Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 10.28.10

Posted October 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Let them eat cake!
After a brief performance last week in the Selby Auditorium at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, members of the Vinca Quartet happily mingled with reporters and photographers and then deservedly nibbled on homemade chocolate cake.

Sponsored by the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast, the Vinca Quartet kicked off its two-week residency Oct. 20 with a public concert at Riverview High School, followed by a series of visits to Sarasota and Manatee County schools.

It must be said, however, that the Vincas’ Sarasota arrival, celebrated as it was, was regarded with almost as much fanfare as Perlman trustee Ilana Jones’ chocolate cake.

The young musicians and Perlman alums — Jessica Tong, Aaron Requiro, Laura Seay and An-Lin Bardin — were all quite familiar with Jones’ famous confection. The longtime trustee has been enabling Perlman chocoholics for years.

Jones, a former Washington, D.C. caterer, has been baking the cake for more than 30 years. Though she refrained from sharing the entire recipe, she did describe its gooey contents as a combination of liqueurs, apricot jam, mocha butter cream, ganache and pounds of Belgian chocolate.

According to the baker, Itzhak Perlman himself used to indulge in the treat during Perlman’s winter residency.

“And then he went on a diet,” says Jones.

+ In case you didn’t know, vampires are hot
Va-va-va vampire!

By now, you had to have spotted the provocative “Pretty in Dead” flyers hanging in almost every Sarasota coffee shop.

There’s no missing the girl with fangs when you’re standing in line at Starbucks waiting for a latte.

Designed by model-turned-couture-designer France Engels, the vampire-inspired fashion show continues to add more models to Saturday’s lineup.

Last week, organizer Paul Gruber, of Bad Fish Productions, added a 6-foot-tall blonde to the bill.
The event goes down from 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 30, on Laurel Street, during the Sarasota Chalk Festival. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Look for the 60-foot runway.

+ Russian ‘Nutcracker’ holds opens auditions
As if one “Nutcracker” in Sarasota weren’t enough, the Moscow Ballet has flown one of its soloists, Anna Tyutyunnyk, into town this week to audition young dancers for the “Great Russian Nutcracker,” which hits the Van Wezel stage Dec. 26 — two weeks after Sarasota Ballet performs its “Nutcracker” at the Sarasota Opera House.

Tyutyunnyk will be at ReFLEX Arts on Lockwood Ridge Road (near Parkway 8 Cinemas) at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28. Applicants must have dance experience and be between 7 and 16 years old.

For more information, call 359-9642 or visit

+ Oscar winner in town for ‘Bonnie & Clyde’
Superstar songwriter Don Black was in Sarasota last week working his magic with the “Bonnie & Clyde” cast at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Although Black might not be a household name, his film and musical credits are.

Black wrote songs for a series of James Bond films, including “Diamonds Are Forever,” “The Man with the Golden Gun,” “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The World Is Not Enough.”

Black, together with Bond collaborator John Barry, wrote the title song for the 1966 film “Born Free,” which won an Academy Award that year for Best Song.

No wonder this musical is headed to Broadway.

Powerful Parkinson's exhibit opens
Sarasota’s arts and medical communities have joined forces to present an emotional new exhibit Nov. 1 to Nov. 5, at Art Center Sarasota.

“Facing Parkinson’s Disease,” a collection of photo essays by local photographers, highlights area families who are living with Parkinson’s — all are at different stages in their lives.

Many of the pictures aim to debunk the myth that the disease affects only elderly people, as does this shot of 12-year-old Parkinson’s patient Thomas Michael Jaquith, pictured with his mother, Mary, at their horse farm in Venice.

Organized by the Neuro Challenge Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers, the exhibit is the first of its kind focused solely on Parkinson’s awareness.

Photographers include Cliff Roles, Nat Krate, Camille Pyatte, Susan Jackewicz, Kollene Carlsson, Gana Gilkey, Lynn Elkes, Cat Pennenga and more.

Selected art from patients and caregivers will be auctioned off at the opening reception at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 1. All proceeds will benefit the Neuro Challenge Foundation. For more information, call 926-6413.


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