Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 01.27.10

Posted January 27, 2010 at 9:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Jazz Juvies receive anonymous donations
The kids in Jazz Juvenocracy have plenty to brag about these days. Shortly after their A&E cover story came out last month in The Observer, a retired jazz musician from Longboat Key called our office looking to make a donation to help pay for the band’s trip to Montreux, Switzerland, where the members will perform in the 44th annual Montreux Jazz Festival.

Mary Andrews, whose 17-year-old son, Sam, plays piano in the band, confirmed that an anonymous Longboater with jazz roots did in fact make a donation at the band’s Duke Ellington tribute concert last month at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center –– enough to cover one musician’s airfare.

“A true humanitarian,” said Andrews, who also pointed out that several other concert-goers shelled out donations.

The band recently played the launch party of “Edible Sarasota,” a magazine devoted to local foods, farmers and grocers, at Whole Foods Market.

+ Sarasota Ballet revives Carnaby Street chic
What’s up with Sarasota and the swinging ’60s lately? First Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe opens its season with “The Motown ’60s Revue,” and now Sarasota Ballet is dancing the North American premiere of British choreographer Matthew Bourne’s “Boutique.”

A revised version of Massine’s “Le Boutique Fantasque,” Bourne’s “Boutique” forgoes the 1860s Parisian toy shop in favor of 1960s Carnaby Street. (Think “Austin Powers,” minus Mike Myers.)

The ballet will dance four performances of “Boutique,” paired with Peter Darrell’s “Othello,” Jan. 29 to Jan. 31, at the Florida State University Performing Arts Center. For tickets, visit or call 351-8000.

+ Pink flamingos collect dust as construction delays
Marietta Lee, the Sarasota art collector who purchased fashion designer Joan McGee’s old Serendipity Gallery last year for $1.55 million, has yet to open her Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy.

The museum, which contractors began renovating in October, was slated to open in January. However, according to its owner, the opening has been pushed back another two months due to construction setbacks.

In the meantime, Lee can barely keep up with all the calls from neighbors and lawn-ornament enthusiasts wondering when they’ll be able to tour the Pepto-Bismol pink building.



+ ‘Galileo’ gamble pays off for Asolo Rep Theatre
Last winter, The New York Times raved about the Sarasota Ballet. This year, the Wall Street Journal is lavishing praise on the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

In a review that ran earlier this month, WSJ critic Terry Teachout called the Asolo Rep’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Galileo” “a luminous production” and “a masterpiece of unified design.” He urged theater-goers to visit Sarasota to see the company’s big-budget production, which runs through Feb. 17, in the Mertz Theatre.

Speaking of the Mertz Theatre, the city of Sarasota celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Asolo Rep main stage Jan. 27, with a Scottish-themed party at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. The 500-seat theater, originally built as an opera house in 1903 in Sarasota sister city Dunfermline, Scotland, was relocated to Sarasota and dedicated as the Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre exactly two decades ago.

Mayor Dick Clapp even proclaimed the day “Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre Day” in a ceremony that included performances by Sarasota’s favorite highland entertainers –– The Jacobites Pipe and Drum Band.

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