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Scene & Heard

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  • | 4:00 a.m. April 20, 2011
Suzanne Farrel
Suzanne Farrel
  • Arts + Culture
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+ Farrell gets her dance on in Sarasota
Sarasota Ballet dancers rubbed elbows last week with George Balanchine’s famous diminutive muse, Suzanne Farrell.

The former New York City Ballet prima ballerina popped in for a visit Wednesday following Director Iain Webb’s announcement last month that Sarasota Ballet and Farrell’s Washington, D.C.,-based company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, would be collaborating on a joint performance this October at the Kennedy Center.

During her brief Sarasota visit, Farrell weighed in on why she chose Balanchine’s “Diamonds” for the first-time collaboration.

“It’s gorgeous, elegant and noble,” Farrell says. “And it allows me to work with as many dancers as possible.”

It also helps that in 1968, the dancer originated the ballet’s lead role.

Asked why she chose to join forces with Sarasota Ballet for the production, Farrell replied, “Why not? As Mr. Balanchine would say, ‘People spend too much time asking, ‘Why would you?’ when they should be asking, “Why would you not?’”

Pointe taken.

+ ‘See Jane’ make lasting connections at SFF  
Sarasota teens are about to learn there’s a lot more to Geena Davis than the mom she played in the “Stuart Little” movies. 

At a Sarasota Film Festival luncheon last Friday, the actress announced a year-round partnership between SFF and See Jane, the programming arm of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Steered by SFF’s Outreach and Education Department, See Jane, which works with entertainment companies to combat female stereotypes in Hollywood, will begin to implement media training workshops and filmmaking challenges at local middle schools and high schools — starting with Booker Middle School.

The project marks See Jane’s first educational partnership with a film festival.

+ Carolyn Michel reunites with herself

Carolyn Michel is back as Bev, Mort, Rose, Fern and Sandra in the popular one-woman tour de force, “Family Secrets,” at Florida Studio Theatre.

Playwright Sherry Glaser’s semi-autobiographical solo play about a dysfunctional Jewish family premiered off-Broadway in 1993 and went on to become the longest-running one-woman show in off-Broadway history.

Michel’s performance last July as all five quirky family members was so incredible, you almost forgot you were watching one actress slip in and out of character.

Not since Eddie Murphy played the Klump family in “The Nutty Professor” has one actor nailed so many personalities.

If you missed Michel’s performance last year, now’s your chance to see her again. “Family Secrets” runs through May 1, at FST. For tickets, call 366-9000 or visit

+ Ebtg closes up shop
Just when the Rosemary District got over the loss of the Sarasota Olive Oil Company, longtime Central Avenue merchant Laura Daniel Gale closed her funky, beloved everything but the girl boutique.

Despite plans to turn the space into a live music venue — i.e., The Closet, a joint venture with brother-sister rock duo Erin and Mike Murphy of the local band The Equines — the merchant decided it was time to call it quits and focus on other ventures.

While the Murphys are still shopping for bigger digs for The Closet, Gale is focusing on her role as a producer for Plush Entertainment, a DJ/audio and visual-production company whose artists include the Black Diamond Burlesque troupe.

As for what’s to become of Rosemary Rising, the popular holiday street festival Gale spearheaded six years ago?

According to the tireless neighborhood cheerleader, the now-quarterly event will continue. The next one is slated for Thursday, June 2.

GoreFest 2011’: Zombies and vampires unite for “GoreFest 2011.” The one-day Hollywood special-effects event will include live monster-makeup demonstrations and screenings of horror movies by local filmmakers. Be a part of the grisly action from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Art Center Sarasota. Tickets are $5 and benefit The Backroom School of Film and Art. For more information, call 234-3553.

In last week’s “Scene & Heard,” a $35,000 check given to the Asolo Repertory Theatre from Designing Women Boutique, (“Asolo Rep scores big bucks at DWB”) was mistakenly described as a gift from Ethel Taub’s estate.

The grant stemmed from DWB’s fundraising efforts over the past year, not from Taub’s estate.


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