COMMENTS

Van Wezel ranked No. 1

/
Van Wezel cover

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in downtown Sarasota. / FILE PHOTO

Sarasota's big building along the bay with the lavender and purple color scheme hosted a remarkable roster of talent this season and a national live entertainment magazine has again noticed.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has been ranked the nation’s No. 1 performing arts hall in the 2000-seat category of this year’s mid-season publication of “Venues Today.”

It’s the third time the Van Wezel has ranked at the top of the chart.
Mary Bensel, executive director of the Van Wezel, counted having Jay Leno the night after he finished his historic run on the “Tonight Show” among the highlights of the season.

Mary Bensel HT ARCHIVE

Mary Bensel / H-T ARCHIVE

She also mentioned presenting R&B luminary John Legend at the height of his “All of Me” pop-chart popularity.

“Dancing with the Stars” champions Julianne Hough and Derek Hough’s “Move Live on Tour,” which sold out two shows last month, also was on the director’s list.

On July 17, Bradenton resident Sam Woolf will be among the “American Idol Live” tour singers performing at the Van Wezel.

“We’ve had great luck with wonderful booking,” Bensel said. “We’ve also had a lot of diversity and have really been able to reach a large audience base.”

The Van Wezel is now preparing for the 2014-2015 season.

Tickets for Peter Frampton, Lyle Lovett, Bill Maher, Susan Boyle, Celtic Thunder, Salute to Vienna, Time Jumpers and Audra McDonald already are on sale.

More shows are to be announced soon. The full season will be announced in early September and single ticket sales will be available soon after.

“It’s like Christmas for me, it’s always great to be recognized,” Bensel said. “I feel the same way when we announce a new season. We’re also thrilled The Van Wezel Foundation was named the Cultural Organization of the year at the Sarasota Chamber Small Business Awards.

“We feel good all over the building.”



Wade_Tatangelo_by_Mike_Lang_HT_06212013
WADE TATANGELOis the editor of TICKET + and a contributor at TicketSarasota.com. He has been an entertainment editor, reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013 and writes the weekly Bar Tab column. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: July 1, 2014
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.
COMMENTS