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ON THE FLIP SIDE: A+E Marc Chagall: Selby Gardens examines the artist like never before. Van Wezel Foundation Gala: Reflect on a star-studded affair.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017 Photo by Cliff Roles

ORCHID BALL:

UNE SOIRÉE EN FLEURS PERFECT PAIR This year Selby’s Senior Director of Special Projects Roger Capote tied every detail of the event’s decor into the garden’s new model of horticulture + art. He says that the paint cans on each table during cocktail hour made a simple statement of introducing “paint” to the gardens,” along with several other art-inspired decor items.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? All Orchid Ball attendees got to bring a slice of the gardens (and the event name) home with them in the form of a phalaenopsis orchid provided by Better-Gro as a centerpiece/giveaway.

Saturday, Feb. 11, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Benefiting Marie Selby Gardens NIKI KOTTMANN BLACK TIE REPORTER

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tepping into Orchid Ball: une soirée en fleurs was like stepping into a French impressionist painting. As guests entered Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, they walked beneath a sky of red lights and hanging plant life before winding their way through the new Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams exhibit. After a photo opp and a glimpse at the breathtaking stained glass artwork of the exhibit, event-goers headed to the Great Lawn for drinks and mingling under garden lights and white paper lanterns. From afar, guests saw what looked like three enormous and colorful abstract paintings, but upon further inspection they discovered that blending into each framed piece was a model painted in the same colors. PAGE 2

Co-Chairwomen Liebe Gamble, Katie Hollingsworth, Emily Stroud and Ashley Kozel

Annette and Bill Lloyd

Photos by Niki Kottmann

Deborah Blue and Katherine Scott

Kathryn Parks


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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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Attendees then followed the path to the gazebo and through the balloon archway before reaching the final destination: the vibrant dinner tent with a garden of its own featuring red roses, red amaranthus and phalaenopsis orchids. Guests dined on their Michael’s On East meal under projections of floral paintings on the ceiling, immersing themselves in the piece of art that was Orchid Ball 2017.

Sally Schule and Susan Malloy Jones Photos by Niki Kottmann

Models helped breathe life into three paintings by Orlando-based artist Bill Morrisey.

STEPPING INSIDE A NEW WORLD Rob and Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby’s Senior Director of Special Projects Roger Capote says that the tent where guests dined on their Michaels’ On East meal was designed to make them feel immersed in a vibrant piece of floral artwork. “Florals floated through out the tent and projections of red and white florals on the ceiling gave it an illusion of being inside the painting,” Capote says.

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NIKI KOTTMANN

Edible masterpiece

Niki Kottmann

Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber didn’t know what to expect on Feb. 8 when he walked through the doors of Michael’s Wine Cellar, but the look of shock on his face said it all when, after giving his son Michael Klauber a hug, he turned around to find 70 of his loved ones ready to celebrate his 90th birthday with him. Klauber’s closest family and friends gathered to surprise him with the party, which had two themes that are close to his heart: South Africa and the Monkey Bar from his former Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.

Photo by Emily Stroud

Guests got to “paint their own dessert” at the Orchid Ball at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Feb. 11.

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Terri Klauber, Michael Klauber, Murf Klauber, Max Klauber and Susie Klauber

90 years young

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There were many treats in store for guests at the Orchid Ball: une soirée en fleurs Feb 11, but perhaps the crowd favorite was that guests got to “paint” their own dessert. Attendees were given a “dessert artist’s canvas” featuring a Champagne cake with a gold fondant frame with seven edible colors and two paintbrushes. Some dessert artists choose to decorate the cakes with edible paint in the moment or take them home and decorate them later.

Celebrities — they’re just like us … Ann Curry charmed audience members during her talk at the Tidewell Hospice Signature Luncheon Feb. 10 by letting them know that she wore a black dress with the word “love” on it to honor the “sea of kindness” (AKA hospice supporters) before her. In the VIP luncheon, one attendee asked her where she got the dress and Curry couldn’t remember, so she reached for the tag, turned around and invited the questioner to see for herself … Like father, like son … There were many surprises at Murf Klauber’s birthday party on Wednesday, Feb. 8, but perhaps the second best was that three Klauber men showed up unknow-

The cellar was decked out to look like the old bar, featuring monkey wallpaper and candleholders. Guests also worked together to raise $25,000 before the party to send Klauber to Londolozi Game Preserve in the country that his son has made him a fan of after several winerelated trips for business. All the appetizers and wines served were from or inspired by South African food and wine in honor of Klauber’s grand birthday surprise.After enjoying the appetizer and “monkey” bars, guests watched slideshows of photos from Klauber’s life and heard stories from family members.

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ingly in [almost] matching attire. Murf Klauber arrived in a vibrant red blazer that would be the perfect shade in between his son Michael Klauber’s magenta blazer and Michael’s son Max Klauber’s hot pink blazer … Generous garden-lovers … As if the more than 600 guests at Orchid Ball weren’t giving enough, a few philanthropists upped the ante during the annual paddle raise. The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation teamed up with Gulf Coast Community Foundation to “sweeten the pot,” as Roger Capote put it, with a $25,000 increase if the paddle raise reached $100,000. That inspired the Rita B Lamere Foundation to add an additional $10,000, all benefiting Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ children education programs.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Designer Handbag Bingo Thursday, Feb. 9, at The Francis Benefiting Florida Winefest & Auction Photos by Niki Kottmann

Left: Julie Johnson reacts to finding out she was the first bingo winner of the night. Above: Bingo winner Julie Johnson was awarded with a magenta Coach bag.

Darlyne Adamchak and Judy Heverman

Kimberly Tocci, Deanna Joyce and Brenda Hibbeln

Auctioneer Adam Armbruster picks the first number and letter combination of the night.

Far Left: Several Michael Kors bags were included in the purses given out as prizes. Left: Gabriele Robinson and Kathy Schersten

Peggy White and Jessica Dirkes

FEBRUARY 18 – MARCH 25 A comic turn of events helps an Italian girl save her lost fiancé.

FEBRUARY 11 – MARCH 25

MARCH 4 – 24

MARCH 11 – 26

One of the most beloved operas of all time!

The French Revolution threatens all that is sacred to a group of nuns.

Two lovers meet in secret as the king grows suspicious.

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

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All operas sung in the original language with real-time English translations above the stage.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

“I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy my Sarasota delivery driver, Richard. He is always friendly and shows how much he truly cares for customers. Thank you, Richard!” -CHARLES HASPER

SOCIAL CALENDAR Fill your planners with these upcoming events. THURSDAY, FEB. 16

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SPARCCLE ON THE RUNWAY Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center 9:30 a.m. boutique shopping, 11:30 luncheon and fashion show at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Chairwoman: Dori Zingmond Honorary Chairwoman: Kimberley Carreiro Honoree: Guy Peterson Tickets $125 Call 365-0208, Ext. 110.

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FRIDAY, FEB. 17

ST. JUDE GALA: JOURNEY INTO THE FUTURE St. Jude Catholic Church 6 p.m. at Michael’s On East Chair: Maricarmen RomeroVazmina Tickers $150 Call 321-7268.

SATURDAY, FEB. 18

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE GALA Animal Rescue Coalition 6:30 p.m. at Michael’s On East Tickets $250 Call 957-1955.

SUNDAY, FEB. 19

ICONCEPT 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. for general admission at Saks Fifth Avenue at the Mall at UTC Chair: Terri Najmolhoda Tickets $75 to $175 Call 365-2032.

TUESDAY, FEB. 21

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC DINNER Sarasota Orchestra 6 p.m. at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium Tickets $250 Call 487-2740.

File photo

The ballroom at Michael’s On East sported pet-themed decor at the 2016 Unconditional Love Gala.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22

14TH ANNUAL CARING HEARTS LUNCHEON First Step’s Mothers and Infants Program 11 a.m. at Michael’s On East Chairwomen: Rita Hollander and Rose Marie Seller Honoree: Commissioner Nancy Detert with 2017 Caring Heart of the Year Award Tickets $60 Call 552-2065.

THURSDAY, FEB. 23

COOKING FOR WISHES: ‘A TASTE OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS’ Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida 11 a.m. at Michael’s On East Tickets $3,000 for table of eight Call 952-9474.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Tidewell Hospice Signature Luncheon Friday, Feb. 10, at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota | Benefiting Tidewell Hospice Photos by Niki Kottmann

Left: Chairwoman Cindy Stuhley, Ann Curry and Thomas Stuhley Below: Lois Lucek

Jules Price with Lindsey Nickel-de la O

Kim Miele, Marina Schmidt and Dr. Jaclyn Nadler. Heather Rippy and Marlo Turner

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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Reason to Hope Luncheon Monday, Feb. 6, at Michael’s On East Benefiting Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast

TIE Photos by Niki Kottmann

Roberta Benninghoff, Jan Short, Helen Nider and Joseph Hochadel

Bunny and Mort Skirboll

Don’t worry, ’ S Stephanie S M A R TLyons S T R A N D. Len and Helen GlaserI T with

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Guests at the Reason to Hope Luncheon dined on fruit cocktails Feb. 6, at Michael’s On East.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Van Wezel Foundation Gala

Experience You Can Trust for

Friday, Feb. 10, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall | Benefiting Van Wezel Foundation

Results! Join ususforfor Join Seminar a FREE Free Seminar by Dr. P. Hillstrom by Dr.Robert Robert P. Hillstrom

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Richard Van Buskirk and Monica Van Buskirk, president of the Van Wezel Foundation

Each table was adorned with a theatrical centerpiece.

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Left: Artist Eric Waugh created two live paintings of the performers for the evening, Steve Martin and Martin Short, at the Van Wezel Foundation Gala on Feb. 10. Below: Tom and Linda Doan with Diana and Matt Buchanan

DISCOVER TERRITORIES:

WHAT’S ON

THROUGH MAY 14

VIEWPOINT—ELEGANCE AND ART: PORTRAIT OF A GEISHA

Photography, Space, and Power Territories explores the myriad ways in which spaces are organized by cultural forces and political power. Visitors will be able to study the ways in which the camera can reveal how humans organize and encode the space they inhabit. Above: Thomas Struth (German, born 1954)

National Gallery 1, London (detail), 1989. Cibachrome print. Museum purchase with funds from The Ringling Museum of Art Investment Trust Fund, 1990, SN11009 © Thomas Struth

DISCOVER MORE

ringling.org

FEB 18, 10:30 AM $10 / Free for Members

Learn about geisha in this lecture illustrated with images from The Ringling’s print collection.

SEESAW FEB 17 & 18, 7:30 & 9:00 PM $20 / $10 Student with valid ID A spectacular one-of-a-kind performance event by Wise Fool New Mexico. Acrobatic theater artists in the air and on stilts inhabit an ever-changing environment of kinetic sculpture.

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T H E

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An Evening with

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

35 Innovative Afterschool Programs

Bubbly with Bret: Private Meet & Greet*

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5:00-6:15 p.m. • Private Pre-Reception and Meet & Greet The Home of Hannah & Norman Weinberg

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Be The One

MAIN EVENT

Community Reception & Briefing with Bret 6:30 p.m.

Longboat Key Club Harbourside Terrace 3000 Harbourside Drive, Longboat Key $40 couvert per person. Wine and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.

This event is off the record and closed to the press.

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For more information contact Nina Uribe at 954.382.6110 or nuribe@aipac.org

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To RSVP please visit www.aipac.org/BretStephens or contact the AIPAC Florida Office at 954.382.6110.


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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

From laid back to flat out,

Orchid Ball Sponsor Party and Chagall Exhibit Preview

That 's How We Roll

Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Benefiting Selby Gardens

Waterfront Living on Florida’s Last Private Island from the high $400s Ahh…island time. The freedom of days set to the rhythm of the tides, the roll of the sun, and pure whimsy. Like time spent on Harbour Isle, a private island paradise where you can catch dinner on a morning kayak and the sunset Photos by Niki Kottmann

from our private Beach Club overlooking Anna Maria Sound. The locals

Above: Deb Codella and Juliana Ferro

call it “Florida’s Best Kept Secret.” And you’re about to get in on it. Come

Top: “Marc Chagall, Flowers and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams” runs from through July 31 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

take the tour, and pick up the keys to Florida’s last private island. Don’t miss your chance for the best views and pricing in the final phase at Harbour Isle! 5 minutes to world-famous Anna Maria Island beaches.

Rosemary Eure and Rob Brown

9TH ANNUAL RUNWAY EVENT TO BENEFIT ART CENTER SARASOTA

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*Please see a New Homes Sale Professional for details. For correct representations, make reference to this advertisement and to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida statutes, to be furnished by a seller to a buyer or lessee. © Minto Communities, LLC 2017. Not an offer where prohibited by state statutes. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced, copied, altered, distributed, stored or transferred in any form or by any means without express written permission. Artist’s renderings, dimensions, specifications, prices and features are approximate and subject to change without notice. Minto, the Minto logo, Harbour Isle and the Harbour Isle logo are trademarks of Minto Communities, LLC and/or its affiliates. CGC 1519880. 2/2017

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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Kelvin Cooper and Doug Logan

Teri Hansen and Wendy Deming

David and Lori Sutton

Rob and Emily Stroud

wE cAN’T wAIT TO INNOVATE TO INVEST IN THE ARTS

Nothing sparks our ability to innovate and inspire change like music, theater, painting, or dance. That’s why, together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation invests in our region’s most dynamic arts organizations. We can’t wait for you to join us.

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941.486.4600 | GulfcoastcF.org


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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Passion for Fashion Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Michael’s On East Benefiting University Park Women’s Club

Photos by Niki Kotmann

Evelyn Cooper, Liz Greenawalt, Eileen Cantarella, Dana Balionis, Chairwoman Beckie Suverkrup, Doris Amspoker, Kathy Cuviello and University Park Women’s Club President Maria Van Brunt

Above: Bev Brown, Bev Preston and Cindy Halward Left: Diane Mason, Carol Kasden and Judy O’Donnell

Barbara Somma hits the runway during Passion for Fashion on Feb. 8 at Michael’s On East.

Tables in the Michael’s On East ballroom were adorned with glittering high-heel shaped vases.

ASOLO REPERTORY THEATRE

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FOR A CHANCE TO WIN TICKETS TO:

In the Cook Theatre | 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

Sarasota Orchestra Sarasota Ballet Asolo Repertory Theatre

February’s Inside Asolo Rep invites you to hear from the creative artists responsible for the theatre’s production of Born Yesterday and The Little Foxes. The panel will feature Born Yesterday director Peter Amster, The Little Foxes director Frank Galati, Tracy Michelle Arnold (Regina Giddens, The Little Foxes), and Christina DeCicco (Billie Dawn, Born Yesterday). This insightful discussion will be moderated by Asolo Rep Dramaturg & Casting Associate Lauryn E. Sasso.

SIGN UP * for any of our Observer newsletters between now and 2/28/17 and you could be one of (5) lucky winners to receive (2) tickets to an upcoming performance.

Visit YourObserver.com/tickets to sign up today

SIGN UP TODAY Christina DeCicco

$5 For General Public • Free for Asolo Rep Guild members and donors. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 941.351.8000.

Tracy Michelle Arnold SPONSORED BY

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Frank Galati

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< ORCHID BALL: Selby Gardens hosts artful soirée de fleurs. ‘MADAMA BUTTERFLY’: Sarasota Opera singers soar. 10 >

ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT WATCH THIS

‘Born Yesterday’

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

YOUROBSERVER.COM

The Color of Dreams With its interdisciplinary exhibition, Selby Gardens examines the life and works of Marc Chagall like never before.

Asolo Rep’s latest play teaches lessons through laughter. PAGE 9

HEAR THIS

NICK FRIEDMAN A+E MANAGING EDITOR

M

arc Chagall is an artist whose portfolio has been studied at length. Considered one of the greatest painters of the 20th century and a pioneer of modernism, scholars and critics have analyzed his work from just about every angle. Much of these discussions have centered on his contributions to the art world — especially as a Jewish artist. Born in 1887 in Vitebsk, Belarus, Chagall’s decision to celebrate — rather than deny or cover up — his Lithuanian Jewish heritage in his art was not only a bold and distinguishing one at the time, it also became the lifeblood of his work. For the rest of his career, until his death in 1985, the dominant imagery in his work — modest wooden houses, fiddlers, roosters, flying cows and landscapes — served as a lifelong love letter to his childhood home. One aspect of his work, however, has remained relatively unexplored: his connection with flowers and nature. Presented by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and running through July 31 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Marc Chagall, Flowers and the French Riviera: “The Color of Dreams,” explores this connection, as well as the artist’s life and work, through a collection of painting and never-before displayed works, as well as a gardens-wide homage to his love for the French Riviera. It was here that after several instances of being forced to flee in times of war, he chose to live the later part of his life. “Even though Marc Chagall

Jason Graae A Broadway star brings his act to Sarasota. PAGE 6

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‘The Piano Lesson’ August Wilson’s play revives a somber spirit at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. PAGE 12

SEE PAGE 2 Courtesy of Artists Rights Society

A replica stained-glass window depicts Chagall’s signature dreamy, romantic scenes.


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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

A Living Museum FROM PAGE 1

(Above) Courtesy Artists Rights Society (Top) Courtesy Matthew Holler

Above: The exhibition starts in a glass conservatory, featuring replicas of Chagall’s stained glass and a cathedral of living plants. Top: Selby’s outdoor gardens are enhanced to evoke the French Riviera.

was not necessarily called a flower painter, he produced a prodigious output of them,” says Carol Ockman, curator at large. “This is an aspect of his work that has somehow flown under the radar. For him, flowers had a spiritual integrity, which was the measure of all things for him. In many of his paintings, they fill nearly the whole canvas. They were a bridge between heaven and earth.” Throughout his career, Chagall created art in just about every artistic medium. Accordingly, the

interdisciplinary exhibit features a wide range of tributes to the artist throughout Selby’s 15 acres. Guests begin by exploring a glass-house conservatory. Inside, towering replicas of Chagall’s stained-glass windows catch the light and paint the greenhouse with a warm glow. Replicas of cottages are draped in orchids, and overhead chandeliers of epiphytes hang near gravity-defying planter pots, which pour streams of flowers from mid air onto the conservatory floor in a nod to Chagall’s love of fantasy. The grounds as a whole, and

both sides of the Great Lawn, are enhanced with flowers meant to evoke the spirit Chagall’s last home and creative muse in the village of Saint Paul de Vence, in the French Riviera. Finally, in the gallery are archival photos and personal effects, as well as the 1937 masterwork painting, “The Lovers,” on loan from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and two privately loaned, never-before displayed paintings from later in his career, “Bouquets de Lilas à Saint Paul de Vence” (1978) and “Couple aux Muguets” (1973).

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IF YOU GO MARC CHAGALL, FLOWERS AND THE FRENCH RIVIERA: ‘THE COLOR OF DREAMS’ When: Runs through July 31 Where: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave. Tickets: $25; $15 for children; free for members Info: Call 366-5731.

“The Lovers” by Marc Chagall, courtesy of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Marc and Bella Chagall. Courtesy of the Archives Marc et Ida Chagall, Paris.

nature, Ockman says she couldn’t imagine a more fitting tribute to the artist. “It really changes my relationship with an artist I know very well,” she says. “I’m a big fan of interdisciplinary collaboration, and this is a really beautiful one. It’s experiential. It grabs you. It’s filled with color and light, and

TM

it captures that element of fantasy and whimsy that people love about Chagall. For all the hardships he endured, there’s a buoyancy in his work that’s appealing. Everyone can relate to a beautiful bouquet of flowers; a couple madly in love; a love for your childhood home.”

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In “The Lovers,” whose color scheme nods to his then home in Paris, Chagall and his late wife Bella float above an impossibly large bouquet of flowers, greeted by an angel above a small Jewish village. It’s perhaps the best example of his artistic relationship with flowers. The exhibition, which has been in the works for the last year and a half, is the first installation in Selby Gardens’ Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which will blend nature and botanicalinspired master artworks. “The ties between art and nature are part of our founding mission,” says Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “We’ve been hosting art exhibitions since1979, but never at this level. It’s part of our push to make Selby a living museum. Chagall was a perfect fit. He’s been exhibited many times before, but never in the context of his love of flowers and nature — and certainly never in a botanical garden.” Standing in the glass house conservatory, looking at the constellations of floating epiphytes re-creating Chagall’s paintings in

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

ART IN MOTION

iconcept fashion show guidelines inspire 19 designers to think outside the fabric. NIKI KOTTMANN

IF YOU GO

BLACK TIE REPORTER

M

ost art is hung in galleries, but some creative minds hang it in their closet. This year, 22 unconventional outfits by 19 designers will hit the runway at iconcept, the annual fundraiser for Art Center Sarasota that challenges local creatives to come up with a couture outfit made of only 25% fabric. The rest has to be made of materials that generally wouldn’t qualify as clothing — but resemble it nonetheless. Now in its ninth year, iconcept is an event that continues to challenge and award both its organizers and participants. Art Center Sarasota Executive Director Lisa Berger says one of the biggest challenges is ensuring that the event remains fresh by showcasing designs that have never been done before. Though it’s not uncommon for artists to reuse materials in a new way. Each

ICONCEPT When: 7 p.m., Feb. 19 Where: Saks Fifth Avenue, Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Drive Tickets: $75 to $175 Info: Call 365-2032.

“I wanted to take something as inelegant as construction fence and try to make it elegant.” — Marcia Ente

designer brings a unique perspective to his or her creation, which is fueled by the creative obstacle. “They know it’s a lot of work,” says Berger. “They know they’re not going to get paid for this, but it’s about the challenge and using their creativity and problemsolving skills to figure out how to make unconventional material into something wearable.” We can’t reveal the outfits before the show, but a few designers offered us a sneak peek into their process.

MARCIA ENTE

All it took was a walk through her garage for Marcia Ente to find most of the material she would use for her eighth iconcept garment. Ente’s outfit is made of garbage bags, plastic construction fence, pipe cleaners and rhinestones, all held together by staples and duct tape. “I wanted to take something as inelegant as construction fence and try to make it elegant,” she says. A high-low plastic skirt and slinky garbage-bag halter top

were not part of the original plan, however. Ente originally had her mind set on a form-fitting dress made of pipe cleaners, but after spending countless hours weaving the pieces by hand, she realized she needed to go in a new direction. She knew she didn’t want to sew anything, so she grabbed a black belt, wrapped it in garbage bags and started looping the construction fence through. Ente came up with the idea in early January and created her first prototype in a day. After getting feedback from a friend and her model, however, she decided that

it needed a little something to help it pop, and she found the perfect solution in stick-on rhinestones. Along with finding a way to keep the rhinestones on, Ente says the biggest challenge was creating an outfit that looks like something somebody could wear, which designers were told should be their goal. “It’s kind of amazing what you can get away with when you really want to,” she says. Ente’s creation will be modeled by her friend Jeane Houndsome, a jewelry designer who will also be modeling some of her own creations on the iconcept runway.

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ANDREA SILVERGLEIT

It takes a great deal of creativity and patience to be part of iconcept — but it’s not necessary to have a background in art or fashion. Andrea Silvergleit was originally drawn to become a part of the show when she served as an iconcept volunteer for several years. It wasn’t until she told Berger she wanted to give it a try and was met with positive reinforcement that she decided to go for it. Now on her fourth iconcept creation, Silvergleit was determined to create something completely unlike what she’s done in the past, so she looked to a friend who makes the machines that produce the packaging material, Stand Up Pouch, and asked for materials. She left with a roll of pouches and an idea to slice and curl all of the sections into a skirt.

Like most of the designers, she had to modify her plan when she realized her idea was simply impossible. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get the pieces to curl, so she decided to layer about 20 pouch slices on top of one another and create a skirt she hopes will flutter as it goes down the runway, creating a living piece of art. Silvergleit, a property manager, found her model after walking into her office and seeing a tenant eating Activia. She made her first dress out of yogurt containers. For her, being a part of iconcept is a means of proving to herself that she can do things that she never dreamed she could. She hopes people enjoy her outfit, but she’s happy with finishing a garment that makes it down the runway and back in one piece. “Just do it,” she says to anyone interested. “If you feel like there’s something in you — even if it comes out like a 2-year-old made it, which is usually what I think of mine — finding that and doing it is a great process.”

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“I buy things everywhere. If I see anything interesting, I just buy it. I’m a hoarder ... but I use everything.” — Andrea Dasha Reich

ANDREA DASHA REICH

Andrea Dasha Reich is a newcomer to the show, but a veteran to the art and fashion scenes. Born in Prague as the daughter of Holocaust survivors who were forced to uproot to Jerusalem, Reich developed a deep appreciation for color when she moved from her communist homeland to sunny Israel. Her love of color is especially evident after taking a walk through her lively exhibit at Art Center Sarasota, but even more clear when given a glimpse at her iconcept 2017 creation. The garment is a vibrant combination of gold paired with various hues of pink and orange, the latter of which she added with spray paint. Reich says the floor-length skirt, corset-like bodice and floral headdress are all inspired by the

geometric, lacy shapes characteristic of Turkish dresses — particularly those worn by famous storyteller Scheherazade from “One Thousand and One Nights.” The story of the dress and its beginning in an open-air market in the Middle East make it sound like a Scheherazade tale. During a trip to Jerusalem last year, Reich said she was struck by the gold color of so many of the items she saw, and she found herself drawn to a plastic lace tablecloth that would later become the bodice of her iconcept piece. “I buy things everywhere, “ she says. “If I see anything interesting, I just buy it. I’m a hoarder ... but I use everything.” Determined to make the material work, but overwhelmed by the amount of work it required, Reich recruited graphic designer Katie Harrison to help. Harrison cut

the pieces and sewed, and Reich painted them, experimenting with several techniques throughout the month of December. Reich was a fashion designer for 30 years before she switched to creating the resin artwork she’s best known for today. Until beginning the plans for the garment in November, it had been 20 years since the last piece of fashion she designed. When asked the biggest difference between designing fashion and art, Reich says there is none. “I can’t separate the two,” she says. “It’s just a different material, but the creativity is the same.” For many of the other artists in the show, the garment is a canvas, Reich says. She does not view her dress as a canvas — it’s moving art.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

THIS WEEK CHAMBER SOIRÉE: TANTALIZING TROMBONE 5:30 p.m. at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail $45 Call 953-4525. Principal trombone Brad Williams takes center stage in this concert, which features a wide range of instruments and composers. The concert closes with a trombone concerto.

‘MADAMA BUTTERFLY’ 7:30 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera, 61 N. Pineapple Ave. $19 to $125 Call 328-1300.

NICK’S PICK ‘SEESAW’ BY WISE FOOL NEW MEXICO

Sarasota Opera presents Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” one of the most performed and best loved operas of all times.

Wise Fool. It sounds paradoxical, but in medieval times, the jester had the king’s ear like no one else. Similarly, these performers use levity and whimsy to tackle taboo issues. Kicking off The Ringling’s New Stages series is “SEESAW,” which will take over the museum courtyard, using kinetic sculpture to explore immigration issues. Continues Saturday.

FRIDAY BURKE BROTHERS 7:30 p.m. at Darwin Brewing Co., 803 17th Ave. W, Bradenton Free Call 747-1970. Darwin Brewing Co. is asking music fans to join in its new local concert series, Get on My Lawn. Presented by Independent Jones, this concert features the Burke Brothers, a Bradenton-based duo featuring the core members of Have Gun Will Travel.

BEER AND CHEESE PAIRING 7 p.m. at JDub’s Brewing Co., 1215 Mango Ave. $25 Call 955-2739. Join this monthly event to learn how to best pair beer with cheese and other foods. Limited seating.

JASON GRAAE: ‘PERFECT HERMANY’ 8 p.m. at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way $25 Call 552-5325. Cabaret and Broadway star Jason Graae sings Jerry Herman’s well-known diva tunes, including “Before the Parade Passes By” and “I Am What I Am.”

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SATURDAY SUPERHERO 5K AND FUN RUN 6 a.m. at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle $50 Call 358-7275. Be a superhero and raise awareness for foster-care needs in Sarasota with this themed 5K and fun run. ROSEMARY INDIE MARKET 10 a.m. at Canned Ham Vintage, 1435 Seventh St. Free Call 313-1280.

SUNDAY GARDEN MUSIC SERIES 1 p.m. at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave. Free with admission Call 366-5731.

Canned Ham Vintage presents its monthly indie market series, featuring booths by local artists, farmers, entertainers, crafters, vintage enthusiasts and more. Shop, enjoy live music and grab a bite from a local food truck. MANDEVILLE BEER GARDEN MOVIE NIGHT: ‘THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK’ 6 p.m. at Mandeville Beer Garden, 428 N. Lemon Ave. Free Call 954-8688. Enjoy beer, food and “The Empire Strikes Back” on a giant outdoor screen at Mandeville Beer Garden. Free popcorn and food and drink specials throughout. BE KIND, REWIND 7 p.m. at Oddity Tattoo Studio and Gallery, 1778 Main St. Free Call 955-6246.

DON’T MISS ICONCEPT Art Center Sarasota’s ninth annual fashion event returns, tasking local artists and designers to create runway items from unconventional materials.

Feeling nostalgic for the ‘80s and ‘90s? Oddity Tattoo Studio and Gallery has just what you need. With its group art show, more than 20 artists will pay tribute to the pop culture of their childhoods that first inspired them to become artists. MUSICA FIESTA 7:30 p.m. at Manatee High School, 902 33rd St. Court W., Bradenton Free Call 462-3188. The Manatee Community Concert Band presents a program of Latin favorites. ‘THE ITALIAN GIRL IN ALGIERS’ 7:30 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave. $19 to $125 Call 328-1300. The Sarasota Opera presents this opera in two acts by Gioacchino Rossini.

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IF YOU GO When: 6 p.m., Sunday Where: Saks Fifth Avenue, The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Drive Tickets: $75 to $175 Info: Call 365-2032.

For this installment of Selby’s Garden Music Series, the Great Lawn will feature a performance by two-time Latin Grammy-nominee and pianist Chuchito Valdes, playing Cuban roots music and modern jazz. FROM THE STAGE: MUSIC OF OPERA, ORATORIO, AND BROADWAY 3:30 p.m. at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice $15 to $18; $5 for students Call 484-8491. The Venice Chorale presents this concert featuring classics by Irving Berlin, The Gershwins, Puccini, Verdi, Mozart and more. BELLE CANTO 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave. Call 955-0935. Belle Canto joins the First Church Singers to present a program featuring Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem” and “Cantique de Jean Racine” and the choral sounds of Morten Lauridsen’s “Dirait’on” from “Les Chansons des Roses.”

MONDAY RINGLING BY THE BAY: SOULRCOASTER 5 p.m. at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road $15; free for members; tickets required Call 359-5700. Enjoy live music and dancing at The Ringling’s Bolger Campiello, featuring SoulRCoaster, who plays everything from classic rock to Motown, jazz, ballads and disco — even a little country. Limited seating.

GLASS: A CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL PERFORMANCE 7 p.m. at Alfstad& Contemporary, 1419 Fifth St. $40 Call 366-6400. Contemporary music collective, ensemblenewSRQ, performs musical works inspired by the glass art on display by Kathleen Mulcahy and Ron Desmett at Alfstad& Contemporary.

TUESDAY ‘THE DRUNKENCITY’ 7:30 p.m. at FSU Center for Performing Arts, 555 N. Tamiami Trail $27 Call 351-8000. The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actors presents this story of three 20-something brides-tobe who set out on a celebratory evening that ends in one of them questioning her future after meeting a handsome stranger. Runs through March 12. ‘CRAZY FOR YOU’ 8 p.m. at the Venice Theatre, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice Tickets $34 Call 488-1115. This Tony Award-winning modern-day throwback to the days of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland is bursting with Gershwin hits. Runs through March 19.

WEDNESDAY MASTERWORKS 5: ESTONIAN VOICES 8 p.m. at the Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton $33 Call 953-4252. The world renowned, two-time Grammy Award-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir performs in the Sarasota Orchestra’s masterworks concert.


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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

A Feast for the

Courtesy photo

This aquamanile from the late 14th or early 15th century shows Phyllis riding Aristotle, who in this moment, abandoned philosophy for lust.

Senses At The Ringling’s multisensory exhibit, experience the world as medieval Europeans did. NICK FRIEDMAN A+E MANAGING EDITOR

A

couple centuries removed, it’s not easy to see the similarities we share with the people of medieval Europe. If film and television are to be used as a point of reference, existence was a bleak palette of grays and browns, broken up occasionally by Monty Python types calling out for your village’s dead. Reality, of course, was more nuanced than that. What probably doesn’t come to mind are the myriad traits we share, including the joys we find in earthly pleasures, like food, drink and love, as well as a more divine search for spirituality and salvation. These things — and the senses through which we enjoy them — are the subject of The Ringling’s new exhibit, “A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe.” Co-curated by the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and Virginia Brilliant, Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections at The Ringling,

IF YOU GO ‘A FEAST FOR THE SENSES: ART AND EXPERIENCE IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE’ When: Runs through April 30 Where: The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road Tickets: Free with $25 museum admission Info: Call 359-5700.

the exhibit is aptly named, engaging users through all five senses to explore the world as Europeans in the later Middle Ages would’ve experienced it. “A Feast for the Senses” features more than 80 treasured works of art and artifacts, ranging in origin from the years 1100 to 1500, on loan from some of the world’s most important museums, on display through April 30. The rare pieces, most of which are making their first appearance in Florida, are accompanied by sensory components common of the period — the sounds of bids chirping in a garden; church music and stained-glass windows — even the scent of roses wafts through the exhibit. The goal, says Brilliant, is not only to help visitors relate to the

period, it’s also about what she calls “activating the objects.” “At an art museum, we have a certain distance from the works of art we see,” she says. “People would not have touched the old master paintings, but in the Middle Ages, a lot of the objects you’re going to see in this exhibition were, in fact, touched, and in some cases smelled or tasted. They weren’t just glittery things that sat in a case. People engaged with art using all of their senses.” The exhibit is arranged by sense. Gardens are a recurring theme, bookending the experience to highlight their importance

as places of respite and symbols of heavenly hope. Food and drink are also prominently featured, with chalices, dishes and scenes of feasts displayed prominently. With attention to detail, savvy visitors can pick up on perhaps the exhibit’s most unifying theme — bawdy humor. Sculptural aquamaniles make reference to Phyllis riding Aristotle — stripping him of his dignity and reminding us that jokes about who actually wears the pants are far from new; an ivory tablet depicts a game of hot cockles (Yes, it’s every bit as cheeky as it sounds) and a closer examina-

tion of two lounging shepherds singing to one another reveals a double-entendre-laden bit of musical wordplay. “That was one of the essential tensions of the Middle Ages,” says Brilliant. “On one hand, things are very highbrow, with everything aimed at achieving salvation. But at the same time, there’s a kind of bawdy lasciviousness that permeated everyday life. I hope this exhibit makes at least some of the Middle Ages seem more relatable. We’re still laughing at the same dumb stuff.”

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

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Lessons through laughter ‘Born Yesterday’ delivers a timeless, empowering message — and plenty of laughs.

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Christina DeCicco never considered herself a precocious kid — but she was inquisitive. She remembers asking her mother an endless string of “Why?” It was this trait more than anything, she says, that found her a successful career onstage. Perhaps best known for doing musicals — she played opposite Ricky Martin as the titular character in the Broadway production of “Evita” and did the national tour of “Wicked” as Glinda, but she feels equally at home in straight roles. “I was a shy kid,” she says. “But if you put me onstage, there was something about telling somebody’s story that was really interesting to me. I fell in love with it. I think it was that curious imagination; I liked asking questions about a character and getting lost in a story.” Now, Sarasota audiences can catch her in Asolo Repertory Theater’s production of Garson Kanin’s 1946 laugh-out-loud play, “Born Yesterday,” running through April 15. She plays the lead, Billie Dawn, a former showgirl who has now been all but reduced to an accessory for her boyfriend Harry Brock, a junkyard magnate. He drags Billie along on a move to D.C., where he has less-than-

RIDING

“I’VE ALWAYS asked a lot of questions. I want to figure out a character — Why are they the way they are? Why do they feel that way? That’s why I enjoy playing Billie so much. She’s naturally inquisitive. Even at the beginning of the show, when people think she’s this vapid blonde who’s just along for the ride, she’s absorbing every bit of information. That’s my hook — I feel like I know this girl. “BILLIE WAS a chorus girl in the original Broadway production of ‘Anything Goes.’ So she’s had that experience of feeling like she’s a part of something, and now she’s just a satellite orbiting around everybody else — it does something to your confidence. It makes her a real person to me. “THE FIRST couple days of a musical, you sit with your music director and learn the songs. For the first few days of a play, you sit with your cast and your

‘BORN YESTERDAY’ When: Runs through April 15 Where: Asolo Repertory Theater, 555 N. Tamiami Trail Tickets: $27 to $80 Info: Call 351-8000.

director, and you get to really pick apart the themes of what is happening and dive into the ‘why’ of what you’re doing. By nature, you don’t have time to do that with musicals. I love to be in a room of artists and really collaborate on something. “GARSON KANIN wrote a brilliant comedy. The way it’s set up; the timing of the jokes; it’s kind of a master class on how comedy should be written. And our director Peter Amster has shaped the evening exactly that way. He knows people want to come see a comedy. “IT’S SET in 1946, and it’s so on the nose about what’s going on then, but also now, and I think at any time. That’s why it’s held up. It’s a message of being openminded, inclusive and having empathy. The message is serious, but this is a really funny show. It’s not forced on you. When you get home, whatever message you get out of it is icing on the cake.”

Photo by Cliff Roles

Christina DeCicco and Christopher Kelly in Asolo Rep’s production of “Born Yesterday.”

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ethical business plans in store. Along the way, she regains her confidence and proves she’s not to be underestimated. We sat down with DeCicco to talk about the differences between musical and straight theater, teaching important lessons through humor and why she relates to her character.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Opera singers take flight in ‘Madama Butterfly’ JUNE LEBELL MUSIC CRITIC

S

Rod MIllington

Sarasota Opera’s “Madama Butterfly” is a beautiful production, but it lacks the Japanese elegance Puccini so eloquently wrote into his music.

the kneel, that would make her distinctly Japanese. Her “Un bel di” was well sung, as was just about everything she did vocally, bringing tears to my eyes up until the climax with her addio to her little boy before she takes her life. Unfortunately, she let the emotion of the music and story get the better of her, pushing her voice beyond beautiful and almost screaming at the poor little tyke, who was amazingly brave in the face of all that ranting and raving. Her handmaiden, Suzuki, was sung by Laurel Semerdjian, whose gorgeous voice, almost a contralto rather than mezzo, was clear, clean and well produced. Her offstage sobbing upon realizing Butterly was

about to kill herself resonated most with me in that climactic scene. It was heartbreaking. Pinkerton, the cad, was both well acted and sung by Antonio Coriano. He tends to push his already large voice at times, but for the most part, he sang with both passion and tenderness throughout the opera. Cesar A. Mendez Silvagnoli took the important role of Sharpless, the U.S. Consul in Nagasaki. His acting was quite believable, but his voice, which has a wooly sound, was hard to hear over the orchestra. And the stalwart bass, Young Bok Kim, made a terrifyingly angry Uncle Bonze, who not only disowns Butterfly, but also gets her entire entourage of friends and family to do the same,

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leaving her alone and lonely. Sean Christensen, a studio artist with Sarasota Opera, turned out a suitably slimy Goro, the marriage broker (and possibly the tallest one I’ve ever seen), while smaller parts, including The Prince Yamadori (Suchan Kim) and Kate Pinkerton (Rachelle Moss), were taken by other studio artists and apprentices. The chorus (apprentice artists) and principals often had a hard time chasing the orchestra, but again, it was opening night and tempos and rough edges will be smoothed out. Sarasota Opera has a beautiful production, but the stage director, John Basil, fell very short in his interpretation. He seemed to miss the importance of the Japanese side of this work, leaving the chorus and Japanese principals with little to do and very little in the way of authentic Japanese movements. Doing that did away with the grace and elegance of the culture and its importance to the opera. His Americans, except for the regal Kate Pinkerton, were suitably oafish. But so were his Japanese characters, so they became more caricatures of a culture than the real culture Puccini eloquently wrote into his music. Puccini was a real man of the theater. He knew every nuance, every turn of the fan, and he wrote it into his score. It’s a shame the stage director didn’t understand the composer.

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tragedy, it’s even more moving. By the time we hear that famous aria, we’ve gotten to know Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly), quite well. We know she’s only 15 when she’s married to Lt. B.F. Pinkerton of the U.S. Navy. A scant three years later, at the age of 18, she kills herself, because he’s legally married an American woman and is too much of a coward to tell Butterfly himself that he also wants to take the child born to her back to America, leaving Butterfly with nothing. Joanna Parisi, the Butterfly in this production, has a large, mostly beautiful voice that is powerful and lustrous. But she misses the nuances of the grace, the fan fluttering, the walk and, most of all,

Expressive. Exciting. Extraordinary.

arasota Opera opened its 2017 winter season Saturday with a scenically and vocally beautiful production of Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” David P. Gordon’s stunning set, which has not only served this company well, but has also been rented by a number of other discerning opera companies, was enhanced beautifully by Ken Yunker’s magnificent lighting, offering beautiful sunsets, starlit skies and the charming sense of a Japanese landscape, complete with so many flowers their scent almost wafted to the last row. Victor DeRenzi, artistic director of the Sarasota Opera, was in the pit leading the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, a large ensemble that gathers here every winter from points as far away as San Francisco and Santa Fe, to give this company its very own orchestra — and a good one it is. Yes, there was a bit of ragged playing at the start, but it was opening night, and the ensemble hasn’t been together that long. Give them a few performances, and they’ll be their usual spot-on selves. “Madama Butterfly” has become one of opera’s classic works, with audiences clamoring for it time after time. “Un bel di,” is one of the favorite soprano arias of all time, and when it’s sung in the context of this great Japanese-American

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

‘The Piano Lesson’ summons spirits of a bloody past MARTY FUGATE

IF YOU GO

CONTRIBUTOR

A

ugust Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” is the latest Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe production. His play strikes many notes. It’s a tale of blood, sweat and tears; a magical-realist ghost story; a fable of triumph over slavery’s bitter inheritance and, of course, the story of a piano. Let’s start there. Once upon a time in the Old South, the slave-owning Robert Sutter traded two members of a black family — a mother and her son — for a piano. (He kept the father for his valuable carpentry skills.) But Sutter’s wife missed her two lost slaves, so Sutter cruelly ordered his carpenter to carve the faces of his lost wife and child on the piano. He did — along with his entire family history. In 1911, the carpenter’s grandchild stole the piano. He paid for it with his life, along with five black hobos in the wrong boxcar at the wrong time. Despite murderous white reprisals, the black family hid the piano and held onto it and passed it down to the next generation. In 1936, the piano belongs to Berniece (Noelle Strong). At least half of it does. The other half belongs to her brother, Boy Willie (Earley Dean). Early one morning, he shows up at her house in Pittsburgh with a truckload of watermelons.

‘THE PIANO LESSON’

When: Runs through Feb. 19

Where: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way, Sarasota. Tickets: $39; $22 for students and military Info: Call 366-1505.

Don Daly

Berniece (Noelle Strong) feels connected to the family piano.

Officially, he plans to sell them with his friend, Lymon (Michael Mendez), a laidback ladies’ man. Unofficially, Boy Willie also plans to sell the piano and give Berniece half the money, using his share to buy the land his ancestors once worked as slaves. But he knows his sister will fight to keep the piano. Her great-grandfather carved it; her father died

stealing it; her mother spent her life playing it, mixing her blood, sweat and tears with her ancestors’ in the process. Boy Willie also knows Berniece refuses to play the damn thing; her music might rouse ghosts and the sadness they bring. He figures he might as well sell it. (You can’t buy land with memories.) But Berniece figures out his plan, and sparks fly.

Wilson’s play is a symphony of big and small moments; realism and magic; loud enthusiasm and subtle revelation. Director Chuck Smith successfully captures the myriad ups and downs of Wilson’s text. It’s a play, but it could easily be a miniseries. Dean’s Boy Willie is loud and larger than life — a sympathetic soul whose ambition stands up to racism’s insults and assaults. Noelle Strong is compelling as the multilayered Berniece, a tough, gentle widow who’s put her heart in cold storage. Kenny Dozier plays Avery, a charismatic preacher who wants to thaw her heart. Dozier beautifully captures his character’s revival rhythms at the play’s climax. Patric Robinson’s Wining Boy lives up to his name. He’s a hard-drinking piano player who never hit the big time. Doaker (Henri Watkins), Berniece’s uncle, is a soft-spoken

pillar of sanity. He keeps his cool, but he won’t be pushed past a certain point. Mendez’ Lymon is an easygoing guy who occasionally breaks the law — not hard for an AfricanAmerican living in old-time Mississippi. He’s sick of the Jim Crow system and plans to move up north — a young man’s itch for something better. Emerald Rose Sullivan has a comic cameo as Grace, Boy Willie’s interrupted love interest. Jireh Pierre is winsome as Maretha, Berniece’s daughter. She’s a cute, budding piano player, who doesn’t fear the carved faces of her ancestors. “The Piano Lesson” is fought on the battleground of memory. At some level, it’s a struggle for Maretha’s soul. She’s the future, after all. Wilson has a keen ear for dialogue and X-ray insight into character; the action onstage feels like real life, complete with all its messy, rambling epicycles, asides and subplots. If he had written a simple piano parable, he could’ve easily cut his three-hour play in half. But Wilson also looks at life’s small moments: a calland-response blues song; the legend of a magical silk suit; a failed romantic interlude. All those quotidian details make “The Piano Lesson” as intricately carved as the faces on the titular piano.

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