+ Once a prima ballerina …
Jean Allenby Weidner’s appearance on stage has no doubt been welcomed with wild applause uncountable times. For sheer quantity of love and respect, however, her appearance in Dance of the Knights from “Romeo and Juliet,” by Kenneth MacMillan, at the Sarasota Ballet’s 20th anniversary gala March 25 must have set a record. Given that A.) balletomanes are a passionate breed; B.) Sarasota is known for the enthusiasm of its audiences; C.) this was the first time that Jean has danced with the troupe that she founded two decades ago; and D.) her appearance on stage was a pretty well-kept secret … it was thrilling. Once a prima ballerina, always a prima ballerina. No other word for it — thrilling.
+ Hard core philanthropy …
It was the week that was with at least 16 fundraising events between Monday, March 21 and Sunday, March 27. The human services were particularly in evidence. Stalwart supporters, among them Gerri Aaron, Jewel Ash, Betty Schoenbaum and more appeared at all or most. Kudos – and whew! See photos in this week’s Black Tie and online at www.YourObserver.com.
+ ‘My turn’ for Gerri Aaron
She was busy last week honoring others. On April 3, at Michael’s On East, the American Jewish Committee will honor Gerri Aaron with its 2011 Human Relations Award. New this year: no keynote speaker. As AJC Regional Director Brian Lipton put it, “With these three great co-chairs, Teri Hansen, Betty Schoenbaum and Dr. Larry Thompson, who needs one?” The honoree’s kids are all coming to the event: daughters Alison Aaron and her new husband, Howard Madsen, from Ship Bottom, N.J.; Erika Aaron, from Philadelphia; and her sons Jonah Aaron and Jim Aaron, from Dallas, Judson Aaron, from Philadelphia, and Ken Aaron, from Langhorne, Penn. For reservations call 365-4995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Places to go … from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at the Paper Tree, 1931 S. Osprey, for the Sarasota debut of the spring collection of Diana E. Kelly shoes, plus McLeod 9 custom frames … 1658 Main St. next to Lan restaurant from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, April 2 for the grand opening of the late-night lounge Pangea, the newest venture of Brad Coburn and Lan Bradeen … People to see … Longboat Key’s leading men on the runway to benefit the Longboat Key Garden Club and the Longboat Key Center for the Arts, a Division of Ringling College of Art and Design, in “A Taste of the Key and Male Fashion Show” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, at the Arts Center. 6860 Longboat Drive S., Longboat Key. Models include Town Manager Bruce St. Denis, Commissioners Jim Brown, Bob Siekmann, Phillip Younger, and Police Chief Al Hogle. Restaurants include the Longboat Key Club, Mar Vista, Sun House and more. Tickets $50 from Barb Kerwin, 383-0772, or Susan Landau, 383-8030 … Kisses, wishes and good luck … to Paulette Blair, who left Sarasota for M.D. Anderson, in Houston, the day after the Glitz at the Ritz luncheon, founded by her and co-chaired this year by her daughter, Michelle Crabtree, and her son-in-law, Dale Woodling ...
+ Black Tie Affair
Men Who Love To Cook
Asolo Repertory Theatre • 6 p.m. Sunday, April 10, Longboat Key Club Harbourside • Ticket $150 • Reservations Laura Wood 351-9010, Ext. 4712
Sarasota and Bradenton’s most prominent business and community men are putting on their chef’s hats and showcasing their culinary specialties and skills for this one-of-a-kind, casual new event. The dinner will be a buffet, with entrées prepared by the guest chefs, and there’s much more to delight you, including a special cooking demonstration by host chef Giuliano Hazan, an old-fashioned auction of cakes, live music and a souvenir cookbook. The $150 ticket also includes an open bar. Margaret Wise and BT co-chair; Longboat Key Club Food and Beverage Director Bob Weil and Director of Sales and Marketing Mary Kay Ryan head up the team for sponsor Longboat Key Club.