on the town snook are spending time. To date, their near real-time data depicts 130,000 data points from the snook they’ve put in the creek. Dr. Schloesser who recently spoke on enhancing snook populations at Mote’s Special Lecture Series. Twelve other paddlers enjoyed the camaraderie, the sunshine and snook-filled creek! The late Jack Taylor, a respected marine biologist, launched the kayak eco-tour program in 2007 with a Bay Partners Grant.
SERIOUSLY HOLLYWOOD Seriously intelligent. Seriously funny. Seriously tall. We are speaking of Academy Awardwinning actress Geena Davis, one of Hollywood’s most respected actors. Her work is amazing and so are her numbers. She was here for the Ringling Town Hall Lecture Series and spoke to a crowd of approximately 1000. Davis is a member of the genius society Mensa and is recognized for her tireless advocacy. She is the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a nonprofit that engages film and television creators, and soon, editors, to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters. She is also reducing gender stereotyping in media for children 11 and under, including her own children. She recently launched the Bentonville Film Festival, the only film festival in the world to offer the winners guaranteed theatrical distribution from AMC Theaters and home entertainment and digital distribution from Walmart. Now that’s a tall order! Seen in the Van Wezel crowd were Rochelle Nigri, Sylvia Earle, Patrick Duggan, Knickole Barger, and RCAD president Dr. Larry Thompson.
SYNERGY AND MIRACLES: CIRCUS SARASOTA When Nik Wallenda recently said, “The show must go on,” he wasn’t kidding. “Synergy” was the name of Circus Arts Conservatory’s 20th anniversary production and the “synergy” of this circus has left us speechless. The show was jam-packed with amazing talent. Each act astounded us. I felt like I was witnessing a live taping of America’s Got Talent. Our jaws dropped over and over again. You expect to see Dolly Jacobs in her signature attire, but when she comes out and performs, you witness true beauty and elegance. It’s pretty special to witness in person. Think she
offers lessons on how she flies like that? As aerialist Nik Wallenda and his Fabulous Wallendas troupe/ family started their performance as the last act in the show, the entire tent went silent. Everyone was holding his or her breath. We all let out a big sigh of relief once that last foot reached the platform. Afterwards, Nik shared the tragic story of the five performers that were hospitalized during rehearsals. Two are recovering and will be fine. He thanked God for the miracles they’ve received to date and asked us to continue our prayers for those still needing them. He said, “I think it’s important that you know I don’t go up there because of pride. I go up there because this is my passion. My great-grandfather said it best, ‘Life is on the wire and everything else is just waiting.’ Our family purpose in life is to bring joy, bring laughter and entertain.” The Wallenda family has lived by three words. They are, “never give up.” They haven’t, they won’t and neither will we! On with the show and oh, what a show it was!
OPUS ONE AND CAN WE GET A SECOND? By definition, opus is a grand-scale creative work, and there’s not many who do grand scale better than Café L’Europe owners Ron Milton and Joe Balzano. Everything was grand at their recent Opus One wine dinner and mind you, it was a Wednesday evening! Men were dressed in black tuxes and women wore their best gowns for an exclusive wine dinner. Rose petals were appropriately laid on tables, and menus were wrapped in our black linen napkins to resemble a black tuxedo jacket. We were treated to a first course of Black Opal Caviar accompanied by 2007 Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne! I had to be careful with it being a school night for this one. Cristal was conceived in 1876 by Tsar Alexander II and it consists of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The 2007 vintage is highly regarded and we could taste why! Our second course was a plentiful lobster thermidor. Oh my. It was a healthy size of creamy, brandy-infused Maine lobster with Gruyere crust. It simply melted in your mouth. With this course, we were poured a 2006 Opus One Proprietary Red. Silky, smooth and rich. It also went down so easily. What a great complement to this exquisite course. It is always so appreciated when the chef and winemaker truly take the time to make exceptional food and wine pairings. Our third course consisted of Carre D’Agneau (rack of lamb) from Australia with Forrest mushroom pudding and a red wine reduction. The perfect finish was a cheese trio of a raspberry Brie wheel on toast point, a Granny Smith apple Roquefort and candied pecans, which was swirled with Overture by Opus One. Tres magnifique! Throughout the evening, guests were treated to sweet music by opera singer Joe Ryan, and Sarasota Orchestra core violinist Margot Zarzyka. And just to keep things extra interesting, one of the restaurant servers, Cassandra Calo, brought out her bagpipes for guests to enjoy! The Opus One representative graciously brought a small orchid in individual Opus One vases for each guest to take home. Seen sipping Opus at this unforgettable
APRIL 2017 | SCENE