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Orchid Ball PAGE 11 by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Mallory Gnaegy

“It’s a lot of work, but I knew that it was going to be, and there’s still a ton more to do,” Cami Leavitt says.

Miss Best Dressed Cami Leavitt turns a pretty thought into a couture prom dress, and a stylish ambition into a posh business.




THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// Arts&Entertainment: it girl

by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor (continued from page 1)


Miss Best Dressed Cami Leavitt turns a pretty thought into a couture prom dress, and a stylish ambition into a posh business.

Photos by Mallory Gnaegy

ne year ago, things were vastly different for newlywed Cami Leavitt. She was living with her husband, Christian, at his grandparents’ house in St. Petersburg. It was affordable, and that way, he could be near his unpaid internship, and she could launch her fashion-design business from the clothesstrewn ground up. The doe-eyed, petite blonde chuckles, “I know we’ll look back and be like, ‘Remember when we started off, me doing this collection with clothes everywhere, and Grandma freaking out, not knowing what’s going on?’” On April 18, 2012, New Orleans boutique owner Hattie Collins Molls contacted Leavitt through Twitter and placed a 32-piece order. It was the first sale for the 26-year-old’s fashion line, Camilyn Beth. In the past year, Leavitt, her husband and their ancient whitehaired Persian cat, Bob, have secured their own apartment off Lockwood Ridge Road, complete with Leavitt’s own studio oasis. The couple is successful with full-time jobs; Christian Leavitt works for Palmetto Charter, and Leavitt’s clothing line is bustling with more than one sale a day. “It’s my day job,” she says proudly. Then she pauses, realizing her error. “And my night job.” Leavitt is the CEO, CFO, designer, producer, art director, marketing director, social media manager, customer service representative and, occasionally, the model — yet, her home is spotless and she’s just baked fresh scones. Behind the pristine white drawing desk in her studio, the

Photo by Shannon Kristen

 Photographer Shannon Kristen and Cami Leavitt have been friends since Bradenton Christian School. Here Leavitt models The Baby Bold Dress from her fall/winter 2013 Shannon Kristen collection.  Ashten Weniger Sarasota native takes a sip of coffee before explaining she first became interested in fashion before her junior prom. Leavitt didn’t want a dress that everyone else had, and she also had a dream dress in mind. She sketched the image in her head and sought the help of a seamstress, Edna Crowther. The now 91-year-old seamstress taught her how to sew the dress. Leavitt continued taking sewing lessons from the woman through high school. In 2007, she graduated with an associate degree in

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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// Arts&Entertainment

Cami Leavitt sews the days and night s away in her studio .


Five things that inspire Cami Leavitt: 1. Travel. “Seeing new people living a different lifestyle that I’ve never seen before, and just being introduced to new artists, a new environment, a new way of dressing and new styles is inspiring,” Leavitt says. 2. Street style. “Seeing what people are actually wearing on the street inspires me,” Leavitt says.

Photo by Shannon Kristen

 “We try to be as creative as possible and let nothing hold us back. It’s important, I think, to exercise that creative part of your mind whenever you’re designing,” Cami Leavitt says. fashion from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. “I remember the dean stood up in front of my class one day and said, ‘If you want to get a lot out of the program, make an extra garment for every class.’” Instead of the one required swimsuit, Leavitt made two — she did this for every class. Upon graduation, she moved to Stockholm, to become a nanny. But when her host family realized her passion, they introduced her to haute couture designer Par Engsheden, for whom Leavitt interned. She’d spend hours on particular stitches, and if one wasn’t perfect, she’d re-do it. “He trained my eye to perfection and to understanding a beautiful garment,” she says as she draws out the “u” in beautiful, “He always said that, ‘Beauuuuutiful garment.’” In 2009, she returned to U.S. with the newfound independence and confidence she needed to launch her own line. Granted, she had to work simultaneously in retail to support

costs. She worked for three years at Shore on St. Armands Circle, eventually managing, marketing and buying for the store. “I remember thinking, ‘I cannot wait until I’m at one of these trade shows showing off my own line,’” she says. Little did she know she’d be self-employed at age 26 and launching her third collection, featured around the nation at a handful of boutiques (including Sarasota’s Influence, 474 John Ringling Blvd.). The young professional is entirely at ease. She’s perched on a vintage chair she personally reupholstered, beneath an artful display of her collection’s tweed and stretch-jacquard fabric swatches. A French cover of the song “The Look of Love” plays in the background. Her shoeless feet are delicately crossed and covered in black ankle-high hosiery to complement the colorblocked mini skirt from her fall 2013 collection. Leavitt can’t remember the last time she went shopping — she

wears her own designs, and she designs them for women like her. “She wants to look age appropriate, but unexpectedly sexy,” Leavitt says of her target customer. “Maybe she’s dressed nice, classic and functional, but as she turns around you notice, ‘Oh! That’s a deep back,’ or ‘Oh, look at that little button detail.’” It’s the type of clothing that leaves you wanting to know more, and it makes the weaver feel confident and loved, she says. She specializes in dresses — the perfect type of dress to don for a civil wedding ceremony, which is what one of Leavitt’s French customers is planning. But, her dresses are also great for turning heads at the Kentucky Derby, where two other customers will wear their Camilyn Beth designs. Her newest line, inspired by 1960s mod furniture, has plenty of separates, too. “If only you were here tomorrow,” she says. “Tomorrow is when my collection comes in.” They are arriving from the factory that makes her large-order,

wholesale products. Leavitt makes dresses to-order from her website sales — although, when things get busy, as they often do, she enlists the help of two local seamstresses. The factory she uses in New Orleans hired women who were left jobless due to Hurricane Katrina. Her line is 100% made in the USA, even though it’s cheaper to outsource. She believes in American business, because her family is full of entrepreneurs: Her father, Jerry Weniger, is an electrician (he hung the industrial-looking, trendy lighting in her studio); her mother, Jodi Weniger, is a hair stylist (who styles Camilyn Beth photo shoots); and her sister, Ashten Weniger, models (she’s the 5 feet, 9 inch blonde bombshell featured at Photos of her designs featuring her sister have circulated the Web, and some have been reblogged upward of 5,000 times. “It’s crazy how fast it can just blow up,” she says.

3. Runway shows. “I try not to watch too many because I want to be original. But I love Diane Von Furstenberg, Balenciaga, Chanel, Alice and Olivia and Kate Spade,” Leavitt says. 4. My friends and family. “They are good at observing me and how I design. They give me really great feedback,” she says. 5. Movies. “I always love seeing different fashion. I can’t wait to see ‘The Great Gatsby’ — it looks really good,” Leavitt says.

 Cami Leavitt’s display of her upcoming collection’s fabric samples


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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// Arts&Entertainment: COLUMN



Hot Ticket

By Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor |

‘The Magic of Music and ILLUSION’: Sarasota Concert Band plays its final show in the Courtesy WBTT performs a song and season before the Memorial Day concert. This one features choreography as directed and choreographed by Harry Bryce area illusionists Dave Downer and Dave Parker performing illusions, and some are even in sync with the music, just as the name implies. See the professional concert band at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave.

Courtesy of Sarasota Opera

Executive Director Richard Russell, Assistant to the Executive Director Scott Guinn, Volunteer of the Year Nanette Almeter and Youth Opera coordinator Ben Plocher

 Volunteers make Sarasota Opera sing There are more than 300 volunteers who help make Sarasota Opera’s season possible. They do everything from hand out programs, help the Youth Opera function, hang and press costumes and even drive performers around Sarasota. On April 4, Executive Director Richard Russell commended 10 volunteers on the stage at Sarasota Opera House at Volunteer Appreciation Day: Addie Silverman, Margaret Romanes, Gabe Moretti, Louise Mazius, Ann Chevillot, Fuad and Sandy Nuwaysir, Larry and Clarissa Kramer, and Nanette Almeter. They were given a certificate, lapel pin and embossed leather notebook, and Almeter, who received the Volunteer of the Year award, was given dinner at Café Amici and tickets to a show of her choice.

‘It Aint Nothing But The Blues’: This musical revue depicting the evolution of the blues opened April 10 and runs through May 12, at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Theater, 1646 10th Way. Tickets are $29.50. Call 366-1505.


Michele Weissinger, Evie Peck, Laura Krieger, Darren Bean, Marjorie Hallett, Greg Lecewicz, Ramon Morales, student artist Jade Nall, Skip Nall, Taylor Robenalt, Paul Matkowsky, Ralph Garafola, Brian Weissinger, Marissa Lyons, Mikayla Lyons and Jim Judsen. tography, ceramics, bronze, ink, graphite, oil, acrylic, mixed media and watercolor. Their 14-year-old granddaughter, Mikayla Lyons, is the first student artist on display, and Marissa Lyons’ 8-month-old daughter, Melodee Lyons-Bean, has been deemed the gallery watchdog. The 17 in the name comes from the 17 artists who show at the gallery. And, according to more than 300 attendees on opening weekend, they’ve had a great response from the community. But you can see for yourself — Gallerie 17 is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

 Three generations open art Gallery Gallerie 17 is a family establishment that opened the weekend of April 6, at 2430 17th St. Brian Weissinger, owner of Cabinet Solutions, had been a carpenter for 35 years when he decided to create his first sculpture from wood and granite — it proved a profitable success. When the upholstery business next door to his own closed, he and his wife, Michele, opted to buy it and turn it into Gallerie 17. They enlisted the help of their daughter, Marissa Lyons, to run the gallery, which features pho-

Mallory Gnaegy

Margot and Warren J. Coville

Each week, The Observer releases a new episode in its video series, “Patron Saints.” It spotlights

supporters of one of the many area performing-arts groups. Warren J. and Margot Coville are known for their generosity throughout Sarasota. But it all started 13 years ago when they started contributing to FSU/Asolo Conservatory as board members and student sponsors. They currently sponsor two students in the graduate acting program. There are just 12 students who are admitted to the program annually, and they receive full tuition and a monthly stipend, which is all donated by sponsors. But it doesn’t just stop at the dollar. Learn about the Covilles’ patronage and hear from Director of FSU/ Asolo Conservatory Greg Leaming about how it helps at http://www. Stay tuned to Scene and Heard next week to find out which venue and patron will be spotlighted.


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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// Arts&Entertainment: Backstage Pass


by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Students teach students about diversity through art if you go Embracing Our Differences When: Dawn until dusk from March 31 through June 2 Where: Sarasota’s Island Park, One Marina Plaza Cost: Free Info: Visit for more information and other locations

Mallory Gnaegy

Colleen Manning, Matt Battles and Chelsea Meric in front of one of 39 billboard-sized pieces of artwork promoting a vibrant and inclusive community for every person. Battles and Chelsea Meric arrive. These two students helped select the local, national and international art from artists from Sarasota to Iran shown in the exhibit. Both are officers in the CoExistence Club. Meric is 16, and this is her second year as a docent and second

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time docenting this year — because of the number of docents, most students only participate one day of the event. She explains that each Riverview docent can be responsible for leading 20 to 50 kids around the exhibit. “First, we ask them what they

see in each image,” she says. “Sometimes they point out the obvious, and sometimes they see something that maybe even I don’t see.” Battles, 18, nods his head in agreement. “Last year, there was one poster that dealt with a scene with family issues,” he says (it featured a parent ignoring his child). “Different kids could identify with it.” Battles was surprised by the amount of art coming out of Iran. “That makes an impact on me,” he says. “The lengths people will go to for their cause — we don’t see that in our country where we have freedoms.” Battles thinks that, although both the docents and the artwork can impact the students, the exhibition’s presence at a community park has more of an impact. Battles believes it teaches community members a lesson they might not get otherwise: to respect everyone, even if they are different. “I feel like a lot of schools already understand the themes it deals with,” he says. “Even if it’s not about changing the students’ perspectives, it’s about community members seeing us lead the other students around in a public park.” His conclusion is the same as the exhibit’s mission: Everyone could benefit from a little more tolerance.


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spective,” Sturm says. “And, for students to hear from other students, the youth perspective on these topics is just so much more poignant and so much more endearing.” The students agree. About 15 minutes after Manning arrived, docents Matt


Colleen Manning is a 16-yearold sophomore in the Co-Existence Club at Riverview High. She doesn’t yet have her driver’s license, so she was dropped off at Island Park promptly at 8:10 a.m. (school usually starts at 7:30 a.m.). She’s donning neon sneakers, a McDonald’s coffee cup and a bright-teal T-shirt emblazoned with “Docent.” Manning is one of 120 Riverview High School students assigned to lead elementary-, middle- and high-school students through the Embracing Our Differences billboard-style, juried public-art display. This is just one day of almost daily docent tours throughout the exhibit, which takes place through June 2 — more than 15,000 students will view the exhibit at three locations. The other exhibits are at Bradenton Riverwalk and in North Port. It’s Manning’s first time as a docent, and she’s the first to arrive. “They said to get here at 8:15 a.m., but I guess I missed the memo,” she says with a grin. Manning is excited. She even had to take her pre-calculus test one day early because she’d be missing it, along with the rest of her classes, that day. But she’s not in it to play hooky. “It’s a really cool program,” she says. “It’s important for kids to know that even if we don’t look the same that we’re all one.” The docent program is Riverview’s Co-Existence Club’s annual big event. In fact, the teacher in charge of the club, Dena Sturm, says it’s the reason the club began five years ago when it was just 12 students; now more than 200 students participate. The docents lead other students through the exhibit and prompt what they see and what they think each image means — the topics range from bullying to body image. “I think students spend their whole lives being talked at and told things from an adult per-

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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// Arts&Entertainment: REVIEWS

Music // Sarasota Orchestra’s Masterworks VII: East Meets West The Sarasota Orchestra and guest conductor, Peter Bay, offered a program of two blockbusters from a pair of countries that could be called the cornerstone blocs of the East and the West: Russia and America. In one corner — out of Russia and appearing as the heavyweight champion of the East — Pyotr Tchaikovsky. And representing the West — America’s all-time heavyweight champ — Aaron Copland. A great admirer of both musical champions, I’d forgotten how much I loved Tchaikovsky’s B-flat Minor Piano Concerto and Copland’s spectacular, no, make that brilliant, Third Symphony. It was the first piano concerto that raised Van Cliburn to prominence in 1958 at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and it’s hard to hear that piece without picturing the tall, lanky Texan who won hearts around the world. Andrew von Oeyen, the soloist with the Sarasota Orchestra, is another long, lanky pianist with hands as big as Texas Courtesy and technical skills Sarasota Orchestra and musicality to soloist Andrew von match. He and Bay Oeyen offered a particularly satisfying performance with the Orchestra — especially the strings and winds — showing they could match their mastery of the work with major orchestras in this country and abroad. The rich cello solo in the slow movement was particularly beautiful, and the more than 30-minute work seemed to pass more quickly than a blink.

But, for me, it was the Copland that made the concert memorable. It’s been a while since I’ve heard it live and, not since the New York Philharmonic played it on a program with two other “Thirds” — William Schuman’s and the one by Roy Harris — have I heard it played this well. Bay led what I’d call an erudite performance, always allowing the music to breathe and always going beneath the score to bring out what the composer intended. Of course, there’s the famous “Fanfare for the Common Man,” which Copland wrote about four years before he turned to this symphony and incorporated into its fourth movement with such skill it still sends shivers up my spine. It’s a brilliant work, and it was given a brilliant performance by the orchestra’s outstanding brass section, which really got a workout, and Bay, who kept everything in balance even though this is one of the loudest pieces, overall, I can think of. Copland managed to use his distinctive mid-20th century musical language to paint classical music in the American tongue we’ve come to associate with this country. Open fourths and fifth predominate the landscape, sounding like the great outdoors and Rockies, while rhythms are syncopated in ways that paint portraits of our great cities: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Hear Copland’s Third and you know you’re not in Europe any more. And hearing it played by the Sarasota Orchestra musicians so stylistically right, so brashly American, you knew you were in the presence of a truly excellent ensemble. — June LeBell

Online Read Popcorn Bob's Movie Magic reviews of “42,” “A Place Beyond The Pines” and “Trance.”

THEATER // ‘Candida’ Next to Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw has probably done more to line the pockets of regional thespians and theatrical entrepreneurs than any one man since the Greeks invented drama. But, whereas Asolo Repertory Theatre began its last season with a fabulous production of “Pygmalion” directed by Frank Galati, who appeared to have been visited in his dreams every night of the rehearsal by Shaw himself, it was rather disappointing to see FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training end its fabulous season with this production of “Candida.” Director Andrei Malaev-Babel appeared to be visited by Pee Wee Herman and Jerry Lewis, instead, which is not to say the play wasn’t engaging and often funny, it was, and I recommend seeing it. Flaws and all, it’s still enjoyable. The play is about Candida, the wife of a Fabian-Socialist clergyman, the Rev. James Morell, rather blandly interpreted by Brian Nemiroff, who’s been wonderful in everything else I’ve seen him in. The fly in Morell’s otherwise exceptionally satisfying domestic ointment is Eugene Marchbanks, a shy, uncertain youth representing Shaw’s notion of the aesthete artiste, who is romantically, desperately in love with Candida, whom he believes to exemplify the divine feminine, to be a Madonna. Otherwise intriguing, Ben Williamson gives an over-the-top cartoonish spin on Marchbanks, which is further enforced by his ridiculously high trousers and jacket shoulders that have been padded toward the front, adding to an already overly sniveling posture. Morell believes Candida to be a Madonna, as well, but a more personal

Photo by Frank Atura

Brian Nemiroff, Amanda Lynn Mullen and Benjamin Williamson in “Candida” by George Bernard Shaw.

if you go “Candida” runs through April 28, at Asolo Repertory Theatre. For more information, call 351-8000. and practical variety, whom he desperately needs and who also needs him. Ultimately, Candida must choose. The shining light of this particular production, Amanda Lynn Mullen, plays her with authenticity and confidence, in complete agreement with the playwright’s views on women’s liberation in 1874. Kristen Lynne Blossom takes a nice turn as Morell’s secretary, as does Jefferson McDonald as a friend of the family. Reginald K. Robinson Jr. plays Candida’s father, a business tycoon and self-made man with a thick Cockney accent, which is, unfortunately, nearly impossible to understand. Chris McVickers’ set design is English cozy, and Ross Boehringer’s costumes suit the period. — Paula Atwell

Online Read theater critic Paula Atwell’s review of The Players’ “Oleanna” at

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Gulf front home in exclusive Sanderling Club on Siesta Key. 3,500 Sq Ft, 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, Gulf front pool, 165 Ft waterfront, boat* Manufacturer’s slip available. mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 4/3/13–6/14/13 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. A qualifying purchase is deďŹ ned as a purchase of any of the product models set forth above in the quantities set forth above. If you purchase less than the speciďŹ ed quantity, you will not be entitled to a rebate. All rebates will be issued A3771804 $2,995,000 in the form of a prepaid reward card. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. This rebate offer may not be combined with any other Hunter Douglas offer or promotion. 34526

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Š 2013 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas. 34526

7320 Desert Ridge - Arthur Rutenberg St. Augustine VI model with custom upgrades that set this home apart from all the others. Premium appliances, Sub1280 Northport Dr and - Enter on Royal Palm Harbor’s Rutenberg St. Augustine Zero, Fisher-Paykel, DSC, Thermador. On-demand designated Road tohouse one of water Siesta Key’s most des that set this home hot water systemCanopy plus a whole softening mium appliances, Sub- dynamic views of the Bay and Intracostal Waterway. and purification. A3950346 $899,900 Situated on a wrap-around corner lot which combines

1280 Northport Dr - Enter on Royal Palm Harbor’s Stephanie designated Canopy Road to Church one of Siesta Key’s most dynamic views941.724.5448 of the Bay and Intracostal Waterway. 941.724.5448 Situated on a wrap-around corner lot which combines huge views and protected boat harborage on the 3"LVDOF0RESIDENTSs3ARASOTA &LORIDAs deep water side canal.. A3956983 $2,195,000

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Sarasota’s Indian Beach area is known for having many older-style homes that the owners keep well maintained and occasionally revamp to keep them up to code. When Dr. Stephan and Nancy Volk moved to Sarasota from Richmond, Va., the couple found a property they adored. The Whitehouse, as it was called, was on a great piece of property and was originally built in the 1930s and updated again in the mid-1950s or early-1960s. Unfortunately, the home was hard to salvage — the foundation was made of cinderblocks that were falling apart, and there was also termite and other structural damage. The Volks tore down the house, but in the process made sure to keep true to the neighborhood and were determined their new home would serve as an homage to the original Whitehouse. In 2010, the Whitehouse II became the Volks’ home. They kept the home one story, made sure the front façade looked like it fit into the neighborhood and even salvaged a few pieces from the previous house and turned them into furniture. The glass knobs were turned into finials on the drape rods; pieces of the pecky cypress paneling, from the Florida room and master bedroom, were turned into a dining room table; and the window weights will be turned into a sculpture in the backyard. Both Stephan and Nancy Volk enjoy working on projects and updating the house. Nancy Volk loves interior design and designed a majority of the fabrics used throughout the home. Stephan Volk loves to use power tools and is always up for a challenge. Both have had fun designing everything from tables to patios for both the inside and outside of their home.


THURSDAY, april 18, 2013



 The Volks have collected hundreds of matchboxes from different restaurants they have visited and have used some of them as shadow-box art in their home.

 One of the guest rooms was painted with various shades of purple. Purple is Nancy Volk’s favorite color, and she loves having an area for all her purple décor.

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

 The glass door knobs from the original home have been repurposed into finials on the drape rods.

 This chair has a special place in the piano room and in Nancy Volk’s heart. She received the chair when she was 12 years old and it has traveled with her throughout her life. It has been recovered multiple times.

 The pecky cypress table was created from pieces of paneling that were in the original home. The Volks were originally going to put glass on top of the table but didn’t like the look of it and thought it took away from the texture of the piece. “We are the only people who have to vacuum their dining room table,” says Nancy Volk. The ridges and holes that make the table unique also collect a lot of crumbs.

 A series of paintings by Lin Christopher of Roswell, Ga., takes up one of their walls in the living room. Instead of painting many of their walls different colors, the Volks have added color by putting up large art pieces.

 This Aldo Turro French décor cigar cabinet was a rare find the couple happened upon in Miami. The cabinet looks like marble, but it is actually goatskin.

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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

by Molly Schechter | Food Editor Fried chicken and waffle at Blue Rooster

Tuna Tiradito at Darwin’s on 4th

John Revisky

here is a lively restaurant scene north of Fruitville these days. There are no fewer than five options for dinner, from blue jeancasual, American regional (Blue Rooster) to as haute-as-it-gets in Sarasota (Pomona), with a good dose of Latin American for spice (Savory @ Night, Canta Rana and Darwin’s on 4th). These eateries are mostly new and chef-owned. What they have in common, besides location, is the proprietors’ passion and creativity. And they amount to a literal feast of choices, pun intentional. Note: Some of these restaurants are open for lunch, but the focus here is dinner. Darwin’s on 4th 1525 Fourth St. | 343-2165 Website: Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday; 5 to 11:30 p.m. Thursday; and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday Seats: 150 in the restaurant Average guest check (before tax and tip): $30 to $40 Signature dishes: Ceviche and grilled skirt steak

Darwin’s is Sarasota’s only downtown brewery, offering 10 different beers. Menu features Darwin’s classics back to Selva Grill days, plus eclectic urban street food from around the world.

Ancho seared salmon at



Foodie and friends’ comments: “Good food, wonderful atmosphere when the live musicians are playing.” “They are introducing beer pairings as opposed to the typical wine pairings.” Blue Rooster 1525 Fourth St. | 388-7539 Website: Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday; 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday; and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday Average guest check (before tax and tip): $20 and up Signature dishes: Shrimp and grits and fried chicken and waffle

Southern comfort food, unique “warehouse” vibe, music six nights a week Foodie and friends’ comments: “Fried chicken!” “Best biscuits in town.” “Very fun ambience for friends and a good time get-together.”

llot puBeef flatiron steak with sha French r, tte Bu ree, Maitre D’ Hotel fries at Pomona

Lomo Saltado at Canta Rana


Molly Schechter

through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday Seats: 42 inside, 20 outside Average guest check (before tax and tip): $36 in season, $25 in summer Signature dishes: Tulum jumbo prawns, sea scallops pibil style, ancho-seared salmon

Canta Rana 1813 Fruitville Road | 343-2280 Website: Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, open later on Friday Seats: 150 total indoors and outdoors Average guest check (before tax and tip): $25 to $30 Signature dishes: Ceviche paracas and lomo saltado

Molly Schechter

and tip): $35 to $80, depending on food and wine choices Signature dishes: The signature here is the seasonal menu — four big changes annually. The beef flatiron steak is the only dish that was on the menu at opening.

Both partners are chefs. Pomona offers half plates of entrées “when it makes sense” — a unique option. Foodie and friends’ comments: “The wine choices are spectacular and one only dreams of the savory desserts.” “Excellent food, great ambience … a tad pricey.” “A really special place, very intimate.”

Everything is made from scratch; many ingredients imported from Peru. Chef/owner Diana Durand cooks from her collection of 2,000 recipes from four generations of her family. Foodie and friends’ comments: “… predict a bright future for this exotic-but-accessible food.” “Peruvian is a melting-pot cuisine influenced by Japan, China, Italy, Spain and Africa.”

One place by day, another entirely by night; handcrafted desserts baked on premises, fine food in a comfortable, casual environment. Foodie and friends’ comments: “Great baked goods.” “Lovely venue … a hidden secret because even during season, you can find a comfortable seat.” Pomona Bistro and Wine Bar

Savory @ Night (Savory Street Café) 411 N. Orange Ave. | 312-4027 Website: Hours: Dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday

481 N. Orange Ave. | 706-1677 Website: Hours: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Seats: 50 plus inside, 25 outside Average guest check (before tax

About Foodie Friends

These are friends, acquaintances and some self-identifying total strangers of all ages who love food and eat out a lot. If you’d like to be on the list, email mschechter@ All that’s needed is the decade of your age, whether you are a seasonal or full-time resident and your snail mail address. Foodie Friends quoted in this story are: Eduardo Anaya, Penny Hill, Allen and Stephanie Hochfelder, Molly Klauber, Flora Major, Jennifer Mitchell and Jules and Sheila Rose.

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Black Tie

INSIDE: Pique Nique sur la Baie PAGE 16

THURSDAY, April 18, 2013

One of the dancers with International Productions by Tahja dances with fire. Ellian Rosaire with Nomad and Oakie, three-year-old camels from Big Cat Habitat.

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Chairs Wayne and Mindy Rollins with Bob the snake

By Rachel S. O’Hara Black Tie Photographer Marie Selby Botanical Gardens was transformed into a “Midnight at the Oasis” for the 32nd annual Orchid Ball Saturday, April 6. Chairs Wayne and Mindy Rollins went all out

Jacqueline and David Morton

making sure the guests had an amazing experience. The evening entertainment included snake charmers, fire eaters, belly dancers and musicians from International Productions by Tahja, as well as two 3-year-old camels, named Nomad and Oakie, from Big Cat Habitat on display for people to take photos with, feed and pet. The guests got into the theme, showing off their best desert caravan finery.

 Adrienne Vittadini and Michael Saunders

Pete Britton, Michele Weaver with Lynn and Chris Romine

Michelle and Luis


Kent and Thomas Buchter




THURSDAY, april 18, 2013



tales by Black Tie Staff

presentation of the “Complexus” sculpture to the city) and Lois Stulberg. The book is for sale at Bookstore1, on Main Street, for $75.

 Needlepoint’s big debut

Photo by Cliff Roles

Susan McLeod and Keith Monda

 Six Sarasota Seasons of Sculpture

Sarasota Season of Sculpture Board Chairman Susan McLeod unveiled a gorgeous book chronicling the organization’s history at an April 9 reception, at The Francis. Keith Monda underwrote the publication, which is dedicated to him. It includes images of virtually every sculpture displayed on the Sarasota bayfront since the first bi-annual exhibit in 1999. The Serbin Printing team of Robin Smith and Judy Webster put the book together; McLeod was the editor; sculpture descriptions are the artists’ statements. The book, “Season of Sculpture,” makes clear the scale of the organization’s contribution to the community: 132 sculptures by 96 artists representing 15 states and 13 foreign countries. Donors of $1,000 or more number 150, many of whom got their books at the reception, including Marvin Albert, Robert and Pat Baer, Carol Camiener, Warren and Margot Coville, Bob and Dottie Garner, Peppi Elona and Wendy Surkis, Arnold and Bette Hoffman, Elaine Keating and Sid Katz, W. Howard Rooks, Tom Savage (the driving force behind the recent

Eye of the Needle owners Kathy Levins and Meghan Johs are experiencing their own 15 minutes of fame. Last summer, one of the Hillview store’s needlepoint designers, Jean Smith Designs, contacted the owners because the store carries the designer’s needlepoint canvases — she was curious about their ability to send any finished or unfinished needlepoint projects to a set designer for a movie, which turned out to be “The Big Wedding,” starring Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Courtesy photo Diane Keaton, Robin Williams and Topher Grace. Levins and Johs had to send the canvases within 48 hours to the movie set in Connecticut. The movie is set to release April 26, and Eye of the Needle’s needlepoints are scattered throughout a bedroom in the movie — Sarandon’s character is a needlepoint fanatic.

 Film/fashion double-header at Dream Weaver Several women moviemakers participating in the “Through Women’s Eyes” film festival visited Joan Morgan’s Dream Weaver Thursday, April 11, on St. Armands Circle. This came after the third annual “Side By Side” symposium, chaired by Miriam Bale and organized by the Sarasota Film Festival. One of the visitors, film editor Robin Schwartz, has a 21st-century version of being discovered at Schwab’s drugstore on Sunset Boulevard. The director of “Computer

Photo by Molly Schechter

The film women: Aurora Fearnley, director “Shades of Living”; Rachel Dengiz, producer, “Medora”; Lana Wilson, director, “After Tiller”; Robin Schwartz, star of “Computer Chess.” Chess” walked by her editing workstation, did a fast turnaround and came back to offer her the leading role. Why? She thinks it was because she looks “nerdy.” The film folks met some completely different creative people at Dream Weaver for their annual trunk show: designer Catherine Bacon and jewelry maker Susan Green. Among those enjoying the entire experience: Rachel Ben Avi, Leslie Glass, Nona MacDonald Heaslip, Marion Levine, Flora Major and Sally Yanowitz.

 Tidbits

Grand giving … Gulf Coast Community Foundation hosted a Celebration of Community Philanthropy Thursday, April 11, at Bay Preserve. Donors, volunteers and nonprofit partners gathered on the beautiful lawn to catch up and enjoy sliders and French fries. The organization announced its new site,, which is a gateway for giving, and volunteer sites GulfCoastGives. org and It also surprised various organizations in attendance with a $5,000 check, including Manasota Operation Troop Support um nn Ha e ani Photo by Steph (MOTS), Sarasota ro Th Dr. Joe and Betty

Family YMCA and Forty Carrots Family Center. In addition, GCCF honored Dr. Joe and Betty Thro with the Citizen Philanthropist Award. … Pique nique sightings … Co-Chairwomen Pat Johnson and BJ Creighton were missing due to injury and illness, and were definitely missed. The two, plus Co-Chairwomen Renee Hamad and Kathy Coffey, had coordinated their outfits to match the event’s color scheme. Photographer Rod Millington was spotted looking dapper in a seersucker blazer and fedora for the luncheon, to which he commented is only a “once a year” occurrence … Wedded bliss … Congrats to newly married couple A.J. Stickley and Chelsea Veeneman, who wed Saturday, April 13.

Black Tie Affair Men Who Cook Benefiting: Asolo Repertory Theatre When: 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28 Where: Longboat Key Club Harbourside Dining Room Tickets: $150 Contact: Courtney Smith, 351-9010, Ext. 4702

A bagpiper will lead no less than 23 of Sarasota and Bradenton’s most prominent business and community men into the Longboat Key Club dining room to present their culinary specialties. To name a few: Grillades and grits from Jon Thaxton, “Big Easy” black pepper shrimp from Jeff Sedacca and roasted rack of brined pork from Rick Thie, one of the five chefs who have participated in the event all three years. CoChairs are Beverly Bartner, Molly Schechter and Margaret Wise, and Judi Gallagher is culinary director. Longboat Key Club sponsors the whole shebang, which also includes an auction of homemade desserts, such as Nikki Sedacca’s key lime pie.

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364 St. armandS CIrClE SaraSOta 941) 388 - 1974


THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

(continued from page 11)

Bob Kradoska and Kathy Ewing

Karen and Brooke Misantone

Sylvia Barber and Lynn Marie Gross

We celebourrate

Tom and Allison Luzier

Debbie and Wayne Seitl

Suzanne and Hank Foster




Saints of the arts

941-444-1017 A Not-for-Profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) OIR #88039

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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!


Pete Russell and Cathy Layton

Kelly and Al Purmort




This week’s featured patrons are:

Warren J. and Margot Coville

To read and learn more about Sarasota’s performing-arts patrons, go to the Black Tie tab on 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

110243 LV5173


Warren J. and Margot Coville are known for their generosity throughout Sarasota. It all started 13 years ago when they started contributing to FSU/Asolo Conservatory as student sponsors. They currently sponsor two students in the graduate acting program. The Covilles also host brunches for students, and even Thanksgiving dinners.


Proud supporters of FSU/Asolo



THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// BLACK TIE: Camera ready Jennie Famig lio, Shirley La scelle and Deb Knowles

SFF Opening Night Party

SFF Tribute Luncheon When: Friday, April 12 Where: Sarasota Yacht Club

When: Friday, April 5 Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

 Garrett Brown, Moises Grayson and Jill Grayson

au Michelle Bilode n ya R y le sh A and

Nicole Penlind and Glen Everhart

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Chantal Bachar and Craig Berkowitz

Mariel Hemingway and Mickey Sumner

Steve Raymund and Lana Zub


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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013


// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

SFF Cinema Tropicale

SFF Filmmaker Awards and Closing Film

When: Friday, April 12 Where: Sarasota Yacht Club

When: Saturday, April 13 Where: Sarasota Opera House

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

 Will Kovacs, Holly Womack, Laura McLain, Penny Kovacs and Jonathan Morris

Photos by Mallory Gnaegy

 Cheryl Hines and Alicia Witt with “Pasadena” and Suzanne Clement with “Laurence Anyways”

Lana King, Lisa Wells, Liz Murray, Kelly Crawford and Alicia King

s Chessi Phillip rie ar B a ar and Z pt in their iConce g in w llo outfits fo ow. the fashion sh C






Deborah and Stephen Winters Elisa Cohen and Julie Green

Melissa Wenzel, Silvanna Medina and Janis Cohen

Sue and Tom Miller

M Robert A R and C HSharon 2 Davies 0 1 3

Jan Loomis, Willy Taylor and Sue Tankersley

PECKY introduces their

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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// Pique Nique sur la Baie //

Benefiting New College Library Association Wednesday, April 10, at New College of Florida

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

Nancy Blackburn, Geoffrey Michel and Margaret Wise

Chairwomen Renee Hamad and Kathy Coffey

Barbara Brizdle, Suzanne Reiman and Anna Whaley

Wendy Feinstein

Jeannie Slater and Jeanie Kirkpatrick

Ava, 9, and Brenda Michel

The Met presented the fashion show

Lea Mei

Renee Brady, Veronica Brady and Barbie Wilson

Renee Phinney and Jenn McAlister

The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training presents


George Bernard Shaw’s

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Pay what you can: April 9 • Evening: $29 • Matinees: $28 • Students: $1450


THURSDAY, april 18, 2013


// BLACK TIE: Camera ready

// Town Hall Lecture Series featuring Tom Brokaw // Benefiting the Ringling College Library Association Monday, April 8, at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall


MyGreenBuildings is ready to handle your project from design to completion. From luxury waterfront homes to remodeling of bungalows to ultra performance green homes, we’ve built it.

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Ron Koespel, Lowe Morrison, Tom Brokaw and Michael Longworth


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When you take the time and care to

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Olivia Thomas shows off her signed copy of “The Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokaw. Carol and Richard Elliott „


Janet and George Miles

than good financial planning; it gives back.

// A Gala Concert with Dick Hyman and the Gloria Musicae Singers // Benefiting Gloria Musicae | Sunday, April 7, at Sarasota Opera House

What is your joy? Give confidently to causes you care about when you partner with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Whether your passion is the arts, senior care, education, animal care, or the environment, our expert staff connects you with reputable, responsible organizations that need your support. With our assistance, you can know your gift is well stewarded. The community knows the impact of your generosity for years to come. To learn more, visit or call 941-955-3000. Let us show you how easy it is to give through a donor advised fund

Dick and Julia Hyman

Photos by Mallory Gnaegy


ƒ Esther Dickmann and Alicia Howington

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Edward Alley and June LeBell with Director Joe Holt

Karen Olson and Laura Smith-Weyl


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THURSDAY, april 18, 2013

// BLACK TIE: Camera ready


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Directed by Michael Donald Edwards Christopher Wynn and Tyla Abercrumbie. Photo Cliff Roles

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Ellen Cavanaugh, Janet Hunter, Sally Faron and Linda Knox

For 40 Years Café L’Europe Has Been Sarasota’s Destination for Mother’s Day


Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara

// Epicurean Encore Interactive Dinner //

Make MoM tHe apple Of yOur eye

Benefiting La Musica Wednesday, April 10, at Michael’s On East



Shaun and Wendy Merriman

Buffet Brunch Omelet Stations, Carving Stations, Hot & Cold Items with Spectacular Dessert Display.

Daniel Avshalomov and Phil Mancini

ƒ Eric Kim prepares to lead the group in making Chinese chicken lettuce cups.

Served from 11:00 - 3:00 Children $16.95 Complementary Mimosa with buffet offerings. Reservations Suggested. Call 941.388.4415 431 St. Armands circle Sarasota, fL full Service Catering brings the Café experience to you.

Delivery only is also available. Michael Evers and Pamela Hughes

40th anniversary “tHe tOur Of eurOpe” Cafe l’eurOpe paSSpOrt SerIeS Hung ary

Candy and Scott Greer

each month during the summer, a featured cuisine from the highlighted european country will be showcased.





Honorary Chairwoman Ruth Kreindler, Michael Donald Edwards and Chairwoman Lee Peterson

// Starry Night Dinner Series ‘Dinner on Stage’ // Benefiting Asolo Repertory Theatre Monday, April 8, at Asolo Repertory Theatre


Includes appetizer, entree and Dessert

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Richard and Nessa Levine

Photos by Rachel S. O’Hara


THURSDAY, april 18, 2013


Shop & Stroll Historic

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Unique Treasures & Gifts Men & Women’s Boutiques Home Decor Gourmet Delicacies



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As Good As It Gets

Check out the dapper side of Sarasota at Martin Freeman, recently voted the Best Of 2013 by Sarasota Magazine. Now featuring their own Brittalia CollectionTM.

invites you to visit us and embark on an adventure in culinary delight. All of the products you will see or buy have been meticulously selected to ensure that they are of the highest caliber in their category. 49 s. Palm Avenue 941.373.1839

When Only The Best

ench Pates Russian Caviar • Fr no Hams rra Se & to iut Prosc lmon Sa ed ok Scottish Sm an & Swiss lgi Be • es ees Ch d Importe nes Wi e Fin • tes Chocola Champagne & Port s Gift Baskets & Tray

75 s. Palm Avenue 941.953.2948

(941) 95.3Sa-2ra9so4ta8, Florida

75 South Palm Ave MartinFreeman

Will Do...

Live Well!

wntown Sarasota 49 S. Palm Ave., Do 39 .18 941.373 www.asgoodasitgets4

Posh CAFe’ ANd shABBy ChIC BoUtIqUe


erning Gentleman lothing for the Disc


ARt to wAlk oN is pleased to announce the first of the 25th Anniversary Exhibition and Lecture Series: Armenian Carpets & Artifacts, commemorating the genocide and celebrating the contributions of Armenians to the art of rug weaving. April 19th – 27th,

Our new Cafe’ at Posh is open Tuesday-Saturday 8-4. We serve Breakfast and Lunch and the Best Scones in Town with Devonshire Cream and lots of other Baked Goods fresh every day. Dine in our Chic Cafe, and Book your next Party with us....

16 south Palm Avenue

33 south Palm Ave (941) 954-7674


236 ve. Sarasota FL 34 64 South Palm A 4.7969 941.44


is dedicated to setting the standard in luxury for Fine On Palm Avenue Bedding, Bath Accessories as a team working together and Table Top Décor. Our JIM Palm Avenue boutique offers REESE customers a wide range of & beautiful linens, fine Egyptian EIl n cottons for the bath and the best JEnnIngS of table top décor to create a sense of beauty and warmth in 906-9468 your home. 64 south Palm Avenue

41 South palm

sAloN 41



N AuLrO SFO ty-ONe

MelANGe hoMe

Fine Linens s Bath Accessorie Table Top Decor



Sota fl 3423 avenue • Sara

Situated in the heart of Historic Palm Avenue for 11 years, Owners Jim Reese & Neil Jennings bring over 60 years of combined experience to Salon 41. As a Full Service Salon they offer everything from Hair Styling to Face & Nail Treatments while specializing in Corrective Hair Color and Fine Hair. 41 south Palm Avenue 941.906.9469


12 south Palm Avenue

Burke Antiques Since 1944

sarasota, Fl 34236 941.952.0042

...a gift/gallery featuring functional and whimsical “uniquities.” Gift certificates, free gift wrapping, & garage parking are available.

12 S Palm Ave Sa rasota, FL 34236 (941) 952-0042


43 soUth PAlM AVeNUe 941.366.2500


Burke Antiques

M.l. GoslING


BURke ANtIqUes


THURSDAY, april 18, 2013



Diversions 04.18.13  

Diversions 04.18.13

Diversions 04.18.13  

Diversions 04.18.13