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Susan McLeod promotes visual arts PAGES 2-3

Ritz-Carlton chef makes it big in the Big Apple PAGE 11

HOME&GARDEN | home of the month


The Outof-Door Academy’s Banyan Bash PAGE 15 by Robert Plunket | Contributing Writer

Photo courtesy of Detlev von Kessel and Coldwell Banker

A checkerboard lawn dotted with modern sculpture is just one of the surprises in the gardens that surround the historic Austin/Chaplain home in Whitfield Estates.

Glorious Past, Glorious Present In its latest incarnation, one of Sarasota’s most legendary homes continues to dazzle. HOME&GARDEN COVER STORY CONTINUED ON PAGE 12




// Arts&Entertainment: Curating costs

by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Museum without walls Sarasota Season of Sculpture Board Chairwoman Susan McLeod believes most people don’t realize a free outdoor museum comes at a price.


Photos by Mallory Gnaegy

“We are an important representation of the artistic passion of the community,” Susan McLeod says. “You can’t miss it when it’s 70 feet tall and bright red.”

he bayfront is sleeping. Every other November, it awakens with the strong visual presence of up to 21 sculptures from national and international monumental visual artists that adorn the stretch along U.S. 41. Come May, the sculptures are taken down and the outdoor installation space goes back into hibernation. But the eight board members of Sarasota Season of Sculpture, the nonprofit group responsible for curating the free bi-annual exhibit, never take a rest. There are plenty of fundraising and educational artist visits to plan during the interim. Susan McLeod, board chairwoman, would love it if the exhibit could be annual, but the funding isn’t there — yet. She suggests it’s not easy trying to fundraise for an organization that people don’t know exists. She blames the lack of awareness on the off year, when the



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// Arts&Entertainment

Sculpture and how it is placed are important concerns for a community that is concerned with its identity, projected image and quality of living.


13 — Number of years Season of Sculpture has been in existence

132 — Number of

sculptures brought to Sarasota since the inception of Season of Sculpture "Wave 2 Me," by Malcom Robertson, sits near the front entrance of Longboat key Club. It was one sculpture featured in Season of Sculpture that received a permanent home.

... says artist of “Complexus” John Henry in the introduction “Why Sculpture Matters” featured in the upcoming Sarasota Season of Sculpture publication.

ture board member Tom Savage headed the fund, which exists via The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and spearheaded the drive to purchase the sculptures. In turn, Season of Sculpture received a commission on each sculpture, which helps fund the group’s efforts. This covers the upward of $150,000 it costs per every season the sculptures are installed. Sarasota Season of Sculpture has been responsible for donating and giving $1.2 million worth of art to the city of Sarasota in the past four years. And plenty of sculptures have found a permanent home around the city, thanks to Sarasota Season of Sculpture, such as: “The Wave” by Malcolm Robertson at the Longboat Key Club and “Enigma” by Dennis Kowal on the bayfront. “There’s a large group of people in Sarasota who enjoys the sculptures and think the city puts

15 — Number of U.S. states them there,” says McLeod. “They don’t know it’s (really) a nonprofit group that needs support.” The volunteer group is busy planning the seventh season that opens in November. This year, instead of exhibiting 10 or more different artists, like it did in the sixth season, the installation will feature three international artists exhibiting several pieces each. The group also strives to host artist visits in the interim to keep attention focused on visual arts and Season of Sculpture. The group brought back artist Chakia Booker, known for her rubber-work sculpture featured in season six, March 13 through March 15 to talk with students and children from local groups such as the Boys and Girls Club, to bring the focus back to visual arts. And there’s more news for this off-season. In April, local publishing group Serbin will release a 186-page photographic retro-

spective of the 13 years and seven seasons of Sarasota Season of Sculpture. “We needed to have something in our hands to help people understand what it is we’ve done, what we continue doing, and that we need support,” McLeod says. It’s a project the group has planned for two years. To date, there aren’t official plans for where the book can be purchased, but McLeod is sure there will be a release party. For 13 years, the group has brought what McLeod believes is the strongest representation of visual art to the area. She’s been a part of it for 10 of those years. “If you were walking or driving down the bayfront and saw those monumental sculptures there, you wouldn’t have a question about who we are as a community,” she says. “We are an important representation of the artistic passion of the community.”

represented by Season of Sculpture over the past 13 years

13 — Number of foreign

countries represented by Season of Sculpture over the past 13 years.

if you go Reception and Lecture by Chakaia Booker When: 5:30 p.m. reception and 6:30 p.m. lecture Friday, March 15 Where: Auditorium of Academic Center at Ringling College of Art and Design, 2700 N. Tamiami Trail Cost: Free Info: RSVP to creative@



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lack of physical reminders, or sculptures, leaves the organization off the radar. This year is an off year. Albeit, the group has had some press since the start of the off-season. For one, a woman crashed her Mercedes Benz into the base of the 25-foot-tall “Unconditional Surrender” in April. The sculpture arrived November 2005 to the bayfront during season three of Sarasota Season of Sculpture. Another headline came when the Sarasota Public Art Fund garnered more than $500,000 to purchase the red 70-foot sculpture on the corner of U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue, “Complexus,” by artist John Henry. McLeod says even with the headlines, many people don’t realize Sarasota Season of Sculpture was responsible for the two permanent fixtures, in coordination with The Sarasota Public Art Fund. Sarasota Season of Sculp-


— Number of artists represented since the first year of Season of Sculpture

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// Arts&Entertainment: COLUMN


Hot Ticket

By Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor |

Courtesy photos

The Observer staff bribing its new boss with carrots. Invisible bosses are the best.

 Observer gets a new boss It’s all smiles when your new boss turns out to be an invisible rabbit named Harvey! On Tuesday, March 9, The Players Theatre Director Linda MacCluggage led the invisible rabbit to the Observer’s Main Street office, City Hall and a few other locations as a promotion for the upcoming comedy drama, “Harvey.” The play is about a man named Elwood P. Dowd, who befriends an invisible rabbit. Naturally his new friend makes his family question his sanity. The play opens Thursday, March 28, at The Players Theatre and runs through April 7. If you go, be sure to lookout for the Business Observer’s web editor, Amanda Heisey, who plays Nurse Kelly (pictured at bottom left in the photo above).

 John Olenick becomes king for a day On March 1, John Olenick celebrated his 100th birthday. His wife

cooked for him, which he enjoyed — pierogies are his favorite. And, the staff at the Sarasota Opera House, where he is the assistant house manager and has been volunteering for the past 25 years, gave him a special present. Executive Director Richard Russell came onstage to make the curtain speech before “King for A Day,” in celebration of Olenick’s birthday. Olenick waved from what has become known as his “corner” in the back right of the Opera John and Olga House, Olenick sit in John Olenick’s corner at where he Sarasota Opera House sits for every opera performance. The entire audience gave him a standing ovation. Following the production, the entire company sang “Happy Birthday” and celebrated his day with two birthday cakes. “It feels pretty good that you’re still alive!” he says of the milestone.

 Come to their cabarets Georgia Court was honored Saturday, March 9, at Florida Studio Theatre for her patronage and donation, which made the new John C. Court Cabaret and “Georgia’s Johns” restrooms possible. A full audience sat in the new seats of

‘Always Something New’: Fuzión Dance Artists presents its seventh season dance concert at 8 p.m. Friday, March 15 at FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. This show runs through Sunday, March 17. Tickets are $30. Call 359-0099 for more information. Lazy Fairy Improv: This comedy improv troupe performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at The Players Theatre, 838 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets are $12. Call 365-2494.

Georgia Court addresses the audience from the stage she contributed. the new Cabaret, which, because of Court’s donation, allowed subscriptions to go up by 2,000. And thanks to Court, there will no longer be “long lines and woefully inadequate space (in the bathroom),” says Jennifer Saslaw, on the board of trustees. Richard and Rebecca Hopkins, along with Saslaw, spoke about what her donation means to the theater; the cast of “By Gershwin” performed “Our Love is Here to Stay”; and Kate Alexander gave a toast all in honor of Georgia Court.

 Jack Perkins gets transcendental Retired TV newsman Jack Perkins opted to end his career at its height after 35 years. He and his wife moved to a desolate island in Maine and lived using solar panels and a wood stove, away from all humanity. He wasn’t expecting to have a religious epiphany, but it changed his life forever. He gave Diversions an exclusive video interview about his new book, “Finding Moosewood Finding God,” and you can watch it online at

Photo by Eddie Kirsch Karen and Michael Gardiner Sarasota is arguably the cultural capital of Florida. The arts thrive here, and it’s because of one group of people — the supporters. For the rest of the season, The Observer is producing a weekly online video series spotlighting patrons’ stories and their effect on the arts. Visit Patron-Saints-378 to watch the Gardiners’ story involving WBTT. First in this series, take Longboaters Michael and Karen Gardiner. They went to a Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) show four-and-a-half years ago because the Motown theme attracted Michael Gardiner’s attention. The man, who had retired from marketing for Hertz Rent-a-Car, noticed WBTT’s advertising was a little less than par. He offered his assistance to founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. Watch the video for the full scoop.


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// Arts&Entertainment: reviews



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Damien Echols, one of the West of Memphis Three camera interviews with the victims’ parents are tragically riveting. As advancements in DNA forensics evolved over the years during the WM3’s incarceration, noted legal professionals, such as Barry Scheck and Michael Baden, offered their services. They analyzed hairs found on the victims’ bodies and found they belonged to Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of the murdered children. Intense live interviews with Hobbs reveal a monster who seems highly likely to be the perpetrator of these heinous crimes. Sadly, he’ll never be charged because the state of Arkansas did not grant a retrial, knowing it would lose. Rather it allowed the WM3 to accept the Alford Plea, an oxymoronic deal in which the defendants plead guilty, but not guilty and walk free. That plea shielded the state from future lawsuits and let a murderer remain at large. Peter Jackson cites that one of the greatest travesties in life is “people of power taking advantage of the weak.” “West of Memphis” proves it beyond a reasonable doubt.

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”West of Memphis” is the fourth, and most chilling, documentary about the West Memphis Three. Its unique perspective benefits immensely from hindsight, an attribute the previous films did not have available at the time they were made. In 1993, the West Memphis Three were three teenagers who were accused and found guilty of brutally murdering three young boys. The 8-year-old children were found bound, beaten and mutilated in West Memphis, Ark. One month later, Jesse Misskelley Jr., 17 (who was described as “borderline mentally retarded”), is cajoled into a confession and implicates Jason Baldwin, 16, and Damien Echols, 18. The prosecution presented the murders as satanic in nature because Echols had an interest in heavy metal music and magic. Emotions ran high in the tiny community and, in 1994, the WM3 were found guilty, and Echols received the death sentence. A mob mentality took hold as three teens incurred their misplaced wrath. But, due to some high-profile intervention, a movement to free the WM3 was successful. It took 18 years and the unwavering faith of people, including Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Henry Rollins (Black Flag) and Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks). Director Peter Jackson (“Lord of the Rings”) and his wife, Fran Walsh, co-produced “West of Memphis” along with Echols and his wife, Lorri Davis, who married him behind bars in 1999. Director Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”) chose to highlight the vast advocacy, which included thousands ultimately responsible for freeing Baldwin and Misskelley and saving Echols’ life. She also employed the music of Aussie rockers Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Dirty Three) for superb scoring. Her up-close


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// Arts&Entertainment: reviews



// ‘Soul Crooners 2’

Am, Baby.” If there’s anyone more fun to watch than John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd singing “Soul Man,” it’s got to be the big guy with the bedroom eyes and the sock-it-to-me style, Leon Pitts, II. Pitts puts the moves on the floor and the ladies in the front row with songs such as “Close the Door” and “For the Love of You.”  Michael Mendez is looking more like Fred Astaire with every show. He’s both funky and romantic, and it really shows in “Me and Mrs. Jones” and “Going in Circles.”  Chris Eisenberg made his first appearance with WBTT in “Soul Crooners” at the age of 9. He’s still adorable and absolutely rocks “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind” and “Play That Funky Music.” — Paula Atwell

Whoooo-weeeee! Give up the funk! “Soul Crooners 2” is a hip-twitching, funkadelic good time. A follow-up to last year’s sold-out “Soul Crooners,” the new show is equally, if not even more, enjoyable. WBTT Artistic Director Nate Jacobs has done a great job as adapter/director/choreographer of the current production, which has added two additional performances to its run. This soul music of the ’70s revue highlights artists such as Lou Rawls, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Sam & Dave, The Four Tops, Teddy Pendergrass and the Isley Brothers. The sound, under the talented direction of James E. Dodge II and musicians Todd Bellamy, Jamar D. Camp, Etienne J. Porter and James Johnston, is top-notch. The all-male cast has been most fittingly decked out in flashy bell-bottom flares, white boots and brightly colored tunics, then adorned with black sequined jackets for Act II by costumer Cristy Owen. The matching, oversized handkerchiefs are de rigeur for these guys, because they give it everything they’ve got. The choreography is evocative of the era, tightly synchronized and demanding.  The signature songs are introduced by Emmanuel Avraham with snappy, explanatory patter written by Jacobs, who also performs. Jacobs shows his elegant, tuneful voice can also “get down,” and he shines in Al Green’s serpentinely Courtesy hypnotic number, “Here I Leon Pitts II, Chris Eisenberg, Nate Jacobs and Michael Mendez

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// Arts&Entertainment: reviews


Presenting Fine Properties of


Stephen Hope, Liz Power, Jannie Jones and Robert H. Fowler

THEATER // ‘By Gershwin’ Florida Studio Theatre’s tribute to George and Ira Gershwin’s music has all the sophistication and swing of the Jazz Age. Directed by Richard Hopkins, with music direction by Ryan Touhey, the production reflects the Gershwin diversity, the sly humor, universal emotion and musical perspicuity that made them — and still makes them — so popular. Loaded with well-staged examples presented by a talented ensemble of four, it’s a “S’wonderful” evening from its opening, “I Got/ Fascinating Rhythm” medley and on down the “Bumpy Road to Love.” “Gershwin’s gift was phenomenal,” noted Michael Kennedy, as quoted in “The Oxford Dictionary of Music.” “His songs contain the essence of New York in the 1920s and have deservedly become classics of their kind, part of the 20th-century, folk-song tradition in the sense that they are popular music that has been spread by oral tradition (for many must

Photo by Maria Lyle

have sung a Gershwin song without having any idea who wrote it).” Gershwin remarked, “Jazz I regard as an American folk music, not the only one, but a very powerful one, which is in the blood and feeling of the American people more than any other style of folk music.” Stephen Hope croons swell tunes and brings an upscale-cocktail-hour feel, a bit of Durante and a linguistically demanding musical recitation of major Russian composers. Liz Power is lovely and stylin’ with a lively upbeat version of “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” with a hint of Minnie the Moocher. Robert H. Fowler is funny in a twitchy rumba and equally rousing in “Stairway to Paradise.” Jannie Jones lends her powerful range and depth to everyone’s favorite, “Summertime,” as well as a fascinating rhythm all her own. Snappy patter is provided by co-writers Rebecca Hopkins, Richard Hopkins and Jim Prosser, who doubles on piano. Susan Angermann conjures up some stunning eveningwear. Stage manager Kelsey Petersen keeps it all together. Kate Dewall lights it up, and David Corsello makes sure we can hear it.

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// Arts&Entertainment: REVIEWS

Music // ‘Of Mice and Men’ “Of Mice and Men,” an opera of emotionally epic proportions written so economically not one note or word lacks meaning, opened this weekend for the first time at Sarasota Opera. Carlisle Floyd, one of America’s greatest living opera composers, has taken the classic Steinbeck story and given it, through his music, color, pathos and despair, that which has turned it into the great American tragedy that reaches into your heart, squeezes it and, finally, rips it from your chest. In producing this, Sarasota Opera — the third in its American Classics series — has given us a cast that so embodies this work, you forget they’re singing and acting. Rather, you grow to empathize with the piteous people on stage to the point they become your relatives, your friends, your family; people you grew up with; people you know; people you’ve seen; people you hope you’re not but know, deep down, you could be. George Milton (Sean Anderson) is a big-hearted man of America, a wanderer and worker who dreams of a better life and, along the way to reaching that vision, takes on the care of Lennie Small (Michael Hendrick) who is also searching for a better way. But Lennie is what our grandparents might have called “not quite right.” A big man with a small aptitude, his aspirations are simple: friendship, a home and some small, soft things he can stroke and pet. The problem is, Lennie doesn’t know his own strength and sometimes, when he’s simply trying to be gentle, breaks and kills things, from small animals to hands and necks. Hendrick, a last-minute replacement for the tenor originally slated to sing Lennie, has made this role his own by slipping into the skin of this lovable but dangerous galoot with


Michael Hendrick as Lennie Small and Sean Anderson as George Milton in “Of Mice and Men.” such a tight fit, vocally and emotionally, it’s hard to think of him as anyone else. Hendrick, who’s sung everything from Bacchus in “Ariadne” at the Met to Parsifal with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, has a soaring tenor voice that seems endless in range, color and depth. Yet, his acting is so skilled, his characterization so complete, you forget he’s singing; with remarkable enunciation and body language, he totally personifies Lennie. Anderson also embodies the part of George, singing the role with a sturdy, flexible, strong baritone that never strains and always personifies this kind-hearted, trust-

worthy man of the rails and roadhouses. There’s only one woman in this opera, and she’s such a tart, so much the flirt, so sordidly self-centered, she doesn’t have a name. She is, simply, Curley’s Wife. Played with astounding dynamism by studio artist Chelsea Basler, her soprano cajoles, trifles, seduces and dallies with the enormous range of notes and emotions Floyd has given her, making her the villain in a dress, the demise of dreams. Curley, sung with finesse by Studio Artist Jon Jurgens, is the angriest man on stage, always furious and always picking fights.

Carlson (Marvin Kehler) and the Ballad Singer (Jason Winfield) — both studio artists — make strong impressions in their roles. And Slim (Matthew Hanscom) becomes the shining light of understanding and strength with characterization and vocalism to match, while Andrew Gangestad, as Candy, uses his powerful bass to personify an old man who’s not too elderly to have a dream of his own. Michael Unger has taken this beautifully constructed opera and turned it into a brilliant piece of theater. Singers are allowed to soar but, through Unger’s intelligent and poignant direction, they use their singing voices to embody their characters. David Neely, the conductor, brings out every important nuance and sound from the excellent orchestra while permitting the singers the freedom to act with their voices and bodies. The scenic design, adapted from a production by the renowned John Conklin, has interior sets — barns and bunkhouses — so real you can almost smell the timber. And, as always, Howard Tsvi Kaplan’s costumes and Ken Yunker’s lighting set the tone for the era with care and ingenuity. Kudos must also be given to Pede the dog, who seems born to his role on stage. Pede gets our Golden Biscuit Award for best four-footed performer. “Of Mice and Men” is a true American verismo opera. Lyric and often tonal, Floyd has used his music to underscore this great American tragedy with a theatrical genius reminiscent of another great composer of the theater, Puccini. It’s not an easy story but, then, neither is “Madama Butterfly” or “Turandot.” Raw emotion fairly swims through every note; it’s even evident in the silences. Floyd works with tension, and he has us riveted as we wait for the inevitable gunshot and snap of a neck. And, from the prolonged (and deserved) cheers and ovations at the end of this production, it’s made converts of many who never thought they’d salute a 20th-century opera. — June LeBell

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// Arts&Entertainment: Backstage Pass


by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Roz Goldberg sets the reels in motion Cinephile Roz Goldberg saw 33 films at Sarasota Film Festival and screened 30 films for the Israel Film Festival. In October, Longboater Roz Goldberg attended the Hamptons International Film Festival, as she does every year. She bought a ticket for “Orchestra of Exiles,” because Goldberg is always on the lookout for potential films for The Jewish Film Festival, which she chairs — and because she’s “film crazy.” The documentary chronicles the story of Bronislaw Huberman, founder of the Palestine Symphony (known as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra since 1948). The orchestra became a musical haven for Jewish exiles. Goldberg was so taken with the film that, following the closing credits, the redhead bounded right up to director, pro-

if you go Israel Film Festival When: Starts Sunday, March 27 Where: Beatrice Friedman Theater, 582 McIntosh Road, Sarasota; Temple Sinai, 4631 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota; Polo Grill & Bar, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch; Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key Cost: Tickets $7; festival pass $36; patron pass $50 Info: Visit aspx or call 552-6304.

ducer and screenwriter Josh Aronson. “Your film was wonderful,” she told him. “I want our audience in Sarasota to see it, and I want you to come.” Aronson will be speaking March 17, at the Jewish Film Festival following the Sarasota premiere of his film. Goldberg has been chairwoman of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s annual Jewish Film Festival since its inception four years ago. “It’s my baby,” she says. It arose during a time when the Jewish Federation hoped to reach out to institutions by partnering with arts groups, such as Sarasota Ballet, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota Orchestra and Sarasota Film Festival, to name a few. In previous years, the national and international independent films were selected with high standards; these must be newly released, quality films that reflect Jewish themes. This year, the Jewish Federation deemed it the Israel Film Festival in honor of Israel turning 65 years old, and it will feature six films with subjects pertaining to Israel or made by Israelis. “One film is about the creation of the Israel Philharmonic; another is about a relationship between a grandmother and her grandson; another is about the rescue of Israeli hostages from Uganda in

Mallory Gnaegy

“Our festival provides a specific window into broad facets of Israeli life and experience in the past and present,” Roz Goldberg says. 1976,” Goldberg says. Goldberg pulls these films from a variety of sources, including the Hamptons International Film Festival and by keeping tabs on Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and The New York Jewish Film Festival. She receives suggestions from Tom Hall, founder of Sarasota Film Festival, and Yitzi Zablocki, director of the Israel Film Center in New York City. She screens about 30 films, narrows it down to less than 15 films, and then her hand-selected committee helps her decide upon six. The committee consists of two

men and eight women in their 60s and 70s, all of whom Goldberg says qualify as cinephiles. “Cinephiles are people who love film, are knowledgeable about film and filmmaking, and they’ve seen a large number of films,” she says. “They represent a knowledgeable audience member and how a knowledgeable audience member would react.” Goldberg is a definite cinephile: She saw 33 films during last year’s Sarasota Film Festival and, in the past year, has seen 48 of the 200 films showcased. She sponsors SFF, and, as far as she knows, she saw

more SFF films than anyone else in Sarasota. She has a loyal committee, consisting of mostly the same people in the last two years. In November, the committee meets for six screening dates when they meet to view two potential films — snacks are always on-hand. In the second week of December they meet to discuss the films. If more than three in her 10-person committee hates a film, they cross it off the list. “We try to pick films that are exciting, have substance, are entertaining and resonate with our audience.”

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// Arts&Entertainment: Highlights Eric Cross’ “Paper Dress,” from Iconcept 2011, is on display at Art Center Sarasota as part of Iconcept Retrospective in Gallery 2.

by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Four Art Center Sarasota exhibits please a variety of interests Art Center Sarasota hosted an opening reception Thursday, Feb. 28, for four new exhibitions. Approximately 150 people attended to view the diverse range of art that will fill the gallery through April. Gallery 1 features “Child’s Play,” which runs through April 26. The exhibit plays on childhood toys and actions that reflect the darker side of childhood, such as a guillotined head coming out of a Jack-in-the-box. Although some ob-

jects are reflective of playtime, most of this exhibit is anything but innocent. Gallery 2 features “Iconcept Retrospective,” which runs through April 26. This exhibit looks back on the previous innovative fashions featured in the annual “Iconcept.” These pieces show avant-garde materials made into haute couture. Gallery 3 features “Paint Sarasota: Light Chasers,” which runs through March 28. This is the second exhibit that highlights vignettes of Sarasota settings painted by the Light Chasers Plein Air Painters of Sarasota.

Gallery 4 features the work of local artists in “Simply Original,” which runs through April 26. Jurors for the exhibt included Patrick Lindhardt, professor of printmaking at Ringling College of Art and Design; and Mary Roff, former director of ArtCenter Manatee. There’s still time to see the exhibits. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit for more information.

Photos by Mallory Gnaegy

Sean Erwin’s “Souvenier” is on display at Art Center Sarasota as part of “Child’s Play” in Gallery 1.

if you go 5th annual IConcept When: 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 5

Cynthia Consentino’s “Girls with Guns” is on display at Art Center Sarasota as part of “Child’s Play” in Gallery 1.

Where: Sarasota Municipal Auditorium Cost: $125 Info: Call 365-2032 Dirce Kennedy’s daughter, Belisa Marochi, left, flew in from Denmark just for the opening of this show. Marochi is featured in the painting seen in “Simply Original” in Gallery 4.

Gloria Newcomb and her photo, “Wedding Dress,” is on display in “Simply Original” in Gallery 4.

Anna Maria Diamant of Fuzión Dance Artists performs at Art Center Sarasota as part of “Child’s Play” in Gallery 1.

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TIDBITES by June LeBell | Contributing Columnist |

SARASOTA PRODUCES FOOD AND DRINK WINNERS started early every day with 36 new craft beers to accompany the Sushi Happy Hour from 4 to 6 p.m. With the logo “Eat, Drink and Evolve,” Kazu’s 2.0 is rebranding itself as a destination for glisteningly fresh sushi and a variety of craft beers. And, taking it one step further, it’s presenting a rotating list of sake cocktails to pair with the food.

 Fleming’s Raises the Bar on New Cocktail and Food Menu


Russell Skall, Fleming’s executive chef, recently came out with a quartet of menu items that include an appetizer of pan-crisped pork belly with goat cheese grits, a small plate of braised short ribs, a burrata salad and a broiled Pacific swordfish entrée. And Maeve Pesquera, Fleming’s director of wine, has refreshed the cocktail menu with a bunch of new recipes and fresh ingredient mixers for six brand-new cocktails. “There is a new ‘cocktail generation’ of guests coming to Fleming’s,” says Pesquera. “No longer is it good enough just to shake a good martini. We are making a commitment to have the Fleming’s Bar become a destination for our guests.”

The entryway and brewery at Darwin’s on 4th

 Darwin’s Wins Big at Tampa Bay Beer Week

Darwin’s on 4th, one of my favorite restaurants for great food and ambience, is also known as the Darwin Brewing Co. and it just won 13 medals at the Tampa Bay Beer Week, as well as second runner-up overall for “Best Beer in Florida” for 2013. Brewmaster Jared Barnes has developed his recipes to match Chef Darwin’s special Peruvian flavors, so you’ll find rather unusual ingredients such as quinoa, cacao nibs and aji charapita peppers in his brews. If craft beers are new to you, Darwin’s is offering “First Friday Firkins” at 5:30 p.m. with a special release firkin (a barrel of beer that’s one-fourth the size of a regular barrel) for just $3 a glass until the firkin kicks the bucket (or barrel).

 Beach Bistro eyes Another Important Award

Peter Arpke, who wears many toques as the innovative head chef at Beach Bistro and the executive chef for all three Eat Here restaurants, has been nominated for “Best Chef of the South” by the James Beard Foundation. We’ll keep you posted …

 Kazu’s 2.0 is Celebrating Sake, Sushi and … Craft Beer

Kazu’s 2.0, at 6566 Gateway Ave., gets


The last few years I spent living in New York City, I was a proud (and well-fed) member of the James Beard Foundation and spent many a happy lunch and dinner in the beautiful James Beard House in the West Village, sampling the cooking of some of the greatest chefs in the world who’d been invited to present their finest in the legendary chef’s kitchen. Dwayne Edwards, the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, brought a fivecourse dinner — plus hors d’oeuvres and dessert — to the Beard House just last week and, with it, he brought a singular taste of Sarasota that lucky New Yorkers and their guests will remember for years. Calling it “Coastal Cuisine,” Edwards and his culinary team dazzled diners with a menu that included Mote marine caviar, fried Southern oysters with Cajun remoulade and pickled shallots, Gulf flounder fagioli and “My Mother’s garden pork.” “It was an amazing and humbling opportunity to be in the James Beard’s House and cook in his kitchen,” Edwards told us in an exclusive interview for the Observer. “I can’t help but think of all the great chefs who have and will cook in that kitchen. I felt inspired the minute I walked in the house.” “Did you feel their spirits?” we asked. “My fryer did turn itself off in the middle of service,” he chortled but added, “it’s a cozy kitchen but certainly user-friendly.” We wondered what makes the “Gulf Coast cuisine” he brought to the Beard House different from food we might get in the Florida Panhandle or even New Orleans. After all, they’re all on the Gulf Coast, too. “Sarasota is a unique area of Florida, and I believe our access to local farms and fishermen gives us the ability to create exclusive meals,” he said. “Jack Dusty’s cioppino is a great example. Obviously a dish from San Francisco Italian fishermen, we make it with local black grouper, Pine Island shrimp and other local items. And My Mother’s garden pork is

from a Sarasota local farm called ‘My Mother’s Farm’ that grows beautiful produce and raises pigs that are allowed to freerange graze on acorns and grass, giving the meat an amazing flavor.” The menu, which you can see reproduced in its entirety online at, looks too good for a one-night stand. Fortunately, Edwards is considering recreating it in Sarasota. That’s not set in stone, yet, but he did tell us, “I’d absolutely love” to do that, “and we’re talking about it. We’re thinking of doing it on Beard’s birthday.”


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// HOME&GARDEN : home of the month

ď‚ The view from the tree house. ď‚„ A full size ceramic cow grazes in the ballroom.


his is where it all started. Even more than the CĂĄ d’ Zan, the Austin House is the birthplace of the modern Sarasota lifestyle. This is where the arts were established as the driving force in local culture, where money and politics collided with creativity, and where the town’s love of entertainment blossomed into the razzle-dazzle that continues to this day. Bette Davis slept here. So did Dame Edith Sitwell, Prince Rainer, and Gypsy Rose Lee — although, one hopes, not all together or at the same time. A. Everett Austin — known to everyone as “Chickâ€? — was the first director of the Ringling Museum,

by Robert Plunket | Contributing Writer (continued from page 1)

glorious past,

Glorious Present from 1947 to 1956. He remains a legend in the art world. During his previous job at the Wadsworth Antheneum in Hartford, Conn., he was celebrated as the man who introduced modern art to America. His vision embraced all the arts — music, film, theater, architecture — and he worked hard to ensure that both museums under his care became the crown jewels of their communities. His personal style was the epitome of sophistication. He had a penchant for impeccable tailoring and Rolls Royces. The home he designed in Hartford, part Baroque, part Bauhaus, is now a museum. His home in Sarasota, scarcely

less remarkable though much less well known, is now on the market. And its current owner Jerry Chaplain turns out to have been the perfect heir to the Austin legacy. *** The house was originally built in 1925, in the Mediterranean Revival style of the time. It belonged to the Whitfield family, one of several homes they owned in the area now called Whitfield Estates. Designed by Thomas Monk, architect of Sarasota High, it was a large home for the era—five bedrooms, a small guest cottage, and a large garden set on the western side, with nothing between it and the bay.

Photo courtesy of Detlev von Kessel and Coldwell Banker

ď‚ A magnificent banyan is the setting for the tri-level tree house.

The first thing Austin did was eliminate three of the bedrooms and turn that space into two spectacular rooms — a 40-foot ballroom for his famous parties and an adjoining porch done in the Chinese Chippendale style, with green fret work framing a view of the gardens. Both of these rooms remain virtually intact. When Chaplain gives visitors a tour, he is proud to point out the many original details that date back to Austin. The living room is lined with Scalamandre fabric and the anteroom to the ballroom contains 18th-century Italian hand painted wallpaper, originally from the Asolo Theatre, which

Austin brought over from Italy and had installed on the grounds of the museum. (The earliest Asolo rehearsals and play-readings took place out in the garden.) But, perhaps the most remarkable artifact is not original to the house, though the story it tells perfectly reflects the house’s glamorous appeal. Upstairs in the guest bedroom is a portrait in oil of a graceful female nude, who, upon closer examination, turns out to be Bette Davis. She and Austin were great friends. He even gave her second husband, painter William Grant Sherry, a one-man show at the Ringling. But what her husband perhaps did not know

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The exterior of the Austin/Chaplain home

The entrance hall is filled with art.

The notorious nude portrait of Bette Davis hangs in the guest room. was that Davis’ attraction to Sarasota was due to more than her friendship with Austin. She was here to visit her long-time lover, Stanley Woodward, a well-known painter and a professor at Ringling College. Chaplain purchased the portrait — along with a cache of love letters — from Woodward’s daughter, who was very glad to be rid of them. *** It takes a certain kind of person to take on the responsibility of such a remarkable home, but Jerry Chaplain is more than up to it. A private art dealer originally from Indiana, he bought the home in 1997 and has lavished time and

The lap pool makes a dramatic statement.

The Chinese temple and koi pond

attention, not to mention money, on this all-consuming project. He kept the look of the major rooms intact, but modernized the kitchen with an eye toward large-scale entertaining. Most of the major changes have been outside. Chaplain added a pool — a lap pool that doubles as an ornamental reflecting pool, complete with a classical sculpture punctuating the axis. Beyond the pool is a patch of green lawn lined with more statues and, at the very farthest point, a Chinese temple set over a koi pond filled with 36 fish, all of which have names and some of which are up to 3 feet in length. “Every thing you see is set up for

Austin's original design for the porch remains intact.

a surprise,” Chaplain says. “You turn a corner and there is something totally unexpected.” There is so much to see in fact, that only when you look up do you see the biggest surprise of all — a tri-level tree house set in a seven-story banyan tree. Climb the winding stairs to the top and you see a spectacular view of the neighborhood, with the bay a short distance away. Chaplain spent years decorating the house in a formal, antiquefilled style appropriate to its elegant architecture. Then, in May, he sold the home’s entire contents to a single dealer. Since then, he’s been busy refurnishing it in a witty

blend of eclectic styles, part outsider art and found objects, part mid-century modern, part industrial, plus a unifying underlay of baroque. Art work is everywhere. A full size ceramic cow (by Longboat Key artist Joan Feder) grazes in the ballroom, and in the library, two friezes of frisky maidens (by Siesta Key painter Viktorija Bulava) face each other from opposite sides of the room. In fact, virtually every object in the house has been found locally, many from Crissy Galleries, Sarasota Architectural Salvage and Elliot Bernstein’s famous Sunday afternoon auctions. “I’ve done everything I can possibly do,” Chaplain says of the

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home, with a wistful tone in his voice. Now he’s moving on. He’s purchased a home on a lake in his native Indiana and is already at work designing and remodeling. Thus, the famous Austin House will soon have a new owner and a new life with — hopefully — its magnificent past still intact. 227 Delmar Ave. is listed at $885,000. For more information contact Dyrk Dahl of Coldwell Banker at 941-320-7373. For more photos of the Austin house, visit

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// Arts&Entertainment: CALENDAR

a&e calendar MARCH SUNDAY






 Abraham Feder, cello, performs Thursday, March 21, at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall




 “Cyber Bullying” by Steven Staub, Bobby Alvarez and Gennadity Kazimirov, will be on display at Embracing Our Differences Sunday, March 31, at Sarasota’s Bayfront Park.




Artists’ Choice Concert 8 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House. Tickets $15 to $40. Call 328-1300.

Asolo Repertory Theatre 2013-2014 Season Announcement 4 p.m. at Asolo Repertory Theatre. Free. Call 3518000.

2013 Great Performers Series, Louis Lortie Sarasota Concert Association 8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall . Tickets $40 to $70. Call 955-0040.

‘The Baby Boomer Comedy Show’ 8 p.m. at Venice Theatre. Tickets $20. Call 4881115.

24 ‘Sounds of the

Season’ Suncoast Concert Band. 3 p.m. at Northminister Presbyterian Church. Tickets $5. Call 440Embracing 537Our Differ1692. ences. Various times at Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. Runs through June 2. Free. Call 323-1010. 31

Mixed Nuts Mondays, SPOKEN @ The Cabaret 7 p.m. at Florida Studio Theatre. Tickets $5. Call 366-9000.


cales: Studio Artists from Sarasota Opera Noon at Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center. Free. Call 955-0040. Perlman Music Program Suncoast program 6:30 p.m. at Designing Women Boutique. Tickets $35. Call 544-7612.

15 Jazz at Two, Hefner 16

Izhak Perlman 8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets $30 to $88. Call 953-3368.

7th Season Dance Concert ‘Always Something New.’ Fuzión Dance Artists. 8 p.m. at FSU Performing Arts Center. Tickets $30. Call 359-0099.

21 Abraham Feder,

cello. Artists Series Concerts. 11 a.m. at Michael’s On East. Tickets $45. Call 306-1202 Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Get the Sillies Out! 3 and 6 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets $26 to $46. Call 953-3368.

Lazy Fairy Improv 7:30 p.m. at The Players Theatre. Tickets $12. Call 365-2494.

Ringling By the Bay featuring Kettle of Fish 5 p.m. at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Free. Call 360-7399.





Mixed Nuts Mondays, Laugh Out Loud 8 p.m. at Florida Studio Theatre. Tickets $5. Call 366-9000.

Jazz Ensembles in Concert. SCF Music. 8 p.m. at Neel Performing Arts Center. Tickets $4 to $8. Call 752-5252.

‘Fanny Brice Tells it All’ 8 p.m. at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center. Tickets $10 to $15. Call 366-9000.

Sailor Circus Spring Show 7 p.m. at Sailor Circus Arena. Runs through April 6. Tickets $16. Call 366-0156.

‘In the Book Of’ 8 p.m. at Florida Studio Theatre. Runs through May 24. Tickets $18 to $36. Call 366-9000.

‘Harvey’ 7:30 p.m. at The Players Theatre. Runs through April 7. Tickets $25. Call 365-2494.

Sunday, March 24: The Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch 3rd Battalion. 7 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets $10 to $55. Call 953-3368.

The Verdi Concert: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Verdi. 8 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House. Tickets $25 to $100. Call 328-1300.


‘Our Town’ 7:30 p.m. at Venice Theatre. Runs through March 30. Tickets $13 to $28. Call 552-5325.

Masterworks Series: ‘Made in America’ Sarasota Orchestra. 8 p.m. at Neel Performing Arts Center. Tickets starting at $30. Call 953-3434.

20 Munchtime Musi-

FRIDAY and Heffner. 2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota. Tickets $7 to $12. Call 366-1552.

Musica Sacra Cantorum 8 p.m. at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center. Tickets $15. Call 552-5325.

Artists Series Concerts of Sarasota: Delphi Trio 7:30 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater. Runs through March 17. Tickets $40 to $45. Call 306-1202. Johnny Varro Swing 7 8 p.m. at Glenridge Performing Arts Center. Tickets $20. Call 5525325.



Jazz at Two: Metro Connection Jazz Club of Sarasota 2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota. Tickets $7 to $12. Call 366-1552.

‘The Magic of Music and Mystery’ Sarasota Concert Band 8 p.m. at Glenridge Performing Arts Center. Tickets $15. Call 5525325.

FSU Dance Theatre 7:30 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theater. Runs through Saturday March 23. Free. Call 360-7399.

Temptations and Four Tops. 8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets $30 to $75. Call 953-3368.

29 ‘The Game’s Afoot’

30 Queen Latifah

8 p.m. at Asolo Repertory Theatre. Runs through May 12. Tickets $20 to $75. Call 351-8000.

8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets $30 to $110. Call 953-3368.

Send calendar entries to Mallory Gnaegy, A&E editor, at For more events, visit

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INSIDE: Couture in the Courtyard PAGE 17 THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013

Angela Mejicanos, Kelly Raggo and Serena Robins

Brett and Brigette Raymaker By Rachel S. O’Hara Black Tie Photographer The Out-of-Door Academy truly went back to its roots with the “Banyan Bash: Back to Our Roots,” and held its annual fundraising event Saturday, March 9, at its Siesta Key campus. The event was more of a casual affair compared to years past, encouraging guests to come casual and just have an enjoyable time. The Dart Athletic Pavilion and the campus’ large banyan tree were decorated with thousands of lights that made the location sparkle as night fell. Eleven different restaurants and catering companies featured a wide variety of food including pasta, sliders, seafood and desserts. More than 425 guests could also try their hand at winning free tuition for a year by making a half court shot inside the pavilion. While a handful of people tried, and a few actually got close, no one managed to make the shot. Guests also bid on both silent auction items as well as the coveted live auction featuring Mayblossom, the adorable Dakota Sports Retriever puppy. The bidding war was intense, but in the end, the 3 month-old puppy went for $7,000 to Charles and Christina Rienhoff.

Roger and Frances Williams

Ron and Rebecca Bizick with Karen and Tony Squitieri

Ashley Dooley and Patrick Thomas

Paul Svilokos, Beth Wild and Daria and Joe Spina

Denise Aberle holds Mayblossom, a Dakota sport retriever, who was up for auction.

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Jennifer Dawes, Jennifer Fox and Allison Cochran

Jamie and Fran Becker

Mickey and Dianne Jacob






tales by Black Tie Staff

Scott George and John Mason

Molly Schechter

Mary Beth Goddard, Bobbie Jensen, Randell Johnson, Phil King, Doug and Ann Logan, Flora Major, Carl Meyer, Gloria Moss and Tim and Diane Trettin.

Molly Schechter

Ann Cohn, Keely Pastor and Sylvia Pastor

 She’s about to pop

Men-about-town Scott George and John Mason invited their nearest-and-dearest for cocktails on Feb. 28, to celebrate their planned April move. Returning in August 2011 from Ohio, they moved into a lovely Oyster Bay rental. They recently acquired a home on a secluded site in Hidden Oaks. Among the guests enjoying salmon caviar atop salmon mousse, sugared bacon and other treats included Ken and Peggy Abt,

Stephanie Hannum

Jeff Steinwachs, Ariane Dart and Ashley Kozel

 Front row frenzy

Firefly Gala sponsors gathered Feb. 28, at the Blue Rooster, to choose their concert seats for the March 23 event, featuring rockers Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. The seat selection soiree brought out the sponsors’ competitive edge — they are able to choose their seats based on their level of sponsorship, and then the date of when the contract is turned in. Mingling (and waiting for their turn) were Mike and Jena Wilson, Nancy DeLong, Richard Lawrence, Harry Leopold, Tracee Murphy, Chris Pinckney and Johanna Gustafsson, Noelle Haft and Ed and Suzanne Luecke. This process first started with Forty Carrots Family Center’s popular Wine, Women and Shoes event to give sponsors the added benefit of choosing their table location. For more information on Firefly Gala, call 365-7716.

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Rachel Saltzberg and her daughter, Jordyn

Celebrating strong women … At the Women’s Passover Celebration March 6, Chairwoman Rachel Saltzberg took a moment during the opening remarks to get a little personal. She opened up about how thankful she was that her daughter, Jordyn, 8, is growing up in a community with so many strong and powerful Jewish women. While Jordyn was technically too young to attend the event, Saltzberg joked that she had some pull, and was excited to share the evening with her daughter, along with the more than 300 strong women in the Michael’s On East ballroom.

 The calendar calls

Stephanie Hannum

Lisa McCubbin, Clint Hill and Carol Phillips

 Tidbits

Designing Women rope in the men … Coauthors of “Mrs. Kennedy & Me,” Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin, made an appearance at Designing Women Boutique’s VIP reception March 4, at the home of Carol Phillips. Executive Director Pamela Day says the next day’s luncheon format was a “big departure from our usual fundraiser; we are hoping to appeal to both men and women.” Hill, Jackie

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 shares 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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 Farewell the house

‘Encore — The Dance Goes On’ Benefiting: Sarasota Ballet When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 22 Where: University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus Tickets: $300 Contact: 359-0099, Ext. 105 Chaired by Sydney Goldstein, this year’s Sarasota Ballet gala will begin with cocktails in the gardens of the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee campus, followed by a one-hour performance and then dinner catered by Paul Mattison. Changing the event venue to the USF campus was based on the solid relationship the Sarasota Ballet has built with USF, especially by offering the ballet’s Dance — The Next Generation graduates scholarships to their four-year programs. Sarasota Ballet is building a stage just for the performance, which will be situated just in front of the small lake and fountain in the USF garden. The performance will include an array of dances, which are kept a surprise until the evening.

Kennedy’s former Secret Service agent, has global appeal, especially because later this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Co-Chairwoman Ida Zito said, “He’s going to share a piece of history with us.” Hill and McCubbin, visiting from San Francisco, enjoyed Sarasota’s weather and took a stroll along the bayfront. Although the pair was in town for a few days, they were busy writing, working on an April 1 deadline for their next project. Autographed copies of the book are available at Designing Women Boutique … Not something you expect to see every day … Dottie Baer Garner is on Twitter! Follow her at @dottiebaer …


There was a baby shower for Keely Pastor March 2, at L’Ambiance. Her first child is due on March 21, though the doctor is saying “any time now.” Party hostess Sylvia Pastor, Sarasota’s answer to Martha Stewart, welcomed more than 50 girlfriends to an all pink affair and sent them home with pretty popcorn favors labeled “She’s About to Pop” and splits of champagne. Among the guests: Keely’s only-a-little-bit-older sister, Ann Cohen, Carol Brualdi, Linda Federico, Roz Fleischer, Cheryl Loeffler, Barbara Orkin, Dee Pinsky, Helen Rhawn, Anita Rosenbloom, Lois Schottenstein, Renee Sheade, Marilyn Shuman, Rita Zaccone, and Sheila Zinder.

Black Tie Affair




// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// Couture in the Courtyard //

Benefiting South Florida Museum Monday, March 4, at South Florida Museum

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Deirdre Mercier

Chairwoman Jeanie Kirkpatrick, Denise Williams and Sally Schule

Mary Jalwan and Jamie Jalwan

Jackie Barton and Kathy Breiter

Above and right: Models walked the runway in outfits from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Lee Jackson and Liza Minteer

Alisa Bennett and Michelle Young

and Personal Appearance from Yossi Harari

Friday & Saturday March 15th & 16th


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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// An Evening at the Sarasota Ballet //

Benefiting All Children’s Hospital Guild Sarasota/Manatee Branch Monday, March 4, at FSU Center for the Performing Arts

Chairs Dr. Hardy Schwartz and Dr. Allison Silver, featured speaker Lizz Winstead, Chairs Dr. Krista Toomre and Dr. Harold Johnson

// 47th annual Dinner Celebration featuring Lizz Winstead //

Sarasota Ballet Director Iain Webb shows off the gift he received from All Children’s Hospital.

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Stephen Aidlin and Shannon Jager

Jo Michaels with her parents, Bob and Ro Kennedy

Benefiting Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida | Tuesday, March 5, at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium

BJ Creighton, Peggy Abt and Renee Hamad

CEO Barbara Zdravecky and board Chair Carolyn Johnson

Sheila Vincent and Denise Ellison


Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Marvin Albert and Gerri Aaron

Live Musical performances that Entertain, Engage, and Inspire

Saturday–March 16 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday–March 17 at 7:30 p.m.

In the Historic Asolo Theater at the Ringling Museum of Art


Liana Berube, Michelle Kwon, Jeffrey LaDeur


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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

Join us for our 40th Easter!

// Out to Lunch ‘Mrs. Kennedy and Me’ featuring Clint Hill // Benefiting Designing Women Boutique Tuesday, March 5, at The Francis

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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// ‘Les Miserables’ Opening Night Party //

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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

A Wish Fulfilled. The Ones You Love.

The Luxury of Time. Chairwomen Nanci Rand, Marie Kropp and Susan Morin

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

// ‘Bag Ladies and Baubles’ Luncheon //

Benefiting Florida Studio Theatre | Thursday March 7, at John C. Court Cabaret, Florida Studio Theatre

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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

• AG JeAns • J BrAnd • dAftBird • Won Hundred • splendid • KAtin • slVdr • AnAloG

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• Wellen • pAperBAcK

// Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Leadership Luncheon //

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Benefiting Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Tuesday, March 5, at Michael’s On East

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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// Women’s Passover Celebration //

Benefiting The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Wednesday, March 6, at Michael’s On East Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Right: Sadie Vitkus, Rebecca Betterton and Molly Betterton

Jan Joseph, Norma Weitman, Bobbi Bernstein and Audrey Bayer

SATURDAY March 16th, 2013 11am-9pm

Hosted By Chairwomen Cynthia Wright and Rachel Saltzberg

Joyce Sambursky and Vicky Sambursky

March 21 5:30 pm The Problems, Promise and Potential of

sub-saharan africa with U.S. Ambassador James McGee (retired)

March 27 5:30 pm

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



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// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

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Ariana Desantis, Chris Kennedy and Robert and Kathy Lees

Saturday, March 23, 2013 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

// Cardinal Mooney Gala ‘Luck of the Irish’ // Benefiting Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Saturday, March 2, at Fete Ballroom

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Thanks to YOUR generosity, our community raised nearly $2.8 million to benefit area nonprofits – including numerous arts organizations – during the Giving Partner 36-Hour Giving Challenge. Thank you!

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To read and learn more about Sarasota’s perfoming-arts patrons. Go to the Black Tie tab at or scan the QR code.

Monday - Saturday 4:00-11:00 Closed Sunday’s 1213 N. Palm Ave. | In the Theatre District Call for Reservations 941- 366 -1840

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Michael and Karen Gardiner first attended a Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe show fourand-a-half years ago because the Motown theme attracted their attention. The Gardiner’s sponsored all of the marketing during the renewal of the troupe, and they continue to support it as season sponsors.


Proud supporters of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe




// BLACK TIE: Camera ready



// 10th annual Hear and Now //

Benefiting Ear Research Foundation Saturday, March 2, at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall


Individual tickets $7 each. Festival Pass $36

March 17-21

and includes one screening of each film.

Patron Pass $50


and includes one screening of each film with reserved seating.

Post-film discussions to take place after screenings

Joel and Mona Jaffe with Melanie and Tommy Hansbrough

Sharyn and Bob Goeldner


6:00-7:00 pm Reception, Beatrice Friedman Theater on The Jewish Federation Campus (BFT) 7:00-8:25 pm “ORCHESTRA OF EXILES” (with Josh Aronson, Producer/Director/Screenwriter), BFT


3:00-4:00 pm “LIFE IN STILLS,” BFT 7:00-8:20 pm “INVENTING OUR LIFE,” (with Dr. Avraham Balaban) BFT 7:00-8:30 pm “A BOTTLE IN THE GAZA SEA,” Temple Sinai

Photos by Mallory Gnaegy

Eileen Hampshire with Ken and Peg Wolfe



3:30-4:50 pm “INVENTING OUR LIFE” (with Dr. Avraham Balaban) Temple Beth Israel 7:00-8:25 pm “ORCHESTRA OF EXILES” (with Josh Aronson, Producer/ Director/Screenwriter), Temple Beth Israel 7:00-8:25 pm “FOLLOW ME” Polo Grill, Lakewood Ranch presented in partnership with the Jewish Club at LWR

3:00-4:00 pm “LIFE IN STILLS” , BFT 7:00-8:20 pm “ROOM 514” (with Joshua Kahn, Former IDF Soldier), BFT


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by Stephanie Hannum | Diversions Managing Editor

social studies: Sally Yanowitz While fine art graces the walls of Sally Yanowitz’s sun-filled downtown condo, family photos of her three daughters and two granddaughters hold equally as important real estate. Community activist Yanowitz is involved with organizations whose missions she believes in, and thinks she has found the fountain of youth in volunteerism. My husband, Irwin, and

I lived in Sharon, Penn. for 49 years. It’s a small town and we had a very happy life there. We started renting a place on Longboat Key for a month, and my husband would only stay for a week and a weekend. He didn’t want to move here, and I used to say, ‘If I lived in a place that everyone thought I was Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t want to move away, either.’ He was so kind and charming.

It has been 12 years since

he died — the year after, I sold my home and moved to Sarasota and have been here about 11 years. My heart still beats faster when I see the sun glistening. What a gift to have found a community like Sarasota.

Irv was and always will be the

biggest influence in my life — he was a true gentleman. Philanthropy and community service was always a part of his life and became a part of our life together.

In 45 years of being married, I

learned many things, but the most important was a love of Judaism, its culture and its value system.

My parents came to this

country from Hungary as teenagers. They had to learn a new language, make a living and build a life. As I grew older, I came to appreciate the values they taught me by example — hard work, dedication to family and generosity to others.

Everyone has to find her

own way and do as much as you can. There is no shortage for worthwhile causes here — I have found the fountain of youth and it is volunteerism.

When you take the two concepts of tzedakah (giving of yourself) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) and add to them your personal passion, it can make a huge difference. People tease me that I am so passionate and that I get so excited about things, but having passion for a project can really contribute to its success.

Photo by Stephanie Hannum

Several years ago, I went

to Debra Jacobs with an idea that came from an Anna Quindlen article, and from there I was directed to Dennis Stover, and before we knew it, Make a Difference Day was born. This day of volunteering on 9/11 grows each year. That’s what happens when you put tzedakah and tikkun olam together.

I am involved with organizations whose missions I believe in, such as National Council of Jew-

ish Women, JFCS, Embracing our Differences, Planned Parenthood, Sarasota Ballet and Jewish Housing Council Foundation.

I love art. If there aren’t enough

walls for my artwork, I don’t want the place. My best friend, Lois Schulman, is on the board of Ringling — between the two of us we have the town covered.

In my free time, I like to go to

the theaters and lectures. My prob-


lem is I like everything. There is so much to do here and so many fabulous people to do it with. The way to meet people here is through volunteering. I have the most wonderful friends, and I have met them all through being involved.

I think the view and the water

here are the least of what makes Sarasota so special — they are spectacular, but nothing can come near to the city of Sarasota and living here.



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social calendar March SUNDAY














Sunshine from Darkness Dinner Benefiting Sunshine from Darkness 6 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Tickets $100 to $500. Call 504-6717.

The Sertoma Sarasota Celebrity Roast featuring Dr. Larry Thompson Benefiting Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota 6:30 p.m. at Hyatt Regency Sarasota Tickets $125.Call 3663791, Ext. 102.

‘Raise a Curtain, Raise a Kid’ Gala Benefiting Asolo Repertory Theatre Guild 6:30 p.m. at Michael’s On East. Tickets $150. Call 504-4729 or 359-0120.

 Drs. Burr Bakke and Jill Morris at Firefly Gala in 2012.




AJC 2013 Human Relations Award Dinner honoring Larry and Debbie Haspel Benefiting American Jewish Committee 6 p.m. at Michael’s On East. Tickets $250. Call 365-4955.


9th Annual JFCS Celebrity Chefs and Wine Tasting Benefiting Jewish Family & Children’s Service 6 p.m. at Longboat Key Club and Resort Islandside. Tickets $100. Call 366-2224, Ext. 142.

 Seath Lauer and Kara Kobach at JFCS Celebrity Chef & Wine Tasting in 2012.

Send calendar entries to Stephanie Hannum, Diversions managing editor, at stephanie@, and see more events online at






 Lauren Walsh at Sarasota Ballet’s gala in 2012.




Glitz at the Ritz-Carlton honoring Al and Barbara Siemer Benefiting Salvation Army 11:15 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Tickets $75. Call Glenda Leonard, 364-8845, Ext. 221.

Starry Night Dinner Series ‘The Game’s Afoot’ Benefiting Asolo Repertory Theatre 6:30 p.m. at the home of Fritz and Ping Faulhaber. Tickets $250. Call 3519010, Ext. 4702.

Firefly Gala Benefiting Forty Carrots Family Center 6 p.m. at The Concession Club. Tickets $250. Call 365-7716.

Cause 4 Fashion Benefiting Neuro Challenge Foundation Inc. 6:30 p.m. at Michael’s On East. Tickets $125. Call 926-6413, Ext. 707.

‘Encore — The Dance Goes On’ Benefiting Sarasota Ballet 5:30 p.m. at USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. Tickets $300. Call 359-0099, Ext. 105.



Ringling College's An Evening at the AvantGarde: 'A Novel Idea' Benefiting Ringling College of Art and Design 6:30 p.m. at Ringling College of Art and Design. Tickets $225. Call 309-0118.



Gloria Musicae presents

205 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, FL (by City Hall)

Dick Hyman & his Trio The Gloria Musicae Singers Joseph Holt, Artistic Director Maria Wirries, soloist • June LeBell, narrator



Sunday, April 7 • 7 pm Sarasota Opera House

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