Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 11.25.10

Posted November 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Hubbard flaunts his design chops
The last we heard from Lorenzo Hubbard, the former BLAB TV host was vying for Oprah’s job, dishing about his “brand,” his designer shoes and his all-around fabulousness.

In an interview this summer with The Observer, Hubbard also mentioned that he was designing a nightclub on Fruitville Road inspired by “Sex and the City,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Celebrity Chef.”

Well, folks, the club is complete, and the effusive Hubbard wasn’t lying — the place is swank.

The Loft, which opened in the former Don Pablo restaurant at Fruitville and Cattlemen Roads, is a sexy restaurant/lounge with two floors, a spacious dance floor, a stage for live jazz music and an urban ambience rivaling that of any New York City hotspot.

Hubbard even lent his branding expertise when it came time to name the space. Owner Steve Rinehart originally wanted to call it The Brick House, to which Hubbard countered, “It’s not a brick house. It’s a loft.”

The interior designer/author/television host/image consultant has been busy since “On the Town with Lorenzo” went off the air last spring.

Although he did not win Oprah’s reality-show competition, he has begun taping another lifestyle show in Miami.

He says now that his work on The Loft is through, he can focus on other side projects: namely designing homes for a growing list of South Florida celebrities, athletes and coaches.

“I’ve not seen anything designers on TV have done that can compete with what I do,” Hubbard says.

+ Putterman earns achievement award

There are benefits to being a Sarasota snowbird that go beyond escaping the snow in the winter and the heat in the summer. If you’re an artist, you can grab headlines in two cities!

Florence Putterman, who gained more exposure in her 80s than she dreamed possible in her 40s, returned to her Lido Shores home earlier this month with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of American Graphic Artists, in New York City.

The artist received the award Oct. 22, along with artist Evan Lindquist and art publisher and gallery owner Sophia Lane.

Putterman, whose work was chosen this month for a juried exhibition at the Florida Museum for Women Artists, also made headlines in her hometown when she donated several paintings from her portfolio to the Susquehanna Valley Women in Transition Shelter.

+ Is Drag Queen Bingo going on tour? 
Two weeks ago, at an ordinarily rowdy game of “Drag Queen Bingo” at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, host Beneva Fruitville mentioned that she and co-host Lindsay Carlton were in discussions with a New York producer about taking their bingo shtick on the road.

Because Fruitville (aka actor Berry Ayers) is a notorious show-boater, bingo groupies couldn’t tell if the queen were full of it or being sincere.

It turns out, the Bible-thumping Fruitville was telling the God’s honest truth.

A reputable New York producer got wind of the dynamic duo at a theater convention earlier this summer when Golden Apple owners Bob and Roberta Turoff mentioned the Apple’s recent bingo bonanza.

The producer, who has yet to see the dames in action, has already begun contract negotiations with the duo. According to Ayers, the company has suggested sending the queens to Chicago for a six-week stint in early 2011.

Ayers has even written a script for the tour.

“They’ve talked about training different Benevas and different Lindsays,” says Ayers. “It’s crazy. Our little dog-and-pony show is getting bigger by the day.”


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