• Interview with jazz singer Judy Renaud releasing her 3rd CD

    11-21-17 Interview
    11-21-17 Judy Renaud always knew that she was meant to sing. But, like many others, she “folded” to her family’s desire that she pursue something that would guarantee her security. And although she spent years working and raising her family, she never surrendered her dream. At 50 she decided that it was her time to finally pursue that dream. She worked with many people including well known jazz performers Madeline Eastman, Mark Murphy and Diane Schuur. All taught her things she needed to know and encouraged her to keep singing. With her husband, jazz musician and singer Tom Renaud, she has been entertaining people in clubs for years. Then she went into Spirit Ranch Studio and with legendary engineer Bud Snyder and the remarkably talented Eddie Tobin, who was Engelbert Humperdinck’s pianist, musical director and conductor, on piano, recorded 36 songs which she packaged into 3 separate CD’s Having just released the 3rd of these CD’s Judy has accomplished her goal. Listen to this charming, funny, guileless woman describe her life journey, and the serious learning curve required when making a CD. Listen to several cuts from her most recent CD.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Broadway General Manager Peter Bogyo

    11-7-17 Interview

    11-7-17 Peter Bogyo thought he was an actor and diligently pursued that career, but the experience of producing a play convinced him that his natural talents and inclinations lead in another direction. He began to explore the area of managing, instead of acting, in a show. First becoming a company manager and then creating a huge track record as a general manager of Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Peter has worked with Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Kevin Spacey, Richard Dreyfus, Sir Alan Bates, Dame Eileen Atkins, Carol Burnett, and Cicely Tyson and the recording he produced of the concert version of “Anyone Can Whistle” at Carnegie Hall with Angela Lansbury, was nominated for a Grammy® Award. But Peter is always evolving and having taken a hiatus from his work as a general manager, he turned his talents to writing and has just published his first book – Broadway General Manager: Demystifying the Most Important and Least Understood Role in Show Business. Listen to this charming, funny, interesting man describe his ability to ‘switch horses mid- stream’, and discover that he is really a “fish.”

    continue reading
  • Interview with dancer, actor, singer, author Carole Schweid

    10-17-17 Interview

    10-17-18 The multi-talented Carole Schweid began taking dance classes at six and continued studying through the grueling program at Julliard. But by then she had already discovered her interest in and talent for acting and singing, and her passion for plays. Listen to the delightful story of how she got her first Broadway show – Minnie’s Boys, and the life changing experience of being part of the company of the iconic show A Chorus Line. But performing was not enough for Carole and in addition to raising her two sons, Carole and her partner Nancy Diamond created the hugely-successful Play with Your Food, a truly unique theater experience, and the basis for her newly published book Staged Readings – Magic. Listen to Carole’s funny, charming, disarming story, hear her describe how she went from someone who was “dancing from the minute she could walk,” to the singer, actor, writer, director, choreographer, producer, and author she became.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Dancer, Journalist, Advocate Carrie Seidman

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-22-17 Passionate, talented and courageous Carrie Seidman is a dancer, a journalist, a cancer survivor, and parent of child with mental health issues. She discovered her passion for dance at three years old while watching her older sisters do what she was “too young “to do. Although assured that she could not begin to study until she was five Carrie managed to bully her teacher into letting her begin at “almost five.” And that tenacity is the hallmark of her life. Soft spoken and basically shy Carrie has a will of iron. She has survived everything life has thrown at her and emerged not only victorious over her own and her son’s challenges, but as an advocate for others who are facing those challenges. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Carrie has been a journalist for 35 years: a full time staff writer for the New York Times, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Albuquerque Journal and Albuquerque Tribune, she currently writes features, critiques and long form projects for Sarasota Herald-Tribune where she specializes in the arts and mental health. Motivated by the difficult and painful experience of her son’s descent into mental illness, Carrie created a series called, “The S Word: The Stigma of Schizophrenia” for which she received the national Mental Health America Media Award, and became one of only 9 American journalists to be a fellow of the prestigious 2016-2017 Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism. She has won awards from state and national journalism organizations, including the Gold Medal for Public Service from the Florida Society of News Editors in 2015. Carrie turned the project into a book called FACEing Mental Illness: The Art of Acceptance a collection of the stories and artwork produced for her ongoing fellowship project of the same name, which is aimed at changing cultural attitudes about mental illness and eliminating the stigma of a mental health diagnosis. The book will be launched on Friday, September 1st at 6:00 pm at BOOKSTORE1 SARASOTA Listen to this remarkable woman tell the story of her life and come to Bookstore1Sarasota to see her, purchase a copy of the book, and support this important mission.

    continue reading
  • Interview with actress Kim Crow in Doublewide at FST

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-15-17 Kim Crow is a working professional actress/writer and director in theatre, broadcast television, film and commercials. She was nominated for an Emmy for her work in ‘Echoes from the Holocaust’ and a Florida Arts & Culture Individual Artist grant award winner and was Co-founder of Twickenham Repertory Company (1979) now celebrating its 34th season as “Theatre Huntsvile. She is a member of Actor’s Equity, AFTRA/SAG, and ISDN. As a voice actress her voice-over skills are internationally recognized, most notably she is affectionately known to US Defense airplanes pilots as ‘Bitching Betty.” Hers was the first voice ever to be digitized and was the first used in US Defense and NASA applications, including the F-15, F-16, F-18 and AVAB, as well as the STS (Space Shuttle). Listen to this charming, talented woman describe her certainty in the eighth grade that she not only wanted to be an actress, but most particularly a “classical actress.” Listen to the charming story she tells of the moment she told her mother what she wanted to be when she grew up. And come to see her touching, perfect portrayal of Coral the steely matriarch with the heart of gold in Stephen Spotswood’s poignant play Doublewide, now playing at Florida Studio Theater.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Amanda McBroom, composer of “The Rose”

    8-8-17 Interview
    8-8-17 Actor, singer, songwriter, cabaret performer and playwright Amanda McBroom is best known for writing “The Rose” for which she won a Golden Globe Award and which was a number one hit all over the world for Bette Midler. Amanda then recorded it as did Amy Poehler, Jack Black, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, LeAnn Rimes, Anne Murray, Harry Belafonte, Betty Buckley, Stephanie Mills, The Manhattan Transfer, Donny Osmond, Kurt Cobain, Nana Mouskouri, Conway Twitty and the Chipmunks. With her friend and longtime collaborator Michele Brourman, Amanda has written the lyrics for the Baby Dinosaurs in all of the 16 Universal Cartoon Series The Land Before Time. She’s written two original musicals Heartbeats based on her songs and Woman of Will, based on the female characters in William Shakespeare’s plays. She is currently releasing VOICES, her sixth recording on Gecko, the label she established in 1985. Listen to this exuberant, delightful, outrageous woman talk about creating a life filled with music, art, animals, and gardens; a perfect example of creativity in action

    continue reading
  • Interview with Jeff Plunkett star of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelky

    8-1-18 Interview

    8-1-17 Even in the 2nd grade Jeff Plunkett didn’t want just to read the story in class – he wanted to act it. To deal with his chronic ear infections Jeff’s doctor prescribed voice lessons and from the time he was 13 he not only studied voice but had small roles in his voice teachers Opera Company. Although majoring in biology/psychology in college (thinking he might become a doctor), Jeff took every acting role he could and by the time he graduated knew that acting, not medicine was his path. Listen to this thoughtful, intelligent man talk about what it means to be an actor and describe his role in Florida Studio Theater’s current production of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelky. Jeff says that he was “graced’ but I think it is we who are graced by being able to watch this extraordinary actor become all the remarkably distinct roles in this extraordinary play

    continue reading
  • Interview with Bill Oser

    8-2-16 Interview
    2-25-17 Jack of many trades and master of each Bill Oser is very difficult to characterize. Having fallen in love with show tunes as a toddler, been cast in professional productions at nine and scored his equity card at sixteen, Bill spent much of his life “treading the boards.” But one identity would never be enough for Bill. Listen to this exuberant, eclectic man describe a very unusual life and read his theater reviews on talkin Broadway

    continue reading
  • Interview with Director Brendon Fox

    8-2-16 Interview

    7-18-17 Brendon Fox was always interested in music, theater and literature, but it was in Jr. High School that he had the experiences which would define the rest of his life – listen to Brendon describe his father’s moving response to his performance. As much as he liked acting Brendon discovered that he also really liked directing – hear him describe the curious and serendipitous way his directing career got its start. Brendon’s path took him from Northwestern University to the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, then to Los Angeles and a Masters in Directing at UCLA, and a teaching position at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota FL where he directed a production of The Aliens. After four years away Brendon is back directing Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking – the first production of the Conservatory’s Dog Days of Summer.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Michael Mendez

    7-11-17 Interview
    7-11-17 Singer, dancer, actor Michael Mendez thought he was going to be a Doctor. He never intended to be a performer, he just loved to sing and wanted to get better and better at it. So when he learned that the theater “needed males” and was offered a role in A Chorus Line, he said yes – thinking it would strengthen him as a singer. Having no dance training he was completely unprepared for the dancing required, but Michael always wants to be “going for growth” so he just learned all the routines. And that was just the beginning. Listen to Michael describe his journey from a boy who just loved to sing, to the young man who aspires to learn every medium, performing in every way he can. And come see him in Black on Broadway, now playing at the West Coast Black Theater Troupe.

    continue reading
  • Interview with actor, director, singer, dancer Michael Marotta

    6-20-17 Interview

    6-13/20-17 Actor, director, singer, dancer Michael Marotta knew from the age of seven what he wanted to do. He can still feel the intense pleasure he got from his first role as Santa, which he got because he was the only child who could memorize the names of all the reindeer. And watching the movie Tea for Two over and over on the Million Dollar Movie cemented his certainty that performing was his path. Having decided very early in life what he was meant to do Michael has never wavered. When you see him in Burt and Me, currently playing at Florida Studio Theater, you can see that he made the right decision. Listen to this charming, talented man talk about a life dedicated to bringing pleasure to audiences, while doing what he loves. And get a preview of some of the Burt Bacharach songs you will hear in the show

    continue reading
  • Interview with Bradley Battersby Part 2


    6-6-17 Writer, director, producer, educator Bradley Battersby Part 2.
    In part 1 of our interview Brad he talked about his career as a film maker, in Part 2 he talks about his career as an educator. Although he never considered teaching, when he was unexpectedly invited to teach a class in ‘directing your first film’ at the Maine Photographic Workshop he said yes and discovered that he not only liked teaching, he was good at it. In the years that followed he taught at the UCLA Extension, the LA Film School, Chapman University, the Idyllwild Arts Academy and his Alma mater AFI. Then, hoping to check out the digital media curriculum at Ringling School of Art and Design, he applied for the position as head of their Film School. Listen to the hilarious way in which he tried to convince Larry Thomson out of having a Film School at Ringling at all. Fortunately he failed and under Brad’s direction the Film School went from 9 students to 130 students, and is ranked sixtieth of twenty-five in the Hollywood Reporter List of Film Schools. Listen to this passionate, dedicated man describe his ambitious plans for the growth of the school and his commitment to treat each student’s needs, he says “no one falls through the cracks at Ringling.” Also hear him tell the ironic story of how he discovered he was Variety’s Film School Mentor of the year.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Actor, Director,Playwright, Author Teacher E Katherine Kerr

    4-18-17 Interview

    4-18-17 Having spent years working on stage, film and TV, and as one of the principle members of the prestigious Westport Theatre Group, actor, director, playwright, author, and educator E Katherine Kerr has recently brought her talents and skills to Sarasota. Katherine maintains that as a girl from Indiana, with no exposure to theater and no formal training, she should never have become an actor. Listen to the hilarious story of the first time she was on a stage and how it convinced her to never step foot on a stage again. But time after time she was placed on stage until she recognized that it was the place she was meant to be. And having accepted that she was an actor, hear her tell how she was discovered by her idol Mike Nichols, and the extraordinary career that followed where she shared stage and screen with stars like Meryl Streep and Cher.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Johnny Epstein – Midsummer Nights Dream

    3-28-17 Interview

    3-28-17 Johnny Epstein has had a long career as a Shakespearian Player and acting teacher. Although he knew from age 7 that he was comfortable on stage – when he spontaneously adlibbed to cover a fellow student missed cue – it was a series of unplanned and unintended actions and comments that lead him to realize that acting was his career. To help him overcome a fear of water his parents sent him to Tuffs Magic Circle summer day camp because campers were encouraged to swim and, by the way, spent the mornings doing theater. Johnny spent 3 years there enjoying doing plays but did not think of acting as a “profession.” Following his first performance in a Shakespeare play (As You Like it) the shop teacher a “plain man with little exposure to Shakespeare” said “I saw that As You Like it – you’re a great actor – is this going to be your profession” This was the first time Johnny considered of acting as a profession. Listen to this knowledgeable, articulate man describe the ironic way he got his first role on Broadway and talk about his life, the work of acting, and the upcoming production of Midsummer Night’s Dream– performed by his class of 2nd year graduate students at the FSU Conservatory for Acting Training.

    continue reading
  • Interview with actor Denise Cormier

    3-21-17 Interview

    3-21-17 Denise Cormier says she is a “repertory actor.” She thrives on the challenge of playing several different roles in a repertory setting, which means that it is not unusual for her to be playing two different characters in the same day – at matinee and evening performances. And that is exactly what she is currently doing at the Asolo Repertory Theater. If you hurray you can see Denise as Lady Bird Johnson in The Great Society, a senator’s wife in Born Yesterday and Birdie Hubbard in Little Foxes. Come see what it means to be the consummate “repertory actor!” And listen to Denis describe the ironic way in which her career evolved, opportunities arriving just when she was ready to accept them.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Actor Edward Gero – as Antonin Scalia

    2-7-17 Interview

    2-7-17 Actor, teacher Edward Gero is the fourteen-time nominee and four time recipient of the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for his work in Shakespeare, contemporary and musical theatre, as well as the recipient of Robert Prosky awards for an outstanding lead actor and James MacArthur awards for an outstanding support actor. Today, in the Asolo Repertory Theatre Company’s production of the Originalist, he is reprieving the role of Justice Antonin Scalia. When you see Ed as Justice Scalia you will understand why playwright John Strand wrote it with him in mind. Listen to Ed describe the remarkable experience of meeting, hanging out with, and getting to know the Justice up close and personal. And hear this intelligent, thoughtful professional discuss his life and his work and the charmed way in which his career unfolded.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Sharon Ohrenstein – Golden Roads

    Interview with Sharon Ohrenstein – Golden Roads


    1-24-17 Sharon Leslie Ohrenstein is a renaissance woman. Her extraordinary voice was first discovered in Kindergarten when she was chosen to sing the solo in the Christmas play and has delighted countess audiences since. She is a fine actor appearing in vastly dissimilar roles with authenticity. As a director she has helped actors find nuances which enabled them to be better than they were. And, as a teacher, she has enhanced the experience of the eager students at Roads Scholar for 16 years. Although writing came late in her life, along with her composer husband David, she wrote the book and lyrics to two musicals and two operas; producing, directing, and staring in many (she even made the costume). Listen to this amazing woman talk about her life journey and come see her open this year’s Sarasota Festival on Jan 28th at 1:00, at Crocker Church performing Golden Roads an original musical homage to Golda Meir.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Pianist and Singer Lee Dougherty Ross

    1-17-17 Interview

    1-17-17 Seven year old Lee Dougherty saw her mother and brother at the piano and knew that she too wanted to play. Her mother immediately enrolled Lee with Francis Marsh Bunton, who had a profound impact on Lee’s life and with whom she studied until she entered college. Many times in Lee’s life someone came along and told her what she must do next and bravely she followed their instructions. At a piano completions, a judge told Lee that she must attend North Texas State College to study piano. And she did. In addition to piano she took voice lessons from Julius Huehn, an operatic bass-baritone who had sung over 200 performances with the Metropolitan Opera . Mr. Huehn insisted that Lee must go to the Eastman School of Music to study voice. Lee left North Texas before graduating and went off to Eastman to finish her degree. During her studies there Lee decided that voice was to be her main instrument, but she never stopped playing the piano. She and her husband Jerold Ross, created soiree’s wherever they lived bringing beautiful music to audiences often in their own home. When they relocated to Sarasota FL they continued their soiree’s which morphed into the highly successful Artists Series Concerts which is now celebrating its 25th year. Listen to this delightful woman describe her journey, hear her play and sing and come hear her and Joseph Holt perform four-hand piano music in ”Kittens on the Keys” January 26 at Lunch, Look and Listen One-hour concerts at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. At Michael’s On East Ballroom, 1212 East Avenue South, Sarasota.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Alan Brasington

    12-27-16 Interview

    12-27-16 Alan Brasington began his performing career at three when he repeated to neighbors a dirty joke he’d overheard his grandmother telling. It was years before Alan understood the joke but he loved the attention the delighted neighbors gave him. Still it would be twenty seven years before he was able to become the actor he was clearly meant to be. Alan’s mother was just sixteen when he was born and she loved the movies. Mother and son would watch films on their black and white TV and revel in the performances of actors like Cary Grant and Greta Garbo – who Alan thought of as Kings and Queens or Gods. It was an opportunity to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London that allowed Alan to discover who he is and what he was meant to do. Listen to him tell the story of his rise from poverty to live a truly extraordinary life. A life he was able to embrace because of his mother positive certainty that he could be/do anything – that all things were possible – and clearly mother was right. To hear how Alan wound up at the Royal Academy and the rest of his remarkable life story.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Actor Amy Helms

    Interview with Actor Amy Helms
    8-2-16 Interview
    11-8-16 When little Amy Helms told her Daddy that she “needed to act,” she knew what she was talking about. Having been exposed to singing, performing, acting and playing musical instruments since kindergarten, Amy was certain she knew what she “needed” to do with her life. Listen to her tell the story of how she guaranteed that she would be cast as Queen Esther in her 3rd grade class production. And come to see her demonstrate how right she was, a she shines as Ruth Hock (a latter day St; Joan) in the first production of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production of Langston Wilson’s “ Book of Days, currently running at the Cook Theater.

    continue reading