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Performing Art
Les McCurdy, Emily Walsh and Ken Sons. Photo by Loren Mayo.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 10 years ago

Black Tie & Tales

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

+ Will the real Christine please stand up?
On Friday afternoon while frantically formatting black-tie events for The Observer’s spring SEASON magazine, I realized I was missing the ticket price for the Ringling College of Art and Design’s “An Evening at the Avant-Garde.” Intending to email Christine Meeker Lange, special assistant to the president for media and community relations, my address book pulled up Christine Alexander, of Lazy Fairy Improv, without my knowing.

Even though she seemed confused as to her involvement with the event, she assured me she would help.She sent out a mass email, which resulted in my trading emails back-and-forth with Gayle Williams, of Vision Marketing. It was then that I noticed the list of people Gayle had copied on her email — CHRISTINE ALEXANDER! After another 12 emails, I received the ticket cost.

Christine Alexander’s final words to me: “Don’t ask me a question I don’t know! I’ll find that freakin’ answer! ;)”

+ Fashion show fodder
Emily Walsh’s birthday hat created the tip of the Bermuda triangle at the SPARCC 25th annual Second Hand Rose Fashion Show and Luncheon Thursday ... And don’t miss a video on of Marcy Downey belting out a revamped rendition of “Second Hand Rose.” (Watch below)

+ Red hot!
Louanne Roy just returned from an adventure to China, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. During her stay in Cambodia, she picked up this fabulous red-and-gold Thai silk jacket, which she proudly sported at Designing Women’s “Designed to Give” cocktail party Friday.

“I saw it in the window and said, ‘That’s mine!’” Roy said.

+ A romantic dinner for … 60!
Allen and Stephanie Hochfelder invited friends to “bring your favorite sweetheart,” fed them filet and crab cakes under the supervision of Shannon Lugannani, of Word of Mouth, and entertained them with “The Hochfelder Sweetheart Quiz” created by Stephanie. Can you name a crooner from the ’40s whose brother’s name is Bob? What about the conductor of “Yellow Rose of Texas?” And the singer of “Que Sera, Sera?”

+ Multiplier effect for Red Cross
It was high-fives all around, when Diane McNeel convened the Stewards of the Mad Hatter Teas benefiting the local chapter of the American Red Cross Feb. 9, at the Ritz-Carlton. The stewards are the individuals Diane recruited for the start-up, plus new inductee Nikki Sedacca. Ms. McNeel treated her powerhouse people to a mid-day high tea to celebrate the success of their two inaugural parties: in spring at the home of Dr. Fritz and Ping Faulhaber and holiday time at the home of Bill and Margaret Wise. The events raised $35,000-plus, and the Red Cross attributes a whopping $250,000 to donations resulting from them.

+ The back story
One of the many outstanding gowns at the recent Palm Ball was BJ Creighton’s black stunner with red roses down the back. Look closely, and you’ll see that the one at the top isn’t the same as the others. B.J. went to Mollie Nelson’s for help getting into the gown, but the zipper broke. So it was off to connect with Raul I-Can-Fix-Anything Molina at Margaret Wise’s house. His solution: sew on a red rose Christmas tree ornament.

+ Dancing king
Saturday night and the lights were low
A man in a suit knew the place to go
Fête Ballroom played the right music
Getting him in the swing,
He was the dancing king.

I can’t tell you his name, for no one I’ve asked seems to know, but there was a gentleman at the New College Gala who had the most energy of anyone I’ve ever seen on the dance floor. His arms went left, his body went right, and somehow his legs spun around without him twisting an ankle — or needing a knee replacement. Not a soul could take their eyes off him. The woman with whom he was dancing appeared to be having a jolly workout as well, for every time he flung her around, she exploded into laughter and smiles.

If you’d like to burn a good 12,000 calories on the dance floor, I highly recommend attending next year’s gala.

17th annual Evening of Excellence
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Michael’s On East
Tickets $200 individual; $250 patron. Call Laura Breeze at 927-0265.

After 17 years, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County is changing up its signature fundraising event, “Evening of Excellence.” The annual affair celebrates the value of arts education in our schools. Co-Chairwomen Chris Cremer and Meg Mahoney promise surprises every half-hour during the event. Cocktails start at 6 p.m. followed at 7 p.m. by dinner and a live auction of 25 of the best original student artworks.

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