Swift is recognized as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene. This event is co-produced by GPAC and the South County Jazz Club.

February 5, 8 p.m.: The Cashore Marionettes in “Life in Motion.” Unmatched in artistry, grace and refinement of movement, the internationally acclaimed Cashore Marionettes are redefining the art of puppetry, and astounding audiences in Europe, the Far East and across the United States, including stops at the Kennedy Center, Annenberg Center, Kravis Center. In this performance, “Life in Motion,” Joseph Cashore presents his collection of marionette characters in a series of scenes taken from everyday life and set to music by such composers as Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss, and Copland. Through a combination of virtuoso manipulation, humor, pathos, classic music, and poetic insight, the Cashore Marionettes take the audience on a journey that celebrates the richness of life.

February 13, 8 p.m.: The Eddie Metz Trio. The Eddie Metz Jazz Trio, featuring bassist and vocalist Nicki Parrott, pianist Rossano Sportiello, and drummer Eddie Metz Jr., return to central Florida by audience demand. Metz has toured with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band, the Les Brown Orchestra and many others. Metz has also worked with such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Arturo Sandoval, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Chick Corea, and Patti Page. He continues to record with top jazz artists and perform at jazz festivals and events around the country. Australian jazz vocalist and double bassist Nicki Parrott, dubbed by the legendary Les Paul as having “that special gift you cannot buy in a music store,” has an ever-growing and monumental career filled with prestigious awards, countless festival appearances and an impressive roster of musicians performed with, including Paul McCartney, Slash and Steve Miller. Rossano Sportiello is an award-winning jazz pianist. This event is co-produced by GPAC and South County Jazz Club.

February 18, 8 p.m.: Two on Tap: Two on Tap brings audiences back in time to the era when couples like Fred & Ginger and Mickey & Judy filled the silver screen with tight vocal harmony and precision tap choreography. Mix together equal parts of classic songs, fantastic vocals, gorgeous costumes and exciting tap dancing and you get Two on Tap. Celebrated performers Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano pay tribute to the Great American Songbook and classic Broadway song-and-dance in this fun, lively, and fast-paced show that gets crowds singing and dancing along from their seats. Featuring sensational new arrangements of standards, including “I Got Rhythm” and “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” as well as rousing favorites like, “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “L-O-V-E,” Two on Tap uses fresh, original choreography to show how classic song-and-dance still endures and entertains.

March 2, 8 p.m.: Cynthia Sayer & Her Hot Jazz Quartet: Multi-award-winning instrumentalist/vocalist/bandleader Cynthia Sayer is acclaimed by musicians, critics, and fans alike as one of the top four-string banjoists in the world today. Praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by The New York Times, Sayer enchants audiences with her electrifying, swing-based performances that feature a mix of hot jazz, Great American Songbook, old favorites, virtuoso classics, and more. With Randy Sandke on trumpet, Richard Drexler on string bass, and Tony Vigilante on drums.

March 9, 8 p.m.: Legends of American Music with Johnny Rodgers: Johnny Rodgers is an internationally celebrated singer-songwriter, pianist, Broadway veteran, and recording artist who is described by Stephen Holden, from The New York Times, as an entertainer “who has show business in his bones” with “fused elements of Billy Joel, Peter Allen and Johnny Mercer.” Rodgers will be performing his show, “Legends,” a powerful tribute resurrecting fond memories and favorite artists, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong, among other big names in rock and roll, blues and jazz.  Rodgers has been music director and accompanist for Liza Minnelli performances and tours, and starred in and wrote the song, “I Would Never Leave You,” for Minnelli’s Tony Award- winning “Liza’s At The Palace,” filmed and released by PBS television. Rodgers has earned New York’s Nightlife, Bistro and MAC awards for his critically lauded performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jazz At Lincoln Center, Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, and other premiere clubs. His songwriting has been recognized with Billboard and ASCAP Foundation awards.

March 24, 2 p.m.: The Four Freshmen: With pure energy and great songs from the past and the present, The Four Freshmen deliver a world of music that will send some listeners back to the bygone era of their youth, while introducing others to a brand of vocal harmony entertainment that is surely to leave them wondering, “Why haven’t I gone to see them earlier?” Co-produced by GPAC and South County Jazz Club.

March 30, 8 p.m.: The Landscape of Guitar: Returning to the GPAC stage for an encore performance is the extraordinary show that brings together the art and music of the guitar for a sensory feast for the soul. Performing fiery Spanish guitar pieces like Malagueña,” to the gorgeous vocal harmonies of “Sounds of Silence,” master guitarist Bruce Hecksel and singer-songwriter Julie Patchouli takes the art of guitar to another dimension with a multimedia concert experience. A backdrop of vibrantly painted landscapes based on the guitar theme flows thru the concert. Moving in 3D, “guitar birds” fly through guitar mountains and over guitar rivers, cities and oceans. The paintings come alive with music in this unforgettable surround-art experience. Hecksel and Patchouli blend music from their two musical projects, Terra Guitarra and Patchouli. Terra Guitarra is reviewed as “one of the top nuevo-flamenco groups in the world” (Zone Music Reporter). Folk festival favorite Patchouli features Julie Patchouli’s sparkling lead vocals, beautiful duets and award-winning compositions. The Chicago Tribune says the duo’s “songs about harmony and healing inspire the human spirit.”


About the Glenridge Performing Arts Center

The Glenridge Performing Arts Center (GPAC) is a non-profit arts organization located on the campus of The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch. The 260-seat, state-of-the-art theater provides a wide variety of professional and community programs. The venue is also is available for rentals, workshops, concerts and performances. Visit