ANDREA McARDLE first captured the hearts of theatergoers everywhere in 1977 when she originated the title role in the mega-musical ANNIE, based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. Since then, she has starred in several Broadway musicals and appeared in theatres in New York, nationally and internationally. She has performed in concert halls from Carnegie Hall to the Hong Kong Philharmonic and casino hotels in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City. She has honed her craft by working with some of the great legends of the entertainment industry such as Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Steve Martin and Martin Short, to name a few, and was privileged to have appeared on television with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore. As “Annie”, Andrea became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She also received the Theater World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for her performance and went on to star when the show was produced on London’s West End. (Fun fact: Catherine Zeta-Jones played young orphan Mollie in this production). Coming full circle, Andrea was tapped by Academy Award nominated director Rob Marshall to appear as “The Star to Be” in the Disney/ABC television production of ANNIE starring Kathy Bates and Victor Garber. And in the summer of 2010, Andrea played, yes, Miss Hannigan in a production at the North Carolina Theatre and at Musical Theatre West in California. Also on Broadway, Andrea starred in the Jerry Herman musical JERRY’s GIRLS alongside Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams; she portrayed the sassy Smoking Car, Ashley, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s STARLIGHT EXPRESSS; and starred as Margy Frake in STATE FAIR; as Fantine in LES MISERABLES and, most recently as Belle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. She toured nationally starring as Sally Bowles in CABARET and as Eponine in LES MISERABLES and appeared as herself in THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, which she appeared in Off-Broadway as well. Andrea appeared Off-Broadway in the satirical NEWSICAL and regionally as the title role in MAME and HELLO DOLLY. Other theatre appearances include starring as Reno Sweeney in ANYTHING GOES, Esther in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, Mrs. Johnstone in BLOOD BROTHERS, Penelope Pennywise in URINETOWN, Sonia in THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, Luisa in THE FANTASTICKS, Eva Peron in EVITA, Nancy in OLIVER, the Narrator in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, Annie Oakley in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, Sandy in GREASE and as Mama Rose in GYPSY. In addition to ANNIE, Andrea’s film and television credits include starring as Judy Garland in RAINBOW, appearing in THE LEADING LADIES OF BROADWAY on PBS, ALL MY CHILDREN on ABC and headlining her own PBS special ANDREA McARDLE ON BROADWAY.
Andrea is a much in demand vocalist and has performed in the showrooms of many of the Las Vegas and Atlantic City’s top hotels and casinos, and in cabarets and night clubs such as New York City’s renowned Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, Feinstein's, among many others. She can be heard on the Grammy Winning, Platinum selling Original Broadway Cast recording of ANNIE, as well as the cast recordings of JERRY’S GIRLS, STATE FAIR, the television soundtrack of Rob Marshall’s ANNIE, as well as her own solo CD titled “Andrea McArdle: On Broadway”. In 2013 Andrea released her new solo release ANDREA MCARDLE: 70’s & SUNNY- LIVE from 54 BELOW.
Tori Bates is an accomplished, trained professional actress, singer, and dancer currently residing in Central Florida. Tori began acting at age 8, performing in community theatre at Player’s Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Her professional career debut starred alongside R&B singer Deborah Cox in the Broadway Bound play Josephine. In the summer of 2016, at 11, Tori was cast as the first history-making bi-racial Annie in the US Broadway National Tour. Upon returning to Florida, Tori decided to focus on the Film, TV, Commercial, and Print industry. Credits include ABC TV Pilot Salvage with Jim Belushi, Universal Studios Super Bowl LII commercial starring alongside football legend Peyton Manning, Food Network, Arabella Insurance, Publix, and multiple Disney and Universal Theme Park commercials, along with several print ads. In 2020, Tori starred in the Amazon feature film The Kid Who Only Hit Homers, produced by former Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami. Tori’s most recent accomplishment was receiving Best Leading Actress in 2020 at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival for the award-winning short film Pine Mountain Overnight. Tori currently attends Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, on an academic and fine arts scholarship, majoring in Musical Theatre.
Natalie Ghezzi Aceves is a fusion dance artist from Northern California whose unique movement style, influenced by immersive experiences in Brazil, Cuba, Ghana, and the U.S., combines urban, social, ballet, and world dance elements. She has worked with numerous dance companies, including Alayo Dance Company, Rafiki Dance Ensemble, Sarah Bush Dance Project, El WAH Movement, Aguas Dance Company, Cuicacalli Dance Company, and is currently a touring company member with Dancing Earth Creations. She has taught at renowned institutions such as Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Cal State East Bay, Marin Performing Arts Academy, and is currently teaching at New College of Florida and Sarasota Contemporary Dance.
Dairon Bryan Batista, a Cuban dancer and choreographer, graduated from the ENA (National School of Arts). He has performed in numerous national and international events, including DanzanDos in Matanzas, Cuba; International Caribbean Festival (Santiago de Cuba); Solo Solo(Havana); Jamaica Day (Montgomery 2016); Dancehall Festival (Kingston, Jamaica);and the Istanbul International Dance Festival (Turkey 2019-2020). He collaborated on the National TV of Cuba with the Revolution entertainment company and performed choreographic productions for hotel chains such as Melia and Iberostar in Varadero, Cuba. This is his first professional performance in the US since moving here in 2022.
Natalia Chersia, originally from Venezuela, is a nineteen-year-old dancer with the Endedans Company. She began dancing at age five and professionally trained in ballet for nine years. Natalia has won various awards at ballet competitions as well as danced internationally. She m recently trained at the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School, where she began working with Tania Vergara four years ago. Coaxed out of “retirement” fro, ballet by Ms. Vergara, Natalia is currently pursuing a Psychology degree at the University of South Florida.
Sabine Lindemane has been dancing since the age of three. Born in Riga, Latvia, she graduated with a BA in Contemporary Dance and Choreography from the Latvian Academy of Culture, followed by a post-graduate teaching certificate from the Latvian Academy of Music. While performing with the modern dance company “Dzirnas,” she taught folk, ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance for eight years. Her original choreography has been commissioned by EU Projects and other dance collectives. Since moving to Sarasota with her family in 2013, Sabine has performed with the Sarasota Contemporary Dance Ensemble. This is her fifth year as an SCDE dancer and her fourth year as a rehearsal assistant.
Sanda Lungu, owner of SouL Dance Studio, began her career in Eastern Europe, where she danced with the National Ballet Theatre in Moldova, Moscow Ballet, Great Russian Nutcracker,State Ballet Theatre of Russia USA Touring Company, Crown of Russian Ballet, and St. Peterburg Festival Ballet Euro Touring Company. Sanda graduated the Professional Ballet Academy (Colegiul National de Coregrafie) in Chisinau, Moldova, trained at several prominent dance schools and companies in Eastern Europe and the US, and has received numerous awards and accolades in national competitions in Eastern Europe. In 2015, Sanda moved to the USA and has since worked with Massachusetts Ballet Academy, Dimensional Dance Company, Fred Astaire Dance Studio, and Dynasty Dance Clubs.
Living Arts Festival is the centerpiece of Sarasota Rising’s initiatives and is an interdisciplinary arts festival like no other, staged in our beautiful, eclectic, semi-tropical region. Our festival will broaden the audience for the arts in all its “flavors” with an emphasis on performing arts, while bringing unprecedented economic value to the business community during our “off” season and expos-ing new visitors to our arts organizations.
Special thanks to the SRQ Rising team:
Lynda St. James, Tamara & Mike Solum, Danae DeShazer,Charles Agurcia, Pat Armstrong, Deb Lombard, Jae Hermann, Sunny Smith, Kat Walton, Eve Caballero, Bill Wagy, Sorcha Augustine, Carrie Mills and Morgan Gerhart.
Thank you to our Board of Trustees and Dr. Jeffrey Hamblin forthe incredible support!
Thank you to our Lobby Performers:
Tom Ruthz Tomstudiogallery.com Barbara Montiero
Ben Jacobs BabylMusic.com
Special Thank You to:
The Art Ovation Team
Jeff & Christy Weber with WebersScenicProduction.com
Ryan Kirby with CCAV Event Production CCAVInc.com
Bill Greaves with ConceptWest.com
Joseph Grano & Travis Cornwell Next-Mark.com