Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: February 8, 2012
by: Loren Mayo and Molly Schechter | Observer Staff



+ Learning the ropes – and fast
After being named Black Tie Editor about a month ago, I’ve been welcomed with fashionably open arms to each social event I’ve attended. And, although I’m trying my best to catch up to speed as quickly as possible, there is, undoubtedly, a learning curve. Case in point: After taking Cornelia Matson’s photo at Palm Ball Saturday at Bay Preserve, I said to her, “Your name sounds really familiar, but I don’t think we’ve met.”

Her response: “Well, I used to live in this house … ”

+ King of coats
Bruce Lesser is a man of many coats — in many colors. Anyone who passed by him at Palm Ball last weekend without a double or triple take should probably get her eyes checked.

About his latest shiny gold coat that was tailor-made in Singapore, Lesser says he wanted a different coat that no one else would have. His hope with every coat is that when he attends a function, someone will say, “Where did you get that?”

Lesser currently owns 20 tuxedos in every color of the rainbow from Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

+ Betty, Betty, Betty!
They say you can’t have too much of a good thing, which was certainly the case with the Betty Boop Ball, Temple Beth Israel of Longboat Key’s annual dinner dance held Jan. 23, at the Sarasota Yacht Club.
Honorary co-chairwomen were Sarasota philanthropists Betty Schoenbaum and Betty Schiff. And there was a live performance by Betty Boop, the famous animated character from the 1930s, brought to life by Sarasota actress Heather Kopp, most recently seen in these parts in the Asolo Rep’s production of “My Fair Lady.” She shared the stage with Richard Levine, honored at the event with the Rising Star Award for exceptional contribution by a member of less than five years, and his wife, Nessa.

+ Superbowl Party XVIII
Joan Mendell calculates that this is the 18th year she has entertained on Super Bowl Sunday, first at her home on Bird Key then at her Ritz-Carlton condo and, since last year, at Michael’s Wine Cellar. The party has become such a fixture that the one year she didn’t have it, a friend protested that she was owed money because she ended up entertaining 10 people who should have been at Joan’s. She did not collect. The only hitch at this year’s party was that Linda Dickinson by mistake went home with Dottie Garner’s handbag. It was Anne Folsom Smith to the rescue! She called Dottie’s cell phone, which was in the purloined purse. No answer there, but Dick Dickinson answered his home phone, and Dottie’s bag was back at the Wine Cellar in no time!

+ Tidbits
Double header … Dick Seidel and his lady, Anita Rosenberg, had tickets for two nights in a row at Van Wezel last week — virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell on Thursday and Willie Nelson on Friday. Alas, they couldn’t make it to the first, but they were there to be part of an SRO audience for Nelson. The report is that he brought the crowd to its feet by simply walking onto the stage, and it was straight uphill from there.

Sarasota Opera Opening Night Gala
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Tickets $250; Call 366-8450, Ext. 402

The Sarasota Opera’s elegant Opening Night Gala will follow the 4 p.m. opening night performance of the opera, “Carmen.” The gala, which begins with a festive cocktail hour with savory hors d’oeuvres and mingling, will be designed to reflect elements from the opera, including a delectable and lavish, three-course Spanish-themed dinner prepared by Chef Dwayne Edwards of the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.
After dinner, the Jazz Legacy Big Band will assemble for dancing and enjoyment.


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