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A RT S | E N T E RTA I N M E N T | S O C I E T Y | F O O D | FA S H I O N | D é C O R

Diversions YourObserver.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

best western by Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor

Black Tie THE SOCIAL OBSERVER

COVER: 31st annual

Orchid Ball: ‘An Evening at Versailles’ / PAGE 9

BACKSTAGE PASS Elisabeth Stevens shares her secret paintings / PAGE 8 Heidi Kurpiela

“Writing for grownups doesn’t appeal to me anymore,” says children’s entertainer Mifflin Lowe says. “I’m through with the adult neuroses, the problems, the whining. I create what I like now: happy, fun stuff.”

Lone Star

Mifflin Lowe’s story of an inner city kid who wants to be a cowboy has lassoed the attention of famous hip-hop artists, record executives and now the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office. Mifflin Lowe has been riding around for a long time with the image of an inner-city cowboy galloping through his head. The cowboy is young.

Maybe 10. He’s black. And, like Lowe, he has an overactive imagination. He fantasizes about riding steer and roping cattle. He pictures New York

City as the Wild West. He pictures skyscrapers as mountain peaks, bicycle handlebars as ox horns and women in fur coats as grizzly bears.

COVER STORY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

REVIEW: Classroom

critics review SFF’s ‘A Shadow of Blue’/ 4


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COVER STORY

His name is Cowboy Kareem, and his adventures have occupied Lowe’s thoughts for so long it’s hard to tell where Kareem’s dreams end and Lowe’s begin. “I honestly can’t even remember when I (conceived) it,” Lowe says of the story. “I never set out to make a point. I just liked the idea of a child who daydreams about becoming a cowboy under unlikely circumstances.” A Bird Key resident and former advertising copywriter from Newport, R.I., Lowe took second place last month in the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office’s “TV ME!” pitch contest. He entered his “Adventures of Cowboy Kareem” in the competition’s one-off/long format category. Although the 82-page screenplay is written as a full-length feature, Lowe says he’d be happy to see the story turned into an animated short with an accompanying soundtrack — for now. He’s already met with an animation student at Ringling College of Art and Design and discussed staging the script with live actors at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. “I’m putting a lot of hooks in the water and seeing whoever bites,”

Lowe says. “Maybe I’m spitting ing radio jingles. into the wind a little bit … eh … In the mid-1980s, he wrote a who knows what might come out book inspired by a lunch he once of it.” shared with a stingy colleague, Jeanne Corcoran, director of who ordered nearly everything on the Sarasota County Film and the menu then weaseled his way Entertainment Office, says there’s out of paying. a reason Lowe’s pitch stood out “I’d never seen anything like among the nearly 200 pitches she it,” Lowe recalls. “As I was driving received for the contest. home that night, I thought, hey, “It’s not something that just that would make a good book.” popped into his head overnight,” “The Cheapskate’s Handbook: Corcoran says. “It’s very well de- A Guide to the Subtleties, Intriveloped, and it has an inspiration- cacies and Pleasures of Being a al message that goes completely Tightwad” was published shortly against stereotype. I could see it thereafter with a black-and-white tickling the fancy of certain net- photograph of Lowe on the cover works that like imaginative famlooking like Larry King, in ily content.” suspenders, a bow tie and This wouldn’t be the first wire-rimmed glasses. time his cowboy fantasy has It was an instant suctickled people’s fancies. cess. At one point, hip-hop artThe publisher, a division ist Wyclef Jean wanted to of Penguin, printed 250,000 produce the project. (He and copies. Lowe was offered an Lowe share a mutual friend.) advance on a second book, Then Mercury Records presiwhich he took, and a guest dent Ed Eckstine wanted to spot on “The Oprah Winfrey jump on board. Show,” which he didn’t take Both connections, however, — a decision that is as much failed to pan out. a non claim-to-fame as it is a When Lowe finally did sell claim-to-fame for the writer. the rights to the script, he opted “I don’t like to fly,” he says to take them back after producwith a shrug. “I also think I had ers suggested he make Cowboy something to do that day.” Kareem white. When his second and third “I couldn’t do it,” he says. “It’s humor books — “I Hate Fun,” too good an idea and too a good a tongue-in-cheek analycharacter to compromise like sis of the American pursuit that.” of amusement, and “How To Lowe, himself, is something of Be a Celebrity,” a tongue-ina character. cheek guide to achieving A musician with a desuperstardom — failed gree in art history from to make the masses Princeton University, Lowe has won several laugh, Lowe decidhe spent most of his major advertising awards, ed it was time to recareer working in ad- including a CLIO Award turn to a friendlier vertising and compos- and One Show Award. niche: writing and

Photos by Heidi Kurpiela

“It was the greatest thrill of my life,” Mifflin Lowe says of the time his teenage son confessed that one of his favorite paperbacks was a poorly selling humor book Lowe had written. performing material for children. With his longtime collaborator and friend, Berklee College of Music professor Greg Wardson, Lowe turned his first children’s book — the 1987 illustrated “Beasts by the Bunches,” a book of poetry with accompanying songs about groups of animals — into an orchestral score for the Syracuse Symphony. The gig led to a performance last year with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, at which Lowe met Sarasota Orchestra violinist Carlann Evans, with whom he hopes to collaborate on future projects, namely a “Beasts by the Bunches” performance with the Sarasota Orchestra. “I probably sound like I’m all over the place,” Lowe says, chuckling nervously. “It’s just that my imagination runs off with so many ideas. I know I need to stick with one for a moment.”

With “Cowboy Kareem” finally gaining momentum, Lowe says it’s obvious what he needs to focus on: a little boy in a 10-gallon hat. He picks up his guitar and starts to strum a song he wrote for the story, an infectious ditty called “Homeboy on the Range.” As he picks each chord, signing the lyrics with an appropriately gravelly twang, his face and his posture transform into something a little more rugged: his version of a kid’s version of a cowboy. “It all boils down to doing what you like,” Lowe says. “A lot of my work is about people using their imaginations to view the world in a much happier way. I guess you could call it escapism, which is fine by me. I’ve got child-like sensibilities.”

See Mifflin Lowe singing “Homeboy on the Range.” www.YourObserver.com

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Mifflin Lowe has also recorded a rock opera for kids called “The King Who Forgot His Underpants.” To listen to tracks from the album and to learn more about the performer and his children’s programs, visit locokids.com.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

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COLUMN

art scene HEARD

+ Artist Series announces 2012 scholarship winners And you thought J.Lo, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler had it hard. Imagine what the judges for the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota must go through when they select the final six for the organization’s scholarship competition. The agony!

by Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor

+ Actress Penelope Ann Miller joins SFF lineup This just in: Penelope Ann Miller will receive this year’s Career Tribute Award at the Sarasota Film Festival. The festival announced Friday that Miller will join the ranks of this year’s VIP guest list, which, so far, includes documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy, director Todd Solondz and actors Frank Langella, Jena Malone, Dominic Monaghan and Ashley Bell. Miller stars alongside Lauren Ambrose in the drama “Think of Me,” a story about a struggling single mother in Las Vegas, which is slated to screen April 21 and April 22 at the festival. The actress will receive the accolade at the festival’s

Filmmaker Luncheon April 20 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Miller, who broke out in Hollywood with a string of hits in the early 1990s, including “Awakenings,” “The Freshman” and the Al Pacino/Sean Penn flick, “Carlito’s Way,” is back in the spotlight again thanks to a nice run in the now-canceled “Men of a Certain Age” and a supporting role this year’s Best Picture winner, “The Artist.” Miller’s appearance is a cherry on top of a thick festival sundae highlighted by NPR host and New York Magazine movie critic David Edelstein talking robots and Nixon with Count Dracula himself, Frank Langella.

Actress Penelope Ann Miller

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Artist Series scholarship finalists Gabriela Pena-Kim, Erica Ogihara and Likai He

At least on “Idol,” Ryan Seacrest is on hand to console the castoffs. Divided into two age groups — scholarship level (ages 14 to 19) and performance level (ages 20 to 26) ­­— the competition came to a head last month when 10 semi-finalists competed against one another for a spot in a final performance at the Historic Asolo Theater. Judged by violist Christina McGann and Sarasota Orchestra musicians Abe Feder and John Miller, the competition awarded $25,000 in scholarships. Finalists in the scholarship level were cellist Erica Ogihara and violinists Gabriela Pena-Kim and Likai He. In the performance level, awards went to violinists Born Lau and Ryan Meehan and cellist Matthew Allen.

+ Sarasota bids adieu to two dynamic directors Two resignation announcements hit my email inbox last month: one from Art Center Sarasota Director Fayanne Hayes, the other from G.WIZ Executive Director Molly Demeulenaere. Double bummer. Hayes joined the Art Center in 2007. Demeulenaere joined G.WIZ in 2009. It feels like I just met these women at the start of their tenures — especially Demeulenaere, who graced the cover of this section just one month into the job. At the time, she said she could picture herself leading G.WIZ for another 10 to 15 years, but, alas, Demeulenaere is moving up … to Tampa, where she’ll work as the vice president of development at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). In April, her G.WIZ run will come

Heidi Kurpiela

José Carreño auditions dancers at the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School

+ Carreño Dance Fest exceeds enrollment goal José Carreño and Robert de Warren auditioned dancers all over the country this winter, hoping to pad out the second season of summer intensive classes at their Carreño Dance Festival. Last year, the school enrolled 56 students. This year, Carreño and de Warren were hoping to double that number. Mission accomplished. In addition to holding auditions last month at the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School, the duo saw preprofessional dancers in WinstonSalem, N.C., Los Angels, Phoenix, Miami and Houston. Their jet-setting paid off. The program, which runs Aug. 5 to Aug. 25, at the Sarasota Opera House, has grown to more than 100 students.

Heidi Kurpiela

Fayanne Hayes kicked off her final “iconcept” last week. to an end, as will Hayes’ time at the Art Center. I wish you ladies lots of luck. You provided stability and leadership and fostered innovative programming and smart collaborations during trying economic times. These two neighboring organizations are flourishing because steered them. You will both be sorely missed.

HOT TICKETS

‘Red’: Abstract expressionism takes center stage in this Tony Awardwinning play by John Logan. A visual feast set amid the turbulent 1960s, “Red” follows artist Mark Rothko as he sets out to finish the largest commission in the history of modern art. The play is up now through April 22, at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. For tickets, call 351-8000 or visit asolorep.org.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

CLASSROOM CRITIC

‘A Shadow of Blue’ is an imaginative adventure “A Shadow of Blue,” by Carlos Lascano, is playing as part of Sarasota Film Festival’s Shorts 14: youthFEST Animated Shorts I at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, April 21, at Regal Hollywood 20. The Film Festival’s Shorts 14 will include screenings of: “Monarch,” by Victor René Ramirez Madrigal and Jorge Arturo Tornero Aceves; “The Name-less,” by Violaine Lecuyer; “Ravenboy,” by Andrew Deppert; and “Rose & Violet,” by Claude Grosch and Luc Otter. Tickets to the screening are $12 for adults and free for children. Tickets are on sale now at sarasotafilmfestival.com.

Courtesy photo

Seventh grade Booker Middle School

Seventh grade Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School

“A Shadow of Blue” is like a kiss from heaven. This short film, by Carlos Lascano, can touch the children of the world to still push and believe that disabled or not, you can still reach the sky. The film is about a girl who uses her imagination to create an adventure through the forest without leaving her feet. She moves only by her shadow with her butterfly leading her. To see that there is faith for her if she is disabled makes her life meaningful for her and kids all over the world. This is my impression of “A Shadow of Blue,” a loving story of a girl with hope and a blue light still in her heart.

A gaunt little girl sits on a park bench and allows her imagination to wander. Director Carlos Lascano brings together emotional music and characters in an adventurous story. “A Shadow of Blue” is a touching story full of adventure. A little girl fills her time on a park bench creating a majestic blue paper butterfly. The butterfly comes to life, along with the girl’s shadow. She imagines enthralling adventures with her shadow in the lead. There are suspenseful twists as her

shadow skips and jumps, reaching for the butterfly. A nasty crow acts as an antagonist and plots to scare the little girl away. The actions are expressive, and the music adds eerie suspense. Everything is not as it seems as the plot develops. Since there is no dialogue, the actions are clear and expressive. The actions are dramatic, and the little girl’s leaps and jumps are expressed through flailing arms; crying with the heaves of the little girl’s shoulders. Even in shadow, actions are clear and precise. The antagonist plays its part as a crow, attempting to make it impossible for the little girl to catch the

butterfly. Its expressive crowing adds to its menacing appearance. The music and the creative angles give the story another dimension. The music adds emotion with a twirly, tinkly song in happy scenes and eerie music in the scenes of suspense. Without the music, Lascano couldn’t have portrayed emotions in shadow. Lascano brings together great music and emotional characters to create a short film full of imagination. With twists and turns, the imagination of a little girl brings together happiness and sadness in an adventure worth taking. So, come along and take the adventure in “A Shadow of Blue.”

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THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

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THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

REVIEWS

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Dianne Dawson performs as Nancy in the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre’s “Oliver!”

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costume designer; Trez Cole, set designer; and rousing choreography by Eric Berkel. The perennially marvelous score features songs, such as “Consider Yourself at Home,” “I’d Do Anything,” “It’s a Fine Life” and “Pick a Pocket or Two.” Some highlights included “As Long as He Needs Me,” beautifully sung by Dianne Dawson as Nancy; a heartbreaking “Where is Love?” sung by Stevie Romero as Oliver; and a cunning rendition of “Reviewing the Situation,” by Steve Dawson, who most engagingly transforms himself into Fagin. Robby May is extremely effective in his dual role of narcissist, Mr. Bumble, singing the plaintive, “Boy for Sale,” and Bill Sykes, villainous psychopath, who sings a chilling “My Name.” Also effective in dual roles as Widow Corney and Mrs. Bedwin is funny Helen Holliday. And Matty Colonna creates a charming Artful Dodger. In the play’s iconic opener, in which Oliver Twist holds out his tiny bowl and asks for “more” gruel, is followed by an adorable romp as the young cast of “boys” sings “Food, Glorious Food.” The children playing the boys: Summer Boucher, Brett McDowall, Kaity Cairo, Bryson Gregory, Max Lieberman, Evan Huit, and Joshua Roberson. — Paula Atwell

>> Sarasota Opera Celebrates 30 Years with Victor DeRenzi

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In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre’s production of “Oliver!” met with enraptured response from its openingnight audience. “I just loved it; it’s the best one I’ve seen here,” declared my satisfied neighbor, Phyllis Mallette, a longtime Sarasotan, who explained that her father had taken her to the Apple and the Van Wezel in his time, and she was glad “to see the place making a comeback.” Based on Dickens’ semi-autobiographical novel, “Oliver Twist,” the play was adapted by Lionel Bart, who wrote the book, music and lyrics. It was produced in 1960 at London’s West End and went on to a hugely successful, Tony Award-winning Broadway run in 1963. “Oliver Twist,” the novel, is a searing indictment of 19th-century England’s treatment of orphans, in particular, and the poor and homeless, in general, during the Industrial Revolution. It employs heavy satire to expose the ruthlessness and hypocrisy of the wealthy and privileged, as well as the larcenous and corrupt, and had a major impact on the nation’s deplorable “poor laws” and other injustices of the period. Robert Ennis Turoff produced and directed the lively, entertaining musical, with Michael Sebastian as musical director; Jared Walker,

IF YOU GO

There are some performances that are important events. There are others that are important evenings of music-making. Victor DeRenzi’s recent celebration of 30 years with the Sarasota Opera was a lot of both. The stage was filled by the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, risen from the pit and fully visible, as well as admirably audible. Behind them was a chorus of about 40 singers taken from the various ranks of this season’s Sarasota Opera roster. And, at various times downstage, were this year’s excellent soloists. It was a gala evening with an inventory of composers from Beethoven, Bellini and Boito, to Verdi and Wagner, and there were highlights that will stay with us for some time to come. Opening with the ballet music from Verdi’s “Otello” made perfect musical sense, because “Otello” was one of this season’s greatest hits, and hearing the superb orchestra joined (briefly) by members of the grand chorus was thrilling. So was Maria D’Amato’s rich performance of “Casta diva” from Bellini’s “Norma,” especially because the soprano had just come from singing Desdemona in the house that same afternoon! The final scene from Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” featuring Kara Shay Thomson, Sarah Asmar, Mathew Edwardsen, Adam Ulrich, Jeffrey Beruan and Stephen Fish, showed a leaner, keener, almost Mozartean side of DeRenzi. Here, soloists, chorus and orchestra are

Victor DeRenzi

File photo

equals, swooping, diving and tumbling together like acrobats without a net, yet never diminishing Beethoven’s musical intent. The prelude and “Liebestod” from Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” blew us away, from the exquisite cello solo in the prelude, to Thomson’s gorgeous delivery of the “Liebestod.” With every note under control, she gave us a spine-shivering, brilliantly sung account of one of music’s finest moments. Danielle Walker and Joshua Kohl seemed risen on wings of song in the glorious Act II duet from Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut.” But, for me, the absolute height of a splendid program came in the finale, when bass Young-Bok Kim, the chorus, members of the company’s Youth Opera, full orchestra and off-stage brass catapulted us through the roof with the prologue from Boito’s “Mefistofele.” This is the kind of music making that converts atheists to believers and non-opera goers to music nuts. It was a mighty tribute and accolade to the well-deserved tenure of DeRenzi. In fact, as an encore, DeRenzi repeated the last part of the prologue, perhaps looking toward another 30 years. — June LeBell


THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

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HIGHLIGHTS

7 

by Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor

‘iconcept’ launches a new wave of fashion Art Center Sarasota’s must-see runway show of the year featured hip-hop, hula-hoop dancers, fire spinners, food trucks and a whole lot of unconventional inspiration.

Barbara Gerdeman’s “Mommy’s in the Market for Monet”

Where were you Friday night? We were at Art Center Sarasota, sweating and howling with the masses, as models paraded down a runway dressed in bubble wrap and repurposed bicycle tubes for the annual “iconcept” art/fashion show. Before we go any further, let’s first give credit to the models that each year look fabulous in materials most people toss in the garbage. (We’re talking about you, Bonnie Greenball Silvestri. You stole the

show, pushing your 1-year-old daughter in a shopping cart, dressed in a dress made from Publix shopping bags.) And the artists? Without their unbridled creativity, “iconcept” would cease to exist. No one would realize black trash bags could be woven into a Chanel jacket. (We’re talking about you, Lisa Berger. Your “Haute Plastique” was a work of genius.) And the organizers? Give these folks a medal. For months they work tirelessly to

produce a quality runway show that each year seems to get bolder and better. (We’re talking about you, creative director Cat Pennenga. This year’s Ringling Picnic food trucks were a nice touch.) Kudos to all of you for making “iconcept 2012” a rousing success. Now on to planning next year’s spectacle …

Christina Michiels’ “Cupcake Candy Pop” was inspired by a Katy Perry song.

Raven Peters

Photos by Heidi Kurpiela

“Helping Hands” by Sarah Ford

Go online for more photos and a list of materials.

Artists Zach Gilliland and Amanda Landesberg with their plastic kite dress design.

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BACKSTAGE PASS

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

by Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor

Heidi Kurpiela

Elisabeth Stevens is currently working on a companion piece to “Circus Sarasota,” the etching she created two years ago based on a sketch of a Circus Sarasota performance.

The Critic’s Choice

Elisabeth Stevens spent the first half of her career traveling the country, critiquing art for newspapers and magazines. Now she spends her days creating it in a converted garage studio in her Sarasota home. Elisabeth Stevens has a secret stash of paintings in her studio. To illustrate how secret they are, she marked the drawer in which she keeps them. If you were tempted to snoop through Stevens’ filing cabinet in search of this collection, you wouldn’t have to look for long. The drawer that contains the

work is clearly and obviously labeled, “Secret Paintings.” Stevens may be talented, but she’s not stealth. “They’re kind of kooky,” she says, pulling out an image of a cat with women’s breasts. “Well, maybe all my work is a little bit kooky.” Stevens painted the images

years ago, when she was still working as an art critic for The Baltimore Sun and before that, The Trenton Times, and before that, The Wall Street Journal, and before that, The Washington Post. She spent more than 25 years in journalism. In the beginning of her career, she went wherever her husband,

a finance whiz, was hired. “I knew I was a writer,” Stevens says. “It just never occurred to me that I was an artist. Money was always such an object that I rarely had the time to create it. I had to work.” She was a widow at a young age. Her husband suddenly died when their daughter was just 7 years old. Creating art was a luxury then. Stevens had bigger concerns. “I was never able to really sit down and focus (on making art) until my daughter went off to college.” Stevens says. “That’s not to say I didn’t loved being a journalist, because I did.” Sometimes she would find the time to paint. At night, after her daughter had gone to bed, she would create wild, figurative paintings in acrylic — the 29 “secret paintings,” as they’ve come to be called. Her favorite is of a two-headed woman, one facing the morning and one facing the night, a baby and a book cradled between the women, the word “joyful” spelled out at the bottom of the picture. “My daughter seems to think they’re great,” Stevens says. “I can’t imagine anyone would care about them.” A native of Rome, N.Y., Stevens studied English at Wellesley College and Columbia University. At first, she thought she wanted to be an English teacher, until she started pumping out short art reviews during grad school for the New York-based art magazine, ARTnews, which still exists today. She was a bohemian, as interested in the beat generation as any young writer living in the early 1960s in New York City. As proof

UP CLOSE To see Elisabeth Stevens’ work in person, visit the Stakenorg Fine Art Gallery in downtown Sarasota. To see her work online, visit gosspress.com.

of this, she has an assortment of ink drawings created on the spot in cafés and street corners. The collection includes sketches of Lenny Bruce, Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac, as well as a series of images depicting the 1963 coal mining disaster in Dola, W.V. “They actually let me down there,” Stevens says. “Can you imagine? I made drawings in the mine.” It’s hard to imagine Stevens — a tiny, blond lady living in a well kept country-club neighborhood — lugging an art portfolio through New York City subway stations and West Virginia coal mines, until you start studying everything she’s created: six books of short fiction, five books of poems, art monographs, etchings, linocuts and silverpoints. All of them contain imagery and themes that are a little offkilter, a little surprising and often come from such strange recesses in her mind that even she can’t tell you from where they came. Take, for example, the story of a woman who inexplicably grows a halo above her head in Stevens’ latest work,  “Impossible Interlude: Three Short Plays.” “I was a very serious journalist,” Stevens says. “I traveled all over the country writing about art. Just don’t ask me to explain my own. If I could explain it, I wouldn’t create it.”

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THE SOCIAL OBSERVER

Black Tie

INSIDE: Guest Fashion Editor: Veronica Pastore / PAGE 18

YourObserver.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

Deborah Blue and Margaret Wise

Steve and Buffy Smith, Britney Serbin and Matthew Scragg

Photos by Loren Mayo

French connection Left: George Adley and Tom Shuff

By Loren Mayo | Black Tie Editor

Jacqueline Morton

Before the clock could strike seven o’clock, the heavens opened and raindrops poured from the sky down onto Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Several Marie Antoinettes and their Frenchmen, originally lounging and soaking up the evening by the banyan tree, made a run for cover and dried themselves off inside the white tent set up for the 31st annual Orchid Ball: “An Evening at Versailles.” But the rain didn’t prevent guests from dressing to the nines at the event, co-chaired by Kristiana Serbin and Sheryl Vieira. Standout period costumes were a-plenty, with guests fashioned in billowy, ankle-baring skirts and mountains of snowwhite hair. Baroque dancers Alyson Dolan, Angela Rauter and Caitlin McMullen fascinated guests as they performed enchanting dances, and Michael Klauber auctioned off items such as one orchid each month for one year; and admittance to the everpopular Michael’s On East dinner for 10, at the Christy Payne Mansion. Later, everyone boogied on the dance floor to the DeLeon Orchestra.

See more photos / page 10

Charlie and Laurey Stryker, Jean Weidner and Alfred Goldstein

Alyson Dolan, Angela Rauter and Caitlin McMullen

Co-Chairwomen Kristiana Serbin and Sheryl Vieira

Laura Hope


10  ■ Diversions >>

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THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

COVER (Continued from page 9)

Wayne and Mindy Rollins with Alisa and Roger Pettingell Kent Hayes and Lauren Taylor

Bethany and Devyn Dugger

Zoe, Sheila and Haley DeLeon, of the DeLeon Orchestra

Cornelia Matson, Katie Cornell and Wendy Feinstein

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COLUMN

black tie tales by Loren Mayo and Molly Schechter | Observer Staff

+ Know your roll

+ Black Tie Affair Cattle Baron's Ball 2012

6:30 p.m. cocktails, small bites and silent auction; 8 p.m. dinner and dancing Saturday, April 14, at Michael's On East Tickets: $250; Call 328-3760.

The American Cancer Society will hosts its annual Cattle Baron's Ball gala to benefit its Reaching Out to Cancer Kids programs — R.O.C.K. Camp, R.O.C.K Scholarships and Families R.O.C.K. Weekend.

The award for most creative means of transportation to the 31st annual Orchid Ball goes to Tony Neubroch and Chris Gilligan, who arrived via bicycles. Tony pedaled along in his tux and Chris was in her pink evening gown and flip-flops. They decided to bike instead of driving because they live around the corner from Selby Gardens. Fortunately for them, they arrived early enough to avoid the rain.

Tony Neubroch and Chris Gilligan

+ Tidbits

Alyson Dolan, Caitlin McMullen, Angela Rauter and Roger Pettingell

+ Almost too perfect for words Oh, Roger Pettingell, you certainly do belong in this photo. As Baroque dancers Alyson Dolan, Caitlin McMullen, Angela Rauter gracefully organized themselves and their stunning dresses into perfect poses at Saturday’s Orchid Ball, Pettingell did what any man watching three beautiful women would do — he took the empty chair, smiled and posed with them! His wife, Alisa, was quick to pull out her own camera and capture the moment in a photograph.

+ A twinkle in his eye Ernie Kretzmer’s sense of humor lit up the room when he accepted the American Jewish Committee Human Relations Award presented to him and wife, Alisa, at the eponymous annual dinner March 26, at Michael’s On East. His response to being given a shofar: “I guess I get a

chance to blow my own horn.” He saluted the AJC for “shining a bright light on human relations violations worldwide,” and closed with, “Let us all join the eternal battle against evil.” A crowd of 200-plus was present to honor the Kretzmers; there is hardly a non-profit in town that has not benefited from their remarkable generosity.

Molly Klauber

+ C’est cheese! Gulf Coast Cheese Fest cofounder Molly Klauber is constantly searching the web for fabulous jewelry. With the Fête du Fromage event coming up, she performed a Google search and found a designer who made food-related jewelry — and just happened to be a cheese jewelry expert! She purchased cheese earrings, a cheese cocktail ring and a cheese necklace, and paired it with a black Hervé Léger dress to make for a sleek, cheesy look.

College of Art and Design’s “Evening at the Avant Garde.” A busy, busy Sunday … “Just Historically, this costumed affair a get-together” is how Jewel Ash has had a band and a dance floor. described the Sunday luncheon This year, planners gave it up, she and hubby, Mike, freeing about $4,000 threw for assorted for student scholarships friends March 25, at which is, after all, what Michael’s On East. the affair is all about On the same day, … The name game … Ian Sharp celebrated A scant two years after his 80th birthday they wed, Edward Alley with a brunch at the and June LeBell have Longboat Key Club wed their names and are Harbourside and henceforth to be known Maestro Victor DeRenzi as Edward and June Mike and Jewel Ash celebrated his 30th LeBell-Alley. The couple anniversary at a gala made this clear to media party and concert in at the gala honoring the Opera House … Surprise! ... Maestro Victor DeRenzi’s 30 years There were almost 60 guests at with the Sarasota Opera. And what the surprise 60th birthday party a celebration that was, with the for Dr. Susan Weinkle March 24, spectacular “Mefistophele” featurat Michael’s Wine Cellar. Reports ing the Sarasota Opera Chorus are that the MOHS Surgery for and the Youth Opera Chorus as Skin Cancer surgeon and dermaits finale. Bravo! … From hope tologist was genuinely surprised and fear set free … In the past and the party went on until midfew weeks: Michael Silverstein, night … Smart move … Some Norman Menell and Kay Ronson guests came to the Weinkle party succumbed after long battles. May on the late side, following Ringling their memories be for a blessing.

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12  ■ Diversions >>

YourObserver.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

CAMERA READY

Arthur and Lynn Guilford with Phil King

Co-Chairwomen Marilyn Naiditch and Marie Monsky Honorees Ernie and Alisa Kretzmer

Mimi Edlin

AJC West Coast Florida 2012 Human Relations Award Dinner

honoring Ernie and Alisa Kretzmer Monday, March 26 | Michael’s On East

Brian Lipton and Sue Jacobson

Photos by Loren Mayo

Bill and Lois Cohodas

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Joe McKenna and Matt Callihan

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13 

CAMERA READY

DENIM AND DIAMONDS GALA BENEFITING THE SARASOTA ORCHESTA Tuesday, March 27 | The Founders Club

Photos by Loren Mayo

Teacher of the Year Victor Fernandez and his wife, Heather

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YourObserver.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

CAMERA READY

Marci Weibel, Dominik Teyke and Kelley Lear

Holden Seguso and Jaymie Klauber Mercedes Mann, Miranda Robinson, Molly Klauber and Bridget McGrath

‘La FÊte du Fromage’ Friday, March 30 | Fête Ballroom

Tommy Klauber, Molly Demeulenaere and Richie Barrie

Photos by Loren Mayo

Chris Fensterle

Nicole Behar, Paul Kauffman and Alene Fowler

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15 

CAMERA READY

>>

The Glitz at the Ritz-Carlton The Schoenbaum Humanitarian Award Luncheon Thursday, March 29 | The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Photos by Loren Mayo

Judy Cahn, Linda Dreyer and Heather Arne

Claudia Coville with honorees Margot and Warren Coville and Betsy Coville

Melissa Rickey and Lisa Hehe

Doug Crossan and Chairwoman Marilyn Bezner

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16  ■ Diversions >>

YourObserver.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

CAMERA READY

Spring Fling

BENEFITING THE Sarasota Orchestra Association Thursday, March 29 | Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Photos by Loren Mayo

Bill Mallett, Gayle Max, Co-Chairs Bill Wallace and Jane Thompson with Sarasota Sister Cities President Tom Halbert

Photos by Loren Mayo

Sandi Wolf, Clair Walocka and Michelle Fournet

Joan Sprouse, Katie White, Elissa Soyka and Debbie Hanerty

Co-Chairwoman Bobbi Garibaldi-Sanders, John Sanders and Co-Chairwoman Ruth Bader

SARASOTA SISTER CITIES SECOND AnNual ‘One World’ International Award Dinner Wednesday, March 28 | Michael’s On East

Diane and Bob Roskamp with Lynn and Arthur Guilford

Roger Stover, Joanna Glass and John Lucas

Carol von Allmen, Mickie Sellman, Bonni Billingham and Sherry Wheeler

Kevin and Cheryl Ellerbrock with Margie Broughton

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17 

CAMERA READY

Carolyn Michel, Joseph Melillo and Susan Rife

Robert Spano, Bruce Rodgers and Lisa and Steve High

The 2012 greenfield dinner celebrating vijay iyer

Katheryn and Malcolm Robertson Joni and Bill Greenfield

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Sanford Biggers and Arthur Lopes

Sunday, April 1 | Michael’s On East

Amanda Yoder, Nathan Frantz, Arian Beauchamp and Rachel Querreveld

Carol White and Larry Bold

Vijay Iyer and Patricia Caswell

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18  ■ Diversions

FASHION

“My friend Jaszy McAllister gave this to me. It’s made from recycled denim.”

guestfashioneditor Veronica pastore There are days when Veronica Pastore is chic and polished and days when she’s outfitted in retro wear. Either way, it’s always a look. The associate marketing director of the Sarasota Film Festival loves shopping secondhand and enjoys the thrill of discovering buried treasures in unexpected places. Emilio Pucci multicolor heels

“One of my absolute favorite pieces. I’m a big big fan of Pucci and I always get tons of compliments on these. The rhinestonebow on the toe is also kind of unexpected and makes them even more fabulous.”

RED PRADA DRESS

“I got this at Goodwill in town and it fits me like a glove.”

“This was the only item of clothing at a random estate sale I went to and it fit me perfectly. My sister threw a ‘Monster Ball’ party last summer and I went as a glamorous space monster, complete with a third eye.”

REVERSIBLE CLUTCH “This clutch is amazing because it’s reversible and two of my favorite colors — baby pink and sea foam green.”

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

by Loren Mayo | Black Tie Editor

REUSE JEANS DENIM VEST

Monster dress

“I just have fun with what I wear on a daily basis. It’s almost like costuming to me, coming up with a theme and then executing it based on what I’ve got in my closet.” Black fur dress “This one found me in a rural flea market somewhere in the hills of Georgia. The fur trim is adorable — I actually did wear it once here last winter when it got a little chilly, but it doesn’t make it out of my closet much.”

VINTAGE LANVIN CROCODILE BAG

“I found this in a local thrift store for $6 — much less than what it’s actually worth.”

Blue poofy dress

“My princess dress! This is from Everything But The Girl, Laura Daniel Gale’s old shop in the Rosemary District. I finally got to wear it for a really fun “flamingo” photoshoot on the beach.”

Lacy baby doll dress

“Another vintage piece from a shop in Atlanta. It’s actually a little girl’s dress, I think, which is why it’s so cute. Depending on the occasion I can wear it as a dress or more like a shift over denim. The high lace collar is my favorite part.”

YSL AND MISSONI TIES “I really like to wear neck ties every once in a while as a fun twist on office wear. These are two of my faves.”

SKIRT FROM PARIS

“This skirt is from a vintage store in Paris. I love the bright coral print. (And it’s velvet!)”

S A R A S OTA

POLO

CLUB

2012 SEASON TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE GATE Public Always Welcome Every Sunday at 1:00 pm Now through April 8th Gates Open at 10:00 am Admission: $10 each Under 12 Free

941.907.0000

sarasotapolo.com Take University Parkway 3.5 miles east of I-75 and turn right on Lorraine Road.

2 0 1 2 S A R A S O TA P O L O S P O N S O R S

Do you want a new and exciting experience? No riding experience needed to play. To learn more please call Juan Martinez-Baez at 314.496.5481. 71751

>>

YourObserver.com


THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

Diversions

YourObserver.com

19 

Downtown Destinations

L ove Shopping • Dining • Home & Design

So Many Reasons

to

Downtown Sarasota

“Clothing for the Discerning Gentleman”

75 South Palm Ave. Sarasota, Florida MartinFreemanClothing.com

ing r P s e now sal

Mon - Fri 11-5:30 Sat 11-4 80 S Palm Ave. Sarasota Fl 34236 941.554.4068

Come visit your favorite European destination... Now on Main Street!

LV2889

M O D E N A C O N T E M P O R A RY. C O M

We have many beautiful and unique items from all over Europe

1469 Main Street Sarasota, FL 34236 941.706.4508 www.efvillageshop.com In historic downtown Sarasota since 2003

Huge SeLection oF giFt iteMS

LV2888

(941) 953-2948

LV2883

saslPring en ow

PrePare for it... go for it... dress for it...

priced below $30

Downtown

Dining

brasserie belge

b ra s s e r i e b e l

Authentic Belgian restaurant offering a contemporary presentation of classic Belgian cuisine. lgian

LV2834

LV2670

g staurant offerin re e B c ti n the& Dinner FullA Baru| Lunch 1990tiMain f classic nSt.,oSarasota o ta n e s re p nge ry Lou 941-706-1944 mpora te0pm cd-Sooat.n7-1 aWePian www.brasseriebelge.com ed mussels m a te s m o fr e Belgian cuisin faim I n t e r n a t i o n a l r Cste l aasks iacnsd w t hous e g n a h ), s y (12 awna a d v e n t u r o u s t w i s t ! with sert crepes s e d to s e it fr n Belgia hocolate. warm Belgian c

Happy Hour

Savory @ Night

Mon-Sun 4-7pm

Any Beer, Sake and House Wine

JOIN US FOR EASTER

195

Serving Breakfast, Brunch and inner D & h c n u L | r Dinner. Complimentary Mimosas! a Full B o ti a p e Sun 5 to 10PM on thTuesDine inside orDinner Please Call for Reservations 411 N. Orange Avenue, Sarasota 1 p.m. 1–1312-4027 1 . ph. rs u h T .Mon one block north of p.m. 10 11Off –% 5 . n u S Fruitville Rd. ., .m a 1 with this coupon corner Fri. & Sat. 11–atof the 4th St,

$

Come and Join Us for Happy Hour Mon - Fri 4:30 - 6:00 pm

1813 Fruitville Road Sarasota Fl

½ Price For Reservations call

941.343.2280

www.cantaranarestaurant.com

100 Central Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

941.366.1033

www.tsunamisarasota.com

LV2605

Friday & Saturday

Sushi & Sashimi

LV2477

Jazz

Thursday

at Citrus Square

expires 4/10/12

Piano Loungewww.thesavorystreet.com 1 p.m. Wed.–Sat. 7–1

Serving Breakfast & Lunch Everyday • Bakery too!

LV2896

Sushi & Hibachi Grill

Latin

ge

75618


YourObserver.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012

74971

20  ■ Diversions

Diversions April 5  

Diversions April 5

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