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Paradise on Longboat Key PAGES 10 AND 11



Foodie satisfies chocolate craving through shopping. PAGE 12

ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT | The bigger picture


SPARCC’s LOVE Luncheon and Fashion Show PAGES 13 AND 15 by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Photos by Mallory Gnaegy

“The subject matter crosses a lot of aesthetic boundaries, and people find a certain richness of the subject matter,” Virginia Hoffman says.

Unfiltered nature

Photographer Virginia Hoffman hopes taking a photo means aging historic Florida sites will be preserved.





// Arts&Entertainment

(continued from page 1)

Unfiltered nature

Mallory Gnaegy

Matt Allison and Virginia Hoffman photograph trains in the Florida Train Museum shop yard. “We gotta come back here and spend a whole day just photographing trains,” Allison says.

Sarasota artist Virginia Hoffman is getting ready to pick up fellow photographer Matt Allison from his home in the Village of the Arts, in Bradenton, for a photo excursion off the back roads of Parrish. In preparation for the day trip, the 57-year-old free spirit has just made room in her silver SUV for camera equipment. She unloaded frames, canvases and even a plastic, glow-in-the-dark skeleton into her yellow studio off Sixth Street. About two times a month, she and members of a group of about six area photographers go on an urban exploration of abandoned ruins found throughout Florida’s back country. As a memento, Hoffman pulled the Halloween door-hanger from her last adventure. Most the time, when she comes across abandoned household items, they pose as unintentional still lifes for her camera. She doesn’t touch them. “Generally, I have a rule of not being sacrilegious to a site, but I couldn’t help myself,” she says. The group — which consists of Hoffman, Allison, Salvatore Brancifort, Brian Braun, Chris Thibaut and Richard Porter — has visited an abandoned go-cart track covered in artful graffiti, a ghost town-like strip of a small community’s Main Street and a deteriorating Florida cracker house full of abandoned belongings, left behind as if the owner left to run an errand and never returned home.

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// Arts&Entertainment: COVER STORY


Hoffman took “Citrus Grove House” at an abandoned Florida cracker home. It’s featured through March in “Florida in Context.” to what could have been a beautiful site and find it’s littered with broken glass and profane, spray paint — it happens any time teenagers catch wind of these places. Though, there are a couple of empty beer cans around, the bridge has remained a “sacred” place. The duo decides that next time they will bring a garbage bag. Hoffman and Allison like spots like this. The Pinhole Wizards are selective about whom gets let in on the coordinates of the secret spots as a way to protect them from being vandalized or disrespected. Hoffman hopes someone will restore the bridge, not to what it was like when it was brand new, but in a way that preserves what it looks like now into the future. She thinks it’d be great if they restored the bridge and turned the area into a public park. Allison believes there was a marker that signified the bridge’s age, but nothing tells its history now. “There are so many places that are gone now,” Allison says. Hoff-

man nods her head in agreement. It takes both photographers time to set up their cameras, and both have a separate approach: Allison uses an infrared filter and Hoffman uses a series of neutral density filters. Hoffman starts to let loose; she’s making excited sounds. “You’re like a kid when you come out here, Virginia,” Allison says. When she finally has her camera set up and her 30-second and minute-long exposures start clicking, an occasional, “Oh, sexy,” or “That’s sexy” is whispered excitedly throughout the long process. “We are capturing the best of Old Florida in how it exists today and expressing it through our mind’s eye as photographers,” says Hoffman. She explains that each photographer can photograph the same subject, a few feet apart in the same lighting, and have vastly different results. When the group began producing and displaying their images on Facebook, Hoffman felt the results spoke volumes. They needed to be shared with a greater population. She encouraged the rest of the group to create an exhibit with the results of its photo safaris. The month-long exhibit opens March 1, at the Historic Chidsey Library Building. Hoffman hopes when people see the photos they will stimulate the same response she has to the preservation of such relics of the boom and bust of Florida; historical places falling to the wayside. “Besides public art, historical preservation is the most important thing a community can do,” she says.


“Willow Bridge” by Virginia Hoffman features the train trestle bridge and will be on display through March in the “Florida in Context” exhibit.

if you go ‘Florida in Context’ Fine-art photography exhibit featuring Virginia Hoffman, Matt Allison, Salvatore Brancifort, Brian Braun, Chris Thibaut and Richard Porter. When: Opening reception takes place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1. The exhibit runs through March 31. Where: Historic Chidsey Library Building, 701 N. Tamiami Trail Cost: Free admission. A portion of sales will benefit Friends of Sarasota County History Center. Info: Call 400-5217



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going to have to carry me out of the woods.” The last time four of them visited, it was early August. Their excitement was too prominent to think about the heat — until they began exploring under the relentless sun. Coincidentally, it was the hottest day of the year. Hoffman has vivid memories of being slumped over, near heat exhaustion, with a fluttering butterfly that kept landing near her. Today is different. Hoffman is excited for the cooler weather and a better photo opportunity. She and Allison stand below the red rusting bridge at a bend in the water. They plant their tripods a few feet from each other. For the most part, the bridge has been left to its natural aging process and is overgrown with fauna and Spanish moss. A rope swing on the opposite side of the bank is the only reminder that civilization is nearby. Hoodlums haven’t mangled the dilapidated bridge — yet. Hoffman hates it when they get


The group calls itself the Pinhole Wizards, which is a name Porter came up with based on a pinhole camera — considered the simplest form in photography. The Pinhole Wizards met on Facebook a little more than a year ago. They built a relationship from a shared interest of photography. A forum-like dialogue started via posting comments on each other’s professional work, and group members started proposing day trips. Some days, there are three of them; other days the whole gang adventures out. Today, it’s just Hoffman and Allison, and they’re heading to one of their secret “honey holes,” a coveted gem for fine-art photography. “You never know where you’re going to find one, but they’re around,” she says. Usually it’s by word-of-mouth, a little Googlemapping or stumbling across something while exploring back roads. Within 10 minutes of saying this, she passes a collapsing trailer that looks as if it’s melting into the side of an oak tree. “We’ve got to come back to this baby,” Hoffman says. The duo is headed to an isolated trestle bridge located near the train restoration yard for the Florida Train Museum. This will be the second time they’ve been to the location. On their first visit, while talking with some of the volunteers at the train yard, they learned the land, which the Robbins family owned more than 100 years ago, housed a sawmill and lumber company that shipped timber via trains to South America. “It’s good we’ve got clouds today,” she says. “The last time we came here I thought they were




// Arts&Entertainment: COLUMN



Hot Ticket

By Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor | and producing two official inaugural books for President Barack Obama. During his two-hour presentation, Kennerly showed a slideshow of his work and talked about photos and stories that had a profound effect on him, not only as a photographer, but as a human being. He also gave a sneak peek of the video documentary he is helping to produce for the Discovery Chanel called “The Presidents’ Gatekeepers.” The documentary will show what it is like to be the White House chief of staff.

 LeBell talks opera, go figure David Hume Kennerly

Rachel S. O’Hara

 Staff Photographer meets famed photographer Black Tie photographer Rachel S. O’Hara is enthusiastic by nature, but she was particularly excited to see Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist David Hume Kennerly speak. Here’s her experience: Ringling students and photography enthusiasts gathered Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Ringling College Academic Center Auditorium to hear Kennerly speak. Kennerly, who won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 1972, has a variety of credits to his name including photographing eight wars and every president since Richard Nixon;

In November, music reviewer June LeBell went to see Sarasota Youth Opera’s “Little Nemo in Slumberland.” Her husband, Edward Alley, and a visiting friend opted to grab a drink at Maximo before the performance. While there, LeBell overheard a woman, Andrea File Photo Fellows, discussJune LeBell ing Santa Fe, N.M. — a favorite vacation spot for LeBell, whose ears immediately perked up. “Ed and I fell in love with Santa Fe a few summers ago and have made a point of visiting there and going to the opera there every sum-

mer,” she says. Plus, she thinks it’s great that members of the Sarasota Orchestra perform with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra regularly. The two women started talking. “What do you do in Santa Fe?” LeBell asked. It turned out the woman works for Santa Fe Opera House. LeBell explained her history as a concert-singer-turnedannouncer on a major commercial classical music radio station WQXR, in New York City. The two hit it off, then, in June LeBell nature, she invited her new friend to dinner that evening following the performance, and Fellows obliged. A new friendship formed. When Santa Fe Opera’s Preview Talks narrator said she wouldn’t be in attendance for a week in August, Fellows thought of LeBell to fill in. LeBell will conduct six of the Santa Fe Opera’s Preview Talks and present an informative talk about the evening’s opera in the open-air cantina on the rehearsal grounds. Her talks will include five operas: two she knows well (Verdi’s “La Traviata” and Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”). Of the other three operas — one of which is performed twice — two are rare (Rossini’s “La Donna del Lago” and Offenbach’s “The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein”) and the other is a world premiere (“Oscar” by Theodore Morrison). So, LeBell has her work cut out for her. She’ll head out to the opera house a week early to see each production ahead of time.

‘We Are Because They Were’: There’s only one chance to see the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s original performance that pays tribute to black history in America. The special Black History Month song, dance and drama performance takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s theater, 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets are $20. Call 366-1505 for more information. Samba Jazz Concert at LBKCA: This show offers a cool night of hot jazz in the intimate setting of the Longboat Key Center for the Arts and features Thomas Carabasi Samba Jazz Quintet. Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, 6860 Longboat Drive S. Call 383-2345 for more information. Festival March 19 through March 24, in Tampa. I’ll keep you posted on the Wilsons’ happenings.

 Flight 347 bonds over blizzard and FST Improv

Mallory Gnaegy

Karl and Rhonda Wilson at one filming location for “Breaking Up with Rosie” at Parker’s Books

 Local film makes festival debut In January, I wrote a story, “SRQ couple conquers big-screen dream,” about Lakewood Ranch residents Karl and Rhonda Wilson filming a full-length independent film in Sarasota called “Breaking up with Rosie.” (Read the full story at When I talked to them in January, they had just sent the film to festivals around the region to see if it would be accepted. I’ve recieved word from Rhonda Wilson that “Breaking up with Rosie” was selected for the 2013 Gasparilla International Film

Two weeks ago, Associate Director of Florida Studio Theatre Kate Alexander boarded a flight following a casting session in New York City — just as a nor’easter decided to blanket the city. But, as Alexander says, “Neither hail, nor sleet, nor snow stopped flight 237 from leaving La Guardia.” But, after a flight to Sarasota, there was no way the plane and its crew would be able to return home and was, therefore, grounded for the evening. Alexander heard one of the flight attendants, Patricia Tomaszewski, had birthday plans for her 60th birthday that night in New York City. Alexander would not let Tomaszewski’s birthday be spoiled and sent the whole crew to FST Improv. Tomaszewski sent Alexander an email when she returned home, “We will forever be in your debt for the BEST birthday celebration ever.”

UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS at Longboat Key Center for the Arts

SAMBA JAZZ CONCERT Join us for a night of jazz with the

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// Arts&Entertainment: Backstage Pass


by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Selling tickets and taking names Mike Marraccini has taken the Sarasota Ballet box office from a room full of cardboard boxes to a real box office. to Artistic Director Iain Webb’s “crazy” career stories when Webb wanders into Marraccini’s office. “It’s tough because I sort of wear several hats here,” he says. “Nonprofits don’t have a lot of money to keep (a lot of) people on staff (so we all do a lot).” Marraccini’s responsibilities have grown beyond box-office matters in the past three years. He has slowly picked up more responsibilities, and he now oversees marketing and information technology, sales for the year, projections and gross totals above ticket sales. He coordinates everything from seating arrangements at the Sarasota Ballet gala to designing all the digital media ads. When a computer needs to be backed up, Marraccini does it. He is known to answer the boxoffice line and answer ticketing questions, on occasion. With a broadcast journalism degree from Kent University and experience in public affairs doing communications for the U.S. Army, Marraccini’s background fits the job description he has now. Marraccini’s favorite time of day is early morning when he spends hours designing and coordinating all of the ballet’s ad-

Photo by Mallory Gnaegy

“It’s really rewarding to know that you were a part of watching the company grow and go from the bottom of the barrel in Sarasota to one of the most sought-after arts organizations in town,” Mike Marraccini says. vertisements. “I love marketing; that’s (ultimately) what I want to do,” he says, “but it’s going to be really hard for me to give up control of the box office when that time comes because it’s my baby.” For now, Marraccini is OK with

the long hours required of him because his partner of two years, principal dancer Ricardo Graziano, is there for the same amount of hours. But, most importantly, Marraccini is a big fan of his job. “It’s what you love,” he says. “I do what I love.”

Although, he does have one work-related complaint: “It’s a little disheartening working around so many good-looking, attractive people,” he chuckles. “You think, ‘Oh, God, I gotta work out more because I sit on my butt all day.’”


When Mike Marraccini signed on as Sarasota Ballet’s sales and marketing director in March 2010, the ballet was restructuring and getting out of what he refers to as “financial ruins.” The 32-year-old is responsible for the restructuring of the box office into the well-oiled, multimilliondollar machine it is today. He started in an 8-foot-by-8foot office space on the thirdfloor of Asolo Repertory Theatre. There he met with patrons renewing their subscriptions. At that time, all of the important paperwork was kept in large storage boxes on the floor. There was no physical box office at the time. In 2011, his office moved to the first floor where there are two street-facing ticketing windows and an attached office, which is much larger than where he started. Marraccini now works with electronic files. Now, not only does he know 99% of patrons who walk into his box office, but he sits in on rehearsals and has become as ballet obsessed as the bun-headed dancers. “Getting into this job, you fall in love with (ballet),” he says. It’s amazing that Marraccini has time in his 12-hour workday to sit in on a rehearsal or to listen




// Arts&Entertainment: Highlights

by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Jon Secada seals Valentine’s Day with a kiss and a soulful performance

Tori Boyd and Lyn Sky

Photos by Mallory Gnaegy

Chillounge Night founder Rainer Scheer and Jon Secada

Ed Offner, Desiree Baksh, Todd Patton and Susana Fays

Jackie and Brien Lehman

Triple Grammy Award winner Jon Secada performed a Valentine’s Day concert as part of Chillounge Night at the hangar at Flight Source International. Because of inclement weather, the

outdoor lounge party was moved indoors. Couples snuggled on cozy loveseats with drinks and light bites while listening to the romantic sounds of Jon Secada.

Julie Lamb and Mike Paige

Dee Dee and Rod Williams

Susan and Jim Mathers with Dan and Beth Riley and Allen and Adriana Engle




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// Arts&Entertainment: reviews

THEATER // ‘9 to 5’

Photo by Maria Lyle

Connor Moore, Sarah Jane Mellen, Emily Mikesell, Dominick Cicco and Eric Scott Anthony

THEATER // ‘Urban Cowboys’ Florida Studio Theatre has put together another highly professional entertaining evening of toe-tapping tunes and terrific talent. This collection features the meeting of the Wild West with the city slickers, consisting of songs from the ’70s and ’80s that we remember from legendary artists such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, John Denver and others with that Nashville sound.   Developed by Rebecca Hopkins and Richard Hopkins, the show’s numbers include Western songs that crossed the musical border into the mainstream. The production is also replete with plenty of colorful leather, fringe, boots, turquoise and glitter, thanks to Susan Angermann’s costume design. Especially appealing was the black leather and fringe high/low maxi skirt Sarah Jane Mellen was wearing. Through the dialogue interspersed between the songs, you’ll learn interesting tidbits such as the BeeGees wrote “Islands in the Stream” for Marvin Gaye. The diverse cast of actor/musicians has been culled from all parts of the U.S. Directed

Courtesy photo

Eve Caballero, Alana Opie and Nancy Denton Tinsworthy; Kerry Betts as detective; Eric Gregory as doctor; Noella Altamirano as candy striper; and Tammy Halsfed as new employee. The cast also includes an ensemble of five extras whose job description includes typing and moving stuff. The large stage is taken over between scenes by cleverly rolling furniture and painted backdrops. This makes for colorful and an ever-interesting passing sense of bustle and flow, neatly brought to life by scenic designer John C. Reynolds. Ken Mooney’s costume and set design are pleasingly apt and had many audience members recalling similar outfits they’d worn back in the day. — Paula Atwell

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by Russell Treyz, they become a performance ensemble that most audience members mistake for an actual touring band. “In this show, we’re trying to create a good sense of communication through the singers — allowing them to share their personalities so that the audience gets to know and love these five people in addition to knowing and loving the songs,” said Treyz.  He’s been successful in this endeavor, and the group comes off as charming and likable as well an extremely good at singing, playing and “boot-scooting.”  The characters include Dominic Cicco, whose numerous appearances here and elsewhere include three other cabaret performances, on guitar and banjo; Eric Scott Anthony, who was also in “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and “Night Train to Memphis”; Sarah Jane Mellen, who most recently appeared at Manhattan Children‘s Theatre; Emily Mikesell, who appeared at FST in “Guitar Girls” and plays a mean fiddle; Connor Moore, on piano and some funny bits; and Tony Bruno on percussion.  Musical Director Brett Schrier keeps the show humming and hootin’ and hollerin’ as well. All the music was lively and interestingly sung. A standout, among many in this performance, was a rousing “Sweet Home Alabama.” — Paula Atwell


With book by Patricia Resnick and music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, The Players Theatre production of “9 to 5” is a farcically entertaining retrospective on office politics gone wild, circa 1979. Although much has changed since then, the show still provides a winning wishfulfillment fantasy in which girls rightly rule, and the male chauvinist malefactor gets his just desserts.  The musical, which is based on the movie starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, is introduced on a screen projection where projection designer Jerry Chambliss also sprinkles wellchosen vignettes. Jared Walker, director, choreographer, and music director, keeps the action moving and the dancers prancing throughout the evening. The show is a passel of upbeat fun largely due to its large and multi-talented cast led by Nancy Denton as Violet Newstead; Alana Opie as Doralee Rhodes; and Eve Caballero as Judy Bernly. Each one is energetic and engaging as they sing more than 30 songs. George Naylor plays chief villain, Franklin Hart Jr., as such an overt Snidely Whiplash-type character that he might as well have been sporting an oiled mustache — these office autocrats do still exist. Seva Anthony is wicked as Roz Keith, and Gavin Esham turns in a savvy performance as Joe Savin. Not to be overlooked are Steve Bikfalvy as Dwayne; Nick Cantanzaro as Josh Newstead; Linda Roeming as Missy; Cassandra Caballero as Maria; Paul Hutchison as Dick; Bonnie Schiavone as Kathy; Dawn Burns as Margaret; Michael Brown as Bob Enright; Craig Engle as

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// Arts&Entertainment: reviews

by Pam Nadon | Film Critic

And the envelope, please ... // Oscar Picks

The best thing about the Academy Awards is that they inspire audiences to get out and watch quality films. The red carpet and the glitz and glamour are just icing on the cake, but it’s a delicious indulgence in which to partake. This year’s Oscar race is already controversial and looks extremely close. Although my speculations as to the winners may not coincide with the academy’s, here it goes.

Best Actor Bradley Cooper “Silver Linings Playbook” Daniel Day-Lewis “Lincoln” Hugh Jackman “Les Miserables” Joaquin Phoenix “The Master” Denzel Washington “Flight”   This is the only category that doesn’t seem close, because Daniel Day-Lewis’ (above) performance as Abraham Lincoln is as courageous as the character he portrays. Sorry, Joaquin. It’s just bad timing for your brilliant work to receive a welldeserved Oscar.

Best Actress Jessica Chastain “Zero Dark Thirty” Jennifer Lawrence “Silver Linings Playbook” Emmanuelle Riva “Amour” Quvenzhane Wallis “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Naomi Watts “The Impossible”   This is the most difficult call to make. But it’s Emmanuelle Riva’s (above) heartbreakingly beautiful portrayal of a dying woman who’s slipping away that continues to haunt me. Speaking volumes without uttering words, Riva demonstrates what great acting really looks like.

Best Supporting Actor Alan Arkin “Argo” Robert De Niro “Silver Linings Playbook” Phillip Seymour Hoffman “The Master” Tommy Lee Jones “Lincoln” Christoph Waltz “Django Unchained”   I’m crazy about Christoph Waltz’s (above) German dentist-turned-bounty hunter who’s responsible for unchaining Django. It’s a slick, witty and sexy performance by an actor whose versatility is highly addictive. Hoffman is masterful, as always, and may walk away with the prize.

Best Supporting Actress Amy Adams “The Master” Sally Field “Lincoln” Anne Hathaway “Les Miserables” Helen Hunt “The Sessions” Jacki Weaver “Silver Linings Playbook”   I’ve never been a huge fan of Helen Hunt (above), but her bold performance as a sex surrogate is soulfully touching. She breezes through a difficult role with such assuredness, it’s uniquely amazing to behold. If Anne Hathaway nabs the Oscar for singing a single tune, it would be so wrong, but seems highly probable.

Best Picture “Amour” | “Argo” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” “Django Unchained” “Les Miserables” “Life of Pi” | “Lincoln” “Silver Linings Playbook” “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Director Michael Haneke “Amour” Benh Zeitlin “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Ang Lee “Life of Pi” Steven Spielberg “Lincoln” Davis O. Russell “Silver linings Playbook”

Ever since the Academy upped the number of nominations for Best Picture and not simultaneously for Best Director, there’s been a lot of snub buzz. Although “Lincoln” should win, the outrage generated by having left Ben Affleck off the list for Best Director looks as though it may catapult “Argo” (above) to Best Picture status.

The fallout from Spielberg’s (above) “Lincoln” possibly not receiving the Oscar for Best Picture may land him one for Best Director. There’s no arguing he doesn’t deserve it for one of the most engaging depictions of the democratic process and a great man who knew how to manipulate it for the betterment of all mankind.

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// Arts&Entertainment: REVIEWS

Music // Sarasota Opera: ‘The Pearl Fishers’ ”The Pearl Fishers,” written by Bizet when he was almost 25, is the 19th century’s answer to what would become silent movies: not much plot, lots of histrionics and a definite demand on audiences to suspend their disbelief. In a nutshell, it’s the story of two men, Zurga and Nadir, who were best friends as children but who split up because they both fell in love with the same “mysterious” woman. Nadir, a hunter who was formerly a fisherman but left the village, returns and meets Zurga, who has become the chief of the pearl fishers. They pledge an everlasting friendship that will never again allow a woman to come between them. Leila, that woman, is now a priestess and she, too, has taken a vow to keep her face hidden, sing and pray for the village and never, ever to fall in love with a man. Of course, she fell in love with Nadir some years ago; but she fails to mention that to the High Priest, Nourabad, or to Zurga, who tells her she’ll die a terrible death if she breaks her vows. Not only that, but Leila, as a child, saved Zurga’s life, but she was so young at the time. She doesn’t recognize him and he, of course (hey, this is opera), doesn’t recognize her. Nadir and Leila find each other, can’t resist temptation, are caught and, through a series of implausible but very operatic twists and turns, meet their fate, as does Zurga. Confused? Confounded? It doesn’t matter because Bizet’s music is so glorious, so earcatching and opulent, the characters could be reciting the alphabet and we wouldn’t care. Unfortunately, in the hands of stage director and choreographer Keturah Stickann, in her Sarasota Opera debut, the charac-

ters never have a chance to plow whatever depths there may be. She has them sing their loving lines to the audience, only turning to each other when they’ve finished a phrase. She has whatever facial or body emotion they portray played to the wings so we can’t really see it. She has a group of dancers upstaging the chorus. And she has the chorus (and everyone else) so stilted and stylized, the opera might as well be an oratorio. There are also occasional incomprehensible things such as group hugs on both sides of the stage that look like football huddles or the final episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” In other words, much of the staging was inexplicable and perplexing. The singers, however, were content to leave their acting to the music and, by doing so, left us, for the most part, musically and vocally satisfied. Zurga, sung by baritone Lee Poulis, was vocally strong and resilient. His character may change his mind more quickly than a politician running for office but his voice was always there — robust, solid and compelling. Heath Huberg, who sang Cassio in last season’s “Otello,” has a light, but pleasing, voice that runs into a little trouble when he tries to push it beyond its present capabilities. He and Poulis did an admirable job with the well-known duet, “Au font du temple saint,” but he had vocal problems trying to sing his aria, “Je crois entendre encore,” which calls for great maturity and finesse in the upper, softer portions of the voice. Asako Tamura, heard here last as Madama Butterfly, has a beautiful, rich voice with point and passion so, although her movements may have been restricted, her singing was not. It soared over the footlights and conveyed the emotion and passion Bizet wrote into his score. Her aria, “Comme autre fois,” (which is so close in style and writing to the one Bizet later gave Micaela in “Carmen” — French horn and all), was quite splendid. Andrew Gangestad, as Nourabad, the High Priest, was — as always — stalwart and sturdy.

Photo by Rod Millington

Baritone Lee Poulis, as Zurga, and tenor Heath Huberg, as Nadir, in Sarasota Opera's 2013 production of "The Pearl Fishers." The Sarasota Opera Orchestra is a grand group and played the score musically and beautifully, in spite of the conductor, Robert Tweten — who has some great credits to his name — who led a pallid and colorless reading without the important forward motion and tension inherent in this musically passionate piece. He seemed bent on following his own ploddingly lethargic tempos and, as a result, the whole opera bogged down where it should have shimmered. Dancers and group hugs aside, the chorus was positively glorious, filling the Opera House with opulent sound. J. Michael Wingfield’s scenery and Ken Yunker’s lighting gave a good sense of tropical paradise, from the painted palm trees and twinkling, starry skies to the Indian temple


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ruins of Act II and the diaphanous tent of Act III’s first scene. Yes, there were some chuckles as Leila asked to speak alone with Zurga and his guards simply closed the see-through curtains, but those were the audience members who hadn’t checked their disbelief at the door, something extremely important with this opera. Howard Tsvi Kaplan’s costumes were, as always, fitting and right for the time and setting of this Ceylonese tale. “The Pearl Fishers” may not be the most believable story, and its characters may be more one-dimensional than we’d like, but it has some of opera’s most beautiful and memorable music. It’s stunningly sung and well worth suspending almost anything for a few hours. — June LeBell





Outdoor room ď‚ƒ Sylvia Samet loves frogs and has many frog statues and pieces around her home. Frogs are said to bring good luck and good health.

by Rachel S. O’Hara Staff Photographer

Norman and Sylvia Samet moved in September 2001 into their Longboat Key home. The couple spends “six months and one day� each year on Longboat Key. The rest of the year is spent in Greensboro, N.C. The Samets consider their backyard to be an extra room of their home. They spend a great deal of time there with their next-door neighbors, so much time that they had Grant’s Gardens put in a pathway between the two backyards to make visiting easier. The Samets keep many of their plants in pots or in planters mounted on the walls and surrounding the perimeter of their backyard.

After the orchids are done blooming inside the house, they are mounted in the trees.

The rear patio is private and offers a great place to relax. The Samets consider their backyard an extra room of their home.

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

The Samets grow sage and basil in pots on a table and chair set on their back porch.

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Planting up a wall The Samets have dressed up their walls with unique planters filled with a variety of different vines and flowers. Adam Kirkland of Grant’s Gardens said the wall planters dress up otherwise blank walls and are a great way to add color and texture.

One of two decorative planter monkeys that hang from the trees

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by Molly Schechter | Food Editor Photos by Molly Schecher

Carol Sirard’s sample tray featuring her colorful, chocolate-covered treats

hat an assignment! As a bona fide chocoholic since before the term was invented, I fondly recall a button I kept for many years; it said, “If bearer is found unconscious, administer chocolate immediately.” So this “foodie” could write an entire column on each and every one of these places. The idea here, however, is to poke around some of the options for buying chocolate in our town. There are as many more as there are here, prominent among them the venerable Kilwin’s “Mackinac Island Fudge,” on St. Armands Circle; See’s Candies’ kiosk, in Westfield Southgate mall; and the Chocolate Bark Co., in Gulf Gate Village.

in the Publix Plaza just south of Clark Road and west of Honore that offers even more square footage. She is right on her business plan, which called for her to add a café in year eight; Sirard’s Chocolate Café serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. six days a week. Sirard’s new location offers the full range of the brand’s signature treats, including its award-winning dark raspberry pyramid truffles; “Sarasota Seafoam,” a chocolate-covered puffed or “sponge” candy; colorful, double-stuffed Oreos; and chocolate-covered marshmallows, graham crackers and pretzel sticks. Sirard’s wholesale operation serves 250 retailers (including Morton’s Market).

Sirard’s Chocolate


5170 Palmer Plaza Blvd. 923-2462 | Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday Carol Sirard started selling chocolate in 1980 — it was her first job. She started selling it eight years ago in Sarasota, in Southside Village, then three years later moved to a larger location on South Tamiami Trail. Just last October, she moved into a space

1247 First St. | 704-2378 Open noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday This is a tiny new shop with a big hit on its hands! Twen-

ty-five-year-old Leigh Growney opened her business just weeks ago, in what has to be the smallest space in Sarasota: 143 square feet. But, what a location — First Street just west of Florida Studio Theatre. A born pâtissier, Growney inherited her passion from her mother and grandmother. She bills her enterprise as “mini confections,” which explains how she came to name it the Short Giraffe; it applies to the mini-cupcakes and other small treasures that she sells. It does not, however, pertain to her best-selling toasted s’more ganache truffle (below), which weighs in at three-plus ounces and would be better described as a truffle-dessert-for-two. Starting from the center: marshmallow, ganache, chocolate coating, toasted graham-cracker crumbs, all house-made — and a spectacular value for $3. It simply boggles the taste buds.

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a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday This shop, which opened in late September on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, is a new outpost of one of America’s oldest candy brands. Fannie May was founded in 1920, in Chicago. It is famous for specialties, including Mint Meltaways, Pixies (milk or dark chocolate over caramel covered pecans invented in 1946 by Fannie May) and pastel confectionery-coated Trinidads. There are many new confections, as well, including beautiful artisan truffles created by famed chocolatier Norman Love, of Fort Myers. Joan and Jim Ayersman own the Lakewood Ranch franchise and two more: the Landings and Brandon Town Center. Lucky us! These are presently the only Fannie May stores south of Illinois.

Trader Joe’s

4101 S. Tamiami Trail 922-5727 | Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday This is hardly the first place I would think of to buy chocolate, but folks keep telling me it is a great option — and guess what — it is. The location is totally different from the others discussed

here but definitely worth knowing about. Trader Joe’s has yards and yards of chocolate — a shelf that runs the entire length of an aisle plus additional displays by the checkout counters. The chocolate show starts at the front end of the aisle with bar chocolate for cooking — dark chocolate, 72% dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate and more — in “pound plus” packages for the remarkable price of $4.99. Then come dozens of chocolate-covered treats, from the expected fruits-and-nuts to some almost astonishing options: “powerberries,” which are man-made “fruit-juice pieces” of acai, pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry juices; and edamame, sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds and more. These are packaged in 5- to 10-ounce plastic containers and priced from $3.99 to $4.99. My taste-test choice was chocolatecovered candied ginger, and I am happy to report that it is all gone. A worthwhile tip for would-be Trader Joe’s shoppers who are put off by the crowded conditions: go at dinnertime — 6 to 7:30 p.m. It is a downright pleasant time to discover the many surprises this place has in store.

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Black Tie

INSIDE: New College Foundation’s Inaugural Ball PAGE 18

Angela Freeman, Jean DeLynn and Judy Sande

Dee Reed and Marcia Carlson Pack

By Rachel S. O’Hara | Black Tie Photographer

Chairwomen Diane Muldoon and Dori Zingmond

Jean Hamilton and Cindy Wright

Love was the central theme at Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center’s LOVE Fashion Show Thursday, Feb. 14, at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Prior to the luncheon, chaired by Diane Muldoon along with Fashion Chairwoman Dori Zingmond, more than 645 guests enjoyed rummaging through jewelry, purses, clothes and other accessories from the Treasure Chest, SPARCC’s consignment shop. Attendees had the opportunity to write


Merilyn Bumpus and Debbie Rossi

notes to the women at the SPARCC shelter — they do not celebrate Valentine’s Day, but, more importantly, celebrate Person Appreciation Day, in which kind notes and affirmations are given to each other to build self esteem. Once the lights went down and the music was turned up, the fashion show featured 18 models, 50 outfits and hilarious commentary by emcees Les McCurdy and Ken Sons. The models wore outfits from the Treasure Chest.

Heidi Lagro, Deborah Bill and Wanda Dubois

Derek Wilson Billib and Executive Director Olivia Thomas

Judy Lumsden, Lauree Spangler and Connie Thelen

Carol Horschke and Mary Ann Robinson


 18 models walked the runway.

Barbara Kistler






Stephanie Hannum

tales by Black Tie Staff

ley and sister to co-founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, at the Share the Love Luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 14, at Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Reedy entertained guests with personal anecdotes about Vera Bradley’s history, its designs and the remarkable women behind it all. Proceeds from the luncheon benefited Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation Inc., in support of the hospital’s Breast Health Center, and Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Spotted enjoying the luncheon included Molly’s new marketing and event planner Tonya Getzen Gowan, Minta Getzen, Dr. Heidi Anderson, Stacy Hanan, Lisa Swift, Emily Stroud, Cindy Kaiser, Beth LaGasse, Anne McFall, Kelly Pepe, Maureen St. Onge and Barbara Sweeney.

Montana Taplinger and Nikki Sedacca

 In the spirit of friendship

Nikki Sedacca and her daughter, glowing Montana Taplinger (who has recently joined her mom’s company doing marketing and communications), hosted their 25th annual Spirit of Friendship Luncheon Monday, Feb. 18, at 530 Burns Gallery. More than 60 women gathered to shop Sedacca’s jewelry and artwork at her newly expanded gallery, sip champagne and celebrate friendship. The hostesses made a touching toast to Sedacca’s late mother, Marie Woolley, who has attended every other luncheon and was always in charge of tying the bows on the party favors. Mingling among the women were Jean Vallee, Sharon Black Floyd, Beverly Bartner, Nikki Taylor, Penny Hill, Janet Hunter, Teri Hansen, Lauren Walsh and guest artists Dana Giardina and Chris Bales.


Molly Jackson and Joan Bradley Reedy

More than 70 ladies joined Molly Jackson, of Molly’s! A Chic & Unique Boutique, and Joan Bradley Reedy, daughter of Vera Brad-

Nothing says love like male spouses attending a luncheon full of more than 645 women, which was the case at table No. 34 at the Feb. 14 SPARCC luncheon. Dick Hull, Ed Bavaria, Harry Leopold, Erik Lindqvist, Larry English, Dick Hull, E Don Worthington and Tom Larry Englisd Bavaria, Harry Leo po h, Don Wo Jones occupied the table next to rthington a ld, Erik Lindqvist, nd Tom Jo nes their better halves. Mary Ann Robinson was honored at the luncheon for her efforts A nice addition to the at SPARCC. Its “fairy godmother” has afternoon was the personal thank you recently underwritten a security system Auxiliary member Sandra Brookshire in the shelter and is also having a kennel gave throughout the crowd. She was so built so shelter residents don’t have to into welcoming guests, we were thanked leave their pets behind. twice for attending.

Jewels are a girl’s best friend … Wendy Feinstein’s husband, Jerry, surprised her with a beautiful Nikki Sedacca cuff for Valentine’s Day, but not before jokingly gifting her a post office-bought watch first.

 Tidbits

Molly Schechter

James and Vicki Rollo and their Valentine’s Day-installed countertop

 The sweetest day

The best laid plans … Two Valentine’s Day deliveries went agley at Saks Fifth Avenue. One came without a card to identify the recipient and when that got figured out, the sender learned the florist had sent a totally incorrect arrangement. Another came for someone who doesn’t work there, and the florist didn’t retrieve it until 5:45 p.m. Saks Marketing Director Sally Schule figures that makes two furious husbands! … Can you top this? … Mike Ash treated his wife, Jewel, to a cute card, a piece of jewelry, two dozen roses and, he says, “Most expensive: a new lens for her left eye for her Valentine’s Day eye surgery” … Red is the color of my true love’s countertop? … It is at the home of James and Vicki Rollo. The couple celebrated the 44th anniversary of their first meeting with the Valentine’s Day installation of a romantic red quartz kitchen countertop … An afternoon off … is how Dr. Brad and Melissa Lerner celebrated, and they spent it at the Met spa …

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Creative tresses … Tricia Hopkins, class of ’93, went the extra mile to show her school spirit at the New College Foundation’s Inaugural Ball Saturday, Feb. 16 (see photos on pages 18 and 19). Hopkins had Pam Courtney, from Hair Antics, come to her home and do her hair up in the “four winds,” Rachel S. O’Hara New College’s Tricia Hopkins symbol. Courtney added in blue hairpieces and swirled them around in four buns on the side of Hopkins’ head and added a sparkly jewel button in the center … Congrats … goes to Roger Capote and Jim Wilson who got engaged last week … Happy birthday … to Cliff Roles, who spent his 60th birthday working hard photographing the busy weekend of events … Afternoon reception … Co-Chairwomen Charlene Wolff and Gila Meriweather launched their Angels Among Us campaign at the Feb. 6 American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) event, honoring Gloria Moss and the Moss family. The goal of the new campaign is to fund the purchase of a new life-saving ambulance, made in the U.S., to send to Israel … Mardi Gras madness … Although this year’s Goodwill Mardi Gras event wasn’t the usual fun street party atmosphere, the sell-out crowd of 366 still enjoyed the fabulous food and traditional music by Second Wind Traditional Jazz presents Skip’s Dixie Mix. Accord-


Charlene Wolff, Gloria Moss and Gila Meriweather

ing to Michael’s On East, it was reported that oysters were hands-down the favorite station of the evening — among the three preparations (oysters Bienville, oysters Rockefeller and fried oysters); approximately 2,500 were served. During the auction, Tropex’s Charlie Lenger bid on a giant teddy bear for Tropex employee Shane Christophel and his wife, Sarah, and their two kids.

 The calendar calls

BT is still collecting events for the 2013 Black Tie social calendar, and if we don’t know about it, we can’t publish it! Email the following information to name of your event; group hosting; group benefiting; time, date and place; ticket price; chairperson; contact name, phone number and email; website and event description. Black Tie’s “Occasions” column details of some of the most fabulous local weddings and share engagement announcements. Whether you attended the most-talked about event of the year or want to announce your own nuptials, send your engagement and wedding announcements to stephanie@



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(continued from page 13)

Lynn Kopman, Cheryl MacLauchlan and Glo Reber

Jackie Clemons was one of the many volunteers selling raffle tickets.

Lisa Kelley, Judy McShane and Margaret Ann Furer

Betsy Murrin-Colbert and Lisa Morris

Donna Pettinato, Suzanne Reiman, Stephanie Anzel and Marcy Klein

Joy Weston and Les McCurdy

Dorothy Dorocke, Ann Smith and Barbara Little

 Jane Krombeen

Karene Leworthy and Susan Erhart

Detail: Peter Plagens, Get In There Fast, 2010, mixed media on canvas, 54 x 52 inches.Courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery.

February 22 - April 3, 2013

Abstract, adj.: Expressing a quality apart from an object. Selby Galleries I & II: Explore current trends in relationship to the historic movements that began to appear nearly a century ago and the new directions being taken by painters today. The subject will be addressed through the work of emerging, mid-career and well-established artists who have been inspired by the concepts developed in the past, nature, music, mathematics, the spiritual and new media.

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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

Ruth Williams and Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO at Goodwill Industries Manasota

Co-Chairs Grace Carlson and Steve Altier were Queen and King of the Mardi Gras-themed gala.

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Suzanne and John Hill

// Mardi Gras Gala //

Benefiting Goodwill Manasota Tuesday, Feb. 11 Michael’s On East

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Something for Everyone Public Welcome! Musica Sacra Cantorum Friday March 15 at 8pm

Sarasota Concert Band March 23 at 8pm

Ring Sarasota

Saturday April 6 at 8pm

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Saturday March 16 at 8pm

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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// 12th annual Van Wezel Foundation Gala //

Bob & Taube

Benefiting Van Wezel Foundation | Friday, Feb. 15 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Owned and Operated by NRT, LLC


(941) 356-0743 • Coldwell Banker Preview Agents,Bob and Taube Levitt, have been selling Sarasota’s select properties for more than 25 years. Selling in Sarasota, and on Longboat, Lido, Siesta, and Casey Keys. Featuring beachfront, golf and tennis and private secure enclaves.We are your most experienced personal real estate team for buying or selling your home. We are located at 423 St. Armand’s Circle and can be reached at 941-356-0743. Check out our web site at

Michele Strauss

3466 WinDing Oaks Dr. #35 2 bedroom, 2 bath Villa is over 2000 square feet with hardwood floors, cathedral ceiling and 2 outdoor decks. Just a short walk to the gracious community pool. Pets are welcomed and the Bay Isles Beach club gives the home owners deeded beach access. $469,000

Chairwomen Brenda Maraman, Lucille Smith and Kathy Martella

PrOmenaDe 1211 gulF OF mexiCO Dr. #603 2BR/2BA condo w/new and expanded kitchen w/views of Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Newer porcelain tile floor through out. New ceiling fans, window shades & wine cooler in bar area, new quartz counter top & lighting. Full service concierge. $749,000

lOngBOat harBOur 4340 FalmOuth Dr. #104 2BR/2BA condo that has been totally remodeled. All new wiring, plumbing,air conditioner,water heater, walls, new baths, and granite kitchen counter with stainless steel appliances. Boat docks available. Wonderful water view. Deeded beach access. $299,000

Jules and Shelia Rose

1750 Benjamin Franklin Drive #10 C Direct gulf and beach views from this 2BD/2BA 10th floor home on Lido Key. $649,000

David & Wendy Leventhal

Larry and Carmen Lawrence

545 sanCtuary Drive #a501 3BD/3.5BA corner home w/wrap around terrace and direct views of the Gulf! $1,799,000

3405 54th Drive West - Live where dreams come alive! Bollettierri Resort Villas ranging from 2BR-5BR. $500,000-$1,000,000

(941) 518-7694 | (941) 376-4894 | Cindy and Brad Henningsen

Lisa and Rocky Henderson

Coldwell AgenT PAge To advertise here contact:

Kenji Trujillo

Multi-Media Account Executive

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Gabrielle Slater and Monica Van Buskirk

Darrell and Lesley Huntley pose in front of the painting they donated.

To advertise here contact: Kenji Trujillo (941) 928-5924


(941) 928-5924






// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// New College Foundation’s Inaugural Ball // Benefiting New College Foundation Saturday, Feb. 16, at New College Bayfront



FEB 20–MAR 24, 2013



Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Chairwomen Patricia Johnson, Renee Hamad, BJ Creighton and Kathy Coffey

When you take the time and care to

GIVE, MORE it touches lives and provides so much

Dr. Arthur and Lynn Guilford

Murray and Elizabeth Miller

than good financial planning; it gives back.

Sherry and Tom Koski

Let us be your partner for smart giving to all the things you care about. Support the arts, fund educational programs for children, help animals, give scholarships to students of all ages, protect the environment, make a difference for senior adults ... you decide where and how you want to give and we’ll make it happen. To learn more, visit or call 941-955-3000. Ask us how easy it is to give through a donor advised fund. Community Foundation of Sarasota County – making donor dreams a reality for 33 years (and counting). GIVE. FEEL GOOD. REPEAT.®


Lee DeLieto, Jr. and Valarie Wadsworth DeLieto

Josh and Stephanie McCoy John and Mary Ann Meyer




// BLACK TIE: Camera ready Presenting Fine Properties of


RoUnTREE dRivE $3,995,000 Tuscan splendor on Sarasota Bay. Absolutely perfect home exudes quality craftsmanship and refined finishes showcasing an excellent utilization of space with multiple gathering and entertaining areas.

New College President Dr. Donal O’Shea greets his grandson, Ainsley O’Shea

I.J. and Valerie Pober

HALyARd LAnE $1,895,000 Fabulous 4 bed, 5 bath 4,634 sf Longboat Key home with spectacular views from every room. Well thought-out floor plan to take advantage of every possible water view. Pool or spa overlooking your boat dock and canal.

Hamilton Coffey and Wendy Erskine

Dennis Rees and Felice Schulaner

RiTz BEAcH, 1106 $2,499,000 Enjoy breathtaking sunsets from this 11th floor property with city skyline, bay and Gulf views from your expansive wrap around terrace. First class amenities include concierge services by The Ritz Carlton.

Chairman of the Board Bill Johnston with his wife, Betsy Johnston

Dr. Larry and Pat Thompson with Phil King

THE PiERRE, PH2 $1,595,000 Spectacular forever views of the Gulf, bay, city, golf courses and intercoastal. 14 foot ceilings in this 2,410 square foot penthouse level residence. Beautiful wood floors and open floorplan. 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath plus two large balconies.

List with us and give your property the exposure it truly deserves.

joycE HUBER 941.356.2434

ERin McWHoRTER 941.228.1405 |

Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

Kathy Killion, Shelley Stein, Pam and Norm Reiter and Sue Jacobson


MARK HUBER 941.356.2435




// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// Compassion in Caring Luncheon //

Benefiting Tidewell Hospice Friday, Feb. 15, at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

Co-Chairwomen Bobbi Bernstein and Marysue Wechsler

Photos by Cliff Roles

Cheryl Shapiro and Sally Shapiro

// Lion of Judah/Pomegranate Luncheon //

Lory Weisensee, Cindy Stuhley, Denise M. Pope, Chris Currie and Margarete Van Antwerpen

Tidewell Difference Award winners Jane Welsh, Caitlin Pendergast and Charlie Warne with Philomena D’Sa

Lynn Carvel, Patti Wertheimer and Jill Levine


Climb, swing, zip, jump all while 15 to 60 feet in the air!

Joy Moravitz and Barbara Ackerman

One-night Open-studiO shOw

• Fun for Everyone Age 7 to 87 • Hanging nets ~ wobbly bridges ~ tarzan ropes • 650-Foot-Long ZIP Line • 5 Courses from Beginner to Extreme

inside the beautiful new VpA Visual Art studios March 8, 2013 • 7 p.m. • Event is FREE! • All Mediums

Reservations recommended! Book online at or call toll-free 855-322-2130.

21805 S.R. 70 East East of I-75 in Bradenton

Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served al fresco Scan our QR to visit our website.

3201 N. Orange Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34234


Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Gerry Radford, guest speaker Lisa Niemi Swayze and Lauren Dorsett


Cheryl Clark and Connie Cotros

Benefiting the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Thursday, Jan. 31, at Asolo Repertory Theatre





OCCASIONS: Lacy Jane Janson & Warren Anthony Harper BRIDE’S PARENTS Chuck and Laurie Janson

GROOM’S PARENTS Marie Harper; George and Wanda Harper

HOW THEY MET: Warren and Lacy met on the track at FSU. Both being pole vaulters, they spent a lot of time together at practice, and also off the field with other track friends. In 2009, Warren forgot her birthday (Feb. 20) and she gave him a pretty hard time about it. He appeased her by promising to give her a hug every day for a year. He was true to his word and often made special efforts to bestow his daily hug. One summer while playing beach volleyball, Lacy offered to buy Warren a banana split if he helped her carry her poles down to the other side of the track. He accepted, and, thus began their tradition of regular Bruster’s dates. Many times Lacy was too full or didn’t feel like ice cream, but if he asked, she always accepted. They decided to begin dating when they were both in Gainesville helping coach at the Florida Relays. Their first kiss happened in the apartment complex that is right next to their new neighborhood, in Gainesville — how things have come full circle.

the sunrise over the water on Bald Point. The next adventure was to Level 8 Lounge at Hotel Duval where the couple enjoyed drinks, appetizers and the sunset. Dinner followed at Bella Bella, an Italian restaurant, and dessert was under the stars in an open field. They were lying on their backs and Lacy was trying to find the legs of Pegasus when Warren started his preproposal talk. He got up onto one knee and pulled out a box from his jacket pocket and popped the question, to which Lacy responded, “Absolutely!”

BACKGROUND: Warren grew up in Tallahassee and attended Lawton Chiles High School. Lacy grew up in Sarasota and attended Cardinal Mooney High School. INTERESTS: They enjoy beach volleyball and almost anything outdoors, visiting with family and friends and great food. THE PROPOSAL: Oct. 25, 2011. Warren planned an entire day of fun, which began with watching

THE WEDDING: Dec. 29, 2012. The ceremony took place at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, in Tallahassee, where Warren grew up attending. THE RECEPTION: The reception took place at Shiloh Farm, a big open space with beautiful oak trees and an amazing barn. It was decorated with all sorts of odds and ends and hay scattered on the floor — the perfect place for a “boot scootin’” good time. Local band Crooked Shooz played and the Wiregrass Boys cooked tasty barbecue. BRIDE-AND-GROOM’S FIRST  DANCE: “Keeper of the Stars” by Tracy Byrd HONEYMOON: Warren planned the entire thing and Lacy didn’t know where they were going until the end of the wedding day. They went up to Pine Mountain, Ga., to view the Christmas lights at Callaway Gardens. The next stop was

Photos by Terri Smith Photo

Stone Mountain, Ga., for a snow tubing adventure at the base of Stone Mountain. Finally, they ended up on Cumberland Island, Ga., for three days. They had to get back to Tallahassee for the annual soccer game in honor of Warren’s birthday. FUN FACTS: 2012 was a big year for both Warren and Lacy. After getting engaged in October 2011, they found out in February 2012

that Warren was accepted to veterinary school at University of Florida. Lacy, a professional pole vaulter, made the world championship team and went in March to Istanbul to compete. In June, Warren, Lacy’s parents and sister, Kristin, travelled to Eugene, Ore., to see Lacy make the USA Olympic team — which meant everyone bought tickets to London for August to watch the competition and see London (Lacy’s

two sisters, Kristin and Brittany, her brother, Charles, parents and Warren all made the trip). Warren’s brother, Joseph, was studying abroad in London at the time, so he was also able to join in the fun. Following the Olympics, Warren came back to Florida, moved his stuff to Gainesville and started school days later. Their wedding (Dec. 29) was a great way to end a wonderful year.

ra s s as d! ils pe er d r n ta o v en pe ke de lo ek 4 o ee for e W 0 W ll le -130 a e ng 28 se si 1) 3 a (94 in call

61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota 34236 Sarasota Opera's 2013 production of Turandot

Winter opera Festival

Verdi’s Times Concert Fri. Mar 8, 8pm

Feb 9–Mar 24, 2013

Apprentice & Studio Artists Explore Verdi’s influence on the music of his time.


Giacomo Puccini Feb 9–Mar 23 artist’s Choice Concert Sun. Mar 17, 8pm

The Pearl fishers

The Best of Opera, Broadway, and more!

a King for a day

Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Verdi Sarasota opera soloists, orchestra, and chorus perform the Triumphal Scene from Aida, plus

Georges Bizet Feb 16–Mar 22 Giuseppe Verdi Mar 2–24

of Mice and Men Carlisle Floyd Mar 9–23

the verdi Concert Sun. March 24, 8pm

excerpts from Don Carlos, La traviata & more.

Paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues. Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.


SEASon SPonSor


(941) 328-1300 |

DIVERSIONS by Stephanie Hannum | Diversions Managing Editor












Heather Dunhill lives each day to the highest fashion degree — her style is feminine with an architectural edge. The fashionista writes Sarasota magazine’s monthly column, Fashion IQ, as well a weekly style blog.

DAYTIME My day look is typically comfortable — a cardigan, cotton top and yoga pants — relaxed and comfy. photos by Stephanie Hannum









 PRTTY PEAUSHUN LOTION “This is what the celebs use on the red carpet. It has light-reflecting particles that give skin a gorgeous glow. I love this product for nights out when I show some bare skin.”

“I love buying and selling on eBay. My best find was a retired Tiffany and Co. necklace from the ’90s.”


shoes da Pra


I generally stay in the same color palette and then add pops of color — I embrace small amounts of color to stay current.


 ESTHER VINA RING “Ted got this for me for Christmas. I saw it in Vogue Paris but couldn’t find it and he tracked it down.”


 DAVINES NO. 14 SEA SALT PRIMER FOR WIZARDS “This spray holds my hair better than hairspray.”

Red lip: This gives any woman a fresh, modern look — especially for day. Oxfords: I love how these give an outfit a cool, downtown vibe. Clutch bags: Really chic for day and night. And, you can toss one in your daytime carryall and pull it for lunchtime meetings.

Want to be the next guest fashion editor? If you think your wardrobe's worthy, email Diversions Managing Editor Stephanie Hannum at

Get relief from foot, knee & back pain... even Plantar Fasciitis! Helping Patients Understand

HEALTHCARE INFORMATION EXCHANGE Feb. 26 with Dr. John Collins Dr. John Collins – NCF alumnus and former chief of staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital – will discuss current developments in the electronic exchange of medical information among medical service providers and the impact on improving patient outcomes.

■ Arch supports that fit all shoes — even sandals ■ Free personal fitting and balance demonstration ■ Lifetime warranty on most arch supports ■ Free test walk so you can try before you buy

tickets $15:, 941-487-4888 5:30 pm, mildred sainer pavilion, 5313 bay shore rD.

20 OFF Any pair of arch supports

Brilliantly [U]nique. [U]niquely Brilliant. 103011

Valid only in Sarasota-Tampa area. Cannot be combined with other offers. Expires3/3/13 SOY01

4950 Fruitville Road • Sarasota Just West of Honore , Opposite Goodwill 941-487-7974



A wine and cheese reception follows each lecture, graciously underwritten by Mattison’s





R I T TS L. A. S T Y L E

| ❷22– ❺19 |

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art The STaTe arT MuSeuM of florida | The florida STaTe univerSiTy |

Herb Ritts Versace Dress, Back View, El Mirage, 1990. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Gift of Herb Ritts Foundation. © Herb Ritts Foundation. The exhibition has been organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Art of Our Time is made possible by Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Special thanks to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s in-kind media sponsor, Sarasota Magazine. 104750

on view

He revolutionized fasHion pHotograpHy, modernized tHe nude, and transformed celebrities into icons.

HERB RITTS_Observer_FPDiversions.indd 1

2/12/13 10:45 AM





DIVersions eEdition  

DIVersions eEdition